Date me, p.3
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       Date Me, p.3
 

         Part #3 of The Keatyn Chronicles series by Jillian Dodd
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Page 3

 

  "Shut up and think. What else is on the field?"

  "The scoreboard?"

  "Only has numbers. "

  I get an idea. "A football! You could write it on the football and while you're warming up, call her name and toss it to her. And you could both sign it and date it afterwards. That'd be really cute. It'd be cool to have a keepsake. Speaking of that, I'd like a keepsake to remember how Dawson asked me. Can you stand in my room with your shirt off and an M painted on your chest?”

  He flicks my nose. "Hey, that was for you. I was embarrassed to be seen shirtless. "

  I laugh out loud. "Now that is bullshit. You'd walk around shirtless all day if they'd let you. "

  He smirks at me. "I'd be better off if they'd let me walk around with no pants. Now that is impressive.

  Hollywood royalty to trash.

  Math

  While we're supposed to be doing some math problems towards the end of class, I poke Logan, who sits in front of me.

  "Hey, I heard you’re trying out for the play. What part do you want?"

  "I'm trying out for the Bad Prince. You know, the guy that screws everything up for the trashy girl you want to play?” He looks down his nose at me, like I'm actual trash, then turns his back on me.

  I purse my lips and scratch my temple.

  I have to admit, this kind of response from a guy is sort of new to me. At my old school, well, anywhere really, boys who I didn't know seemed thrilled, almost honored when I talked to them.

  What happened to me?

  Why isn't he flirting with me? Is he like Whitney? Does he think I'm trash too?

  I look down and scrutinize myself. Run my hand down a chunk of my hair. It's still blonde and shiny. My clothes are still cute. I check my reflection in my phone. My teeth are still white. My legs still long and tan.

  How did coming to a new school cause me to go from Hollywood royalty to trash?

  Classy is overrated.

  Ceramics

  Jake folds his arms across his chest and sits on the stool next to me. "So now I have to figure out a way to ask Whitney to Homecoming that is classy but compares to what Dawson did for you. You're stealing her spotlight, Monroe. She doesn't like it. "

  "You must be high if you think I'd help plan anything for her. "

  He shakes an adorable freckled finger at me. "See, that's where you're wrong. I am asking you to help me. Because I gave you vodka for your knee. Because I came back with Dawson and because I helped him ask you. That's what friends do. They help each other. "

  I sigh. He's right. I need to be a friend back.

  "I doubt I’ll be much help. No one did this kind of stuff at my old school. My last boyfriend didn't even ask me to the dance. He just told me to tell him what color my dress was so we could match. "

  "Come on. You have good ideas. Brainstorm with me. Think romantic. "

  "You could spell out Homecoming in rose petals on her bed. She could take a picture of it. She'd like that, wouldn't she? It'd be private. Classy. "

  "I think she's thinking classy is overrated. "

  "She wants you to top the dean's sizzling ass and a bunch of naked chests?"

  "I think so. "

  "Hmm. You could jump out of a plane with a heart-shaped parachute. You could streak across campus in nothing but a raincoat. You could . . . You know, it's really hard because she isn't really in anything. Like, guys have put stuff in the girl's dance locker. Or one guy asked on stage during drama. It was so cute. So that leaves you with lunch or maybe at a football game. "

  "Keep going," he says. "You're thinking big now. And it's good you haven't been here to see all the ways people have asked. That means you should be able to come up with something new and creative. ”

  I shake my head. Trying to come up with something.

  "Paint it on the football field?"

  "I can't do that. "

  "Do it with rose petals then. "

  "They'd blow away. "

  "Balloons?"

  "Not original. "

  I throw my hands up in the air in frustration. “Then why don't you just hire a freaking airplane and fly a banner over the field?"

  He gets a big smile on his face and fist bumps my ceramic deer. "I knew you'd come up with something. "

  Embarrassment protection program.

  4:40pm

  Aiden is standing in front of me, expecting me to teach him how to dance. Why did I ever agree to this?

