Price of a Kiss(6)

By: Linda Kage

Every muscle in my body tightening, I dug my nails deep into her wrist, warning her to shut it. But her greeting had already captured his attention.

He glanced over, his gaze indifferent. Jerking his chin in that way guys had of greeting someone with their head, he nodded. “Sup?”

I melted, and a dreamy whimper oozed out. But, wow, he had a compelling voice to go with that compelling body. It was deep, yet smooth, and entirely too sinful to belong to someone so pretty. It made me want to close my eyes, and just…liquefy.

“Looking good today,” Eva told him, her tone full of feminine wiles and not-so-hidden invitation. Tipping her face just enough for the sunlight to catch her flawless complexion, she let her beautiful mane of platinum blonde hair spill over her shoulder to bounce down her sizable chest. She couldn’t have said come-and-get-me-big-boy any more flamboyantly than if she’d shrieked it aloud. “What say we skip class this morning and do something…fun instead?”

Mason Lowe snorted out his disinterest at the same moment I gasped, “E.!” I really was going to have to remind her she had a boyfriend, wasn’t I?

At my reprimanding hiss, Hotness zipped his attention to me, and suddenly his expression was no longer unresponsive. His intense gaze burned into me, and yes, I was going to need a whole vat of Aloe Vera to soothe the delicious sting it left behind.

Again, our immediate connection held me prisoner. His heavy stare cemented me into place as if it made every organ in my body weigh a million pounds each. I could do nothing but gape back. Like a punch to the solar plexus, he left me breathless. I sucked in air, seeking oxygen.

He looked even better from ten feet away than he had fifty yards away. Separating himself from his guy-pack hadn’t even diminished his appeal.

And that face. I swear, angels sprouted up around him and began to sing in harmonious worship of that glorious face. Straight nose, prominent brow, über-defined square jaw, dimpled chin. He had every alpha male feature a guy could possibly possess. Even his eyebrows were thick and rugged. There was simply a hallowed kind of masculine perfection about him.

When he tore his gaze away, I felt wrung out and abandoned. I watched him pass by us and stroll all the way to the front door. Then I watched him disappear inside. Licking my parched lips, I turned to my cousin in a daze.

“Okay,” I heard my own voice say, the tone a trifle faint to my ears. “Maybe I could believe women paid him for sex.”

“Hells yeah,” Eva purred. “If I had the cash, I’d definitely do him.”

She sounded a little too invested in her statement, so I nudged my knee into hers, aghast. “What about Alec?”

She gave me an empty stare. “Hmm? Who?”

I lifted one eyebrow. “Your boyfriend.”

“Oh.” Blinking, she seemed to return to herself. With an airy shrug, she pushed to her feet and swung her bag over her shoulder in a fluid, graceful way only a supermodel could accomplish. “Mason is only a pipe dream. Like I said, we could never afford him.”

Something about the way she worded that made me think she’d actually tried. It worried me, but I didn’t question it. Guys were the very last thing I wanted to get tangled in right now. And true gigolo or not, Hotness had sticky mess written all over him. Eva obviously had some kind of prior claim.

For once in my life, I let my curiosity lie dormant. Silently, I trailed Eva toward the front doors of Waterford County Community College and into my new life as Reese Alison Randall.


A year ago, I’d had grand plans of attending the local university in my hometown. It had a wicked, awesome medical program, and I’d dreamed of becoming a virologist, one of those surprisingly cool lab geeks you see on NCIS or some such TV show, who’s always studying bacteria under a microscope and solving the crime of the day.

Anyway, nearly four months ago, my plans for that perfect future had changed. Drastically.

I blame my psycho stalker ex-boyfriend. I mean, sure, I’ll take some culpability by saying I was a little too open about telling everyone where I wanted to go to college and what I wanted to become. He would know exactly where to look for me, meaning I could no longer go there. And yes, if I’d turned Jeremy down flat that fateful day my freshman year of high school when he’d first asked me out, we never would’ve dated, he never would’ve become obsessed, and I would’ve been able to avoid all of this. Sure.

But other than that, he was the sole reason I’d lost my big dream.

Because of him, here I was, hiding out halfway across the country, attending a no-name, small-town, lame-ass community college and living above my aunt and uncle’s garage. Talk about major suck zone. My life in the past couple of months had been nothing as I’d imagined it would be for my first year of college.

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