Page 20 of Pretend Ring Girl

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“It’s always just one girl, and they definitely have a type.” “Vincente Senior isn’t going to let them keep playing this game forever.” “If there’s only one winner, I’m going to claim the crown.”

What crown, what winner? Only one girl, for allthreeof them?

But that makes little sense. I’m dating Elian, and although Sandro took me out for lunch, that wasn’t really anything, right? It was just a ‘thank you’ for helping with his school work that he never repaid me on.

I’ll admit I don’t have a good explanation for Vincente, other than to guess it was a favor for his younger brother to invite me.

That explanation is so flimsy. It doesn’t really ease the tension in my belly, but it’ll do for now.

There’s no simple way to dismiss what I heard, and I know I’ll have to talk to them about it.

But tonight is definitely not the night.

Sighing, I clean up and exit the bathroom.

When I see the two black duffel bags tucked under the ornate vanity in the main suite, I remember that the guys’ cousins, Emiliano and Manuel, had carried them on board. I was too nervous at the time, but I should have realized it was a little odd for them to bring luggage to a party.

Now, however, it makes more sense. Clearly, they are going to be staying on the ship tonight. Perhaps there’s a family trip tomorrow I’m unaware of. He said they use the yacht several days a month.

I poke my head out of the master suite and verify there’s no one in the hallway before closing the door behind me, then acting as if I just used the ‘party’ restroom.

Fortunately, the restroom is now empty, and I have no idea who belongs to the voices I heard earlier.


Which lasts all of thirty seconds before I see the three women crowded around Vincente Junior.

He looks completely in charge, as usual, smiling politely while the women regale him with stories in flirtation so obvious I can see it from across the room. All three of them possess gleaming brown skin, shining dark hair, and dresses quite similar to mine in assorted vibrant colors. If I had to guess, I’d say the people who attend these parties keep that dress boutique in business.

I don’t know whether to be grateful that Vincente bought me a dress that would so clearly meet the approval of every woman in attendance, or annoyed that he attempted to make me a carbon copy of his mother. Is it sweet, to want me to fit in, or is it a lazy move he’s probably done more than once with other girls?

Other girls that he supposedly shared with his brothers?

Before I can decide, his gaze lands on me, and I can actually see the spark of joy that lights his eyes before he excuses himself from my three would-be rivals. As he departs their eyes follow him, and the heat of their gazes travels to me. If looks could kill, I’d be criss-crossed with laser burns right now.

Fortunately, all they can do is stare. All three are pretty, perfectly dressed and clearly charming women, if my memory of their conversations with the guy’s parents serves me.

But a tiny, petty part of me gloats, just a little, that they apparently want something my white, skinny,gringaass has.

And that is the attention of the Vargas brothers.

“Sloane,” Vincente greets me with his half smile. “I was beginning to think you fell overboard.”

“Sorry, I used the toilet in the master suite. There was a group hogging the bathroom. I hope it’s okay.”

A shadow crosses his eyes, but it’s gone in an instant. “No, that’s fine. Just next time, don’t forget that there’s another restroom on the aft side of the ship.”

Heat floods my cheeks. “You’re right, I’m sorry. I should have gone there.”

“No worries. Now, I saw them bringing out some of the hot food a moment ago. Are you hungry?”


“Then let’s get some before it’s all gone. Sandro is particularly fond of the bacon-wrapped scallops. It would be a real shame if he doesn’t get to eat them all.” His voice takes on a playful tone, and once again, I feel like I am seeing behind the ‘dutiful eldest son’ curtain to glimpse a far more interesting Vincente Junior.

“You’re on,” I agree with a grin. “I love scallops.”

We flag down a server, but he’s carrying a tray of tiny quiches. I snag one—they’re quite good—but now we’re on a mission.

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