  “This is silly,” I say. “I can’t teach you how to dance. Plus, I’m injured. ”

  “I saw you jogging at soccer practice, even though I doubt you were supposed to. ”

  I laugh. “I took another pain pill. Felt healed. ”

  He stands there and stares at me. Knows he wins whatever game he’s trying to play. If I could jog, then I should be fine to dance. I sigh and figure I'll just get it over with. I turn on my favorite dance playlist, grab his hips, and move them to the beat. Move them with mine.

  He moves awkwardly. Strangely. With no rhythm whatsoever.

  Um, okay.

  This is not working.

  I turn around, stand in front of him, push my back into his chest, and pull his arm around to my stomach, where it presses against my bare skin.

  Leaving a scar, I'm sure.

  I shake my ass into him, and he finally seems to be getting it. He’s moving with a little more rhythm.

  What can I say? I’m a good teacher.

  I put my hands on top of his and move them around on my body in the name of dancing.

  This would be even funner if we were naked.

  Shit.

  Hello? You can’t think that.

  This is you helping a dance-disabled friend.

  It’s practically philanthropic. I bet I could get community service hours for this.

  After about six songs, Aiden spins me out of his arms and breaks out boy band dance moves.

  “What the hell?” I say, shocked. “Do you used to be in a boy band? Are you here in some embarrassment protection program?”

  He gives me a radiant smile.

  I shake my head at him. “Don’t tell me you can sing too. ”

  He walks close to me. “We’ll have to save that for another day, Boots. I don’t want to overwhelm you with all my talents at once. ”

  “Everyone says you have great hands,” I blurt out.

  “These?” he asks, holding them in front of my face.

  I look at his hands.

  Really look at them.

  They’re beautiful.

  Seriously, is there any part of him that's not complete perfection? I run my hand across them, searching for something. Then I find a scar that runs across his pinkie and middle finger. “What happened here?”

  He laughs. “Knife attack. In the war. ”

  “Very funny. ”

  “Fine. Cleat attack. ”

  “Now I know why you’re such a good goalie,” I say, further examining his hands.

  “Because I'm fast. ” He quickly slaps the top of my hands. Like the game Damian and I could play for hours when we were kids.

  I slap his hands back quickly before he can pull them away. “Not fast enough,” I say with a smirk. I grab his hands again and hold them up, scrutinizing them. “They’re too big for your body. ”

  “What do you mean?”

  “Proportionately. They’re off. They’re too big. ” I tilt my head and look at him. Size up his six-foot-two-inch frame. “That, or you’re not done growing yet. ”

  “I’m probably not done growing yet,” he shrugs, then starts doing the robot to the music.

  It makes me laugh. “You so know how to dance. ”

  “Naw, you’re just a really good teacher. I couldn’t do this until today. ”

  “You’re such a liar. How do you know how to dance like this? You dance alone in your room
to music videos or something?”

  “No. I have a bossy older sister. ”

  “So?”

  “So, instead of wanting to play school or Barbies, she wanted to play dance instructor. If I played nice, she snuck me cookies. ”

  “So everyone at school knows you can dance like this but me, right? Very funny. Ha. Ha. You tricked me. ”

  He takes a step closer to me, wraps his arm around my waist, and pulls me in. His leg moves between mine. Our lower halves have never been entwined like this except for in my daydream. His leg feels even warmer than it did in the dream. Like it's radiating energy into my thighs.

  “You’re the only one at school who knows I can dance like this. Well, besides my sister. ”

  “Why?”

  “Because it's embarrassing. You asked me if I was in a boy band witness protection program or something. ”

  “Ohmigawd, did your mom video tape it? I'm so asking your sister. ”

  He tries not to laugh. “You are not. Or you'll be in trouble. ”

  “Oh, really?” I sass, putting my face right in front of his. “What kind of trouble?”

  He grabs my butt cheeks firmly in each hand, squeezes them, and raises an eyebrow at me in challenge.

