Home > Charming as Puck(10)

Charming as Puck(10)
Author: Pippa Grant

“You. Know. The. Rules.”

“She was helping me with charm school, and things just…happened.” I hold up my hands, realize I’m wide open for a racking, and cover my dick again. “I didn’t sleep with anybody else while I was with Kami.”

“That’s level one of human decency, Nick. Level. One.”


“She called her cousin Muffy for matchmaking because of you. Do you know Muffy?”

I shake my head, do my best not to snicker at the name, and make a mental note to look up Kami’s cousin Muffy.

“She’s the worst matchmaker in the entire country. There’s a dog with a matchmaker website who has a better success ratio than Muffy does. And do you know what the worst part is? The worst part is that she’s determined to let Muffy set her up because you couldn’t keep your dick in your pants.”

Please note that I don’t tell Felicity that Kami never complained about my dick. But I do angle a look back at Ares. “Can you put me down?”


If anything, he holds me closer to Felicity.

“What do you want me to do?” I ask.

“I don’t know,” she snaps.


So that’s the problem.

Felicity never doesn’t know something.

“I apologized,” I mutter. “For forgetting her birthday.”

“You talked to her again?”

“I fucked up, so I apologized. Isn’t that what I’m supposed to do?” Naturally, I don’t mention the kissing part.


“Women,” I mutter.

Ares flips me upside down and dangles me by my ankles. I flail like a Muppet and he heads for the pool. I can’t even try to rack him in the jewels to get out of this, because he’s holding me facing away from his body.

“I’m sorry. I’m sorry,” I yelp, because that pool will be wicked cold this time of year, and if anyone can lift the cover with his mind, it’s Ares. “I didn’t mean it.”

“Do you have any idea how long Kami’s had a crush on you?” Felicity says behind us. “Years, Nick. Years. She would do anything for you.”

I twist, trying to see my sister while all my blood rushes to my head. We’re getting close to the pool, and I actually don’t know that the cover’s rated for the Berger twins either. “What? No, she hasn’t. She’s just nice to everyone.”

“No one is as nice to everyone as Kami is to you.”

Ares grunts in agreement.

And now I’m even more confused. And I apparently owe her another apology.

I know I probably shouldn’t have kissed her today, but I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it.

That I could kiss Kami and not end up naked with her.

Because if I can kiss her and then not talk her out of her pants, it clearly means she’s something more than my normal brand of friends with benefits.

Although I’m still not ready to face the implication that it might mean Lavoie’s right.

That Kami might actually mean something more to me, and that her being mad at me is affecting my game.

Like maybe she’s a special friend with benefits.

And that’s as far as I’m willing to commit to, except I’m definitely down with committing to testing this theory that she could be my good luck charm.

“Do you remember the dick cookie incident?” Felicity demands.

I nod, upside down, because everyone remembers the dick cookie incident.

How many other older brothers could pull off having a thousand dick cookies delivered to his sister’s ex-boyfriend’s place? But for the record, I don’t smirk with pride. Even though I want to.

“Kami was the only person who said you couldn’t have been behind that.”

“She clearly doesn’t know me very well.” Thank god. Because I was getting worried for a minute there that she was right.

That Kami might actually like me as more than a special friend with benefits.

Which is way different than a girlfriend.

And yes, I’m going to keep telling myself that.

“Dunk him?” Ares asks.

“That would be lovely,” she replies.

Zeus comes flying from the side of the house, and I mutter a curse word my sister’s unborn baby probably shouldn’t hear.

Zeus must be done having phone sex with his wife, which we could all tell he was eager to get to throughout dinner. Since he’s here alone, and since he’s Ares’s twin, Mom and Dad invite him over as one of the family anytime we get together.

“I got the pool cover!” he yells.

“I can’t undo it,” I yelp at my sister. “What do you want from me?”

“I want you to leave my friends alone.”

That’s a challenge if I ever heard one. “But your friends love me. That’s not fair to—erp! Okay! Okay! I’ll leave her alone!” For tonight.

But I still owe her an apology for her birthday, because saying I’m sorry clearly didn’t cut it.

Zeus is hopping around the pool, flipping the cover off.

