#Nerd (The Hashtag Series Book 1)(5)

By: Cambria Hebert

“You need a hand?” I asked. All she was missing was some of that white tape in the center of her glasses.

Her cheeks turned bright pink and sound erupted from between her lips. Poor girl. She was so incredibly awkward. I couldn’t help but laugh at the look on her face. It was almost like she’d never had a conversation with anyone before.

We reached for the pencil by my feet at the same time. Our fingers bumped together, and she jerked back like she’d been shot. She fell backwards onto her butt, and the pencils she’d been gathering spread across the floor again.

Geez, this girl was a disaster.

I picked up everything I could find and straightened to dump them all in the cup. I thought about bending down to help her up, but judging by her reaction when we’d accidentally touched, I figured it wasn’t a good idea. Besides, I had a hot tutor waiting for me.

“Wait.” Her voice was small when she called out behind me. Something about it speared my chest, and I turned.

“I’m your tutor,” she said.

What? No. There was no way in hell Coach would hire this meek little… nerd to tutor me.

Oh yes, he would, a voice in the back of my head taunted.

“See,” the girl demanded and shoved a crumpled paper at me. It was my schedule and the courses I needed help with. At the top was my name.

“What’d this paper ever do to you?” I teased her.

She scowled. I guess nerds didn’t like to joke around. This was going to be worse than I thought. “Thanks a helluva lot, Coach,” I muttered.

I glanced back at the girl. She was short, didn’t even come to my shoulder. Her hair hid most of her, and what it didn’t, the god-awful sweater she was wearing did. It hung all the way to her knees and was brown, making it look like a sack. She pushed up the glasses on her nose again, her slight fingers poking out from her too-long sleeves.

I guess it could be worse.

She could smell.

“All right, then, Teach,” I said, resolved to my tutoring future, and pointed for her to lead me to her table. “Let’s get this over with.”

If being tutored by her was what I had to do to stay on the team, then that’s exactly what I was going to do.

Chapter Three


Romeo had the attention span of a slice of bread.

Which is none at all.

Every time I started to explain something, it’s like not only his eyes glazed over, but his entire body. At one point, I wondered if it were possible for him to be asleep with his eyes open.

And God, he smelled good.

It was a clean scent, like soap, the kind of soap that probably costs five dollars a bar. It was a thick scent, but it wasn’t heavy. Every time he fidgeted in the chair, a cloud of it would waft over me and I would inhale just a little deeper.

The way the ends of his damp hair curled up around the collar of his jacket made it hard to keep my eyes trained on the paper. Clearly, he had just showered. He probably didn’t always smell this good. Most guys were stinky… weren’t they?

Truth was I had no idea. This was the closest I had gotten to a guy since high school, and even then that was limited mostly to the guys who sat around me in class and Nick, my childhood friend.

Nick never smelled like this.

Focus, Rimmel. I scolded myself. I couldn’t very well criticize him for his lack of attention when I was sitting over here sniffing the air.

“Hey,” I said, tapping my pencil on the notebook in front of us. “You’re supposed to be paying attention.”

Romeo was doing some kind of trick or something with the pen in his right hand, somehow passing it through all his fingers. Back and forth, back and forth.

I snatched it and slapped it on the table. “I think that little trick is using up all your concentration.”

He laughed, his straight white teeth flashing at me. “Sorry.” His tone was sheepish and he leaned forward, placing both his elbows on the table, and looked at the notebook. “I’m listening.”

When he moved, his arm brushed against mine, and I jerked back, feeling my cheeks heat. He gave me an odd look, but I ignored him and focused back on the paper.

“Okay, so for this assignment…” I began.

He interrupted, sliding his chair back from the table. “Hang on a second,” he said, not really looking to see if I was indeed going to hang on.

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