Never been nerdy, p.4
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       Never Been Nerdy, p.4

           C.M. Kars
 
My, my, are we uncomfortable?

  “I’m going to drive you home and you never have to see me ever again in your entire life,” I tell him, crossing my arms over my chest. The whole movement does fabulous things to my breasts and I smile when Dean notices.

  “I’ll walk home. Hell, I’ll take the freaking bus,” he says, hands still over the sheets. I make a point of caressing his pecs with my eyes and he squirms on the bed. Wow, he’s so much fun to antagonize.

  “Really? Well, let’s ask your nurse if that is such a good idea. Maybe that bump to the head has done stuff to your memory, who knows?” I say, looking for Nurse Noseyface, and see her come stumbling towards us, looking to Dean with a face that clearly says I’ll do anything you ask of me. I want to tell her that desperation never looks good on a girl, but well, bitchy side of my conscience and all that.

  “Am I free to go soon?” Dean asks, just as I put my hand up and get the nurse’s attention. I realize now that she barely looks like she’s out of high school. Really? Is that even legal?

  “Could you please tell him that he can’t go walking home or taking the bus because of his condition?”

  Oh, she looks torn. It looks like she would love, love, love to ruin my day by negating the facts as I have stated them. She also looks like she has a serious crush on a one Viking Dean and wants absolutely nothing bad to happen to him, and thus, totally has to agree with me.

  DiNovro scores the winning goal, bitches!

  The nurse clears her throat and smooths down her scrubs from waist to hips.

  “It’s not a good idea to be leaving without someone,” she says, a little begrudgingly and I have no idea why. I can’t hide my grin.

  “The bus is always stopping and starting and disorientation is a side effect of a concussion, so we don’t want you getting lost in the middle of nowhere,” she laughs awkwardly, coughs, then sputters to a stop.

  Dean’s face screws up, totally not liking the whole idea.

  “There you go, champ. Let’s try and find you a shirt, ‘kay?” I say, and Dean checks himself before he crosses his arms over his chest, all Victorian virgin.

  My heart flutters in my chest, and I close my eyes. Oh my God, is he an actual virgin? Could God be that cruel? Giving me a hot Viking to play with, and he hasn’t even ridden in his first rodeo?

  “Thank you,” I hear Dean mutter to the nurse, and I assume she’s walked away as I bend down to look under the bed to find a plastic bag with all his belongings. I haul my prize onto his bed and upend all the contents so they spill all over it.

  A smack of something falls to the floor, and I stoop to pick it up, laughing out loud because it must have fallen out of his wallet. Oh, the greatness of the world.

  I hand him the condom without any remarks, and without looking at the expiration date.

  Poor guy probably pulled a Kenickie and had it in there since the seventh grade if he still has his v-card. Which is also adorable in a sad, sad way.

  Dean grabs it out of my hand lightning quick and puts it in his wallet, then tugs on his shirt like nothing happened. He looks up at me once that’s done and swings his legs over, his right thigh hitting mine where I’m standing.

  Wow, he’s warm. I wonder how sweaty he’d get after we’d have sex. I don’t want the Niagara Falls in my bed, thank you very much.

  “I know of a way you can make all this shit up to me.”

  I nod at him to continue like a queen does before she says off with his head!

  “I want you to drive me to Chapters.” My stomach bottoms out like that time it did when I went skydiving. “I want you to buy me a book or two,” he says.

  My libido plummets to the very bowels of hell.

  Chapter 4

  I wanted to ask him if he’s been stalking my phone conversations, all Eagle Eye and shit, but I’m not stupid.

  Dean is more than probably a book nerd, and having a best friend for a nerd is enough. But what does it even matter, anyway? Dean’s going to be nothing more than a one night stand, and maybe a fuck buddy if I can get him into our group. That’s it, nothing more.

  “I’m meeting my friend there by happy coincidence, so don’t think this was planned or anything,” I tell him, getting into the driver’s seat and securing my seat belt. Safety first.

  Dean doesn’t say anything, just looks out the passenger side window. Not talking to me.

