November 9

Page 29


He cocks an eyebrow. “Booksting?”
“Yeah. When a hot guy talks books with a girl. It’s like sexting, but out loud and with books instead of sex. Nor does it have to do with texts. Okay, so it’s nothing like sexting, but it made sense in my head.”
He falls onto his back in laughter. I scoot toward him and place my hand on his chest as I lean over him. “Don’t stop,” I tease in a seductive voice. “Give me more, Ben. Did you read eBooks or . . .” I run my finger slowly down his chest. “Hardbacks?”
He pulls his hands behind his head and a smug look washes over his face. “Oh, they were hardbacks, all right. And I’m not sure if you’re ready for this, but . . . I have my very own TBR pile. You should see it, Fallon. It’s huge.”
I let out a moan, but I’m not so sure it’s pretend.
“I also know what makes a kiss book-worthy now,” he says. “So be prepared.” He lifts up onto his elbow again and loses the smile. “Seriously though. This female attraction to the alpha-male throws me off a little bit, because I’m not anything like the guys you read about.”
Yeah. You’re better.
“I could never drive a motorcycle, or fight another man just for fun. And as much as I’ve fantasized about having sex with you this year, I don’t think I could ever say, ‘I own you,’ with a straight face. And I’ve always wanted a tattoo, but probably just a small one, because no way in hell I could endure the pain. Overall, the books were interesting but they also made me feel highly inadequate.”
He can’t be serious. “Ben, not all the guys in the books I read are like that.”
He tilts his head. “But you obviously like the bad boys if you like reading about them.”
“Actually, that’s not true,” I tell him. “I enjoy reading books like that because it’s not at all the life I lead. It’s completely different than any situation I’ll ever be in, thank God. But I get entertainment out of it. Because as much as I like to read about a guy telling a girl she’s so, so wet for him . . . if anyone ever said that to me during sex, I wouldn’t be turned on by it. I would be terrified I accidentally peed on myself.”
Ben laughs.
“And if you and I were having sex and you told me you owned me, I would literally crawl out from under you, put on my clothes, walk out of your house, and go puke in your front yard. So just because I like reading about those kinds of guys, doesn’t mean I need my real-life guys to act like that.”
He grins. “Can I keep you?”
Too bad he’s only kidding. “I’m all yours for the next five hours.”
He pushes me flat on my back. “Tell me about this boy you kissed.” His use of the word boy somehow seems like an insult to the guy. I like it. Jealous Ben is cute. “I need to know all the details about your kiss so I can add a subplot to the book.”
“A subplot?” I ask. “Does that mean you have an actual plot already?”
His expression doesn’t waver. “So how did you meet him?”
“Did you go on a date with him?”
“Why only two? What happened?”
I want to say “sigh” again out loud. I really don’t want to talk about him. “Nothing came of it. Do we really have to talk about it?”
“Yep. It was part of the agreement.”
I groan. “Fine. His name is Cody. He’s twenty-one. We were auditioning for the same play and we had a nice conversation. He asked for my number and I gave it to him.”
“You gave him your phone number?” Ben asks, dejected. “Why won’t you give me your phone number?”
“Because I actually like you. Anyway, we went out that weekend and kissed a few times. He was nice. Funny . . .”
Ben makes a face. “Funnier than me?”
“Your humor is incomparable, Ben. Stop interrupting me. So I agreed to go out with him a second time. We went back to his place to watch a movie. We started making out and . . . I just . . . I couldn’t do it.”
“Couldn’t do it? Like it it? Or just make out with him?”
I don’t know what’s more strange. Talking to Ben about making out with another guy or the fact that I’m so comfortable talking to Ben about making out with another guy.
Well, up to this point, anyway. Now I just want to shut up.
“I couldn’t do either. It was . . .” I close my eyes, not wanting to tell him the real reason why I couldn’t do it. But it’s Ben. He’s easy to talk to.
“It was different. He made me feel . . . I don’t know. Flawed.”
I can see the roll in Ben’s throat when he swallows. “Explain,” he says, his voice clipped. I like that he seems a little upset, like he doesn’t actually want to hear about me making out with someone else. I especially like how he seems a little protective of me.
I think Ben has more alpha in him than he gives himself credit for.
I blow out a heavy breath, preparing for the honesty I shouldn’t really want to share, but for some reason want to share.
“Last year when you touched me, you made me feel . . . pretty. Like I didn’t have any scars. Or . . . not like that, I said that wrong. You made me feel like the scars were part of what made me pretty. And I’ve never once felt like that, nor did I think I’d ever feel like that. So when I was with Cody, I noticed everything. How he only touched the right side of my face. How he only kissed the right side of my neck. How, when we were making out, he insisted the lights be off.”