“You get off on watching? Is that your thing, or is it just my cock you like?”
I was heading to my car after school when I heard him.
My heart stopped, almost literally. If I looked down, it was likely the entire contents of my stomach would be at my feet.
He’d found me.
I looked up, and Blaise DeVroe stepped out from behind the truck parked next to Maisie. His hand was on her back end, and he waited there, in the shadows (thank God), his head tilted to the side.
He looked so good, so delicious. All hard edges and angles. That jawline. It could give me razor burn between my legs, and I’d climax just by breathing hard.
I saw the flare in his gaze and felt his edge. I had to rein in a bit of my inner weirdo.
I’d heard about what happened that morning. Hell, I’d witnessed it myself, but then I’d also heard all the whispering about it afterward. It spread through the school like wildfire. And what they were saying hadn’t been kind. Most bets were that Blaise was going to be kicked out of school. Others said Zeke was going to have him beat up. Still others thought Zeke could have him arrested. How that even made sense, I had no clue.
But I also saw those guys interact through the rest of the day as if nothing had happened. Zeke still smiled at Blaise, even if he seemed more cautious. Some people said there was a rift forming in school. But again, why did that even matter? We had a week and four days left to be here. Then it was summer.
“You talk?” His head cocked forward. There was a slight bark to his words.
I jumped, then gathered myself. “Oh. Um…”
Shoot. I bit down on my lip. What did I say here? Okay. I had nothing, so I guess honesty was the best policy. Besides this guy playing a major role in my schoolgirl fantasies, I couldn’t deny that I was a little scared of him right now. I’d always felt there was something more in him, a wild edge, but no one ever said anything. There’d been no rumors about it, until today.
Today, everyone had seen. Today, everyone was talking about it.
“I, uh…” Screw it. I shrugged. “It was live porn. What did you expect?”
His eyes lit up. His nostrils flared. And he stepped toward me. “To turn around and leave.” His eyes narrowed. “I looked for you the rest of the weekend. No way were you there for the party, so what’s that mean? Were you spying on us?”
Ooooh boy. So not good. I didn’t want him to get anywhere close to that realization about me.
My stomach shriveled up. I swallowed over a knot. “Um...”
Shoot. Shoot. Shoot.
I could not talk about that. No way. That was my big secret, and it was embarrassing. If he found out, if he said something, I’d be the laughingstock of Fallen Crest. I couldn’t handle that—not at this school. At Hillcrest, they would’ve left me alone. People knew me there. They knew Owen.
“What the fuck is wrong with you?” His nostrils flared again, and he moved even closer. He was almost within touching distance now, his gaze locked on mine.
I had to distract him. That’s the only way I could get out of this one.
“I like you,” I blurted.
“What?” He blinked, seeming stunned.
I got him. Crisis averted.
And I doubled down. “Yeah. I mean, girls have crushes, and you’re mine. I crush on you.”
His eyebrows went up. “You crush on me?”
I blushed. That was embarrassing enough, but the other secret would’ve been worse. So much worse.
I ducked my head, shrugging. I kicked at a rock. “Like you don’t know. Like you don’t know a ton of girls like you, so whatevs. I like you, and I mean, do you want me to apologize for crushing on you?” I lifted my head, peering at him.
He looked confused and backed away.
My lungs could expand again.
“I—wait.” His head cocked to the side. “So you were following me?” Even as he said it, I could tell he didn’t believe it. I heard his tone. It was suspicious.
“No. I mean…” Crap. That wasn’t as much of a distraction as I thought. Arrogant much? I tried to smooth it over. “I was going for a walk. I got lost, and then I saw you and I—” Fishbowl effect. My mouth was moving like a goldfish, and I was thinking. I was stalling. “What do you want from me? This is embarrassing.”
I didn’t need to act. My face was beet red. I was starting to sweat too. Gross.
He coughed, clearing his throat. “I saw you today. I saw you duck into your first-period class. Didn’t realize it was you until later. You’re in my fourth period. I watched you the rest of the day. You don’t talk to anyone. No one knows who you are. I asked around.”
