Read Love Me Online

Authors: Jillian Dodd

Tags: #YA Romance, #General Fiction

Love Me (7 page)

BOOK: Love Me
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6:30pm

 

I walk slowly down the hall. 

I’m done freaking out. I look good. I’m loving me. I’m doing all the things at school that I wanted to do. I’m proud of the fact that I’m still here. That I came face-to-face with Vincent—not once, not twice, but three times—and managed to get away. 

But, at the same time, I feel like my luck is starting to run out. 

Maybe I need another four-leaf clover, I think with a grin. 

As I turn to walk into the front hall, Aiden’s eyes are on me, making me feel like I’m making a grand entrance at a ball. 

Now presenting Miss Keatyn Elizabeth Douglas.
 

I just need a little dude standing here with a trumpet. 

Oh, shoot. Script change. 

Now presenting Miss Keatyn Elizabeth Monroe.

Aiden is wearing a charcoal gray suit with chalk-colored pinstripes and a white dress shirt with French cuffs. Very appropriate. 

And he looks so very handsome. I know I go on and on about his appearance, but I’ll just say this. 

He looks like he walked out of my dreams.

He walks toward me, kisses my hand, and says, “
Vous êtes belle, mademoiselle.

“You look pretty handsome yourself,” I reply. Then I notice his tie. It’s pink with little black Eiffel Towers sketched all over it. “We going a little overboard on this whole French theme?” I ask, pointing at his tie and laughing.

He chuckles and pulls up the tie. “This was my family’s way of giving me shit because I barely passed French last year. I got a 70.2% as my final grade. I told you. Fate.” 

He leads me outside to the car that is almost as gorgeous as he is, walks me around to the passenger side, opens the door, and lets me in. 

I slide into the leather seat, loving that Aiden has good manners. 

Aiden opens his door and slides in next to me. 

He reaches over, grabs my hand out of my lap, and holds it on the stick shift under his. “You ready?”

“Yeah. I’m looking forward to seeing if you can read the menu. You have to order. You know that, right?”

He grins at me as he puts the car in gear. 

And I may be slightly obsessed with the way his hand feels on top of mine. The way he presses down on it slightly when he shifts. It’s like he’s in control. 

And for some strange and surprising reason, I find this oddly comforting. 

No, comforting isn’t the right word. I feel like he’s taking care of me. Kind of like the old-fashioned version of how a man is supposed to be. Usually, I have to drive a relationship. I have to know where it’s going. 

With Aiden, I have this wonderful sense of powerlessness. 

And it’s kinda thrilling.

“I love your dress,” he says. “And we match.”

“Your sister picked it out. I wasn’t planning on wearing it. I was sort of saving it.”

“What for?”

“You know, like a rainy day.”

“That dress is too pretty for a rainy day. You look like you should be in Paris having tea and eating macaroons.”

My eyes practically bug out of my head. 

What the hell?

Can he read my freaking mind now, for real?

“I, uh, how did you know that?”

“Know what?” 

“That I was saving it for Paris.”

He squints his eyes at me. “I didn’t. I just said that it looks like you should. So, does Dawson know we’re going on a date tonight?”

“I thought it was tutoring with food?”

Aiden pushes his hand down on mine as he shifts. I force myself to breathe normally. I am a normal person.

“No, it’s
definitely
a date. So, what did you and my sister talk about?”

“You know, clothes, shoes, boys.”

“Boys?”

“Well, yeah. We were talking about wooing. What you said made me think.”

“And what did you decide?”

“So far, Dawson is not wooing me. He’s also not thrilled about our field trip tonight.”

“You told him we were on a field trip?”

I laugh. “Naw, I told him it was tutoring with food at a remote location.”

“So, you lied?”

“Technically, that would not be a lie. And no, I didn’t. I told him it was a date. Even though you were a little unclear about it, your sister says it’s a date because you’re taking me to a nice restaurant. Plus, you’re wearing a suit. It’s totally a date.”

He downshifts, stops at a light, pulls my hand to his lips, and kisses it again. When the light turns green, he pushes it back on the stick shift, revs the motor, and slams through the gears. 

And I must admit, it revs my motor too. 

“You’re driving awfully fast.”

“I know. It’s fun, huh?”

