My phone vibrates in my hand, startling me so much I let out a muffled squeal. I check the screen and see it’s a text from Shep.
A long ass text. As in, that’s probably what took him so long to reply.
Giddy with excitement, I open my phone and read the text, my gaze skipping over the words, hurrying along to the end and I blink hard, resuming my attention to the first, heart stopping sentence so I can savor this moment, damn it.
I regret not kissing you. I should’ve. Having that sexy mouth of yours so close to mine, I should’ve gone for it. But I meant what I said. I don’t want you to forget everything when it does happen. Because it’s going to, that I can promise. All I can think about is your lips. You have the most amazing fucking lips I’ve ever seen. Has anyone ever told you that? Because if they haven’t, or worse, they haven’t noticed, they’re fucking idiots. I have fantasies about those lips. I’m having one right now. Fantasies and regret because holy shit, Jade, I really wish you were in my bed with me.
Oh. Wow. Is he sexting me? This feels like he’s sexting me. I should answer him with some witty, scorching hot reply, but what do I say?
I decide to go for it. Make it funny, not necessarily scorching hot because what if I screw that up? If I try for serious it’ll end up funny but the wrong kind of funny.
So are you saying my lips provide you plenty of masturbation material?
My finger hovers over the send button and I press it before I chicken out. He immediately responds.
I don’t know whether I want to laugh or die a little inside. That I’m Shep’s beat off material is just so…weird.
And exciting. Definitely exciting.
Well our conversation just turned awkward. Good night. Sweet dreams. :)
I wait for his reply, my eyelids drooping, my entire body relaxing. My phone buzzes one last time in my hand and I check the message, smiling as I read it.
Sweet dreams sexy lips.
“So. The redhead.” Gabe studies me after shoveling a forkful of waffle into his mouth, chewing with narrowed eyes. “I thought you had no interest in her,” he says almost accusingly after he swallows.
I shrug, not willing to explain myself. I can’t explain myself. Worse, I don’t know what possessed me to send those texts to Jade last night, like some sort of lovesick boy waxing poetic over a girl’s lips. Granted, her mouth is what a man dreams of finding wrapped around his dick, not going to lie, but there’s more to it than that. More to her than that.
I just can’t put my finger on it.
“He likes the challenge,” Tristan says after taking a giant gulp of coffee. He’s already cleaned his plate and is probably itching to leave. We meet on occasion at this breakfast house not too far from campus, especially on Mondays when all three of us don’t have class until later in the morning or early afternoon.
Or not at all, like Gabe. That we were able to drag his lazy ass out of bed on a Monday morning says something about his need for a greasy breakfast.
“What do you mean?” I ask defensively, setting my fork down. The small restaurant is busy, the waitresses hustling to and fro, the booths filled with locals and the occasional group of college students like us. There’s a cluster of five girls sitting in the booth directly across from us, all of them making eyes in our direction.
We ignore them. They look young. I usually don’t like them young as I get older, but somehow Jade is an exception.
Breathing deep, I finish off my coffee, pissed at myself. I need to stop thinking about Jade all the fucking time. One night with her—I barely touched her and didn’t even kiss her—and I act like I’m completely sprung.
“She’s not interested in you. Or, she is, but only when she’s drunk,” Tristan explains, a giant smile on his face. The asshole. Should’ve never told them what happened last night between Jade and me. “And they’re all interested in you. Interested in us. You want the challenge. You want to prove to her that you can get her to fall under your spell just like the rest of them.”
I don’t say a word. Maybe he’s right? No female has ever challenged me before beyond my mother and my sisters and that just comes with the family territory.
“Valid point,” Gabe says, like we’re having some sort of scientific discussion in class. “When I saw them together a couple nights ago, she was putting out some pretty hateful vibes.”
“That’s because you interrupted us.” I almost had her that night at the party. Hell, I could’ve had her last night, but she was drunk. Behaving strangely. I meant every word I said to her. I didn’t want her to forget, or full of regret afterward. I wanted her into me. Into us.
“And so you pushed her off last night, why?” Tristan asks, turning to look at me. His gaze is razor sharp as he waits for my answer. “Because you were trying to be a gentleman or some such bullshit?”
I push my plate away, smiling up at the waitress when she stops by and pours me another cup of coffee before she darts off. “She was too drunk.”
Gabe snorts. “There is no such thing as a girl who is too drunk to fuck.”
“Are you even listening to yourself right now? You sound like a complete asshole.” He sounds like me approximately four days ago, before I met Jade.
Has it really only been four days? Unbelievable.
“And so do you,” Tristan quickly adds, jabbing a finger in my direction. “All panties look the same once they hit the floor, bro. Or when they get lost in a tangle of sheets in your bed. There is nothing special about this girl’s panties. Trust me. They’re all the same.”
“Damn, simmer down, T. Who burned you to make you so bitter?” Gabe asked, making me crack up.
Tristan shrugs then leans over and snatches a piece of toast off my plate, taking a bite. “My motto is to keep my heart out of it.”
“Right, making you a heartless bastard,” Gabe says with a slight sneer. “It’s all about fun while we’re in college. Nothing serious. If you’re upfront with a girl, they get it right away.”
“Oh yeah? And how’s Meadow?” I ask Gabe, making him frown in confusion.
“Meadow. The girl you were with Saturday night when you so rudely interrupted me and Jade,” I remind him. I knew he’d answer like that. They’re giving me a bunch of shit? Gabe is the epitome of the love ‘em and leave ‘em guy.
“Oh, yeah. Meadow.” Gabe smiles fondly. “She has a great rack. Decent kisser.”
“Right,” I say sarcastically. “Surprised you can remember. You didn’t even know who I was talking about until I reminded you.”
“Hey, at least I closed the deal with her, unlike you and your redheaded babe,” Gabe throws back at me accusingly. “I’m not here to find my future wife or anything like that. Real life’s barreling down on all of us and we’ll have to face it sooner or later. May as well enjoy our time here while we can, right?”
“I’m not looking for my future wife,” I say, ignoring the panic rising within me at the word wife. Fuck no, that is the last thing I want. Gabe is seriously reminding me of my mother right now. And that’s not a compliment. “I barely know this girl.”
“You’ve never, ever wanted to spend more than one night with a girl,” Tristan points out. “And you always close the deal, as Gabe so aptly described. You’re all about closing the deal. I’ve always admired your abilities in being able to close the deal with every single girl you encounter.”