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Bad Judgment
Author: Meghan March

Justine

“Becca saw Ryker at the gym last night and he was wearing these shorts, and let’s just say she said his dick print looked massive. Cock-a-licious, to quote her properly.”

I drop my overstuffed chicken burrito on the metal pie plate, and the tortilla splits down the side. Perfect. When I snap my attention to my best friend, Merica’s face is the picture of innocence. The devil dancing in her gray eyes is the only thing that gives away her dirty thoughts.

“Really? Are you trying to kill my appetite on purpose?” Because I’m not interested in anything that has to do with Ryker Grant, or his penis. No, really, I’m not.

Merica’s blond brows wing up toward her hairline in a what could you possibly mean expression. She gestures to me with her fork. “Look, if a sexy-as-hell guy had been hitting on me for two years, I’d be pretty damn interested now that I have some inside info about what he’s packing.”

The last thing I want to hear about is one of our mutual friends staring at the crotch area of Ryker Grant’s shorts at the gym, trying to gauge the size of his package by the imprint it leaves. Who made up the term dick print anyway?

“Not. Interested.” I enunciate each word clearly as I stare down at my burrito.

I’m in law school to study, kick ass, and graduate with honors. For ten years, I’ve been pushing toward this goal. Which means I don’t have time for distractions, and Ryker Grant would be the biggest distraction of all. While he might be tall, sexy, and mouth-wateringly gorgeous, he’s also got a lock on the crown for the kingdom of Entitled Douche Bag.

I reach down to retrieve my busted burrito, but pause before wrapping my fingers around it. Before today, I would have said nothing could put me off the chicken, rice, beans, pico, and avocado goodness before me, but I would have been wrong. Now I can’t look at it without phallic thoughts running through my head.

Hearing about Ryker Grant’s dick print has officially thrown me off my game. On top of being a Grade-A jerk, he’s stupid hot. As in, the kind of hot that makes smart girls stupid. Which is why I’ve been turning him down since our first week of law school.

No time for distractions.

It’s not like Ryker has been crying into his beer over my rejections. He’s been seen with plenty of girls in our law school class in the early hours of the morning at the bars along Red River Avenue. I absolutely and unequivocally refuse to admit that I might have watched him out of the corner of my eye on the rare occasions I let Merica drag me out for a night.

“I’m just saying that even I’d consider taking a ride on that stallion if I didn’t already have my own stud. Come on, Jus. It might be good for you to de-stress a little.” She leans closer, pressing both elbows on the metal table between us. “Plus, you’ve got to confirm the dick-print rumors for womankind.”

Wanting to do anything I can to stop this conversation before I get some kind of terrible idea in my head, I wrap my hands around the burrito and lift it to my lips. Or at least, I try. Stalling out midair, all I can picture is this supposedly massive dick Ryker is packing in his shorts heading for my mouth.

And . . . nope. Operation: Stuff My Face to End Conversation fails. I can’t be thinking thoughts like that. I’ve got finals coming up, and then it’s off to my legal aid job for the summer to make an actual difference in people’s lives.

That’s what matters—making a difference. That’s why I’m studying more hours each week than most people put in at a full-time job. I’m not here to fantasize about the hottest guy I’ve ever met.

I drop the burrito on my plate again and consider it a total loss. I can’t be wrapping my lips around anything that makes me think of Ryker Grant’s penis. Bad. Plan.

I reach for a brown paper napkin to wipe my hands, determined to get my mind back on track. Crumpling the napkin into a ball, I meet my friend’s laughing gaze.

“Stop. Seriously. You know I’m not going there. Never gonna happen.”

“But you want to. You can deny it all you want, but we both know the struggle to not think about his equipment is real.”

I toss the balled-up napkin at her head, and Merica bats it away one-handed as she shovels more of her burrito bowl into her mouth. You’d never know from her napkin-defense skills that she’s one of the most uncoordinated people I’ve ever met.

First day of law school orientation as we were filing into the amphitheater-style auditorium, she tripped going up the stairs. Somehow her flailing hands reached me first and we both crashed to the floor in front of three hundred people. My cheeks burned with embarrassment, but Merica popped right back up and took a bow. Her positivity is infectious, and we’ve been best friends ever since.

She drops her fork and pushes the bowl away. “Come on, you know you want to. He can be your reward for kicking ass on finals!”

I rub a hand across my face. “My reward for kicking ass on finals will be getting the grades I need to keep my scholarship. That’s all that matters right now—not Ryker’s supposedly massive dick.”

My scholarship is riding on my GPA staying above a 3.75, and without it, I won’t be able to finish school. The sale of Gramps’s small house left me enough to cover most of my living expenses and buy books. That’s what he told me to do with it, because this was his dream for me too. He wanted me to make a difference, just like the legal aid lawyer who helped him fight for custody of me when my deadbeat parents tried to suck me deeper into their cons. So here I am, and I’m going to make this dream come true for both of us.

“You know my only other choice is to ask Kristy Horner about Ryker, and I’m not doing it. She takes up two parking spots in the garage with her BMW, even when she sees you coming and knows there are no other spots left. Do you know how many times I’ve been late to class because she’s a bitch?”

“Kristy being a bitch isn’t a new development, but you’re still not getting that info from me. Sorry, babe. You’re going to have to live with the mystery.”

Merica leans back in her chair, releasing an exasperated sigh. “You’re impossible. I’ve been getting the same dick for two years, and I need to live vicariously through my friends to get the variety I’m missing. You need to take one for the team here, hottie.”

I choke on the sip of water I’m taking and lower the cup to the table quickly enough to have it sloshing over the sides.

“Really? Take one for the team? Pun much?”

Merica’s smile is quick and bright. “You know you want it. How long has it been anyway? I mean, your va-jay-jay is probably waving a distress flag because it thinks you’ve forgotten about it.”

She’s not wrong, but I’m also not going there.

“Ryker and me? Never going to happen.”

“Famous last words.” Merica stands and tosses me a cheesy wink.

 

 

Justine

 

Two weeks later

 

“Can I get you another?” The bartender at Ziggy’s leans forward as I take up space on a bar stool, playing with my straw and my empty drink.

I scan the room for Merica, wondering how she can possibly take seven years to go to the bathroom, before I jerk my gaze back to his face. His shoulders stretch his tight black T-shirt as he stares at me.

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