He stands up and holds his hand down to me. “Okay. We’ll be friends.”
ADAM WALKS ME back to the bus, opening the door for me so I can climb inside. The minute I step into view, Shawn pushes himself off the bench seat and walks over to me with a cheek-to-cheek grin on his face. “Can I . . . Can I just—” He abruptly pulls me in for a tight hug and starts laughing again. “Self-respect.” His body shakes against me as his laughter gets louder, and then he sighs. “Oh my God, that was so great.” He pulls away and smiles down at me. His jaw is dusted with day-old shadow, his forest-green eyes warm when he says, “I think I love you.”
“Hey!” Mike shouts from where he’s sitting on the floor playing video games with Cody. “I called her first!”
“Technically, I called her first,” Adam says from behind me. When he walks past, he swoops in to plant an exaggerated smooch on my cheek. I blush and wipe it away, but I’m smiling when he looks back at me with a grin on his face. “Want something to drink now?”
I’m about to tell him “sure” when the bus door opens and Driver steps on, followed by a group of girls who look like models for Hoes-R-Us. Driver leads the five of them on board without introductions, but the girls don’t seem to mind. They immediately flock to Adam, swarming him as he waits for my answer.
“Oh, yeah, sure,” I finally say, feeling like an idiot for blatantly gawking at the new arrivals.
Adam mixes me some type of fruity cocktail, but his attention is already elsewhere. The blonde pressing against his side, the hottest one of the bunch, is giggling and tracing her fingernail over his neck, whispering something in his ear. There’s a redhead and a brunette competing for his attention too. One of the other girls is sitting on the bench seat with Shawn, on his lap. Cody sets his game controller down and starts chatting up the fifth.
“Uh, I’m going to get ready for bed,” I say to no one in particular. My voice seems to jar Adam back to the present, and he remembers to bring me my drink. When he hands it to me, he looks like he’s about to say something, but before he can, Mike interrupts him.
“Rowan!” he shouts from the floor. “Come fill in for Cody!” I inch away from Adam, who is already the meat in a groupie-sandwich again, and stand behind Mike, staring at the war game on the screen. “Hop in here! I’m dying!”
“But I don’t know how to play . . .”
Mike hands me the spare controller, playing one-handed with his eyes glued to the screen. “You can’t be any worse than shorty over there.” He nods his chin toward Cody, who doesn’t notice or care as he flirts with the girl he’s sitting with. I chuckle and sit down next to Mike, our knees squished together. I’m not a gamer, but I pick things up quickly.
“Holy shit!” Mike says after a few minutes, a second after I blow up an enemy compound. “Guys! You should see this girl!”
The guys are . . . otherwise occupied. Mike glances over his shoulder at them and scoffs. “Fricken groupies.”
I can’t help sneaking a peek at Adam, who is now sitting at the other end of the bus. He’s leaning back in the bench seat near the front, sipping on a glass of whiskey while three of the girls chat him up. Their hands are all over him. My gaze lifts from their hands to his eyes and . . . is he staring at me? Yeah . . . he’s definitely staring.
“Head in the game, Ro!” Mike says, and I quickly look away.
Mike flashes a knowing glance in my direction. It isn’t until I see that look on his face that I realize how irritated I feel that Adam is entertaining other girls—one under his arm with her hand on his chest, one with her leg draped over his knee, and one with her chin resting on her friend’s shoulder, batting her eyelashes and playing with her hair.
“Hoes will be hoes,” Mike offers with a shrug, and I can’t help but crack a smile, because I’m not sure if he’s referring to Adam or the entire band or the girls or all of the above.
After completely slaughtering the enemy for a few rounds, I stand up and stretch, watching as Joel follows a girl from where they were doing God-knows-what upstairs. His blond mohawk is still perfectly gelled into place, but her long chestnut waves look thoroughly tangled. He opens the door to the bus and starts to usher her off with his hand on her lower back. She turns around to give him a kiss, but it’s so awkward—she’s trying to make it passionate, he’s trying to make it quick, and the resulting effect makes me cringe.
Should I feel sorry for her? Because I’m pretty sure I don’t . . .
After practically steamrolling the girl off the bus, Joel walks over to stand next to me, admiring the scores that are still displayed on the screen. “Holy shit. Look at that kill count!” He nudges me with his elbow. “Mike really is going to marry you!”
“Hell yeah I am!” Mike says, turning his head to smile up at me. “You down for another round?”
“Nah, I think I’m going to go get some air.”
I turn around, shock widenening my eyes when I see Adam now full-on making out with the blonde he’s sitting with. She’s on his lap practically eating his face. Her friend is kissing his neck, and the fourth wheel has moved to the other side of the bus to sit with Shawn and the girl he’s with.
I’m going to have to walk right past all of them.
Fuck. My. Life.