Crush, p.24
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       Crush, p.24

           Lacey Weatherford
 

  Chapter Twenty-One

  Hunter-

  I tried to remember what day it was. Sunday? Maybe? I sunk deeper into the leather couch at Derek’s house. Man, I was messed up—stoned out of my mind, I just wanted to close my eyes and sleep for hours.

  Chuckling, I stared at the haze floating in the room. Hell, a person could get mellow just from walking in here. I could barely make out the forms of other people lounging around the room. This was so bad.

  My mind casually drifted to Cami, and I closed my eyes as a feeling of panic welled up inside me. If she ever saw me like this she’d probably run screaming in the other direction. That was a sobering thought.

  I felt bad. She was working at the theater tonight, so I’d taken the opportunity to hit some people up. I knew she wouldn’t approve in the least, and I hadn’t intended to get this stoned, but things had gotten a little out of hand. One minute I’d been chillin’ with Derek talking about casual stuff, the next he was selling me on the idea of starting to deal with him and how much money we could make if we expanded our reach a bit. He definitely had a head for his business and before I knew it, I was agreeing to it. Afterward Derek and I had gotten a little celebratory, and the party had escalated from there.

  Cami couldn’t find out. She’d never understand, and I’d never be able to explain why it was so enticing to me. I sighed. She was so beautiful—so good. I tried to keep hold of the picture of her swimming inside my mind, but it was difficult. I wished she was here—so much I could almost imagine her body pressed up against mine right now, the feel of her nuzzling my neck as her hands slid lower down my body, slipping into my waistband.

  Whoa! My eyes popped open to find Gabrielle cuddled up against me, her hand traveling in a direction I had no desire for it to go.

  “What the heck?” I said, pushing away. “Get off me!” I gave her what I hoped was a good glare, but I could tell she was pretty out of it.

  “What’s a girl gotta do to get your attention, Hunter?” she whined and poked out her bottom lip in a pout before collapsing against my chest.

  Great.

  I sighed. “I’ve noticed you fine, Gabby. You’re just not my type.” I shoved at her but she didn’t budge.

  “I’m everyone’s type,” she mumbled against my chest, and I felt her kiss me through my shirt. “You need to give me a chance to show you.”

  “Some other time, then. I’m with Cami now.” I lifted my heavy arms in an attempt to push her away again, knowing there would never be a time I wanted this girl.

  “I don’t see her here anywhere. Come on, Hunter. It’s not like you have to marry me. Let’s just have a little fun together.” She moved, straddling me, her hands grabbing the hem of my shirt and pushing it up.

  I stared at her incredulously before I grabbed and shoved it back down. “Get off me. Now,” I said with what I hoped was deadly calm.

  She giggled. “Quit being such a baby. It’ll be enjoyable.”

  “What part of no don’t you understand?” I asked in exasperation.

  She laughed some more. “The ‘no’ part.” She bent and kissed the side of my face.

  I shoved her hard enough to send her sliding backward off my knees onto the floor.

  “Ow! That hurt!” she screeched, rubbing one of her knees.

  Several other people in the room started laughing.

  “It’s not like he didn’t warn you, though.” Derek chuckled. “Come here, Gabby, baby. I’ll take care of you.”

  She gave me a glare and moved in his direction.

  “Dude, I’m out of here. Sorry.” I got up and stumbled across the room over several bodies on the floor. “I’ll text you tomorrow.”

  “Later, man.” He was making out with her before I was even through the front door.

  I dug my keys from my pocket and got into my car. I hesitated before putting them in the ignition. I was in a pretty bad state. I should definitely not be behind the wheel right now.

  Starting it, I carefully drove a mile down the road to the theater. I pulled into the parking lot and sat there for a few minutes. I tried to decide if I was brave enough to go into the theater and face Cami, before making up my mind to sleep it off in the car for a little while. If I could take a nap I’d probably make it home safely.

  I closed my eyes and drifted off to sleep.

  “Hunter? Hunter?” The voice sounded far away, as did the incessant tapping sound. “Hunter, are you okay?”

  Cami. Just the sound of her voice made me smile. I slowly opened my eyes, trying to orient myself.

  “Hey.” I smiled when I saw her standing outside my window. “What’re you doing here?”

