Home > Blurred Lines (Love Unexpectedly #1)(8)

Blurred Lines (Love Unexpectedly #1)(8)
Author: Lauren Layne

Bachelor in an hour? I’ve got popcorn….

For a half second, I’m tempted, because…The Bachelor.

But no. No. This is exactly how Lance and I got ourselves into this sexless mess…by not prioritizing our relationship. And it’s worth making time for, it really is.

I text her back. Headed over to Lance’s, but don’t you dare tell me who gets a rose. I’m watching later.

Her response is immediate. U sure? I have prosecco.

Damn. She knows I’m a sucker for sparkling wine.

I push through. Spent triple digits on lingerie. Gotta go blow someone’s mind.

Casey responds. Blow his mind, or blow his…

I respond only with a “…”

Because…maybe. It has been two months, after all.

I stop by Ben’s door and knock softly. Based on all his babbling about parties tonight, he’s probably taking a nap to gear up for…well, whatever he does at parties.

Still, I knock anyway, because I know he’ll want to know that I’m heading out. He’s kind of a stickler about me telling him when I’ll be gone all night, so he doesn’t have to worry about coming after me with a shotgun to defend my honor.

He’s cute.

“You there?” I whisper loudly.

Silence.

We each have a whiteboard on our doors for just these types of occasions (college-y, I know), and I scribble a note that I’ll be spending the night at Lance’s, and not to do it on my bed.

As an afterthought, I go back to my room, rummaging through my underwear drawer until I find the oversized beige PMS panties we’d discussed last week. I loop them over the corner of his whiteboard, knowing he’ll correctly interpret it as I mean it, seriously stay out of my bedroom.

Lance lives in the Pearl, a trendy district that’s a doable walk from my place, but considering my shoes—which, quite frankly, are awesome—I opt to drive over there, even though it’s very un-Oregonian to drive when I can walk.

I was born and raised in the Portland area, and I’m barely exaggerating when I say that my first words were cookie, Mama, and carbon emissions. Recycling isn’t so much an if you think of it so much as do-or-die, and the worst thing you can do in this city is honk at a bicyclist, because they’re saving the planet as you slowly kill it with your evil car. Or something.

Still, I feel only a twinge of guilt at my unnecessary drive to Lance’s. I have a Prius, thank you very much, and it’s like I said…my shoes are really rather fabulous. Leopard print ankle boots with just enough heel to be completely sexy.

Parking in the Pearl generally sucks, but I’m lucky, and a car—another Prius, natch—is pulling away from a prime spot just across from Lance’s apartment.

Lance is a studying machine by night, but by day, he has a cushy job as an accountant at a local investment firm, and it pays way better than my entry-level marketing gig, so he lives in a newish high-rise apartment building, complete with a doorman.

The broad-shouldered blond guy behind the reception desk gives me a wide smile when he sees me come in. “Ms. Blanton. It’s been a while.”

You’re telling me.

“Hey, Erik. How’s the wedding planning coming?”

“Oh, you know. Lots of education on the various shades of pink. The latest discussion is whether or not she wants to have a bustle on her dress. Do you have any idea what a bustle is?”

“Unfortunately I do. My cousin got married last summer, and it took four of us bridesmaids to figure it out.”

He shakes his head. “I don’t even want to know.”

“You absolutely don’t,” I say with a laugh, as I proceed to the elevators. “You mind letting me up?”

He hesitates for only the briefest of moments, and I feel a little stab of unease. While Erik’s job is making sure that no guests show up at a resident’s place unannounced, I’ve been on Lance’s approved guest list since he moved in. Usually Erik just buzzes me up.

For a terrible second, I wonder if Lance has taken me off the approved list, but then Erik does his thing and calls the elevator for me, so I figure I just imagined the whole thing. Hopefully.

“Wish me luck,” I mutter to nobody, as the elevator doors close.

Lance’s apartment is on the twelfth floor, and I make my way to his front door like I have a million times before. But unlike a million times before, I hesitate before knocking.

I shake off the weird sense of foreboding and give a determinedly perky knock.

My shoulders relax the second he opens the door. His reading glasses are perched on his nose, the way they always are when he’s deep in studying.

He looks the way he always does.

Although usually his expression is a little more happy and a little less surprised.

He shoves his phone in his back pocket and shakes his head, almost as though to orient himself to my presence. Only then does he smile. “Hey!”

There’s the tiniest wiggle of warning still clinging on in the back of my mind, but then he smiles wider and gives me a long hug.

It’s okay. We’re fine. He’s just been busy.

I tilt my head toward him, lowering my eyelashes just a little to look at his mouth in a way that I know from experience drives him crazy, but he’s already pulling back.

No kiss.

Wha?

He hasn’t seen me in a week, and no kiss?

Just like that, the wiggle of warning is back.

“I didn’t know you were coming over!” he says.

   
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