My chest puffed up. Pride swelled there.
He looked taken aback, those eyebrows shooting up. “What? You feel good about that shit?”
I frowned, my chest deflating a little. “Wouldn’t you?”
“Fuck no. You have no friends here.”
That stung. I blinked a few times, trying to erase the feel of that invisible hand across my face. “Uh. Thank you?”
“No.” He shook his head, his eyes becoming way too determined and way too focused on me. He moved closer again. His arm rested on the top of Maisie, and he was almost leaning over me. “What’s your damage? I mean…” He leaned back, giving me a onceover. “You’re hot.” He motioned to my car. “You drive a chill car, so you’re not hurting for money. What’s your deal? You’re just known as ‘that girl’ or ‘she’s in my class’ and that’s it. Someone thought your name was Colorado. What’s your last name?”
“My name is Aspen.”
“I know that much. Mr. Latham is a lazy fuck, but he still does roll call.” He nodded at me again. “What’s your last name?”
I hesitated another beat. “Monson.”
He was quiet a second. I could almost see him connecting the dots before his eyes went flat. “Your parents are doing that documentary thing?”
I felt a jolt run through me, my hand jerking up and taking hold of my backpack strap. “How do you know about that?”
He was right, but they hadn’t interviewed kids here. Only in Roussou. The people they were interviewing here were adults, people who wouldn’t connect my parents to me. It was one thing I’d been adamant about—that they leave the high schools in Fallen Crest out of their project.
“My brother and sister go to Roussou,” Blaise said. “I’ve heard all about the project.”
“So those rumors are true?” I asked. Oh wow! Like, wowza wow. “Is that why you moved here? To get to know your brother and sister? I heard they were twins.”
“Jesus. Shut up,” he hissed, backing away. “That’s personal business.” He looked around, his jaw clenching. “I did my due diligence with you. That’s why I’m approaching you back here, ’cause trust me, I have no problem starting a scene. Started the day that way, and I could end the day that way. It’s no skin off my nose. You got me?”
I sucked in a breath. He was scary when he was like this—scary hot.
“Yeah. Sorry.” I lowered my voice. But it still seemed exciting to find out you have two siblings you didn’t know about. Or I would’ve been excited about it. “What are they like? Who are they? Are you close to them?”
“Shut.” His eyes got all big and mad. “Up. It’s none of your goddamn business.”
I winced. “You swear a lot.”
“I don’t care.”
He looked at me like I was an alien, but that stuff didn’t faze me. I was used to that. Hell, I preferred that. No one could figure me out that way, and this guy had come close.
I didn’t like it.
I might need to up some stalker tendencies, but even as I thought it, it probably wouldn’t do anything. I’d blurted that I had a crush on him, and he hadn’t cared. He took that in stride. Then again, why wouldn’t he? Most girls at school had a crush on him. He got laid daily, or he could if he wanted to.
Man, what would that be like? To know you could merely look at someone and they’d do what you wanted? Sexually speaking. Would I want that? If I looked at him, gave him the eyebrow wiggle, and he’d follow me into a closet?
Guys would do that for a girl.
Some guys would.
No. That wasn’t right either.
Guys would do that, but then sometimes they talked trash about the girls they hooked up with. Though, maybe not him? I didn’t remember ever hearing him brag about hooking up with someone. Girls bragged about hooking up with him, not the other way around. And he wasn’t exclusive with Mara, but everyone knew Mara Daniels was a regular with him. He never said a word about it. That was from other people talking about seeing them.
And this morning, I’d heard what he said to Brian Strandling and what else he said to Zeke. Those words didn’t seem like they’d come from a guy who’d hook up with a girl and then trash her for it.
I could feel a definite throb between my legs, and now I was staring at his lips and pulling on my hair, as if I could imagine it was his lips and what I’d want to do with them.
Tug on them.
I was starting to pant.
“You’re not normal.”