Hate to love you, p.9
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       Hate to Love You, p.9
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           Tijan

  “You don’t? It’s called using a syllabus.”

  “Pretty sure my syllabus doesn’t look like that.”

  He was right. I was three weeks ahead. I kept that to myself. “Excuse me.” I bent close to him, ignoring the proximity of our bodies and how my hip would touch him if I shifted a half-inch to my left.

  I typed in my password so he could get to his email.

  The room was getting warm again.

  Maybe my thermostat was broken?

  I finished and stepped back. “There. Pull up the notes, Coleman.”

  He chuckled under his breath. “Coleman.” His fingers were fast as he typed. “Your email?”

  I gave it to him, and it was forwarded in the next second.

  I pressed my lips together. “You could’ve done that anywhere.”

  “I know.” He scooted the chair back and looked around the room again. “But like I said, I was in the area and I wanted to see where you lived.” He went over to the television and began looking through the movies. “You have a lot of chick flicks.” He pulled out one of mine, one that wasn’t a chick flick. “This is a good one.”

  “It’s my roommate’s.” I folded my arms over my chest. “I only watch romantic sappy movies.”

  “I doubt that, for some reason.” He picked up the other one of mine. “We should watch this.”

  “Gladiator?”

  “Yeah.” He pulled it out and hit the open button on the DVD player.

  “What? Now?” Panic was rising again. It had settled, thinking he’d leave as quick as he came. Nope. It was rising to the red needle as he sat on the loveseat.

  “Yeah. Why not?” He looked to my clock on the nightstand. “I’ve got a couple of hours to kill. If I head home, the guys will want to head to the bar or something.”

  “Don’t you have a game tomorrow?” Shouldn’t he have training to do? Or carb training? Or . . . what did football players do before a big game day? I looked bleakly to the screen. The movie was starting. Did they watch Gladiator? Was that part of their routine? “You can borrow this if you want. You can take it to your house and watch it there.”

  He patted the seat next to him. “Come on, Clarke. I’m not going to put the moves on you. We don’t like each other, remember?”

  My scowl was back in place. “You’re making fun of me.”

  “Because you’re so easy to mess with. Seriously. Come and sit.” He patted the seat once again. “If I put my arm around you, it’s because I have to stretch. Can’t cramp up. I’m the quarterback.” He winked.

  “Stop fucking with me.”

  Missy could come in. She usually did at least once or twice. They’d gone to eat, but she always came in to leave her things. Holly and the cousin walked with her because they couldn’t walk an entire hallway alone. Then she’d go back to their room before coming back again to change if they decided to go out to a party or somewhere else.

  He couldn’t be in my room during that prime time.

  He narrowed his eyes. “You’re upset, for real?”

  “Yes. You don’t know what it’s like.”

  They’d see him. They’d look at me differently. They’d want to use me or get angry because he was hanging out with me and not them. Missy thought I was beneath her. So did the others.

  He cursed, scooting forward and resting his elbows on his knees. “You want me to leave?”

  Yes!

  I should’ve said that word, but I didn’t. My mouth didn’t move. Why didn’t it move? I bit my lip, and what I knew would happen, happened.

  I heard Missy’s voice in the hallway.

  New panic that I’d never felt before stuck in my throat. “Get in the closet. Now!”

  “Wha—” He stood, and I shoved him in. “Are you serious?” A hanger poked his cheek. He batted it away, scowling at me now. “You’re insane.”

  “Sorry.”

  They were at the door.

  She used her key to unlock it.

  I shut my closet door and stood in front of it, feeling like an idiot. My smile would’ve won the most awkward prize ever. I even twiddled my thumbs together.

  Missy came in, saw me, and stopped. Her eyebrows dipped together. “You look weird.”

  I stopped twiddling my thumbs. “No, I don’t.”

  Holly was right behind her. “What are you doing?”

  “Standing.”

  “We can see that.”

  I raised one of my feet up behind me. “I mean, I’m practicing my balance. You guys should, too.”

  Missy snorted, going to her desk. She tossed her keys down and checked her email.

  “Your balance?” Holly lifted her left leg up. “An odd way to pass the time, but yeah. I can see the appeal. Do you do yoga, Kennedy?”

  I wanted to curse at them. I wanted to rage. I wanted them to go away.

  I just smiled. “Maybe I should try.”

