I Wanna Text You Up (Page 10)
Caleb: P.S. THAT’S how you flirt.
Me: Oh, everyone already knows you were checking me out because they were too. I’m hot. *shrugs*
Caleb: You are like a female version of Zach. You know that, right?
I smack my hand against my forehead.
Flirting? Really, Zoe? Ugh.
As much as Caleb has annoyed me tonight, I can’t help but be drawn in by him. He’s so…different than I expected, so much more complex.
I want to get to know him more, and that’s how I get to know people—I flirt.
It’s who I am, and I’ve never been ashamed of that.
Flirting is harmless…right?
“What in the hell are you watching?”
I let out a loud yelp and jump, sending the bowl of cereal I’m eating flying all over me and the couch. My phone goes soaring across the room as the hand that was holding it goes to my chest.
I shoot off the couch and spin toward Caleb, milk dripping down my chin and soaking my t-shirt. “What is wrong with you? You scared the shit out of me!”
“You did not poop.”
“Figuratively. I figuratively shit myself.”
“And you got cereal all over you.”
“Oh?” I wipe at my chin. “Did I now?”
“You did, and that shirt you’re wearing? Well, let’s just say it’s thin.”
I glare over at him. “Be a gentleman and get me a towel.”
Caleb laughs his way to the kitchen and grabs the hand towel hanging from the stove. He casually saunters back my way and holds it out.
“This had better come out,” I mutter, scrubbing at the mess, thankful most of it landed on my blanket.
“You can’t seriously be mad at me.”
“I’m irritated. Two different things.”
“For walking into my living room?”
“You didn’t announce yourself!”
“It’s my living room too!”
Caleb and I have been living together for about a week and a half now and I’m still not used to him. Sure, a lot of that has to do with the fact that we don’t spend much time together with our hectic schedules, but it’s more because he’s so…quiet. He’s like a damn ninja sneaking around the apartment.
“But you need to be louder!”
“Would you like me to stomp through the apartment?”
“Could you please?”
“No.” He grabs the towel and my soiled blanket, hauling them down the hall.
I follow him, marching into my room and stripping off my shirt. I wrench open my drawer and pull out another shirt.
“I’m sor—holy shit those are your boobs.”
Caleb stands in my doorway, face turning redder and redder as the moments pass. He inhales a sharp breath but exerts no effort to move or cover his eyes.
We stand there in shock because I’m not wearing a shirt.
I am not wearing a fucking shirt, and I am standing in front of Caleb in just my black lace bra.
His eyes roam over my scantily clad skin, his pupils dilating as he takes me in, clearly liking what he sees—and speaking of seeing, I’m certain he notices the way my chest begins to rapidly move up and down as his gaze rakes over me in the most sensual way possible.
It’s not predatory, and it doesn’t make me feel gross.
It makes me feel good, empowered.
And it’s all because of Caleb.
Shit, shit, shit! Caleb shouldn’t be making me feel sexy. This should not be happening right now.
I grab at the shirt nearest me and hastily pull it over my head, covering myself.
I glare at him. “This! This is why you need to start announcing yourself, Caleb. I was changing!”
He lifts his hands and finally covers his eyes. “I wasn’t trying to perv on you, I promise. I just didn’t think. I’m not used to living with girls.”
I want to berate him, to dig into him and give him a good tongue-lashing, but that feels so wrong when his eyes on my body felt so good.
“Well you better get used to it,” I huff out as I storm past him and back down the hallway to the living room.
I grab my bowl and walk it into the kitchen.
“I am coming down the hallway!” Caleb yells. “I am now exiting the hallway!”
I roll my eyes and walk back into the living room, snatching up my phone on my way through.
“I am entering the living room!”
I take a seat on the couch, curling back up under the other blanket we keep there.
“I am sitting on the couch!” he hollers as he plops onto the cushions.
“You are being a pain in the ass!”
“Hey, I’m just trying to announce myself, as requested.”
“I didn’t mean in every situation.”
He looks around the couch. “Is that the last blanket now that you’ve spilled milk all over the other one?”
I pull said blanket around me tighter. “Yep.”
“Well shit. It’s cold as hell. Why do you keep it freezing in here?”
“Because I’m hot.”
He gives me a teasing grin. “I know, but that’s not what I was asking about.”
“I mean I get hot easily. I’d rather be freezing my tits off than sweating. Just deal with it.”
Suddenly he reaches out and pulls the blanket off me with one quick yank.
“What in the hell!” I shout.
“What? I’m cold.”
“Yes, my dear sweet roommate?”
“Give it back.”
“Nope.” The word pops out of his mouth in the just the perfect way, his full lips drawing my attention.
“Come on! Don’t be a dick. I’m freezing.”
“Weird, me too. That’s why I have the blanket.”
“It’s the only one out here and I had it first,” I whine.
“I know, but I’m too lazy to go grab my blanket from my room.”
“Me too, which is why I was using that old raggedy one you brought with you.”
“Old raggedy one, huh? Then why is it I’ve come home not once, not twice, but thrice to find you asleep on the couch with this ‘old raggedy’ blanket wrapped around you?”
“Pure desperation.” I wave my hand, not wanting to admit that it’s so much more than that.
The blanket smells like him, like warmth and comfort and Caleb all wrapped in one. It’s so…cozy, but I’m not about to tell him that.
“Uh huh,” he says in a tone that tells me he doesn’t believe that for a second.
He’s not wrong.
“Just shut up and give me the blanket back.”
“I will not, but we can share.”
He scoots down on the couch toward me, grabbing my legs and pulling them over his lap. He shakes the blanket out around us, and just like that, we’re almost cuddling.
What in the…
“Isn’t this weird?” I can’t help but say.
“Not if we don’t make it that way.”
I grab the remote and hit play, trying to turn my attention to the screen, trying to ignore how good it feels to be so close to Caleb, to overlook how normal and comforting it is.
It’s just Caleb. You’ve known him for months. He’s just your roommate. Don’t make this weird.
Right. Don’t make it weird. Don’t let him know I’m totally crushing on him.
Just then my phone buzzes across the table and I reach over, scooping it up.
I’m surprised to see Delia’s name flashing on the home screen. It’s late and she’s usually so grandma-like and thus already in bed at this hour.
Delia: Okay, it’s been long enough now, and I’ve been dying to ask—how’s it going with Caleb?
Me: You never told me he was so moody.
Delia: He can be quite the handful, but he’s a good guy.
Me: Yeah, I don’t doubt that at all. It’s going to be…interesting living with him, that’s for sure.
Delia: Well don’t let our past interfere with anything, you know. Just treat him like you would any other roommate.
Me: I will. He’s fun so far. Funny. A little flirty even. I think it’s going to be good living with him.
Delia: That’s Caleb for ya, endless flirt and the life of the party. I’m happy to hear that, Zoe. I was worried you were going to hate me forever for bailing on you.
Me: I could never hate you…unless you did something REALLY awful, like burned all my rap CDs.
Delia: I cannot believe you even still own CDs. You and Zach, you’re both so…OLDSCHOOL.
Me: Don’t hate us ’cause you ain’t us.
Delia: Ya know, that’s exactly what he would say.
Delia: You’re both exhausting. Good night.
Me: Night. XO
Treat him like any other roommate.
She’s right. I need to do that. I need to treat him like he’s just Caleb, not like he’s her ex…not like we have some weird scrambled history together.
He’s just Caleb.
If that’s true, why does my heart beat a little faster when he’s around? Why does my breathing pick up like I’ve just climbed fifty flights of stairs? Why is all my attention focused on him?