Home > Easy (Contours of the Heart #1)(37)

Easy (Contours of the Heart #1)(37)
Author: Tammara Webber

The edges of my vision closed in. “What?”

Kennedy took my arm just above the elbow, as though he meant to escort me away, and Lucas’s hand shot out, grabbing his wrist and removing his hand from me easily.

“What the f**k?” Kennedy’s voice was a low growl as he jerked his arm from Lucas’s grip. He put himself slightly in front of me, facing off with Lucas, and everyone within sight of the developing spectacle was stock-still and gawking. The two of them looked evenly matched, but I knew Lucas’s proficiency firsthand. Kennedy would lose, and Lucas would be expelled.

I stepped around my ex and laid a hand on his forearm. It was rock-hard beneath my fingers. “Kennedy, leave.”

“I’m not leaving you with this—”

“Kennedy, leave.”

“He’s a maintenance man, Jackie—”

“He’s a student, Kennedy.” I decided not to point out that Lucas was in our econ class, in case he recognized him as the class tutor and reported him for going out with me.

Kennedy inclined his head, his expression transforming into concern—slightly furrowed brow, eyes searching mine. “We’ll talk next week. When we’re home.” His meaning was clear and directed at Lucas. The two of us were about to spend several days in our hometown, where he would have unrestricted access to me, without the nuisance of interference.

I wanted to tell him I had nothing to say to him, not now or then, but my jaw was clenched so tightly that I couldn’t speak. Still unsure what I was even doing over Thanksgiving break, I ignored his implication that we would be alone then. Judiciously, he didn’t try to touch me again, though his lethal expression matched Lucas’s as they faced off. I didn’t exhale until he went through the door.

Onlooker disappointment was palpable. A few hung around to see if there would be a bonus row between Lucas and me. The adrenaline was clearly still pumping through him—his body was taut, like the hard wire of my bass strings, and when I reached a hand to his forearm, it was granite under layers of leather and flannel.

“I’m okay, honest.” I sighed heavily. “Well, as okay as I can be after that.” I squinted up at him. “Exactly how many jobs do you have, anyway? Barista, self-defense guru, fixit guy, parking enforcement officer—and by the way, does that mean you gave me the ticket I got last spring for two measly minutes of double parking when I ran into the library to return a book?”

His shoulders relaxed with my teasing tone, and I was rewarded with the ghost smile. “I plead the fifth on that. I write a lot of parking tickets. The, um, fixit thing is rare. And I volunteer time for the self-defense gig.”

What I’d left off this list, and what he didn’t add: economics tutor.

“I guess we should add one more, huh?” I said, watching him closely. He had a superb poker face. No reaction at all. “Personal defender of Jacqueline Wallace?”

The faint smile appeared again.

“Another volunteer position, Lucas?” I asked coyly, brows rising. “How will you have time for studying? Or anything fun?”

His hands reached for me, gripping my hipbones and pulling me forward. He stared down at me, his voice low. “There are some things I will make time for, Jacqueline.” Leaning, he kissed the spot just in front of my ear, the spot that made my breath go shallow. And then, he turned and jogged out to his motorcycle, leaving me standing in the entryway. Once he was outside the pool of light surrounding the building, I couldn’t see him. I turned and walked to my room in a daze.



Your paper is good. Solid research. I think Dr. H will be pleased with it. I noted a couple of small inconsistencies, and one place you may have left out a citation. Other than that, I think it’s a valid, well-supported argument.

I’ve attached the worksheet for tomorrow’s session. You’re caught up now, and you seem to have a good grasp on the new material, but I’ll continue to send you the worksheets for the last two weeks of class, if you’d like.

I assume you’re going home over the break? I’ll be heading home Wednesday morning. No wifi there, so I’ll be out of pocket until Sunday.



Looks like I may get this paper turned in early—what a relief. Thank you for your help. Yes, please continue to send the worksheets.

My parents are going skiing over break, but I’d rather go home for a few days and hang out with old friends than stay here on campus. They’ll be boarding Coco, Mom’s evil-tempered little dog, so it should be peaceful and quiet.

Are you flying home? I remember you saying you were carless.



Your parents are going skiing and not taking you? You’ll be at home for Thanksgiving alone?

I’m hitching a ride from someone with a car. Home isn’t far, though it seems like another world at times.



My parents thought I’d be at my ex’s. We’ve traded off the last couple of years rather than trying to join both family meals; this was his year. My BFF’s family will be at her grandparents’ cabin outside Boulder, and I’m not in the mood to burden anyone else.

I’d rather be alone. That’s weird, huh?



Not weird to me. But maybe I’m just weird, too, and I wouldn’t know.

I’ll miss your emails.



Ditto. Have a good break.



I couldn’t look back at Lucas during class Monday without thinking about Saturday night. His hooded stares made me think he was having the same issue. After I caught him staring holes into the back of Kennedy’s head, I didn’t turn back around. When class ended, Kennedy turned and smiled at me. I forced my lips into a line and turned my back to him to pack up. This class, this semester could not end too soon, for too many reasons to count.

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