“There’s nothing to dish,” I protest. I'm annoyed because of how fixated Jo is with Caulter and me. We’re sitting outside, our feet dangling off the edge of the dock, watching as the party planners set up tents and engagement party paraphernalia in the backyard. My father has some kind of notion that I’m supervising all of this. “Ugh. Do you really think he’s hot?”
As if on cue, Caulter walks out onto our shared balcony, wearing nothing but boxer briefs. It’s like he thinks he’s a fucking male model, strutting around like a peacock with no concern for the people in the yard.
People who stop and gawk.
He’s done the same thing every damn morning for the past three days, standing outside my window like I’m going to see his hard-on and lose my mind. Yesterday, he pressed it up against the glass door, making lewd gestures with his tongue and rubbing his nipples. He's trying to get a rise out of me, and it's definitely working.
Jo slides her sunglasses down to the tip of her nose and makes a show of wiggling her fingers at him. “Yeah, he’s hot, Kate,” she says. “You really don’t see it? I mean, I guess you like clean cut guys, and he’s very....not, with the tattoos, and the nipple piercings, and...shit, he’s got a nice ass.”
“He’s a disgusting pig,” I say, my tone not as convincing as I try to make it. I can’t help the way my eyes wander up to the balcony where he stands, leaning on the rail and smoking, the sunlight glistening off his muscular arms and chest. “Plus, he smokes.”
Jo shrugs. “I wouldn’t mind it,” she says.
“He’s arrogant and insufferable.”
“Didn’t you say he sent Ella’s stylist to replace your wardrobe?” she asks. “He’s not exactly Satan.”
“Yes, but --” I groan in frustration. “You don’t understand.” How do I explain that the Devil up there -- the ripped, tattooed, pierced, so amazing in bed that I can’t think about anything except his cock -- set my fucking wardrobe on fire because he wanted me to wear dresses without panties? He's clearly insane.
“What I understand is that you’re living with Caulter Sterling,” she says. “He’s like...legendary when it comes to fucking.”
“Jo!” She’s right, though; he has a reputation. But what the hell do I know about sex, anyway? I've only been with Caulter. Maybe he's not the only guy who will ever rock my boat.
Of course, looking at him up there on the balcony just makes me think about him rocking my boat. I press my thighs together, smoothing the fabric of my skirt over them.
"Is that one of the dresses he bought you?" Jo asks.
I roll my eyes. "Yes."
"I'm sure it is."
Jo shrugs. “I can give him a test run,” she says. “I’m not seeing anyone.”
“What? You and that guy broke up?” Jo bounces from one to another, so I can't remember his name.
“Last week.” She kicks her foot in the water. “Caught him cheating.”
“What a dickhead,” I say.
She shrugs. “It wasn't like I was faithful," she says. "But it's different if he's the one doing the running around."
I don't point out the hypocrisy in the statement. "I'm sorry."
“I'm not,” she says. “He was a drag. Anyway, there’s a party tonight you need to go to. Are your dad and Ella back yet?”
I shake my head. “Right before the engagement party. Two days.”
“Then you should come,” she says. “And tell Caulter to come too.”
“Caulter?” I ask. “I don’t think so.” Like I'm going to bring Caulter to a party so I can watch him hit on girls? Yeah, right.
“Come on. It’ll be fun. It's Caulter Sterling. You’ll be legendary for bringing him. Do it. Slum with us commoners.”
I laugh, but I secretly hate her little comments about slumming it, or me being a rich kid. How am I supposed to respond?
Jo kicks the water in the lake. “There will be hot guys, guys who aren’t rich prep school kids. Guys with tattoos.”
Guys like Caulter. I glance up at the balcony, but it’s empty now. “Fine.”
“Seriously?” she asks. “You’re really going to go to an actual, real-life party? Like, with booze and guys?”
“I said fine, okay? You’ve worn me down.”
“You’ve never gone out before,” she says. “I can’t fucking believe it. I was just giving you shit; I didn't think you would actually go. What’s gotten into you?”