In a room filled with boys, Drew is a man here. Bigger, stronger, and just more. In an odd way, he doesn’t belong here either. But the difference is they want him to belong.
His eyes stay locked with mine the whole time. It’s unnerving. And enough to make my toes curl in my beloved Vogs.
He stops just before me. Way too close for a casual acquaintance. Even with my added height, I have to tip my head back a little to meet his gaze.
“Anna Jones,” he drawls, “fancy meeting you here.” That he appears pleased makes my insides dip.
“Not by my own volition,” I mutter.
His lopsided smile grows. “Who suckered you into coming?”
“Iris, my roommate and soon-to-be resident on the missing persons list.”
A light laugh breaks from him, and his eyes warm. “I don’t know… I’m kind of grateful to her.”
“You can thank her when she stops sucking her boyfriend’s face off. As for me, I’m leaving.”
Baylor’s brows snap together. “Now? You just got here.”
“How do you know? I might have been here for hours.”
He shifts his weight onto one leg, bringing him closer. “Jones, I knew the second you walked in the door.”
“Bull.” I say it reflexively.
But he grins. “I shit you not.”
My skin is too tight, my flesh too warm now. “How is that even possible?”
Another small laugh leaves him. “Seriously?”
And then he does it. His gaze travels down to my chest, lingering there as his nostrils flare, before slowly trailing back up to my face. When my glare registers, he merely gives me a sheepish look as if to say he knows he’s busted but isn’t really sorry for it.
Not that I can totally blame him. My boobs are swelling over the edge of my top. I have the desperate urge to hike the cami up, but I resist and cross my arms under my br**sts instead. The action lifts my cle**age higher. A dare. I think. I’m not sure what the hell I’m doing anymore.
Color tinges the high crests of his cheeks and those hot eyes glide back down. “Okay,” he says thickly, “now I know you’re messing with me.” Somehow, he’s now less than a foot away. The fan of his lashes casts shadows on his cheeks as he peers at me. “But I’m willing to be tortured.”
My arms drop. Nerves flutter in my belly. Yeah, I’ve been with guys. And I like sex. Love good sex, elusive as it is. But flirting with Baylor? I can’t handle it. He’s too much. He makes my mouth dry and my hands twitch with wanting to run them over his taut chest.
The truth is I don’t understand why he persists in talking to me. I’m nothing like his usual women. I’m not even nice to him. Something I refuse to feel guilty about.
“I wasn’t offering,” I say. Not precisely true. Which is why I need to leave. I turn, ready to hunt down Iris, when he moves to touch my elbow with the tips of his fingers. Pure instinct has me evading his reach. I know without doubt that if he touches me, I’m done for.
He frowns at the action, his hand dropping. But it doesn’t stop him from speaking. “Stay.” His voice is a soft caress that rubs over me.
“I’d rather go.” It’s both a lie and the truth. I can’t think straight when he’s near.
“I can’t believe that.” He dimples. “I mean, we get along so well.”
He says it with just enough dry humor that I fight a smile and shake my head. “Let me guess, you’ve never approached a girl who turns out to be not interested in you.”
Baylor cocks his head as though taken aback and then gives his neck a scratch. “Well,” he says slowly, “no, I haven’t.” A wide grin breaks over his face, all charm and dimpled hotness. “I can see that bothers you.”
“Wrong. It simply reinforces my original impression of you.”
“As what? Honest?” He leans in close. Close enough to notice that his breath doesn’t smell like beer, and that his eyes have a ring of deep brown around the gold irises. “Here’s the thing, Jones, I don’t understand how you can find that a problem.”
I blink and force myself to focus on something other than his eyes. “You don’t see how never being told ‘no’ isn’t a problem?”
His smile deepens. “Stop being obtuse. You’re talking about my irresistibility. I’m talking about my honesty. Two vastly different topics.”
My lips twitch. Damn it. “I don’t recall saying you were irresistible.”
“Besides,” he goes on as if I haven’t spoken, “I can’t see what sort of culpability I have in girls wanting to get to know me. It’s not like I’m bribing them or lying to have my ‘wicked way’ with them. It is what it is.”
I stare at him a long moment, one in which he grins his stupid grin and I fight the stupid urge to return it.
“You know what? You’re right.”
“Finally!” he says to no one in particular before smiling down at me.
I give him a bland look. “So let’s put it this way.” I step into his space, glaring up at him. “I could not care less about football. I don’t give a shit who you are or what you do or—”
My tirade dies when he leans so close that our noses practically touch. The look in his eyes isn’t angry. It’s triumphant. “Exactly, Jones.”
Two words and he’s knocked the wind out of my sails. His not wanting me to fawn all over him is the last thing I expect. I start to frown. Maybe I even do. I can’t stop myself from saying, “Well, hell.”