If I don’t screw it up, start thinking about goat anus, giggle, or dwell on how much of an awful person I’ll be by doing this. He’s flat out told me he’s had a thing for me for twelve years and that he only went into law enforcement because of me, and now I’m going to use him for sex.

It’s official. I’m going to hell.

“Are you sure this top is okay? It’s a little tight,” I complain, tugging up the low-cut neckline of my ocean blue tank top with the Liquid Crack logo right over my boobs. “I didn’t realize when I ordered these to sell at the store that they were so…slutty.”

Bettie smacks my hands away from fiddling with the tank top, grabs the hem and pulls it down until there’s so much of my cleavage showing that I’ll have a nip-slip if I sneeze.

“Bend over and pull those puppies up higher,” she instructs, pointing at my chest.

With a sigh, I do as she says, bending at the waist and sliding my hands into the cups of my bra to pull my boobs out more. When I stand back up and hold my arms out, Bettie studies me for a minute, fluffs up my hair l let air-dry in long beach waves, takes a loop around me, and stops when she’s back in front of me.

“You’ll do,” she says with a nod.

“Gee, I feel much better now.”

Emma Jo comes over and pats me on the back.

“You look sexy and gorgeous. Leo isn’t going to be able to keep his hands off you, which will make your job much easier. And really, it’s not like it’s an actual job. You like him, right? You think he’s hot, his kisses turn you into a puddle of goo, and he really, really likes you, Payton. This is going to be a good thing. I just know it.”

I smile at Emma Jo’s encouragement and start to feel a little calmer until there’s a knock at the door. Bettie and Emma Jo grab their overnight bags and Bettie pauses with her hand on the doorknob.

“By any chance have you checked Facebook lately?” she asks innocently.

“No, not in about a week, I guess. I’ve been a little busy,” I remind her with a pointed glare.

“I might have updated your status with a tag in Bald Knob that says Barefoot and pregnant and ridiculously in love in Kentucky,” she informs me.

“You didn’t!”

“Good luck tonight! Kisses!” she exclaims without answering, blowing me a kiss as she opens the door, the devious smile on her face immediately falling when she comes face-to-face with Leo on the front porch.

“Sweet Jesus, I think I just got pregnant,” she mutters as she looks him up and down.

“I’m sorry, what?” Leo asks, leaning in to try and hear her better.

“Nothing, they were just leaving,” I speak through clenched teeth, quickly moving forward to open the door wider and gesture with my arm for Emma Jo to leave as Leo moves to the side to give her room.

With Bettie’s eyes still glued to Leo’s body, she stumbles over the threshold when I shove her out the door right behind Emma Jo, pausing behind him to make hip thrusting motions and throw up a few fist pumps.

Leo whips his head around when he sees me staring behind him and Bettie quickly stands up straight and gives him a salute.

“The name’s Bettie Lake. Don’t let the tats fool you. I’m not as sweet and innocent as I look. I’m a raging bitch and I will cut you if you hurt Payton. Too-da-loo!” she says with a wide smile, giving Leo a finger-wave as she grabs Emma Jo’s arm and pulls her across the porch and down the steps.

“Have fun, kids! No wild parties and lights out by midnight. Mommy and Mommy will be back tomorrow!” Bettie adds with a wave over her shoulder, Emma Jo looking back to give me a smile and a thumb’s up.

When they get into Bettie’s rental car and she starts it up, I move back into the house and hold the door open for Leo. He’s wearing his usual non-work uniform of jeans and a t-shirt and just like every time I see him, my heart flutters in my chest and I want to get down on my knees and thank his parents for passing down those excellent genes. You know, after all those awkward teenage years.

“I’m glad you messaged me. I was going to stop by tonight anyway if I didn’t hear from you,” Leo tells me when I close the door behind him and lean my back against it.

“In the spirit of full disclosure, I should probably let you know I didn’t send the text, Bettie did. And she was drunk. She drinks a lot. I think she might have a problem and need an intervention,” I ramble nervously.

Leo moves to stand in front of me, leaning closer to press his palms against the door on either side of my head, caging me in. My heart thunders in my chest, and I’m suddenly thankful Bettie wouldn’t let me wear shoes. I would have toppled over and made a fool of myself by now.

“I think you were drunk and now you don’t want to admit you said I have a sweet ass,” he retorts, one corner of his mouth tipping up in a smile as he looks down at me.

“I have no problem saying that,” I scoff, rolling my eyes and laughing uncomfortably.

“So you DO think I have a sweet ass.”

He’s giving me the full power of his smile now, and all I can do is stare at his lips while the smell of his woodsy cologne surrounds me and makes my knees weak.

“You’re annoying,” I whisper, tipping my head back to look up at his eyes.

He brings the lower half of his body forward until its pressed right up against me, and with his arms still pinning me in against the door, I wouldn’t be able to move away if I wanted to.

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