Slow Burn

Slow Burn by V. J. Chambers

Book: Slow Burn by V. J. Chambers Read Free Book Online
Authors: V. J. Chambers
sort of got a reputation.
    And for some reason, I didn’t have a lot of friends that were girls after that. They all thought I’d steal their boyfriends, or at least make out with them.
    The sad thing was, they were probably right.
    When Stacey talked to me about doing everything in her power to get noticed, I identified. I hadn’t pierced my tongue. I’d spread my legs. You couldn’t see what effect that had on me on the outside, not like Stacey’s piercings. But...all in all... I thought piercings might have been a tad healthier than what I’d done.
    I was glad to have her around. She was awesome, and I felt better than I had in a long time. Almost... normal. Which is weird, because here we were, two chicks who’d both done scads of cocaine and spent our adolescence doing whatever we could to get people to pay attention to us. We were the opposite of normal.
    Stacey constantly teased me about Griffin. She said that there were definite sparks between us, that the air was thick with tension when we were close. She said this in front of Griffin, because he was always there. But occasionally, when we were all hanging out in her house, she and I would manage to get one room away from the guys. Close enough that Griffin could hear me scream if something bad happened, but far enough that I could talk without him hearing.
    And that was the only time I could talk about how I felt about him. I didn’t know what it was. It might not have been anything. Maybe it was just the fact that he was swoon-worthy and that he’d saved my life a few times. (I couldn’t tell Stacey that, of course.)
    But I thought it might be something big. I thought I might really like him.
    And I didn’t know what to do. “I don’t want to screw it up. Because, you know, in the past I’ve gotten physical really quickly.”
    “There’s nothing wrong with getting physical,” said Stacey. “Nothing at all.” She shrugged. “But it
is
cooler when you do it with someone you love.”
    “And you love Jack?”
    “Totally.”
    “And you always loved him? Even before you had sex?”
    “Well, maybe not before we did it the first time,” she said. She grabbed my hands. “Look, it feels different with Griffin because it
is
different. When it’s a big deal, you know. I knew with Jack. You know now.”
    I squeezed my eyes shut. “But I don’t know anything. All I know is that Griffin is really attractive, and that when I look at him, I feel a little weak all over. And that I’m really glad he has to be around me all the time.”
    “So, there you go,” she said. “That means something.”
    I pulled my hands away from hers and ran them through my hair. “Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. We don’t even really know each other, Griffin and me. I don’t know anything about his family or his past. I don’t even know what year he graduated from high school.”
    “You’re around him all the time. Ask him.”
    “No, I can’t. It never feels like the right place or time to ask him those things. And besides, I’m always busy with school work.”
    She grinned. “But it’s spring break next week. No school work.”
    I raised my eyebrows. “What college are you going to? I’ve got two projects to work on over spring break.”
    “So get them done now, and you and Griffin can go do something romantic.”
    “Like he’s going to go for that,” I said. “He’s completely against anything happening between us because he says it’s unprofessional.”
    “And sleeping on your couch isn’t unprofessional?” Stacey rolled her eyes. “He’s making up excuses. The boy has it bad for you.”
    I shrugged. “I don’t know.”
    “He calls you doll.”
    “That’s just his New Jersey slang thing. He calls all girls that.”
    “He doesn’t call
me
that. He likes you.”
    I didn’t know if he did. He’d made that little speech about me, about what kind of girl he thought I was and why he wanted to keep me alive. But that didn’t mean he had

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