Sinful Abandon(10)

By: Jeannine Colette

Raising my chin, I ask, “How do you know so much about love?”

“I told you, my family believes in love ever after.” His tone is a hushed whisper.

Something in his voice makes me lose myself.

I fight the feeling.

“It all sounds like rainbows and butterflies, if you ask me.” Before he asks me another question, I speak quickly, “How come you can…” I point to my ear.

“Deaf people can have full hearing children. Their loss isn’t hereditary. Just a kink in the wiring, I guess. My two sisters can hear, too.”

“What are they like?” Even I’m shocked by my interest.

“Andrea is a spitfire, and Aubrie is quiet. They’re twins, and they just started their freshman year of college. Looks like I’ll be making a few road trips this year to make sure they’re on track.”

I push out from the ledge and hold my arms out. “Must be a terrible burden, having to go check out the coeds,” I tease.

“Nah, I’m done with the young girls. I like a little sophistication. Maybe even a ballsy brunette who isn’t afraid to tell it like it is.”

The intense heat in his gaze forces me to swallow hard and look away, back at the never-ending lake.

“Well then, you wouldn’t have loved me in college. I was a geek. And ugly. Mousy brown hair, acne, and a wardrobe from The Salvation Army. Yeah, I was a sight. That was all before I got ahold of a stylist and aesthetician.” I release a hand from the rail and turn toward Ryan, who is looking at my toned legs in confusion. “You’re probably wondering when I got hot.”

His head tilts to the side, and his eyes squint awkwardly. “Actually, I was thinking you don’t have the personality of the girl you described.”

I raise a shoulder and say, “I know. I have a crazy amount of confidence.”

“Geeky girls are usually funny. You’re not very funny.”

My eyes dart back to him. “Ryan!”

He holds his hands out in defense. “Honest to God, usually, unattractive girls make up in personality what they lack in looks.”

I turn and drum my fingers on the railing. “So, you’re saying, I lack personality.”

“Not at all.” His words are quick. “You’re feisty. It’s sexy.”

My fingers stop strumming. I give him the side eye. I want to smile at his compliment, but it’s a stupid compliment, so I don’t.

What I would have given to have a guy like Ryan Pierson pay attention to me in college. The hot football player and the drama geek are a couple made in movies, not real life. But, it figures, after a regimen of Proactiv, a box of hair dye, eyebrow threading, and endless amounts of cardio, guys like him pay attention to me. Well, I don’t pay attention to them. They’re all users. So, I’ve flipped the tables, and I use them right back.

“I used to be fun,” I start, not knowing why I’m sharing this story with him. I can’t help myself as I continue, “In grade school, I was voted Miss Funny Pants. I used to write these one-man plays and act them out for my friends. I was really good at impersonations.”

“Let me hear one.”

“No way.”

“Come on. I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.” He has a twinkle in his eye.

I roll my eyes to the sky. “Okay, you first. What you got?”

With his cheekbones pronounced and a Cheshire Cat grin, he curls his brows down. His chin pops out just slightly as he leans in. With a low, seductive voice, he says, “In my experience, the prettier a girl is, the more nuts she is, which makes you insane.”

I don’t know the line, but I know the actor. “Ryan Gosling.”

Ryan breaks character, and that gorgeous smile is back. “Blue Valentine. Ever seen it?”

“No, I haven’t. But that was very good.”

“Your turn.” He crosses his arms over his chest and waits for me.

My shoulders fall as I think of what ridiculous impression I’m going to do for this man. “I haven’t done this in a long time, so don’t judge.”

Taking a deep breath, I square my shoulders back and then put my hands up in the air. My eyes bug out, and I open my mouth wide. I make sure my head vibrates as I talk from the back of my throat, as I do my best Kathy Griffin impression. “My fear of camping: I’m convinced bugs will crawl up my vagina and lay eggs. Isn’t everyone?”