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And no one else makes me feel the way I feel, right now, looking back at her. The ache in my chest, the clench of my stomach, the thrumming of my pulse.
“I’m surprised you’re not having lunch with Cashmere’s family,” Kennedy says.
That makes my gut clench for a whole different reason.
Cashmere’s the hottest girl in school, and things started out wild between us. Fun. But in the year we’ve been dating . . . she’s changed. She’s become clingy and bossy at the same time. Miserably jealous and insecure. That’s another reason Kennedy and I haven’t really hung out lately—Cashmere’s not too keen on her.
“We broke up.”
Kennedy’s eyebrows rise. “Really? When? Why?”
And going by the happy spark in her eyes, it looks like the feeling is mutual.
“Yes. Yesterday. I’m not exactly sure why.”
“You’re not sure?”
“There was a lot of screaming; it was hard to make out the actual words. It’s somewhere between I’m suffocating her and I’m not giving her the attention she deserves.” Palms up, I shrug again.
Kennedy swallows as we walk along the water. “Wow. You, ah . . . you don’t seem too broken up about it.”
“I’m not.”
A light breeze blows and she pushes a loose strand of hair from her cheek. “Do you think—”
“Kennedy!” Mitzy Randolph calls from up the hill to where we stand. “Kennedy!”
Her voice reminds me of Auntie Em calling for Dorothy as the twister was coming in.
She gestures for us to come up and reluctantly, we do.
Mitzy talks with her hands as she explains to us both. “We’ve all had the grandest idea! The Remington Hotel is just a few miles away—they have the most fabulous bar and casino—very exclusive. So we’re all going to spend the night there and we’ll take you back to school tomorrow. Doesn’t that sound like fun?”
I smile at Mitzy and throw an arm around Kennedy’s shoulders. This means solo time with Kennedy. “It sounds like a lot of fun, Mrs. Randolph.”
• • •
“Kennedy, are you awake?” I whisper.
I listen outside the door of the Randolphs’ suite, but I don’t hear any movement on the other side. Disappointment drops in my stomach. Because we spent the entire day with our parents, walking and talking and frigging talking some more. We had a late dinner in the “fabulous” restaurant downstairs, then our parents pretty much sent us to bed. While they hit the casino.
Ageism is a terrible thing.
But now it’s just after midnight, and I have an awesome idea.
Which only works if Kennedy is still awake.
I knock again, louder this time. “Kennedy?”
The door opens halfway, and Kennedy peers up at me. Her glasses are off and her eyes—I never noticed before, but they’re spectacular.
Thick, long lashes frame sparkling, golden-brown orbs. Soft and so . . . warm. The kind of eyes a guy would want to look down into while he’s moving above her—the kind you’d hope she’ll leave open while you kiss, deep and slow.
The rest of her? Well—I’ve always kind of noticed that.
Ever since she started wearing a training bra and I discovered the delicious sin of masturbation.
And I’d have to be blind not to notice her now. A thin-strapped silky pink tank top that’s kind of draped across her chest. It doesn’t show any cleavage, but if she moves just the right way, we’re talking a prime view. The bottom half is matching pink shorts that are swishy around her thighs, showing off killer toned legs.
And I’m not the only one noticing things.
Kennedy’s eyes slide across the chest of my sleeveless shirt and down the ridged muscles of my biceps. My skin is surfer-boy tan from outdoor workouts and afternoon practices. Then her eyes cut across to my waist, maybe picturing the six-pack beneath it, and then . . . lower. And I wonder if she notices how hard I’m reacting to watching her watch me.
The tinge of pink on her cheeks tells me she just might be.
Her gaze settles on my smiling face. She licks her lips and says, “Hey. What’s up, Brent?”
I hold up the keys to my father’s 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California. Also known as the Ferris Bueller’s Day Off car.
Less than a hundred were made and, just like in the movie, it’s my father’s pride and joy. And it’s parked downstairs right now.
I found out today that Kennedy doesn’t have her driver’s license. With her family’s chauffeurs, her mother didn’t see the point.
And I’m going to rectify that.
“Ready for your first driving lesson?”
• • •
“. . . then you ease your foot back at the same time.”
We’re in the big empty parking lot of a darkened building a few miles from the hotel. Kennedy listens to my instructions intently, brow furrowed, adjusting her glasses. She seems excited, determined, and totally adorable.
“Got it?”
“Got it.” She nods.
And she goes for it.
There’s a grinding sound as she moves the stick shift, and I mentally thank the clutch for his brave sacrifice. We start to move forward, bucking, inch by inch and I tell her, “Now gun it. Hit the gas.”
And then we’re moving.
Kennedy’s smile is huge and bright, like Christmas morning and the Fourth of July rolled into one.