Crush, p.18
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       Crush, p.18

           Lacey Weatherford

  Chapter Fifteen


  “Is it him again?” Hunter asked, leaning to look at my phone resting on the arm of my couch.

  “Yes,” I replied with a sigh, as I saw Clay’s name on the screen.

  “Hand it here.” He made a motion for me to give it to him, but I hesitated.

  “I don’t think that’s such a good idea. He’d freak out if you answered. Plus, I don’t know what you’ll say.”

  “He’s stalking you, Cami. Can’t you see that?”

  “No. He’s just jealous of you. Cut him a break, Hunter. He’s been a huge part of my life since we were five. He’s not used to me ditching him for another guy. He’ll catch on eventually.”

  “So you’re just going to let him hound you until that happens?” Hunter’s mouth set in a firm line. “This has been going on for, like, two weeks now.”

  “For the time being. Please don’t be angry with me. I want to handle this in my way.”

  His eyes softened. “I’m not angry with you. I’m just not too thrilled with him.”

  “I know. Me neither. It’ll get better, though. I promise. Clay’s had his obsessive moments with me in the past, but he always gets over it.”

  “Obsessive how?” Hunter’s scowl deepened, and I laughed, desperate to diffuse the situation.

  “I love that you’re so overprotective of me.” I brushed my hand over his forehead where it was laying in my lap.

  “Well, you are my girlfriend. It would look kind of bad if I didn’t care, don’t you think?”

  “I’m your girlfriend?” I couldn’t help the smile that crept over my face.

  He chuckled. “I figured that was kind of a given since we can’t seem to keep our hands or mouths off each other. Were you not on this couch with me for the last hour, or for the last couple of weeks for that matter?”

  “Yeah, I was, but we’ve never really declared anything official was going on. I thought maybe I was just your new make out buddy. You made it pretty clear you’re not into the whole girlfriend thing in the past.”

  He shook his head and closed his eyes as he lifted his hand, running it into my hair absently. “You’re my girlfriend, Cami, unless you don’t want it that way.” He opened his eyes, looking at me.

  I swallowed. “I want it that way.”

  “Good, because I think we’ve established I’m never going to get my fill of you.” He lifted up, capturing my mouth, and shifted to make room for me to lie next to him on the sofa.

  I melted easily into him once again—our homework still lying on the floor forgotten, and neither of us seemed inclined to start it again. Too bad we didn’t have a class on physical anatomy together, then maybe we could’ve passed this off as studying.

  My head rested on his shoulder, and I tipped it toward his, allowing him to rain little kisses over my face. He paused, his amazing eyes heavily lidded with desire written plainly in them. Even the way he stared at me made me feel beautiful.

  He ran his hand down from my shoulder to lock fingers with mine. “When will your parents be home from work?”

  I shrugged. “Probably in thirty minutes or so. Why?”

  “No reason. Just wondering when I needed to be ready for your dad to barge in here with a shotgun.”

  “Why would he need a gun? Unless you’re planning on doing something super evil and depraved to me,” I teased. I loved being wrapped up with him like this.

  “You have no idea how deep the level of my depravity is right now.” He chuckled.

  “Are you subtly telling me you’re the wolf in sheep’s clothing?”

  “There’s no subtle about it. I’m flat out telling you.” His eyes roamed over me hungrily, and I knew he was being serious. For whatever reason, I wasn’t scared. I felt safe with him.

  “I trust you.” I brought my lips to his again, and he groaned at the contact.

  “You shouldn’t,” he mumbled into my mouth. He shifted me again so I was lying on top of him. I kissed him heavily while he ran one of his hands into my hair, holding my face to his, the other circling my waist, crushing me against his body.

  Our mouths pressed harder together, kissing more and more frantically until he arched suddenly, causing me to roll onto the floor. Instantly he was off the couch and sprawled out on top of me.

  I laughed. “What was that for?” I asked, sliding my arms up around his neck and pulling him back down. He sucked on my lower lip, biting it as he reached for first one arm, and then the other, pinning them beside my head.

  “We have got to cool down. You’re driving me crazy.”

  I bit my lip as I stared up at him mischievously. “I thought that was the whole point.”

  He shook his head and groaned. “You really want me to get shot, don’t you?”

  “Not at all. We couldn’t do this anymore if you were.” I had no idea what made me feel so bold with him. I’d never behaved this way with anyone in my entire life, but I liked it. The things he made me feel were incredible.

  “Can I be honest with you? I mean brutally,” he asked, keeping me pinned beneath him.

  Nervous fear shot through. “Sure.”

  “There’s only so much a guy can handle before things get out of control.”

  “Okay?” I searched his face wondering where he was going with this.

  He laughed wryly. “I’m trying to say I’m there, Cami.” He stared at me. “I mean right there. I can’t take anymore.”

  I could feel the blush that was rapidly spreading across my face as his meaning sunk in. “Oh.”

