I Wanna Text You Up (Page 16)
And that’s exactly what I intend to do.
I bring my beer to my mouth and take a small sip, glancing down to the other end of the bar and beyond. My eyes fall to the dance floor and I can feel that familiar ache. I’m itching to get out there. I’ve always loved going to the clubs and losing myself in the music, but as I’ve mellowed out over the years, I’ve resigned myself to the tiny dance floor of Lola’s. Just like so many other nights, it’s going to have to do for the night.
“I’m going to dance,” I announce. “Watch this for me.”
I set my drink on the bar top, not waiting for Caleb to respond, and head out into the crowd.
I’ve barely stepped into the sea of bodies and I can already feel the sweat forming along my neck and back. My body caves to the rhythm and I fall in step with the beat, losing myself to the sounds thrumming through the speakers.
“Where’s your boyfriend?”
I spin around at the familiar voice to find Tony standing at the edge of the dance floor nearest me, and I make my way over to him.
Shrugging, I say, “He’s not much into dancing, and he’s also not my boyfriend.”
He motions his head over to the bar. “Does he know that?”
My eyes follow his movements and I’m surprised to find Caleb facing the crowd, a grumpy frown lining his lips.
“Huh,” Tony mimics.
“I swear we’re not dating. He’s my best friend’s ex-boyfriend and my roommate.”
“Take it from me, he wishes you were dating.”
“You think?” I ask, eyes still trained on Caleb.
“Oh, I know.”
“But he’s my best friend’s ex-boyfriend.”
Tony laughs. “Quite the hang-up, huh?”
“For me it is.”
“Girl code?” I glance his way, surprised. He shrugs. “I have sisters.”
“Definitely girl code.”
“You guys will figure it out.”
“How are you so sure?”
“Because these things always go one of two ways: they implode, or they explode into something amazing.”
“You’re so encouraging. Your ex doesn’t know what she’s missing.”
He gives me a sad grin. “Tell me about it.”
“Sorry I can’t date you, Tony. You seem like you’d be a great guy.”
“Oh, I know I am.” He winks. “I’m going to go ahead and give you my number just in case things implode.” He slides a torn receipt with his name and number my way. “Use it, trash it, whatever—just can’t let the opportunity pass me by.”
I grin and accept it, slipping it into my back pocket. “Thank you.”
I give him a small wave and dance my way back into the throng of people.
It’s not long before a set of hands lands on my hips. I don’t have to turn around to know it’s Caleb; I know his warmth, his scent.
“I thought you didn’t dance,” I say to him over my shoulder, not halting my movements.
He drags me back until I’m resting against him. “I don’t.”
“Then what’s this?”
A slow song spills through the speakers just as I spin around, throwing my arms around his neck. “I’ll sway with you then.”
We slowly move back and forth, somehow closing the gap between us with every step we take and never once meeting the other’s eyes. Our bodies are pressed together, and I’m hotter now than when the floor was overflowing.
“Hey, uh, Caleb?”
“Is that your dick poking me or your phone?”
He presses his lips together, trying his hardest to hold in his laughter. “That would be my dick, Zoe.”
Someone slams into me and I stumble, falling even farther into Caleb’s embrace. He wraps his strong arms around me almost instinctively. I don’t move to push away; this is exactly where I want to be right now.
The way his body feels against mine…I can’t remember the last time something felt so good as we gently sway back and forth, even when the song changes.
Everyone moves so fast around us, but we don’t budge. We’re stuck, and we’re not ready to let go of this moment.
My hands move of their own accord, tracing up his neck and sliding into the hair sticking out of his baseball cap. Without thought, I reach up and spin it around, meeting his eyes for the first time since he came out here.
“Much better.” I slide my hand back down the side of his face, fingertips grazing over the stubble he’s sporting.
His blue eyes darken, and before I can understand what’s happening, he hauls me closer and presses his lips against mine.
It takes me a split second to realize what we’re doing, and then suddenly I’m kissing him back feverishly.
Caleb manages to get ahold of himself, and then his full lips move over mine in a gentle, unhurried kiss. I feel his hands slide over my ass, his brace a firm pressure against me, pulling me closer as I plunge my hands into his hair, pulling at the ends and holding his head to mine.
There’s no tongue involved, and by all accounts, the kiss is chaste, but it feels like so much more.
More romantic, more important.
It’s minutes later when he pulls his mouth from mine, lips brushing against me twice before creating any sort of distance between us.
My lungs feel like they’re on fire, mouth tingling from the best kiss I’ve ever experienced. I was right about our attraction to one another; I just never thought it would feel that good, that right.
When I finally come back down from the high, I open my eyes to see Caleb grinning at me.
“You got a thing for my hat, huh?”
“You’ve noticed in the two whole days we’ve spent together?”
“I noticed before.”
He doesn’t have to clarify that before means when he was with Delia.
And now my chest is burning for an entirely different reason.
I just kissed my best friend’s ex-boyfriend.
I just kissed my best friend’s ex-boyfriend.
I am the worst best friend ever.
He leans down to catch my drifting gaze. “You okay?”
I arch my chin up, meeting his stare head on. “Caleb.”
“Are you okay?”
I feel the sting of tears in my eyes, but I blink them away.
“I’d like to go now.”
“Are you mad at me?”
“No, Caleb. I’m not mad at you.”
I step out of his arms and miss his heat the moment I do. It suddenly feels like I’m standing in the middle of the Arctic and not a dance floor swarming with bodies.
“Can we not? Can we do this later?”
He doesn’t push the issue. He simply nods, grabs my hand, and leads me quietly from the bar.
What have we done?
It’s one AM and I’m standing in front of Caleb’s bedroom door with my pillow and blanket.
I know he’s awake. There’s no way he’s able to sleep after the way we left things.
Slowly, I push open his door and slip inside, careful not to make a sound. I tiptoe my way to his makeshift bed and gently lay my pillow beside his resting form.
I stand over him, hesitating only a moment before finally settling myself next to him.
“I was wondering if you were going to come or not.”
I adjust myself on the pillow, scooting just an inch or so closer to him. “I’m here.”
Caleb lifts his arm and I slide into his embrace. Rolling over onto my side, I place a small kiss on his chest.
“I’m not sorry about kissing you.”
“Me either,” I whisper.
Me: So…last night.
Caleb: Last night.
Caleb: Are you regretting it today?
Me: No. You?
Caleb: But can I tell you something?
Caleb: I briefly regretted it, but only because I thought you’d never talk to me again.
Me: I was never mad at you, Caleb. I was mad at me.
Caleb: Why? We didn’t do anything wrong, Zoe.
Caleb: You know that, right?
Me: You were gone this morning.
Caleb: I was. Little league.
Me: I bet you look so damn cute out there.
Caleb: I do.
Me: Are you wearing a ball cap right now?
Me: *whispers* Is it backward?
Caleb: It is.
Me: I think I need to change my panties.
Caleb: I will NOT flirt with you while I’m at practice.
Me: And how many times did you have to repeat that to yourself?
Me: Wait, how’d you get there?
Caleb: I took the bus.
Me: CALEB! You could have asked me to give you a ride. Is that what you’ve been doing since you moved in?
Caleb: Mostly. Sometimes I’ll catch a ride with a friend.
Me: WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME THIS? I would have given you rides!
Me: Seriously, I cannot believe you right now.
Caleb: I didn’t want to be a bother. It’s not a big deal.
Me: Is practice over yet?
Caleb: No, we still have about fifteen minutes.
Me: Are you at Cattleman’s Field?