Home > Easy (Contours of the Heart #1)(41)

Easy (Contours of the Heart #1)(41)
Author: Tammara Webber

I glanced behind us as we set the table, relieved that no one else was within earshot. “No.”

He followed behind me, placing forks on top of the napkins I’d folded. “Too bad for him.”

My eyes widened a bit at this, and when I looked at him, he smirked. “What? Anyone can see you’re too good for him. So why are you here?”

“Um, thanks. And my parents went to Breckenridge.”

He recoiled, astonished. “Fuck, are you serious? And I thought my parents were the biggest ass**les in this town.”

I couldn’t help but grin, though I curbed it as much as possible. Carter had always seemed unmanageable and emotional next to the rest of his logical, coolheaded family. I’d never considered what an outsider he must have felt like with them—the impetuous middle child between Kennedy and his little sister, Reagan, who gave the impression that she’d been born a thirty-year-old accountant.

“Language, Carter,” Kennedy said, rounding the corner.

“Fuck off, Kennedy.” Carter retorted, not missing a beat.

Fully containing my reaction was impossible. My jaw was like rock in the attempt, but a small snort escaped, which earned a big, full-wattage grin from Carter. He winked at me before scooting off to the kitchen to help his mother. I blinked, imagining that the poor girls at my former high school must collapse against the lockers when he sauntered past.

Kennedy was scowling.

“What happened to ‘he’s not my kid’?” I asked, placing the last spoon before turning to him. “It’s okay to berate him for dropping the F-bomb, but you wash your hands of helping him kick an alleged drug problem?” I was definitely asking for it. Debating with Kennedy was unwinnable.

He inclined his head. “Good point.”

I blinked again, thinking that the Moore boys were going to shock me to death by the time I left town.

Grant and Bev Moore were as oblivious as Kennedy had promised. They didn’t seem to detect the strained air between their son and me in the four hours I spent with them, or the absence of our usual PDA. He didn’t sling an arm across the back of my chair during the meal, and though he pushed my chair in when I sat—as he’d been raised to do—he didn’t kiss my cheek or take my hand. When Reagan narrowed her sharp thirteen-year-old eyes on us, I pretended not to notice her scrutiny. Carter, of course, leered and flirted with me outrageously, trying to make me laugh and piss his brother off. He succeeded on both counts while their parents discerned nothing.

Not touching except for the press of his leg against mine, Kennedy and I sat side-by-side through a football game on the wall-sized flatscreen that made Carter so furious he stood up and cursed at the screen a couple of times, for which his entire family—all four of them—calmly rebuked him. The second time, he stomped from the room and was gone for several minutes. From the way he flexed his hand when he returned, I got the feeling he went to his bedroom and hit something.

As soon as Kennedy pulled into my driveway to drop me off, I hopped out of the car, thanking him for inviting me and making it clear that I was going inside alone. He smiled tightly. “We should hang out Saturday. I’ll give you a call.” Thankfully, he made no move to exit the car.

As though he’d not suggested anything, I thanked him again and said goodbye. Once inside, I watched him from a curtained window. He stared pensively at the closed front door for a minute before pulling out his phone and calling someone as he backed out of the drive.


After making Friday night plans with Dahlia and Jillian, I practiced my bass in the living room until the timer-set lamp clicked off just before 11 pm. Chuckling into the darkness, I propped my instrument against the wall by feel, and placed the bow on a shelf of a nearby bookcase. My phone lit up on the plant stand, signaling a message, and I stood in the dark, reading and answering.

Lucas: When will you be back on campus?

Me: Probably Sunday. You?

Lucas: Saturday.

Me: Family drama?

Lucas: No. My ride needs to go back then.

Lucas: Let me know if you’re back early. I want to see you.

Lucas: I need to sketch you again.

Me: Oh?

Lucas: I’ve done a couple from memory but they aren’t the same.

Lucas: Can’t quite get the shape of your jaw. The line of your neck.

Lucas: And your lips. I need to spend more time staring at them and less time tasting them.

Me: I can’t say I agree with that notion.

Lucas: More of both, then. Text me when you get back.

Okay, so sleeping was out.

I reread the text while stealthy recollections of his lips on mine curled through me, igniting small flames of desire that grew and fused as my memories of Saturday night replayed in graphic detail. Standing in the dark, I closed my eyes.

I should be fuming or at least distrustful where Lucas/Landon was concerned, but having tried to work up some outrage over his sin of omission, I simply couldn’t. I reasoned that I was on resentment overload between Kennedy and Buck, and in comparison, Lucas seemed more a riddle than a risk. My plan for him, after all, had been to use him as a rebound, Operation Bad Boy Phase, and it wasn’t like I’d been fully forthcoming about that.

Attempting to get a handle on my volatile musings, I grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge and walked upstairs to my bedroom, the only room still lit in the whole house.

When I checked my email, I saw there was one from LMaxfield amidst the credit offers and listserv info, and my heart rate jumped. He’d sent it this afternoon, hours before our text exchange. Away from school, I was beginning to connect my tutor with Lucas—the Lucas who spoke to me from behind this Landon alias. I wanted to know why, but I didn’t want to ask—I wanted him to tell me.

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