“We’re going out,” Kelli announces as she stands, stretching her arms above her head and making her spine crack. I really hate it when she does that. “So put on some shoes and let’s go.”
“I don’t want to go out.” I sit up in bed and glance down at myself. Favorite faded pink T-shirt that has a hole in it, black leggings, no makeup on and my hair pulled back into a sloppy braid, I look like a train wreck.
“We’re just going down to the field. The summer soccer league has started practicing there every Tuesday and Thursday night.”
Hmm. Well, it is Thursday. And what’s the big deal about soccer? Blech. “Why do we want to watch them?”
“The dudes on the summer soccer league team are hot. And they always take their shirts off halfway through practice.” Kelli grins. “So throw on some flip flops or whatever and let’s go. It’ll take your mind off your womanly problem.”
“Fine,” I grumble as I grab my phone and stare at Shep’s text yet again. Should I answer him?
“Just answer him,” Kelli says like the total mind reader she is.
“What do I say?”
“What did he say?”
“He accused me of avoiding him.”
“He’s right. You are avoiding him, which is silly because even though he’s a guy, of course, he knows about periods and all that stuff.” She rolls her eyes and rests her hands on her hips.
“Yeah, he’s a guy who doesn’t know what the word commitment means so he’s probably never been with a girl long enough to have to deal with her period.” I ignore my phone and stand, slipping on my flip flops that are under my desk. I grab my small purse—the one I keep a couple of tampons in—and shove my phone inside, then sling it across my body. “I think I can get away with putting him off for the next few days.”
“Playing hard to get does seem to work,” Kelli points out.
“See? Then that’s what I’m doing. I’m playing hard to get.” This entire situation is ridiculous. I’m not a game player. I never have been.
“No, you’re avoiding him because you have cramps. That’s a whole different scenario,” Kelli says. “You should take birth control pills. It would make your periods shorter and less crampy.”
I shrug. There’s been no point. I haven’t had frequent enough sex to warrant birth control. Besides, what’s wrong with making the guy wear a condom? “Let’s just go,” I mumble, feeling grumpy. I don’t want to talk about birth control and sex. I could probably be having sex with Shep right now if I wasn’t dealing with my current issue.
My entire body flushes hot just at the thought of being with Shep like that. Naked. Having sex…
“Come on.” Kelli hooks her arm through mine. “Let’s go ogle hot guys without their shirts on. It’ll make you feel better.”
“I don’t know how,” I say as she drags me out of our room.
“Don’t you feel hornier when you’re on your period? Seeing dudes without their shirts on is just the fix you need,” Kelli informs me.
“God, you’re gross,” I say as I start to laugh. Though she has a point. I have been feeling a little…hotter lately. I just figured it was from my constant rehashing of the kissing incident with the hottest kisser on earth. Shepard Prescott.
If they handed out medals for kissing, he would most definitely win the top prize.
“You won’t think I’m gross when you see those shirtless hunks out on the field. Trust me,” Kelli says firmly.
I don’t bother to protest. I figure she’s probably right.
I’m just sitting down on the bottom bench of the bleachers, sucking in a breath as my butt connects with the cool metal when I catch a flash of a certain someone running by. My body goes on instant high alert.
Freaking Shep. Shirtless Shep. Running like a madman out on the field while chasing a little black and white ball Shep.
I turn an accusatory eye on Kelli, who holds her hands up in mock innocence. “You knew he’d be here.”
Kelli drops her hands and shrugs. “I was hoping for it.”
“Damn it, Kell. I look like terrible.” I glance down at myself. Ah crap, my leggings have a hole in them too. Right at the knee. I feel bloated and still a little crampy. My hair is falling out of the braid slowly but surely, and my pedicure is for shit. Chipped Kiss Me I’m Brazilian coats my toes. Sort of.
“You look fine. He won’t notice you anyway. He’s way too focused out on that field,” Kelli says nonchalantly.
“Thanks for the uplifting speech,” I mutter as she bumps her shoulder into mine.
“Please. You whine when you’re afraid he’ll see you, you whine when you think he won’t.” Kelli shakes her head. “Just watch him. It’s fun. Trust me.”
“You’ve done this before?” I’m almost afraid to turn my attention back to the field. What if watching Shep run around in shorts and no shirt for too long makes me do something stupid? Like…drool?
Hey. It could happen.
“By complete accident. I was out here last week and stopped to watch because, hello. Who wouldn’t? While you were writhing around on the bed clutching your stomach earlier, I knew I needed to do something to help perk up your mood. I figured you might want a covert glimpse of your precious Shep, so now you’re here. You’re welcome.”
“I didn’t say thank you.” Though I guess I should be thankful for a glimpse of shirtless Shep. I can’t even look yet, I’m so afraid I’ll be dazzled to death.
“Well, you should because the man is a sex god. Seeing him without a shirt on makes me want to weep with joy.” She turns to stare out at the field, tipping her head to the side. “We need to figure out which one has the sexiest back. He’s a strong contender.”
“Sexiest back?” Slowly, carefully, I turn my head, my gaze snagging on him immediately.
Of course. It’s like I’m automatically drawn to him no matter what.
“Mmm, hmm. Haven’t you ever noticed how sexy a man’s back is? All sleek and full of muscle and covered in smooth, smooth skin.” She sighs dreamily, her gaze riveted on the field. “They’re all contenders. Look at them.”
I study them. Him. Damn it, just him. It’s like my eyes refuse to look at any of the others scrambling out on that field. He’s wearing black shorts that hang to his knees. That’s it. Oh, and shoes of course. But they don’t count because he’s not wearing a shirt and just like Kelli said, all I can see is sleek, smooth, smooth skin. His shoulders. His chest. His abs. Good lord, his abs. Defined with ridges of muscle and covered in the faintest sheen of sweat, accentuating every dip and curve of his body. He slows down some, resting his hands on his hips, lifting one bent arm to wipe the sweat off his brow, his hair a haphazard, damp mess.
I clamp my lips shut hard to prevent the drooling.
“Please tell me this isn’t the first time you’ve seen him without a shirt on,” Kelli says out of the side of her mouth.
“It’s the first time,” I admit, not bothering to look at her, afraid she’ll mock me.
She sighs. “You two seriously blow my mind. Why haven’t you done it yet? This goes against every Shep is a man-whore story I’ve ever heard. And I’ve heard a lot of stories about his man-whore status.”