Scorched (Frigid 2) - Page 56

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Andrea faced me, her face pale enough that the freckles stood out. She opened her mouth, but didn’t speak.

I took a step toward her, stopping when I saw her hands close into fists. Knowing her, I wouldn’t be surprised if she threw a punch. “I didn’t intend on doing that. Kissing you,” I admitted. “But I sure as hell do not regret doing it or anything we’ve shared, and you’re going to stand there and tell me you do?”

Her throat worked on a swallow. “I didn’t say that.”

“You didn’t?” My brows flew up. “You want to pretend I didn’t just kiss you? That you didn’t kiss me back?”

Color poured across her cheeks. “I didn’t kiss you back.”

“Oh, bullshit, Andy, you kissed me back. We both know that,” I said. “Your tongue was dancing just as much as mine was. Both of us are damn old enough to admit we liked something. I more than liked that. You can’t tell me you didn’t.”

She looked away, shaking her head as she folded her arms under her chest. “You…you don’t remember.”

“What?” I ran my hand over my head, clasping the back of my neck. “Are you talking about the classes you said we shared?” I still couldn’t believe that. There was no way I wouldn’t remember her.

“See? You don’t even remember seeing me, not once, but I noticed you.” The words came out in a rush, almost too hard to follow. “I had the biggest crush on you and every time we had class, I tried to work up the nerve to talk to you.” She laughed hoarsely. “Yeah. I was…I was practically horrified by the notion of going up to you and doing something stupid, but I never did work up the courage. Or maybe my roommate Clara just got to you first.”

There was that name again. Clara. I lowered my hand as a weird sensation filled me. Her roommate got to me first. I felt my stomach dip as an old, worn-out memory wiggled free—of me and this girl I’d met one night, at a UMD game…

Oh shit.

She stared at the deck. “I came back to the dorm late one night, and normally Clara hung a sock around the doorknob if she had someone with her, but she didn’t. I opened the door and—”

“You saw me with her,” I finished as the spotty memory formed. “Shit, Andy. I barely remember her.”

She snorted. “Nice.”

I winced. “Yeah, okay, that sounds bad, but it’s true. I remember the door to the room opening, but when I looked—”

“When you stopped screwing my roommate long enough to look,” she corrected.

Wow. Okay. “You’re right. Shit. I don’t know what to say, but I didn’t know you back then. I wish I had.” The truth of that statement surprised even me. “But I didn’t, and it’s probably a good thing. Obviously, I was a man-whore back then.”

“You’re not now?”

She was baiting me. I knew that, and, boy did it take everything for me not to fall for it. I felt like shit knowing that she had walked in on something like that. “I know this is no excuse, but we didn’t know each other. Not really. I’m sorry if I hurt you—”

“Just forget about it,” she snapped quickly, lifting a hand and thrusting her fingers through her hair. Curls shot in every direction. “It doesn’t matter now.”

“Obviously it fucking matters, because you’re still holding it against me,” I shot back. Striving to stay cool, I took a deep breath. “I am sorry, Andrea. Really. You walking in on something like that isn’t cool. The fact I don’t remember you isn’t either. Especially when you liked me. Did you really have a crush on me?” I said, hoping to lighten the conversation.

Frowning, she still didn’t look at me. “I did.”

My stomach dipped a little. “You still do.”

Her shoulders rose with a sigh, and it seemed like she was about to say something, but the door behind her opened and Kyler stuck his head out. He looked like he’d literally just woken up as he gave us a sleepy look.

“We’re hitting the road soon,” he announced. “But I’m going to make omelets.”

I started to tell Kyler he could shove the omelets in a place that would probably upset Syd, but what he said sank in. “Hitting the road?”

“Yeah.” He stepped out, shutting the door behind him. “Syd and I talked it over, and we think it’s best if we go ahead and cut this short and head home.”

“What?” Andrea said. “Why? We have two more days left.”

Kyler scrubbed his fingers through his messy hair. “We know, but both of us are ready to just get back to our place.”

I was calling bullshit on this.

So was Andrea. “It’s because of last night, isn’t it?’ Her voice cracked, and I took a step toward her, wanting to somehow comfort her. “That’s why you all want to leave?”

Kyler dropped his arm and opened his mouth, but Andrea rushed on, clasping her hands across her waist. “I’m not going to drink anymore and I won’t fight with Tanner. Please.”

Damn, it was like having a hot poker shoved in my chest and feeling it twist as she continued. “I promise. I don’t want to be the reason you guys have to leave. I know how much you two were looking forward to this.”

“That’s not the reason,” Kyler said softly, too quietly. “We’re just ready to head home.”


Tags: Jennifer L. Armentrout Frigid Romance
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