#Nerd (Page 20)

After a while, Michelle poked her head in and said she was going to lock up.

“C’mon,” Romeo said, “I’ll drive you back to campus.”

“You don’t have to do that,” I rushed to say. “Michelle usually gives me a ride.”

“But I’m here now.”

And what about when you aren’t? The thought was like a knife in my chest. I told myself to hang on to that feeling because there would come a time, like probably in ten minutes, when he would be gone and life would be the way it always was.

He seemed to take my silence as some kind of agreement, and we went back out into the main room where I gathered up my things, including my shirt.

Michelle’s eyes went right to the jacket I was wearing and then her gaze bounced between me and Romeo. I caught her eye and shook my head slightly, wanting her to get the idea out of her head immediately.

“I’ll see you tomorrow,” she said, opening the door for us.

When I was out on the sidewalk, Michelle called out for Romeo. When he turned back, she said, “You’re welcome back anytime, Roman.”

I gave her a death glare and hoped it gave her nightmares. Judging from the smile on her face, it wouldn’t.

The ride back to campus was short and quiet. I couldn’t help but sink into the soft, warm seat and breathe in the scent of his jacket. When we pulled up in front of my dorm, my eyes were heavy and threatening sleep.

“How’d you know which one I was in?” I asked sleepily.

“Lucky guess.”

“Oh. Well, thanks for the ride.”

I started to climb out.

“Rimmel?”

“Yes?”

“I really am sorry about before. Thanks for letting me hang with you tonight.”

Hang? Is that what we’d done?

I got out and hefted my bag on my shoulder. Then I remembered his jacket. I waved my arms as he backed up, and he hit the brakes. I rushed around the front of the car, his headlights blinding me, and dropped my bag at my feet so I could shrug out of the jacket.

“Here,” I said, handing it to him through the window.

“Thanks,” he said, not looking at my face, but instead at the little tank I was wearing. I picked up my bag and held it in front of me like a shield and backed away from the car.

He sat in the lot and watched me until I disappeared inside.

I could hear the velvety purr of his engine all the way up the stairs as I walked to my room.

Chapter Twelve

Romeo

Rain cut through my headlights, making slashing marks in the air as I drove home. The image of Rimmel sitting Indian style on the tile floor with that cat in her lap and her hair piled on her head refused to go away.

Yeah, I’d had the urge to check her out before. I mean, shit, I checked out every woman I saw. But I never really thought I’d see that.

I felt like it was the first time I’d looked at someone and really saw them.

It left me shaken.

I was just tired, that’s all. My body was done and my brain was trying to pick up the slack. Tomorrow this would be a memory, and I certainly wouldn’t be haunted by the image of Rimmel and a cat.

I’d only waited for her because of the text.

The challenge.

Yeah, it was initiation for the Omegas. But it almost felt like some kind of unspoken personal challenge between Zach and me. A dare. I lifted my mouth a little at the thought because this wasn’t grade school. Hell, this wasn’t even high school. This was college. Technically, we were adults. We didn’t dare each other.

But still, I wouldn’t back down.

Zach thought he played a good hand. He thought I’d been dealt a raw deal. I had to admit, yeah, I was pretty handicapped. I mean, shit, she was like socially inept. She became nervous just when someone looked at her too long.

And she was always falling over. Her clothes looked like sacks, she freaking snorted when she laughed, and her hair…

She is beautiful.

The thought came out of nowhere and shocked me into next week. The car jerked to a stop in the driveway, and I sat there while the engine idled and stared out at the rain sliding down the windshield.

Even as I wanted to deny it, my mind refused. It wasn’t the first time I’d thought it either. Hadn’t I just told her the very same thing?

But it never really hit home. Maybe I hadn’t heard my own words.

They were loud and clear right now.

I shook my head. I couldn’t really understand. She wasn’t beautiful.

But she is.

She lifted her hair up off her face and the room literally stopped. It was like there was a sudden vacuum sucking me in until the only thing I could see was her.

Rimmel’s face was shaped like a heart. She had high cheekbones, wide eyes, and a chin that gradually tapered in. Her lips were full and pouty, and if she ever took those glasses off, the impact of her eyes would be astounding. As it was, they were stunning behind the glasses. She had a small nose, almost perky, and her skin was so creamy it almost looked like the cream my mother liked to pour in her coffee.

And the curve of her neck… I’d never noticed such a thing before. But when she turned back to the cat, I could see it. She was so small-looking. Delicate and fine-boned. Her neck was sloped gently and curved out to give way to her shoulders. I wanted—no, I itched—to drag my fingers along that spot. To flirt with the hair at the nape of her neck and to take my teeth and nip at the perfectly smooth skin.

When she got up to show me to the dogs, I couldn’t tear my eyes off her. Her shirt was soaked and it plastered to her frame. The cold made her nipples erect and I could barely take seeing them without being allowed to touch.

So I offered her my jacket. To cover her up, to let me get my head on straight.

But it backfired.

She went and took off her shirt.

Holy shit did my cock spring to life when she pulled away that fabric. Even though she kept her back turned, I still got quite a glimpse. Her arms were willowy, her waist narrow and trim, giving way to softly flared hips.

Honestly, she wasn’t at all my usual type. I liked a girl with curves, a girl I could grab. Rimmel wasn’t all that curvy, but there was something about her that I couldn’t stop looking at. Heat flared in my stomach and spread like I’d just drank a giant shot of whiskey and the burn of alcohol was spreading through my limbs.

My varsity jacket hid most of her body, but it didn’t douse my reaction. It swallowed her up and the only thing I could think of was being on top of her, my body covering hers, completely swallowing her up.

I guess it was a good thing I suddenly found her attractive. I did have to sleep with her. It certainly would make it easier.