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“How do I self-sabotage?”

“Your apartment, for one thing,” Megan said.

“God, now you sound like my dad,” Eve said.

“Look, we just think that maybe you’re afraid of getting hurt, so you date guys you know will never measure up to your expectations and drive away the good ones,” Allison said.

“Well, on that high note, I’m out of money,” Eve said.

Megan stood up with her and wrapped her ar

ms around Eve’s stiff shoulders. “Come on, love, don’t be pissy. We only say these things because we love you.”

“Ha, I think you bear false love,” Eve said, fighting a smile.

Allison hugged her, too, and before long, they were laughing. When they pulled away, Megan said, “Where is this bad boy who’s got you wound up? Let’s go check him out.”

MICK’S BAR WAS in the heart of Old Town Sacramento, and the two-story building reminded Eve more of an old Western saloon than a dive bar. Eve had dropped Allison at home on the way down, but Megan had insisted on following her, wanting to get a look at “Mr. Chocolate Butt.” As they wove through the crowd, Eve kept her eye out for Oliver.

“Holy yum, there is some talent here tonight!” Megan exclaimed.

Eve snagged a table in the corner, and as they sat down, she could have sworn she saw a familiar shaved head at the bar. She kept her eyes glued to the spot. A few bodies shifted, and there he was, leaning against the bar, smiling at a petite dark-haired girl in a short denim skirt.

Eve turned her face away, afraid he’d sense her gaze on him, and suddenly felt like a stalker. “This is stupid.”

“Did you spot him?” Megan asked.

“Yeah, but he’s busy.” Eve didn’t want to admit that the uncomfortable churning in her gut was jealousy, but she didn’t like seeing him with another girl.

That smile was hers.

“Is he the stud in the blue shirt talking to the tiny cheerleader?” Megan asked. At Eve’s nod, Megan whistled. “Nice. He definitely looks edible.”

“Dude, stop staring or he’s going to see you,” Eve warned.

“Too late,” Megan said. “He’s coming over.”

“What?” Eve turned in her seat, and sure enough, Oliver was heading their way with a gigantic grin on his face. Her heart did a little leap of joy as she noted that he’d ditched his companion the minute he’d spotted her.

“Hey, what are you doing here?” he asked. One of his hands rested on the back of her chair, and the brush of his hand against the bare skin of her shoulder sent shivers down her spine.

“Just felt like getting a drink. Oliver, this is my friend Megan.”

“Hey, Megan,” Oliver said. He leaned over Eve’s shoulder to hold out his hand to Megan. As he did so, he pressed against Eve, and it affected her—like pulse-racing, skin-on-fire, drumming-tempo-between-her-thighs affected her.

“Oliver, so nice to meet you. Eve just keeps going on and on about your b—”

Eve kicked Megan hard in the shin and glared at her furiously.

“You’ve been talking about me, huh?” Oliver asked. Eve glanced at him and caught his satisfied smile.

“I was just telling her about us working together,” she said.

“Of course, that’s what I thought she meant. Why else would you be talking about me?”

Megan laughed at his teasing, and Eve silently vowed revenge.

“Can I get you ladies a drink? You are more than welcome to join me and the guys downstairs,” Oliver said.

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