Callie purses her lips when the bartender sets a drink in front of her. “I didn’t order this.”
“From the gentleman over there.” The bartender discreetly points at the man in question.
Marcia and Beth, two of Callie’s old high school friends, giggle like schoolgirls once the bartender’s out of earshot. Beth nudges Callie in the ribs. “He’s cute, Cal.”
Callie’s eyes flick over the man. He is cute in a pretty-boy sort of way. Probably some big-shot corporate executive used to having women fall at his feet. “I’m married, remember?”
“Oh please,” Marcia snorts indelicately. “We’ve invaded your house, sweetie. You don’t even share a bedroom with Mister Tall, Dark, and Always Gone.”
Before Callie can respond, Pretty Boy’s at her side. He reaches for Callie’s hand. “The band’s started up. May I have this dance?”
Callie lets him lead her to the dance floor and sways with him to the smooth jazz number. His smile is friendly and the unadulterated admiration in his eyes is hypnotizing. When he offers to take her home, she hesitates for just a second.
Home, alone and angry and just a little drunk, she isn’t sure who she hates more: herself or Micah.
25: Little Black Number
“I don’t know why you wouldn’t let me buy that skirt.” Jenna tosses long hair over her shoulder, blue eyes glaring icily at her step-mother.
“It was a very short leather mini-skirt, precious.” Callie bites back a grin when Jenna rolls her eyes. Had she ever given her brother this much trouble?
“Missy Carlson has one just like it.”
Callie stops abruptly in the middle of the mall courtyard. She ignores the people who push past her as she stares at Jenna with mock-understanding. “Well, why didn’t you say you were competing for the Miss Tramp of Rolling Hills High? Let’s get that skirt. I think I’ve got a pair of red stilettos and a corset at home you could borrow.”
Jenna’s cheeks redden. Does Callie have to talk so loud? “God, you’re so mean!”
“Yep.” Callie tosses an arm across Jenna’s shoulders and tries not to be upset when the arm gets shrugged off. “I’m the evil step-mother all those Disney movies warned you about.”
“I hate you.”
Ten minutes later, Callie’s blood on her hands, Jenna would want nothing more than to take those words back. Five years later, she still can’t look at a miniskirt without crying.