#Nerd (Page 9)

“What’s wrong with what you have on?” I asked, sinking down onto the bed.

“This!” she demanded, motioning toward a pair of yoga pants and a loose top. “This is loungewear!”

I didn’t care about clothes. They seemed like a waste of energy… and also something that got you noticed. Sometimes being invisible was better.

“I’m sure whatever you pick will be fabulous,” I replied and scooped up my shower tote with everything I needed to shower before bed.

“Hey, so how’d tutoring go?” she asked.

Ivy and I weren’t really friends, but we were roommates who lived in very close quarters. She wasn’t the silent type; she was bubbly and talkative and she asked a lot of questions. It was easier to answer her than try to evade.

Besides, I kinda liked talking to her.

I rolled my eyes. “He’s a complete douche.”

“Is he at least hot?”

My lips curved into a smile. I wondered what she would say if I told her it was Romeo. She’d probably pee her pants.

Before I could say anything, Ivy turned back to the mirror. “Never mind. Of course he isn’t hot. What hottie goes and sits in the library three days a week to get tutored? Lame.”

I swallowed Romeo’s name on my tongue. I knew she didn’t mean it as an insult, but it still stung. I went to the library all the time.

I let myself out of the room and went down the hall to the bathroom. Suddenly, I was very tired.

Chapter Six

Romeo

I woke up to the sight of my mother standing over me, wearing a disapproving frown on her lips and holding a mug of coffee in her hands.

With a groan, I rolled over and clutched the blankets up around my waist. The last thing I wanted was to give my mother an eyeful of my morning wood. “What?” I half growled.

“Do not speak to me like that,” she intoned, not even stepping back an inch. Valerie Anderson was not easily intimidated. If anything, she was the intimidator. I knew by the way her perfectly arched brows drew together that she was trying to intimidate me.

It wouldn’t work.

It never did.

I got the same kind of never back down attitude passed into my genes.

“Why are you glowering at me?” I paused to glance at the clock and cringed. It was the freaking butt-crack of dawn. “The sun isn’t even up.” I finished with a groan. I got no sleep thanks to my little kidnapping and swim last night, and now this.

“I’d like an explanation for the graffiti on your front door,” she said coolly.

Fuck.

My mother might be an intimidator, but she was even more of a perfectionist. On top of that, the “mess” was on the front door, where—gasp—the neighbors could see.

“It was a prank, Mom.” I scrubbed a hand over my face.

“Yes. Well, you know how I feel about the appearance of our home. Clean it.”

“Can’t the gardener do that?” I whined.

“It is not his job to clean up after your friends.”

“Fine,” I muttered and sat up as my father walked into my bedroom behind her. What the hell was this? They never came over here, yet here they both were.

“Valerie, give the boy a break. Can’t you see it was the Omegas?”

Her eyes turned sharp and she looked over her shoulder. “You mean the exclusive fraternity that you and your father were both members of, Anthony?”

“One and the same.” he replied, then looked around her at me. “Congratulations, son. I knew they’d rush you.”

“Dad.” I sighed as my gut tightened. “Did you have something to do with this?”

He might be acting like this was an expected occurrence now, but last year, he was sorely bitter that I hadn’t been rushed by Alpha Omega. He might not have said as much, but he thought it was my fault. For weeks, he looked at me like I was lacking something.

I felt my gaze flatten as I stared at him, waiting for his answer.

“Are you asking me if I had to make a call?”

As in call your old buddy the dean to complain so I would get a spot? “Yes.”

“Of course not. You have a spot because you earned it.”

I watched his face as he spoke. I learned a long time ago how to read him and read between his words to hear the lie. My stomach unclenched when I saw he was telling the truth.

I blew out a breath, relieved. Truth was I wanted that spot in Omega. But I only wanted it if it was real—if I truly earned it. I didn’t want something my father had to buy.

“C’mon, Valerie, give him some space. I’m sure Roman has training to do before classes,” my father said.

“Of course,” she said, glancing back at me.

I got my blond hair from her and my blue eyes from my father. Even though it was barely morning, she was already dressed in a tailored pair of jeans and a cashmere sweater. Her hair was sleek and cut to her chin. Her makeup was perfect. In fact, there wasn’t a time I could remember seeing her without makeup.

My father wrapped his arm around her shoulders and guided her toward the bedroom door. He was dressed in a black three-piece suit with a designer label. He had short, dark hair that was graying at the temples. He was a large man, over six feet tall with a broad build. Over the years, he’d lost some of his muscle mass, but he was still big enough to not look skinny.

My father had the kind of smile that could make people eat shit right out of his hand and think it was caviar. He was a natural born leader, but never had to use force to get what he wanted. Charm was a much better weapon.

It made him a wildly successful lawyer.

“Roman,” Mom said, turning back. “No hurry in cleaning off the door. Just focus on training and tomorrow’s game.”

“Thanks,” I said. In other words, now that she knew it was the exclusive symbol of the Alpha Omegas, she wanted everyone to see. I didn’t bother to remind her that it didn’t matter if it was there or not, the main house was so big it hid this one from view. Not to mention, there was a giant privacy fence around the entire property.

I pulled on a loose pair of sweats and ignored the cool morning air against my bare chest. Inside my home gym, I turned on some music, the kind that would hopefully pump me full of energy, and then hit the weights.

After about an hour and a half of training, my muscles were quivering and my legs felt like Jell-O. I showered and blended up a fast protein shake to go. I had a full morning of classes, one this afternoon, then practice until early evening.

Then I had to go to tutoring.