Home > Easy (Contours of the Heart #1)(18)

Easy (Contours of the Heart #1)(18)
Author: Tammara Webber

She smiled wickedly. “I know.”


Wednesday, I got to the classroom before the 8:00 class let out. As soon as most of the students had filed out the door, I slipped in and took my seat, determined not to pay attention to Lucas when he came in. To that end, I flipped through my index cards, though I was more than ready to ace the quiz in Spanish.

When Benji slid into his seat on my left, I didn’t pause in my review. I refused to be distracted from not paying attention to Lucas’s seat, and whether or not he was in it.

“Hey, Jacqueline.” That wasn’t Benji’s voice.

The seats were bolted to the floor, with right-handed desktops. Lucas leaned slightly over the side of Benji’s, pushing into the very margin of my space. My breath caught, and I focused on letting it out, appearing unaffected. “Oh, hi.”

He bit his lower lip once, briefly. “I guess you didn’t notice the phone number on your coffee cup.”

I glanced at my phone, sitting on the edge of my textbook. “I noticed.” I watched his reaction, knowing I was practically telling him to chase me.

He smiled, his light eyes crinkling slightly at the corners, and I tried not to swoon visibly. “I see. Turnabout is fair play. How ’bout you give me yours?”

I arched a brow at him. “Why? Do you need help in economics?”

He bit his lip in earnest that time, stifling a laugh. “Hardly. What makes you think that?”

I frowned. Could I be attracted to a guy who cared so little about doing well in class? “I guess it’s not my business.”

He leaned his chin into the palm of his hand. The tips of his fingers were tinged with gray, probably from drawing with that pencil sitting over his ear. “I appreciate your concern, but I want your number for reasons completely unrelated to economics.”

I picked up my phone and found his number, and sent him a text that said: Hi.

“Dude, you’re in my seat.” Benji’s tone was matter-of-fact, but unperturbed.

Lucas’s phone vibrated in his hand, and he smiled as my text popped up, giving him my number. “Thanks.” He unfolded himself from the chair and addressed Benji. “Sorry, man.”

“No prob.” Benji was one of the most easygoing people I’d ever met. His attitude said slacker, but I’d gotten a look at the midterm crammed into his notebook—he’d made a high B, and for all his talk about skipping class and sleeping in, he’d yet to miss one. After Lucas sauntered back to his seat, Benji leaned over the edge of his desktop, closer than Lucas had. “So what was that about?” His eyebrows rocked up and down and I tried not to grin.

“I’m sure I don’t know what you mean,” I replied, fluttering my lashes in my best Southern belle impersonation.

“Careful, little lady,” he drawled. “That fella seems a bit dangerous.” He shook a too-long curl out of his eyes, smiling. “Not that there’s anything wrong with a bit of danger.”

My lips pinched into half a smile. “True.”

I congratulated myself for taking a singular peek over my shoulder, halfway through the fifty-minute class. Lucas wasn’t looking at me, so I couldn’t help staring. Pencil in hand, he was sketching intently, first shading and then carefully smearing with his thumb. His dark hair fell around his face as he concentrated on his work, the lecture and the classroom disregarded as though he was alone in his room. I imagined him sitting on his bed, knees up, pad balanced on his thighs. I wondered what he was sketching. Or who.

He glanced up and caught my gaze. Held it.

His mouth pulled into that ghost of a smile and he stretched his neck and rolled his shoulders, returning my stare. Glancing at the pad, he tapped the end of his pencil against it and sprawled back in his seat, lashes fanning down as he examined his work.

Dr. Heller finished the chart he was free-handing onto the whiteboard, and the lecture resumed. Lucas tucked the pencil over his ear and picked up a pen. Before shifting his attention to our professor, he smiled at me again, and a jolt of excitement shot through me.

At the end of class, a different girl than last week intercepted him on his way out the door, and I bolted without a backward look. My adrenaline kicked in, my body sensing my need to escape and giving wings to it. Glancing over my shoulder, I ducked through the side exit and slowed down, feeling silly. Erin and Maggie insisted that I should elude his grasp for a few days more, and make him pursue me—but he wasn’t going to literally give chase.

I texted Erin that I’d be getting crap coffee in the cafeteria before my afternoon class instead of going by the Starbucks. She texted back: GENIUS. I’ll meet you there. Sisters in solidarity and all that shit.


By the end of art history, I was beginning to doubt Erin’s notion that Lucas wanted to play this game. Maybe he wasn’t a dog. Or I wasn’t a cat. Or I was just really bad at this. I sighed, stuffing my phone into my bag. I’d clicked it to check for a message at least thirty times during class.

I’d always disparaged the games people played in pursuit of love—or the next hook up. The whole thing was a competition to see who could get how far, and I could never figure out if there was more luck or skill involved, or some unknowable combination of the two. People rarely said what they thought, or revealed how they felt. No one was honest.

Easy for me to say, from my high horse of the perfect relationship with Kennedy. Erin had called me on that months ago, when I told her she was being ridiculous over a guy—plotting to decipher what he wanted from a girl before systematically breaking down his defenses. I had to admit she was right. I had no idea what it was like to be a young, single adult, so I wasn’t entitled to judge.

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