Lucky Kisses(5)

By: Addison Moore

“Wiffle ball?” He leans in once again as if gauging my sanity, and at this point so am I.

“Yes, you know, have fun with the boys the way nature intended. The last thing I do with any of my dates is leave them staggering with frustration. I’m not a tease.” Of course, I’m not a tease because I’ve no more than kissed a guy—yes, guy as in singular. No tongue at that. And why am I suddenly finding the need to lie to Lawson-I’m-A-Walking-Wiffle-Ball-Kent? I couldn’t care less if he knew the truth about me.

“You’re lying.” His shoulders relax as if my ability to bend the truth to his face actually brought some comfort to him. “You’re not a player, and you’re probably still a virgin.” He knocks back the frosty looking near beer in his hand, and I take that as my cue to leave.

Lying. Who is he to call me a liar? I am one but still. It’s the principle here that counts.

“Hey.” A pair of strong arms pulls me in, and I look up to find my faux big brother, Rush. He’s so tall and vexingly handsome that a handful of girls have taken to following him around. Lucky for them Rush is totally down with having a stalking posse. He refers to them as the pussy patrol—his vulgarity, not mine—and encouraging them by giving the false impression he might actually be interested in something more than a one-night stand. Rush Knight is the crowned king player of all the STD-infested players that WB has to offer. “The party’s right here. What’s got you twisted like a pretzel?”

“Ava and Grant left.” More lies. I’m actually happy that Ava left with Grant. Ava deserves all of the happiness in the world, and he genuinely seems to bring it, so hurray for them. I scowl at the thought.

“I know. They’re sick. Can they get a room already?”

“That’s what I said.” I laugh for the first time all night, and as quick as my glee comes, it goes as Lawson makes his presence known once again.

“Dude, don’t come into my room tonight.” Rush wraps his arm around my shoulder as if we’re about to get busy. “I’ve got a hot prospect just waiting to meet my mattress.” Rush slaps him over the shoulder, and Lawson’s eyes round out as he looks us over.

“Isn’t she your little sister?”

“What?” Rush backs away from me as if my hair just morphed into garden snakes. “Not Madden.” I think it’s sweet the way Rush insists on calling me by my last name. It makes me feel like one of the guys and assures me there’s not a chance in hell that anything sexual will ever commence between us. “No offense, kiddo. And get ready to kill that community interaction project. I’ll see what I can do about getting on your team.” He tousles my hair into a happy little bird’s nest. “I’ve got Sharon Ridgefield on the brain tonight. She’s meeting me at the door in five. She’s all in, and we’re outta here. I’ll catch you back at The Row.” He starts to take off. “Do me a favor, dude! Make sure my little sis makes it back to Cutler safe and sound!” That’s another nice brotherly thing that Rush has always done for me—walked me back to my dorm once Ava and Harper ditch me.

I growl up at Lawson for no real reason in particular. The music pummels louder, and everything about this night suddenly claws at my very last nerve.

A wave of his spiced cologne washes over me, something softer than what my brother wears, and yet something decidedly more exotic than what Rush sprays himself down with. Lawson leans in close, and I can’t help but note the way his T-shirt hugs his pecs as if it’s stretched to max capacity by the sheer expanse of his muscles. I’ve seen Lawson parading up and down the court in his uniform. I’m well aware of the fact he has a wall of granite underneath that cotton. He’s got a body. A good one at that. I just don’t want it in my face at the moment. That dark hair with just a hint of crimson, those leafy green eyes, it’s enough to make any girl swoon—any girl but me.

“So, what are the plans for tonight?” He brings the rim of his bottle to his lips and smiles around it as if I were merely here for entertainment value.

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