Playing with Fire

Playing with Fire by Emily Blake

Book: Playing with Fire by Emily Blake Read Free Book Online
Authors: Emily Blake
Tags: Fiction
deeper into the bag. He was still a little wet from her tears. It was the only way Alison could get to sleep these days.
    â€œWhat are you doing here?” Alison gulped. She was trying to sound fierce or accusing. Instead she sounded like a surprised kid in a sleeping bag.
    â€œWe just stopped by for a little private after-party,” Kelly said casually.
    Oh, no. Kelly said “we.” As that idea sank in, Chad’s face appeared at Kelly’s side. Then Tom’s. They looked surprised to see her, and worse, they looked like they felt sorry for her.
    Alison struggled to stand up but was too wrapped in her bag. She fell over, caught herself, and ended up crawling across the floor to kick free.
    â€œSmooth.” Kelly’s giggles echoed in Alison’s ears.
    Taking a deep breath, Alison stood up. She wasn’t going down without a fight. “Hi, guys,” she said casually. “I didn’t realize this was a sleepover.”
    â€œIt’s not,” Kelly said snidely.
    â€œPool party, then?” Alison kept smiling. She reached into her bag and pulled out her swimsuit. Her cousin looked a little stunned—like she’d been expecting Alison to just lie there and be humiliated.
    As she slipped into the bathroom and closed the door, Alison’s heart was pounding. Kellyhad the upper hand when they were at school, but this was family turf and Alison was determined to hold her own.
    She pulled her hair into a short ponytail and adjusted her tankini, grateful she had shoved it into her duffel. It had broad brown and green stripes. It looked great on her and she knew it. She emerged from the bathroom ready to make a splash. Kelly, Chad, and Tom were still fully dressed and standing by the door.
    â€œSo, Chip, how about a dip?” Alison punched Tom lightly on the shoulder as she squeezed past him into the warm, dark night air. It was an old joke between her and Kelly. Without pausing to see if anyone was going to join her, Alison walked to the diving board and climbed the short ladder. She stood for a moment near the steps, then took three long strides, jumped once, arced out over the water, and sliced into it with barely a splash. She knew it was a good dive as soon as she left the board and was grateful for all the swimming lessons her mother had insisted upon. When she pulled herself up at the side of the pool, Tom was clapping. Kelly shushed him, but Alison bowed her head and held up ahand, soaking in the applause. “You should see my cannonball.” She laughed.
    â€œThat sounds like a challenge.” Tom looked at Alison slyly and started loosening his tie.
    Kelly gave Tom a withering look. “You’re not going in.”
    If he heard her, Tom did not let on. He marched to the diving board in his boxer shorts, jumped once on the end, tucked his knees, and smacked down into the water, sending up a mini tidal wave. Kelly stepped out of the way of the splash, but Chad got soaked.
    â€œDude, you did not just do that.” Chad was smiling as he looked at his dripping pants. “Might as well go in now.” He shrugged apologetically at Kelly and pulled off his jacket and shirt.
    Alison hid her smile. Two down. “Come on in, Kel, the water’s fine,” Alison coaxed. Kicking off from the side of the pool, she did a perfect backstroke toward the hot tub.
    â€œFine.” Kelly turned in a huff. Alison knew this was not going as Kelly had planned. She also knew there was no way Kelly would get in the pool in her underwear. She kept a suitin the pool house. “But I’m only getting in the hot tub.”
    â€œThere’s a hot tub?” Tom asked.
    â€œYup,” Alison called from across the pool. She slid into the water and fired the jets. It was so hot she had to catch her breath. But it felt great—almost as good as making Kelly do something she didn’t want to.
    â€œOw. Ow. Ow. How can you stand this heat?” Tom

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