  Even though we’re going to go see Sera with Matty now, I wonder how all that is going to go down. Yay for me, since Dean will realize my best friend is off limits and that I’m more than available. Woe to me because he opens up to her more, and I have no fucking clue why when I am excellent at conversation and at giving signals.

  It just really really sucks that he’s a nerd. I mean, he doesn’t sound as bad as Sera, who sometimes talks only in references and my brain just can’t keep up. It physically hurts a lot of times; I can’t follow her train of thought.

  Shit, if Dean is the same thing, it’s going to suck ass. What is he gonna call out in the middle of coming when I have my way with him? Some Harry Potter spell, or something from Games of Thrones?

  Ugh. I shouldn’t even care. Sex is sex. Two people chasing away the momentary demons, and having a good time while doing it. I shouldn’t read into things; reading into things gets you into trouble.

  A lot of people apologize for their behaviour. I’m not one of those people.

  I won’t apologize for something I said or did. I’m not going to be the girl sniffling with tears in her eyes telling you how sorry she is for acting like a kid. Hell, no. As long as I pay my bills, and go to work and do a great job, the world keeps turning no matter what has been said or done, no matter if you apologize for it or not.

  “And here I was hoping you were going to be stalking me for the rest of your days,” Dean says. Getting snippy with me? I think I like it.

  I peek a glance at him, see him stroking the leather of the door handle. I’m pretty sure he jizzed in his pants at the sight of my blue beauty, Roxanne, in the light of day. A lot of guys do.

  They then they ask me to drive her and I tell them, like me, Roxie is a temperamental bitch and she’d kick me to the curb if I would let them drive her with their sullied hands. Just because you have a dick does not give you the right to handle any sort of muscle car like it was made for you. And God knows, ovaries trump dicks any day of the week.

  “Maybe for the next week, or so. See if you’re worth the time and effort,” I tell him, fiddling with my radio knob.

  I hit a stop sign and take the second to make sure my auxiliary chord is in and scroll to my Driving playlist of my phone. AC/DC’s “If you want blood (you’ve got it)” blasts on my speakers and I get a sick thrill of watching Dean jump at the loudness and glory that is my epic sound system.

  He’s getting cuter by the second, and my vagina wants to grab all the attention.

  I pull into the parking lot and secure a space about half a block away from the bookstore, making sure my lady is parked all by her lonesome without the inferior class of Toyotas and Hondas, and God forbid, minivans to take away any of her glory.

  Dean practically bolts out of the car; I only get a glimpse of his messenger bag’s tail end as he closes the passenger door. I turn off the car, and step out, feeling my ankle give a little painful squeak of protest as my weight settles on it.

  Fucking malocchio.

  I lock my car with a beep and keep my pace even and steady. No way in hell am I chasing after a man, especially one that eats up the pavement with his giant strides.

  “Hey! I can’t buy you a book if I’m not actually there to pay for it!” I yell out, waving my arms, letting the cool October air slither along my long sleeved shirt underneath my Ducati jacket.

  Dean stops, and almost grudgingly looks over his shoulder at me, eyebrows low on his forehead and his mouth firming up like he’s trying to keep whatever’s scrolling through his mind from getting out.

  “Why are you taking so long? It’s thos
e damn shoes, isn’t it?” he grumbles, but I keep my leisurely pace. I bolt through my days at work, eating hours like a starving person does a good meal. I’m afraid that if I don’t savour enough of my time when I can, life will just pass me by and I won’t even know how it happened without me realizing it.

  “The store isn’t going to get up and move, Dean!” I yell, clicking on the pavement. I exaggerate the sway of my hips, feeling my weight become even more evenly distributed along my heel, and watch Dean’s eyes zero-in.

  Oh, yeah. He’s interested alright. I just have to reel him in.

  He puts his hands on his hips and squints down at me. Still walking slow as I am, I do eventually get to where he’s standing, right beside a silver Toyota Corolla that’s seen better days. I think of the horror of the rusted frame of the poor car and almost shed a tear at thinking of Roxie in such a predicament.

  “I swear, if I lose the last copy of the Stone of Farewell I’m going to start punching things,” he growls.

