“What are you talking about?” I sit up and swing my legs over the couch so I’m in a sitting position. I scrub a hand over my face, smooth my hair away from my eyes and focus in on the guys who are all sitting on the floor or on giant beanbags playing what appears to be an intense round of Call of Duty.
One of them who just so happens to be Tristan Prescott.
Gasping, my hand flies to my mouth, then back over my hair. Oh my God, I must look an absolute wreck. I’m wearing yoga pants and an old sweatshirt that’s so baggy I can get away without wearing a bra.
As in, I look like shit.
Why is he playing video games with my roommates? I turn to glare at Kelli and she looks so freaking amused I know she had a hand in this.
“What the hell is Tristan doing here?” I hiss-whisper.
Kelli sends me a look. “Be careful. He might hear you and you’ll hurt his feelings,” she cautions.
“He doesn’t have any feelings,” I return.
She considers what I said and nods. “You’re probably right. He’s pretty much the biggest asshole I know.” She grins and shoves my shoulder, making me almost topple over. “But he came to see you, Alex. Can you believe it? He can have any girl he wants and he’s choosing you.”
She says it like it’s some sort of twisted honor. Whatever.
“For tonight,” I mumble because it’s true. I don’t want to be another conquest, another notch in his bedpost or however that saying goes. And that’s all I’ll be to Tristan. We don’t know each other. And I don’t want to get to know him, as a friend or otherwise. That’s a situation I’d rather avoid altogether.
“You should go say hi,” Kelli encourages.
I study him. He doesn’t even see me, which isn’t a surprise. Those gorgeous blue eyes are locked on the big screen TV, his long fingers curled around the controller, and they’re moving as fast as possible as he starts shooting up whatever it is that he’s found. The other guys are yelling at him, so many F-bombs are flying in the air I wince and he just grins as he keeps killing the bad guys.
Why does he have to be so gorgeous? It’s like it hurts to look at him. Dark hair curls around his neck. He’s wearing a white long sleeve thermal Henley—he must have a bunch of those thermal shirts and he must know how incredibly sexy he looks in them—and jeans, boots covering his feet, making him look rugged and sexy and God, I need to get out of here now before I do something stupid.
“I’m going to bed,” I tell Kelli as I stand.
The disappointment on her face can’t be missed. “Are you serious?” She stands as well, hands on hips, attitude in full force. “He came here for you.”
“He doesn’t look like he stayed for me. More like he stayed for Call of Duty.” I wave a hand at the TV.
“You were sleeping! What else was he supposed to do?” We’re yelling at each other but not one of those guys is paying us any attention.
“I don’t know, but I’m not going to stick around and wait for him to finish like one of his other female groupies.” I’m not mad that he’s here. Really. It’s just the fact that I’m supposed to run up and greet him like I’ve waited all night for him to make an appearance? Should I thank Kelli for getting him to come here?
I’m thinking that would be a no.
“Thanks for coming over,” I tell her truthfully. I’m glad she came. My other roommate Felisha went out on a date so I would’ve been the lone female among three other guys. Having Kelli here balanced it out and she was the one who convinced them to let us have a Mario Kart match, which had been a lot of fun. “I had a good time.”
“Me too.” Kelli pulls away from me, her mouth turned into a frown. “You should say something to him.”
“Like what? Glad you came over, have fun shooting up the bad guys?” I wave a hand. “Just let him have his fun. He won’t even notice I’m gone.”
I leave the living room before Kelli can say anything else. Knowing her, she’d try to convince me to stick around and I want to be alone with my thoughts.
Did he really come here to see me? Of course he did. He’s not friends with my roommates, and he’s definitely not friends with Steven. The only person he likes that’s inside my house at the moment is Kelli. Meaning she had something to do with his sudden appearance.
I’ll forgive her and let it slide this time. If she tries to do something similar again, I’ll be pissed. I don’t need Tristan Prescott brought into my house like some sort of prize.
I have enough problems on my own. I don’t need to add him to the mix.
Going about my nightly routine, I lock myself into the bathroom and wash my face, remove any lingering eye makeup and then lotion up my skin, not only my face but practically my entire body. I’m big on moisturizing, got the habit from my mom and I think it seriously helps.
Well, I’ll see if it’s still helping when I’m in my forties.
I exit the bathroom, pausing in the narrow hallway to hear what’s being said in the living room—constant shooting, guys’ voices. Kelli asks if anyone wants a beer and Jeff shouts that he wants to do a round of tequila shots. They all cheer in agreement and I hear the clinking of glasses as Jeff or Kelli rummages through the cupboards. I’m just assuming.
Tempted to go out there and ask for one, even though I just brushed my teeth. Hoping to catch Tristan’s attention. Hoping to talk to him, though I know it’s pointless. Dumb.
Annnd that’s my cue to go to bed.
Closing my bedroom door behind me, I turn the lock and quickly change out of my yoga pants and sweatshirt, slipping on a pair of one size too small shorts I bought at Victoria’s Secret when I was sixteen. They fit back then, but after constant washings and my ass spreading, now my butt cheeks practically hang out. So they’ve been regulated to sleep shorts. I tug on an old tank top—I sleep hot, I have ever since I was a kid—and am taking off my earrings when I hear a soft knock at my door.
I rush to it, shaking my head. “I thought we already said goodbye—” I start as I crack open the door, thinking that it’s Kelli. But it’s not.
His arms are above his head, his hands gripping the top of the doorframe, his biceps straining against the sleeves of his shirt. He looks…delicious. “We never even said hello,” he says, offering me the smallest smile.
A smile that says a lot, yet nothing at all.
“What do you want?” I ask quietly, clutching the door handle for dear life. It’s either that or let go and slither to the floor like a puddle of nothing at having him so close.
His jaw works, the muscle flexing in his cheek before he says, “I’m pretty sure you know exactly what I want.”
My knees grow weak at his words. Me. He’s referring to me. I pull the door closer, needing the barrier between us. I’m wearing hardly anything and I don’t want him to see me like this. No makeup, sloppy bun on my head. I’m a wreck. Plain and boring while he’s dazzling and gorgeous and all he has to do is stand there and breathe. “You don’t even know me.”
“Do we have to go over that tired explanation again?” he asks, sounding exasperated. The muscles in his arms flex, drawing my attention and I wonder what it would feel like, to have those arms around me. “I don’t need to know you in order for us to fu—”