The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden, Page 28Jessica Sorensen
“Make sure to keep your hands to yourself,” he warns, backing away with his finger pointed at me. “She’s drunk enough that she won’t remember a thing, which makes any touching on your part wrong. ”
I shake my head at him. “What kind of a guy do you think I am?”
He shrugs with judgment in his eyes. “I have no idea. ”
Callie blinks up at me with hardly any awareness on her face. “Who are the girls you’re here with?”
The blond standing to my right shoots me a dirty look and puts her hands on her hips.
I keep my eyes on Callie. “Hey, let’s go into the kitchen and get you some water. ”
She nods her head up and down. “I am really thirsty. ”
The innocence in her eyes and the way she clings onto my shirt as I guide her toward the kitchen makes me uneasy. She trusts me at the moment and I’m worried I’m going to fuck it up, like I always do.
Ben is in the kitchen talking to a girl with long, curly brown hair, a tight pair of jeans, and a low cut red top. When he sees us, a curious expression crosses his face.
“Who’s this?” he asks me, nodding his chin at Callie.
“It’s Callie Lawrence. ” I move my arm away from her to grab a plastic cup off the top of the stack on the counter. “She goes to school here. Her dad was actually my coach back in high school. ”
Callie lets go of my waist. With her hands out to the side of her, she attempts to control her balance as I turn the faucet on to fill up the cup.
“So, your father is a coach?” Ben leans back against the counter as the girl he was talking to wanders over to the bar to fill up a glass.
“Yeah, he’s been one for like twenty years or something,” Callie says with a slight slur to her speech.
“Did he teach you stuff?” Ben asks, crossing his arms. I don’t like the teasing tone in his voice. “Like what the plays are or how to throw and catch a ball?”
I turn around with a glass of water in my hand as Callie rolls her eyes at him. “Obviously, like I know that you’re the receiver. ” She blinks her eyes, mockingly. “Which means you catch the ball. ”
“Well, aren’t you just adorable. ” Ben takes a step toward her with a look of fascination on his face.
My hand goes up against his chest to push him back. “No way. She’s off limits. ”
Ben looks at me apologetically as I hand the glass of water to Callie and she tips her head back, downing it. “I’m sorry. I didn’t realize you were dating her. ”
I don’t bother to correct him, for many reasons, some of which are really fucked up. When he leaves the kitchen, Callie moves the cup away from her mouth and licks the water off her lips, making me think dirty thoughts I know I can’t act on.
“He’s kind of an asshole,” she says, handing the cup back to me.
I crush it and toss it in the trashcan. “And you’re kind of feisty when you’re this drunk. ”
When I face her again, she’s chewing on her bottom lip with her gaze boring into me. “Do you like that I’m feisty? Does it make you want me?”
Oh, fucking shit. She is wasted. “How about we get you home?”
She shakes her head, backing toward the counter with unsteady legs. Gripping the edge, she hops onto it and bumps her head on the cupboard. “I want to know. ” She rubs her head, shooting a dirty look at the cupboard like it did something wrong. “When I’m like this, does it make you want me?”
I glance over my shoulder, praying to God Seth will walk in here and save me from this uncomfortable conversation. “I don’t know, Callie. ”
She pouts out her bottom lip. “It’s because you don’t want me at all, isn’t it?”
Sighing, I put my hands down on the counter so she’s in between my arms. “No, it’s not that. Trust me. It’s just that I don’t want to have this conversation with you when you’re not going to remember it. ”
She leans forward, reducing the gap between our faces. “I’ll remember it. I promise. ”
I try not to laugh at her, clenching my hands into fists to resist the urge to slide them onto her hips. “Alright you want the truth?” I ask and she bobs her head up and down. “No, I don’t like you better this way. I like the sober Callie, the one that I can talk to. The one that is so sweet it’s fucking adorable. ” I dip my face forward and breathe on her neck, moving toward the no touching line, but not crossing it. “The one that trembles just from the feel of my breath. The one that I want to kiss and touch so fucking badly it drives me crazy. The one that makes me feel things…” I trail off and incline away, glad to see that her eyelids are only half open. That way I know I’m still safe.
“I’m tired. ” She yawns, stretching her arms above her and I catch a glimpse of her bare stomach; flat, tiny, and firm. “Can you find Seth so he can take me home?”
I tuck a strand of her hair behind her ear. “Yeah, you come with me, though. I don’t want to leave you here alone. ”
She nods, hopping off the counter, and I drape my arm around her back to hold her steady. We search the house, but Seth isn’t anywhere. I find Luke at the poker table, playing a hand, cheating just like his father taught him.
“Hey, man, I’m going to take Callie home,” I say as he glances up at me from his cards. “If you see Seth, would you tell him?”
