Home > Sweet Temptation (The Sweet Trilogy #4)(7)

Sweet Temptation (The Sweet Trilogy #4)(7)
Author: Wendy Higgins

I’m about to pull my hand away when hers suddenly warms . . . and she full-out blushes. Un-fucking-believable. How did she get herself to do that? I’ve never seen a Neph blush in my life. Her aura is going mad again, lust winning out as the dominant color. And just to be sure she isn’t simply an expert at mind games, I open my sense of smell and let it surround her.

Oh damn. Definitely giving off pheromones.

She smells divine. Like a fresh pear. And some dainty flower I can’t put a name to. That’s gonna bug me.

Right. I chuckle at the craziness of it all and slowly take my hand back. I’m about to tuck my sense of smell away when I get an idea. One more test to see if I can get her to admit to being Neph. I search down the street, bypassing foul city scents until I find what I’m looking for.

“Ah, smells good. There’s nothing like American hot dogs. I think I’ll have one later.”

She looks at me like I’m crazy and says, “I don’t smell anything.”

“Really? Lean toward the door some. Breathe a bit . . . deeper.”

I can tell she knows what I mean. Her face tightens in concentration and her little nose slightly flares until I know she’s smelled it. One mile away. I wait for her to try to deny it, but she only shakes her head and blinks at me. Yeah, that’s right. . . . I can do what you can do, so let’s cut the shite, shall we?

“Hmm. I suppose I was mistaken then,” I say with a healthy dose of sarcasm.

This has gone on long enough. I need to get some answers, out of the public eye.

One of the abandoned models takes this inopportune moment to approach, stepping between us. I whisper what she wants to hear—that I’ll be over in a moment to take them home, and then we’ll have all night. She walks away satisfied, while I feel anything but. I can’t get out of work to chase this Neph girl, especially if I’m under some sort of surveillance. But I will find her. Her human “friends” are over there giving their information to our road manager. I’ll find out where they live, what school they attend, what parties are happening in their area. . . . I have resources, and people give out a plethora of information on their social media accounts.

“Maybe I’ll see you around, Anna. I’ll be sure to give your boyfriend Jay’s songs a listen.”

As I turn to walk away, I hear her say, “He’s not my—” but I don’t stop to listen. My beautiful dates are waiting none too patiently.

I listen from across the room as the bloke Jay goes back to her, inquiring about me. I almost spit my bourbon through my nose when he says, “Man, y’all looked like you were gonna rip each other’s clothes off!” and she hits him. Instead I make eye contact with Anna one last time and wink at her. Damned if she doesn’t blush again before turning quickly to leave.

She deserves an Oscar, that girl.

I try to give the models my full attention, but all I can think about is Anna. I listen to her conversation as they drive away. She’s just about to ring someone named Patti when they exit my range of hearing.

“Freesia!” I say aloud when the name of the flower finally comes to me. She’d smelled of pears and freesia.

The models give one another funny looks and giggle.

I shake my head. “Sorry. Don’t mind me.”

They laugh now and I grin, feeling like an idiot—an unfamiliar feeling for me.

Intrigue like I’ve never experienced floods me, and I don’t like it. Everything about her screamed of innocence, but that’s impossible. Her sudden appearance in my life will drive me to distraction, something I cannot afford. Still, I know I will replay our meeting for days—the images—her all-natural appearance, her open expressions and colors, and her seemingly authentic friendship with a human boy.

Either this Neph has some twisted, ingenious plan to entrap me, or she truly doesn’t know what she is. If that’s the case, it means serious danger for her. Not that I should care. Not that I do care. I’m intrigued is all—enough to know that I won’t rest until I find out more about this mysterious Anna.

 

 

CHAPTER THREE

 

 

More Confused Than Ever


“Burning mud in my eyes,

Blinding me from the truth.”

—“Long Way Down” by Robert DeLong

I’ll admit, I’ve been stalking the hell out of the bloke called Jay. I cannot find a trace of Anna online, other than a list of choir award recipients from two years ago. But Jay has accounts on damn near every social media site available.

Today he posted: Raise your hand if I’ll see you shaking your stuff at Gene’s party tonight!

That started a quick strand of comments—I’m so going! . . . Gonna be tight. . . . I’ve heard his lake house is awesome! . . . Everyone’s invited! . . . Anyone know the address?

Bingo. Someone posts the address and I lock it into my mobile.

That night, with my bandmate Raj at my side, we roll up to the house on Lake Allatoona with nearly every other high schooler in the Atlanta area. Raj immediately heads down the stairs toward the smell of marijuana. I search the party with my hearing and find Jay—he’s loud and surrounded by laughing girls—but there’s no sign of Anna.

As I walk into the kitchen and glance out the window, I see why. She’s outside talking with a bloke.

“Hey.”

I look in the direction of the husky, sexy voice and see the speaker next to me. She’s got a drink in one hand, her other elbow leaning back against the counter. She’s a rocker girl with a streak of pink in her hair and plump, hot-pink lips. She’s wearing all black, in fishnets and boots.

She looks fun.

“Hey, yourself,” I say. I glance out the window again. Anna and the kid appear to be stargazing or something. Her aura is blasting a nervous gray with orange bursts of excitement. So strange.

Rocker girl doesn’t smile. Her aura is fuzzy, so she’s either been drinking a good bit or smoking downstairs, but she doesn’t wobble or show any signs of being impaired except for her heavy-lidded eyes draped in silvery-gray liner.

“Never seen you before,” she says. “I’d remember.” She reaches up a hand with chunky rings and flicks the hair above my eye. “I like your hair.”

I look at her neon-pink streak, a stark contrast to the black locks around it. “I like yours more.”

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