Sweet Little Lies (Heartbreaker Bay #1)(11) by Jill Shalvis

Since pushing Spence was like trying to push a twenty-foot-wide concrete wall over, they’d all unanimously decided to let it be for now. Finn knew he’d talk about it when he was good and ready and nothing could rush that. For now he seemed . . . well, if not miserable, at least better, and was currently stealing French fries on the sly from Elle’s basket.

Elle was new to the group but had fit right in with the exception of Archer. Finn didn’t know what was up, but the two of them studiously avoided each other whenever possible. Everyone but Elle was in shorts and tees, looking bedraggled, a little sweaty and a whole lot dusty. Elle hadn’t gone on the hike. She didn’t do dirt. Or excursion. Dressed to kill as always, she wore a royal blue sleeveless sheath and coolly slapped Spence’s hand away from her fries.

He grinned in apology but the minute Elle’s back was turned, he stole another. Only Spence could do that and live.

Haley was there too, an intern at the optometrist’s shop on the ground floor of the building. But Finn’s gaze went directly to the last person sitting there, just as dusty as everyone but Elle.


“Got suckered into the hike up Twin Peaks, huh?” he asked.

She smiled the smile of someone who was very proud of herself.

He grinned back. “Number four?” he guessed.

Her smile widened. “Three.”

Whoa. Finn turned to Spence, who shrugged. “On the way there, I calculated out who and what everyone’s going to pick in the draft,” Spence said. “All I needed was the fourth pick, so I didn’t see any reason to go crazy out there.”

“You did that on the way there,” Finn repeated, a little awed.

“Actually, I worked it out in my head before we even left.”

Elle looked at Spence. “Remember when you told me to tell you when you were acting like that kid that no one would want to be friends with?”

Spence just grinned and stole another fry.

“She looks so delicate,” Willa said and jabbed a thumb in Pru’s direction. “Totally thought I could take her.” She shook her head. “She wiped the trail with me.”

“You do a lot of hiking?” Finn asked Pru.

“Not lately.” She lifted a shoulder and sipped at what looked like a plain soda. “I haven’t had time,” she said demurely. “I’m out of shape.”

Archer laughed. “Don’t believe that for a second. This girl can move when she’s got inspiration, and apparently she takes her fantasy football seriously. You should’ve seen those long legs in action.”

Oh, Finn had. In his sexual fantasies.

“Why didn’t you go?” she asked. “Didn’t want to show off your long legs?”

Archer choked on beer. “I like her,” he announced.

Finn didn’t take his eyes off Pru. Hers were lit with amusement, which went well with the streak of dirt across her jaw. There was another over her torso, specifically her left breast. “I have great legs,” he said.

“Uh huh.”

“I do. Tell her,” he said to the room.

Spence shrugged noncommittally. “Archer’s are better.”

Archer grinned. “Damn straight.”

Elle let out a rare smile. “I like her too,” she said to Archer.

“It’s not about my legs,” Finn said to Pru. Shit, and now he sounded defensive.

“Maybe you should prove it,” she said casually and Archer choked again.

Willa bounced up and down in her seat, clapping. “It’s like Christmas!”

“We’re keeping her, right?” Spence asked.

“Hey,” Sean said, bringing them another pitcher of beer. “If a lady wanted to see my legs, I’d show her. Just sayin’.”


Pru turned expectantly back to Finn and he had to laugh. “What, right here?” he asked in disbelief.

“Why not?” she asked.

“Because . . .” Jesus. How had he lost control of this conversation? “I am not dropping trou right here,” he said stiffly, and great, because now he sounded like he had a stick up his ass.

“Maybe he hasn’t shaved,” Willa said. “That’d keep me from dropping trou. I only shaved from my knees down. My thighs are as hairy as a lumberjack’s chest, which is why I’m wearing capris and not short shorts. You are all welcome.”

Elle nodded like this made perfect sense.

“Gonna have to prove it to the lady,” Archer said ever so helpfully to Finn. “Drop ’em.”