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The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden, Page 32

Jessica Sorensen

Page 32


  “Is there going to be another time for you to try to not do it again?”

  I didn’t realize what I was saying. “I don’t know. What do you want?”

  He chuckles lowly. “I think I’ve been pretty clear on what I want. So it’s really up to you. What do you want, Callie?”

  My eyes travel up his long legs, his tight chest, and land on his eyes that care about nothing more than to hear my answer. I want him. I want him. I’ve scribbled it down in my journal many times because it’s the truth.

  “I want…” I pause trying to figure out the best words. “I want to spend more time with you. ”

  His smile broadens and his posture loosens as he cracks his knuckles. “You were making me nervous there for a minute. ”

  I can’t help but smile at him. “I was just trying to think of the right words. ”

  His eyes move over my shoulder to the window where the sky is starting to turn pink as the sun descends below the hills. “I have to be at the stadium in like five minutes, but can you do something for me?”

  I tuck the book under my arm. “Sure. What?”

  “Can you come watch me play?” he asks. “I need someone to cheer me on. ”

  “Isn’t that what cheerleaders are for?” I joke.

  “Cheerleaders are overrated. ” He reaches toward my face, hesitates, and then grazes the pad of his thumb along my bottom lip. “Besides, I have a feeling you’ll bring me a lot of luck. ”

  I have to force my eyelids to stay open from his touch. “Alright… I’ll be there. ”


  The sky is grey, the lights are bright on the green field, and the metal bench beneath my butt is colder than a freezer. There are clusters of people around me, yelling, laughing, and waving their hands in the air. It makes me antsy, but I work through it.

  “So what is it with football that makes people crazy?” Seth observes the field with wide eyes and then squints at the red digital timer on the board. “I really don’t get what the big deal is. I never have. I’ve even been to games before—watched… Braiden play—But I still don’t get it. ”

  “Maybe it’s fun to watch guys run around wearing tight pants,” I suggest with a shrug.

  “You know what? You just made an excellent point. ” His brown eyes sweep the field where the players are lined up as he tugs the hood of his jacket over his head.

  Kayden is easy to spot because he’s one of the tallest. Of course the “Owens” on the back of his brown and yellow jersey is kind of a dead giveaway, too. I think he’s glanced up at me a few times, but it’s hard to tell for sure.

  Five minutes later Seth grows restless, tapping his fingers on his bouncing knee. “I feel like I need to get up and dance or something. Liven up this party. ”

  I motion my hand in the air. “Dance away. ”

  He cocks his head to the side at the round man sitting next to him, wearing a beanie and a hooded sweatshirt, and stuffing his face with peanuts. “I wonder what this guy would do if I did. ”

  I laugh, tucking my hands between my legs. “Probably throw those peanuts at you. ”

  He pulls a face and then exaggeratedly rubs his belly. “Good, I hope he does. I’m starving. ”

  I glance up at the timer. “There’s only two more minutes left. ”

  “And are we winning or losing?”

  “The score is twenty-eight to three. ”

  He raises his hands to the side, aiming me a “duh” look. “And who’s twenty-eight?”

  I point at my chest. “We are. We’re winning by a lot. ”

  He bobs his head from side to side, eyeing the woman in front of us, inhaling a hamburger. “God, I’m so hungry. ”

  I sigh, pointing at the stairway. “Then go get something to eat. There are some booths outside. ”

  He stares at the stairs skeptically. “Will you come with me? Sports people are intense. ”

  Laughing, I get to my feet and he follows me. I say excuse me at least ten times while I accidentally step on people’s toes. When we are on the stairs, I let out a breath of relief at the open space and follow Seth as he trots down to the bottom.

  “You’re not leaving, are you?” I hear someone shout over the rustle of the crowd.

  Kayden is standing at the sidelines, looking extremely sexy in his uniform, his emerald eyes locked on me.

  I shake my head, wrapping my fingers around the cold railing, and lean over it. “No, Seth just needs to get something to eat!”

  “Good, because I don’t want you to take your luck with you!” he shouts with a wink and a smile.

  I try not to let a big silly grin surface on my lips. “Don’t worry! I’ll be back!”

  Wait for me afterwards, he mouths, his lips moving slowly from beneath his helmet. Mesmerized, I nod and he turns back to his team with a spring in his walk.

  I return my attention back to the aisle and almost run into Seth. “I thought you kept walking. ” I brace myself against the railing and step back.

  He gapes at me unfathomably. “I can’t believe this. ”

  I inch to the side out of a man’s way. “Believe what?”

  He shakes his head in awe. “You’re in love with him. ”

  I roll my eyes, almost laughing. “I am not. Now can we please go get you something to eat before the game ends and we get taken out by the crowd. ”

  Shaking his head, he backs toward the last flight of stairs, still thinking the same absurd thought, but he’s wrong. I’m not in love with Kayden. I barely know him and love requires a lot of time, a lot of trust, and a lot of other things I don’t understand.


