Home > Easy (Contours of the Heart #1)(30)

Easy (Contours of the Heart #1)(30)
Author: Tammara Webber

Lucas: No. Been busy. What’s up?

Me: I guess you haven’t had time to redo the sketches.

Lucas: Actually, I did one of them. I’d like you to see it.

Me: I’d like to see it. Is it tacked to your wall?

Lucas: Yes.

Lucas: Listen, I’m out right now, ttyl?

Me: Sure

According to his email, he was working on what sounded like a huge CSE project, and according to his text, he was out partying. I had no idea which was true. I’d believe he was blowing me off… except for this: I’d like you to see it. I reread the text, opened my laptop and reread his email, but felt no closer to figuring him out.


Erin came storming into our room at 1:00 am, on her cell. “You know what? I think you don’t respect my opinion about a lot of things.”

Luckily, I was awake, watching online video clips of self-defense classes. Despite Erin’s eagerness for nut-kicking and my own need to learn this stuff, the last thing I wanted to do in the morning was get up and go punch and kick some guy in a puffy suit. I couldn’t see how that would correlate into getting away from someone like Buck. If I’d have been able to break his grip on me either night, let alone kick him, I would have.

The door shut behind my clearly furious roommate as she flung her bag onto her bed, kicking off her heeled pumps. “Well, I can’t be with someone who’s decided to stand behind a f**king ra**st.”

Oh, God. I closed out of YouTube and pushed my laptop off my lap.

“Yes, Chaz, that’s what I really think.” She unbuttoned her white blouse so forcefully, I was sure she would rip off a button or two. “Fine. Think whatever you want. I’m done.” Punching her phone, she growled at it and tossed it on her bed before turning to me, yanking her shirt off. “Well. I guess that’s over.”

My mouth agape, I sat, speechless, while she shoved her black skirt down over her hips and kicked it in the general direction of the laundry hamper. She slipped bracelets from her arms and removed her earrings, dropping them on a desk littered with jewelry, tarot cards, gum packets and paperback novels.

“Erin, did you just—break up with Chaz? Over me?”

She pulled on a t-shirt that fell to mid-thigh and clearly belonged to Chaz. Scowling, she ripped it back over her head, wadded it up and hurled it. “No. I broke up with Chaz because he’s a f**king twat-headed jackass.”


“Jacqueline.” She held up one palm like a traffic cop signaling stop. “Don’t say it. I broke up with Chaz because he proved what’s important to him. ‘Bros before hos.’ Well f**k that. I won’t come second to a bunch of his dumbass friends, and I certainly won’t come second to some dickhead who’s a walking affront to all women. Besides… it was never gonna be a permanent thing, right? Who does that in college anyway?”

She spun around and rummaged through the top drawer of our tiny built-in wardrobe, ostensibly searching for a non-previously-Chaz-owned t-shirt. I heard one muffled sniff and knew she was crying. Damn Chaz. Damn Buck. Damn Lucas/Landon/whoever the hell he was.


The campus “Self-Defense for Women” classes were held in one of the classrooms on the first floor of the activities building. We found the room and I tossed my coffee cup in the hallway trash can, Erin yawning after a sleepless night—which I knew because her restless fidgeting and sniffling had kept me awake. Around 4:00 am, she’d crawled into bed with me, curling into spoon position against me as I swept the hair back from her face. Mercifully, she’d fallen asleep almost immediately, and I’d followed suit.

“Hey. Isn’t that—?” Erin spoke without moving her lips, like a ventriloquist. Clad in black sweat pants and a black t-shirt, Lucas stood at the front of the room with two older men.

“Yes,” I hissed as we took our seats and I stared down at the packet of course material, the cover of which depicted a man attacking a woman who was poised to defend herself. “Erin, I don’t think I can do this.”

“Yes you can,” she countered, so quickly that she must have been anticipating my response.

“Good morning, ladies.” The smaller, older guy began, silencing any further protest from me. “I’m Ralph Watts, the Assistant Chief of Police on campus. This feeble-looking guy to my left is Sergeant Don, and the ugly one is Lucas, one of our parking enforcement officers.” Everyone chuckled, as Don and Lucas were far from feeble or ugly. “We’re pleased that you’ve given up a Saturday mornings to increase your knowledge of personal safety.”

I snuck a look at Erin when she nudged me with her knee. “Parking enforcement officer? Jesus, how many jobs does he have?” she mumbled from the side of her mouth.

“No shit,” I mumbled back. She didn’t even know about the tutoring job.

“Could be hot…” she whispered. “Especially if there’s a uniform. Or handcuffs.”

I sighed.

Glancing around the semi-circle of folding chairs, I noted that there were only about a dozen of us—a mix of students, professors and administrative staff. The oldest was a white-headed black woman who had to be the age of my grandmother. I told myself that if she could come in here to learn how to kick potential ra**st ass, so could I.

Even if Lucas was standing across the room, alternately staring at me and avoiding my eyes completely.

The first hour and a half, basic self-defense principles were discussed. Ralph told us that ninety percent of self-defense involves reducing the risk of attack in the first place. “In an ideal world, we could all go about our business without fear of being assaulted. Unfortunately, that ideal is not representative of reality.”

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