“Give me your phone,” Felicity orders. She’s stalking around the stamped concrete patio, fingers held out.

“No fucking way.”

“I’m deleting Kami so you can’t bug her. Not for vet calls, and not for booty calls.”

“I don’t need a vet anymore.”

And that’s the last thing I say before Ares releases me head-first into a fifty-degree swimming pool.



Forget butterflies. An entire herd of spooked antelope has taken up residence in my belly.

I’m at the bar in a farm-to-table restaurant in the Mulvaney Hill district, in an ivory sweater, knee-high boots, and a black pencil skirt that must’ve shrunk in my closet, because I have to keep tugging it down and sucking in my belly.

I’m waiting for my date.

And I keep waiting for Nick to walk in and sit down at the table across from me and make kissy lips at me. That’s right, baby. You could have me and Little Nicky all night instead of that loser with the pictures of his pet hamster from when he was a kid who keeps staring at your boobs and asking if you wax your cooch.

I shake my head and text Muffy a picture of my boots to distract myself from letting the Nick in my head trash-talk my date before he even gets here, sighing when I realize my phone is once again at forty percent battery. I have got to quit putting off getting a new phone.

Kami: Are these too much? Do they say “I want you to fuck me tonight,” or do they say “I’m putting my best foot forward?”

Muffy: Holy shit. Those are awesome. Can I borrow them the next time I need to crush a dude’s balls? Those spiky heels will do some serious damage. And I love the fur top. Real cheetah?

Kami: Of course not! It’s fake. And they’re a size six. And you didn’t answer my question.

Muffy: They say “I want to live in Muffy’s closet.”

Kami: Your feet are three sizes bigger.

Muffy: That’s never stopped me before.

Kami: William is late. William, right? Did he ghost me? Do you think he showed up and saw desperation written in my face and decided to sneak into the coat closet for a quickie with the hostess instead?

Muffy: Stop fretting. He’ll be there. He has a bum leg from his time in the Army.

Kami: So you’re saying he probably wouldn’t be comfortable having a quickie with the hostess in a coat closet?

Muffy: Definitely. He’d have to take her back to the kitchen and throw her on a prep table. But he’s not going to do that because he’s a very nice gentleman who was very excited when I called to ask him if he’d like to take you out. Deep breath, sweetie. You’re going to have a wonderful evening. And I call dibs on maid of honor. I don’t care how much you love your sister. You owe me.

I quit texting because I’m down to thirty percent battery now, and I blow out a slow breath and glance around the restaurant. Everything’s warm honey colors with fresh herbs decorating the tables in mason jars. There’s a beanie or fedora and a beard at almost every table, and there’s an argument going on two stools down from me over which environmental engineering firm in Copper Valley is most likely to win the contract for upgrading City Hall.

It’s classic Copper Valley outside the hockey zone.

There’s a table near the front window where a young couple is feeding avocado toast to their toddler. Those big brown eyes and black curls tug at something deep in my belly. He smiles a toothy green grin, showing off his food, and both his parents smile and shake their heads. Mom leans in to wipe his mouth, and the little guy smushes avocado into her mouth.

It should be gross, but it’s adorable. And sweet. And perfect.

And everything I want in my future.

“Kami?” a rough voice asks.

I look up to see an elderly gentleman with a shock of white hair and a cane peering at me over his glasses. He’s in a stained pink polo and khaki pants, and if he grew a beard, he’d look like Santa Claus with that bright pink nose.

“Hi,” I say hesitantly. “Can I help you?”

His brown eyes light up. “Muffy said you were pretty, but she didn’t say you were this pretty.”

I blink once.

Then twice.

“M-muffy?” I repeat.

He winks. “Didn’t tell you how experienced I am, did she? I’m William. And it’s my pleasure to be on the arm of a live one tonight. You wanna blow this hippie joint and go get some oysters?”

It takes me a full three breaths to find words. “Um, yes. But can you excuse me for a minute? I need to use the restroom.”

“You’re not plannin’ on disappearing out the window, are you? Muffy promised me you’re not the disappearing type.”

“No, I really do just need to use the restroom.” And call Muffy and chew her out.

He frowns, and my heart squeezes. I wonder how many times he’s been left behind.

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