This is what she felt.
Everything came flooding back. My eyes popped open as realization dawned.
He hurt me.
He hated me.
“Jared, stop.” My tone was meant to be stronger, but it only sounded desperate. He ignored me as he kissed and lightly bit my shoulder, while his hand moved underneath my shirt.
“Jared! I said ‘stop!’” Putting my hands on his chest, I pushed him away. He stumbled back a few steps, breathing hard and eyeing me like an animal.
Jumping off the sink ledge, I nearly ran out of the kitchen and the house. It felt like steam coming off my skin as the cool rain hit my arms and legs outside. My heart was nearly beating out of my chest as I made it to my front porch.
What are you doing?! I screamed to myself.
A hollow ache settled in my stomach, and a horrible void filled my arms where he’d just been. I’d let him kiss me. And feel me.
And I’d done the same to him.
I tried to catch my breath. How could I have let that happen? It was like I hadn’t even been in control! I knew what we were doing was crazy, but the feel of him made me forget everything. Even now, my body still craved him, and I hated that. Shame burned my skin where he’d touched me.
Jared always calculated his moves. Did he plan this? This was lower than I thought he’d ever go. He was probably in there laughing at me right now, knowing that he’d gotten my pride.
A thousand questions filled my head, but I pushed them away. No. One thing was certain: Jared couldn’t be trusted. He hadn’t even begun to make amends, and I was nauseous with humiliation.
That wouldn’t happen again.
I rushed from one class to another the next day. My heart was in my throat—knowing that at any minute I could run into Jared—so I kept my eyes focused straight ahead. Literally.
All through French class it had been almost impossible to keep my mind off last night. His hands, his lips, his…
Nope. Not going there.
I had liked it. That much I was willing to admit. But why did he kiss me if not to prove that he could? And why the hell did I let him?!
I’d decided to treat it as a drunken move on his part, and an emotional breakdown on mine.
As I headed to lunch, I hurriedly stuffed my crap into my locker and jetted around the corner to the cafeteria, trying to keep my eyes from wandering.
“Oomph.” The air was knocked out of my lungs, and I stumbled to the ground.
I winced with the ache in my ass from the collapse to the cold tile floor, and I tried to blink away the disturbance to my equilibrium. Something had knocked me off my feet.
Looking up, I sucked in a breath and felt a warm fluttering to my belly at the sight of Jared hovering over me.
Shit. I must’ve crashed right into him. And here I was, trying to avoid him like the plague. So much for best laid plans.
I couldn’t get over how just the presence of him undid me. I gawked stupidly, unable to tear my eyes away from how awesomely his t-shirt hung below his narrow waist or how sexy his rich, dark hair was styled today.
Seeing me flat on my bum, he should’ve given me a smug smile or scowl. I flushed with embarrassment, knowing how stupid I must’ve looked.
But I got nothing from him. Nothing bad, anyway.
He reached out to me, and I looked at him wide-eyed, wondering what the hell he was doing.
Was he…helping me up?
He held his smooth, long-fingered hand, palm up, to me, and my toes curled with the gesture.
Wow. Maybe the kiss wasn’t such a bad thing. Maybe he’d start behaving himself now.
And then he quirked an eyebrow at me, as if annoyed that he was waiting.
I scowled at his same old haughty attitude.
Oh, no. Don’t do me any favors, buddy!
Pushing myself roughly off the ground, I dusted off my pants and stalked past him, around the corner.
While my body definitely reacted positively to him, my brain practiced a zero tolerance policy…from now on.
Ben and I met up Friday night after the game. I wanted to keep our date, even though I had spent the better part of the last two days trying not to think of someone else. There was nothing between Jared and I. There was no reason to call off a date with a not-yet-boyfriend just because I kissed another guy, even if I did feel a little guilty about it.
Ben was easy. And I needed easy. I deserved it. I just needed to get my body under control.
“So I’ve been meaning to ask you something.” Ben seemed amused but timid as we finished our pizza.
“Let me see.” I put my index finger to my lips. “Yes, I do all of my own stunts, and no, I don’t normally eat that much,” I joked and took a sip of my Coke.
“No, not exactly.” He wagged his finger at me and took out his credit card for the waitress as she came by.
“You mentioned this boy that your character was friends with in the monologue. They were close, and then he turned against her. You said he drove a Mustang?”
I nodded, wondering where he was going with this.
“Jared Trent drives a Boss 302. A Mustang Boss 302,” he pointed out.
Sweat broke out across my brow, but I nodded again. I knew what he was getting at, but there wouldn’t be any answers if that was what he was hoping for. It was bad enough that I’d kissed Jared, behind K.C.’s back, but Jared and I only had one kiss. And that’s all there would be. I wasn’t about to explain something I didn’t even understand to Ben.