Authors: Amy Sparling
I can’t stop grinning on the entire drive back from the café. One glance at Keanna shows me that she’s suffering from the same problem. I can’t help but look at her at every red light and stop sign and just about every second in between. It’s a miracle that I don’t accidently drive us into a ditch.
She is so beautiful, and even more adorable now that I took the epic risk and spilled my guts to her. I was afraid she might slap me or throw her glass of water in my face when I admitted that I had a massive crush on her, but she didn’t. She granted me the privilege of pouring out my feelings and she didn’t even laugh about it.
In fact, I think she’s cool with it.
We reach the final stop sign before my house and I look over at her again. She turns a deep shade of pink that matches her dress and links her fingers together in her lap.
“So where are those cupcakes?” I ask.
“At Becca’s house,” she says. But we’ve already pulled into the parking lot at the Track, which is in between both my house and the Parks’.
“Wanna walk over there?” I ask.
“Maybe we should see if Becca still needs work done,” she says, playing with the hem of her dress. “I was technically supposed to be learning what to do on the job today.”
“Eh, it’s easy. You’ll just answer phones and stuff.”
“Yeah, but what will I say when I answer it?” she says, smirking. “A good employee would know what to say to the customers.”
I shrug. “You say
.” Then I take off my seat belt and look at her. “Do you not know how to answer a phone, Keanna? Because I could teach you.”
She rolls her eyes and throws a playful punch at my arm. “You’re a dork.”
“Takes one to know one,” I say as we climb out of my truck. It’s cheesy and pathetic and I’m fully aware of how one smile from this girl completely wipes away all rational thoughts. She is like a drug and I don’t care that’s drugs are supposed to be bad for you.
We walk up to the main office and I grab the door, holding it open for her. She looks up at me as she enters, the expression on her face telling me she’s enamored with my manners. See, this is what was supposed to happen that night I pissed her off. I wanted to impress her and now I’ll do whatever it takes to make it up to her. I’ll do it right this time.
We find Becca sitting in Park’s lap on one of the couches in the lounge. The TV is on to a Metal Mulita DVD, which is basically just a bunch of badass dirt bike stunt guys performing all of the crazy cool shit they can do on a bike.
“Uh, gross,” I say, grabbing a throw pillow off the adjacent couch and throwing it at the two love birds.
Becca startles, eyes wide as she whips around and nearly falls out of her husband’s lap.
“Dude,” Park says. “Cock block somewhere else.”
“This is the Track
! I say, throwing another pillow at him. “Kids could walk in here.”
Becca sits up and fixes her hair. “We’re closed today so we’re not worried about little kids. Of course I guess we should have been worried about
agers barging in on us.”
Becca leans over to see past me and to where Keanna is standing, holding her elbow with her other hand. “How was breakfast?” she asks.
“It was good,” Keanna says, putting on that smile that I know is hiding her uncomfortableness. “Um, do you still need me to do any work?”
Becca shakes her head and waves a hand to dismiss us. “Nah, you’re good. Ya’ll go have fun. And lock the damn door on your way out, Jett.”
“Ew, ew, ew,” I say, putting my hand on Keanna’s lower back as we leave the room. “Don’t you two have a bedroom in your own
that you can do this crap in?”
The only reply I get is Park throwing a couch pillow at my face while he makes out with his wife.
“That was . . . weird,” Keanna says as we walk back down the black and white checkerboard hallway.
“They’re grossly in love,” I say. I remember the time I was about five years old and I overheard Becca telling my mom about how she dressed up in a whipped cream bikini for Park’s birthday. They didn’t know I was listening and they laughed their asses off when I spoke up and asked how a bikini made of whipped cream would hold up in a swimming pool.
When we get back to the front office, I notice Keanna staring at my hands. Does she want me to hold her hand again? Should I even risk that bold move for a second time today? It had worked at the café, but I’m not sure how far I can push my luck.
I lean against the front desk, resting my elbows behind me on the counter. I watch her gaze travel down the length of my body and I want so badly to grab her and wrap my arms around her. But I have to take it slow with this girl. I don’t want to scare her away. I need her to know that I’m sincere.
“Okay well, thanks for breakfast,” she says, giving me a little wave as she turns toward the door.
No. She can’t leave yet.
“Wait,” I say, rushing to catch up with her. She turns and looks up at me expectantly and I have nothing to say. I just don’t want her to go. I’m not ready to be away from her and the scent of her cherry shampoo.
I scratch the back of my neck. “You wanna go see a movie?”
She flinches. “Ah, not really. I mean, I would, but I can’t.”
“Why not? I’ll drive us. We can see whatever you want.”
I follow her outside, all but begging to keep her interested in me.
