My Perfect Mistake (Over the Top Book 1)(8)

By: Kelly Siskind






Three





Shay


This night keeps getting worse. Sure, I’m wearing the new red bra I bought after skiing. Not a replica of the one I saw hanging on the bra tree, but it has a little bow in the center and does good things for my girls, keeping them perky and smooth in all the right places. And I am wearing my favorite black skirt, red leather boots, and a new low-cut top purchased for the occasion. But the hot ski dudes I expected at this swanky restaurant are pathetically absent.

“Our food is taking forever, and if Daddy Warbucks sends us another round, I’m leaving.” Raven crosses her lean arms, her ink displayed in the badass rocker tank she bought on our shopping spree. I can’t imagine what her art students think of her. Or the faculty.

Lily slips pink paper from her bottomless purse and methodically rips it into strips. Without taking her eyes off her work, she says, “They’re busy, Rave. Be patient.”

Two kids fly past us, bumping into Raven’s chair for at least the fifth time. She grips the table, and her knuckles whiten. “I swear to God, if they do it again, I’ll shove their snotty faces through the window. Who takes kids out at this hour, anyway? To an expensive restaurant?”

I bounce my crossed leg, wishing she hadn’t mentioned the hefty price tag attached to this meal. I mentally catalogue my bank account, knowing there aren’t enough zeros to pay for too many more nights like this. We wouldn’t even be in Aspen if it weren’t for Lily’s folks always offering to send her and her friends away, always being generous with their money. I almost said no. Having finally stepped out from under the Dick’s shadow, I vowed I’d never again be reliant on someone. Never let them pay my way. It was just another thing that tied me to him, another reason I stuck around longer than I should have. But it was Lily. And Raven. And Aspen. From here on out, it’s little old me doing things my way.

First item on that list: getting some action.

When the same kid smacks Raven’s chair for the umpteenth time, she glares at me from below her thick bangs. “Remind me again why we chose this place?”

I offer a weak smile. “Because of the hordes of hot guys at the bar?”

We lock eyes with the bald geezer on a nearby stool, his cowboy boots, leather pants, and silk shirt doing nothing to make him look any younger. Neither is the bolo tie.

When he winks at us, Lily shudders. “Creepy.” Then she nudges Raven. “Nothing like the two we met on the hill. I think the big guy wanted to ask you out.” She returns to her impromptu art project, weaving the torn pink strips into a thick band.

I frown at Raven. “What guys?”

She rolls her knife around. “The last run, before we met you at the bottom, Lil took a spill. A couple of guys stopped to help get her poles and make sure she was okay. She didn’t want to keep you waiting, so she dragged me away. But one of them looked like The Rock’s stunt double. Serious lady-boner material. The exact opposite of the dudes here. I mean, look at this place.”

I glance at the older crowd and families filling the mahogany interior. Not the eye candy promised in the obviously out-of-date Internet review. Frustrated, I slouch in my seat, adjusting my weight off my bruised hip, courtesy of the Asshole. Raven’s right. There should be guys like him here—model hair, day-old stubble, athletic and fit. Minus the attitude, of course. Instead, we have Daddy Warbucks.

As we wait for our food, I fill the girls in on my collision with the Asshole, then I distract myself with my usual game. In my mind, I wipe the walls and furniture away like an Etch A Sketch, redesigning the space. Modernizing it. I redo the ceiling with embossed gold tiles and hang a funky black chandelier above the bar. The mahogany walls get divided with chair rail, the top painted a soft cream, the bottom an eye-popping hot pink. The barstools become clear plastic, the bar top poured concrete with crushed glass. By the time I’m done, I’ve nearly forgotten why I’m annoyed.

Our waiter arrives, and Lily puts away the woven pink bracelet she made in five minutes. “Thanks. It looks amazing,” she says to the server, all sweetness and sugar as he places plates in front of her and Raven. She adjusts her hairband to catch the flyaway white-blond strands escaping her messy bun.

“You finished it,” I say, nodding to her hair accessory.

Grinning, she touches the slim band on her head. “Just before the trip. It took a while to find the right colored gems to inlay. Ones with softer tones. Not too vibrant.”

“It’s perfect, but I hope you made one for Raven, too.” I’d kill to see something that girly on her.

“Hilarious,” Raven says. “You’re just jealous I could wear something like that. It would take a girdle to hold back those curls of yours.”

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