  “Yeah.” Her eyes lit up. “We’re going to start doing meditation. Missy, we should start tomorrow.” She looked back. “We could meet in our room, and if we get too many people, we can use the chapel downstairs. It’s a good Zen-like room, has that peaceful feel to it.”

  That room was creepy, and it would always make me think of Casey. “Sure. You bet.”

  “Done.” Missy shut her computer down and changed into a different shirt. She grabbed her phone, but her hands hovered over her keys. “Are you going to be in here tonight?”

  Holly glanced to her, and I knew what she was thinking. It isn’t like she has a life. My roommate’s words hung in the air again, filling the air up with tension.

  I wasn’t going to do yoga anymore.

  I nodded. “I think so.” I pointed to her keys. “You can leave them. If I do go somewhere, I’ll bring them to Holly’s room or leave them with the floor advisor.”

  “Is she on duty tonight?”

  “Yeah. All night.” That meant she’d be in her room the whole time.

  “Okay.” She lifted her mouth in a closed-off smile, though her eyes didn’t look it. “See you later.”

  She moved after Holly as they left. Holly gazed at me a moment, as if she wanted to say something, but she didn’t.

  As soon as the door closed, Shay reached out.

  I started to step aside, but his hand wrapped around my arm and he hauled me inside with him.

  “Hey. What are yo—”

  My words were swallowed by his mouth.

  Shay Coleman was kissing me.

  That thought barely registered before my blood warmed, a full-body tingle went through me, wracking all the way to my fingers and toes. Holy shit. I couldn’t think, and his lips were moving over mine. They were asking for something, and I answered. I didn’t know what I was doing, but my mouth opened, and his tongue slid inside. He was kissing me with an extra roughness than I’d felt with guys before, but I was melting.

  I lifted my hands to his chest.

  What were we doing?

  I hated Coleman.

  At the reminder, I began to pull away.

  He groaned, tightening his hold on my arms. “No, no.”

  “But wha—”

  “Stop. Okay?” He pulled back, just slightly. I could feel him, all of him. His hand fell to my waist, rounded over my hip, and he tugged me closer. I was lined up against him, and I could feel more than just his jeans. “We hate each other. Fine. But not right now.” His lips nipped at mine. I felt them smile as he murmured, “I don’t hate you right now at all.”

  But he would. I would.

  I was still holding back. What was I doing? Really?

  “Sha—”

  “Clarke, stop.” He dipped his body down, and his other hand touched my other hip. He lifted me and moved between my legs. We were in my closet. He was holding me against the wall, and he was standing there. I was half-straddling him. His lips grazed over mine, softly that time.

  That was it. That was all I needed.

  The last of my resistance faded, and I wound my arms
around his neck, molding my body against him. “Fine.” I pressed my lips to his. “But this has new rules. Make-out sessions: first rule, we don’t talk.”

  “Yeah.” He growled, his lips covering mine again, drawing a moan from me. “You’re damn right. We don’t talk.” Then he was back to kissing me, and I was right with him.

  Gladiator played while we made out on my bed.

  I locked the door. I’d never been so happy that Missy left her keys. She was locked out, and then the movie was turned up, enough to drown out any vocals that might slip, and I was going to turn the light off, but Shay grabbed me. He lifted me and almost threw me onto the bed, coming with me, and his lips found mine once again. He sank down on top of me, his body resting between my legs, and that was how we spent Friday night.

  His hands glided and touched under my shirt, covering my breasts.

  I shoved his hand away, but with a wicked grin, he bent down to start kissing my stomach. Whoa. I was a mess, panting, and feeling this flooding sensation all over. His lips were moving over my skin, raising a whole storm of pleasure, and I pawed at his shoulders. He raised up to find my mouth, and I was the one to put his hand on my breast. He didn’t undo my bra, but he slipped underneath it, cupping me fully, and his thumb rubbed over my nipple.

  I cursed and moaned, tightening my legs around his back right over his waist. He was the one to break away and groan this time. I could feel him, resting so close to my entrance, but we weren’t going there.

  If these sessions continued, maybe. If not, totally fine with that. And that was a big if. I didn’t like this guy. Remember?

  I paused, pulling my lips away and frowning to myself. Was I trying to remind myself or him?

  My head was filled with these dark and swirly feelings. Want. Desire. Lust. I wasn’t going to tell him about that. He’d say it was because of his primal animal sexiness, but I whimpered, his mouth capturing mine again. I had to admit there must’ve been some of that going on. It was infecting me, making me act all wanton, like a girl.