“It’s not that, I just don’t really want to go out in public, just . . . not right now.”
I lift an eyebrow. “You don’t want to be seen with me?” The thought alone hurts more than it should.
She shakes her head. “No, it’s not that. I mean, maybe it is. I don’t know. I just don’t think I can handle the movies right now.”
As much as I don’t want to admit defeat, it might be best to give her some space. I sigh and shove my hands in my pockets. “Okay, yeah. No pressure.”
She bites her lip and looks up at me, her eyes like a lost puppy, or like maybe she thinks
the lost puppy. “You’re not pressuring me, Jett. I mean, I
to hang out, I just . . .”
“We don’t have to go anywhere,” I say, seizing the opportunity. God, I want to reach out and hold her so bad, but I keep my hands firmly in my pockets. “We could watch a movie at home?”
“I could do that,” she says, a smile playing on the corners of her lips.
My heart explodes with all of these new feelings. “Okay, um, walk or drive? Half the time I leave my truck over here anyway.”
She glances across the field to where my house is and then an evil thought lights up her gaze. “I’ll race you,” she says, and before I can make sense of her challenge, she takes off running.
I sprint to catch up. She doesn’t stay ahead of me for long but I don’t get in front of her, maybe because I’m a gentleman or maybe because her ass looks great in that dress. When she runs up the stairs onto the patio she grabs the back door handle and turns, but it doesn’t budge.
“Ha!” I say, stopping right behind her. “You can run but you can’t get away unless you know the passcode.”
She turns around, her back against the back door and that evil grin still playing on her lips. “I think you let me win,” she says, panting for breath.
I hold my hands up innocently. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
She laughs and it makes her face the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.
“You’re really beautiful,” I say, the words falling out of my mouth without a second thought.
“So are you,” she says.
And then she kisses me.
I kiss him. Like some kind of dramatic airport scene in a movie, I throw my arms around his neck and lean up on my toes and press my lips to his. And he kisses me back. I hadn’t realized I was afraid that he wouldn’t kiss me back until the moment our lips meet. But it all works out because he leans into the kiss, wrapping his arms around my waist, his fingers digging into my sides as he kisses me back with a force that says he’s been wanting to do this as much I have.
I know I shouldn’t be doing this.
I know Jett is not on the same level I am. He is rich, I am poor. He is popular and loved, I have no one. He is
hot, and I am just me. A homeless girl with a missing mom. A charity case.
My lip quivers as I think all of this and then Jett’s hand slides down to my hip and he presses up against me, flattening my back to the door. He smells like woodsy cologne and his lips taste like spearmint.
When our lips break apart, we both gasp for air. Suddenly the whole world comes back to me and I remember where I am. Outside in the open, where anyone could walk up on us.
Jett gives me this devilish grin as he towers over me, seeming even taller now that we’re so close. “Wanna take this to my room?”
My throat is dry and my heart is an Olympic gymnast in my chest so I just nod.
He punches in the passcode on the back door lock and we go inside, the cool lavender-scented air bringing me back to reality.
I am with Jett in his house and we just kind of made out on the patio.
He takes my hand and pulls me across their massive house, toward the same back set of stairs. We go up to his room and when he closes the door behind us, he twists the lock. That single action makes my stomach flip over.
“So, um, a movie?” I say, still breathless from that epic make out session. Or maybe from the run over here. All I know is that Jett has taken my breath away and I haven’t quite got it back yet.
“Yeah, a movie,” he says, gazing down at me as he inches forward, slowly closing the short distance between us.
His toes touch mine and now we’re so close but not touching anything else besides our shoes. It feels like a static bomb of electricity has exploded in the small space between our bodies. But I already made the first move outside. I’m not doing it again.
Jett’s hand reaches out and grazes my arm. “Was that a mistake?”
I shake my head. “No.”
“Do we . . . wanna. .?” he says, pausing to run his tongue over his bottom lip.
“Keep making out?” I say with a sudden burst of boldness.
I draw in a sharp breath. “Yeah.”
“Yeah?” Jett wiggles his eyebrows and it makes me laugh. In the moment of silliness, he slides one arm around my waist and cups my face with the other hand. Slowly—so painfully slowly—he pulls my face upward and then kisses me softer than before. I melt into him, returning the kisses and wanting more. More kisses, more Jett, more of this feeling that maybe the world doesn’t suck.
When he pulls away again, I groan.
“Does this mean you don’t hate me anymore?” he asks, running a finger down the strap of my dress. Goose bumps prickle across my shoulders. If I let myself think of the true answer to that question, it might ruin the mood.
I shrug. “It means you’re really hot and I’m tired of over-thinking everything.”
