Chapter 45: So You Wanna Play Dirty?

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Taking a deep breath, I tucked a loose curl behind my ear before pressing my finger upon the doorbell. Moments later the front door swung open and butterflies fought violently inside me, struggling to keep a dazed grin off my lips when Tyler's eyes raked over an outfit I spent an hour obsessing over.

Beneath my duffle coat, I wore a leather skater dress and paired it with a combat boots. I even took the time to fishtail braid my hair so that it hung like a thick rope around my waist. Tyler's eyes found mine, glazed with approval until they drank in the concealer I had excessively dabbed over my dark circles to hide any evidence of my sleepless night. Somehow, I knew he picked up on my exhaustion but thankfully he didn't interrogate me.

We stood there for a few seconds, staring at one another. His lips curved into a smooth smile when his gaze flickered my mouth and immense heat coursed through my body like warm honey seeping through my veins. I gave his outfit a once over, ravishing at the sight of his low slung jeans, fluffy dinosaur socks and his amused smile.

"Aren't you going to invite me in?" I asked.

He opened his mouth to retort, shooting me a smirk that disappeared when I barged past him, almost knocking into Rosemary who was holding a laundry basket.

"Sorry!" I gasped and jumped back, accidentally bumping into Tyler.

He hissed when I trod on his foot, gripping my waist to hold himself from doubling over with pain. His head disappeared into my hair and I fought back a giddy smile as his breath warmed my scalp.

"Ashley! I didn't know you'd be coming over today," Rosemary chuckled as she adjusted the overflowing laundry basket on her hip.

Smiling politely, I fumbled with the end of my braid, fingering the elastic band that just about managed to contain my thick curls. The last time she had see me, Tyler's hands were down my shirt and my entire face was alight with embarrassment.

"We decided that, uh, Tyler's kitchen would be better to, umm, use than mine."

"More like you decided," He grumbled into my hair, squeezing my waist in defiance.

Rosemary eyes sparkled when they settled on the Tyler's hands. A faraway, dazed smile pulled her lips up before her warm gaze slipped back to mine, twinkling with insinuations I didn't want to think about.

"Well don't let me keep you guys waiting," She winked and I bit my lip to keep a grimace off my face. "If you need any help just shout."

"Thanks Rosemary," I forced an awkward smile as Tyler led me into the kitchen, releasing his hold on my waist to stride towards the fridge.

I shot a glance over my shoulder, surprised to find Rosemary still frozen at the foot of the staircase. She smiled affectionately at Tyler's retreating figure and I rolled my eyes at the way he chugged orange juice down from the carton. She caught my eye roll, chuckling and raising an eyebrow, agreeing that Tyler was pretty much as gross as a guy could get at times.

Turning around to face him, I crossed my arms over my chest and stared at him with disdain.

"You could just get a cup instead of drinking OJ straight from the carton," I wrinkled my nose when he swiped an arm over his mouth.

"Ain't nobody got time for that," He drawled in a falsetto voice and I stifled a giggle when he crossed his eyes and stuck his tongue out.

He held out the carton and flashed his infamous smirk at me.


"I'll pass."

Silence filled the kitchen as we stared at each other, unsure of how to respond considering yesterday's turn of events. After Tyler's soft and achingly slow kiss outside the girl's restroom, he wiped my tears away and took my hand, forcing me to wait outside our class while he grabbed our stuff. Then he drove me home, planting a lingering kiss on my forehead when he walked me to my door and we hadn't spoke since.

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