“Well, you were awesome on Saturday.” Jess finished off her juice before tossing the bottle. “Oh, and Friday, too. I didn’t see the race, but the school’s been buzzing about it. You made people a lot of money. Derek Roman was pretty pissed, I hear.”
“I’m sure he was.” I swept my long hair up into a ponytail and felt a flash of heat bore into the back of my neck.
It was crazy how my awareness of Jared worked, but I was pretty sure he was in here somewhere.
He’d been AWOL all morning, no sign of his car or him. I kept my attention on Jess, even though the pull to turn around vibrated all over my body. After the two kisses and the dream, not to mention his apology, I’d thought about him a lot this weekend.
Before I could give in and search for him, I made my way to the doors with Jess. A moment later, I halted when I heard someone calling my name.
I jumped, instantly embarrassed that the person yelling made me the focus of the entire lunchroom.
“Will you please go to the Homecoming dance with me?” the idiot’s voice asked behind me.
I closed my eyes. I. Am. Going. To. Kill. Him.
I spun around slowly to see that Madoc was kneeling a few of feet away. He stared up at me with big, blue, puppy dog eyes, and I noticed that the lunchroom had gotten very quiet as people hushed others and looked at us wide-eyed and breathless.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” I mumbled out and offered an apologetic smile to Jess. Walking on his knees in short, hilarious steps, he came flush with my shoes and cocked his head all the way back to peer up at me. He took my hand in his.
Girls were giggling, and everyone was staring at us. Only Madoc could get away with this flamboyant display and still be considered manly.
“Please, please! Don’t say no. I need you.” His dramatic tone caused an uproar of laughter and chants encouraging him further.
My heart was pounding. Any second now I was going to go ballistic on him, and I probably wouldn’t be lucky enough to stay out of the Dean’s office a second time.
“Get up,” I snapped, pulling on my hand. My head swam with ideas of how I was going to hurt this kid. They’d never find the body.
“Please, let’s make this work. I’m sorry for everything.” He was deliberately speaking above the laughter so that everyone knew our business.
“I said no.”
“But the baby needs a father!” he implored.
My heart sunk at his words. Oh, my God. No, no, no…
Hoots and hollers erupted from every corner of the room, and heat rose up my neck and face. I felt like I was having an out of body experience. This could not be happening. Is this how he was making amends? By embarrassing me more?
He grabbed my h*ps and pressed his face into my stomach. “I promise I’ll love our kid,” he whispered for only me to hear. “I can say it louder if you want.”
“Fine, I’ll go. For now,” I said through clenched teeth. “But if you pull any more shit, I’ll break your arm.”
He popped up, wrapped his arms around me and pulled me off my feet into a hug. Swinging me around, everyone clapped and whistled, and I felt like throwing up. Once I was back on my feet, I slapped him on the arm and stalked out of the cafeteria, knowing I did not want to catch the expressions on Jess’s or Jared’s faces.
Thankfully, by the time school ended, everyone knew Madoc’s joke was just that…a joke. At least the douche bag proved honorable in correcting the rumor. I still hadn’t come to terms with the fact that I’d said yes. Homecoming was still two weeks away, so hopefully I’d find a way out of it. As proven in the last month, a lot could happen in a short time.
Jared wasn’t in Themes class, so instead of fighting to not look at him, I had to fight to avoid Ben looking at me. Life could be a bitch. I was going to Homecoming with the one person in this school who made my skin crawl, I was getting attention from a gorgeous, star football player that I could care less about, and I was having wet dreams about a potential sociopath who acted like he hated me most of the time.
Eight more months.
“Hi, Dr. Porter.” I smiled tiredly as I walked into the lab after school. Since the room wasn’t available tomorrow as we’d scheduled, I’d opted to take him up on the offer to work today. Coach had given us the afternoon off, so it all worked out.
“Hi, Tate.” Dr. Porter was a middle aged ex-hippy who often left his long, rust-colored hair flowing free and drops of coffee dangling from his scraggly mustache and beard. My first few classes with him sophomore year were irritating. I kept wanting to take a napkin to his face.
“How long can I stay today?” Dropping my bag on the floor underneath my usual table, I looked to Dr. Porter.
“I’ll be around for at least an hour, probably more.” He gathered some folders and papers, trying to find a way to grab his coffee cup, too. “Do you need anything?”
“I’ll go get my crate from the closet, and I know where everything is that I need.”
“Good. I have a planning meeting with the Science department, but it’s in another classroom. Feel free to come and get me if you need anything. I mean it. Room 136B.” He headed for the door.
“Okay, thanks.” Grabbing a heavy vinyl apron off the coat rack, I slid it over my head and tied it around my waist. The tie scratched at my back in the small sliver of space where my jeans and top failed to cover my skin.