“You mean was he interested in ha**ng s*x with me?” She smirked, trying to figure out how to carry this out and toy with me. “Maaaaybe. Why do you care?”
“I don’t. Of course.” I looked around the room, anywhere but at her. Why did I care?
“So you were hot for Ben, now you’re hot for Madoc, and secretly hot for Jared?” I could tell by her pursed lips that she was trying to contain laughter.
“You’re baiting me. Knock it off,” I warned playfully and changed the subject. “Alright, dress shopping this weekend. Preferably Saturday after the meet.”
Grinning and looking at me out of the corner of her eye, she walked to the door and grabbed her jacket off my bed. “See ya later, Hot Mama.”
I grabbed my running shoe off the floor and hurled it at the door as she left. She squealed as she ran down the stairs laughing.
“I think you should know…” a snippy female voice came up beside me the next day at my locker. I turned to see Piper, whose last name I had yet to discover, giving me the stink-eye right before she slammed my locker door shut, missing my nose by centimeters. “…that Jared is not interested in you. Back off.” Her warning came with a raised eye brow and laughable duckface lips.
Really? She was making this too easy.
“So are you naturally insecure or just with Jared?” I innocently inquired, enjoying a weaker opponent a little too much.
“I’m not insecure. I just protect what’s mine.” I could see up her nostrils with how high she held her sharp nose. She stuck her hands in the back pockets of her jeans, pushing her D cup chest further in my face.
Taking in her look, I felt insecure. She was sexy in her skin tight jeans and red halter top shirt. My look screamed goodie-goodie in my tight but not too tight jeans and black peasant blouse. She was stylishly adorned with silver bracelets and high-heeled sandals. Really? Sandals in October? My wrists were covered in rubber bracelets.
I wouldn’t change for any guy, but I could see why guys found girls like her attractive. My skin burned to think that she had slept with Jared. He’d been on her body, inside of her.
My head started to ache. I fought the urge to give in to my jealous rage when I really just wanted to rip her hair out.
I picked up my bag from the floor and stuffed my Physics and French books inside. I opted to spend lunch in the library today, since I wanted to avoid Madoc and let K.C. have some time with Liam.
When I didn’t say anything, she continued, “Every time I turn around, there you are making a spectacle of yourself, getting his attention.”
“He’s yours?” I asked calmly, remembering Jared’s and my two-almost-three kisses. “Does he know that?”
Her expression faltered, but she quickly recovered. “Jared’s a bad boy. He is what he is, and I can handle that. But if you come after him, you’ll have to deal with me.”
“He is what he is, huh?” For once, I felt no nervousness. My attack matched hers, and I wanted to see it out. “What’s his favorite color? What’s his mother’s name? His favorite food? When’s his birthday? Why does he hate the smell of bleach? Which band could he listen to every day for the rest of his life?”
Piper narrowed her eyes at me. Clearly, she was at a loss. Moreover, she was annoyed, because I was insinuating that I had the answers to these questions while she didn’t. And I did.
I put my hand up before she retorted. “Rest easy, kitty cat. I’m not after him. But don’t ever threaten me again, or I’ll make a real big spectacle of myself. Got it?” Without waiting for her comeback, I twisted on my red ballet flat and headed toward the library.
“I do know where he goes on the weekends,” she called behind me. “Do you?”
I turned around, the hairs on my neck prickling with interest. Piper seemed satisfied with my puzzled expression and gave me a smug smile before turning around and walking away.
That’s right. He was gone most weekends. But where?
As far as I knew, he spent most Friday nights at the Benson farm, but the rest of his weekend was a mystery. There was usually a party at his place on either Friday or Saturday nights, so it’s not like he’d disappear all weekend. But she was right. I had no idea where he was during the days. I assumed at work.
The rest of the school day I was a shadow in my classes as my mind was consistently preoccupied with ideas about Jared’s whereabouts on the weekends, his scars, and that summer three years ago.
His constant stare on me during Themes was my only distraction as I tried to form a mental list of what I knew and what I didn’t. And what I truly knew about Jared wasn’t much anymore.
An idea popped in my head, sending a thrilling heat through my chest. It was Tuesday, and I had my lab after school today. But some afternoon this week I needed to do a little recon work. Hopefully, he still kept his window unlocked.
“Are we heading into Chicago to dress shop this weekend? We’re already behind. The selection probably sucks by now,” K.C. pointed out as I drove her home from school Friday afternoon. She was heading to the races tonight, and although Madoc had invited me to be his “co-pilot,” I had other plans.
“I have that meet tomorrow morning, but it’s local. Can you come? We can get a late breakfast afterwards and head into the city.” Downshifting to second as I slowed and rounded the corner to her house, I noticed Liam’s car parked in front of her two-story red brick colonial.