A Perfect Ten

Page 36

“Holy fucking shit.”

“What?” Noel asked curiously as he came up to me from behind.

I spun toward him, feeling the instinctive need to shield my screen from his eyes. But then I told myself that was stupid. There was no need to keep this from him. No reason at all. So I turned the phone around to let him read the message.

“She somehow got hold of my phone and added her name and number.” I turned it slowly back to me and wondered aloud, “That’s so totally whack. And how the fuck did she know you guys had been calling her Midnight Visitor?”

Unless it really was Caroline. Maybe Gamble had mentioned it to her, or Ham had told Blondie, who’d told her.

As I wiped a suddenly shaky hand over my mouth, Gam laughed and slugged me in the shoulder. “Well, aren’t you a lucky son of a bitch? Who the hell cares how she got in? She’s going to let you see her again. Isn’t that what you wanted?”

“Yeah,” I murmured absently. “I guess.” But fuck, I couldn’t believe she’d contacted me. The way she’d lit out of my room last night, I was sure that was the last I would hear from her. I began to sweat, nervous and elated at the same time.

Gamble nudged me again. “What’re you waiting for? Write her back.”

I scowled at him, not wanting to text her in public like this. But, oh...I would definitely be writing her back.

“Write who back?” Asher asked, strolling up with his attention on my phone I held in a still trembling hand.

I scowled at him and shoved it into my back pocket, out of sight. “Nothing,” I said at the same moment Gamble blurted, “Ten’s got a secret admirer.”

Though I rolled my eyes over the term, it reminded me of what I’d done last semester, leaving little pictures of Caroline on her chair in art class for her. Damn, I was such a loser when it came to her. I’d honestly left her sweet little trinkets...just to make her smile.

It was impossible to think she might be doing the same thing back to me...with midnight rounds of hot, wild sex instead of stupid drawings.

“Oh, really?” Hart quirked a curious eyebrow and folded his arms over his chest. “Do tell.”

I didn’t want to tell him shit. I hated how close of a friendship he had with Caroline. It irritated the piss out of me until I just couldn’t like the guy. But Gamble seemed to think he was just aces. He started blabbing about my entire encounter with Car—I mean, Midnight Visitor. And the more my good buddy spoke, the more intrigued Hart seemed to grow.

“So when do you think she broke into your phone and slipped you her number?” he asked.

“How the fuck should I know?” I sent him one last cranky glower and muttered, “I’m taking off.”

I turned away, and Gamble and Hart laughed after me as if they thought my moodiness was cute. I flipped them the bird over my shoulder and pushed my way out into the warm April night. It was after two in the morning and the streets were quiet and dimly lit. I yanked my phone back out of my pocket and immediately checked my address book as I jogged across the street to the parking lot where my truck was.

First, I checked Midnight Visitor’s number, then I scrolled up to the C’s and checked out Caroline’s contact link. I was actually expecting the two numbers to be the same. But they weren’t. A strange disappointment funneled through me. I slowed to a stop on the curb and stared at Caroline’s name on my screen with a totally different number than Midnight Visitor’s.

I shook my head and breathed deeply through my nostrils. Almost tempted to delete the message and then Midnight Visitor’s number completely, I ground my teeth and glanced up at the sky. A billion stars peered down at me, almost mocking me with their delightful twinkling.

I couldn’t believe I’d been so sure she was Caroline.

A long, drawn-out sigh eased from my lungs. Well...did I want to see the woman again, or not? It wasn’t like me to say no to free pussy. But knowing that last night really had been a complete stranger made me uneasy. I didn’t like feeling the connection I’d felt with a woman who wasn’t Caroline. I already had enough stupid-ass emotions swirling in me because I was pining after one woman. I didn’t want to add another girl to the list.

Then I reminded myself I’d only felt close to Midnight Visitor because she’d reminded me so much of Caroline, so...what was wrong with giving her another go? No strings, great sex, so why was I standing here debating with myself? I could just keep pretending she was who I wanted her to be, and everything would be okay. This was probably as close to Caroline as I’d ever get anyway.

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