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Chapter Three

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Girls were my weakness.

I knew this, but I had never broken my rules for any girl.

Until last night.

Sweat trickled down my face as I gripped the ball in my hands, raised my arms, and took my shot. I cursed under my breath when I missed the second time.

What the hell was I thinking?

I'd already decided I'd give her money so she could rent her own place, but the second I saw her this morning—­with the defiance in her dark eyes, but most of all, the sadness she tried so hard to hide—­my plans had disappeared like a puff of smoke.

On the way back to the locker room, I caught the fresh towel Cameron threw at me and wiped my face with it. I was distracted, and practice had been brutal.

Justin appeared in front of me, jogging backward. "Did your mommy forget to breastfeed you this morning, Lockhart? Your game sucked, dude."

I threw the towel at his face.

"Where'd you go last night?" Cameron asked, ignoring Justin's whiny complaints.

"Yeah," Justin piped up. "I saw you talking to that hot piece of ass at the club. Did you score?"

Why did I feel like punching his face? Justin always talked like his mouth came from a garbage dump. It hadn't bothered me before, but I found that I didn't like him talking that way about her. Besides, his stone-­hard, gelled blond hair irritated me today.

I pulled off my sweat-­soaked shirt, balled it up, and, without guilt, threw it at Justin's face. It boggled the mind how his blond hair stayed in place. He must have used epoxy.

"What the fuck, dude!"

Cameron laughed, but he sobered as he turned to me, his gaze piercing mine. He had the eeriest blue eyes I'd ever seen.

"Everything good?" he asked.

Opening my locker, I reached for my bag and straddled the bench to rummage for a fresh shirt and jeans.

"Yeah. Just need to get laid."

Justin snorted. "Like you'd have a problem in that department."

If he knew how hard I was shut down last night, he'd laugh his ass off. God, if he knew I couldn't even get Red's phone number, I'd never hear the end of it.

This morning on my way out, I'd stopped by her room and suggested she give me her number so I could text her the lock code to my apartment door. Simple request. But nooo.

"Just tell it to me," she said.

"What if you forget it?" I waved my phone at her. "It's easier if I text you."

"I can memorize it," she insisted, raising her chin in challenge.

"Don't you have a phone?"

"I have a phone," she huffed. "But it's only for emergencies. Texts cost me a dollar each."

I stomped to my room to find a Sharpie.

"Hold out your hand, then." I wrote the code on her palm.

Stubborn girl.

I was closing the locker door to head for the showers when my phone burped a text. For a second, I was excited, thinking it might be Red. But there was no way she'd be texting me. Since I didn't have her number, she didn't have mine.

Sandra Bodelli: Hey, handsome. Want to come over?

My roommate won't be here tonight.

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by Isabelle Ronin
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