Unwillingly Yours(5)

By: Marian Tee & Lourdes Marcelo

And she obviously had gotten worse at dodging him.

Derek Christopoulos was the guy every girl in the university dreamt of. But to Jaike, he was her worst nightmare simply because he made her feel so disloyal to Angelo. Even the emotions Derek evoked in her were different. Angelo filled her being with serene peace. He had made her feel safe and cherished – or at least he used to. But Derek was the opposite, disturbing her like an emotional tornado, one bent on exposing Jaike’s secret flawed side at any cost.

“Nothing to say to that?” Derek crowded her shamelessly, uncaring of the incredulous glances that went their way as he stalked her, forcing Jaike to move backward. He was a few inches taller than Angelo, but unlike Jaike’s sweet and gentle boyfriend Derek liked to use his intimidating height to his advantage.

He cornered her whenever she could, like he did now, as if wanting her to feel small and powerless next to him. Worse, she liked feeling that way, loved how he could so easily crush her but knowing he wouldn’t. And he knew it.

“You’re too close,” she said between clenched teeth. With Derek so near, all she could think of was how large he was, how hard---

A tiny cry escaped her when she bumped accidentally into something from behind. She turned her head around just in time to see a pyramid of empty beer cans toppling onto the table. When Jaike looked back, Derek had imprisoned her in the circle of his arms, his hands holding the edge of the table at each side of her.

“I’m serious.” And she was, even if she sounded a little too breathless than what was right.

Derek smirked. “Did you come alone?” Every word that dropped from his lips felt like an invitation to make love. He was so intensely sexual Jaike had trouble breathing normally around him.

“No.” It was so, so hard to keep her voice from shaking, and harder not to stare at Derek when he was this close. Hardest of all to ignore was the heat he exuded, enticing her to touch any part of his ruggedly toned body. He was muscled all over, and his tight black shirt and hip-hugging jeans made no secret of it.

He leaned close, his breath fanning her face as he whispered, “Want me to keep you company?”

That look, that voice, those words.

They were the reasons why Jaike hated being around Derek Christopoulos, would rather be anywhere else but near him. He made her feel clumsy and awkward, unable to decide where she should look or what was safe to touch.

“Nothing to say?” Look was such a tame word to describe how Derek’s eyes devoured her. There was never an instance he didn’t gaze at Jaike as if he possessed her, body and soul, and he was simply biding his time before he claimed ownership.

She needed to get away from Derek. Fast. Before her tumultuous emotions caused her to do something she’d forever regret.

“Get out of my way, Derek.” Jaike winced at how weak she sounded.

“Not until you say please.”

She bared her teeth. “Please.”

Several heartbeats passed before Derek slowly drew back, his arms releasing her from his prison. He gave her a heart-stopping grin. “That was the first time I heard a girl say ‘please’ like she wanted to kill me.”

Jaike scowled, just so she wouldn’t accidentally smile.

But he saw through her, and his laugh said as much.

When he didn’t show any signs of leaving, she almost pleaded, “Aren’t you supposed to be somewhere else?”

Derek raised a brow. “Why do you say that?”

She said baldly, “You don’t go to parties without a date.”

“That was before.” His gaze challenged her to ask the obvious follow-up question to his words.

She didn’t take up the gauntlet he tossed at her, but the silence that followed only made her feel more skittish. She wanted to look around for Marcy. Her friend’s vivaciousness would allow her to blend back into the background. Angelo was like that, too. He took care of small talk whenever they were out, and she liked it that way.

“So…” She felt like she had to say something again. “Were you here long?”

“Not that long.” A slow sexy wink followed. “But I would never mind waiting longer if I knew you’d be coming.”