Page 45 of I Promise You

His eyes lower to half-mast. “Come back to my place—”

My eyes shut briefly. Part of me wants that, but common sense is sneaking back in. I lick my lips. “Not a good idea.”

His brow furrows. “Things are hot between us. I want you; you want me. What am I missing?”

I swallow thickly. “This was fun, but…” You are dangerous to my heart.

He scrubs his face, then stares at the floor for a few moments as if searching for words. He’s about to speak when a clang of metal comes from the yoga room.

“Come on. Let’s get out of here.” He takes my elbow and steers me out the door, past the two women who are sweeping. We walk down the hall, making our way to the center meeting area. “I’ll walk you to your car and we can talk,” he says.

“You’re messing around with two other girls, Dillon. I won’t be the third. I’ve been down that road.”

He pulls me to a stop, staring down at me with turbulent eyes as frustration flashes on his face. “Let’s get this straight. I’m not having sex with them. I’ve never been with them, ever. You…this…has nothing to do with them. I tend to rush, I do, but we can go slow, Serena. Based on what you’ve told me, it feels like you need that. Just tell me how—”

“Dillon!” comes a high, shrill voice, interrupting us. “Where have you been? We’ve been looking everywhere!”

My hands clench as I turn to look at her.

It’s Ashley, hands on her hips as she stands at the fountain in front of the pizzeria, flanked by Bambi and Sawyer. She’s wearing a cream linen sheath dress that complements her pale coloring and red hair. Bambi looks more casual with skinny jeans and a cropped Tigers jersey.

Ashley’s lips curl as she makes a beeline for Dillon. I keep my face expressionless as I step away from him.

“You ditched us,” she says to him. “Where did you go?”

“Yoga.”

She looks at me. “With her?” She says it like I’m a serial killer.

He frowns. “Yeah. Get over it.”

“Oh, good grief, Ashley! The man has a life. Look who he found,” Bambi says as she rushes forward and wraps me up in a hug. She’s a touchy kind of girl, I think as she leans in and straightens my hair, a twinkle in her eye. “It must have been an invigorating class—why look how flushed you both are! Was it that sex one? I saw you at the game on Saturday, but the crowd was so thick I couldn’t get to you. Chantal says she called you and you guys are planning a girls’ night.” A wistful expression crosses her face. “If you want a third…”

Chantal did call, and we are going out. I’m looking forward to it because I never go anywhere. Plus, she’s helping me with football jargon, and I owe her some drinks. “You’re welcome to come,” I offer, wondering how anyone can tell a girl like her no. I’ve been a fan of Mila Kunis since Bad Moms.

She squeals and gives me another hug, this one tighter as she whispers in my ear. “He’s deliciously sweet underneath that cockiness, isn’t he?” She winks as we pull apart.

I start. Something is up with her reasons for being in this competition, because it can’t be for Dillon, can it?

“I have an idea,” Bambi says as she crooks her arm in mine. “Chantal said your girls’ night is at Cadillac’s tomorrow, right?”

“Yeah.” I get a sinking feeling.

“Why don’t we all meet you there? It will be fun. All of us together.” Her gaze sweeps over the group. “We’ll play pool for a prize,” Bambi adds, a gleam in her eyes. “And Serena will compete—”

“She’s not in the contest,” Ashley interrupts. “She doesn’t even go to the formal. She’s not an active Theta, didn’t hold a real office—”

“Oh, please,” Bambi says. “She’s a Theta and I want to get to know her.”

“I second all of that,” Sawyer adds.

Ashley fumes, her face flushing. “Dillon, this isn’t fair.”

“It’s fair,” he replies to Ashley, still holding my eyes with an intensity that makes me quake. “But I don’t think Serena likes the contest.”

“Then she shouldn’t play,” Ashley declares.

“Scared I’ll win?” I chirp, glancing at her.

She sniffs. “No.”

I turn to Dillon and he’s moved closer to me. Let’s ditch them and get out of here, his eyes seem to say.

I fidget. Need to get out of here before I take him up on that offer.

“Please, Serena. You don’t have to be part of the contest per se, but I insist you at least hang out with us. Are you any good at pool?” Bambi says, sending me a pleading look.

“There’s a cue stick,” I say vaguely.

“There, Ashley, does that make you happy? She won’t win.” Bambi smiles at her.


Tags: Ilsa Madden-Mills Romance
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