Dirty (Dive Bar #1)(8)

By: Kylie Scott


“You’ve been great.”

“Mm.”

“Other people wouldn’t have been so understanding.”

“Assholes,” he said, lips pressed tight in disapproval. I’m sure my breasts appreciated his support immensely.

I drank my coffee, waiting for him to get bored of them. And then I waited some more. Wasn’t happening. The clock on the wall ticked loudly, the only sound in the room. While I couldn’t claim innocence regarding his groin, at least I hadn’t gawked at him to this degree. I’d been discreet(ish).

“Vaughan?”

Nostrils flared on a deep breath. “Huh?”

“You’re staring.”

“What?”

“My breasts.” I waved a hand around the pertinent parts of my anatomy. Though I’m reasonably certain he already knew where they were. “These things, Vaughan. The baby feeders and pillows of sin. You’re staring at them.”

His startled gaze jumped to my face.

“I wouldn’t mention it, but it’s been a while now and I’m beginning to get a little uncomfortable.”

“Shit,” he muttered, as realization hit. He turned his face away.

“Don’t get me wrong. Since you’re probably the only one who’ll ever see me in this, it’s kind of nice to see some appreciation. But yeah, getting awkward.”

“Sorry, Lydia.”

“It’s okay.” I tried to hold back a smile. Tried.

Brows drawn down, he concentrated good and hard on drinking his coffee. “Didn’t realize I was doing that.”

“It’s fine. You like boobs. I get it,” I said, inspecting the girls. “They are kind of out there in this corset.”

“Yeah.”

“And to be fair, I did see you in all your glory not so long ago.”

He snorted out a laugh. No idea how he made it sound attractive, but he did. Then his lips curved into a small droll smile. And that smile? It was lovely.

Wonder how things were going over the fence for Chris & Co.? Not that I cared. A fiery gateway to hell could open up beneath their garden party and I wouldn’t have helped a single one of them. Guess I’d entered the bitter and twisted stage of mourning my relationship. Sure as hell I was done with denial.

“You were going to tell me about your wedding disaster,” Vaughan prompted.

“Right.” I folded my arms over my chest. A purely defensive, batten-down-the-hatches kind of move. All it did, though, was plump up my boobs. Immediately, Vaughan’s gaze was there, making me shift in the chair uncomfortably. “You wouldn’t happen to have a shirt I could borrow, would—”

“No.”

“No?”

He cleared his throat. “Sorry.”

“You only have one shirt?”

“Yeah, ah … see, the airline lost my luggage.”

“I thought you said you’d been driving all night.”

“Right, right. Flew then drove. Decided to hit the road in Portland, catch all that scenery.”

“At night?”

“Yeah.” He turned away, scratching at the golden-red stubble on his chin. “All the stars and shit. It was real pretty.”

Huh. Okay. Probably no point asking about towels. The only ones I’d seen were now hanging up wet in the bathroom. To steal the sheet off his bed and make a toga out of it might be going too far. No problem, I could brazen it out. Obviously my host had no issues with letting it all hang out physically. Though he’d been hewn from stone, while I was more marshmallow. Chris had liked to call me his “dumpling.” He’d made it sound sweet, but it’d niggled none the less.

How much exactly had I ignored or excused? Good question. I bit at my thumbnail, folding in on myself. No. Enough. I would not allow him and his set to continue undermining my self-confidence. The video had woken me up. No more excuses.

“I believe my fiancé is gay and has been using me as a beard,” I announced, chin held high. “That’s basically the whole story.”

Vaughan’s eyes widened. “Shit.”

“Yes.”

“What happened?”

“I was getting ready for the ceremony and someone sent me a video of him getting it on with another guy.”

“That’s why you ran?”

“That’s why I ran.” I slumped back in the seat. “Why? What would you have done?”

“Gotten the hell out of there.”

I gave him a nod, relaxing further. “Good.”

“Dick isn’t my thing. Would have had to have been drunk as fuck to have gotten engaged to a guy in the first place.” From beneath his brows came a sly look. “But yeah, I’d have definitely bolted.”

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