His eyes meet mine with this look that begs me to spill my guts.
He waits to speak until his drink is melting ice. “I know you think Mal is pulling strings to get us back together.”
“Is there a reason why you don’t object to this?”
“Mal doesn’t listen to anybody but Mal. Besides, I’ve seen him stressing about numbers. He doesn’t have the expertise. And I’m not saying you do, but he’s right. You’re somebody we trust.” Ethan’s eyes find mine. “If you want the gig, you should take it.”
His voice is even, effortless. Usually, Ethan wears his intentions on his face. But not right now.
No. That was the old Ethan, the one I knew. This playboy rock star version of Ethan… who knows what he does or why.
I take a long sip of my now lukewarm drink. “Won’t that bother you?”
“No.” His voice is shaky for a moment. “Just, well… I’m not gonna be celibate just because you’re around.”
“I get it. You think I’m a manwhore. I won’t argue.” He runs his hand through his wavy hair. “You’re right. I fuck a lot of women. That isn’t going to change if you join us on tour.”
“Thanks for the update on your sex life.”
“Don’t want you to get upset if you see me with someone else.” His voice is clipped, his expression is frustrated.
But why? I stare back at him. “I don’t give a fuck where you stick your dick.”
“Yeah, great. Is that it?”
I stare back at Ethan. I’m getting in the last word here. “Goes for you, too. I didn’t swear off sex when we broke up.”
Okay, so I’ve only slept with one guy since Ethan and I broke up. Denny and I dated for a few months. He was crazy about me—he wanted to move in together—but I never felt the same. After we broke up, he nearly evaporated from my mind. It still goes back to Ethan every time I pull out my rabbit-style vibrator (he did buy it for me). Or every time I touch myself sans mechanical assistance.
I clear my throat and smile my most confident smile. “Don’t get upset if you see me with someone else.”
“You’re sleeping around?”
“That’s not a crime, is it?” I chew on my lower lip. It’s not the case either, but he doesn’t need to know that.
“No. Of course not. I’m glad. Anybody I know?”
“You coming often, at least?”
“We’re gonna be around each other. We should be friendly.”
“Pretty sure you coming often goes past most people’s idea of friendly.”
“Of course, Vi. Would never want to make you uncomfortable.” He smiles, the look in his eyes screaming I guess that’s a no.
I clear my throat. “Yeah, I’m coming a lot. Every night.” By my hand, but that’s a technicality. “Sometimes multiple times.”
His expression flares with frustration. “Great.”
“And you? Enjoy screwing strangers at bars?”
“Depends on the stranger.”
I laugh-scoff. “I guess it would.”
Even though we’re hate-flirting, I fucking melt.
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