The first time I admitted to myself that the plan of dating wasn’t really thought-out was when I couldn’t recall packing decent clothes with me. The second time is when I realized I do have my old dresses in the closet, but I have no idea which still fits me. And the third time is consoling an upset Ethan who didn’t take my date very well.
I handled mentioned crises with Kathie who lent me some of her dresses. I picked a long-sleeved black dress out of ten kinds of dresses ranging from a decent off-shoulder to a much more revealing spaghetti strap. The goal wasn’t to bring Adam Roswell weak on his knees. I was merely testing the water.
As to the inconsolable Ethan, Kathie reassured me she will make sure he eats dinner however he threatened not to eat any until I get back from my date – which is smart because, true, I would have rushed back home with the thought of him refusing to eat. I instructed her to if, by any chance, matters get worse, call Nathan.
However, right now as I sit across from Adam Roswell – having dinner with him, makes me question if it had been a mistake giving him the chance because he’d been a jerk in high school. Even Kathie who always sees the good in people was hesitant.
Not a good sign. Still, we’re giving him the benefit of the doubt.
Everything is, by far, anticlimactic. Andrei and France were checking on me from time to time. Summer had to be stuck with a fancy dinner party at a family friend, so I have two out of three backups tonight. I gave them a subtle shake of the head. At the same time, I’m dodging Adam’s feet from underneath the table trying to play footsies.
Okay, so he hasn’t changed a bit.
I tried to look interested out of politeness. I barely uttered a word and he didn’t even notice. When he suggested we called it a night, I’m hoping I wasn’t too obvious when I grab my bag as soon as he said the words.
We walk to the parking lot. His hand was cemented on the small of my back and I had to subtly peel it off when it starts to slide down past a friendly touch. All efforts were successful on the first and second attempts, but on the third time, I had to slap his hand away.
“Okay. Can I just ask what’s happening here?” I snapped.
He opened the car door to the passenger seat. Adam didn’t answer. He grinned like he just scored a goal. Or by the twinkle of his eyes that’s supposedly ‘mischievous’ and ‘sexy,’ he’s feeling like he’s about to.
I slammed the door shut. “I’m never going in there.”
“I can’t believe you’re still playing hard to get after all these years.” Adam Roswell is athletically built. What he academically lacks, he makes up in sports. I’m guessing, then and now. One flick of his bulky arm could press me up against the car door.
I cross my arms over my chest in defiance when I should be intimidated. “What I can’t believe is that after all these years you’re still the biggest jerk alive.”
“I’m the jerk who considered asking out some guy’s leftover.”
I have to hand it to him. He hit the nail right on the head. It stung. Maybe, a lot more than I can admit. I refuse to give him the satisfaction, so I hold my head high. “This is your agenda all along, isn’t it? Me ending up sleeping with you.”
“Look.” He scratches his jaw impatiently. “I don’t mind the extra weight. We can do this the hard way or the easy way. Are you getting in the car or not?”
I am… affronted.
“As I said, I’m never getting in your car again.” I took a step back, tightening my arms over my chest. This time, it was more of an act of shielding myself than defiance.
His hand flew to my elbow.
I dodged it. “Touch me again or, I swear to God, I’m gonna punch you.”
He scoffed, grabbing my wrist. “You’re still that bratty rich girl. But it’s not like you’re a good catch as you were before.”
My jaw clenched, my hands curling into a ball. His face whipped to the right and he clutches his right cheek where my fist landed. It was a sloppy punch, but my knuckles throbbed like I just hit a wall. This is one of those moments where I wish I had a brother to teach me how to punch people in the face.
“What the hell, Chassie?” He muttered through gritted teeth.
I lifted a brow. “What? News flash: I punch people. Especially when they try to make a pass at me.”
Dread filled my guts when he shot up a hand. Mercifully, the sound of hurried footsteps made him drop his arm back to his side. Whatever said hand was about to do, I’m relieved we were interrupted.
“Chassie, are you okay? Sorry, let me catch my breath.” France came up from behind, panting as if he just ran all the way from the restaurant to the parking lot – which is not much of a distance, really.
I stare at him while he clutches his knees with his hands and takes in long, laborious breaths. “Take your time.”
Adam was shifting menacing glare between me and him.
France straightened up from his crouch. “I thought you needed some saving. But by the looks of it, I see you don’t need any.”
I shrug, folding my arms over my chest. I ignored the sharp pain when I brush my still throbbing knuckle to the fabric of my dress.
“And you,” He turned to Adam and stared him down. To be honest, I wish he can be scarier than that. “I hate you.” He tilted his chin up as if it was the world’s greatest insult, then grabs my wrist and we both turned toward the restaurant.
I winced when he picked the wrong wrist to hold. “Really? I hate you? That was the best you can?”
I wasn’t hoping for a fist-to-fist fight between a heavily built man and a moderately toned one. Not that France is the lanky kind. He is a decent eye candy with his broad shoulders, trim waist, and long legs. And I’m pretty sure he hides some packs under that shirt. He is a perfection… who can’t come up with hurtful insults.
Noticing my discomfort, he lets go of my injured hand and grabbed the other. “I’m sorry. I just blanked out.”
I laugh, shaking my head. “What would you have done if I hadn’t punched him first?”
“I don’t really know. I could have done the same thing on the spur of the moment. Seriously though, are you okay?” He skims me over. “Let’s get you an ice pack. That’s the least I can do.”
I rolled my eyes. “You looked out for me, that’s the most I’m grateful for. Who knows? He might have tried another stunt. Maybe then, both my knuckles were broken. How am I going to defend myself?”
“You’re just trying to make me feel better. But, okay. You want me to call someone for you?” We entered the restaurant.
“My hand is not paralyzed. It’s just busted. I can do that myself.” I smiled.