“He’s okay, Emma.” I tried reassuring her although I wasn’t entirely sure myself. “The tour has been rough on him, that’s all.”
“I still don’t understand why he didn’t take more time off between tours.”
“Jake’s all work and no play,” I replied, shrugging.
“That’s what I’m worried about.”
“What’s done is done, Em. Nothing we can do about it now.”
“I just don’t like him being out there, on the other side of the world, alone.”
“Me neither, but he has Lassen. Not to mention he’s an adult. We can’t babysit him forever.”
Emma nodded, grudgingly agreeing with me. “Where is he anyway? He was supposed to be here hours ago.”
“I don’t know,” I replied sarcastically, reverting back to the asshole I usually was with my sister. “I’m not telepathic.”
Emma pursed her lips and shook her head in clear disappointment. “I was just asking, jerk!”
Thank god. We were back to being adversaries. Sharing feeling and opinions with Emma was like conceding defeat.
Lost in uncomfortable thought, I didn’t see the woman walking up to me until her beauty blocked my view of Jesus. I blinked. Holy hell! Had I just been sent an angel? My eyes zeroed in on her ample rack, which was spilling out from inside her shirt. Nope. This was no angel I’d been sent. How did He know?
Emma kicked the side of my leg, possibly to remind me she was still there. I tore my attention away from my new favorite person long enough to motion, with the flick of an eye, for Emma to get lost. Looking immensely offended, she refused to budge. I gave her a not-so-gentle shove. Emma shot me the look of death before rising off the bench and stomping away indignantly.
“Hi, I’m Sarah,” the blonde greeted me, like I was supposed to know who she was.
I stared at her blankly.
“Your partner for the wedding,” she added, flashing me an irritated grimace.
“Oh, yeah, hey. I’m Kyle,” I replied, standing up and eyeing her greedily. Her legs were long and shapely, and her waist was impossibly tiny. Or maybe it just appeared that way because her breasts were oversized for her thin frame. I lingered on her beauty a moment longer. She looked as if she’d just walked off a beach, her skin shining in a golden hue offset by her glossy blonde hair.
As I was finishing my thorough inspection of the attractive woman before me, I realized she was doing her own assessment of me. I could already tell by the expression in her eyes that she was not nearly as impressed with me as I had been with her. I had to assume, just by the looks of her, that few people met her high standards. My chances of being above that line were iffy at best.
Her eyes flicked over me as if she were deciding whether I was worthy of talking to or not. “So you’re Jake’s brother, right?”
“I am,” I affirmed.
“Well, at least I got a brother,” she mumbled under her breath.
“What?” I asked, hearing what she’d said but pretending I hadn’t.
I stuck my hand out to greet her. “It’s nice to meet you, Sarah.”
“Yeah, you too.” She put her hand in mine and stared right through me. “So, um… where is he? He’s supposed to be here, right?”
“Who?” I feigned ignorance.
As if she’d just tasted something sour and unpleasant, Sarah’s face contorted. “Don’t play dumb. You know who.”
Damn, girl! She was kind of intimidating. I liked it. “Oh. Yeah, I guess.”
“What do you mean, you guess? He’s your brother, right?”
“Yeah, but I don’t keep him on a leash or anything.”
That face again. Geez. This chick didn’t play around.
“So we’re partnered up then?” I asked, trying to move the topic of conversation off Jake and onto me.
“That’s what I was told,” she shrugged. “Unless you have other information.”
“No one tells me anything.”
Sarah’s face relaxed a bit and she cracked the tiniest of smiles. It was a nice look on her. “You probably think I’m being rude, don’t you?”
“No. I get told off all the time. I’m used to it.”
She assessed me more carefully now. “Yeah, you have that whole doormat thing going on.”
She sighed heavily. “Look, I’m sorry if I’m being a bitch. I’m just annoyed right now. I was supposed to be partnered with Jake, but then Mitch paired him with someone else. Not cool.”
“Yeah, that sucks,” I replied sarcastically. “And now you’re stuck with me.”
“Are you mocking me?”
“Yeah, maybe a little bit.”
Furrowed brows let me know she was not happy with my response.
“Oh, come on. It could be worse. You could’ve been paired with that guy.” I pointed to one of Mitch’s friends who looked like he’d only recently been forcibly removed from his video consol.
That actually got a laugh from Sarah. “That’s very true,” she acknowledged, and then looked me up and down. “Yeah, I guess you’ll do.”
“Wow, I’m flattered.”
“Are you a musician, Kyle?”
“So what do you do, then?”
“Not a whole hell of a lot.”
“That’s your answer?” she laughed.
“Well, it’s the honest answer, and I thought we were being real here.”
“Oh, were we?” she replied, with just a hint of flirt.
“You’ve spent the entire conversation talking about my brother, so yeah.”
She smiled again, but this time it was genuine.
Buoyed by a newfound confidence, I added, “And for the sake of transparency, I think you should know that I’m a mind reader.”
“A mind reader, huh?” she asked, seemingly fascinated.
“Yep. And I know what you’re thinking, Sarah.”
“Do you now?”
“Uh-huh, and yes, I will sleep with you.”
She giggled as she nodded. “Wow, aren’t you the optimistic one!”
“Just psychic is all.”
Eyeing me with more interest now, Sarah said, “So what is your sixth sense telling you about me?”