Home > Dare To Love(6)

Dare To Love(6)
Author: Lylah James

Her voice was thick, and I could see the emotions playing on her face. Jasper really broke her. Her scars were not visible; she hid them with a pretty smile, but I knew she still hurt inside.

“Don’t worry. I have no plans to play his game.”

Riley squinted at me. “I don’t believe you. You’re competitive by nature, Lila. If he pushes, you’re going to push back twice as hard.”

I bit my lower lip and gave her a sheepish look. She was right…

“How about this? I promise not to fall for him.”

“One less girl in Maddox’s harem,” she agreed.

I rolled my eyes. “Okay, today is Thursday. How about we meet up on Saturday? I’ll go over whatever you need help on with you then.”

Riley nodded before her cheeks flushed. “You’ll have to start at the beginning. Don’t kill me.”

“This is going to be a loooong Saturday.” She kicked me under the table, and I hissed out a laugh.

“Bitch.” Riley threw her empty plastic bottle at my head, laughing.

The rest of my day was uneventful. I stayed out of Maddox’s way. There were a few whispers in the halls about me, but I ignored them, too.

I felt pretty confident that, after today, everyone would forget about the coffee shop scene, and Maddox would most definitely forget about my existence. He had plenty of girls to distract him.

Except… I had never been more wrong in my life.

The next day, my nightmare began.

 

 

3

 

 

Lila

 

 

The next morning, I found Maddox outside our English class. He was leaning against the wall, his long legs crossed at the ankle with his hands stuffed in his pockets. His expensive leather shoes were shiny and wrinkled free. He was missing his navy blazer, but his pristine white shirt was rolled to his elbows, exposing his strong forearms. His tie hung loosely around his neck.

He was pretty to look at – I had to admit, but the sight of him annoyed me.

There was a curvy blonde girl attached to his side, practically plastered against him. She whispered something into his ear, but he wasn’t paying attention. Maddox looked bored, and the poor girl was trying too hard. Run away, don’t fall for his charms. I wanted to shake some sense into her.

The moment his gaze fell on me, he slowly grinned.

My blood simmered, and I pressed my lips firmly together, refusing to acknowledge him. I tilted my chin up and marched forward. If I ignored him, he’d go away – I told myself.

Too bad it was nothing but false hope.

When I tried to walk into the classroom, Maddox pulled himself away from the girl. She protested, but it died in her throat when she noticed it was useless.

He shifted sideways and placed his arm out, blocking the door and effectively stopping me from stepping inside. “Hey, Garcia.”

Maddox threw me his signature smirk in an attempt to melt me. I rolled my eyes. “Coulter,” I said in acknowledgment. “You’re in my way.”

I tried to push past him, but he didn’t budge; granted, he was a whole foot taller than me, but Maddox was an immovable wall. “It’s quite comical that you think you can move me.”

There was just something about Maddox that irritated me. It was like he had hit a nerve I didn’t know I had. He made me feel edgy. I didn’t know why I felt like that, but I was defensive around him.

“A knee between your legs will move you alright. So, either you move with no injuries, or your baby making machine will be in danger.” I cocked my head to the side while holding my bag over my shoulder and waiting for him to move.

My lips crooked up in my fakest and sweetest smile.

Maddox stared me down for a second before he eventually moved, bending slightly to his waist and putting his arm out to motion inside the classroom. “Ladies first. After you.”

I rolled my eyes a-fucking-gain because he was so goddamn annoying. Pushing past his hard body, I walked into class with a huff and settled in my chair. He sauntered inside like he owned the room and walked past me to his desk at the back of the classroom.

Maddox purposely brushed against my shoulder as he did so. “Whoops, my bad,” he muttered gruffly. I could hear the laughter in his voice.

My fingers clenched into a fist, but I held back.

My days continued like this.

I noticed him following me around. Sometimes, he would call out my name loudly in the hallways, bringing everyone’s attention to me. Other times, he would purposely bump into me in class or the cafeteria. I often caught him doing nothing but following silently behind me. He knew it annoyed me, and he did it on purpose. To. Irritate. Me.

A week ago, I was completely invisible to Maddox Coulter.

Now, I was the center of his attention.

The deal breaker was when he broke into my locker and stole my spare shirt. He even left a note: What’s the color of your bra today?

Actually no, that wasn’t the worst part.

The worst part was when he decided to reenact a scene from Romeo and Juliet in the cafeteria…

He was Romeo, standing on the table, and loudly confessing his undying love to Juliet for the whole room to hear.

Who was Juliet?

Oh me…

He was being dramatic and overly exaggerated his performance for one reason only: to embarrass me.

Everyone stared… snickered… laughed, until Riley and I were forced to leave the cafeteria; we ended up having to eat lunch under a staircase. I hated hiding, I hated the attention, and Riley… she was about to blow up.

Maddox was waiting for a reaction, he was egging me on… pushing and pushing, waiting for me to snap, like I did in the coffee shop. But I vowed I wouldn’t play his stupid games.

He would eventually stop, I convinced myself. He’d grow bored of me soon enough, I told myself. I was wrong again.

On Thursday, a week after handling his nonsense, Maddox still hadn’t given up.

“Uh-oh. He’s here. Maybe we should make a run for it now.” Riley went to stand up, taking her lunch tray with her.

“Sit down,” I hissed. “We’re not running away. We’re going to eat lunch, and we’re going to ignore him.”

“He’s coming our way,” she reported, shaking her head. “Oh shit, here we go again.”

My back straightened, and I prepared myself for what was coming. I nodded at Riley, letting her know it was okay. Her eyebrows pulled together with a frown before she leveled a hard glare at whoever was standing behind me.

I felt Maddox before I saw him. His presence surrounded me, and I locked my jaw, gritting my teeth together. He grabbed the chair beside me and turned it around before sitting down, straddling it. Maddox leaned forward, using the back of the chair as an armrest. His friends settled around our table, grabbing their own chairs and joining us. Riley released a long, exasperated sigh.

Without speaking to me, he reached for my tray and grabbed my apple. With great annoyance, I forced myself to look at his face. His long dirty blond hair was pulled back into a small, messy man-bun. The rest of him was immaculate. The small diamond stud in his ear glinted in the light, briefly catching my attention. Maddox locked eyes with me, before taking a bite of my red apple. “Hmm juicy.”

“That’s my apple.”

“It was lonely. I’m giving it some attention,” he said, taking another huge bite.

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