  He grinned, bending to kiss me lightly on the lips before nuzzling softly by my ear. “I love that you’re so innocent, but I’m gonna move now. I want you to pick up your books and put them on your lap. We’re going to finish our homework . . . from opposite ends of the couch. Understand?”

  “Got it,” I nodded, secretly thrilled that I could make him feel so unrestrained.

  He sighed and dropped to kiss my mouth one more time before quickly moving off me and heading toward the kitchen.

  “Where you going?” I called after him as I sat up, reaching for my books and placing them in my lap just like he’d asked.

  “I need a cold drink. Do you want something?” I could hear him banging around in the cupboards as he looked for a glass.

  “No, I’m okay. Thanks.” I didn’t want to do anything that would dilute the scent of him on me. I could taste his minty breath from the gum he’d been chewing earlier, and I could smell his aftershave on my now sensitive skin from all the times he’d nuzzled against me. I loved it. I’d had no idea what I was missing out on before this. He made my heart flip out in ways I’d never imagined possible.

  I heard the back patio door slide open. “I’ll be outside for a second.”

  “Are you okay?” I laughed nervously.

  “No, but I will be. I just need to cool down for a minute.”

  Wow. I must’ve really done a number on him. I smiled in secret glee, biting my bottom lip again as opened my English book. I felt so empowered right now. I stared at the assignment in front of me feeling hopelessly distracted. There was no way I was going to be able to concentrate. My skin was still tingling and my heart was racing.

  Glancing down, I noticed my disheveled appearance. I got up and went upstairs to my bedroom, pausing in front of the mirror to straighten my clothing before going into my bathroom and quickly brushing through my hair. My lips were swollen and nearly every trace of makeup had disappeared. I looked thoroughly kissed. My dad would freak.

  I picked up my face powder and began quickly buffing some over my skin.

  “Covering up the evidence?” Hunter drawled, appearing in the doorway and causing me to jump.

  “Yes.” I continued to apply as he leaned casually against the frame, watching me.

  “Good idea, though it kinda just makes me want to mess it all up again.”

  Tingles shot through my body, and I glanced at him. “You’re so bad.”
r />   He arched his eyebrow. “You have no idea.” He tipped his head slightly to the side, his eyes narrowing.

  I paused. “What’s wrong?”

  Moving behind me, he swept my hair to the side. “You may want to put a little powder here on your neck. It looks like I got a little too aggressive.” His thumb brushed over my skin.

  “You gave me a hickey?” For some reason a giggle bubbled up out of me.

  “Apparently—unless you’ve been having your neck sucked on by someone else.”

  I elbowed him in the stomach and he grunted.

  “Sorry.” He continued to brush his fingers over the mark.

  “Don’t be. It’s close enough to my hairline that no one will notice after I cover it up. Besides . . . I like it.”

  He smiled, looking surprised. “You do, huh?” He wrapped his arms around me and leaned his chin on my head.

  “I do. Maybe you’ll give me another one sometime.”

  He released me and moved away. “I’m leaving before this conversation takes us right back to where we started. See you downstairs.”


  “I’m so not chicken,” he replied, and I couldn’t help my grin. I finished reapplying my lip-gloss and went down to join him.

  He was sitting on one end of the couch with his books propped open beside him and his notebook in his lap. He held a pen carefully poised over the paper, and he glanced up when I entered.

  “You look amazing,” he said appreciatively. “Now sit over there.” He pointed to the other end of the sofa.

  “Bossy, aren’t you?” I grumbled as I went to where he directed.

  “Practical,” he supplied, giving me a wink to soften the remark.

  I stared at him—something I could do forever and never get tired of—and I suddenly wanted to know every little thing about him. We’d been together a lot during the last couple weeks, but conversation hadn’t exactly been high on our list of priorities.

  “What’s your favorite color?” I asked.

  “What?” He looked as if I’d thrown him with my random subject change.

  “Your favorite color,” I repeated. “It occurs to me that we barely know anything about each other.”

  He snorted. “I was under the impression we were getting to know each other quite well.”

  “You know what I mean!” I threw my pencil at him, and he lifted his hands to ward it off, chuckling.

  “Red. My favorite color is red.” He eyed me. “For obvious reasons.”

  I grinned. “So, if I didn’t have red hair, what would your favorite color be?”

  He appeared to consider this. “Probably black. Black looks great with everything . . . especially red.”

  “I agree, black rocks. I also like green and gold. They go well with my red hair.” I smiled. “What’s your favorite food?”

  “Anything Italian. I’m a big fan of both pizza and pasta. How about you?”

  “I love Italian food, though I probably love Mexican just as much.”

  “Mexican is good. I can get on board with that.”

  “How about your favorite movie?”

  He scratched his head while he stared off into space. “Pass. I have too many I like to pick a favorite.”

  “A favorite genre of movie then?”