  “Stop thinking.” He rose so he could whisper the words to my ear, and I melted again. That was a caress, reminding me of all the other times he’d spoken so only I could hear. Goddamn. That was intimate. Then his hands rested on the snap of my jeans, and I woke up. He was about to go to a whole other level of intimacy.

  “No.” I caught his hand. “I’m not ready.”

  “Okay.” His hand slid back under my shirt. I thought he was going back to my breast, which was a pleasant thought. She was missing him, but he didn’t. He lifted my shirt up, and I helped him tug it over my head.

  I didn’t need that short-sleeved shirt. What a good idea. This was so much better, but no. He had to join me. I raised his shirt, and he lifted, grabbing the fabric and throwing it to the floor. I registered his wicked grin, his heated eyes, and then he was on me once more. Skin to skin. Bare chest to bare chest, except for my bra. He touched the clasp behind me and asked, “Yeah?”

  I paused. Should I? Was that too much, too fast?

  He waited, and skimmed his thumb over my nipple as he did, and I cursed at him. “That isn’t playing fair.”

  His grin widened. His lips met mine, and he whispered against them, “I don’t play fair. Ever. You should know that about me.” His other hand began to undo my clasp, but he was going slowly, waiting for my approval, so I nodded. The bra felt like a restriction. It wasn’t natural. I was all about being natural at that moment, and then it was off, and the straps were slipped from my arms, and I wound them around his neck once again.

  It was gone, and we really were bare chest to bare chest, then. We were exactly how we were supposed to be, and like that, with my jeans on, and his bulging, we made out until way past Gladiator was done and the credits had ended.

  All the way until the door handle rattled.

  “FUCK!”

  That was me, but Shay almost levitated off me. He scooted back so he was sitting on the end of the bed.

  “Kennedy?” Missy was knocking on the door. “Let me in!”

  “Uh—”

  My hair was a mess. My boobs felt like they’d been sanded and were incredibly smooth, and I could only gape at Shay. His hair was a mess like mine, but I trickled down his chest. He was so yummy. I bit my lip, and he tipped his head back, a soft groan coming from him. He bent over me, whispering, “That isn’t fair.”

  “Yeah,” I whispered back, falling back on the bed. “I don’t play fair, either.”

  “Yeah?” He was smiling, still talking quietly.

  “Yeah.” I pulled him down. I was losing my mind. We were on a bed, and he didn’t have a shirt on, and I only wanted to feel him against me, but . . . was I going to do something?

  “Kennedy!” Missy pounded harder on the door. “Let me in. I need to grab my keys.”

  “Why?”

  I stretched on my back, and Shay was on top of me. He fit between my legs, and his lips fell to my shoulder. He murmured, “Get rid of her. I’m not hiding in that damned closet again.”

  Then his lips began kissing there. He was doing these circle things with his tongue, and I was struggling to remember whose dorm room I was even in.

  Missy banged on the door once more. She raised her voice. “Come on. We’re going to a party.”

  I frowned. They had party friends?

  “I need my keys.” She added, punctuating her impatience with another twist of the doorknob.

  I groaned. “Can I just give you your keys? Can you not come in?”

  “Why?” Her voice was quieter, as if she took a step backward.

  “Because I’m working out, naked.”

  Shay started laughing, burying his head into my shoulder and neck.

  “Naked?” She sounded disgusted. “Are you masturbating?”

  His shoulders started shaking.

  I was going to take one for the team.

  I raised my voice. “Yes. This is a natural thing to do. I am taking control of my body, and that means masturbation. It’s healthy.”

  “That’s disgusting.” She sighed. “Yeah, just give me the keys. I can get a different shirt from Holly and use her makeup. You owe me, Kennedy.”

  She wasn’t the only one owing someone in this situation. I rolled my eyes and crawled out from under Shay. I tugged on a shirt. I didn’t know which one. I just grabbed one. It felt weird walking half-naked in the room even though I knew he’d pull it off as soon as I went back to him. Grabbing her keys, I padded barefoot and opened the door.

  “You’re so gross.”

  I shoved her keys out the door and grunted. “So are you.” I was going to shut the door hard, but paused. “Thank you.” It closed, and I locked it once more. I could hear her walking away as I rested my back against the door.

  I took inventory.

  I was wearing his shirt. No bra. No socks. No shoes. My jeans were unbuckled, but the zipper was still up. And I still had my underwear on.

 
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