He looks like he wants to say something else but I slide my hands up his chest, kissing his neck in a trail up to his ear. He moans when my lips touch the perfect spot on his neck, so I run my tongue across it.
“That’s it,” Jett whispers. In an instant, he’s grabbed my ass and slid his hands down my thighs, lifting me off the ground. I hold on to his neck while he walks me to the futon in front of his TV. He turns to where his back is against the futon and then sits down, leaving me straddling him.
My dress pulls up way too high so I lean forward, pressing our chests together so he can’t see anything. I am wearing cheap underwear from Target. Not exactly the sexiest thing for a guy to see on the first day you make out.
Jett’s hands find my butt and he holds on to it as if it were his own personal hand resting space. I grip his shoulders and kiss him, letting our tongues explore each other’s mouths.
When he groans and lets out a little shudder, pulling my hips into his, I know I’ve driven him to the edge. And since I don’t plan on having sex with him right here, after only one day of not hating him, I pull away.
Suddenly I’m hit with memories of what happens when you piss off a guy who wants more than making out. It is never good and it usually hurts.
“Um,” I say, leaning back on his lap. I remember the whole dress situation and then carefully stand up, climbing off his lap so that I can sit next to him on the futon.
“Okay I’m sorry, please don’t hate me,” I say, unable to meet his eyes. I know he has an erection and he locked the door and dammit, this could ruin everything. Guys do not like to be denied sex.
“Why would I hate you?” Jett says. His head rolls to the right to face me and he reaches out, tucking a strand of hair behind my ear.
I exhale and try to look sweet. Try to look like a nice girl that you don’t want to punch in the face. “I’m just . . . I’m not ready to . . .” My eyes drop down to his crotch and my face burns. I can’t find it in me to say the words.
“Have sex?” Jett supplies for me.
I nod and brace for the backlash.
Instead of getting angry, he grins and sinks down lower in the futon, spreading his legs open wider as he relaxes. “Nah. Why would I hate you?”
I swallow. Looks like all rational speech has left my brain for now.
Jett reaches over and grabs the TV remote and turns it to the Netflix screen.
“I wasn’t going to have sex even if you wanted to,” he says, giving me an assuring smile. “You just became my friend again. I want to prove that I’m worth it.”
“Friend?” I say with a snort. Damn. Of course. That’s all this is. Jett the heartthrob, hooking up with every girl he sees and calling them all “friends”. God, I am so stupid.
“Yeah, friends.” I nod and focus on the television, but he hasn’t picked a show to watch so it’s kind of pointless.
“What’s wrong?” he says, leaning over and poking me in the arm.
I shake my head. Put on a happy smile. “Nothing.”
He narrows his eyes at me. “Am I a terrible kisser? Is that why you pulled away?”
I roll my eyes and can’t help but smile. “You know you’re a great kisser,” I say, feeling warmth from his gaze trail up my whole body.
“Then why’d you pull away?” He reaches for me and takes my hand, lacing his fingers through mine. I stare at our hands on the futon. His are tanned, calloused and huge. Mine are pale, and shaking.
“Honestly?” I say.
He nods. “I only ever want honesty with us.”
“I stopped so you wouldn’t get pissed that I didn’t want to have sex.”
“Yeah, but now that I’ve explained that I don’t want to do that too soon . . .” he says, giving me a seductive grin that makes butterflies tickle my insides. “Maybe you should come back over here. I miss your lips.”
“It’s only been a few seconds, how can you miss them?”
His eyes lower to my lips and he leans over, making the frame of the futon squeak as his lips brush against mine in a kiss so soft it makes my whole body shudder. “Because they’re perfect lips, that’s why.”
I give him a look and he nods. “I’m serious. The best lips ever.”
I cross my arms. “I’m supposed to believe that? Out of all of the millions of girls you’ve hooked up with, I am somehow special?”
He shakes his head and winks at me. “It wasn’t millions. Maybe closer to hundreds of thousands.”
I slap him playfully. He grabs my arm and puts my palm up to his lips.
This is wrong. This is so wrong. I can’t just let him win me over like this. I need to be strong. I have to remember that he is not like me. That I’ll leave soon enough and I’ll be back in the slums, in shitty apartments and back rooms in seedy dive bars and I’ll never step foot in a house this nice ever again. And when I kissed him on the patio, I had told myself it would just be for fun, just a joke, just a way to fulfil my desires without making it a big deal.
But Jett isn’t like the other guys. Maybe he’s a really good liar. All the rich guys are. But it just really seems like maybe he’s being genuine with me. I’d be a fool to think that, though.
“What are you thinking, beautiful?” he whispers, his lips tickling my ear.
“I’m thinking that if all those other girls can have fun with you,” I say, trying to mean it even though my heart is crying out otherwise, “Then why can’t I?”