  “Not really. I like lots of action, but there are some great comedies out there too. I don’t even mind a good chick flick once in a while . . . as long as it’s with the right chick.” He glanced over me and gave me a sly grin. “What about you? Do you have a favorite?”

  “Lots of them actually—drama, and romantic comedies, but I’m a big fan of musicals as well. I absolutely love Phantom of the Opera, both the play and the movie. Have you seen it?”

  He shook his head. “Can’t say that I have, but if you like it then I’m willing to give it a try.”

  I practically squealed in delight. “Really? I love it! It’s so swoony!”

  He chuckled. “And I’m guessing swoony is good?”

  I brought my hand up to my heart. “Nothing is better than a good romance, Hunter. Nothing!”

  “I’ll keep that in mind.” He shook his head as he laughed.

  “So what kinds of things get you excited?” I asked, loving getting to know him better.

  He snorted. “Fast cars and loose women,” he answered without missing a beat.

  “Oh.” I didn’t know what to say—he’d caught me totally off guard.

  He burst out laughing again. “You’re so easy to tease—that gets me excited.” His gaze grew more reflective. “Lots of things about you seem to do that.”

  I really wished he would kiss me again. I thought he wanted to, but he glanced at the clock, and I knew he was thinking about my parents getting home.

  “How would you like to go on a for-real date with me this weekend?” he asked.

  “I thought we had been on real dates.”

  “No. We’ve just been making out, not dating.” He grinned. “Not that I’m complaining at all, but I want to take you out on a real date . . . show you some things I enjoy doing, and when we are finished we will go back to my place. We can make dinner together, and we’ll watch your favorite movie. If my uncle is home you can meet him.”

  “That sounds fabulous! I’d love to do that! What day?”

  “Let’s plan for this Saturday, shall we?”

  “That sounds perfect,” I replied, unable to stop my huge grin. I was so excited to learn more about him.

  “Then it’s a date,” he said. “Although I wish we could do something together before then.”

  “Well, I have a choir concert on Wednesday if you want to come to that. I have a solo, but I don’t want to bore you.”

  “You were gonna sing and not tell me?” He gave me a pointed look.

  I shrugged. “I guess. I didn’t think it would be your kind of scene.”

  “Anything with you in it is my kind of scene, Goody. I’d love to come listen to you. What are you singing?”

  I couldn’t help my excited smile. “I’m actually doing a song from Phantom. It’s called Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again.”

  “Sounds like it’ll be a perfect precursor to our date on Saturday. Maybe we can go out and get a milkshake or something afterward. I’m sure your parents won’t want you out too late on a school night.”

  Almost as if on cue, I heard the front door open. “Cami, we’re home!” my mom’s voice called.

  “We’re in the living room.”

  My dad rounded the corner, his eyes narrowing as he took in the distance between Hunter and myself on the couch before drifting to our books and over to where the television was still playing quietly.

  “Hey kids. What’re you both up to?” He came and gave me a kiss on the cheek and Hunter stood to shake his hand.

  “English and Government homework,” I replied as he set his briefcase down by his chair. “You know—the fun stuff.”

  He relaxed and chuckled, which eased the underlying tension in the room.

  “How’s that going?” Mom asked, glancing between us with a smile as she came from the kitchen with a glass of water in each hand, giving one to Dad.

  “Honestly, it’s tedious. We’ve been planning future dates, actually. Hunter is going to come to my choir concert on Wednesday.”

  “Really? You’re a music buff then?” Dad directed the comment to Hunter.

  “Only in the fact that I like music. I don’t know the first thing about it, otherwise.”

  “Well, music has been Cami’s life since she was little. We used to joke that she came out of the womb singing. Has she told you she wants to go away to college? She’s hoping to be accepted into the music theater program at the University of Arizona in Tucson.”

  “She has, and I think that would be an amazing experience for her. Plus, Tucson is wonderful. That’s where I’m from. I’m planning on moving back there after high school.”

  I had to try not to laugh as I watched
my dad’s plan fail. He was subtly trying to tell Hunter to back off because I was going to college. He looked less than thrilled to find we’d be living in the same town.

  “Won’t that be fun?” Mom exclaimed, not getting Dad’s ‘stay-away-from-my-daughter’ memo apparently. “If things work out for you two, you can still keep dating.” She smiled—her bubbly, incurable romantic self coming straight to the surface.

  Dad pasted a fake smile of joy on his face with a slight eye roll before he chased it down with a swallow of water. I was betting he wished he had some liquor in that glass right now.

  “Honestly, I’d like nothing better than that,” Hunter replied, sending a glance in my direction. “I like Cami a lot.”

  I wanted to kiss him so badly. I didn’t care that my parents were sitting right there. They needed to get used to the idea. I flipped open my notebook to where I’d put his sticky note from weeks ago. I took my red pen and checked the ‘yes’ box before leaning over to put it on his binder. “You win,” I said instead. “I like you.”

  Hunter grinned widely and grasped my hand, squeezing it, and we all pretended to miss the groan from my dad.

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