Deep Blue (Blue Series)

Deep Blue (Blue Series) by Jules Barnard

Book: Deep Blue (Blue Series) by Jules Barnard Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jules Barnard
caught the tail end of that. The A-hole looked pretty pissed.”
    She huffs out a breath. “You know what’s funny? I don’t even care, as long as he stays away.”
    “I think it’s a safe bet he will.” I fill in the mountains on my napkin with quadrilaterals, determining how best to go about asking my next question. “What exactly did Jaeger say? I saw him whisper in your ear.”
    Her eyes squint and then soften. “Nothing, he just asked me to help him with something tomorrow.” She reaches across the table and steals a fry.
    I stop breathing and my hand stills on my sketch. He wants to see her? Like, spend time with her?
    I bite the inside of my lip until a coppery, metallic flavor runs over my tongue.
    Her eyes flicker to my napkin and she lifts her chin. “Hey, if you’re going to throw that one away like you do your other drawings when I’m not looking, I want it.”
    Gen always asks for my doodles. I’ve never understood why.
    I draw in the last shapes on my mountain—every square inch of the napkin is covered in geometric shapes depicting the lake—but all I think is it’s done . Gen and Jaeger are going on a date tomorrow. That’s the end of any us .
    It’s my own stupid fault. I hesitated, fearful of ruining things with Jaeger if I acted too soon after my breakup. And then, like the dumbass I am, I pushed Jaeger on Gen. It was the plan in the beginning, but the more I thought about it, the less I liked it. I was finally sure at Jaeger’s parents’ house that the attraction between us was genuine. Now, what if all Jaeger and I can ever be is friends?
    Men think they’re exclusive with their man-codes, but women have rules too. Even if Jaeger and Gen don’t work out, dating your best friend’s ex is forbidden.
    My stomach lurches under the fries I just ate. I pass Gen the napkin and stand. “I’d better get back.”
    “Hey, is everything okay? You don’t look well.”
    I smile reassuringly. I may not be the most altruistic human being on the planet, but I’m devoted to the people I love. My goal was to see Gen happy this summer and set her up with a nice guy. She seems happy and Jaeger is a nice guy.
    I got what I asked for.
    And isn’t that a bitch.

Chapter Eleven
    I’m on the patio in my bikini top and pajama shorts, doodling. It’s all I can do to defuse thoughts of Gen and Jaeger’s date today. I woke up early, irritable and out of sorts, and found a plain notepad in a drawer in the kitchen. My drawing this morning is larger and more elaborate than my usual, depicting the casino in all its glory. There’s a line of slots and a waitress flagrantly leaning over her customer, sugaring him up with a drink and a smile, and eying his pot of coins. A busboy wipes a table behind the waitress, snatching a twenty from her cash caddy. In the background, a man in a suit preys on a pretty waitress while sipping a drink in the lounge.
    The scene is my rendition of the casino subculture—what I’ve been calling Casino Real World. Security guards the house’s money, but not the people within. The powerful prey on the weak or clueless and everyone’s out for themselves.
    The sound of pipes rumbling from below the house erupts as I finish my sketch. Gen’s finally up and in the shower. She said on our way home last night that she and Jaeger were going out around lunchtime and it’s already eleven-thirty.
    Not two minutes after the pipes start their noisy caterwauling, the doorbell rings. “Gen! Door!” I yell.
    The last thing I want is to see Gen leaving with Jaeger. If they want to date and make babies, fine, but I don’t need to be a witness.
    The doorbell rings again, followed by a couple of firm knocks. I lean back and pull the screen door open. The water’s still whining through the pipes.
    Shit. I hobble off my lounge chair and walk to the front. Jaeger’s silver truck is visible through the living room window. I take a deep breath and calmly open the door, plastering on a bland

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