Out of Her League(3)

By: Samantha Wayland

And Michaela fucking Price?

Forget about it.

Lachlan darted his gaze to the door again, longing for escape but knowing it was too far away. Then he searched the crowd for Rhian, one of his sister’s two partners, and Lachlan’s good friend. Rhian would bail him out. More than any of Lachlan’s brothers, Rhian seemed to understand how to help Lachlan navigate tricky social waters.

He was also, apparently, one hell of a dancer. If he, Savannah, or Garrick thought they were fooling anyone in this tent, they had another think coming. Their half-blind great-uncle Milton could probably guess the three of them were awfully good friends.

Was that Garrick’s hand on Rhian’s…? Oh geez.


Callum’s voice jerked Lachlan out of his amused fascination with Rhian’s gyrations and back to the problem at hand. Shit. The most beautiful woman Lachlan had ever laid eyes on was standing right in front of him, smiling warmly and making an alarming amount of eye contact.

Of course, there wasn’t any amount of contact—of any variety and involving any body part—that Lachlan wouldn’t find alarming.

Jesus Christ, she was gorgeous. Almost as tall as Callum, so only a couple inches shorter than Lachlan’s six foot three, with long brown hair curling softly around her bare shoulders and down her back. He had to be imagining how her skin glowed from the fairy lights strung up in the support beams.

Lachlan’s tongue stuck to the roof of his now hideously dry mouth.

This was why he’d skipped the bachelor party. This was why he skipped all the parties.

“Lachlan, this is Michaela,” Callum announced, as if perhaps Lachlan had been living under a rock. “Michaela, this is my brother Lachlan.”

“Hello,” Michaela said, her voice smoky and low.

He blinked at her stupidly. Her smile warmed, which he wouldn’t have thought was even possible. Her shoulder moved and he had a terrible, terrible suspicion that she was holding out her hand for him to take. Should he shake it? Kiss it? What was the etiquette here?

Forget that. He should stick with the basics.

Hi. That was what he should do, he should say something like that. Hello. Howdy. Some fucking greeting. He didn’t have to be fancy. He didn’t even have to bust out anything as basically sociable as nice to meet you. Just fucking say hello.

He swallowed and forced his mouth open.

No sound came out.

Michaela looked at Callum, who stared at his brother with obvious consternation.

She clung to her smile and pulled her hand back from where it had been left hanging, mid-air. She pressed it instead to her stomach as the silence stretched on, and on, and on¸ until she was lifting her foot with the intention of kicking Callum. For Christ’s sake, couldn’t he help his brother out? Callum had warned her his brother was shy, but this was ridiculous. The man looked like he was about to have a stroke.

“I know your name,” Lachlan blurted.

Michaela blinked and dropped her foot back to the floor. It wasn’t exactly what she’d been expecting as an opening line, but it was something, so she nodded, as if this were perfectly normal.

“Yes, well, I guess a lot of people do,” she offered, and good god, now she was as awkward as he was. She should have just said, “Yes, I’m infamous. Have you seen my sex tape?” and made this as painful as humanly possible. They weren’t far off anyhow.

She gave into her earlier urge and clipped Callum in the shin with her very pointy shoe.

“Lachlan,” Callum said, suddenly and a shade too loudly, “Michaela is going to Harvard in the fall. I thought it might be nice if you two knew each other, since you’ll be neighbors.” He smiled encouragingly at his brother.

Lachlan’s eyes widened with horror. “You’re moving to Trowbridge Street?”

“Um, no?” she replied, not sure if she should be insulted. The expression on his face could hardly be called flattering. “I think I’m going to buy a place on Massachusetts Avenue.”

Which was not something she should be sharing, but she felt the instinctive need to set the poor man at ease.

He didn’t seem to have any response to her comment, anyway.

She was caught in a conversational train wreck and she couldn’t look away. She stared into Lachlan’s wide, bright green eyes, the exact same color as Callum’s. They also had the same shape face, but that was where the similarities ended. Lachlan’s nose was still straight and unbroken, and his mouth was wider. His hair a lighter brown. And he was taller, leaner than his brother. Just as handsome, but in a different way. Or, he would be, if he weren’t turning scarlet and starting to sweat.