Home > Fake Fiancée(15)

Fake Fiancée(15)
Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills

She was on her way to another class, and I had one on the other side of campus, so we parted ways. Before I thought too hard about it, I brushed my lips against her cheek before she walked away. Why not? It’s what a boyfriend would do and looked good if anyone was paying attention.

She accepted the touch and then walked away from me in those tight yoga pants. Her ass was perfectly round and the way she swiveled her hips with just the right amount of sass . . .

I thought back to that off the charts kiss in the elevator.

It was going to be tough to keep things between us platonic.

You have to, Max.

I pivoted and headed to my next class, willing myself to focus on football. I was going to ignore the odd connection I felt with her. It was for the best anyway. I couldn’t get attached to her. My entire career depended on it.

Sunny

A FEW HOURS LATER, I’D finished two more classes and walked home. Hot and sweaty from the four blocks, I was grouchy and a bit off kilter from the thing with Max.

I set my books down on the rickety kitchen table, grabbed a soda from the fridge, and sat down to play back my morning.

For some insane reason, I’d agreed to be his girlfriend.

I hadn’t been able to tell him no.

Why did he have to be so damn irresistible?

The entire time he’d been talking to me in that stairwell part of me was trying to keep my eyes off his flawless face, another part of me was trying to convince myself to run like hell, but it was the money-hungry part of me that won the battle. I could cut back on my hours at the library. I could check in on Mimi more. Heck, I could study. I might even be able to save some of it for after graduation.

If he wanted to throw it away, who was I to say no?

You don’t really know him, Sunny!

Did I need to?

It’s not like he and I would be emotionally involved. He’d made it clear he wasn’t looking for a real relationship.

And asking me to be his fake fiancée? He certainly knew how to get my attention, but I had my limits to deception—mostly because of my grandmother. Mimi was all I had as far as family and lying to her made me feel ill. It was going to be hard enough when I told her I had a boyfriend. I couldn’t tell her he was fake. She’d be equal parts disappointed in me for debasing myself for money and hurt that she couldn’t provide more for me.

Forcing thoughts of Max back in that locked box, I went outside, kicked my broken car in frustration, and called an Uber to take me to Mimi’s. I saw her every Monday afternoon before work, and a ruined car wasn’t going to stop me.

I arrived at her assisted living apartment complex and walked to the back where the pool and hot tub were. She waved me over from a patio table, shoulder-length dyed blond hair blowing in the wind. At sixty-five, she was spry and had piercing gray eyes that could cut right through you. Laser eyeballs, I called them. The residents vied for her attention, and according to her, she’d had “relations” with several of the single men.

I plopped down next to her and stretched out my legs. “You’ll never believe what happened today, Mimi.”

“I hope you won the lottery.” She showed me her flip-flops. “I need to add to my collection. Mrs. Barnes in 2B has been bragging she has more pairs than me.”

“Well, we can’t let that happen.” I pulled out the cushy flip-flops I’d picked up last week at Wal-Mart. “Check these out. They have bumble bees on the straps and the bottoms are made from a yoga mat.”

“Well done, grasshopper.” She tucked them down next to her and poured me a glass of tea from the pitcher on the table.

“I don’t know why you love those so much,” I said, nudging my head at the ones she already had on.

“’Cause Mr. Wallis said I have beautiful feet, and I should show them off.”

Mr. Wallis was an old boyfriend in the apartment complex who was currently dating Mimi’s archenemy, Mrs. Barnes in 2B.

“Isn’t he the one with the foot fetish?”

“Maybe.” Her eyes flashed to a tan gentleman in a red speedo who was at least eighty. She nudged her head at him, her voice low and conspiratorial. “Ricky’s my latest. He’s from New York City—darn liberal, of course. He snores loud enough to wake a bear from hibernation, but his pecker still works—at least for two minutes. He’s a frisky one, that one. Maybe a keeper.”

I bit back a grin. “I can’t keep up with you. I thought you were dating Mr. Sully in 3A? You said he brought you flowers every day. And he has a nice vacation house in Boca.”

She waved that idea away. “Meh. He got too attached—and sometimes he’d get on these long tangents about sailing. The man is crazier than a dog in a hub-cap factory when it comes to boats. All he talks about is rudders and nautical miles. The only rudder I wanted was the one in his pants. Plus, I do not want to spend the rest of my life floating on some ocean in the middle of nowhere. There’s sharks there, and I can’t even swim!” She took a breath. “Tell me about your news, hon.”

I inhaled a deep breath, preparing for the crazy storm that was about to land on my head. “I have a boyfriend too . . . Max Kent.”

She slammed down the glass of tea that had been on its way to her mouth, and she bounced in her chair like a kid. “The Max Kent, the football player from LU?”

I grimaced. “None other.”

Her palm pressed her chest like Fred in Sanford and Son when he’d fake a heart attack. “I can’t believe it. You waltzed in here all cool and calm like you didn’t have a care in the world. Why wasn’t that the first thing you told me! Lordy, you did win the lottery.” She settled back down, her chest rising rapidly. “You’re not pulling my leg, are ya?”

   
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