Focus (Page 25)

“Did you get mine too?” Levi held out his hand.

“No. Get your own.”

“Fine. I’ll be back in a second.” He walked off, and I expected it to take a while considering how crowded it was.

“How was your French tutoring?” Anne grinned.

“Thrilling.”

She laughed. “Well, he’s a lot hotter than any tutor I’ve ever seen.”

“Thanks, Anne. I appreciate that.” Of course, he chose that moment to return. Evidently, his charm worked at bowling alleys too. I doubted Levi actually knew what it was like to wait in line.

“Is Jared meeting you here?” Tiffany asked Levi.

“Why? You want to see him?”

I pushed Levi.

“What? I’m sure Jared would love to hear that.”

Tiffany blushed. “No. I just wondered since Jared and Owen are usually with you.”

“But you didn’t ask about Owen.”

“Shut up, Levi.”

“What?”

I glared at him.

“Fine. Sorry Tiffany.”

She looked away. “I was just surprised, that’s all.”

“We know. Levi’s just being his usual self.” Hailey’s expression mirrored my own.

“Hey, sorry we’re late.” Nick shot me a smile as he walked over with Brandon.

“It’s fine. Allie and Levi just got here.” Anne smiled at both of them, but it was obvious she was really paying attention to Brandon. I hadn’t realized Nick was coming. This could get awkward.

“Oh, you guys came together?” Nick asked. I didn’t know why he was playing dumb. He was well aware that Levi and I were dating.

“Of course we did.” Levi pulled me tighter against his side.

“Allie doesn’t have to go everywhere with you. You don’t own her,” he mumbled.

What the hell was Nick doing? Levi took a step towards Nick, pushing me slightly behind him. “No, I don’t own her, but I am going to marry her.”

“Are you guys done with your pissing contest?” Anne broke the tension. “We came here to bowl.”

I shrugged off Levi’s arm long enough to change shoes. “All right, let’s do this.”

Tiffany started us off, then took a seat next to me. “All right, that wasn’t too embarrassing.”

I retied the shoelace that had already come undone. “You hit seven pins. I’ve never hit seven pins.”

“Seriously?”

“Okay, I have. With bumpers.”

Tiffany laughed.

I suddenly noticed something. “This might be a dumb question, but where’s the computer? How do we record our scores?”

Levi bowled a strike and came to sit down next to me. “It’s called a pencil and paper, Al. Aren’t you the one who likes it old school?”

“You really record it like that?”

“Yes.” He smiled. “I told you this would be an experience.”

I was definitely the worst bowler there. Anne was incredible. No wonder she wanted to come. She even came close to holding her own against Levi and Hailey—almost. I’m pretty sure Pteron’s are good at everything. Neither of them even looked down the lane when they threw their balls. Even Nick, Tiffany, and Brandon left me in the dust. I drowned my humiliation in a couple of beers and eventually was able to laugh at myself.

We were having so much fun that I didn’t realize how late it was getting until Levi put an arm around me. “Hey, Cinderella, if we don’t leave soon, you’re going to turn into a pumpkin.”

I laughed. “It’s the coach that turns into the pumpkin, not Cinderella.”

“Same difference.”

“Is it really that late?” I pulled out my phone and looked at the time. “One? It’s one a.m?”

Levi nodded.

“Why didn’t you tell me? I have a test at nine!”

“You were having fun. Are you ready to go then?”

“Yes!” I knew it wasn’t Levi’s fault, but I really needed to get some sleep.

We said goodnight to everyone and Levi walked me out to his car. “On the positive side, you’re not drunk. At least you won’t be hung over tomorrow.”

“No, not hung over. Just falling asleep.”

“Just get through the test and take a nap.”

“I will after French.”

He laughed. “You’re such a goody two shoes.”

“Not exactly. I just like passing my classes.”

“Never change, Al. Please, never change.”

I laughed. “I don’t plan on it.”

***

By the time I finished my economics exam, I could barely keep my eyes open.

“Oh my god.” I gathered my stuff and walked out of the classroom.

“What’s up, Princess? Think you failed or something?” Jared caught up with me before I reached the hallway.

“Actually no. I think I did all right, but I swear I’m never taking another test after going out again.” I pushed open the door.

Jared glared at a guy who bumped into him. “Don’t swear about promises you can’t keep.”

“Oh, I’m going to keep it.”

“You’ve got four years of college ahead of you. It’s going to happen again.”

I rolled my eyes. “Well, all I want to do right now is go home and go back to sleep. Damn French.”

“You could always skip.”

“I’m lucky I’m passing.”

“That’s where Levi comes in, right?”

“Yeah, yeah.” I looked away. I didn’t want to see the smirk I knew would be on Jared’s face.

I turned back and he didn’t disappoint. “Did his French expertise win you over?”

“Not quite, but he did help.”

“What’s holding you back? I thought you were over everything.”

“I still don’t know if I can trust him.”

Jared looked me straight in the eye. “You can.”

“Thanks for your unbiased opinion.”

“Always at your service.”

“You know, you’re not as bad as I thought you were.” I tried to bite back a smile, but it came out anyway.

“Wait, are you trying to give me a backhanded compliment?”

“Just accept it before I take it back.”

He pulled up his sunglasses so I could see his eyes. “You’re not as bad as I thought either.”

“Good.”

“So, I’ll see you for training tomorrow?”