FLOW: The GRIP Prequel

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"Dammit," she mutters, pulling her hair off her neck and twisting it into a knot on her head. "I don't need this today."

"We were on the same flight," a guy offers from beside her, his eyes crawling up and down her body in a way that even makes me feel violated. "My luggage still hasn't come either. Maybe we could—"

"Don't." The look she gives him should wither his hard-on. "It's so not happening."

"I was just thinking if you—"

"I know what you were just thinking." She turns away from him to search the conveyor belt again. "You've been just thinking it since we left New York, and not hiding it. So again, I'll say . . ."

She turns back to him with a look that would singe the fuzz off your balls.

"Don't."

I like her already. The guy is sputtering and still trying, but he has no game. It's sad really. Guys who have no game.

"Bristol." I say her name with confidence because I can already tell that's the only thing she'll respond to.

Her head jerks around, and those silvery eyes give me a thorough up and down sliding glance. After she's made it all the way down to my classic Jordans and back to my face, she looks just behind and beyond me, as if she isn't sure she actually heard her name or that I'm the one who said it.

"Bristol," I say again, stepping a little closer. "I'm Grip, a friend of your brother's. Rhyson sent me."

Her eyes widen then narrow, the frown deepening.

"Is he okay?" she demands. "Did something happen?"

"No, he's just tied up." I smile to reassure her, hoping she'll smile in return. I want to see her smile. To see how those braces worked out for her.

"Tied up?" Those full lips tighten, still showing me no teeth. She shakes her head a little, huffing a quick breath and stepping closer to the conveyor. "Figures. So you're stuck with me, huh? Sorry."

"I'm not." At least not now that I've seen her. I wouldn't have missed this for my burrito.

She gives me the same knowing look she leveled on No-Game guy. Like guys have been looking at her like that for a long time. Like she can smell lust from fifty paces. Like she's telling me it isn't happening.

Oh, it's happening, baby girl.

I'm plotting all the ways I'll convince her to go out with me and then who knows where that'll lead when I remember. This is Rhyson's sister. Shit. The hottest girl I've met in ages, and I should probably try not to sleep with her.

Okay. I'm agnostic again. Sorry, Ma.

"I'm waiting for my luggage." She runs a hand over the back of her neck the way I've seen Rhyson do a million times when he's agitated. I note all the other things about her that remind me of my best friend. Let's just say Rhyson's DNA looks a helluva lot better on her. I mean, he's a good-looking guy, but he's, well, a guy. If I rolled that way, maybe. But I roll her way, and dayyyyyum.

"Here's mine," No-Game pipes up with a smug smile when he pulls his big square suitcase from the line.

Bristol creases a fake smile at him that disintegrates as soon as she looks back to the belt.

"Mine shouldn't be far behind then," she says.

"Unless it's lost," No-Game sneers but can't seem to drag his beady eyes from her rack.

"You got your luggage," I say, looking down at him. "How 'bout you step off?"

His blue eyes hiding behind the round glasses do a quick survey of me. I know what he sees and probably what he thinks. Big black dude, arms splashed with tats, "First Weed. Then Coffee" T-shirt. He's probably ready to piss himself. He's like the Diary of a Wimpy Kid all grown up but still wimpy. I could squash him with my eyelashes. It seems we've arrived at the same conclusion because No-Game Wimpy Diary guy turns without a word and pulls his suitcase behind him, docile as a lamb.

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