Home > Easy (Contours of the Heart #1)(38)

Easy (Contours of the Heart #1)(38)
Author: Tammara Webber

“Can I just say—your ex is gorgeous, but he seems like a conceited asshat.” Benji crammed his spiral into a backpack that looked as though it could erupt with loose papers any moment.

I zipped my backpack. “Yeah, he totally is.” We waited for Kennedy to pass before moving into the aisle, and I studiously avoided making eye contact. I was more than a little worried about his assertion that we would talk while we were both home; I couldn’t imagine what he could have to say that I’d want to hear.

Following our classmates up the steps, everyone animated with anticipation of the coming long weekend, Benji told me he’d be flying home to Georgia and coming out to his father—the only member of his family he hadn’t told. “Mom’s known I was g*y since I was thirteen.”

I was worried on his behalf. “Will your dad be… upset?”

He smiled. “I think he knows. He’s just not sure if that means I’m going to show up in a dress or something.” The thought of Benji in a dress wasn’t a pretty picture, and I couldn’t hold back my laugh. He laughed too, adding, “I know, right?”

Lucas was gone, or so I thought, until Benji and I emerged into the busy hallway and I spotted him leaning on the far wall, near the side door I usually took to escape the building. He watched us approach, but he seemed acutely aware of everyone else as well. I imagined him watching for Dr. Heller.

“You haven’t told him you know yet, have you?” Benji asked, speaking from the side of his mouth.

I shook my head.

“Don’t make him suffer too much. He looks sorta vulnerable.”

I chuckled. “Right. A tough, muscular guy like that—who’s trained to beat people up, and lies about who he is to girls—is so vulnerable.”

He squeezed my arm just above the elbow and smiled. “He’s either an asshat to rival all asshats before him, or there’s a reason for those lies.”

I sighed. “I wish I was a mind reader.”

“You might not, once you know what’s in there.”

“If I ever do.”

Benji shrugged in agreement and veered off toward the long hallway leading to the south exit, turning to call, “Have a good break, Jacqueline.”

“You, too.”

I reached Lucas and he turned to follow me, leaning close to push the door open. “Can I see you tonight?” he murmured.

I wondered if I was turning into a booty call. Or if that’s all it had ever been to him—if that was his reason for not telling me he was Landon Maxfield. “I have a test tomorrow in astronomy. We have study group in our room tonight.”

I glanced up at him, walking beside me with his hands stuffed into the front pockets of his jeans. His gaze continuously scanned over the crowd of people, as though he was on guard.

“Tomorrow night?” He stared down at me as we neared the building, and I noted that he seemed to know exactly where I was going.

“I have an ensemble rehearsal tomorrow. I usually spend Sunday mornings in the music hall, but I missed yesterday.” I hadn’t told Lucas I played the bass. I’d told Landon.

“You slept in?”

I nodded.

“Me, too.”

We reached the entry and stopped to the side of the door. “I have to get my bass packed up, too, since I’m taking it home with me.” Waiting to see if he’d react, I watched his eyes, which matched the gray-blue of the overcast sky as his gaze drifted over the faces around us. “I’ll have plenty of time to rehearse during break.”

“When are you leaving town?” He flicked his hair from his eyes, avoiding the subject of my instrument completely.

“Wednesday morning. You?”

“Same.” He shifted, on edge, his lower lip caught between his teeth, and then all of a sudden, he settled and stilled. His eyes met mine, unwavering. “Text me if you’re done early. Or your plans change. Otherwise, I’ll catch you after break.” He hitched the shoulder over which his backpack was slung and added, “Later, Jacqueline,” before turning and blending into the flow of students, his dark head rising above most of them.


“Hold up. So tutor-guy Landon and hottie OBBP Lucas are the same guy?” Maggie’s eyes were so rounded with shock that I could see white all the way around her light brown irises.

“What I don’t understand is why you didn’t call him on that shit immediately.” Erin had her talk-show-participant face on. Any moment, she would call me girrrrl and start recounting the ass-kicking she’d be doing if she was in my shoes. Ever since she’d broken up with Chaz, she was much less tolerant of guys stepping out of line. Or appearing to.

I huffed a sigh and wished I’d never told them. “What happened to gag-him-and-bag him and rebound and operation bad boy phase?” The three of us sat on a comforter in the floor of the dorm room, drinking coffee and eating Oreos, astronomy texts and notes spread all around us, untouched for the last half hour as we discussed Landon/Lucas instead of gas giants and celestial navigation.

“He’s supposed to be your booty call. Not the other way around.” Erin’s voice resonated with authority.

“Yeah.” Maggie chimed in. “Why don’t you text him that you want to meet up later?”

I rolled my eyes. “Because I have an exam at 9:30 in the morning—which we’re supposed to be studying for right now. And also, I think I need a little distance…”

Erin peered at me. “Oh hell no—you’re getting emotionally involved, aren’t you?”

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