A Perfect Ten

Page 94

With a full laugh, I shook my head. “I’m not being secretive. Since when does not wanting you to ruin my mood by butting into a smoking hot conversation make me secretive?”

“Since you usually shove them in my face to read every fucking line of them. What is up with you, man? You always give details, usually more than I ever want to begin with.”

“Well, maybe I’m actually beginning to listen to you about keeping my shit to myself. Did you ever think of that? Your little Ten is growing up and learning something called privacy and responsibility and respect, and all that decent shit.”

“Yeah, right,” he said dryly. “You grew up that much in...how long has it been since you started fucking her? A few weeks ago? A month?”

I bristled. I didn’t like how disre-fucking-spectfully he was treating my relationship with Caroline. I knew he wouldn’t be saying that shit if he knew who he was talking about, but damn...it still made me want to wrap my hands around his neck and just—

“Yo, Gamble,” Hart called suddenly from the other end of the bar. I glanced over to see him with his phone in his hand and his palm over the receiver. “Your sister’s on the phone for you.”

What? Why the hell was Caroline calling him in the middle of sexting with me? And why had I not heard the phone ring? Whatever the reason, Gam moved away to answer her summons, dropping our argument flat.

I blinked at Hart as he shook his head at me when he passed. “You’re welcome,” he muttered.

“What?” Confused, I turned to follow him.

Hart sighed and glanced over my shoulder to watch Gamble talk on the phone. “You need to be a little cooler around him, man.”

I stopped short, blinking. “What the fuck does that mean?”

“It means you’re kind of being an ass. You’re the one fucking him over right now, sneaking around behind his back. Yet you’re acting like it’s the other way around.”

“Are you kidding me?” I muttered, digging a finger into my own chest. “He’s the reason Caroline and I have to keep everything hush-hush in the first place. I think I have a pretty damn good reason to be irritated with him. And—wait. What the hell?” I stepped in closer and grabbed his shirt to yank him into the opening of the hallway. “You know,” I hissed. “How the fuck do you know?”

The fucker just grinned at me. “Know what?”

I ground my teeth and glanced around to make sure no one was listening in on us. “Don’t fucking play with me, man. How did you find out?”

He shrugged, still looking too pleased with himself. “I figured it out the night you got your first text from...what do you call her again? Your midnight visitor? Caroline asked me to sneak your cell phone back to you after she and Zoey had taken it.”

“Zo—Blondie was involved in that, too?” Ooh, Blondie and I were going to have some words after this. “Holy shit. So, you knew before I even knew?”

“Yeah.” Looking proud of himself, Hart chuckled. “I’m pretty clever that way.”

“You’re pretty dead.” I shoved him against the wall and scowled. “Why the fuck didn’t you tell me you knew that night?”

Hart merely shrugged, seemingly unconcerned by the fact that I was a split second from maiming him. “I knew you’d figure it out eventually. And Caroline went to a lot of work to fool you. I didn’t want to ruin all her plans.”

He was Team Caroline. I didn’t like that. Just how much did he adore her? Frowning, I scowled as I stepped back to give him room. Starting up a tune to whistle, he winked and slid past me, exiting the hall and reentering the bar.

I followed him slowly, warily. Him knowing too much was not cool. Nothing—absolutely nothing—was keeping him from telling Noel everything, right this second.

“So, Ten...” Asher grinned at me as he swung a chair off a table. His smile was too conniving.

I narrowed my eyes. “What?”

“How about you and I make a little wager tonight?”

Forgetting the glasses I’d been stacking, I moved to the table next to the one he was working on and took another chair off it to swing it around and sit it upright on the floor. “What kind of wager?”

“Let’s see which one of us can get the most phone numbers from women?”

I paused and glanced at him. The twinkle in his eyes as he folded his arms over his chest and rested back against the table told me he knew he had me boxed into a corner.

Behind us, Gamble hooted. “Now that’s a competition I’d like to see.”

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