I Bet You (Page 28)
He leans down to help, holding one of them up as he pops an eyebrow at me. “Dark Lover by JR Ward? Now that sounds like a literary gem.” He turns it over and skims the back.
He flips it over and studies the shirtless guy on the front. “I’ve got him beat, Red.”
I take it out of his hands. “This happens to be a fantastic series. You might even like it. Lots of blood and gore and fangs.” I smile.
“Really?” He stands as I do, helping me up as I open my backpack and cram the books inside. He shrugs nonchalantly and looks off in the distance. “I meant to ask you—how did the pool date go? Wasn’t it supposed to be this week?”
“It’s been delayed. We’re going out soon.” I managed to put Connor off for a while with the excuse that I had to work.
He sticks his hands in his pockets. “So you didn’t go out with him yet? Interesting.”
I shrug, playing it off. “Well, you never showed me how to play pool.”
“Oh,” he says, a thoughtful look on his face. “I can do that. How about tonight?”
Excitement curls at the thought of him leaning over me and showing me how to hit a cue ball.
I point to myself. “Distraction, remember?”
He exhales, his gaze intense. “We haven’t hung out in a while. Or talked. If you can handle the proximity, I can.”
I mull it over. I don’t have to work, and Charisma already mentioned she has plans to go to a Tau party tonight.
“There’s a Tau party, but I’m not really in the mood to go,” he adds.
“Okay,” I say, coming to a decision without really thinking it through.
He smiles and we begin to walk. “Where are you headed?”
“Library. I do a study group there when needed.”
I nod. “Usually for lower level geometry classes.”
“You’re some kind of genius, aren’t you?”
I grin. “Your GPA isn’t too shabby either.”
“How do you know?”
I roll my eyes. “I did my research, quarterback. Also, you’re in an upper level math class when your major is psychology, so you must like numbers. Am I right?”
A dimple pops out. “Maybe I took it because I knew it was likely you’d be in there.”
I laugh as we walk across the quad. “You’re such a liar.”
“Well, then I guess it was fate that we both ended up in it. I’m shocked we never had a class together before. I wonder if we would have been friends sooner.” He gets a contemplative expression on his face and halts.
I stop with him. “What?”
He shakes his head. “I just realized we might not have met if I hadn’t been part of the scandal last year.” His eyes find mine. “You wouldn’t have written your editorial, and Archer never would have bet me I couldn’t get you to go out with me. You never would have dumped water on me.” He laughs. “Crazy, right, that something good came out of it?”
Indeed. I nod, my gaze lingering on the curve of his face, the way his hair curls up at the ends.
He flashes a grin. “Plus you opened my eyes about how sucky Twilight really is—but I’d watch all of them with you if you wanted. That’s a true friend.”
I laugh. “Thank you…I think?”
Someone squeals his name, and we both turn to see a skinny, pretty, blonde girl in a miniskirt and a low-cut green shirt. Her giant b***s bounce as she runs toward us and grabs him in a bear hug, throwing her arms around his waist. “Ryker!”
He’s motionless, standing with his arms at his sides as she coos over him, brushing her lips over his cheek, her hand squeezing his bicep.
Of course, it’s none other than Sasha, the Theta who hooked up with Margo’s Kyle. I grimace, imagining what it would be like to walk in and see your boyfriend banging this Playboy lookalike. Not pretty.
She bats her eyes up at him. “I haven’t seen you at any of the parties. We need to get together soon.” She rakes her hand across his shoulders, wiping at a nonexistent piece of lint. “You looked amazing at last week’s game, by the way. Remember that time we went to the basement after we beat LSU and I—”
“Uh, yeah.” His face is carefully blank, and I suspect—am almost certain—she was about to recall some tryst they had.
It says a lot about a girl that she will talk about her sexual exploits in front of another girl. But then Sasha’s not exactly a nun.
My gut says he’s slept with her.
My heart tightens.
I have no claim to him at all, as I remind myself.
We. Are. Just. Friends.
“So how are you?” she says, easing in closer to him.
“I’ve been busy with practice,” he replies, but his eyes are on me.
I swallow and break our gaze, thinking about these confusing feelings I have for him. Because I can say all day long that I just want to be friends, but the truth is I’m so f*****g hot for him that it hurts. I can’t stop writing about him. I can’t stop looking at him. And I want to pull out every blonde hair on Sasha’s head.
What if I fall all the way for him? Is this the kind of thing I’d have to put up with?
How can one girl ever be enough for him? My mom wasn’t enough for my dad.
He looks down at her, a polite smile on his face. “Hey, Sasha. I’m talking to someone. Do you mind?”
“Oh!” Sasha looks over at me as if just noticing I’m here. She smiles. “Have we met?” Her long lashes flutter against her porcelain complexion.
Several times. “Yes.”
She squints. “Wait. You’re a Chi O, right?”
I nod. “I’m Margo’s stepsister.” Never in my life have I been proud to own that one. But the thing is, when you screw over a Chi Omega, the girls will line up behind her to get you back.
“Oh.” She laughs, the sound grating on my nerves. “I suppose she doesn’t like me very much.” She leans in conspiratorially. “Just tell her Kyle was a one-time thing, will ya? No harm, no foul. She can have him back.”
My eyes narrow, but my voice is sugary sweet and oh so Southern. “Sweetie, she doesn’t even know who you are.”
She c***s her head. “Oh. Really? That can’t be right. I’m sure she knows—”
“Mmmm, oh yeah, she’s moved on to bigger and better. But how nice for you to tell me it was just a one-time thing.” I smile brightly. “Take care now. Use condoms.”
I hitch my backpack up on my shoulder, give Ryker a smoldering glare, and walk off.
If that’s the kind of girl he goes for—my fists clench—then what on earth does he see in me?
Ugh. Why does it even matter? Neither of us is going to act on it.
Ryker calls my name, but I don’t stop.
I hear footsteps behind me. It’s him. “Hey, why did you run off like that? We were in the middle of making plans.”
My jaw tenses.
“Red. Come on. I told her to buzz off.”
My voice is sharp. “Like that makes it better? How many girls on this campus have you been with?”
He flushes. “I never claimed to be a saint. I’m not the same person I was last year.”
I snort. “I didn’t see you in a rush to get away from her.”
“I was being polite!”