Tangled Thoughts

Tangled Thoughts by Cara Bertrand Read Free Book Online

Book: Tangled Thoughts by Cara Bertrand Read Free Book Online
Authors: Cara Bertrand
hard. “You were
conference
in field hockey.”
    â€œI know.”
    Back in my apartment, I sat at the dining table and continued to sip my coffee.
    â€œWhat’s the matter?” Lex dropped into the chair across from me.
    â€œWhat?”
    â€œYou just ran a zillion miles, it’s nice out, you’ve got coffee and smelled books. Why are you so quiet?”
    I picked up my cup and found it light, almost empty. I’d been sitting there for longer than I realized. “Do you know why my uncle is going to Arizona next weekend?”
    â€œNo? Politics? Because the best spas are there?” I told her about my conversation with the barista and her eyebrows shot toward the ceiling. “Well,
that
would be juicy news. Maybe he’s taking
girlfriend
to L’Auberge. Scottsdale’s pretty nice, too.”
    â€œDon’t you think he’d have told me if he was dating someone?”
    â€œMy dad doesn’t tell me every time
he’s
dating someone.”
    â€œLex, Jesus.” I’d been spinning my cup in circles and it clattered to a stop on its side. “That’s not true.”
    â€œOf
course
it is. Dad has more girlfriends than I do. Mom gets new jewelry every time he gets a new secretary.”
    â€œFuck.” Out of habit, I wiped a hand down my face and winced as I passed over my swollen eye.
    â€œDon’t pretend you didn’t know.”
    â€œI
didn’t
.”
    Alexis shook her head. “That’s because you think everyone is sweet and good.”
    â€œ
I’m
not even sweet and good.”
    â€œYes you are. In here.” She leaned forward and tapped my chest. It felt warm under her fingers.
    â€œI haven’t always been.”
    â€œCarter, seriously.” She stood and came to my side of the table, pushing it back with a scrape until she could settle herself comfortably on my lap. “I know I joke about it, but really, you’re a good, good boy. I bet even all your love-’em-and-leave-’em townie girls still pine for you.”
    â€œI’d take that bet.” I knew they didn’t. I hadn’t stayed with any of them for very long. I hadn’t loved any of them either. They
all
knew that. Some of them had wanted me to. “And don’t be crass.”
    â€œSee?”
    â€œWhat?”
    â€œâ€˜Don’t be crass’—who says that except
good
boys? Listen, I know you’re good because
I’m
not.
You
are just like your aunt.”
    â€œ
You
are not bad either.”
    â€œHa!”
    I pulled her snug against me. “You’re not. I wouldn’t be here otherwise.”
    â€œI think,” she said, “you bring it out in me. The good.” There was a softness in her voice, the sometimes sharp edge of it dulled by sincerity. I skimmed my fingers across her cheek and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. She smiled, a small curving of her lips that was the shyest thing she ever did.
    â€œMaybe,” I said, and kissed that smile. “But see? It’s already
in
you. You don’t need me.”
    With one hand on my chest, she leaned close and whispered, “Don’t bet on it.”
    She kissed me back, a good one, her tongue searching for mine, and for a while I forgot all about the conversation in the coffee shop. My hands fixed on her waist to keep her balanced, but the longer we kissed, the more they wanted to stray. Alexis arched her back, pushing the table even further away with a screech, and wrapped her legs around my waist.
    She pressed against me once and that was it. My brain switched off in favor of other things. I stood, bringing her with me, cinched tight. Without a second to consider it, I Thought the table back toward us and set her right there. Alexis’s eyes popped open as it made the same awful screech as before.
    â€œOh!” She jerked her chin in surprise and caught me right in the swollen eye.
    Hissing, I fell back into my

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