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The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden

Jessica Sorensen
Page 19


  When he hands her the phone back, they give a parting wave to each other and walk off in opposite directions. Callie disappears between a row of cars in the parking lot and Luke limps off toward the back area of the school. He never mentioned that he was hanging out with her. Why is he hanging out with her? Why is this fucking bothering me?

  Reaching into my pocket, I slip my phone out and turn it back on.

  Me: Why were you just talking to Callie?

  Luke: Where the hell r u? I was fucking texting u and then suddenly ur phone was off.

  Me: In class… I saw u out the window.

  Luke: Ok… Why does it matter what we were doing?

  Me: It doesn’t. I was just wondering.

  Luke: We were just talking. Gotta go. Class is starting.

  It drives me crazy, which makes no sense. I should be more upset about my girlfriend of three years dumping me, but it’s a glitch compared to the idea that Callie and Luke could be going out or something.

  Finally I shove up from the desk, making a scene as I storm out of class right in the middle of the poor girl’s speech. Bursting out the doors, the sunlight blinds me as I stomp toward the benches in the quad. Slumping down onto one, I lower my head into my hands and take a deep breath. I can’t react this way about anyone. Ever. It’s a rule of mine. Never drag anyone into my own shit. Callie is the last person who needs it on her shoulders.

  The longer I sit there, the more worked up I get, and I realize the only way to sort stuff out is to actually figure out what’s going on. I text Luke and ask him if I can borrow his truck. He says yes, but to be back by two because he needs to go somewhere, and he lets me know that the keys are on the dresser.

  I drive off toward The Tune Up Gym, where Callie said she kick boxes. She was dressed like she was going to work out so I assume that’s where she’s heading, however, when I arrive I can’t determine if I want to be right or wrong about my assumption.

  I climb out of the truck and stare at the small brick building. “What the hell am I doing here?” I mutter to myself, turning back to the truck. That’s when Seth hops out of the car a few rows down.

  He waves at me with a cigarette in his hand and a puzzled look on his face. “Hey. ”

  I wind around the front of the truck toward him. “Are you working out?”

  He glances down at his jeans and button-down shirt. “Nah, I just come with Callie to keep her company. ”

  I nod, feeling like a fucking idiot for coming down here. Since when do I chase down girls? “I see. ”

  He flicks his cigarette to the asphalt and stomps on it with the tip of his boot. “Why are you here?” He eyes my dark jeans and plaid shirt.

  I shrug. “I have no idea. I really don’t. ”

  He points a finger at the glass doors of the gym. “Callie’s inside. I’m sure she’d love to talk to you. ”

  I pop my knuckles, even the ones that are taped up. It hurts, but it calms me down. “Okay, I’ll walk in with you for a second. ”

  He grins and we weave around the cars toward the entrance of the building. There’s a big guy walking in with a bag over his shoulder and Seth moves up to hold the door open for him.

  “Can I ask what happened?” He nods his head at my hand as we step inside.

  I lift my taped hand up in front of me. “I hurt it during practice. ”

  “That sucks. ” He leads the way around the treadmills to the back area where mats are set up. The room stinks of salt and heat and is filled with clanking noises from the weight machines. There’s upbeat music blasting through the speakers to pump everyone up.

  Callie is near the back of the mats, kicking at a bag the dangles from the ceiling. I don’t like how happy I am to see her, or how happy my body is to see her. Emotions and want rip through me like a fucking wave.

  She’s bouncing around on her toes with her jacket off. She has a tank top on and her hair is pulled back. It’s the most skin I’ve seen her show and I enjoy the view; the freckles on her shoulders, the arch of her neck, her collarbone. The tight pants she has on give me a great view of her ass and her legs.

  “Don’t hurt her,” Seth says, leaning in my face. “I fucking mean that. ”

  I blink at him. “What are you talking about?”

  He backs toward Callie. “Don’t hurt her,” he repeats, and then spins on his heels, putting his back to me. He whisks up to Callie, and says something to her.

  Emotions flood her face as her gaze darts to me. She timidly waves her hand and I walk over to her with my hands tucked in the pockets of my jeans.

  Her white bra is showing through her shirt and she crosses her arms over her chest. “What are you doing here?” she asks, tracing the toe of her shoe back and forth across the mat.

  “I was just driving by and saw Seth’s car out front,” I lie. “So I thought I’d stop in and say hi. ”

  “Hi. ” She presses her lips together.

  I shake my head and chuckle under my breath. Circling around the punching bag, I give it a little shove, and then dodge to the side when it flings back at me. “You really weren’t kidding about the kick boxing thing. ”

  She tightens the elastic around her ponytail. “Did you think I was saying it to try and impress you?” She flutters her eyelashes as she steps to the side. I question if she did it on purpose, to try and flirt with me. I doubt it. I’d be surprised if she knew how to flirt.

  “Well, I was hoping you were. ” I punch the bag with my good hand.

