Authors: Kim Linwood
Because, whoa nelly, do I have baggage right now and he’s getting to hear all about it.
“Right there, in our freaking bed. She was bouncing up and down on Michael’s dick, and I swear to God he sounded like a constipated caveman.” I bury my face in my hands. “I’ve never been so humiliated in my life. Did you know we were going to get married? I almost got married to a guy who’s O-noise sounds like a cave man who doesn’t eat enough fiber!”
The alcohol rushes through my bloodstream, and the world feels just a little bit too small, a little too dark at the edges. I never drink. Looking at my half-empty beer cup, I guess I have to amend that. Almost never. I don’t even like it, but do you know what you get if you ask for Sprite at a frat party? I’ll give you a hint, it’s not all Sprite. Beer is safer.
I tell myself it’s just for tonight, and then I’m back to classes, hard work and making sure I earn my spot in law school.
“You were getting married, and he fucked around on you? In your goddamn bed?” Tattoo Guy still doesn’t have a name, but it hasn’t really come up. Or maybe he told me and I don’t remember. By now I’m too embarrassed to ask, anyway.
“Yeah, can you believe it? I guess I’m glad I found out before, rather than after.”
“What a fucking loser.”
I agree with him wholeheartedly, nodding at his words.
It feels good to unload on someone. With a little luck he’s drunk enough that he won’t remember a thing in the morning anyway.
I’m really not at my best.
Crap, I should be cramming for my Comparative Politics test tomorrow, not getting drunk at some skeevy frat party. Like having dropped to a 3.9 GPA wasn’t bad enough, I’m only going to make it worse if I don’t get over Michael and get back to normal.
A bunch of people have left their empty beer cups on the table in front of me, and I absentmindedly sort and stack them by color. He raises an eyebrow at me, but I decide I don’t mind. If he isn’t going to remember me tomorrow, adding one more thing to his list of why I’m crazy won’t hurt.
The love seat we’re sharing shifts as Tattoo Guy does, and I use the term
loosely. His broad shoulders and powerful frame have me crowded up against one side, and I’m half draped over one of his very solid thighs. I’m not sure if he minds, but I sure as hell don’t.
Not for the first time tonight, I look him up and down, appreciating the definition of his chiseled abs and how his jeans are pulled tight over his muscular legs. I feel a little bad that I’ve wasted a night with such a hot guy on blubbering about a man who is totally not worth it.
Dragging my gaze up past his powerful neck to his rugged features, my face flushes when our eyes lock. He sees right into me, those gorgeous eyes crinkled at the corners in amusement. He knows I’m checking him out, and his crooked smirk shows it.
In the back of my mind I’m amazed that it doesn’t bother me, because I always care. Just not tonight. I’m all out of fucks to give for the moment. Instead, I study his face, trying not to make it too obvious that I’m rubbing against his bulky quad.
His features are almost perfectly symmetrical, but his nose looks like it’s been broken at some point. I don’t have the impulse control to stop myself from stroking it softly with my fingertip. He doesn’t stop me, but I notice his hand grips his cup hard enough to make the cheap plastic crackle.
Usually asymmetry bugs me, but he gets a pass for the nose. He’s only human. A day or two’s worth of dark stubble covers his hard jaw, broken only by a faint scar along the left side. I trace that too.
And those lips, full and kissable.
He grabs my hand before I can touch them. “If you keep that up we’re going to have to take this someplace else, and I think privacy is a relative term here tonight.”
I pull my hand back like I’ve been burned. “Sorry.”
“Not that I’m not glad you came, but what the fuck is a girl like you doing at a party like this?” He takes a drink, but his eyes watch me closely. So blue.
Was that a compliment? I’m not quite sure. I was already figuring I’m not his type, but am I really that out of place? Maybe I am. The frat house is crawling with hot girls who look ready to go. Some of whom I’m pretty sure have already gone a time or two.
I sigh. “It’s stupid. A couple of friends said I should come. They promised Michael wouldn’t be here. It was a terrible idea.” I trace the worn fabric on the couch arm with a finger. “Not to mention that I think one of them told Michael I was here. I guess when push comes to shove they’re more his friends than mine. Bros before hos and all that.”
That stung more than I wanted it to.
