We Were Once - Page 20

“We wouldn’t. You never have any money.”

I chuckle, walking to my Bronco parked in the back. Between the guys harassing me about not going and my mind dwelling on a certain pair of green eyes, I climb into the cab and sit back.

Mulling over the last week, I purposely let Chloe lead. It was her who pulled me into the lab and kissed me like we were about to get caught. She loves to control everything, including our meetups, which makes me think she’s gotten away with it for too long. Does no one in her life challenge her? She’s whip-smart and her humor is as dry as a desert and always makes me laugh. She can hold her own, dish it out, and take it.

With that killer body, she’s basically the perfect woman.

So why is she single?

There’s so much left to discover about the divine Miss Fox, but I’m still left wondering what happens when she loses the upper hand.

Guess there’s only one way to find out.

7

Chloe

Slipping on pajamas, I whip my hair into a towel on my head and brush my teeth before settling on the edge of the bed to slather on lotion. My gaze darts to the clock on the nightstand. You would think I had coffee tonight by how wide-awake I am. I’m usually in bed by now. Instead, my mind is wired.

After wasting an hour daydreaming about a certain guy’s lips, tongue, and the way he holds my waist like I might slip away has caused my thoughts to deviate from my routine, so I took a room temperature shower in hopes to cool off without getting too cold.

It didn’t take my mind off him, though. It only made matters worse. I’m starting to sound like Ruby. I need to get my mind off sex and back on my goals. Graduation. Med school. Columbia. Focus, Chloe.

But kissing him amongst the photographs at the gallery had me feeling powerful and naughty, something I’ve never felt before. And I liked it. I still do. I’ve started devising plans, excuses really, to kiss him again. Like a multitude of plots to have those lips against mine as soon as I can.

I’m starting to wonder what sleeping with him would be like.

One word—combustible.

I huff, lying on the bed, utterly frustrated with myself. I’ve lost time that I didn’t have to spare, and I’m pretty sure I’ve literally been objectifying him. I’m a terrible human. I’m glad Frankie can’t read my mind.

Oh, good God. What have I become?

I’m not too far gone. I can name at least three other qualities that I’ve begun to admire about Joshua Evans.

1. Although it was a box of dirt, the gift for Frankie was one of the most thoughtful I’ve ever received.

2. The camaraderie between him and his mom is quite endearing.

3. He doesn’t pretend he’s something he’s not. Though I could argue that you get more than what you see.

And for the bonus round, the way he lives—fearlessly—is enviable. He makes up his own rules. Does it count for me finding balance if I find someone who balances me?

Too tired to deal with drying my hair, I get up and wander into the living room with the towel stacked high on my head. In the kitchen, I could kick myself for not going to the store today. With a carton of eggs, cheese, and olives, I don’t have much of a selection. Olives it is. I pull the jar out and try to cram my fingers in when a slew of rapid-fire texts send my phone buzzing across the coffee table.

Abandoning the olive jar, I hurry over. My suspicions that it’s Ruby on another bad date are wrong.

There on my phone is the word Soulmate staring back at me above the text messages.

Who’s Soulmate?

The moment I say it, I know who it is. Well, that and the message clued me in: I miss your lips on mine.

Grinning ear to ear, I type: Who is this?

My phone rings. Acting oblivious to the previous texts, I answer, “Hello?”

“What do you mean who’s this? How many strapping, six-foot-two guys are you kissing these days?”

I’d laugh but torturing him is more fun, so I hold my reaction steady. “Six foot two? Are you sure about that?”

“Positive—”

“I’ll pack a measuring tape in my backpack for the next time I see you—”

Knock. Knock.

I practically jump in giddiness that he’s come to see me until I realize that I’m in my pajamas without a stitch of makeup and a towel twisted around my wet head. I panic and run around the apartment, but there’s nothing to clean.

Remembering how Ruby’s life is seen in her décor from the tiny bells above the window to the colorful cushions. I look around mine and it has no life. This is not the apartment of a co-ed who is fun and flirty, doing exciting things, and has stories to share.

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