“Ss’ fine.” She smiles crookedly, her blue eyes going a little hazy and I reach out, gripping her by her arm before she falls. “You’re Shep Prescott right?”

“Yeah,” I say warily. I hate it when they already know me. Makes them feel stalkerish even though that might not be their intent.

“I’ve heard of you.” She takes a step closer, her tits brushing against my arm. They’re small. She’s small in general, doesn’t even come up to my shoulder and I’m a solid six-one. “I hear you have a big dick.”

Thank Christ I wasn’t taking a drink when she said that. “Is that so? And where did you hear this bit of info from?”

She smiles, revealing teeth covered in metal. How old is she anyway? “My name’s Manda. Amanda. Mandy. Whatever you want to call me. My sister is Lacy Douglas. You dated her last year.”

Lacy Douglas. I don’t recognize the name. And I don’t ‘date’ anyone. If I supposedly went out with Lacy that means I fucked her once, maybe twice, and then never called her again. I guess I made an impression though, what with the big dick remark.

“Lacy said you’re a prick.” She curls her arm around mine. “I’m more intrigued with the idea of your big dick though. I’m a professional blow jobber.”

I try my best to keep a straight face. No way in hell am I letting brace face get anywhere near my dick. “So you’re saying you get paid to suck dick?”

She frowns. “Nooo. I’m no prostitute.”

“But you said you were a professional,” I point out.

Manda, Mandy, Amanda rolls her eyes and releases her hold on my arm. “I said that I’m a professional blow jobber. As in I’ve given lots of BJs. I have skills. Skills you wouldn’t know what to do with.”

This chick is super drunk. She’ll regret everything she says and does in the morning. Not to mention the hangover. “Are you a freshman?”

“Nooo.” She likes drawing out her nos. “I’m a senior in high school. I came with Lacy tonight. She’s showing me the college life.” She throws her arm up in the air and lets out a whoop. “I’m coming for you next year damn it! I will own this campus!”

Time to go. I slowly back away, offering whatshername a little wave before I turn on my heel and run straight into the redhead of my dreams.

Or nightmares.

Take your pick.

“You have got to be kidding me,” Jade Bitch Face mutters, taking a step back, allowing me to see her in her full sexy-as-fuck glory. “Hanging out with children I see.”

I glance over my shoulder to see Amanda grinning at me, showing off the braces, looking like a child trying her best to convince everyone else she’s a grownup. I wave at her again and she frowns, turns on her wobbly heel and starts down the stairs toward the makeshift dance floor.

“Isn’t she a little young for you?” Jade asks.

I return my attention to her, trying my best to keep my eyes on her face but…I can’t. She’s wearing some crazy shirt that’s sleeveless and cropped, offering a teasing glimpse of her flat stomach, the curve of her waist. The pale fabric strains across her chest and the cropped denim skirt she’s got on shows more thigh than covers them.

Dayum.

“Come to repay your debt?” I ask, decidedly happy at tonight’s turn of events. I know Gabe said I needed to forget her. And I agreed with him. But if she’s going to magically appear and drive me crazy with what she’s wearing, then I’m going to take full advantage of this.

And collect my payment.

“I don’t owe you shit,” Jade says, her cheery voice at odds with the scowl on her face. It doesn’t detract from her beauty though.

She’s looking extra gorgeous tonight too. Her hair is down, long past her shoulders and wavy. Her lips are this vibrant pink glossy shade I have the sudden urge to kiss off. And her legs in that skirt…I want them wrapped around me. Naked. Just before I—

“You have a lot of nerve, you know that? Showing up at this party like you own it. I’ve never seen you before in my life and all of a sudden I see you two nights in a row? If I didn’t know any better, I’d think you were stalking me,” she says, sending me a withering stare.

“I could say the same for you.” I grab hold of her arm and yank her close, trying my best to ignore the electricity that crackles between our bodies but it’s no use. I’m attracted to her. She’s attracted to me.

We need to see where this takes us.

“Like I’d stalk you. I think you’re an asshole, remember?” She jerks her arm from my hold, her foot on the edge of the deck and where the stairs start. One minute she’s standing before me, the next she’s falling…falling…

It goes in slow motion but happens so fast, I leap forward, catching her before she goes crashing onto the stairs. I’m holding her in my arms, leaning against the stair railing and bent over Jade, one hand cupping the back of her head, her hair clinging to my fingers, silky soft and fragrant.

Everything about her is perfect. And soft. She’s staring up at me, a grimace of what looks like pain crossing over her delicate features. “Are you okay?” I ask, hearing the panic in my voice but not really giving a crap. Her near fall just scared the shit out of me.

“I’m fine. It’s just…” Her voice trails off and she winces again. “My ankle. I think I twisted it.”

Without hesitation I scoop her up and carry her into the house, ignoring her protests, ignoring how she beats on my chest with her fist to get my attention. I’m focused on taking care of Jade, nothing else. I feel like an ass, driving her away, making her almost fall.

“Put me down,” she says for about the twentieth time. “Where are you taking me?”

“To one of the back bedrooms so I can look at your ankle.” I angle her to the side and carry her down the narrow hallway, kicking in one of the bedroom doors which is thankfully empty and haul her inside, where I set her carefully onto the bed. “Now let me look at it.” I sit on the edge of the bed, ready to reach out and start probing but she jerks her legs away from me, whimpering when she does so.

“Go away,” she says with a sniffle.

“Stop being such a baby.” I brace my hand on the mattress on the other side of her legs, caging her in. “I’m trying to check out your ankle, not look up your skirt.”

Though now that I mention it…

“Yeah right. God, do you think of nothing else or what?” She rolls her eyes and leans back against the headboard, making herself somewhat comfortable.

Which is good. Real good. I hope this means she’ll let me make sure she’s okay without much protest.

“Think of what?” I ask innocently as I let my hand settle carefully on her foot. She flinches, tries to move away but I circle my fingers gently around her ankle, keeping her in place. “It doesn’t look swollen.”

She leans over the slightest bit, the scent of her perfume washing over me, a heady mix of floral and citrus. “It doesn’t hurt as bad,” she admits.

“Yeah?” I lift my head, my gaze meeting hers. We’re close. Kissing close. Not that I want to kiss her. Not really.

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