Progress (Progress #1)

Progress (Progress #1) by Amalie Silver

Book: Progress (Progress #1) by Amalie Silver Read Free Book Online
Authors: Amalie Silver
the building. I don’t know why I didn’t pick up on it.
    Angie glared at Jesse until her eyes sparked with her own assumption. I knew what she was thinking, and by the look on her face, she wanted to scold me. I heard her words in my head: ‘No, Charlie. Not Jesse Anders.’
    I shook my head at her in denial, but she already knew. With a roll of her eyes, she walked away.
    “I don’t think she likes me very much,” Jesse slurred.
    I scratched my head. “And something tells me you couldn’t care less if she does.”
    A wide smile stretched across his face. “It’s like you know me,” he said sarcastically. His eyes were glossy, and his knee bounced double-time.
    “Not working tonight, I see. How did you get here? And how much have you had to drink?” I asked.
    “Wrong question.” He laughed.
    “Okay. How much have you had to smoke?”
    “Ding ding ding ding ding! We have a winner! I’ve smoked more weed tonight than you’ve probably seen in your whole life. Which is what makes you a loser.”
    I shook my head as he inched closer to me in the booth.
    I cranked my neck away from him, feeling dizzy. Fighting off the sudden spins, I concentrated on my breathing.
    In through the nose, out through the mouth.
    “I don’t know if I like you very much when you’re fucked up,” I whispered.
    “But you don’t know whether or not you like me when I’m sober either. So it’s a no-win.” He closed the distance between us, grazing my ear with his nose. No other part of him touched me—not a hand on my thigh or a brush of my arm—but his intentions of making me uncomfortable were evident. “I have a very serious question to ask you, Red. And I want you to be honest with me.”
    I opened my eyes and swallowed, turning my head to look at him quickly, and back again to the wall. “What?” I snapped.
    His warm breath heavy, he took my earlobe into his mouth and bit gently. I brought my hands under the table so that no one could see how badly they shook, and closed my eyes again. My neck and face burned with anticipation of his next words, but I hated every second of it.
    “I love the way you blush,” he whispered.
    “Ask the fucking question.”
    With the rejection, he pulled away from me and his eyes widened. My shoulders slouched with instant relief of our proximity, and my breathing steadied.
    He pulled a menu off the table and panned the options before closing it again. “Do you think Christy would fuck me?”
    I let out a breath and a small laugh. “That was your question?”
    “Nope. But it’s obvious you aren’t ready for my questions. So I changed the subject.”
    I didn’t ask for clarification; I didn’t want to know. I was just happy he was behaving himself.
    “I’m sure Christy would be willing to accommodate you once she turns eighteen.” I swallowed. “If you’ll excuse me, I have to go to the bathroom,” I said, nudging his leg to let me out of the booth and rising from my seat.
    I couldn’t let it go. I couldn’t just be comfortable with him. The sting of his touch hurt worse than the sting of his words, and I wasn’t sure why or what I could do about it. Instinctively, I should’ve listened to what my body told me: Jesse Anders was toxic.
    I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was a matter of convenience for him. And maybe that should’ve bothered me. But it didn’t.
    Because maybe that’s what he was for me, too.
    As I splashed my face with cool water in the restrooms, I still felt a pull toward him. What was so damn special about him that made me feel the need to stay? No amount of intrigue should’ve compelled me. Everything about the two of us was wrong, and while all I wanted to do was run away, there was a small voice inside my head telling me to face my fear.
    The contradiction between feeling a sense of relief when I saw him still sitting there and my hope that he’d be gone by the time I returned baffled me. There was no making sense of it.
    He scared me. And I

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