I Bet You (Page 14)
I’m ticked that he’s described a submissive scenario, but the hot-blooded woman in me only hears his sex-on-a-stick, husky voice, the one that makes my body vibrate and chime. My head goes to the book I’m reading. I picture us on a ship with billowing masts. He’s wearing a white linen shirt—wet, of course, although I don’t know why, perhaps from sea spray—and his golden hair is mussed. He’s caught me and has me bent over the captain’s wheel, my emerald green silk dress bunched up in the back and held secure with his fists as he slides his thick c**k inside me, his breath ragged, his hands tangled in my hair…
I suck in a deep breath. Forget the pirate! It’s never going to happen!
“I’m always saying crazy s**t when I’m around you.” His face is pink as he scrubs at the scruff on his cheeks. “I apologize for being so—”
He freezes, pausing mid-sentence, his eyes over my shoulder.
“For being so what?”
But his attention is diverted, and he grabs my shoulders to turn me so I see what he does. “Forget that. Look.”
“What are you doing? Look at what?” His touch is fire, and it makes me nervous and excited at the same time. I wonder what it would feel like to have those big football hands slide down my arms and—
Focus, Penelope. I take a gander around the store, my eyes roving. “I don’t see anything.”
“Look to the left.”
I scan the place. “New nose plugs for the diving team? A new rack of lipstick, which I should probably check out—” I stop on one person, and a small excited squeal of surprise pops out. “Oh my God, The Unicorn is here.” Wearing his signature ball cap and a Wildcats shirt with his glasses tucked into the neckline is Connor, looking so studious and intelligent as he takes in the new line of mechanical pencils, probably to do his math problems with. I look back at Ryker, who’s dropped his hands from my shoulders and is watching my face as I take in my crush. “So, what do I do? How are you going to help me?”
There’s a quizzical look on his face. “Why do you like him anyway?”
“He’s smart and nice.”
An eyebrow arches. “That’s all you require? Don’t you think you deserve more?”
I squint up at him. “Like you?”
He shrugs. “Your words, not mine.”
“Stuff it, quarterback.”
“But you like him? He’s the one for you?” He narrows his eyes at me. “Why can’t you just talk to him? You talk to me.”
See, that’s the question…
“You’re not shy,” Ryker says.
I shake my head. “I’m a bookworm but not shy.”
I stare at my shoes. It’s easier to be honest when I’m not looking at his chiseled face. “I know you and I will never be a thing, I guess, so it’s easy to talk to you.”
I nod, feeling the need to clarify. “I don’t date football players.” I play with the gold locket necklace around my neck, the one my mom gave me on my tenth birthday. There’s a picture of her holding me on the day I was born. Just her. Not my dad. “I avoid guys who aren’t likely to stick around. Connor is solid.”
Ryker eyes the necklace then looks back into my eyes. “You could have a hundred Connors if you wanted.”
Damn. That’s sweet.
A small sigh escapes me. “I’m not like the girls you know, Ryker. I’m not a hook-up. I’m a vir—” I stop.
I shake my head. “Nothing.”
Several moments pass as we stand there. He’s studying me and then Connor.
I can’t take the silence anymore. “What on earth are you thinking about?”
“About how far you’re willing to go to get the guy you want.” He chews on his bottom lip, a focused look on his face as if he’s contemplating robbing the place.
“You’re scaring me,” I say on a laugh.
A resolute expression flits across his features, like he’s come to a decision. He hands me the coveted workbook. His hand doesn’t touch mine this time, and I think it’s on purpose, but I’m glad. I don’t want to have those kinds of feelings about Ryker, and I guess the desire is mutual.
“First, take this. It’s yours. I don’t want you stressing out today in class.”
I blink down at the workbook. “But then you won’t have one, and Professor White is a hardass—he’ll call you out.”
“Don’t you worry about me, Red. I’ll get one.” His eyes are focused over my shoulder, and I know he’s watching Connor.
I straighten. “No one—and I mean no one—calls me that. Don’t even try.” I frown down at the workbook. “But let’s focus on this. Why are you giving your prize to me?”
“So you won’t be mad when I do this. Just slap me when it’s over.”
Slap him? What?
With a flourish, he drops his backpack, sweeps me into his arms, and kisses me in the middle of the bookstore.
What is happening?
His mouth takes mine, almost tentatively, his hands cupping my cheeks ever so lightly. Sensuous and soft, his lips sear me as his tongue touches mine, begging for entry. With a sharp inhale, I let him, and the kiss deepens, his lips insistent. He makes a sound—I can’t describe it—and a spark is born, a fire that builds and burns until my toes curl.
My first instinct was to shove him away, but that hope is dashed. I’m lost in the spicy male scent of him, the sound of his shirt rubbing against my chest, the way his scruff teases my face. I’m not sure where to put my hands, and they falter, finally settling on the sides of his chest. His body is hard and tense, as if he’s holding himself back…
I sigh into his mouth and he murmurs my name. Electricity dances over my skin where his hands touch. My face, the curve of my neck, my shoulders. His lips glide over mine as his palms press into my hips, guiding me against him. His c**k is hard, and my chest heaves at the ache in my body. My inner self—the one who knows what a player he is—yells for me to stop, but I want this kiss to last forever.
Suddenly he’s wrenched from me with force as if someone yanked him off of me, but when I open my eyes, he’s only pulled himself back.
He’s panting and his lips are lusciously pink and swollen. His hair is mussed—did I run my hands through those strands?
He says something, but I’m not paying attention.
He towers over me, his gaze deep like the ocean as he takes me in, lingering on my lips. We’re still so close. I could kiss him again.
My lips are tender as I touch them. Ryker Voss kisses like he’s gearing up for a season on The Bachelor. I picture us naked, on that pirate ship from earlier, only this time we’re in the captain’s quarters rolling around on the bed. He wraps my hair around his hand and pulls me to him for a deep kiss, our tongues tangling. I beg him to do it again—
He whispers, bringing me back. “Slap me!”
Why does he want me to hit him?
Somehow my foggy brain remembers the whole point of the kiss is to get Connor’s attention.
Ryker’s eyes widen as they look over my shoulder and then back at me. “Snap out of it. He’s looking now.”
Well, he is asking for it.
I slap him, mostly a nervous reflex.