The Infatuation (Josh and Kat #1 , The Club #5)(3)

By: Lauren Rowe


I stare at my phone for a moment, shaking my head. I’m not even remotely tempted. “Sorry. I’m in Seattle for a family emergency,” I write. “Gonna be tied up here for a while helping my brother. Plus, I’m an old man nowadays, Jen. You wouldn’t even recognize me. I’m practically chasing damn kids off my lawn. Been working pretty hard building my family’s business since you last saw me. But, hey, feel free to contact Reed directly to ask him if he’s interested. I’ll send you his number. And please tell Isabel congrats on all her success for me,” I continue. “I’m genuinely thrilled for her. Just saw she won some People’s Choice Award or something? Ha! Awesome. She’s America’s Sweetheart.”

“I know! She totally is! LOL! She’s blowing up! She’s gonna do Jimmy Fallon in NYC when she gets back from France! OMFG! Can you believe it? She’s so excited.”

“Saw her face plastered on a billboard on my way to LAX today. She looks great. Tell her nice boob job, btw. Her surgeon did excellent work. Unless that’s photoshop?”

“Not photoshop. The real fake deal. Brand new, actually. She’ll be geeked you noticed. Did you notice her nose, too? (The polite answer is no. Haha!)”

“She looks great, top to bottom. Tell her I said so. But she was always beautiful.”

“Aw, come on, Josh. You’re making me remember what a sweetheart you are. I wanna see you soooooo bad! Are you sure you can’t swing it? Pwetty pwease? I’ll make sure you have a REALLY good time.” She adds a winking emoji.

I smirk. This is patently ridiculous. Jennifer LeMonde can’t possibly give a rat’s ass about me, any more than I give one about her. We dated for, what, five months when we were in our early twenties. Not exactly a soul connection. Obviously, this is more about Isabel pining for Reed like she always has than about Jen and me. My guess is Isabel asked Jen to lure Reed to France by any means necessary, including using me as bait.

When I don’t immediately reply to Jen’s last text, she sends another one right on its heels. “What if I promise not to wear my bikini top the entire time we’re there? ‘When in France,’ right? I remember how much you loooooved my pretty titties.” She adds a bikini emoji and a pair of lips. “And they’re still all-natural, baby!” Winking emoji.

“Sorry. Can’t. Family emergency, like I say,” I write. But what I’m thinking is, I’m thirty fucking years old, Jen. You really think I’m gonna travel halfway around the world just to see a pair of tits (even if they are, admittedly, the most perfect pair of tits I’ve ever seen)?

“Bummer.” Sad-face emoji. “Saw you and your brother on the cover of some magazine the other day, creamed my panties just looking at you. Talk about the Wonder Twins. Day-am. You boys should be in movies.”

“Thanks.”

“Well, okay. Text me if something changes. I’ll be crossing my fingers you change your mind.”

“Family emergency, like I say,” I type. “Sorry.”

“Well, if France isn’t gonna work out, we’ll have to get together another time really soon. I’ve been thinking about you a lot lately. About how much fun we used to have.” She adds a lips emoji. “I’d make it worth your effort if you come see me, Josh.” Another winking emoji.

I roll my eyes. Was she always this annoying? I just told the girl I’ve got a family emergency and that my brother needs me—and she invites me to fuck her rather than ask me if everything’s okay? Not to mention I told her I’ve been working hard to build my family’s business and she didn’t ask me for any details? Par for the course, though. Our “relationship,” such as it was, certainly wasn’t based on anything deep.

The limo stops and I glance up from my phone. I’m in Jonas’ driveway. Damn. For a second there, I’d actually forgotten where I was headed.

I exhale audibly. Whatever’s waiting for me on the other side of Jonas’ front door isn’t gonna be good—I can feel it in my bones.





Chapter 2


Josh





The minute I walk through Jonas’ front door, my brother bounds toward me like a Labrador retriever, dragging his new chew toy (Sarah) with him as he goes.