Not trusting him, she tried to avoid his hands but as always, he was faster than her. Catching hold of her shoulders, Vassi said firmly, “Be still.” The command so surprised her, Seri did stay still for a moment, blinking up at him.
Smiling down at her, Vassi started combing his fingers through her hair, and her cheeks blossomed with renewed heat. “Vassi,” she hissed. She was torn between cowering in trepidation and closing her eyes to savor the tenderness of the gesture. It was so much like something a real boyfriend would do…she could almost forget that he was not.
“People are staring,” she whispered nervously.
It was true. Even though the driver had dropped them a block away from Seri’s building, a small growing crowd of giggling female students had formed across the street, and all of them was either staring or pointing at Vassi.
She was sure it would get Vassi to act more cautiously, but Seri was stunned when Vassi only shrugged, saying, “So? Everyone’s used to seeing Sergei and Misha dote on you. Why should it be any different to them if I do the same?” And as if to prove his point, he even went to straighten the collar of her dress, taking the time to smooth the lapels as if it was the most important thing.
“It’s a pity,” he murmured under his breath, “we don’t have first period together.”
“Why?” she asked automatically.
“Because then I’d be able to have you holding my dick again and—-”
Bo zheh moy!
By the time she finally stopped choking, Vassi had already walked away from her, his soft, seductive laughter ringing in his ears.
“See you at lunch, leech,” he told her over his shoulder.
Asshole, she thought. And he really was, but he was also the asshole she couldn’t help falling in love with, even if it was wrong.
Shaking her head, she turned around to walk in the opposite direction but stopped when she saw that someone wearing an exquisitely hand-sewn pair of leather shoes was blocking her away.
Nice shoes, she thought absently as she waited for the guy to walk past her.
“Vassi Grachyov is your stepbrother?” she heard the guy ask.
Ah, she thought. This guy was batting for the same team she did. “Yep, he is,” she answered as she looked up—-and froze.
It was the guy from yesterday.
His eyes widened. “You’re doing it with your stepbrother?”
Maximilian was being stalked. But since it was her doing the stalking, Maximilian had no problems with it.
He heard her loud and clear, but he didn’t bother to slow down, the idea that she was running after him giving him an unusual sense of satisfaction. Why that was so, of course, was something he would rather not think of.
She was huffing and puffing loudly, and if looks could hurt, she would have managed to stab him several times in the past ten minutes already.
As he turned around the corner to head towards the lab, he heard her cry out.
He spun back and saw her face contort in pain as she gazed down at her feet. He belatedly noticed that she was wearing three-inch pumps, and color darkened his cheeks. Dammit, Maximilian thought. He wouldn’t have forced her to run after him if he had noticed her shoes.
Walking back to her, he cupped her elbow, and when she looked up, he apologized to her with a faint grimace, saying gruffly, “I’m sorry.” He expected her to rant at him, but instead a slow, impish grin broke over her lips.
“I’m sorry, too,” Seri answered cheerfully. “Because I didn’t really hurt myself or anything. I just figured you were the type of guy who’d stop for damsels in distress.”
Well, fuck. Maximilian knew he should be pissed at being successfully played, but instead he found himself smiling faintly. She definitely had him there, he mused.
Her lips were still curved in a smile, her gaze twinkling with laughter. She had the most amazingly pink lips, and they looked ripe and plump enough to kiss.
And he would have, he thought, if he didn’t know she was trouble with a capital T. Even though he found her sexy as hell and he wouldn’t mind having a taste of her sweet little body, Maximilian had also long made a rule about keeping his life free from chaos.
“I suppose,” he said, “this is about you and the other guy?”
Seri clenched her hands nervously at the almost aloof note in the other guy’s voice. “Yes.” Just thinking about how she had carelessly revealed how things were between her and Vassi had her breaking out in a cold sweat, and if she was unable to convince this stranger to keep his mouth shut—-
She swallowed again.
Think positive, Seri, she told herself. Failure was not an option, and she had to do whatever it took to convince this guy not to say anything about what he saw. Or he thinks he saw, she thought hopefully. Maybe she could convince him to think that he had misunderstood things.