Safe Bet (The Rules 4) - Page 39

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But I keep my hands firmly locked on the steering wheel.

Sydney’s on her phone, sending a text to someone, but I say nothing. Wait for her to volunteer the information instead. “I let Fable know I’m not coming home tonight.”

Uh oh. “What did she say?”

“She told me to have fun.” She rolls her eyes and starts to laugh softly. “So embarrassing, and kind of weird. I sort of admitted without saying it out loud that I’m spending the night with you.”

Does she think I’m bringing her home only to get her in my bed? That’s not the case. Not really. Though I’d like to get her in my bed, I won’t push…

“I want you to know, I have zero expectations tonight.”

“Well, that’s kind of insulting.” She sounds amused. I hope she is.

“I didn’t mean to insult you.” Now I’m the one laughing, though not at her. More like at the ridiculousness of the situation. “I just mean, whatever you want to do, I’m up for. If you don’t want to do anything, I’m okay with that too.”

“Honestly? I don’t know what I want. It’s not like I plan this sort of thing out, you know? It usually just—happens.”

“Same.” It’s all I can manage to say. Sex is sex. It happens or it doesn’t. I never put much thought leading up to it. No expectations, no emotions, none of that. I treat it like a form of release. Sometimes I’m having it with a fun or hot girl, which always makes sex better.

Like Sydney. She’s fun. She’s hot. The two of us together would probably be pretty damn good.

“A bunch of prep beforehand and candles and silk sheets and rose petals isn’t my style,” she continues.

“Mine either.”

“So you’re not a romantic?”

“Not even close,” I say, shaking my head. “I’m just a guy.”

She’s laughing again. “A big, sexy guy.”

My head whips to the right, studying her. “You think I’m sexy?”

“Um, yeah.” Her tone is pure duh, which hey, is flattering. “You’re good-looking and you know it. Plus, you have a lot of muscles.”

I keep my gaze fixed straight ahead, ignoring the good-looking comment. Over the years, I’ve heard plenty from friends and teammates about my pretty face. It’s annoying. A detriment most of the time, I swear. “Training all those years gave them to me. I used to be a wimp.”

“Right. Well, you’re definitely not a wimp now.” She slaps her hands over her cheeks, comically embarrassed. “I can’t believe we’re having this conversation.”

“I can’t either.” I grin, pressing my foot on the gas a little harder. I can’t wait to get her home.

We make it back to my apartment in record time, and as we climb out of my truck, I start to worry. I don’t have much furniture. A single couch in the living room along with a big screen TV mounted on the wall and my PS4 set up. I have a king-sized bed in the master bedroom and a couple of bar stools at the kitchen counter. That’s it, furniture-wise. Hell, I don’t even have a dresser in my bedroom. All of my clothes are shoved into the walk-in closet.

I haven’t had time to go furniture shopping and I couldn’t give a shit about knickknacks and that kind of stuff. Once the season schedule starts in earnest, I won’t be around much anyway. I don’t need anything beyond the basics for now.

“This is a nice complex,” Sydney says as we head down the walkway toward my apartment building. It’s dark so she can’t see much, but maybe she’s just trying to make conversation.

“Thanks. I chose it because it’s so close to the stadium. I didn’t want to be too far away.”

“Smart.” She looks around. “It seems very quiet here.”

“It’s quiet because it’s late at night,” I tease, and she just rolls her eyes at me in response.

Yeah. She’s definitely nervous, not that I can blame her. I glance down at her, trying to fight the warmth that’s taking over my chest but failing miserably. There are so many things about this girl…

I like how tiny Sydney is. I like how much bigger I am than her too. Makes me feel like I can take care of her, protect her. Not that she can’t take care of herself, but the more time I spend around her, the more I feel almost…caveman around her. Like I want to keep what I think is mine.

Fucking ridiculous, right?

I like her attitude, her personality, how easy she is to talk to, her sparkling blue eyes and her pretty smile. I like how feisty she can be, how honest she’s been, how worried she is that I might think less of her because of a couple stupid decisions she’s made.

She’s young. I’ve done stupid shit, too. Who am I to judge?

Resting my hand on her lower back, I guide her to my apartment, where I unlock the door and lead her inside. I go to the kitchen and flick on the overhead switch, illuminating the space, and she stands in the middle of my living room, taking in everything.

“It’s very…empty,” she says when her gaze meets mine.

I shrug. “I haven’t had much time for furniture shopping lately. Just went for the essentials.”

“Like a PlayStation 4?” She’s teasing me again.

“Hey, every guy needs one of those in his life.”

“What if I told you I stopped dating a guy because I believed he liked his PS4 more than he liked me?”

Tags: Monica Murphy The Rules Romance