  “My, my, what beautiful teeth you have,” I say, then watch his mouth slam shut to hide them from my view. What the hell did he think I was going to do? Take a lick?

  “Just chill out. We’re going to walk in, and I’ll buy you any freaking book you want.” I blow some stray hair out of my face, and let him pull the door open for me so I can walk in first.

  I look back at Dean just as he enters the store, and I swear to God, something comes over him. The only other time I’ve seen this kind of look is from Sera whenever we go into a place that has books in it.

  Holy shit, his nostrils just flared to pull in a deep breath and his eyes get this lazy quality that reminds me of a cat waking up after the best nap. I wouldn’t mind him turning that look on me – whenever and as often as he can.

  “Thea Katieeeeeeeeeee!”

  Only one kid calls me aunt in Greek, and knows how to wind himself so tight around your legs that you could just teeter over like a felled tree. I windmill my arms to keep upright and look down at the face of my own little sort-of-nephew.

  “Hey, Chicken Little! Where’s Sera?” I say, ruffling his hair. I look down into blue eyes and see a little twinkle there that I hope isn’t supposed to mean he’s going to give me, Sera and Hunter a lot of gray hairs growing up.

  His arms stay wound around my legs just below the knee, squeezing me tight for a half-assed hug. Matty smiles up at me with dimples like his dad’s and a flush to his face that he probably inherited from his father, too.

  “You feeling okay?” I ask, pushing back the hair off his forehead, wrinkling my nose when I find his skin there is all clammy. My heart trips up its rhythm in my chest, and I can’t hide the panic in my movements as I whip my head around, searching for Sera.

  “I’m fantastic!” he crows, jumping in place, and abruptly lets go of my legs. I think that could be a reference to something but I’m getting freaked out and where the flying fuck is Sera?

  “Hi!” Matty calls out, and I look down to see my little peep staring up and up and up at Dean. Matty gives a wave, somehow getting his entire body behind it, and gives the Viking a gigawatt of a smile. “I’m Matty. What’s your name?”

  Dean crouches down so he’s Matty-sized (yeah, right) and gives him a real smile, so genuine, I feel it somewhere in my ribcage, probably next to the center where all the squishy female hormones originate.

  “You’re super big. Did you know that?” Matty tilts his head to one side, and looks at Dean like he’s a curious creature that needs analyzing. “You’re bigger than my Daddy, and my Daddy is the biggest man in the world!” Matty throws his arms up and out for emphasis.

  Dean’s smile gets even bigger, and Madonn’ this guy has just become my favourite dessert that I can’t wait to eat up.

  “Chicken little,” I say, grabbing onto Matty’s shoulder, giving him a gentle squeeze. “Where’s Sera?”

  “Here! Present and accounted for!” I whirl around and almost smack my best friend with my waving hair. “Hey, buddy! Hi, Dean! Great to see you again,” she says, holding her fist out for a bump – that Dean instinctively returns!

  If someone showed me their fist to bump on what, the second time we met, well, that person would be looked at with my resting bitch face and probably never spoken to again. I mean, hello, we are adults, and none of this shit is going to fly in the business world. Professionalism always wins, and you’re constantly judged by first appearances and actions.

  I could never bring someone like Dean to a business cocktail with me – he’d probably be the guy either nursing a beer and sitting in a corner all by himself, watching people in a creepy way, or he could be the guy doing the Beyoncé butt jiggle in the center of the makeshift dance floor that no one has a problem pointing and laughing at.

  That’s why I don’t do relationships. I’d have an obligation to bring Dean with me to something like that where’d I’d have to network and build budding business relationships with potential clients who are judging me right away to see if I can talk the talk while trying to hold my liquor.

  Free time isn’t free time anymore. It’s turned into something that used to be stress-free into an experiment. I’m the mouse searching for the fucking button to end the game, but I can never find it – I can’t smell the money to end the experiment. I only get little rewards to make me think I’m getting there, little things that I buy for myself that make me happy.

  God, if my life is going to be like this for the rest of forever, what’s the point of working hard? What’s the point of trying to get ahead? Why do I have to fight for shit all the time?

