“Football players aren’t really my thing.” I shrug. “No offense,” I add, flicking my gaze over to Levi.
“None taken.” He smiles as if he’s won. He hasn’t. I can tell we only tripped another Liv wire. Unsurprisingly, they trip easy. I love her, but she’s always falling over, under or onto something. She’s one of the clumsiest people I’ve ever met. Somehow she makes it adorable. Some girls have all the luck. Even the bad luck.
“I’m offended,” Liv declares. “How can you not like football players? I mean, have you seen Levi’s body? It’s like he’s been chiseled out of marble. Show her, Levi.” She pulls at the bottom of Levi’s T-shirt. He tries to stop her from lifting it, making her laugh.
I stop paying attention to them when I hear a deep growling sound. Is that a bear?
“Did you hear that?” I ask, trying to hear the sound over Liv’s giggling.
Levi pushes Liv behind him at my question. “Hear what?” He’s gone from teasing to serious as quick as a switch.
“I-I thought I heard a-a-a bear. I heard something growl,” I get out. “Over there.” I point to the area the sound came from. There aren’t bears around here. Are there? I try and think. I don’t do the nature thing. I have no idea what kind of animals are roaming around, but surely there are no bears. I think I would have heard about that.
“Erika should come home with us,” Liv announces, as though it’s fact and not a suggestion. I had a feeling she was going to say that. She’s been on high alert since I told her I thought someone was following me. It didn’t help that I’m pretty sure I saw Tank lingering outside where we ate dinner. I pointed him out to Liv to make sure my mind wasn’t dreaming him up. I’m pretty sure I’ve been doing that. At night in bed and when I’m out roaming the campus. I don’t go many places. I’m a creature of habit. You don’t have to stalk me to know where I’ll be.
“Sounds like a plan,” Levi agrees, not sounding too happy about it. I’m pretty sure I don’t want to stay at their place. Tank lives in their building. I learned that when Liv took me to her boyfriends’ condo on a mission to get her underwear back. Now nothing surprises me when it comes to her. I wasn’t shocked either when Tank showed up to once again take me home. God, that was more awkward than the first time. Now that I knew he was doing it because the twins asked him to.
“Let’s stop for ice cream. We can make banana splits.” Livvie wiggles her eyebrows, not caring about any bears. That’s probably because Levi isn’t going to let a bear get to her. Me, I’d be on my own for sure. I always am. Why is that only bothering me lately? Two weeks ago I would have said that with a happy fist pump. If I fist pumped.
I nod. I want the ice cream but don’t want to stay at their place. Maybe I could split after the banana splits. I quirk a smile at my own stupid pun.
“Hey, Audley.” The two words roll through my whole body. I know who it is without having to see him.
“Tank, my brother. What’s up?” Levi asks, sounding more chipper all of a sudden. That’s probably because Tank could take a bear. Easily. He is a bear.
He walks over to Levi, bumping his shoulder, a simple act that would have me flat on the ground if Tank did it to me. Not that he would. He’s always so gentle with me. He always treats me like I’m delicate. He called me his treasure.
“Nothing. Good game, by the way.” His eyes flick over to me. I lick my suddenly dry lips, looking anywhere but at him.
“Thanks,” Levi responds.
God, I don’t want to do this awkward exchange. Is he going to say hi to me? Do I say hi to him?
“I’ll take the little one off your hands. I’m heading to her dorm anyway,” Tank says before I can come up with something to say.
Take me off their hands? Jesus. Did they call him again or something? Maybe I’m not liking the Audley twins so much anymore.
“Oh, she’s not going to her dorm,” Liv pipes up. “We’re taking her home with us.”
My eyes ping pong between Liv and Tank, oddly curious who will win this face off. This could be better than the football game I sat through to get my mind off Tank. It didn’t work. In fact, now he’s materialized and he doesn’t look happy.
“I mean, maybe she wants to go to her dorm.” Levi jumps in now. Well, that settled that. They totally called him again to babysit me.