  She looked at me, puzzled. “I’ve been at work, remember?” She pointed, and I glanced toward the theater.

  Oh, right. Crap.

  “How long have you been here?” she asked with a worried frown.

  I shrugged. “I don’t know. A few hours maybe?”

  “Will you please roll down the window or open the door so I can hear you better? Aren’t you here to pick me up?”

  I was in so much trouble. “Sure,” I replied, leaning across the car to open the door on the other side, hoping it would let out any smoke smell clinging to me while she walked around the vehicle. I quickly turned on the car, flipped on the fan and rolled my window down as well.

  She climbed inside and turned to look at me in distaste. “What in heaven’s name is that odor?”

  Damn. I remained silent for a moment.

  “How was work?” I asked cordially.

  “Oh my gosh! You’ve been smoking weed haven’t you?” She looked horrified.

  Among other things, I thought. “It’s not like that, Goody,” I began to explain.

  “Don’t call me that. Where have you been tonight?”

  “Derek’s. He had a party, and I figured since you were working I’d go hang out.” I could see the horror and disgust written all over her face.

  “Get out of the car!”

  Wow, she was really angry. “Why? It’s my car!”

  “Then you better get out if you want to keep it. There’s no way I’m letting you drive in this condition.”

  “I’m better now that I’ve slept a little,” I complained, but I did as she asked, walking over to her side.

  She stormed past me.

  “Cami,” I said, grabbing her. “Don’t be angry with me, please.”

  She pushed her way from my grasp, going to the driver’s side and getting in. I stood there staring at her for a moment before I got in. As soon as I was buckled up, she put the car in gear and took off.

  “Who else was at this party?” She was fuming.

  “Lots of people. I don’t remember everyone.” I leaned my head against the seat. This was going from bad to worse.

  “Were you with any girls?” She was clenching her jaw—she didn’t want to hear the answer.

  “Gabrielle hit on me. I told her no thanks.”

  “Hit on you how?”

  “I woke up and she was cuddled up against me. She tried kissing me.”

  Her hands were white knuckled on the steering wheel. “Did you kiss her back?”

  “What? No! You’re kidding, right? I told you how I felt about her.”

  “I thought you also said you weren’t going to do drugs anymore.”

  I laughed wryly. “I’m pretty sure I never said that.”

  “You said you hadn’t felt the need to continue attending parties.”

  “Yeah, meaning I was enjoying spending my time with you more, not that I was going to quit using. Don’t be putting words in my mouth, Cami.”

  She gave me an incredulous glance. “Well, pardon me, Mr. Perfect. Excuse me for caring.”

  I dragged my hand through my hair. This was so not going the way I’d hoped.

  “I’m sorry. Things aren’t coming out the right way. Please know I would never do anything with the intention of hurting you.”

  “It doesn’t matter whether you
intended to or not. The point is you did.”

  “I’m sorry,” I whispered, turning to look out the passenger window. There were so many things I wished I could tell her right now. Things I felt would possibly make it better, or at the very least, help her understand where I was coming from, but I couldn’t do it. Not yet.

  She was positively rigid as she drove, not speaking at all until she pulled in front of my condo.

  “Are you coming in so we can talk about this?”

  “No,” she answered flatly, tossing me my keys. “I’m going home. I have homework I need to finish before tomorrow.”

  I dropped the keys back into her lap. “Take my car then. I don’t want you walking across town in the dark.”

  She shook her head. “I don’t want anything of yours right now, Hunter.”

  Her words stabbed me painfully, twisting into my heart. “It’s either drive it home, or let me drive you home. I won’t take no for an answer.”

  “I’ll call Clay.”

  Score, Cami: a billion. Hunter: zero. I thought I might actually feel a panic attack coming on thinking of her being with Clay.

  “Then call your dad if you need too, but I think you should just take the car. You can come pick me up for school in the morning. I want to work this through with you, Cami. I know what I did was wrong, but I can’t fix it unless you talk to me. I know you’re angry, so take the car for now, and we’ll discuss it later when we’ve both had a chance to cool down. Okay?”

  She sat staring straight ahead for several moments before she finally picked up the keys. “Fine. Now get out.”

  I did as she asked, and she hardly waited for me to step onto the curb before she was speeding away.

  I’d made a mess out of everything.

 
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