  “Hey, Sera. How you’ve been?” Dean asks.

  Sera gives him a smile, the kind that makes her cheeks pop up real big, and her eyes squint up so you can hardly see them. That’s why I don’t show my teeth when I smile; closed lips is the way to go. You’re guaranteed to always look attractive in pictures.

  “I’m awesome. Didn’t think I would be seeing you so soon, though. How’s your head doing? Want me to go get you something cold to drink, or you wanna go sit at the Starbucks upstairs?” she asks, and I bite my tongue to shut myself up.

  Sera is a people pleaser. It’s not a freaking surprise with the kind of upbringing she had – always doing things 100% right to get her Mom or Dad to smile at her, or hell, give her a freaking nod at a job well done. Nope.

  The habit stuck, the perverse sort of conscientiousness that makes her seem like a push-over when I know deep down she’s got a spine of reinforced steel. I tamp down the flash of annoyance that started in my chest, and flickers down to my belly.

  No one gets over years of abuse in a day, hell, even in weeks and months. That shit takes years to root out, and maybe it all doesn’t really go away. I’ve read enough books on the subject, trying to help her out, to know the truth. Some people never get over it, and Sera Delos might just be one of them.

  It makes me so fucking mad I want to tear her parents limb from limb – I want them to hurt, to pay for what they did to such a bright person. They dimmed her light, not by adding shutters, or adding opaque screens – no, they made the shining star believe it was weak and feeble and couldn’t light the entire night sky.

  Fuckers.

  I hate them. I hate them for what they did to her, and if I’m being honest, a part of me hates Sera for letting it still bother her to this day.

  Dean tilts his head to the side and pinches the bridge of his nose. He runs his fingers through his longer hair and it falls in such a perfect way as to make me envious. I need to put serious effort into my hair looking as it does all the time, and this asshole is totally blessed with making it be perfect probably without any product in it at all.

  The world is so unfair sometimes.

  Dean moves his messenger bag from one shoulder to the other, and holds onto the strap with a giant mitt of his. The thing could span my hips no problem, and I’m not the tiniest of the tiniest, either, but made of pure Italian stock.

  “Yeah. Let’s go get some stuf
f to eat. I’ve got a serious craving for a brownie,” he says, and leads the way to the escalator. I follow like a dumbstruck puppy, looking to my owners for guidance on how to act next. Never thought I would feel like a third wheel around Sera.

  Shit, that came out wrong.

  I keep my trap shut as we climb the escalators, Matty having raced upstairs without any of us really doing any of the racing. He’s still pretty cute when he lifts his arms in the air, all victory is mine! The whole mood is fucked to shit when Chicken Little asks for a brownie, too.

  Sera shakes her head while biting her lip. I don’t know much about kids, but I think they respond to assertiveness, and Sera’s not giving off that vibe. She grabs his hand, and leans down close to him, talking to him in a quiet, calm voice, the kind I think people use to calm down scared animals.

  Yeah, pretty sure that’s not going to work.

  Matty shakes his entire body, like he’s about to have lift off, his hair flopping all over the place, and his face morphs into that of a spoiled little brat starting to whine.

  Yeah, I’m never getting pregnant and popping one of those out. Never ever.

  “Seerrraaaaaa! Please! I waaaaaaaaannnnnnnttttttt ooooooooonnnneeeeeeeeeeeee!” he whines, pulling on her hand with both of his, leaning back far enough that it looks like he’s actively trying to dislocate her wrist with his body weight.

  And then I see it. I see Sera change, even if it’s only for a few seconds.

  “You want to be tired after? How about that game of soccer we were going to play with your dad when he comes home, huh? How are you gonna play soccer, Matty, if you’re too tired and sick to kick the ball because of the brownie?”

  Dean overhears this, and looks down at Sera like she’s the scum of the Earth.

  “It’s just a brownie,” he says, voice rough enough that I can hear the tiny thread of danger to it. Dean would definitely cause some crazy ass damage if left to his own devices. I wonder if he’s ever trained to fight before. Hell, a build like his, one of pure strength, he’d be a coach’s wet dream.

 
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