I nod. “Well, Michael’s not. He pledged but didn’t go through with it.”
“Jackasses. They must be letting anyone in these days.” He rolls his eyes.
“Are you a brother?”
“I used to be, but I graduated five years ago.” He glares around the room with disgust. “The place has gone to shit since then. I’m pretty sure I was the last one who knew how to run the dishwasher.”
“So you were never like them?” I tease.
The smoldering gaze I get as a reply makes me squirm in my seat. He smirks, noticing my hips wriggling. “Never. I was upstanding, conscientious and quiet.”
I glance at his tattoos, the wild hair and his broken nose. “Of course you were.”
He shrugs. “So you’re done with that fuckup now? Kicked him to the fucking curb?” He drains his cup, but his eyes never leave mine.
Heat floods me in a way I haven’t felt in, well, forever. I’m confused about how attracted to this guy I am. I just got rid of Michael, and I am
ready for another relationship. Not even close. Then again, when I look at Tattoo Guy’s hungry eyes, I don’t think it’s a relationship he’s after.
Self-consciously, I straighten my top. It’s lower cut than I usually wear, and I had to dig pretty deep in my closet to find it. After Michael’s betrayal, I wanted to prove I was still attractive. That his infidelity wasn’t about me, even if I’m not hard bodied and model-thin. It worked too. At least until this guy pounded his chest and all the other males ran off.
Still, if all men are dogs, it’s nice to be sitting with the alpha.
Who says we’ve evolved since the Stone Age?
I sigh and let all my regrets go. The failure of my three-year relationship. Spending three years with such a jerk to begin with. Not just grabbing this guy and dragging him off to one of the much used bedrooms before I opened my mouth in the first place...
Mostly that last one.
“Yeah. Out on his ass. Luckily, the lease on our place is in my name.” I snort, dainty like an angry bull. “
place,” I correct. “I grabbed one of his golf clubs from the bag in the hall and chased him and his slut girlfriend out, then threw their clothes after them and slammed the door.”
He laughs, throwing his head back. It’s loud and honest. “Now that’s a sight I’d love to have fucking seen. Holy shit.” He laughs again, and this time the corners of my lips curl up despite myself.
It was actually pretty funny.
A little chirp of laughter escapes me and I cover my mouth with my hand in surprise. I think this is the first time I’ve smiled since I chased Michael out with his three iron. It feels good.
“That’s kinda crazy, isn’t it?” I grin.
“My fucking kind of crazy, babe.” He laughs again before trying to drink from his empty cup. He scowls at it, then tosses it aside, making me cringe. He’s making a mess. Besides, I could’ve used that color to make my cup stacks even. “Whatever piss they pour in these cups, it’s closer to water than beer.”
I nod, even if my opinion of beer is that it’s all just degrees of bad. Maybe I haven’t had “the good stuff” yet.
At twenty-one and nearing the end of my political science degree, I might be the only one in the room old enough to be drinking legally. I glance at my couch companion. No, not the only one. I take another sip, swallowing the bitter liquid down before I get a chance to sober up too much.
He leans in closer, and the spicy musk of his aftershave tickles my senses. “The fucker deserved it. He’s lucky you didn’t bash his head in.” His grin widens. “Now me? I’d never do that to you.”
“You’d always be faithful?” I eye him critically.
Top to toe, everything about him screams player. With his bad boy looks, all those tattoos and the wild, black hair, nah, I’d never peg him for the settling-down type. Which is fine, because he’s been fun to hang out with.
But boyfriend material? No way.
Shaking his head, he can probably read the look on my face for exactly what it is—skepticism. “I never make promises I can’t keep, sweet thing. No promises, no betrayal.”
“No promises? None?” It sounds a little lonely to me, even if he said it like it was a good thing.
He’s so close our noses are almost touching. He puts a thick finger under my chin to make sure I don’t look away. “Only one.” His eyes are dark, the calm before the storm. “The best fucking night of your life.”
It’s probably not the reaction he was looking for, but I laugh. “God, you’re pretty full of yourself, aren’t you?”
He doesn’t seem to mind. “Probably, but wouldn’t
rather be full of me?”
Oh. My. God.
