Home > Wright with Benefits (Wright Series #8)(4)

Wright with Benefits (Wright Series #8)(4)
Author: K.A. Linde

Annie finally got out of her car and came around the side of my truck, looking defeated.

“I don’t have cables in the truck. It’s new,” I said right off the bat.

Her face deflated further. “Of course. Right. I don’t have any either.”

“We could ask Sophia,” I offered.

She tilted her head to the sky overhead. Anyone else this frustrated might have been close to tears but not Annie. Annie looked like she might murder the entire world for doing this to her.

“That would be great. Do you think you could ask her?”

“Sure. Do you want to wait in the truck? It’s warm at least.”

I didn’t bother mentioning that she probably should be wearing pants and shoes when it was supposed to drop into the teens tonight. She looked miserable enough.

“I guess I have no other choice,” she said and then stepped past me to get into the passenger side.

I shook my head. She must have been having some night to actually accept that offer.

When I headed back to the boutique, the front door was still unlocked. Sophia sat, slumped behind the front desk on her phone. She looked up when the bell jingled.

“Hey,” I said with my same winning smile. “You don’t have jumper cables in here somewhere, do you?”

Sophia’s hope died before my eyes. Two girls in one night. Man, I was on a roll.

“I don’t,” she said.

“Ah. Annie’s car died. I guess she left her lights on, and she needs a jump. Anywhere close that would have them?”

She shrugged unhelpfully. “I have no idea. I don’t think so.”

Yeah. She was pissed.

“All right. Sorry about all of this,” I said, gesturing around us. “We’ll definitely have to reschedule. My schedule is pretty tight, but I’m sure we can figure something out.”

Sophia looked down and then back up, as if steeling herself for what came next. “Maybe we could do this over dinner…and drinks.”

Ah. Well, fuck.

“Maybe,” I said with that same smile. “Just, uh, text me.”

Then I pushed back out into the cold, unforgiving January weather, back to the girl who didn’t seem to give two shits about me. I probably should have been interested in the cute wine owner, but instead, I couldn’t ignore Annie. Even when she wanted to jump down my throat.

I walked back to the passenger side to find Annie rubbing her long, lean legs. She was trying to get warmth back into them, but fuck, those legs.

I needed to get my shit together. I rapped on the door. She jerked up and met my gaze through the window.

“No luck?” she asked when I opened the door.

“No,” I confirmed. “She didn’t have anything.”

She dropped back against the seat and sighed. “I’m not surprised.” She ground her teeth together. “I guess I could call someone to come help.”

“What about the wine?”

“Fuck.”

She wasn’t going to like my idea, but I pushed forward anyway. “How about you just ride with me to take the wine to whatever ranch your party is at? Someone there probably has cables. Then we can come back and jump your car. I know it’s not ideal, but it’s better than waiting in the cold for someone to show up.”

She mulled it over, trying to find a way to get out of riding in my truck with me. It was a sign of her desperation that she was even thinking about it. We hadn’t been alone this long in years.

“Fine,” she said, crossing her arms and facing forward.

Fine. Huh. I hadn’t expected that to work.

Well, I wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth. I wanted Annie Donoghue in my truck. Wasn’t going to lie—I wanted a lot more than that. I always had with her. If only I wasn’t so fucking terrible at relationships. Then I might have been able to see where everything went wrong three years ago. I might have been able to pick us up out of the pieces of it all. But that sure as hell wasn’t my specialty. The only thing I’d ever been good at in relationships was ruining them.

If I had a chance to make up for it, I’d take it. And just hope I didn’t fuck it all up again.

 

 

4

 

 

Annie

 

 

Fine.

I’d just said fine.

Here I was, in Jordan’s truck, with two ten-minute drives in front of us. Jordan and I had been circling each other for years. It was impossible not to be around him when I was best friends with his cousin, my brother worked with him, and we existed in the same circle in this small West Texas town. Still, I’d managed to keep my distance.

It wasn’t like what he’d done was so egregious. I’d had worse done to me by other assholes. Much worse if I was honest. I just hadn’t expected it from Jordan, and that made everything so much harder.

I couldn’t keep my typical vivacious, extroverted personality in his presence. Which was why my arms were crossed and I looked determinably out the window as we pulled away.

“Where is this place again?” he asked.

“Just go north on 27, like you’re going to the airport.”

He nodded and took the exit for the interstate. The silence stretched interminably. His hand drifted to the radio as if he was going to switch it on before pulling back. I’d never been good at quiet. I liked to fill space, but I couldn’t fill this one. I was too defeated from this brutal day to even consider it.

“So, what’s this party about?” he asked, finally breaking.

“You know, I really don’t want to talk about anything.”

Jordan clenched the steering wheel. “I’m doing you a huge fucking favor, Annie. You could maybe seem a little grateful.”

I whipped my head to look at him. “Grateful? Are you fucking serious right now?”

“I’m just saying. I had an important meeting that I ditched for you, and I didn’t have to do that. Sulking and staring out the window and then jumping down my throat really doesn’t help anything.”

“Oh, excuse me, Prince Charming. Allow me to fawn all over you,” I growled. “So sorry about your date.”

“Date?” he asked with wide eyes.

I snorted. “And you didn’t even notice. Wow. Same old Jordan.”

“Sophia and I are not dating.”

“You might be the most oblivious guy on the planet. Did you not see the way she fell all over herself when you showed up? Or are you just used to that from the rest of the female population?”

He gritted his teeth. “I know she’s into me, but we’re not dating. I don’t even know why you’re getting upset about this. It’s not like you want to date me.”

“You’re fucking right about that.”

“Annie—”

“No,” I said, cutting him off. “I don’t want to have this conversation.”

We’d had this conversation before. Jordan and I’d had a one-night stand. One of the best nights of my life. He’d told me he was leaving, going back to Vancouver. He hadn’t mentioned that he was moving here. Which meant, of course, that he hadn’t wanted me to know. Fine by me. If that were where it’d ended, I’d have just shrugged it off, and we wouldn’t have this distrust between us.

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