Luke nods and then his eyes dash to the red and blue chips in front of him. “Yeah, man will do. ”
Callie buries her face into my shirt as we walk out the door and into the quiet hallway. She leans her weight on me and I guide her down the stairs and out the doors. The air is chilly and she shivers against me.
“Where’s your jacket?” I ask, rubbing my hand up and down her arm.
She shrugs as she stumbles over the curb and I catch her with my arm. Her eyes are barely open and she keeps sighing. Finally, I give up and stop in the middle of the sidewalk.
She blinks up at me. “What’s wrong?”
I let go of her and speak slow because I know she’s struggling to comprehend anything that’s going on. “I’m going to pick you up and carry you back. Is that okay?”
She eyes my hands and then reverts her gaze to me. “Okay. ”
I step cautiously toward her. “Put your arms around my neck. ”
She obeys, sliding her hands up my chest and hooking them around my neck. She rests her head against my chest as I wrap my arm around her back. Bending my knees, I put my other arm underneath her legs and scoop her up into my arms. She nuzzles her face into my chest as I start up the sidewalk. I take my time because I love how it feels to carry her, the way she needs me, the way I need to protect her.
By the time I reach the McIntyre residence hall, I’m working really hard not to panic that I have to put her down. “Callie, where’s your ID card?” I ask. “I didn’t bring mine. ”
“In my pocket,” she murmurs, reaching for it, but her arm falls slack to her side. “I’m too tired to get it out. ”
“Try again, okay?” I practically beg by she’s nonresponsive.
Emptying my mind of any potential dirty thoughts, I brace her against my chest and slip my fingers into her pocket, quickly pulling her card out. Swiping it through the lock, the door unlocks and I get us inside. I take the elevators to the upper floor and find her room. When I extend my hand for the doorknob, she wakes up and grabs a hold of my arm.
“No, don’t open it,” she says, nodding at the red scarf tied around the doorknob. “That means my roommate is… she’s… preoccupied. ”
I try not to laugh at the fact that even when she’s drunk, she has a hard time saying it. “Where do you want me to take you?”
She drops her head back against my chest. “You can just keep carrying me. It’s very relaxing. ”
“What about Seth’s room?”
Her eyelids are shut and her warm breath flows through my shirt. “You’ll have to go get him…”
My shoulders slump as I shift her body in
ward toward my chest and start down the hall to my right. When I step outside, I walk across the grass to the Downy building and take the elevator to my room.
“Callie, I have to set you down while I get the door open,” I whisper in her ear.
She nods and I carefully lower her feet to the ground. She leans back against the wall, her eyelids closing. I tap my fingers against the lock, pushing the code, and then shove the door open. Flipping the lights on, I step back and pick her up, carrying her inside. Kneeling down on the bed, I lower her onto the mattress, gently setting her down. She rolls to her side as I stand back up and figure out what I’m going to do. I could sleep in Luke’s bed, but he’ll chew my ass out when he shows up.
“Where are you going to sleep?” She eyes me as I kick off my boots into a corner.
“That’s what I was trying to figure out. ” I stare at her with hesitance. “Is it okay if I lay down by you?”
Her eyes enlarge a little and hesitantly, she wiggles her body, scooting over toward the wall. I lay down on my side, keeping space between us as her eyelids close.
“I’ve never shared a bed with anyone besides Seth,” she mutters. “I can’t sleep when I’m lying by someone else. ”
I start to roll out of the bed. “That’s okay. I’ll go find somewhere else to sleep. ”
Her fingers wrap around my arm. “You don’t have to go anywhere. I feel safe with you. ”
I pause. “Are you sure?”
“Yeah, you make it seem like everything he did doesn’t exist. ”
“Callie, what are you talking about?”
“It doesn’t matter. ” She yawns and inches a little closer to me, tucking her hands under her cheek and curling her knees up. “I’m tired. ”
My hand shakes a little as I reach out and smooth her hair back from her forehead. “It’s okay. You can go to sleep. ”
She nods her head and seconds later, the sound of her soft breathing surrounds me. Without even thinking, I lean over and gently kiss her forehead, wondering what the hell I’m going to do when morning rolls around.
#12 See How Far You Can Go With Something You’re Afraid Of
When I open my eyes, my skull feels like it’s cracked and my brain is throbbing. I’m aware right away that I’m not in my room. There are guy’s clothes all over the floor, a Play Station on a shelf near a flat screen television, and the blankets pulled over me smell like the cologne Kayden wears.
My eyes widen as I sit up in the bed, racking my brain for details of what happened last night. I remember Seth asking me what I wanted to do and I told him I wanted to have fun. So he took me out and we ended up getting drunk. After that, everything becomes hazy, but for some reason I can picture staring up at the stars while someone carries me.
The door to my right squeaks as Kayden enters the room holding two coffee cups. He’s wearing a hooded black thermal shirt that shows off his lean arms and his jeans hang at his hips.