I Bet You (Page 13)
“Don’t tell me you got the last one.”
He shrugs. “Someone delivered it to my dorm before classes started.”
“Jersey chaser?” I smirk.
“No, just a service the administration provides for athletes.” He pauses. “You seem to think I don’t do anything for myself. I assure you; I’m a grown man.”
Indeed, he is.
His broad shoulders shift, calling attention to his untucked, blue pinstriped button-up shirt that’s rolled up, displaying his muscled, tanned arms. My eyes get hung up on his golden arm hair. It’s nothing too crazy, mind you, but something about it on him is so f*****g hot that my brain hurts.
I silently curse myself. This predilection for hair has never happened to me before. It’s just…him.
His shirt hugs his chest, shaping and contouring to his muscles. My eyes drift down, taking in the khaki pants that are tight against his crotch.
How big is his c**k? Is it in proportion to the rest of his body? Because damn—
I blink. “Yeah?” My gaze finds his and is captured by his piercing blue-green eyes. They gleam as he studies me intently as if trying to suss out something important about me.
It’s like we’re both perplexed when we’re around each other.
Again, I blame my lack of sustenance.
I don’t know what his excuse is.
He continues. “I want to help you with something.”
“How magnanimous of you,” I say tartly. “But go on.”
“Will you just listen?” He rakes a hand through his long hair and tugs on the ends.
My equilibrium is thrown by the earnestness in his voice, and I chew on my lip. “Fine. Talk.” I lean against the shelf.
He nods. “First of all, the date bet at Sugar’s was not my idea, and I know that’s not an excuse and it’s on me for taking Archer’s bait…” His voice drifts off. “I wanted to apologize right away, but you ran off to the back, and Charisma refused to let me see you. Plus, I did have to get home and change my pants.”
“So I heard.” I c**k my hip.
His eyes capture mine. “I’m really sorry I hurt you. It was shitty.”
He clears his throat. “I want to do you a solid and make up for the bet.”
“Like what?” I could bring up the homecoming party, but I waffle. In the wee hours of last night, it seemed like a good idea, but I’m not sure being around Ryker is a good idea. He makes me feel weird things.
A slow smile builds on his face as he takes me in, sweeping over my red pointy-toed flats, gray leggings, and roomy black sweatshirt that reads Forks, Seattle. He looks around the bookstore with a bit of bemusement on his face as if he can’t believe what he’s about to say.
“What?” I ask, feeling cross at him because he’s relaxed, and I’m still pissy because I don’t have my workbook.
His eyes come back to me. “Who is it that you want? Answer me that and you’ll know what I’m here to help you with.”
My eyes flare. “You don’t mean Connor, do you?”
I pause. “You’re going to get Connor Dimpleshitz as my—I’m just throwing out a guess here—boyfriend?”
A shrug. “Let’s just say ‘get you a date’ for now. It’s up to you to make the boyfriend thing happen, although I don’t doubt you can manage it. You’re a pretty girl, and surely, you have game.” His voice is doubtful as he stares at my sweatshirt.
“I have game!”
“Uh-huh.” His tone is dry.
I shake my head. “But…why?”
“Because you like him, and I want to do something nice. In fact…I bet you I can get him to ask you on a date.”
“Really?” I say skeptically. “Another bet? That’s your answer?”
He inclines his head. “You know you can’t resist a bet from me.”
My eyes narrow. “Who told you that?”
His lips curl up in a grin. “You love to prove me wrong. It’s obvious every time you see me.”
“God, I do love knocking you down a peg.”
He laughs, and I suck in a quick breath at the way it lights up his face. Some of the earlier tension related to the bet fiasco eases, but not all of it. He has apologized—very well, I might add—but I’m still wary. On the other hand, I remind myself I still need a date to homecoming in four weeks, and if he can get me Connor…
“And if you win and he does ask me out, what are the stakes?”
“No stakes. Just your forgiveness. I’m doing this for you.”
Oh. That’s unexpected. “You really are sorry aren’t you?”
He gives me a small nod. “Yes.”
With a wave of my hands, I indicate my body. “Basically, you’re saying I’m so awful I need help getting male attention?”
“Awful? You’re hot as hell, but I’m going to show you exactly how to have him eating out of your hands.”
A full body flush washes over me. Hot as hell? I mean, sure my hair is long and wavy and my eyes are okay when I’m not hiding them with my glasses…
But I need clarification.
I push up today’s eyeglasses, jade green with little jewels in the corners, and study him. “And just out of curiosity, how would you describe me to a friend, Ryker? Be honest. Am I the girl with the nice personality? What do I have that’s working for me?”
Am I fishing for compliments from him? AM I? S**t. I am.
He rakes his gaze over me and strokes his chin, studying me. Then he maneuvers to walk around me in a circle.
“What am I? A horse?”
He makes some hmmm noises, the kind I make when I’m working on a serious math problem.
I roll my eyes. “Well, do I pass inspection?”
He’s back in front of me and gives me a nod.
“Verdict?” I ask, exasperated.
“How tall are you?”
I stand straighter. “Five ten.”
“I dig tall chicks,” he says and then clears his throat. “Tall works well with Connor, too.”
His gaze lingers…everywhere. “Your a*s is spectacular, but I can’t see it for your sweatshirt—except when you bend over,” he adds with a grin. “Personally, I like a girl who doesn’t flaunt everything, but Connor…you might need to get his attention. He seems a little unaware of his surroundings.”
He really is! I recall how I would attempt to talk to him last year, and he never noticed.
“So you’re saying my a*s is my best asset?”
“No.” He meets my gaze. “Your gray eyes are pretty. I like the little flecks of white and gold around your pupils. They’re nice.”
Nice. I grimace. “Why, Ryker, you’re a poet.”
He shrugs. “Your best asset is your hair. You should wear it down more…” He pauses, his eyes roving over the wavy curls that drape over my shoulder. “Every man who sees it down imagines his hands wrapped around those strands as he’s taking you from behind.”
I can’t breathe. What started out as a fun exchange is now layered with tension and heat. The air grows warm inside the bookstore, even though I’m clearly standing near one of the air conditioning vents.
A long silence follows as we both stare at each other.