  Oh, two can play this game.

  I grab the back of his jeans.

  Jeans I hardly ever see him wear. Jeans that sit low on his hips. The Cougars soccer T-shirt that he’s wearing just barely meets the thick band of his underwear.

  I pull his shirt up over his head and toss it on the floor.

  As he slides his hands down my sides, I take a moment to touch those hips. Touch the edge of the deep-V that is now visible.

  I try not to think about what isn’t visible.

  “You gonna do that at the dance?”

  “Maybe. ” I place my palms firmly on his pecs. Close my eyes and dance with him.

  I run my hands over his chest, grind on his leg, move to the beat.

  We dance well together.

  I seem to know what he’s going to do before he does it.

  Another one of my favorite songs comes on, so I push off his chest, jump up and down, then turn around and give him a booty shake. He spins me around and puts his knee back between my legs.

  Which means he likes it there.

  I grab his shoulders and run my hands across the muscles I have only admired.

  He starts a very fast, exaggerated version of a waltz. He pulls me toward him. Spins me out, then spins me so that my back is now pulled tightly against his chest, our arms intertwining.

  His hand glides across my bare stomach. I’m still in my dance clothes, and this bra top doesn’t seem as solid a wardrobe choice as it did earlier.

  I need more insulation from his electrical touch.

  I reach up and wrap my arm around his neck. He drops his head, placing his cheek next to mine. Even though the music is still fast, our bodies have slowed way down. His hands move slowly across my body, leaving little shocks of pleasure in their wake.

  The music stops.

  My ten-song playlist is over.

  I turn around and face him.

  Our faces are so close.

  Our lips torturously closer.

  His hand tangles in my hair, and he looks at me. His eyes are kissing my soul. Caressing me like a lover. They sparkle and shine with both fire and tenderness.

  I realize I’ve been holding my breath.

  I suck in a big breath of air and back away from him.

  I need to get out of here.

  Like, now.

  “I think you're ready for the dance,” I say, as I grab my jacket off his chair.

  He steals it from me and plops down on his futon.

  “Dance for me,” he commands.

  “Dance for you?”

  “Yeah. ”

  “You wanna see my Kiki stripper moves?” I laugh. “Cuz I really don’t have any. ”

  “No. I want to see you move. Show me your new routine. My sister’s been telling me about it. ”

  “I can't show you. It's totally top secret. ”

  “It’s either that or I pull you on this futon and make a cheater out of you. ”

  At first, I think he’s kidding. But the way he's leaning on the futon. The shadows playing across his face. His hooded eyes. That freaking mouth.

  It stops me dead in my tracks.

  I would be both pissed and hurt if Dawson danced with someone the way I just danced with Aiden.

  I used to be the kind of girl that flirted with everyone and anyone. The old me would flirt with Aiden and lead him on. Vanessa would say it's smart. Smart to have a few guys in reserve that want you. That it keeps the guy you're with on his toes. And if he turns out to be a jerk, you just tee up the next guy.

  That might be the kind of girl I was, but it’s not the kind of girl I want to be.

  And why is he dancing with me like this when he’s asking someone else to Homecoming? It’s not fair to her either.

  I should do the right thing.

  “Look, Aiden. It's nice that we’re getting along better. But I like Dawson and I shouldn't have danced with you like that. I don't want to give you the wrong idea. So if I'm going to keep tutoring you, it'll have to be in the library. No more dances. No more almost kisses. No more talking on my neck. ”

  “But you and Dawson aren't exclusive. You still aren't wearing the key. So go on a date with me. Date us both. ”

  I look at him. Stare into those eyes.

  But, I can’t.

  I don’t want this.

  “I'm sorry, Aiden, but I can’t date a guy like you. A guy that can’t decide if he loves me or hates me. " He's getting ready to counter my argument, but I don't give him the chance. "And I know we had some crazy love at first sight thing, but we obviously would be a disaster together. ”

  He grins at me.

  Just keeps grinning.
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