  Her gaze flickers to Seth who’s messing around with small dumbbells, shaking his hips as he sings to the song on the radio. “Nope, this is what I do for fun. ”

  “Are you any good?” I eye her tiny frame with doubt.

  Pieces of her damp hair frame her face as she places her hands on her hips, trying to look tough, but all I’m focused on is her bra showing through her shirt. “You want to find out?”

  “Oh, big words for a little girl. ” I’m flirting with her and I know it’s wrong for so many reasons, but it’s the most alive I’ve felt in a long time. I pick up one of the gloves from the corner of the mat and put it on before positioning my hand out to the side. “Give it your best shot. ”

  Her eyebrows dip together. “You want me to kick you? Really? What if I hurt you?”

  “I absolutely want you to kick me,” I say and then trying to get her riled up, add, “I’m not worried about getting hurt. ”

  Her blue eyes turn cold, her expression serious as her fists rise in front of her. She angles her body sideways, stepping back on her foot. She’s got pretty good form, but she’s so little that I know it won’t hurt.

  She pivots her hips, springing up on her toes, and the bottom of her sneaker collides against the glove. My arm shoots back and my foot slides along the mat. Fuck. It stings. A lot.

  She grins as she returns her foot to the mat. “Did it hurt?”

  “Kind of,” I admit, shaking my hand. “You know, you’re as sweet as can be, but give you permission to kick me, and holy hell, you’re ruthless. ”

  “I’m sorry. ” The laughter in her voice says otherwise. “I didn’t mean to kick you so hard. ”

  “I think you did. ” I pick up another glove and wiggle my fingers into it. “Alright, let’s see what else you got. ”

  She gapes at me with her hands out to her side. “Are you joking? You want me to fight you. ”

  I punch one glove into the other. “I won’t fight back, but I’ll try to stay out of your wrath. ”

  She laughs and it makes my heart jump alive inside my chest. “Alright, but don’t say I didn’t warn you. ”

  I grin at her as I move forward. “Give it your best shot. ”

  She attempts to look dangerous, her lips a straight line, her eyes unblinking, but it’s more entertaining than anything. She steps to the side, and I think she’s going to pop her foot up and kick, but she keeps overlapping her feet as she circles me. I turn with her, c
urious what she’s doing and then out of nowhere, she springs up and slams her foot into my hand. I barely block it and she lowers her foot, giving me hardly any time as she twirls around on her toe and jabs her shoe into my other glove.

  She stations her foot onto the ground with a cocky look on her face. “Had enough yet?”

  I shake my head as I reposition my feet. “Okay, if you want to play dirty, then let’s play dirty. ”

  She bounces up on her toes, getting ready to jump up and kick me. Before she finishes it, I dash forward, wrap my arms around her waist and flip her around, pressing her back against my chest.

  I freeze, wondering if she’s going to panic, but she swings her arm up toward me as she tries to squat down and slip out of my arms. I strengthen my hold on her and pin her against my chest.

  “This isn’t fair,” she says. “You’re breaking the rules. ”

  “Come on,” I tease her as she tries to kick me in the shin and I jump back, keeping my grip on her. “You acted all tough when you were the one having all the fun. ”

  Her body suddenly stills. Then she reaches up, grabs my arms and with no warning, flings them off her. Trying to keep a hold of her, because I was enjoying the feel of her warmth against me, I seize the bottom of her shirt. She stumbles back into me and our legs entangle together. Spinning around, we trip over each other’s feet and tumble to the mat on our sides. She quickly hitches her leg over my midsection and mounts on top of me, pinning my arms down with her small hands.

  Her ponytail has partially fallen out and her hair touches my cheeks as she hovers over me. Her chest heaves up and down, her skin damp, and her eyes stern.

  “I win,” she says, shifting her weight.

  The feel of her on top of me, the way she smells, the way her legs are spread around my hips is intoxicating. I’m starting to get turned on and she’s going to feel it pressed up against her.

  “You’re vicious when you fight,” I state. “I really didn’t think you had it in you. ”

  Her forehead creases. “Me either. ”

  I let a few more seconds pass, even though I should be moving out from under her. My gaze zones in on her lips and I almost glide my hand up her back, tangle it through her hair, and pull her down for a kiss.

  “Okay, as much as I hate to interrupt this beautiful moment here,” Seth says as his face appears over us. “I’m going to have to. Miss Callie here has somewhere to be. ”

  She blinks, her cheeks turning pink, like she’s coming out of a daze, and she swiftly hops off me. “I’m sorry. I got a little carried away. ”

  I prop up on my elbows. “Where are you heading?”

  “Umm…. ” She slips the elastic out from her hair and refastens it into a tight ponytail. “I’m meeting Luke somewhere. ”

  “Luke, as in, Luke?”

  She nods, glancing at Seth. “Yeah, that’s the one. ”

  I push up from the ground and wiggle my hands out of the gloves. “Why?”

  She runs her arm across her forehead. “I can’t tell you why. ”