I want to laugh again, but it catches in my throat. Something about him draws me like a moth to a flame. He’s completely unlike anyone I’ve ever been with—not that my list is very long—and a part of me wonders if I’ve been missing out.
Letting this conversation continue would be a sucktastic, horrible, absolutely terribad idea. He will eat me alive and leave my heart on the road for the vultures when he goes.
But holy crap, what a way to go.
He leans in and his whisper is hot in my ear. “Do you live nearby?”
Not really thinking, I nod. That’s breaking the first rule of hookups right? Don’t bring them home. I haven’t even agreed to anything and I’m already messing it up.
“I bet you go to sleep at night imagining them in your bed.” He strokes his fingers up my neck and over my jaw. “I’ll make you one more promise. One night with me and it won’t be them you see. All you’ll remember will be the sounds of the screams you’ll make while I fuck you in ways he’s never even imagined.”
That is quite possibly the most over the top thing he’s said all night. I shiver, vaguely aware of my nipples hardening into pebbles. I bet he can see them right through my shirt.
I’m so hot I’m melting. I don’t want to admit it, but my body has no problem acknowledging it—I want him, and his promises that aren’t promises.
No commitment, no betrayal.
I’m going to regret this, but probably not tonight.
he cab ride is a total blur. I’m fumbling through my purse for my keys in the hall outside my apartment when he grabs me in his strong hands and presses my back right up against the wall. We haven’t even made it in the front door.
Covering my mouth with his, he’s so close that the rigid line of his cock presses against my stomach. I can feel
like his jeans are barely there. I try to push him away, but only for a second. God, he’s a good kisser.
I close my eyes and let it happen.
It’s not until his hand slips in underneath the hem of my top, sliding skin against skin along my side, that I remember where we are. There are a lot of apartments on this hallway, and someone could come out any second. I push harder this time, and he lets up, if only for a moment. “What’s wrong, babe?”
“Someone’s going to see us.” I dropped my purse when he kissed me, so I pick it up and rummage through it. Where the heck are my keys?
“So what?” He laughs softly, a rumble in his throat, while his fingers slide softly and teasingly up and down my bare arms, leaving goosebumps in their wake. “You ashamed to be seen with me?”
“What? No. Not really. No! But I’ve got to live with these people and Dave in 4C is already a little creepy.” Finally, I find the key and turn my back to him so I can fumble at the lock. God, my hands are shaking. I look up to find him eyeing Dave’s door and grab his arm before he can go pound his chest at someone again. “Down boy, you’re here to ruin me for all other men, not defend my honor. Remember?”
“Oh, I wouldn’t say ruin exactly.” He steps right up behind me, nuzzling into my neck, leaving soft kisses and sharp nibbles on the sensitive skin. Prickling me with his rough stubble. I stop turning the key halfway, distracted. His hands slide from my hips and up to cup me, my breasts filling his palms. “Destroy, ravage, devastate,” he mumbles.
“Less talk, more ravage.” It’s with a lot of effort that I twist the key the final quarter turn to make the door unlock. We tumble in, following it. With a kick, he closes it behind us. The click of the latch sounds so final. I pray I haven’t just made a huge mistake.
At the sound of the door, he tugs roughly at my shirt, pulling it up over my head. I take a deep breath, then raise my arms to help him. He throws it aside before clasping my breasts again. His talented fingers find my nipples through the thin fabric of my bra and roll them roughly. God, it feels so good. I moan, pressing my body back towards him.
“Where’s the bed?” His voice is insistent, needy. He wants this as badly as I do, and I love the naked desire in his tone.
I don’t even have words, but I lead him in the right direction, his touch following me the whole way. Somewhere in the back of my mind, I register that I forgot to turn the light off before going out tonight, and switch it off.
He laughs and flips it back on. “No way. Lights on. I don’t wanna miss a thing.”
A soft click, and my bra goes slack, released by his expert touch. The next time he cups me, it’s hot flesh against flesh. His fingers are callused and rough, and his touch is eager and possessive.
He pushes me onto the bed, then rolls me over onto my back. I love how he can handle me like I don’t weigh a thing. I shouldn’t be surprised, the way his muscles bulge under his clothes, but I am. Michael was never like this, so forceful and raw. He couldn’t be even if he wanted to.