Wicked Sexy Liar (Wild Seasons #4)(5) by Christina Lauren

A few beats of silence pass between us before I straighten, reaching for a ticket one of the waitresses sets down next to me. It’s now or never.

“I get off at one.”

Chapter TWO

Luke

I’M NOT SURE what it is about this girl that’s so different from every other girl I’ve let into my house, but I find myself racing up the steps and getting to the door before her, doing a quick scan of the dark living room, a tiny peek toward the kitchen.

Not too bad.

No food left out on the coffee table and—more important—no boxers on the kitchen floor. I’m doing the mental trigger finger salute to the gods to make sure we’re on the same page here: there’d better not be any condom wrappers visible in the bedroom. Or the bathroom, for that matter.

I open the door wider for her and grin. “Come on in.”

Logan looks at my face and then into the darkness before taking a cautious step forward. I reach past her, flicking on the living room lights.

And there it is: the difference. Most girls enter my house walking backward, with their fists curled in my shirt. Some step inside with their eyes on my face, waiting for the tiny lift of my chin to the left, the silent The bedroom is that way. This one walks in looking at everything the way she looks at me, like she’s not sure she wants to touch anything.

I can almost hear the words embedded in her deep inhale before she says them out loud: “I just realized I have no idea what I’m doing here.”

I step back a little. Without hesitation, my answer is, “Nothing you don’t want to do.”

But inside I’m letting out a long-suffering groan; it’s been a long day with a lot of drama. I’d really like to lose myself in some fast sex tonight, but don’t want it to be a long, drawn-out seduction.

As if it’s already given up on plan A, my stomach rumbles and I glance toward the kitchen. “Hungry?”

She shrugs. “A little?”

“I have some . . .” Walking over, I open the fridge and lean in, inspecting. “Beer. Tortillas. Sriracha. Celery, pepperoni, and . . .” Opening a drawer, I say, “String cheese.”

I turn and look at her when I’m met with silence, and her wary expression is hilarious. I draw a circle in the air, asking, “What is that face?”

“I have no idea what face I’m making,” she says, straightening and giving me a little smile instead.

I lean my arm on the open refrigerator door. “Then tell me what you’re thinking.”

Her brows lift as if to confirm that I really want to hear it. When I nod, she says, “You’re almost too stereotypical to be real.”

A laugh barks out of me. “Am I?”

The truth comes out in a torrent: “You’re hot as sin, had to double-check to make sure the last girl didn’t leave her underwear on the couch, and your fridge is bachelor-level empty.”

So let’s add observant to the list of things that intrigue me about this girl.

I shrug, flashing her a quick grin. “I eat out a lot.”

She skirts past my innuendo with a tiny smirk. “But if these things are all as well correlated as I suspect, it means you’re really good in bed and probably have an enormous penis.”

A smile tugs at the side of my mouth, and I fight it as long as I can but end up bursting out laughing. Finally, she gives in to a real smile of her own and it snags me somewhere dusty and unexpected. Sexy smiles go straight to my cock, but her smile isn’t just sexy, it’s happy. And it isn’t just the dimples. It’s the twinkle in her eyes, something that seems to look deeper than the surface. I don’t even know if it’s possible for a true smile to be anything other than happy but hers is the best happy smile I’ve seen in . . .

I wipe my face with a palm and then move closer to her, fighting the ratcheting tension in my gut as I reach for a loose strand of her hair. I smooth it behind the curve of her ear, whispering, “Look, Logan.”

Her eyes narrow skeptically for a moment, and then she’s biting back a grin.

I consider asking her about it, but it’s a little disarming to see her like this, away from the dim, colorful lighting at Fred’s. There, she looked a little harder: guarded eyes behind her teasing smile. Here, I can see that her eyes aren’t just blue but a ring of deep cobalt around the brightest turquoise, and her nose is dusted with the faintest freckles. She chews the corner of her lip as she surveys my living room again.

Holy shit, is she a virgin?

Should I ask?

No. She’s wearing shit-kicking boots with a short plaid skirt, and there’s no way I’m risking taking those steel toes to my shin, or worse.

“If you want to fool around, I’m down,” I tell her. “You’re beautiful, and sweet, and your mouth looks like candy.” I’m looking at her lips when I say this, but I can’t help sense that she’s just rolled her eyes. She gives off the oddest duality: a tough exterior coupled with the impression that she still requires careful handling.

“Or,” I say, taking a step back, “we can order pizza and play some Titanfall on the Xbox.” I’m guessing she’ll pass on that one—which we all know is fine by me, because I can’t imagine a girl this hot even knows what Titanfall is.

I don’t expect the way her eyes brighten and, before she can put the expression away, I see her glance at my living room. Clearly, I’ve pegged her all wrong.

Kicking off my shoes, I walk back into the kitchen, grab two beers, and nod to the living room. “Let’s go.”

With a smile and a little bounce in her step, she walks over and settles on the couch beside me. I watch her grab the controller with her right hand, her thumb expertly sliding across the small joystick. “Will it embarrass you if I kick your ass?” she asks.

I shake my head, smiling as I boot up the system. “Nope. My Grams got this for me last week, and I’m sure she’d be tickled to know a lady friend beat me.”

I feel her stare on the side of my face as I click through the start-up menu. When I turn to look at her, her dimples flash as she smiles. “That’s cute.”

“It’s cute that my grandma got me a first-person-shooter game?” I’m tempted to tell her about the year Grams sent me to Vegas for my twenty-first birthday and told me tattoos were okay but made me promise I wouldn’t hire any hookers. When I replied that I never needed to pay for sex, she smacked me on the back of the head.

“Yeah.” Logan looks away, at the television. “Although you’re what? Twenty-two?”

“Twenty-three. Twenty-four in October.”

“Aw. Twenty-three and a half!” She pinches my cheek. “My eleven-and-a-half-year-old cousin does that, too.”

“You’re very funny.”

Her answering laugh vibrates through me. “Almost twenty-four,” she says. “So maybe it’s time to give up the video games?”

I nod toward her hands. “You look pretty comfortable holding that controller, Pot.”

She shrugs, and looks at me again. “Let’s just say I’ve held one of these more recently than one of those.” She nods to my lap in return and I cough, nearly choking on my sip of beer. When she looks back to the television, she barks out a laugh, pointing to the screen. “Please tell me you’re not GiantD92.”

With a wink, I tell her, “I think you know I am.”

Logan shakes her head at me, but it doesn’t read like exasperation. Her cheeks are clearly pink, visible even in the dim light from the television, and she’s sitting only a few inches away from me.

She joins the game and we choose our pilot types. It’s only once the game loads and we’re dropped into the map when I realize I’ve never played video games with a girl, other than my sister Margot, who’s terrible. I’ve got the basics of running up walls, vaulting and the like, but am still trying to easily transition into the Titan controls and some of the tactical tricks. Beside me, Logan has no problem with any of it; I’m beginning to think maybe she’s a hustler.

She’s not a small-talker. She’s sweet, but not giggly, and is clearly not trying to impress me. Even so, she is already kicking my ass. Regardless, it’s easy between us like this, with nothing but the sound of video game gunfire and our occasional string of curse words in victory or frustration.

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