Okay, so I have to gush. 

OH. MY. GOSH. 

Is he freaking sexy, or what? 

Him, the suit, the tie, the car, the adrenaline rush, all of it. 

He is—well, it’s no surprise. He
is
God of all Hotties, for sure.

 

We get to the restaurant, where he opens my car door, opens the restaurant door, and pulls out my chair for me. He is quite chivalrous.

But then he flips open the menu, written in French. 

French is like his Achilles heel. His one weakness. And it’s adorable. Plus, it’s good to know he has at least one weakness.

“I like that you suck at French,” I tell him. 

He slides his chair closer to mine and tries to read the entire menu. 

And he doesn’t do half bad. 

He figures out what he wants and attempts to order. And I maybe have to correct his pronunciation a few times, but he does well. 

And it is the most adorable thing ever when he orders for both of us. 

As Grandpa would say,
His Momma done raised him right.

Damn, did she ever.

When the waiter takes our menus away, Aiden holds my hand and gazes into my eyes. 

I’ve never felt so important or like what I had to say was so important. Like, you know how lots of times you’re talking to a guy and his eyes are looking everywhere but at you? Then he will glance back at your face, to verify that you are still talking; then he’ll look down and stare at your boobs—to make sure they are still intact, I think. And then his eyes sort of get that dazed look, and he continues to stare at your boobs, and you want to scream,
Uh, hello, I’m speaking with my mouth, not my cleavage; you wanna just occasionally glance up? 

Aiden’s not doing that. I have his full attention.

And he sure freaking has mine.

I also realize that his pull on me is not as shocking. 

Maybe it’s like when you go stay up in the mountains and get acclimated to the altitude. I’m sort of being acclimated to his magnetism. I’m not quite as tongue-tied as I usually am around him, and I’m able to think more clearly. 

He flashes his smile at me. “Why are you glad I suck at French?

“It makes you more human,” I stupidly say. Oh jeez, I’m an idiot. “I mean, uh, I wouldn’t have gotten to come here for dinner if you, um, didn’t, right?”

Clearly the air is still thin here at the top and is affecting my brain.

He reaches out and pushes my hair behind my ear, like he’s done it a million times. “I just noticed your earrings. Love the feathers and how they match your shoes.”

“Thanks. You look quite handsome tonight yourself. Whoever tailored your suit is quite talented. It fits you meticulously.”

“I wanted to look nice for you. So, I know you and Dawson are complicated, but what about Dallas? You were kissing him in the video.”

“Dallas and I are very
not
complicated. We’re friends. We smoke together sometimes and then we kiss. It’s no big deal.”

“You don’t think kissing is a big deal? I think our kisses are a pretty big deal.”

He runs his thumb across the palm of my hand, causing me to shiver. 

The waiter interrupts our kissing conversation when he sets down our appetizers. A traditional French onion soup and sautéed escargot in a mushroom and red wine sauce. 

“It’s too bad we don’t have a nice Bordeaux to go with this,” he says. “When we go to France, we’re drinking wine with every meal.”

“Have you ever been to France?”

“Once, to Paris. Do you like to travel? I love it.”

“Yeah, I do. I like to see the different cultures, experience the foods, see the sights, the countryside. Where all have you been?”

“Hmm. Let’s see. Basic stuff like Disney World. New York. Chicago. Then Venice. London. Hawaii. Berlin. Amelia Island. Cayman Islands, St. Kitts and St. Croix.” 

“What did you think of St. Croix?”

“It’s like paradise. I’d love to go back, but my parents are on this kick where they won’t go back to the same place until they have been everywhere on their list. I’d love to go back just to relax, though.”

“Maybe I could arrange that.” I can’t help it. I’m smiling big.

“And how are you going to do that?”

“Good friends of ours have a place there. They don’t go very often, so I can use it whenever I want.”

“Really?”

I nod. “Okay, so, this is way out of left field . . .” 

I stop myself. 

Keatyn, what are you thinking? You’re not making plans with another boy only to be let down. You’ll go to St. Croix by yourself for Thanksgiving break. You’ll have fun relaxing. You’ll work on loving yourself. 

“Um, never mind. So, this week rehearsals start getting serious. I can’t believe in a few weeks we’ll be performing in front of a live audience.” 

