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Wes laughed. "Yeah, right. No, thank you. That's the dead last thing I need. And Amber—I'm sure she doesn't need another idiot drooling over her."|
"You don't think your friend Lana sent you here to set you up with her little sister?''
He looked up at her then, seriously taken aback. "God, what a thought."
"Sisters do those kinds of things," Britt said. "They know a single guy who's really nice, they really like him a lot, they have a sister who's single, too…"
He was shaking his head. "I don't know…"
Are you sleeping with her? Brittany didn't ask. That was definitely a question that required a friendship that was more than a few hours old. And even if she had known Wes for years, it was none of her business. She kept her mouth tightly shut.
Although, what better way to spend a few weeks with a lover? Husband is conveniently out of town ten out of twelve months a year, but the neighbors might notice if one of his best friends starts coming over for slumber parties. Little sister needs a brave Navy SEAL to check out her security system, so Wes toddles off to L.A. Whoops, there's some kind of a problem, Lana comes to town to "help…" And gee, there they are. Wes and Lana in L.A., away from everyone who knows that she's married to someone else, for two blissful weeks.
Ick. Britt hoped she was wrong.
The waiter brought the check, saving her from asking nosy questions.
As Wes looked it over, he took out his wallet.
Brittany opened her purse, too. "Let's just split it right down the middle."
"Nope," he said, taking out a credit card, sliding it into the leather folder that held the bill and holding it up so the waiter could grab it on his way past. "This one's mine."
"Nuh-uh," she disagreed. "This wasn't a date."
"Yes, it was," he countered. "And actually, I think it was the nicest date I've ever been on."
What a sweet thing to say. "Wow, you don't get out much, huh?"
"Seriously, Wes," she said. "It's not fair that you should have to pay for my dinner just because my brother-in-law—''
"How about I let you pick up the tab next time?''
The waiter was back. "I'm sorry, sir. Your credit card's expired. Would you like to use a different card?"
Wes swore as he looked at the credit card. "I only have this one." Brittany opened her mouth, but he cut her off. "No, you're not going to pay. I have cash." He looked at the waiter. "You do take cash?"
He opened his wallet and just about emptied it. "Keep the change."
"Thank you, sir." The waiter vanished.
"Well, that was embarrassing." He looked at the credit card again. "I thought they were supposed to send me a new card before the expiration date runs out."
"What do you do with junk mail?'' Britt asked.
He looked at her as if she'd lost her mind. "I throw it away. What do you do with it?"
"Do you throw it away without opening it? Mailings from mortgage companies and insurance companies and…" She paused dramatically, "…credit card companies?"
"Ha. You think they sent me a new card but I threw it away without even opening it," he concluded correctly. "Well, hell, aren't I just too efficient for my own damn good?" He forced a smile as he put the expired card back into his wallet. "Oh well."
Brittany suspected his expired card created a bigger snafu than he was letting on. "Where are you staying tonight?"
"I don't know. I guess I'll drive back to San Diego. I was going to stay at a motel, but…" He shook his head and laughed in exasperation. "I'm supposed to meet Amber pretty early in the morning over at the studio, so if I go home, I won't have time for much more than a short nap before I have to turn around and come back to L.A."
"If you want, you could sleep on my couch," Britt offered.
He looked at her, and his blue eyes were somber. "You may want to learn to be a little less generous with men you just met."
She laughed. "Oh, come on. I've been hearing about you for years. I seriously doubt you're a serial killer. I mean, the word probably would've trickled down to me by now. Besides, what are your other options? Are you going to, like, sleep in your car?''
That's exactly what he'd been planning to do. She could see it in his eyes, in his smile. "Seriously, Brittany. You really don't know me."
"I know enough," she said quietly.
Wes sat there looking at her for many long seconds. She couldn't read the expression on his face, in his eyes. If she were young and foolish and prone to thinking that life was like a romance novel, she would dare to dream that this was the moment when Wes Skelly fell in love with her.
Except they'd agreed that there wasn't going to be anything romantic between them, she wasn't his type, he was definitely connected in some way to the wife of his good friend Wizard, and Brittany didn't really want anyone to be in love with her. She had too much going on with school and Andy's college and getting used to living on the west coast and…
Maybe the man just had gas.
"Okay," he finally said. "Your couch sounds great. Thank you. I appreciate it very much."
Brittany stood up, briskly collecting her purse and her sweater. "You can't smoke inside the house," she told him as he followed her to the door.
"I told you, I quit."
She gave him a pointed look, and he laughed. "Really," he said. "This time is going to be different."