Escape in You(7)

By: Rachel Schurig


“So your friends up there,” I say, pointing at the ceiling. “What’s their deal?”

“What do you mean?”

“Like that Stef girl. Is she always like that?”

The guy makes a face. “Stef is exactly what you think she is—a spoiled little brat who likes to run her mouth. And she’s definitely not my friend.”

“But Preston is?”

“I guess so. We grew up together.”

Another strike against the sex god. He grew up with Preston, meaning he had more than likely grown up in this neighborhood, or one like it. So he’s a rich boy. Definitely not my scene. And there’s that reluctance to tell me his name.

“I know what you’re thinking,” he says.

“I doubt that.” How could he know that I’m considering dropping the whole talking thing and just making out with him for a while? No way anything more serious is going to happen. I don't date, not anymore—it’s too complicated. And I certainly don’t date guys who run with the likes of Stef and Preston. Plus, I have a feeling a guy like this isn’t really the dating type—just like me.

Making out is simple enough though. And not a bad way to spend a few hazy, vodka-fueled hours at a party. Particularly when the guy looks as good as this one does. I lean in a little, allowing the side of my breast to brush up against his arm. “Maybe you were right,” I murmur and bat my eyes at him. “Maybe it is easier not to talk.”

He looks down at me, his lips parting slightly. I’m close enough now that I could easily reach up and trail my tongue across those lips or along that impressive jawline. But his next words stop me cold.

“I don’t know, Zoe. You’ve intrigued me with this conversation idea. I’m thinking it might do it for me too.”

I purse my lips, surprised. I was sure he’d jump at the chance to avoid talking.

“So.” He leans back again and gives me a lazy smile. “What should we talk about?”

“We could start with your name.” I’m debating whether I should just get up and leave him here. My friend Everett is across the room, talking to a guy I know a little through Hunter. Surely they’d be more appropriate company.

“Do you want my real name, or my fake name?” He winks.

I narrow my eyes, not really in the mood for cute. “What do you think?”

“Well, you see, the thing is that most people don’t call me by my real name. In fact, most people don’t even know my real name. So if I give you that, it’s kind of saying something, you know? It takes us past the point of general acquaintances at a party. It makes us something more.” He waggles his eyebrows at me.

I’m not sure whether I’m annoyed or intrigued by this. I thought I wanted to flirt with him, but this feels too much like a game. Or your impression of him is just colored because now you know he probably has money.

“Let’s start with your fake name,” I say, deciding to play along. “Maybe we can work up to your real name. I’m not sure I’m ready for that level of commitment just yet.”

He nods. “Fair enough. Everyone calls me Jet.”

I stare at him. “Jet? Are you kidding?”

He shakes his head. “Nope. Jet is really my nickname.”

“Why?”

He furrows his brow. “You know, it’s been so long I’m not really sure. Everyone has called me Jet ever since like, Little League. Something to do with my base running skills. Oh, and the fact that my initials are J.E.T.” At my skeptical look he cocks his head. “What? You don’t like it?”

“Not particularly.”

He throws his head back and laughs. “Oh, Zoe, this is fun.”

“What is?” I ask, feeling defensive.

“Talking to a girl who has no desire to please me. It’s refreshing.”

“You’re pretty damn full of yourself.”

He points at me. “See? That’s exactly what I mean. You couldn’t give a shit about what I think, could you?”

“I don’t see why I would.”

His face darkens. “I don’t see why you would either. Why anyone would.” He inhales sharply, sounding almost pained. “Yet, somehow, they do. Or, at least, the ladies do.”