Home > Dare To Love(9)

Dare To Love(9)
Author: Lylah James

I ignored him. "Hey, Garcia."

I scrolled through my playlist, refusing to acknowledge him. "Damn, are you ignoring me?"

When I didn’t reply, Maddox let out a mock gasp. "You wound me."

I rolled my eyes for the umpteenth time but continued to ignore him. I didn’t expect him to be so bold, but when he reached forward to pull my earphones out, I released a low frustrated growl.

My body swiveled around, and I faced him. The first thing I noticed was that he was wearing his full Berkshire uniform today. The navy blazer molded to his chest and shoulders like it was tailored made, especially for him, and the beige slacks didn’t hide how strong his thighs were. Instead of putting his hair into another messy man bun, he left it loose today. The tight, blond curls ended up a good inch above his shoulders.

"Do you know that when people have headphones in... it means they don't want anyone to speak to them? That's the universal sign for Stay-The-Fuck-Away-From-Me-And-Don’t-Speak-To-Me,” I snapped, loud enough for the people around us to hear. Ugh.

If looks could kill, he’d be seven feet under right now. Irritation bubbled inside of me at the fact that I had been checking him out.

Yeah, he was hot. So what? Maddox was a fine specimen to look at. Too bad, he had an aggravating personality.

Maddox leaned closer, a little smirk playing on his lips. His hot breath feathered over the skin of my exposed neck, and when he whispered in my ear, his voice was low and deep. “I'm not everyone though. I'm special.”

He pulled back, his blue eyes glinting with mischief. “And I know you want me to talk to you. We didn't see each other yesterday, and I wasn’t in class today. Miss me, Sweet Cheeks?"

Ha! I had two very peaceful days, and I wasn’t complaining.

Crossing my arms over my chest, I let out a laugh with absolutely no trace of humor. "Cocky much?"

"I love the sound of that word coming from your lips." His gaze shifted to my lips for a second, watching them with rapt attention before he met my eyes again.

I felt the blood rush between my ears and I attempted to hold back my growl.

“Say it again,” he calmly demanded, which pissed me off even more. “Slowly this time.”

I took a deep breath before letting it out. I was trying so hard not to punch this dude. "Listen, Coulter. You need to back off, or I'm going to do something really bad.”

“Like what?” He was testing me, pushing and pushing – waiting for what I’d do, or what I was capable of.

“I don't know. Maybe punch your dick so hard it'll retreat back into your asshole. Have you ever heard of personal space?”

My body was tight as a bowstring. He was too close to me, so close I caught the scent of his cologne and aftershave. He smelled clean and…

I didn’t like the way my body suddenly decided to appreciate the way he looked or what he smelled like. “Take a step back. Now,” I growled.

Maddox took a step forward, crowding into me and forcing me against the wall. His blue eyes darkened and all signs of mischief were suddenly gone. "I don't listen well to demands. I think you know that already. I always do the opposite. Did you, by any chance, want me closer?"

I brought my hands up and pushed against his chest, but he wouldn’t budge.

“You’re so full of yourself.”

“You could be full of me. Time, date and address. You choose, Sweet Cheeks,” he rasped in my ear, his lips whispering over my skin.

What… the… hell?

A voice interrupted us before I could explode. “Next."

The lady at the end of the food line called again. “Next!”

Maddox pulled away, and I could finally breathe again. I hadn’t even realized I was holding my breath or that my heartbeats had been strangely irregular.

I shouldn’t be feeling this way. I wasn’t weak.

No, in a tank full of sharks – I would not be preyed on.

Straightening my spine, I pushed past him without a second glance.

Fuck you, Coulter.

And game on.

 

 

5

 

 

Lila

 

 

“Do you want to go to the haunted house this year?”

I couldn’t remember the last time I’d been to a haunted house. I hated them as a kid, but my dad would always hold my hand through them. With him, I was safe, and nothing about the haunted houses scared me.

Every Halloween, Berkshire Academy builds its own haunted house on the school grounds. It was a tradition that started a whole decade ago, and to this day, we still honored it.

I took a bite of my pizza, chewing while I contemplated Riley’s question. “I guess we could check it out.”

She clapped her hands, her face lighting up with excitement. “I heard it’s scarier than last year. They’re going all out this time. It’d be fun! How about some girl time? We go to the haunted house then a sleepover at my place? Movie and pizza?”

Riley continued to chatter with enthusiasm while I tried to ignore all the eyes on me. It was difficult when they made it so obvious. The cafeteria had become a nightmare now. I could have tucked my tail between my legs and made a run for it; I could have hidden – but I was never one to accept defeat.

Since Maddox had made me his prey, I’d been the center of attention. A year ago, when I enrolled at Berkshire, I got used to all the judgmental eyes.

Lila Garcia, the ‘poor’ girl. I didn’t have Louis Vuitton shoes or Chanel bags or the latest iPhone. I didn’t prance around with a kilo of makeup on my face nor was I a cheerleader who constantly rubbed herself against the jocks. I wasn’t a follower.

I’d always been the outsider, but after a few months of critical eyes on me and their constant judgment, they had forgotten about me. I blended into the crowd and soon became invisible. It made life easier.

Until Maddox.

Now, the girls looked at me with contempt, like I was the dirt under their feet. They gawked at me with envy because I had Maddox’s attention while the boys stared at me with obvious interest.

None have made a move though.

Riley said I was Maddox’s trophy. Nobody would dare to approach me. The moment he laid eyes on me, I became untouchable to the rest of Berkshire Academy.

Ha, lucky me.

Riley snapped her fingers at my face, causing me to flinch. She smiled sweetly. “Ignore them, Lila.”

I hummed in response before taking another bite of my cold pizza.

“So, haunted house and then sleepover?” Riley asked again.

“Okay, I like that idea. I’m not a big fan of haunted houses though.”

“I’ll hold your hand. It’ll be romantic! Me and you, walking through the dark. I’ll protect you from the bad guys.” She cooed, like a romance hero – way too dramatic.

“Funny. Very funny. If I didn’t know better, I’d say you were into pussies.”

She paused, looking thoughtful for a moment. “I kissed a girl once. A few years ago. It was a dare, and I liked it. She had really soft lips, and she said I was a good kisser. Wanna find out?”

When she leaned across the table, puckering her lips up, I let out a small laugh. “Um no. Stay away from me, Riley.”

“I’m disappointed,” she said with a cute pout.

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