Just a Little Crush (Crush #1)(9)By: Renita Pizzitola
A knock at the door woke me. I groaned and rolled over. What time was it? The knock repeated. I glanced at Fallon’s bed. My roommate was gone. Her bed left unmade and her keycard on the nightstand. Dammit. She’d locked herself out again.
One day I wouldn’t be here to let her back in. I kicked off the covers and stumbled to the door.
“Seriously, Fallon.” I swung the door open. “Can you never remem—”
Ryder’s gaze dropped in a slow appraisal of my body. His silver lip ring momentarily vanished as he sucked it into his mouth. He looked back up and smirked. “Morning.”
I slammed the door in his face and stared down at my black boy shorts and cami. I was practically naked in front of Ryder Briggs. Shit.
I grabbed my pajama pants and danced into them. Losing my balance, I stumbled into my nightstand. “Ow.”
“Everything okay in there?” Humor filled his tone.
“Um, yeah. What are you doing here?” I yelled through the closed door. I slipped on my hoodie and zipped it closed.
“I have your phone.”
I threw the door open. “You do?”
He glanced at my outfit and frowned. “Yeah.” He held it out.
“Thanks. I thought I’d lost it for good. Where did you find it?”
Something like anger or annoyance flashed in his eyes. “Outside.”
“Hey.” Fallon appeared behind Ryder. She wore tiny white shorts and a dark green Sutton University tank top. Her blond hair was still damp from the shower.
He moved so she could slide by.
My hands balled into fists as she leered at him and he gave her a once-over. She grinned over her shoulder then bent down to pick up her makeup bag, making certain her ass stayed in the air.
Ryder raised an eyebrow and looked at me.
I was ready to get him far away from my slutty roommate. “Well, thanks again.”
“No problem. Quick question, do you always answer the door dressed like that?”
Fallon snorted. “Yeah. She lives in those sweats.”
My face heated.
Ryder watched my reaction, then pushed off the door frame he’d leaned against. He glanced at Fallon. “Little mystery never hurt.” He locked his eyes on mine and his mouth quirked up. “But a sneak peek goes a long way. See you around, Brinley.” He took off down the hall.
“What was that about?” Fallon poked her head into the hall, watching him walk away.
I shrugged. “He found my phone.”
“I’m going to fuck that boy.”
My jaw dropped. Like hell she was. She’d already pulled that crap with my Biology lab partner last semester. While I was busy making flash cards, the two of them disappeared for a good twenty minutes then returned looking flushed, disheveled and way too relaxed for two people at risk of flunking the midterm. Needless to say, that was the last time I attempted to study with her, and, thankfully, it was the only class we’d had together. That situation had been frustrating, but if she had sex with Ryder…No way could I handle that.
“What?” she asked innocently. “You heard him. He enjoyed his sneak peek.” She laughed and turned back into our room. “You should take note. Guys like this.” She motioned to her body.
Wait, that was the sneak peek? I was such an idiot.
That evening, I studied in my room. Fallon was out, as usual, and Mason had a date with some girl from his English Lit class. I couldn’t decide if he actually liked her, or just wanted her help with his Chaucer paper.
My phone chimed with a text.
Mom: Get bread on your way home.
Texts from Mom were rare; phone calls even rarer. But when she’d been drinking, I never knew what to expect. Considering it was seven on a Saturday night, it was safe to assume she was plastered, but this sort of text only confirmed it.
I chose my words with care, knowing how easy it was to set her off when she was like this.
Me: Sorry, I can’t because I’m away at school.
My phone rang and I took a deep breath before answering.
“Well, I know you’re at school, that’s why I said on your way home.” Her tone implied I was the one who sounded like an idiot.
“Mom, I’m away at college. Remember? I won’t be home tonight.”