“I can see that.” She nods in understanding, her eyes searching my face. “You know he wants you, right?”
“No, he doesn’t.”
“Oh hell yeah, he does. You should have seen the way he was looking at you and then the way he was watching your ass when you guys were walking down the hall. He wants you, girl, and he doesn’t look like he is the kind of guy you can put off for very long. Not only that, but why in the world would you want to put him off in the first place? If I were you, I would be waiting for him naked on my hands and knees when he got home and walked through the front door.”
“Can we not talk about this?” I ask pleadingly. The images that are now in my head of Kenton and me have started a small throbbing in my core.
“Are we still going out Saturday?” she asks, reading my face.
“Yes,” I respond immediately.
“Good. I need to get out.”
“Me too,” I say softly before getting back to work. The rest of the night I spend quietly trying to think of a way to avoid going home.
“Oh my God, you have to try this,” Tara says, shoving a drink in my face.
We got to the club about ten minutes ago, and after making it inside, we fought our way to the bar for a drink and to wait for Derik and his boyfriend to show up.
“What is it?” I ask, leaning away from her before taking the drink from her hand.
“An All-American Root Beer. It’s so good. You can’t even taste the Jack,” she promises.
I put the straw to my lips before taking a small sip. She’s right; it’s sweet and I can’t taste any kind of alcohol. “It’s really good!” I shout close to her ear.
She takes the drink back from me, lifting it up to the bartender while holding up two fingers. He nods in understanding as Tara sits back down next to me.
“So, how have you and Mr. Hot Guy been?”
I bite my lip and think about that question. How are Kenton and me? Well, I’m still trying to avoid him, and he seems more determined than before to not let me avoid him. Before, he would leave me notes or texts, but now, I have to deal with him face to face.
Like last night. I went downstairs to get something to eat, and when I walked into the kitchen, he was there. I couldn’t exactly leave without making it obvious that I was dodging him, so I went about making myself a sandwich. The only problem was that, every time I turned around, his body would rub against me or his mouth would come close to my ear when he spoke. No matter what I did, he was there in my space. By the time I left the kitchen, I was a huge mess and had to take another shower. I still can’t figure out why he affects me the way he does.
“Earth to Autumn.” Tara snaps her fingers in front of my face.
“Sorry,” I apologize, shaking the thoughts away.
“So are you going to answer me?”
“Just fine?” She raises an eyebrow.
“I don’t know, honestly,” I tell her with a shrug as the bartender puts two drinks in front of us. I slide my money across the bar before Tara has a chance to pay for them.
“Well, he looked pissed tonight when I picked you up.”
I take a drink and smile around my straw. He was pissed. I had spent most of the day in bed. Then I’d gone down to the kitchen around five and made a frozen pizza. Kenton wasn’t around, so I went back upstairs after eating. I read for a while then sent an e-mail to Sid, who I couldn’t bring myself to call. Around eight, I started getting ready to go out, knowing that Tara would be there to pick me up at nine thirty.
When I walked out of my room a little after nine, Kenton was at the top of the stairs, his foot on the top landing. His head turned, our eyes locked, and my body started to vibrate from the look in his eyes. I wouldn’t even call it hunger; it was more than that. His eyes took me in and his jaw started ticking.
I knew what he saw; I had on a black, strapless dress that formed to my body like a second skin. Black pumps wrapped around my ankles, lifting me up on four-inch spiked heels. My hair was up on top of my head with little pieces out framing my face. I had on minimal makeup but dark-red lipstick.
“H—” I started to greet him when he looked up at me again, but he opened the door to his room and slammed it closed behind him. I stood there for a second, and then I flipped off his closed door and made my way downstairs. When Tara arrived at the house ten minutes later, Kenton came barreling downstairs like a caveman.
Before I could get out the door and close it behind me, he pulled me inside by my hand, shut the door, and then kissed me. It was not a sweet kiss; it was rough, aggressive, and it left me panting. When his mouth left mine, his eyes were heated and still glued to my lips.
“It didn’t come off,” he mumbled. I had no clue what he was talking about as his thumb swiped my bottom lip. “Fuck!” His eyes came to mine, and I was frozen in place; all I could do was stare at him. “Why won’t your goddamn lipstick come off?”
“It’s smudge-proof,” I whispered, shaking my head out of my daze. I took a step back, and his eyes narrowed.
“I don’t like it,” he growled.
“Your hair, those heels, and that mouth.” He shook his head then ran a hand though his already messy hair. “I don’t like it.”
My eyes narrowed and I opened the door. “Too f**king bad,” I snapped over my shoulder as I went down the porch steps. I opened the door to Tara’s car, getting in quickly and slamming it closed only to look up as he roared loud as f**k as I put on my seatbelt.
“So, what did you do to piss him off?” Tara asks, bringing me out of my thoughts once again.
“I have no clue. That man is confusing. One minute, he’s kissing me, and the next, he’s complaining about my lipstick.”
“What’s wrong with your lipstick?” Derik asks, joining us at the bar.
“No clue,” I repeat, giving him and Stan a hug.
“Good, ’cause you look hot and your lipstick is hotter,” Stan says, leaning across the bar to call the bartender over. I give him a small smile before going back to my drink.
“So how’s Mr. Rough and Rugged?” Derik asks, taking the beer Stan is handing him.
“Who?” I ask.
“You know, the guy from the emergency room,” he clarifies.
“That’s who doesn’t like her lipstick,” Tara adds out of nowhere.
“I’m sure he doesn’t,” Stan says with a knowing smile.