“So he’s a contender?”
“For you.” He takes a step forward, coming closer and I want to throw my hands up in front of myself to make him stop. “You want him? Steven?”
“I…” My voice drifts. The answer is no. I’m not going to play either of these guys, and I’m definitely not going to play them against each other. “He’s a friend.”
“Just like I’m a friend?”
“I wouldn’t call us friends.”
“You want to be friends with me, Alexandria?”
Is he for real? “Do you want to be my friend, Tristan?”
“No.” He shakes his head and for the quickest moment I’m disappointed. Sad. Upset. All of it. “I want to get you naked and fuck you. Big difference.”
My mouth drops open. He is… “You’re unbelievable.”
“I’m honest. That’s what makes it so hard to deal with, you know?” He comes toward me and I back up, my butt hitting the wall. Again. Why does he always corner me? Because he knows at first chance I’ll just run and hide? “You can’t tell me you didn’t feel it when we kissed.”
“Feel what?” I ask weakly. He’s so close. His chest brushes against mine and I tilt my head back, my gaze meeting his. His eyes burn with an intensity that seems to touch something deep within me, making it incredibly hard to breathe.
“This.” He touches my hair, tucks a strand behind my ear so gently I have to close my eyes against the intense wave of desire that washes over me. “You feel it,” he whispers. “I touch you and it’s like electricity sparks between us. I look into your eyes and I feel like I’m fucking drowning. And when I kiss you, I never want to stop.”
I press my lips together, waiting for the touch of his mouth on mine. I expect it. Want it. So bad I can taste it.
But it doesn’t come.
Slowly I open my eyes to find him watching me, yet not touching me. “You know I can make it worth your while,” he murmurs as he runs his thumb across his jaw, across his lips. Lips I want to touch. It’s like he’s taunting me and I don’t doubt for an instant this is planned. He knows what he’s doing. “But you’re not brave enough to let go.”
“Are you calling me a chicken?” I ask.
He nods, a tiny smile curving his perfect mouth. “Yeah.”
“If you think that’s going to spring me into action, you’re wrong.” I shift away from the wall and circle around him, drawing closer to my bed. “It’s late. You should go.”
“Sure.” He shoves his hands into his pockets and hunches his shoulders, his face completely unreadable. Downright innocent looking, which is not very Tristan-like. “Whatever you want, Alexandria.”
“I want you to leave,” I say again, more to myself than to him.
“Okay. I’m leaving.” His smile grows. “Can I text you tomorrow?”
I shake my head. “Absolutely not.”
He chuckles and makes his way toward the door. I ignore the disappointment crashing through me. He needs to go. His being here is dangerous. I’ll do something crazy like let him stay. Take off his clothes. Take off my clothes. Slip into my bed. Together. Just the two of us.
And it would be amazing.
“See that’s the thing about your nice guy Steven. He asks if he can text you, if he can see you. And you always say yes.” He turns to face me. “When I asked just now, you say no. But it works for him. He’s so damn polite you can’t help but agree, right?”
I nod slowly, wondering where he’s going with this.
“Me? I don’t ask. I just take. I don’t smile and kick the ground, act like I’m some bashful asshole, hoping like hell you fall for it. I don’t waste my time with games. I go after what I want.”
His blunt and twisted honesty is somehow working on me. “And what do you want?”
“You.” He takes three steps and he’s suddenly in front of me, his hand curling around my neck as he pulls me in, pressing a hard, quick kiss to my lips. “I’ll see you tomorrow,” he murmurs, releasing his hold on me and going back to the door.
I say nothing, my lips still tingling from his kiss. He opens the door, turning to face me with a smile. “Night Alexandria.”
The door shuts behind him before I can say another word.
“You’re mean.” I slump into the chair and glare at Kelli from across the table. She sips from her Starbucks cup, the little smile she’s wearing smug as hell. “Why are we meeting so early on a Sunday again?”
“To get this hellish task over and done with for the day. Kind of like ripping off a Band Aid you know? Quick and easy,” she says with a yawn. Guess the Starbucks isn’t kicking in just yet. “Besides, it’s not that early.”
I say nothing, leaping from the chair when I hear my name called. I grab my drink from the counter and head back to our table, hoping the triple espresso shot I added to my regular PSL will do the trick and wake me up.
Yet again another bad night of restless sleep. What a surprise. All I could do was run over everything that happened in my mind, the moments playing in a constant loop. The kiss. The kisses. I couldn’t let those go when I should. I so should. He’s such a player he’s probably already kissed two girls since he was last with me. The asshole.
Tristan is going to drive me to taking sleeping pills I’m sure.
“Is ten really too early for you on a Sunday morning?” Kelli asks when I settle back in at our table. She sounds concerned, which is hilarious. Though Mama Kelli does rear her ugly head on such occasions.
“Well, yeah. With school and now my new work schedule in the mix, I think Sunday’s going to end up being my one morning I get to really sleep in, you know? So I want to savor my delicious warm bed, not worry about studying for our stupid stats quiz. I worked really hard yesterday. I was tired, you saw me.” Well, that’s not necessarily a lie. I was tired after working yesterday. But it was Tristan who kept me awake. Tristan and his magic hands and lips and words…oh, his words.
They are the worst. Yet they’re also such an incredible turn-on. What guy tells you he’s not nice? That he just takes what he wants?
A hot guy like Tristan, that’s who.
“We never did talk about your first day on the job.” Kelli takes a sip of her drink. “How was it?”
“I liked it. The owner, Sandie, is really nice and easy to talk to. She’s giving me around fifteen hours a week at first and she’ll give me a few more if I think I can handle it.”
“That’s awesome. I’m so happy for you!” Kelli leans over and grabs her backpack, unzipping it so she can pull out our statistics book. “You ready for this?”
No. I never will be either. I despise this class. “Isn’t it counterproductive to cram for a test in the morning when we won’t be taking it until at least twenty four hours later? Actually closer to thirty six?”
“It was the only time I could fit this in. I have to write a paper this afternoon. I’m meeting with my study group over at the library.” Kelli flips open her book and grimaces at what greets her. “God, what does all this stuff even mean?”