Home > Easy (Contours of the Heart #1)(29)

Easy (Contours of the Heart #1)(29)
Author: Tammara Webber

I stared at the floor. “Am I just completely freaking clueless? How did I not know?”

Benji tucked a finger under my chin. “Um. I’m getting the distinct feeling there’s been some fraternizing going on.” He sighed at the look on my face. “Look, if you never attended a tutoring session, and neither of his alter egos told you he was the same guy, how were you supposed to know, exactly?”

The tension in my shoulders deflated. “I guess you’re right.”

“Of course I’m right. Now what?”

My jaw locked. “No idea. But one thing’s for sure—I’m not telling him I know.”

Benji shook his head, one arm around my shoulders as we merged back into the stream of students. “When I registered for econ, I had no idea that I’d be in for this level of reality-show drama. It’s like a big fat bonus.”


Erin: I signed us up for a self-defense class

Me: What??

Erin: Put on by the campus po-po. Saturdays 9-noon, starts this week, skips the weekend after Thanksgiving, then 2 more.

Me: Okay.

Erin: We get to beat the shit outta guys in those big puffy suits!!! I’ve always wanted to really kick the crap outta some guy’s nuts. Now I can do it guilt-free!

Me: You’re a sick girl.

Erin: Guilty as charged. :)


On Friday, I didn’t look in Landon/Lucas’s direction once. Not one single time. It had been a week since our university-prohibited makeout. Was that the pull for him? That I was forbidden fruit? I’d show him forbidden.

When we were packing up, Benji looked over my shoulder, his eyebrows rising into the dark curls falling over his forehead.

“Hey, Jackie.”

Kennedy hadn’t spoken to me in over a month, the last words between us involving a trite cliché and the very textbook I was currently holding. I pulled a steadying breath through my nose and turned. “Kennedy.” I waited, sure he had some reason to approach me, though I had no idea what it was.

“Are you heading home for Thanksgiving? If so, we should carpool. You know, make that four-hour drive a little less monotonous.”

“You want us to drive home… together?”

He shrugged and flicked his head to the side with a faintly dimpled smile. Kennedy tossing his hair out of his eyes was an arresting sight, and he damn well knew it. At the moment, though, it kind of pissed me off.

Benji cleared his throat and touched my elbow. “See ya Monday, Jacqueline.”

I smiled at him. “Have a good weekend, Benjamin.”

He winked at me and bumped by Kennedy without apology.

“What’s his deal?” my ex scowled.

“What do you really want, Kennedy?” I shifted my backpack and stared up at him, conflicted by my contradictory desires in that moment. I wanted to punch him in the face. I wanted to fall into his arms and wake up from the nightmare of him casting me aside.

“I’d like for us to be friends at the end of this. You mean a lot to me.” The gentleness in his eyes was almost a physical caress. I’d known him so well, and for so long.

This speech was unanticipated—too much, too soon. My eyes teared up. “I don’t know if I can ever do that, Kennedy. And I don’t want to drive home with you next week. Excuse me.” I edged around him and started up the aisle to the door.


“It’s Jacqueline,” I said without turning, leaving him behind.



I’m sending this a little early, though of course I don’t imagine you’re sitting around on a Friday night waiting for economics projects to pour in. But I’m going to be busy tomorrow morning, so I thought I’d go ahead and send it.

Thank you again for looking it over before I turn it in.



As a matter of fact, you’ve distracted/saved me (temporarily, at least) from an infuriating search for a bug somewhere within hundreds of lines of code that doesn’t quite work. I’d much rather look over your econ project. I’ll have it back to you by Sunday evening, if not sooner.


I stared at the L of his signature, picturing him as the guy I knew he was—Lucas. As Landon, his flirting had been subtle; as Lucas, it was overt. What game was he playing? I had no way of knowing if this situation was a first for him, or if he frequently stepped outside of those tutor-student boundaries. The night we met, that horrible night, he’d known who I was. He’d called me Jackie, the name he must have heard Kennedy call me. When I first emailed him for economics help, he must have known, too, but he gave me no hint.

According to the university’s website, restrictions on socializing were to protect—or prevent—students from trading sexual favors for grades, or the appearance of such a thing. But Landon was helping me learn the material, and I was doing the work. When it came to my grade in Dr. Heller’s class, there was nothing improper going on. He knew it. I knew it.

But even consensual fraternization, as Benji called it, was theoretically against the rules.

I could get Landon Maxfield in serious trouble. When he came to my room, I thought he was just another student in the class, and he’d continued that deception.

He’d kissed me, touched me, and I’d let him. I’d wanted him to.

I shut my laptop and stared at my phone. We’d made out a week ago. Here, in my room. And hadn’t texted me once since then. I wanted to know why.

Me: Did I do something wrong?

I waited several minutes, looking at photos on my phone—many of which included Kennedy. I wondered if it was weakness that made it tough to delete them, or if I just wanted to keep the evidence that we’d seemed in love—that we’d looked in love, even while it was all ending.

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