“Girl, I probably would have done the same thing. Especially if he was Ian.” Mona laughed. “He’s got that geeky sexiness going on.”
Shiloh laughed and I felt my eyes narrow.
“I didn’t know what to say. I was so taken aback that I found myself agreeing before I could really think about what was happening.”
I heard this little growl and realized it had come from me. Jealousy slammed into me, twisting up my emotions, making me want to find the little bastard who’d asked Shiloh out.
“So when is the date with Ian? Where are you guys going?”
Shiloh didn’t answer right away.
I had my hands clenched at my sides. All I wanted to do was go in there and demand that she cancel her plans. But I had no claim over her, had never even told her how I felt. She could do what she wanted.
I stood there and stayed silent, holding my breath as I waited to see what she’d say.
“It’s not a date. He wants to take me to that new café in town.”
Mona made this strange noise almost as if in disapproval. “He wants to take you to a that little cafe? I’d say retreat now. That sounds like he wants a date-date.” Shiloh and Mona started laughing.
“He seemed nice enough. Besides, it’s just dinner.”
“You better tell him that so he doesn’t think it’s something more.”
I looked around the corner and could see Shiloh and Mona leaning against opposite ends of the counter. Shiloh was looking down at the glass she held, this faraway expression on her face.
“I told him it’d be nice to go out with a friend. He didn’t seem surprised by that, so maybe I don’t have to spell it out anymore?” It was a genuine question.
“Some guys you do have to spell it out.” Mona snorted.
“To be honest, I’ve never actually been on a date, and I don’t want my first one to be with Ian.”
“You’ve seriously never been on a date before?” Mona sounded shocked.
Shiloh shook her head. “No one’s ever asked and well…” She didn’t finish what she was about to say, because the guys hollered out as one of them won the card game.
“Ugh, guys and their games,” Mona said and smiled. Just then, Alec hollered out for her. She exhaled loudly in irritation. “I’ll be back.”
I watched Shiloh for a few seconds, her unaware that I was there. Her brows were knitted, this look of confusion on her face. I wanted to smooth my finger down the space between her eyes and get rid of that little bunched-up expression.
I cleared my throat and stepped fully into the kitchen so she could see me. She lifted her head, our gazes clashing.
And then she smiled at me.
I actually lifted my hand and rubbed my chest, that one look doing something powerful to me.
“Hey, you,” I said and leaned against the counter, crossing my arms over my chest and trying to act like I had my shit together, like I wasn’t pining after the one girl I would probably never get.
But the thought of her leaving, going away from me, had that fear dissipating, and bravery taking its place. Although I was still scared, not sure if I’d ever actually have the balls to come clean and tell her the truth, knowing what the alternative was wasn’t something I wanted to experience.
“Hey back at you.” Her voice was soft, like a melody that could grab hold of my heart and squeeze it.
We stayed silent for a couple of moments, and although it was none of my business, although I should’ve kept my mouth shut, I cleared my throat, about to ask her about Ian.
“So I couldn’t help but overhear you and Mona talking about you having a date.” I tried to keep my voice level, to act as if the thought of her going out wasn’t affecting me as strongly as it was.
I wasn’t her boyfriend, and had no right to act like a jealous one. But the truth was, I’d seen her as mine for a long time, just didn’t have the balls to say anything about it.
Her cheeks got pink, as if she were embarrassed I’d brought it up, and I felt my heart drop a little more. Was she excited about going out with Ian? Fuck, why had I never asked her out?
She glanced away from me, and when she looked back in my direction her cheeks were still red, the embarrassment in her expression clear.
“I’m sorry I said anything. It’s none of my business.” I lifted my hand and rubbed the back of my neck, feeling like a dumbass.
“No, no, you’re my best friend, Kace. You can always ask me anything.” She smiled. “But it’s not a date. It’s just a friendly meal.”
Although I’d heard her say it to Mona, hearing her tell me that had pleasure and satisfaction filling me. But those feelings were dimmed by that jealousy that was still front and center.