A Perfect Ten

Page 20

I shrugged. “I could do this all day, motherfucker.”

“What a loser.” He shook his head and returned to his assignment, taking the high road to maturity.

I snorted, betting myself he’d kick me again before our homework session was over.

I was about to call him a prick when a pair of ladies passing our table cooed, “Hey, Noel,” and then, “Hi, Ten,” as more of an afterthought.

“Hey,” Noel said, not even daring to lift his face and make eye contact as he waved his pen at them in a half-hearted greeting. I waved too and watched them continue past as they got into the end of the line for a drink.

Instead of slipping out of my chair and following the lovely ladies who’d just waved at us, though, I went back to chewing on my pen and staring at my calculus assignment.

“Hey.” Noel kicked me again—just as I knew he would—right in the soft spot on my shin that he’d gotten before. Fucker hurt.

“What the hell?” I snapped, glaring at him. “Stop kicking me.”

He blinked as if my request was completely unfounded. Then he shook his head. “What is wrong with you?”

I hoped I didn’t pale, but it felt like I did, like every ounce of blood in my face drained down to irritate the knots forming in my stomach. Then I panicked, my palms turning all cold and sweaty, and I didn’t know why. But I felt instantly guilty, as if I had fucked his sister the night before. And I hadn’t. I knew I hadn’t, because the woman I’d been inside had not been Caroline. End of discussion.

So I scowled at the fucker for making me freak out.

“You’re the one who can’t keep his feet to himself,” I countered. “What the fuck is wrong with you?”

He tipped his head toward the growing line at the barista’s counter. “Why didn’t you chase after them?”

I frowned, momentarily confused. “After who?”

“Who?” he repeated incredulously. “Those two girls who just eye-fucked the shit out of you, man. That’s who. On a normal, average day in the life of Ten, you would’ve already been over there, panting and drooling by now.”

I shrugged, refusing to take issue with the terms panting and drooling. “They said hi to you first.”

He snorted. “As if that’s ever held you back before.”

Okay, so he might’ve had a point. I glanced at the two women still gossiping together, close enough that they were touching. They looked good from the back. Nice tight asses with enough junk in the trunk to interest me. I pictured both of them together, teaming up on me. But, yeah, not even that roused me enough to leave my chair.

I turned back to Gamble. “Meh.”

His mouth dropped open. “What the hell? Oren Tenning does not say ‘meh’ to tits and ass. Ever. So...what the hell is up with you? Shit. Are you dying?”

“What? No.” He wouldn’t stop staring at me as if he really was afraid I had cancer or something, so I hissed out a sigh and glanced around before I leaned across the table toward him. “Have you ever...” I scanned the coffee shop again, on the lookout for spying ears. I debated whether I should say anything. But then, I told myself that it wasn’t like I was really talking about his sister to him. This could be my proof to myself that it couldn’t have been her last night. I’d never give details to a guy about his own sister. Plus I always gave him details; he’d think something was up if I didn’t.

So, I lowered my voice and continued. “Have you ever gotten more turned on when you were arguing with a girl while doing her?”

Gamble stared at me with his mouth open before he shook his head and blinked. “Why would you argue with a girl while you were doing her?”

“Because...” I growled out my frustration and waved my hand, hoping to get him past that issue. He wouldn’t understand why I couldn’t stand hearing anyone but my parents or Caroline call me Oren. “It doesn’t matter why. It just...happened. And it was hot. Really weird. But like, extremely hot.”

He rolled his eyes toward the ceiling. “Jesus. You would like something strange like that.”

“I’m serious, man.” I scowled at him hard.

“So am I.” He blurted out a laugh. “And only you would start up an argument with a woman while you were inside her. Damn, Ten.” He shook his head again, but this time, he was at least grinning while he did it. “You’re a piece of work.”

Disappointment lanced through me. I was hoping he’d have experienced something at least similar before. “What about hair pulling, then?” I pressed. “You ever get your woman to come by pulling her hair while doing her?”

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