I’ve stolen glances at him during cheerleading practice over the last two weeks when I was certain Forbes wasn’t watching me. I’ve never clearly seen his face, not even the day Forbes talked shit to him about this truck, so he’s been a mystery in my mind.
His helmet and face mask no longer obstruct my view and I now see the proof that he is so much more handsome than I originally guessed. His hair is darker than I thought and spiky on top. His pale blue stare is piercing, his eyes breathtaking, and I have to force myself to not become lost in them.
“Pardon me, princess. I didn’t mean to block your way.” His voice is velvety smooth, but I don’t mistake its coolness. It clearly conveys the contempt he feels for me and that immediately raises my hellcat flag. This guy does not know me and therefore has nothing to base his aversion on.
He’s judging me––and making assumptions––just like everyone else in my life.
I’m immediately angry with him for making presumptions about who I am, but I’m far more furious with myself for finding him so captivating. I taste the bitter reaction on my tongue as it manifests in the form of a verbal insult. “Asshole.”
He laughs and places his hand over the left side of his chest. “I felt that like a blade straight to my heart.”
I’m pissed and the bastard is enjoying it.
I push past him. “Screw you. And my name is not ‘princess.’ It’s Claire. If you’re going to insult me, at least have the decency to get my name right.”
“I think I’ll stick with princess. It suits you better,” I hear him call behind me, laughing.
Somewhere between Point A and Point B, something has gone astray. Screwing Claire was the perfect vengeance against Forbes but spending time with her has changed everything. I didn’t plan on liking her so much—or at all—but I do. I wasn’t supposed to become emotionally involved but I have. I drive away from her tonight realizing my heart doesn’t care a thing about my original intentions.
She thinks I pulled away because I was on the verge of ravishing her. That much is true but it isn’t why I needed to distance myself. I want her in a different kind of way––one I’m not good enough for and requiring me to give more of myself than I’m willing to share.
She was freely giving herself to me tonight. I never expected that. I’m stoked about it––but spooked as well.
Once I’m home, I lie in bed recalling the taste of her skin and the breathless way she allowed me to kiss her. I wanted her more than air in my lungs and that’s a problem. It means I’ve lost sight of the prize. I no longer desire screwing her as a way to get to Forbes. I want her for myself.I need to get a grip. To have a girl like Claire means allowing her to be a part of my life, and I’m not willing to go there. I can’t risk her knowing my past, or even my present. I can’t bear seeing my true self in her eyes.
I walk by doll face on the way and I can’t resist speaking to her so I can look into her honey eyes again. “I forgot to introduce myself earlier. I’m Nick Hawke but all of my friends call me Hawke.” She doesn’t say anything. “This is the part where you tell me your name.”
She doesn’t look at all happy with me. “Payton Archer.”
I repeat her name in my head. “Well, Payton Archer, it’s almost time for the race. How do you feel about a good-luck kiss?”
She grins. “I think a good-luck kiss is an excellent idea.”
Wow. That was easy, and unexpected––and then I figure out why. She goes over to my opponent and taps him on the shoulder. He turns around and she puts her arms up over his shoulders. She kisses him long and hard, causing the crowd to erupt into cheers and catcalls.
She finishes and turns back to me. “It was only fair for Dane to get a good-luck kiss since you got a good-luck hump on the hood of your car.”
This girl is unbelievable, like nothing I’ve ever come across. I stand motionless, watching her strut to the roadside in her short skirt and jacked-up heels. One thing is certain: winning this race has nothing to do with the money anymore. I have to win so I can have my night with her.
“Okay, if you say …” That’s all I get out because Nick grabs the back of my neck and pulls me toward him, stretching halfway for a kiss. He presses his lips against mine and a fire rages that has nothing to do with the aftermath of pepper spray.
I open my mouth a little and he slides his tongue in between my teeth to tease me so I’ll open wider. He slides up to sit and turns his head to the side so his tongue can join mine in a romantic waltz. He tastes like mint with a hint of spice, sort of like pepper. The realization makes me smile and I feel him grin against my mouth.
His hands are on each side of my face and I revel in the moment. It’s the kind of kiss I’ve always longed for. It’s perfect in all ways but one. He’s a total player.
A car starts outside and I jerk away. Must be his dad. How did he get past us? I never even heard the door open.
Nick holds my face and I can feel his breath against my lips. “I’ve gotta go. Your dad is waiting.”
“He’ll wait,” he says breathlessly as he leans forward to possess my mouth again. I stop him by pressing my forehead to his.
“It’s rude to keep him waiting.”
He rubs his thumbs up and down my cheeks. “Can I call you tomorrow?” I don’t respond. I only nod and he smiles because it’s the answer he wants. I halfway expect—and maybe even hope—he’ll pull me in for another kiss. He doesn’t, so I walk out the front door without looking back. I’m afraid I’ll run back for more if I do.
Labels: Georgia Cates, InkSlinger PR, Teasers