I’m sure he has. He’s a senior, like Shep and Gabe. They’ve been on this campus for three years, going on four. That’s a lot of girls for him to fuck.
He shoves his hands in the front pockets of his jeans, drawing the denim tight across his thighs. I can’t help but notice because damn it all to hell, the man is fine. Big ol’ muscular body with sexy arms and that face, those pretty blue eyes that are all-knowing and his beautiful mouth. But when he opens that beautiful, sexy mouth and spits out all those smarmy words, I can’t take it.
“Just know this.” I invade his space, resting my hands on his shoulders so I can rise up on tiptoe and whisper in his ear. “It could’ve been amazing between us, Tristan. But you fucked it up before we even had a chance.”
Alexandria releases her hold on my shoulders and steps away, her gaze never leaving mine. I catch a glimpse of it for one quick moment, all the pent up lust she’s feeling for me that matches exactly how I feel about her, but then it’s gone. Like it never existed.
Snuffed out like a lit match. One moment fire, the next moment…
“Bye Tristan,” she whispers just before she turns and walks away, leaving me alone in the hallway like a loser.
Which I am. A loser. Not only did I just lose my bet with Shep and one thousand fucking dollars, I also lost the girl. The fucking girl who with one look immobilizes me so that I can’t move, I can’t breathe.
I can’t do anything but bask in her presence.
She doesn’t look back and I let her go, my gaze lingering on her perfect ass, feeling the loss of her before she’s even out of sight. I lean against the wall, wait for a few minutes before I slowly walk back out into the casino area, hoping like hell no one notices me.
I’m still reeling from what she said. And how she said it.
Shep is nowhere to be found, the bastard. Alexandria is standing behind Steven as he sits at the single poker table we have open tonight, her hand resting on his shoulder like it belongs there.
“How’d it go?” Shep materializes behind me out of nowhere like a ghost. “Bang her yet?”
“I don’t move that fast,” I say out of the side of my mouth, my gaze unable to stray from Alexandria. It’s torture, watching her. Having her so close and unable to do anything about it.
“Why not? I used to,” he says smugly.
“I’m calling bullshit.” Shep was a smooth motherfucker but he wasn’t that smooth.
“Face reality, cuz.” I really fucking hate it when he calls me cuz. “That girl just iced your ass out. She hates you.”
“I’ll win her over,” I say confidently, hating how she squeezes Steven the dipshit’s shoulder when he wins a hand. “It takes time.”
“Ha, you don’t have time. You have to get her naked by the end of the night,” Shep points out. “And since when do you believe anything that involves a woman takes time?”
I turn on him and he takes a step back, that shit-eating grin still on his face. I want to do physical harm to him, swear to God. “We never put that condition on it. I have all the time in the world.”
The grin falls. “That’s cheating, bro.”
“I don’t think so, bro.” I smile, feeling pretty good right about now. “It might take a little while, but I’m winning this bet.”
“So you say,” he mutters.
“Want to make it double or nothing?” I ask.
He’s quiet for a moment, rubbing his jaw as he contemplates my suggestion. “She finds out you did this, she’ll hate your guts.”
I shrug, ignoring the sudden fear that makes my stomach bottom out. “She already hates my guts. What’s the difference?”
“The difference is she’ll hate you even more if you do this and she catches you. Especially if you two end up hooking up—all over a bet.” He takes a deep breath. “No double or nothing. Original deal we agreed on or I’m done. Jesus, Jade will kill me if she knows I’m encouraging you like this.”
Look at Shep and his conscious. “Then don’t tell her. Do you really have to confess everything you do and say to Jade?” I ask pointedly.
“Yeah, actually I do. We don’t keep secrets from each other.” He glares at me, all humor gone. “You don’t understand what it’s like.”
“I don’t want to understand. Trust me.” I whip out my phone and scroll through my contacts before I start typing.
“Who are you texting?” Shep sounds like he’s about to break out into a cold sweat and throw up his dinner. Nervous fucker.
“Not that it’s any of your business, but I’m texting Kelli.”
“She’s with Jade, you dumbass.” He tries to snag my phone out of my hands but I turn away before he can grab it.
“Scared of your girl that bad? Jesus, get a grip.” I keep my back to him as I finish my text and hit send.
I need a favor.
Kelli’s reply is almost immediate.
If you want to make out that would be a no.
I shake my head and reply.
I think you’re obsessed with me.
You wish. What do you want? I’m out with the girls.
I know. I need a phone number.
No reply for a few seconds and I can feel Shep pacing behind me. “You’re a dick,” he mutters.
“You’re the dick who’s scared of his girlfriend. Trust me, I’m not involving her in this.” I stare at my screen, willing a text to appear. And then it does.
I shouldn’t give it to you.
Why the hell not?
I don’t think she likes you that much. She’d probably be pissed if she knew I gave it to you.
Let me worry about that.
They’re all pissed at me. They all hate me. Because I say and do what I want and don’t give a shit what other people think. My heart is hard, just like my fucking soul and I flat out don’t care.
I’m becoming more and more like my old man every single day. It’s Mom who’s soft. Who lost her shit and almost took her life. It was his tough exterior and grim determination that got them through the hard times.
But you don’t have to deal with hard times if you let anyone into your heart, right?
A number appears on my screen, followed immediately by a reply from Kelli.
Tell her where you got this and I’ll kill you.
I immediately enter Alexandria’s number into my contacts before I answer Kelli.
Don’t worry. Your secret is safe with me. Thanks K.
I delete our conversation just to be sure.
“You’re going about this all wrong,” Shep tells me.
I barely look at him. I’m too busy trying to figure out what exactly do I say to Alexandria.
“There are rules you know,” he continues.
“Like what? You broke all those rules with Jade remember? One and done and all that shit. You’re a non-believer.” Christ, what do I say to her without coming across as a dick? And she thinks I’m the dick to end all dicks.
Should I apologize?
Yeah. I should. Chicks love it when you say sorry. But no groveling. I don’t think I need to stoop to that level yet.
I’m sorry if I hurt your feelings.