Zoey shuddered. “I can only imagine. Actually...” She wrinkled her nose. “I don’t even want to imagine. His idea of fun no doubt goes beyond what I could even fathom.”
The idea of that seemed to disgust her, but it turned me on. That probably meant I was a freak. Well, yeah, I had to be a freak. I wanted Oren Tenning. That could not be normal. But still, why did I crave such dirty things? With him?
I checked the time on my phone. Eleven thirty. If he truly meant to meet Kelly at midnight, he’d have to leave soon. But he was still here. Maybe this meant he wasn’t—
“Yo, Ham. I’m heading out.” He appeared out of nowhere beside me to tap the top of our table and get his roommate’s attention.
I yelped because I hadn’t even noticed him moving our way. With a low growl, I scowled at him for startling me...or maybe for leaving now, because that meant he was still planning on meeting Kelly. The ass.
He met my gaze and paused. Reading something—though I’m not sure what—from my expression, he leaned close to talk into my ear.
“What? You’re not still mad at me for chasing off that little boy, are you?”
I sniffed and lifted my chin. “You’re just as bad as Noel. I mean, you’re never going let me date anyone without any kind of interference, are you?”
He watched me a moment longer, his intent expression harboring all his thoughts. Then he leaned in again. “How about this? If you ever find anyone good enough for you, I will step back and let you at him without even a single fuck-off glare in his direction.” Then he leaned even closer. “Problem is, I don’t think anyone will ever be good enough for the likes of you.”
When he reached out slowly and caught a tendril of my hair, the achiest look entered his eyes. He studied the lock he was methodically winding around his finger, and the way he watched it was just...I knew that look and recognized it intimately. Every time I saw him, I felt it rising from my own core, wanting, yet helpless to take.
A shudder wracked me. Once upon a time, I’d told Zoey that if I knew for certain Oren really, truly liked me—liked me the way I liked him—I wouldn’t let Noel keep us apart. And I’d meant it.
I still meant it.
“Even you?” I asked him.
His eyes flashed at the question. “Especially me.” Dropping my hair, he stepped back and straightened before he cast a quick glance toward the bar, as if testing whether my brother could see us or not. When he seemed to realize Noel hadn’t spotted him touching me, he turned away and strolled off.
I stared after him, my lips parting. And that’s when I knew, or at least I convinced myself I knew. My theory wasn’t a theory at all; Oren honestly did want me, and he really was an ass to me sometimes because he was trying to keep me away so he wouldn’t fall into temptation and go against Noel’s wishes.
Well, screw that. My brother wouldn’t have befriended Oren if he thought he was such a bad guy. And Oren had done so many good things for him—which was another reason I’d grown obsessed with him. I swear, the only reason Noel didn’t want me to date his friend was because he didn’t trust me not to mess my life up royally, as I had the last time I’d gotten involved with someone.
But Oren was nothing like Sander. And I wanted him. I wanted him so bad. Even suspecting that he wanted me back made my heart ache.
It made Blaze’s words echo through my head.
“Live a little, Caroline. Find yourself a man. A hot one-night stand.”
A one-night stand, huh? On the heels of her echoing comment, I heard Kelly’s, “He only does it in the dark…I’m supposed to meet him at his place at midnight.”
“He always leaves his apartment door unlocked, and you’re supposed to just walk right in and down a dark hall to his dark bedroom.”
As everything I’d heard tonight crowded into my head, an idea formed. It was crazy. Insane. The worst idea I’d ever had. But I couldn’t push it from my mind.
I shouldn’t even consider it.
Then I did, anyway.
Seriously, though...if I arrived at Oren’s place tonight at twelve o’clock and entered his dark bedroom, and he really honestly always did it with the lights off, he’d never know it was me. He’d think I was Kelly. Right?
My heart pounded. Yeah, that was a crazy idea. Too crazy. I was going to stop thinking it now.
Then again, what would the harm really be? He’d get his sex. I’d get what I’d been craving from him for months. Blaze would be happy my vagina wasn’t going to dry out and shrivel up, not that I was sure why she was even worried about my vagina. But honestly, everyone would go away happy. Wouldn’t they? Not even Noel could freak out over what happened because he would never be the wiser. Oren could still have me, and he wouldn’t have to worry about keeping it from my brother.