Home > Easy (Contours of the Heart #1)(31)

Easy (Contours of the Heart #1)(31)
Author: Tammara Webber

My face heating, I recalled Lucas admonishing me for walking across the dark parking lot behind the frat house texting, instead of paying attention to my surroundings. I circled “90%” in blue ink until I’d obscured the words on either side. But then I remembered the last thing he’d said that night: It wasn’t your fault.

We were encouraged to propose safety prevention suggestions, and write them all down—locking doors, walking or exercising with a friend, wearing shoes that don’t hinder running. Erin’s suggestion of “Avoid ass**les” was popular.

“Three things are necessary for an assault: an assailant, a victim, and opportunity. Remove opportunity and you take a huge leap in reducing the likelihood of the assault.” Ralph clapped his hands together once. “Alrighty, let’s take a short break, and when we come back, it’s time to do some of the butt-kicking you ladies signed up to inflict on Don and Lucas.”

Chapter 11

“Many of you are probably convinced that without a weapon, you have no hope against an aggressive male.” Ralph spoke from the opposite side of a set of mats on which Don and Lucas faced each other. The rest of us spread out along the outer edge of the mats, prepared to watch whatever they were about to do. Lucas still hadn’t acknowledged my presence.

“The truth is, you have several weapons at your disposal, and we’re gonna show you how to utilize them to your best advantage. Big, mean Don here will be the assailant, and Lucas, with all that pretty hair, will be the intended victim.”

Giggling erupted from several girls standing near Lucas as he pinned his lips together in good-natured irritation and raked his dark hair back out of his face.

“Your weapons are your hands, feet, knees and elbows, and your head—and I don’t just mean what’s inside it, although that comes into play. Your forehead and the back of your head, when they come into contact with susceptible areas on your assailant, can leave him seeing stars.” Using Don as an example, he pointed out the obvious vulnerable spots (“Yes,” Erin hissed when he indicated the groin), and then the less obvious places, like the top of the foot and the forearm.

Ralph called out the moves Lucas employed to defend himself as he and Don acted out half a dozen choreographed attacks, time-lapsed to clearly demonstrate what they were doing. I felt more hopeless, not less, as I watched them. Lucas’s muscular body was trained to execute those blocks and hits, to absorb blows from an assailant. I’d watched him beat the crap out of Buck—when I could barely dislodge him long enough to scream, let alone inflict any damage.

“The goal here is not to beat the guy up.” Ralph smiled at Erin’s disappointed grumble. “Our objective is to give you time to escape. Gettin’ the hell outta Dodge is your goal.”

We divided into pairs to practice wrist blocks and parries. The three instructors circled the room, assisting and repositioning. I was relieved when Don walked up to watch Erin and me as we took turns trying to slow-motion slap each other. “Keep your eyes on the assailant,” he reminded me. He turned to Erin. “Put a little more oomph into that attack. She can block it.”

I was shocked to find he was right. Erin almost hit me the second time because I was so surprised I’d completely blocked her first attempt.

Don nodded. “Good job.”

We smiled stupidly at each other and switched assailant and victim roles. “So when do we get to the junk-kicking?” Erin asked.

Don shook his head and sighed. “I swear, there’s one in every class. Kicks will be next time.” He pointed at her. “And I’m makin’ sure you’re in Lucas’s line for that.”

She put on her innocent face. “Don’t y’all wear those padded Michelin-man suits?”

“Yes… but those pads don’t block all feeling.”

“Heh-heh,” Erin said, and Don quirked one eyebrow at her.

I looked around the room during this exchange, watching Lucas with a couple of the giggly girls. “Like this?” one of them asked, blinking up at him like she didn’t know she’d positioned her hand incorrectly.

“No…” He turned her palm around and adjusted her elbow. “Like that.” His voice was almost inaudible with all of the slapping, blocking and laughter scattered through the wide-open room. Even still, I felt his words like a soft stroke down my back. I could hardly connect this guy—his shaggy hair, his tattoos, the pure sexuality in the way he walked and the low thrum of his voice—with Landon, an engineering senior who said—or wrote—that my ex was a moron and teased me about 14-year-old orchestra students crushing on me. All while helping me pass a class I’d have failed without him.

I was attracted to the whole of him—each side incongruent with the other. But the whole of him was also a liar. The fact that our professor called him by a different name than the Assistant Chief of Police was perplexing, too. The preface of his official email address was LMaxfield. No help there.

He looked up and caught me staring, and for the first time that morning, neither of us looked away until Erin said, “J—pay attention! Just try to slap me.” I broke the stare and turned to her. She moved around to face me, her back to Lucas, and rolled her eyes. “Does the concept of playing hard-to-get totally escape you?” she whispered. “Let. Him. Chase.”

“I’m not playing that game any longer.”

She glanced over her shoulder and back. “Girlfriend, I don’t think he knows that.”

Hot Series
» Unfinished Hero series
» Colorado Mountain series
» Chaos series
» The Sinclairs series
» The Young Elites series
» Billionaires and Bridesmaids series
» Just One Day series
» Sinners on Tour series
» Manwhore series
» This Man series
Most Popular
» A Thousand Letters
» Wasted Words
» My Not So Perfect Life
» Caraval (Caraval #1)
» The Sun Is Also a Star
» Everything, Everything
» Devil in Spring (The Ravenels #3)
» Marrying Winterborne (The Ravenels #2)