Aubrey and Preston fall for each other, hard, while on the perfect date. The only hiccup? His real date is Aubrey's best friend, who is passed out in the back seat.
Check out a taste here:
He polished off his drink. “I’m taking you to the best swimming hole on the lake.”
“Okay, that legit sounds like a place where you’re going to murder me.”
“Well, I’ll be hard to surprise. I grew up here. I know every inch of this lake.”
He sighed happily. “I’ll take my chances.”
I finished the last of my drink. “Are you taking me where you were going to take Liza?”
“I told you.” He shook his head and we got off the highway. “I’ve been wanting to ask you out for a while. I came into the shop today to do it, and when you acted so damn annoyed with me, I wrote the card to your friend to get your attention.”
I squinted at him. “How did you know Liza was my friend?”
He shrugged. “When I met Liza at the beach, she mentioned she was waiting for her friend to get off work at the flower shop.”
Snorting, I said, “She could’ve meant my boss, Louise.”
“I took my chances.” We crested over a hill, and the forest grew thicker around us. “I thought maybe it’d make you jealous by putting Liza’s name on the bouquet. And when you didn’t bite, I texted her and asked if I could stop by. I asked her if she wanted to go to Becker’s party with me, and told her it was okay to bring a friend. I was just playing the game.”
I gawked at Preston. “Playing the what?”
He didn’t answer. Instead, we wound our way along the road that led down an incline back toward the lake. The pine trees were fragrant and the last drops of light from the sun sinking behind the trees to the west created a halo effect on the water. My stomach whirled with excitement. This section of lake was mostly comprised of preserved land, and the occasional unofficial campground. Wherever Preston Wallingford was taking me, it was gorgeous.
After turning onto a dirt drive, we maneuvered through a thicket of trees, the quiet between us strangely amicable. After a minute or two, we passed under a low hanging willow tree, exposing a swimming hole that’d been partially blocked off by stacked rocks, but was out of sight from the road a few yards back. The lake was still as glass, reflecting the light of the freshly risen moon.
Preston turned off the car and sang, “Ta da.”
I tried to stifle my grin, not wanting to show him just how impressed I was. “Ta da, indeed.”
“Well, what do you think?”
“I hate to admit it, but I’ve never been here.”
He grinned proudly. “Game, set, match, Snow White.”
Glancing in the back to make sure Liza was still snoring away, I replied, “You need a lesson on what girls like. Lesson one: girls do not like guys who play the game. So stop it. And lesson two: girls will love your secret swimming hole.”
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