16.) Hot Rocker

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1.) Hot Rocker

There's something really cute about him.

Loud teenagers filled the spaceship themed Laser Quest lobby. Arcade games, a vending machine, and a few air-hockey tables littered the space, but one air-hockey player captured my full attention. About fifteen-feet away, I eye-flirted with Dace—and he stared right back, his ebony irises magnetizing. With the cross tattoo on his toned bicep, his eyebrow piercing, and the way his black, raver-jeans hugged his slim waist, sexy rocker dripped all over him. I'd seen this dark, acrobatics teacher at the studio--and nearly body-slammed him a few times--but I didn't think much of him then—except that he was weird. But that sentiment changed an hour ago.

Shawn Morejon and his handsome, Puertorican friend, Ramon also teach acrobatics at the studio. I'd known Shawn since elementary and even had a crush on him in middle school.  Now the tables are turned and he's been hitting on me. Bold, hyperactive, and fun, I definitely enjoy hanging out with him, but we see eye-to-eye, literally. And he's skinnier than me. I don't mind short and thin, but pint-sized isn't my cup of coffee. Alas, I needed fun after what happened with Chris two weeks ago.

Earlier this afternoon, Shawn walked me out of the studio as dusk performed a melody of pinks and golds above. "Do you mind if I invite my crazy-but-super-cool friend, Dace, to laser tag later?" Shawn spoke in his usual just-downed-five-energy-drinks pace. "He's awesome, I promise."

"Sure," I replied as we reached Dad's car, not knowing or caring who the hell Dace was.

"Epicness! We'll scoop you up at nine." Shawn spun on his heel and darted back toward the studio.

I called after him. "I'll text you my address!"

"No need. I know where you live." He winked at me before opening the glass door leading to the acro studio and then front flipping over a toddler stretched in a split. She screamed, but Shawn just shooed her with his palm.

Two hours later, he showed up with Ramon—and Dace, their ride. I immediately recognized him as the strange acro teacher who would observe me, yet never utter a word. But this time, I did the observing.

His black Nissan Altima sat parked in my driveway, and in my lawn, a shirtless, Shawn, Ramon, and Dace performed perfect flips beneath the light of the street lamps—but Dace stood out. His perfectly toned chest and abs shouted the body of a teenager who'd done his fair share of gymnastics. He flipped so precisely and with seasoned eloquence, in an almost other-worldly way.

As I approached, Shawn slapped Dace's bare chest, inked with a male goat skeleton whose forehead contained a bullet hole. "Natasha," Shawn said, "this is my crazy-but-super-cool metal-head homie, Dace."

Dace peered at me with those intensely calculating, ebony irises and gave a crooked—and hot—half-smile. "Good to officially meet you."

"Ditto," I replied. We held each other's gaze. Being this close and standing still, I was able to check him out in a way I never had or cared to before. Dark haired, dark-eyed, and pale, Dace stood with pin-straight posture. He could definitely pass for a confident vampire, amused by the unknowing humans he'd befriended, but there was also a subtle softness to him, a caution he carried, like a guardian passionately protecting something precious...