“I don’t think he’s looking for romance.” I faced her. “I think he’s looking to get laid.”
She rolled her eyes. “How do you know that?”
“Um, let’s see. He’s pretty damn vocal about not doing relationships. Based on Tanner’s dating history—or should I call it, hook-up history, because I don’t think he really dates—I’m going to go with, he’s looking to get laid.”
“People change. Kyler did.”
“That’s because he was always in love with you.”
Syd smiled brightly. “True. But maybe Tanner has always—”
“Oh my God, don’t even finish that statement.” I snickered. “Because that would just be absurd.”
“Okay. Fine. Are you looking for a relationship?” she challenged.
I opened my mouth to say no, but I snapped my jaw shut. I had no idea if I was or not. I wasn’t actively seeking one, but if a good thing fell in my lap, I wouldn’t toss it away. And even though I probably wouldn’t throw Tanner out of my lap either, I knew he wasn’t a good thing. Well, that was a complete lie. He would be a great thing, but there was no way someone like him wouldn’t grow tired of me—of my bullshit. Sometimes I was tired of it.
I shrugged as I glanced back outside. Tanner was standing next to the pool, hands on his hips. He was staring at the doors, and I stepped back, feeling my cheeks heat. Thank God he couldn’t hear us. “I don’t know. I mean, who wouldn’t go slut-a-roo for him?”
Her laughter filled the kitchen. “Slut-a-roo? Hooking up with someone doesn’t make you a slut.”
“That I know for sure.” I sent her a cheeky grin over my shoulder, and she laughed again. “I don’t know. It’s just weird. It’s just…” I nibbled on my lower lip. “I’ve never told you this, because honestly, I never saw the point and it was before I knew you, but…I met Tanner my freshman year.”
There was a pause and then, “What?”
Wincing, I swore she’d hit a decibel higher than normal. I watched Tanner dive into the pool. “Well, we didn’t really meet. He had no idea who I was. He was just in two of my classes, but I had the biggest crush on him.”
“Why did you never mention this before?”
I shrugged and then faced her. “When I say he had no idea who I was, I’m not kidding. After my freshman year, I didn’t think I’d really see him again, just around campus, but then he turned up at the bar with Kyler that one night.”
She eyed me closely. “Okay. Now your attitude toward him is starting to make sense, and I know it’s more than just him not seeing you or paying attention. What did he do?”
My cheeks started to burn. “Remember Clara Hansen? She was my roommate my freshman and sophomore year.”
“Um. Yeah. A little. She wasn’t at your dorm a lot. That I remember.” Syd joined me at the door.
“Well, she had one of those classes with me. Clara had to know that I had the hots for him, because I think I drooled on myself every time he walked into a lecture. I mean, I never told her that I did, but… Whatever, it doesn’t matter.” I took another drink, enjoying the burn it made cascading down my throat. “One night I was studying at the library and came back to the dorm late. Clara wasn’t alone. She was in bed and she was most definitely having sex.”
“Oh. Oh no.” Syd groaned. “Let me guess. She was with Tanner?”
“What a bitch!”
“Like I said, I never told her that I liked him and I never even talked to him.”
Anger pinched her pretty face. “Whatever. How in the world does he not remember you when you walked in on them?”
“He was um…he was busy, and the moment I saw who it was, I backed out of that room faster than I’ve ever moved.” I finished off the bottle. “He had to have known someone had opened the door, but he doesn’t know it was me. And I know it’s stupid, but that whole situation has always bothered me.”
“I can see why,” she said quietly.
Walking over to the garbage can, I tossed the empty bottle. “But it’s dumb. Because he didn’t know me. I totally recognize that. I like to think I’ve matured a bit since then.” I laughed when Syd raised her brows at me. “So, yeah, that’s that.”
“What are you going to do about it now?” she asked.
I shook my head. “I don’t know.”
A slow grin spread across her face. “Well, I think you’ll figure it out. But only if you come outside and stop hiding.”
The hamburgers Andrea made were literally the best damn burgers I’d ever tasted, and I tried to tell her that, but she’d spent the better part of our little cookout up Syd’s ass, and now that it was dusk, we hadn’t exchanged more than a handful of words.
If I didn’t know better, I’d think she was avoiding me.
And I wasn’t down for that as I was feeling rather attention-seeking at the moment, especially since the lovebirds were plastered to each other in the shallow end of the pool. Syd was in Kyler’s lap, and I really hoped there were no shenanigans going on.
Sitting on the ledge of the pool with my legs dangling into the water, I leaned forward as Andrea came back outside. Arms crossed under her chest, she came to the edge of the pool and looked at me.