When we reach the sidewalk, I pause and stand beneath a street lamp as I wait for the crosswalk sign to tell me it’s okay to keep running away from my embarrassment. No one is standing near us, so I turn to Adam and blurt, “I do NOT want to sleep with you!” I swat at a bug that flies in front of my face, making contact and knocking it straight into another hemisphere.
Adam gapes at me for a second, but then an irritating smirk curves his lips. “Really? I mean, are you sure?” Okay, now he’s just intentionally being obnoxious.
I let out an exasperated sigh and turn away from him, crossing the street.
He starts laughing and chases after me. “I’m kidding!”
“I don’t think you are!”
“Oh, come on. I really am!”
“Really?! Because it really seems like you think everything with a vagina wants to sleep with you!”
“Well, not everything with a vagina . . . I mean, lesbians, nuns . . . that’d just be weird.”
I roll my eyes and keep walking. We’ve walked two blocks when Adam says, “Anyway, I don’t know why you’re so pissed I kissed you. You wanted me to.”
I stop walking and spin to face him. “I did not!” Okay, so maybe I kind of did, but still, he had no way of knowing that. And I didn’t really want him to. It’s just . . . I mean . . . he’s Adam freaking Everest!
“Then why did you kiss me back?”
“You definitely didn’t stop me right away.”
“I was in shock!”
Adam stares down at me, licking his bottom lip. Shit. He knows exactly what he’s doing. “I wanted to kiss you. So I did.” His gaze lifts from my lips to my eyes. “No need to throw a tantrum. Most girls would be . . . well, they wouldn’t be storming around the city in the middle of the night.”
“Well I’m not most girls!”
Adam chuckles. “No, you’re definitely not.”
Wow, what the hell is that supposed to mean?! I glare at him and start walking again, the cement beneath my feet receiving the brunt of my anger as my flip-flops tromp against it.
Adam jogs to catch up. “I meant that as a good thing!” I glare at him out of the corner of my eye, and he’s nervously raking his hand through his hair. “Can you please just stop so I can talk to you?”
“We’ve been talking.”
“No, we’ve been arguing . . . which is just . . . strange. I don’t really do this that often . . . I’m no good at it.”
I walk a few more steps before I growl and very angrily sit my ass down on a bench in front of a closed barber shop. “Fine. Talk.”
He sits down next to me. “I . . . I didn’t mean to assume that you wanted to . . . you know . . . hook up or anything. But it was an honest mistake.”
“I’m not interested in being one of your one-night stands, Adam.”
“Well . . . technically . . . you’d have me for three.” The corner of his mouth quirks into a smile, and when he turns his head to look at me, his bangs tumble over his eyes, but he quickly swipes them away. Why is he so damn adorable? And irritating!
I glare at him. “Do I seem like that kind of girl?”
He pauses for a long time, and then he says, “Truthfully, you’d be surprised by some of the girls that want that type of thing. Not all of them fit the stereotype you have in your head.”
Okay, fair enough. I sigh and ask, “Would you seriously sleep with someone for something as stupid as French tutoring?”
Adam grins at me and shakes his head. “Is that what you’re mad about? It’s not like that was the only reason.”
I probably shouldn’t ask what I ask next. “Then what are the other reasons?”
“I thought you wanted me to . . .”
“So you’d sleep with someone just because they want you to?”
He nervously rubs his palm over his thigh, staring at his knees until he makes eye contact with me again. “Do you really want me to answer that?”
I let out an irritated growl, still not exactly sure why I’m so worked up. “Look, I was mad because you just assumed I’d want you in my pants. But whatever. You said you’re sorry, so . . . fine.”
Adam frowns. “Do you want me to take you home?”
“You can’t. You have a show tomorrow that’s like ten hours away from school.”
He shifts toward me. “If you want to go home, I’ll take you. So just answer the question.”
I study his unreadable expression, and then I say, “No. I don’t want to go home.”
He smiles softly and seems to let out a deep breath. Then he settles back into the bench and plays with the threads over his knee for a few seconds before looking at me again. “Okay, so don’t get mad at me for this . . . but I just think we should be clear. If I tried to kiss you again, you’d get mad?”
I can’t help laughing at his ridiculous question. But when I try to answer it, I realize it might not be so ridiculous. Would I get mad? I have absolutely no clue. Probably, but it would really just be because I’m mad at myself for letting him cloud my better judgment. Adam is bad news. He’s a mountain of bad decisions wrapped in a beautiful package, and I hate the effect he has on me. And I love it, which I hate. “Yes,” I finally say. “So don’t, okay? I just want to be friends.”
“Friends . . .” he says, like he’s testing out the concept.