He snorts. “Since when don’t we talk shit when we’re lifting?”
Well, he’s got me there. We usually do talk shit. A whole bunch of it. And lifting is the perfect time to do it, too. The music is blasting and talking helps pass the time. If I’m going to get this asshole off my back, then I need to play this a lot cooler. “Look, there’s no girl. I just have a lot on my mind right now.”
He makes some kind of noncommittal noise deep in his throat as if he doesn’t quite believe me, which let’s face it, he probably doesn’t. Dylan and I have roomed together since freshman year. So, between that, playing football, and working out together, we know each other pretty damn well.
He’s the first one to call bullshit when it needs calling.
Which is both a blessing and a curse.
I flick a quick glance at him as I lower the bar. His eyes are narrowed speculatively and if I didn’t know better, I’d say the little hamster upstairs was busy spinning on its wheel as he tries figuring this one out. I see the exactly moment his mind locks onto an idea and I almost swear under my breath.
“This better not have anything to do with Ivy.”
Once again, I focus on raising the bar. “Why would you say that?” So, yeah, I’m fishing. I know exactly why Dylan doesn’t want me making moves on Ivy.
“Because I know you, dude.” His gaze darkens. “You like a challenge and that’s exactly what Ivy is- a fucking challenge. She doesn’t seem to want a damn thing to do with you.”
He’s not wrong about that. I do love me a good challenge but I think my interest in Ivy goes a little deeper than that. I mean, maybe in the beginning, the mere fact she wasn’t interested was like waving a red flag in front of me. But it’s morphed into something more now.
Ivy seems to be the only person at Barnett who doesn’t give two shits about who I am and the status that comes from being one of my friends or sleeping with me. She never talks about football. Hell, I think she actually admitted last week that she doesn’t like football. Never watches it. Doesn’t even go to the games.
You’d think hearing that would be a major turn off. But damn, it’s just the opposite. I kind of like that we don’t have to discuss football. It doesn’t seem to matter one bit to her that I’ll be entering the draft in a few short months.
No one can say she’s falling all over herself to get my attention or be with me either.
You know what I like best?
After my initial- let’s-get-it-on and her subsequent- go-take-a-flying-fuck, we’ve kind of settled into a… well… friendship. I’ve never spent time with a girl before without the intent of getting laid at the end of the evening. And Lexie doesn’t count because if Dylan wasn’t there, I wouldn’t be hanging with her either.
Of course, the girls I sleep with aren’t friends. They’re more like groupies. Just one of the perks of being an athlete. Being with those kinds of girls is more like an exchange of goods/information. I’m able to get laid on a regular basis and they get to brag to all their friends that they were boned by Roan King.
So, you see, it works out for all parties involved. And I make it perfectly clear at the onset that this is strictly a onetime deal. Once in a while, I’ll screw someone twice, but I don’t make a habit of it. Once you do that, you enter into the murky territory of a quasi-relationship and I’m not getting involved in one of those. I’ve got too much on my plate to screw around with shit like that.
And yet… and yet Ivy has my thoughts hesitantly turning in that direction. I can’t have her without some form of a commitment and the thought of her with anyone else just pisses me off. So clearly I have a dilemma on my hands.
“It’s not about her being a challenge,” I finally grit out because by the fifteenth rep, my arms are seriously killing me.
“Damn,” he shakes his head, “I knew this contemplative mood had something to do with her.” He plows a hand roughly through his golden blond hair. “Shit. Lexie is going to fucking kill you.” His face becomes even more screwed up. “And I’m not going to get laid because of it.”
Setting the bar back in place, I sit up on the padded bench. Dylan is full out glaring now. He doesn’t like the idea of Lexie withholding sex and I can’t really say I blame him for it. After all, that has to be the major perk of being in a committed relationship, right?
You take away the anytime-you-want-to-have-it sex and what’s left?
Grabbing my towel, I wipe the sweat from my brow. “Chill the fuck out, man. I’m not after Ivy.” Throwing down the damp cloth, I get up so we can change positions. As Dylan sits on the bench, he continues scowling as if he doesn’t quite believe me.