35. Sonic, Take Two

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Only two restaurants in town were open this early in the morning, but again, luckier people might do well to bet the farm on fifty fifty odds

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Only two restaurants in town were open this early in the morning, but again, luckier people might do well to bet the farm on fifty fifty odds.

Me? Sometimes I couldn't help but believe I was born under a cursed star.

Jake picked  Sonic, so less than eight hours since my last visit, I sat and watched in abject horror as the same waitress delivered my food. If looks could kill, Tammy would've struck me dead on the spot.

Jake whistled softly. "What'd you do to that lady? She looks like she wants to destroy you."

Appetite gone, I stared at the tray in front of me and considered my options. Play it dumb? Make up a stupid excuse?

Oh, what the hell. "She's judging me for being skanky."

Jake shoved a French Toast Stick into his mouth, his eyes glued to my face. "Story time."

It had felt good in the car when he'd opened up to me about his dad, so I told him about Peyton and Alice, about being abandoned, and about what Tammy had witnessed earlier. It felt even better to get that off my chest so I took it a step further and told him about how it made me feel: conflicted, burdensome, codependent, inadequate, jerked around and pushed away.

He ate his breakfast and listened quietly, never taking his eyes off my face, focusing as though what I had to say was everything that mattered in his world.

When I finished, I felt loads lighter. He was still staring intently so I smiled what I thought to be a benevolent and heartwarming smile. Because that's what my heart was - warmed. We were bonding. This was good. So good.

Jake swallowed. "So basically he apologized about his friend visiting and then he fingered you on the table?"

I made a face. "He didn't finger me, you asshole."

Forget everything. Jake was still a massive jerk.

He grinned and set his hand down on my thigh. Now, I don't know that thigh touching is ever appropriate between acquaintances, but even if it was, this was still way too high.

"Okay, so he touched you." His hand crept up even further. "Here?"

I slapped it away. "None of your business."

"No, it's an important detail."

"Really?"

He rolled his eyes. "Come on, Layla, everyone knows you can tell what a guy's thinking by where and how he touches you." With that, he put his hand back on my thigh. "Here?"

He's making this up.

But what if he wasn't? "Other way," I said, showing him my hand and flipping it palm side up. "And higher."

He slid his hand beneath my thigh and went higher. My skin erupted in goosebumps and I clenched my jaw to keep myself from squirming.

Wait, how high was I going to let him go?

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