Drift (Lengths)

Drift (Lengths) by Steph Campbell, Liz Reinhardt Read Free Book Online

Book: Drift (Lengths) by Steph Campbell, Liz Reinhardt Read Free Book Online
Authors: Steph Campbell, Liz Reinhardt
but a few of us were going out later tonight, just a gallery opening and maybe a little dancing. Maybe you’d like to come?”
    “That’s so kind of you, Samantha,” I say guardedly. “But it might not be a good idea.”
    “Some of the other professors are going,” she rushes to add. “Professor Petura said he’d stop by, and, I’m not sure if you met her, but Professor Rodriguez from women’s studies is also coming.”
    “Rodriguez?” I ask.
    Like Lydia. Not much of a coincidence. It’s not an uncommon name at all, especially in this area.
    “Yes.” Samantha’s smile loses some of its dazzle. She stops combing her fingers through her hair. “You remember Lydia Rodriguez from class? They’re sisters. But Lydia doesn’t really want her sister to know she’s taking classes.” She shrugs one shoulder and rolls her eyes. “No idea why. Lydia is kind of skittish.” She purses her lips to the side and chews on the inside of her mouth. “I, um, invited her too.”
    “Lydia?” Before I can temper my voice, all the expectation is there.
    “Right. I asked her.” Samantha shakes her head. “Who knows if she’ll come. But it’s at seven. So. Okay. See you, maybe?”
    She doesn’t look particularly hopeful or eager. Which works just fine for me. I’ve had more than enough of being fawned over by the girls on campus.
    Well, I’ve had more than enough of being fawned over by most of the girls on campus. I’d be more than happy to have some fawning from Lydia Rodriguez directed my way.
    “Thank you for the invitation. I’ll certainly do my best to make it.”
    I try to keep my words modulated, but it isn’t easy. Damn, I love the chase, and I haven’t had anyone make me run for such a long time. I’m more than ready to play Lydia’s game: actually, I’m filled with adrenaline-backed excitement.
    Back at my apartment, I start to strip my clothes off to prepare for the night, but the canvas in the corner catches my eye. I take the folded piece of notebook paper out of my back pocket and study it before I grab my brushes and attack the image with a new resolution. I’m going to capture the cocky smile, the sensual pink of her skin when she’s excited, the flutter of her lashes, but it won’t be enough.
    I need to see what her lips look like plump and rosy after I kiss her.
    I need to see her hair mussed and her eyelids heavy after I have sex with her for hours.
    I need to see what she looks like when she lets go and admits our attraction is completely worth the risk.

    5  LYDIA
    “I love lamb tacos,” I sigh, finishing up a second helping and leaning back to pat my stomach. Which may be just a wee bit less flat than it was a week ago. My mother’s cooking features a lot of duck fat.
    Like, flocks of ducks give up their lives for her delicious meals.
    “Lydia, preciosa , Papá and I love having you over. But...is something wrong? You’re usually so busy with fancy client dinners. And Richard—”
    My father clears his throat at the name of my shithead ex, and my mother pats her silky black hair back into its perfect bun. My mother has always been the consummate housewife, and I have admired her perfect composure and perfectly ladylike good looks since I was little girl. Even after a day preparing a beautiful meal, she still manages to look like she just stepped out of a formal family oil painting; uncreased dress, heels, the whole put-together package.
    “Dinah, if Lydia wants to tell us about her life, she will. Can we not enjoy some time with our wonderful, successful daughter?” My father smiles under his neatly combed mustache and reaches across the table to pat my hand.
    I feel an icy lump in the center of my stomach. Like all that duck fat froze and balled up. I want to tell them, gently, what’s happening, but this is exactly why I can’t. My father is looking at me with total proud adoration.
    I can’t be the callous loser who extinguishes that look of pride.

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