Hello to another Throwback Thursday! Today’s snippet is from Good Girl Gone Plaid.
* * * *
“I find it amazing you’re all still single. I’m sure you’re all hot commodities on the island.”
“Me in particular? Are you hitting on me?” His tone lilted upward, his accent a bit stronger as his grin turned unabashed.
Sarah blushed, hotter than she could remember and sputtered for a response. “No, of course not, I’m—”
“I’m just taking the piss out of ya, luv.”
She relaxed and joined in his laughter, remembering the slang phrase now.
“I was asked to deliver this?”
They both glanced up at the new voice approaching the table.
Sarah’s laughter died and her mouth went dry. You were warned he might show.
“Yes, thank you.” She accepted the glass of wine from Ian and watched as he pulled out the chair to sit next to Colin.
“You’re welcome. Enjoying an evening out I see?”
“I am. Kenzie invited me.” She glanced over at Colin and smiled briefly. “Your brother was sweet enough to let me crash his table. This place is packed.”
“I insisted.” Colin winked.
The mood at the table seemed to shift, become heavier and darker. Seconds ticked by where no one said anything.
Sarah took a sip of wine, but really it may as well have been water for all it mattered.
“I’m going to run to the bathroom. Hold my spot?” She knew they would, but it was just extra words to pretend everything was normal.
“Of course,” Colin agreed.
Sarah scooted her chair back and made her escape, grateful for a moment to compose herself.
* * *
She looked sexy. The denim skirt showed off toned legs, and the red tank clung to the curves of her breasts. She’d kept her hair down, and it shone as if she’d spent an hour brushing it.
Oh yes, Sarah was trying tonight to look good. Almost as if she wanted to garner someone’s attention. But who was that someone?
“You and Sarah seem quite cozy,” Ian remarked in a calm tone he wasn’t so sure he felt.
“Just getting reacquainted. She’s a pretty thing, aye?”
“Aye.” The word about killed him. Hearing his brother say it evoked a dark fury deep inside him. He resented it. Resented more so the fact he could still get jealous over Sarah.
“Why not take her to a movie?” he suggested with a hard shrug. “You’re single.”
Colin laughed and shook his head, before lifting the beer to his mouth and drinking another sip.
Unfortunately, his brother’s reaction only upped his irritation. “You laugh? Why?”
“Because you don’t mean that for a moment. You would saw my head off with a dull spoon if I made a move on Sarah.”
“Bollicks.” Actually, yes, he probably would.
“It’s also a respect thing. Sarah’s sweet, and yes, damn pretty.” Colin sobered, his gaze locking on Ian’s. “If she were just some girl you’d dallied with in high school, and had no real feelings for, then that would be one thing. But I’m not going to move in on a girl you’re still half in love with.”
Fury and disbelief erupted inside him. “Like hell—”
“Don’t ‘like hell’ me. You can lie all you want. And, truly, I think you’ve even convinced yourself she means nothing to you. But you’re wrong.” Colin sighed. “And when you realize that, it’s going to be quite a wake up call.”
“Do you have no recollection of our history? She hates me. I admit I hate her a bit after what she said that day—”
“Don’t let pride stand in your way. You both were stupid and made bad choices that day.”
“Mine a little worse,” he muttered after a heavy sigh. “She won’t forgive me. I hardly forgive myself.”
“But if she did, would you want her back?”
That question weighed heavy on his heart, and he wasn’t sure of the answer. How could he ever want to be with someone who thought so little of him? And yet his heart and body seemed to argue otherwise anytime she came within feet of him.
He settled for an answer his brother would expect. “I might want her for a few nights, but I’m not the sort for permanence.”
Colin grunted. “You would with the right girl. Go ahead and throw crude words my way all you want. But I know you better than you know yourself sometimes.”
Sometimes Ian didn’t doubt it.