Escape in You(6)

By: Rachel Schurig


“Yeah, the carpet,” Ellie says, nodding her head lazily. “You have to try this carpet. It’s ridiculously soft. Like, better than my bed.”

Hunter makes a contented sound of agreement. “It’s really…plush.”

For some reason that makes Ellie giggle, and soon they’re both cackling at my feet. I roll my eyes. “You guys are such lightweights.”

“In their defense,” says someone right next to me, “that carpet is really fucking comfortable.”

The guy in black has joined me on the couch and is almost touching me, he’s sitting so close. The tangle of tattoos on his arms distracts me for a moment before I get my first good look at his face.

I draw in a sharp breath—I can't help it. I’m staring at the most beautiful man I have ever seen. He has longish brown hair liberally sprinkled with natural gold highlights, and it’s all in a pleasing, tousled mess. I wonder what it would feel like to run my fingers through that hair, to mess it up even further. It looks soft. He has strikingly dark brown eyes framed with the thickest eyelashes I’ve ever seen on a guy. His eyes seem to flash with some kind of dark amusement, and my heart beats faster. A muscle pulses in his jaw when he swallows—God, I love a guy with a strong jawline—and I want to place my lips there, right at that pulse, and kiss him.

“You okay, Zoe?” he asks, and there’s that amusement in his eyes again.

“How’d you know my name?” I ask, and I’m pleased that my voice is steady. There’s no sense in letting him know just how much I like what I see—though I’m afraid he somehow knows exactly what I’ve been thinking. Something in the way he’s looking at me makes me blush. And I never blush.

“I make it a point to find out information that might be of interest to me.”

His voice is low and raspy and touches something deep within my core, but I force out a laugh.

“Does that kind of line usually work for you?”

He shrugs, grinning. “To be honest, yeah. It does.”

My laugh is sincere this time. “Well, at least you are honest.”

He leans back into the couch, stretching his arm across the back of the cushion so that it just grazes my shoulder. I shiver a little and hope he doesn’t notice. A quick glance around tells me we shouldn’t be interrupted. Hunter appears to have moved off while I was distracted by the sex god—I’m pretty sure I can make out his voice across the room, urging someone else to come down and feel the carpet. Ellie has dozed off. I’m not surprised—that’s her usual reaction to pot and one of the reasons I don't often join in when she partakes. I don't come to parties to sleep.

I smile at the sex god. Flirting with hot guys, on the other hand, is one of the best reasons to come to a party.

“I’m at a bit of a disadvantage here.” I inch my knee closer to his.

“How so?”

“You know my name, and I don’t know yours.”

He holds my gaze for a minute, and my heart thumps. “Maybe I’d rather be a man of mystery.”

I wrinkle my nose. “Seriously, dude. You have to stop with the lines. It’s just not doing it for me.”

He leans in, and his face is inches from mine. “What would do it for you?”

“An actual conversation.” I refuse to fall under his spell. But there’s something dangerous about this guy, something that makes me want to abandon sense and close the gap that separates us.

He watches my face for a minute before his eyebrows come together in an expression I can’t quite read. “I don’t do so good with conversations.”

“Why’s that?”

He surprises me by pausing before he answers, as if he’s actually thinking about it. “I just think it’s easier not to talk, for the most part. People usually just tell you what you want to hear anyway. What’s the point?”

God, wasn’t that the truth. “Yeah,” I say. “I get that.”

We’re both quiet for a minute, but it isn’t necessarily an uncomfortable silence. It feels natural, easy, to just sit here with him while the party carries on around us.