He holds a spoonful of soup up to my mouth. I’m trying not to swoon over the fact that he’s feeding me. 

“Don’t do that,” he says.

“Don’t do what?”

“What you just did. You were going to ask me something. Something that you were excited about, but then it’s like you got scared to ask me.” 

I soak an escargot in wine sauce and eat it. 

“This is all really good,” I say, avoiding the subject.

“Boots . . .”

“Can you read my mind?”

“No, but I sure wish I could. I’d love to know what you’re thinking. Tell me.”

I bob my head around like an idiot, trying to think up a lie. But, as usual when I’m with Aiden, all that’s in my head is cotton candy.

“I’m going there for Thanksgiving break. I was going to invite you. Like, the place is big. Peyton and your family could come too. But it was a silly idea. I’m sure you have plans and stuff.”

“We’ve always gone to my grandma’s for dinner, but she passed away last year, so I’m not sure what our plans are. Why were you hesitant to ask?”

“Um, well, it’s, like, a month away, and who knows if we’ll even still be friends then.”

He tilts his head and gives me those green eyes. Those eyes that see straight through me. “Boots, we’re gonna be a lot more than friends by then.”

Great.
More
. As in we’ll be sleeping together. 

“I doubt it,” I say disappointedly. 

“Yeah, I should probably take into account your track record.”

I can’t believe he just said that!

I look down at the tablecloth, suddenly feeling like I could cry.

He leans his forehead against mine. When I look up, he bats his dark brown eyelashes at me and smiles. “You know I’m just teasing you. Come here.” 

I don’t move, so he puts his hand under my chin, pushing it up, straight to his waiting lips. 

Once again, our kiss is so simple, so chaste, our lips touching, barely moving.

He kisses me for a few seconds then cruelly pulls his perfectly-formed lips away from me. “I’d really like to know what you’re thinking right now.”

“I’m thinking no one has ever kissed me the way you do,” I answer honestly. And surprisingly. Why the hell did I just say that?!

He stares at me for a few beats of my heart, then says, “So, we have this Greek weekend coming up. You do realize that since we’re on the Social Committee we have an obligation to be together the entire weekend to make sure everything goes as planned?”

I squint my eyes at him, trying to gauge if he’s serious. “I didn’t know that.”

“Oh, yes, I had it written into the bylaws. So Friday night after the game, you have to sit with me at the movie and sing-along. Lame.”

“It will be fun and you know it.”

“I think anything we do together will be fun.”

And I can’t help it. My mind goes to doing things with him. His tongue blazing a trail across my body. The gods only know the things that boy can do with his powerful mouth. 

“Uh, yeah, probably,” I manage to sputter out.

“Then, Saturday, you’ll have to cheer me on while I compete—shirtless, apparently—in the Gods of Olympus competition.” 

“I think the whole shirtless thing was pretty brilliant. I wonder who came up with that idea?” 

“I think I’m going to freeze,” he says with a laugh. “And then there’ll be the feast. Where you will toast in my honor—” 

“Only if you actually win.”

“I’m going to win.”

“Just because you danced your way to Mr. Eastbrooke doesn’t mean you can win at wrestling. Do you even know how to wrestle?” I want to add that maybe we should get naked and he could practice, but I don’t.

He puts his chin on his fist and licks his lips. Which means I get to see his tongue. He smirks and raises his eyebrows at me. “Maybe I’ll have to show you.”

I gulp, then nervously grab a curl and wrap it around my finger. 

He grabs my hand out of my curl and brings it to his lips. “What? You don’t want to get naked and see which one of us is stronger?”

Um, honestly, I don’t know what I want. Part of me wants him to be like every other guy. Wants him to be a player. 

But most of me wants him to be different. 

I flash him a fake smile. “That sounds fun,” I say with zero enthusiasm. 

What’s wrong with me? The hottie god wants to get naked with me and now I don’t want to?

And to top it all off, I suddenly feel like crying. I can feel little tears prickling my eyes. 

Am I about to get my period or something? Why am I feeling so emotional?

Aiden tilts his head at me, looks into my soul, and somehow knows exactly what I’m thinking. 

“Boots, I was just teasing you.”

BOOK: Love Me
5.36Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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