  Seth leaves me in the tunnel, just outside the locker room. He has a date tonight with Greyson and he walks off toward his car with a skip in his walk. After the crowd clears, I sit down on the concrete and check my text messages.

  Mom: Hey sweetie. I’ve been trying to call you for the last few hours. I wanted to know if you were coming home for Thanksgiving. I know it’s kind of late notice and I already told you we’re going out of town, but our plans changed and we are going to be home. Call me.

  I sigh at the thought of going home to the memories and the lies. I put my phone in the pocket of my jacket and direct my concentration to the side as rain begins to pour down from the sky and flood the sidewalks and streets. The streetlights flicker through the raindrops and I inhale in the scent, closing my eyes.

  “Holy fucking hell. ” Kayden’s voice rises over the noise.

  I open my eyes. He’s standing just in front of me, dressed in a grey Henley, dark jeans, and boots. His hair is damp and his eyes are locked on the rain. I push to my feet and brush the dirt off the back of my jeans.

  “I was right about your luck,” he says. “We totally kicked their asses. ”

  I shake my head. “I think that was all you guys. Not me. ”

  His legs stretch toward me as he closes the space between us. “No way, that was all you. I played better than I ever have because I knew you were watching and I was trying to impress you. ”

  “You know I’ve seen you play before, right?”

  He tilts his head to the side. “When?”

  I shrug. “Sometimes my dad would make me go with him to practice because my parents thought I needed to get out of the house more. I would hang out under the bleachers and watch. ” He looks at me sadly as I tuck my hands up in my sleeves and change the subject. “What are we going to do about the rain? Luke didn’t happen to drive, did he?”

  His eyes wander to the veil of rain pouring down from the roof. “No, we always walk over. I could go ask someone for a ride. I think a few people drove here. ”

  I watch the rain splatter against the concrete, knowing if Seth were here he’d make me go out there. “There’s a thing on the list that says I have to dance in the rain. ”

  Kayden’s eyebrows furrow as he redirects his concentration back to me. “You want to go out there and dance?”<
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  I look at him, deciding. “No, but I think I’m going to run home. I’ll meet you back there. ”

  Before he can respond, I run out of the tunnel, putting my arms over my head, shivering as the cold droplets soak through my jacket and drip down my face. Puddles splash underneath my shoes as I race down the sidewalk, feeling invigorated and alive. Thunder booms from the sky and the rain lashes down harder, but I let my hands fall to my side, letting go and being myself as I live in the moment.


  I was pumped up the entire game. Something about Callie being up there, not judging me only being there for me, lightened the pressure my dad always put on me. She brought the fun back to it and I played better than I ever have.

  After I change out of my uniform, I head out of the locker room. She’s sitting on the ground with her face turned to the side and her eyes shut. I stare at her for a moment, taking in her parted lips, her long eyelashes that flutter every time the thunder snaps, and the way her chest moves as she breathes. I finally look over at the end of the tunnel and holy fuck, it’s raining hard.

  As I try to figure out a way to get us back to the dorms without getting drenched, she says something about dancing in the rain being on her list and then takes off into the rainstorm. I’m stunned as she sprints down the sidewalk, splashing in the puddles with her hands out to the side like it’s one of the best moments of her life.

  “Fuck it. ” I take off after her. When the water hits my body it’s like ice. It’s hard to keep my eyes on Callie because the rain is so thick. I shield my face with my arm and keep my chin tucked down.

  She slows down when she reaches the street to check for cars and I catch up with her, panting loudly.

  “Are you crazy?” I ask as beads of water fly everywhere. “It’s fucking colder than hell out here. ”

  She jumps back, startled as rain streams down her body and her hair sticks to her cheeks and neck. “I didn’t know you followed me. You didn’t have to. ”

  I lace my fingers through hers and we jog across the street, water soaking our clothes and dripping in our hair. I hold my arm above her head, protecting her from as much rain as possible. Cars zip up and down the street as we sprint up the sidewalk toward my dorm building. When we reach the trees in front of it, I guide her toward the side entrance, but she slips her hand from mine and jumps out from under the trees into the downpour of the rain.

  “Callie, what the hell are you doing?” I call out as icy raindrops shower from the branches and down the back of my neck and face.

  She closes her eyes and spreads her arms out to the side of her, tipping her head back as she spins in circles, and her wet clothes cling to her body. Rain pours down on her face and drips from her hair, which has slipped loose and hangs down her back. Her jacket falls from her shoulders and the water cascades down the bare skin of her arms.

  I inch forward, unable to take my eyes off her. The way she moves, the way the rain covers her body—I’m enthralled by it. Ducking my head, I step out from the shelter of the tree and into the rain with her. I don’t understand it, but I need to be near her. I’ve never felt this way before and it’s exhilarating and fucking terrifying because I’ve never needed anything from anyone.