Oh please, he's using school work as an excuse to get out of helping to clean up. The only thing my brother takes seriously and puts any effort into is skateboarding.
“Mom, he really creeps me out. I don't want to go back.”
“You're just being silly.”
Maybe she's right, but I still don't want to go. “No thanks.”
“Lily,” she uses her warning tone to let me know her disappointment, “he's all alone on Christmas. The least we can do is make sure he has a warm cooked meal to eat. Where's your humanity?”
“Why don't you bring it to him then?” I cross my arms in defiance.
“Because I've been cooking all day and I think I deserve to rest my feet.”
Damn. She got me there.
“Fine,” I grumble, taking the food and heading out the door.
I expected the pounding heart from my slight fear, but the tiny flutter in my stomach surprises me as I knock on his door.
The door opens and he cocks his head to the side, looking confused to see me there, “Didn't scare you off the first time?” His voice doesn't have the same gruffness from before. This time it's warmly inviting.
My cheeks flush with embarrassment that my fear is so clearly evident to him, “My mom wanted you to have a plate.” I hold the food out and before he takes it he rubs his hand on top of his overgrown, dark-blond buzz cut as the surprise on his face goes up a notch, “and here's some pumpkin pie, too.”
“Uh, thanks.” He takes the other plate full of various desserts, “Most moms cross the street when they see me coming, not send their daughters over with dessert.” Now he appears amused, a half smile forming on his face.
I laugh, “My mom's a nurse. She can't stop herself from wanting to make sure everyone's taken care of.”
He raises the non-scarred brow at me, “So you're here to take care of me?” His lips start to twitch in amusement.
Is he flirting with me? I bite down on my lip and blush. I have no idea what to say next.
“A word of caution,” I warn, needing something to say, “my mom only cooks on Christmas. Why she does this to herself every year is beyond me, but she loves it so we let her. She thinks she becomes Julia Child or something, but she's not. Not even close. That being said, about half the food on that plate's not that good. But I made the pie. Pumpkin pie is my ultimate favorite dessert, and at nine years old I taught myself how to make it. I've gotten pretty good. I don't even need a recipe anymore.” I take in a gulp of air from not breathing during my mini-ramble.
“Okay, well, thanks,” his intense eyes stare at me a moment longer and then he shuts the door.
How did I manage to look like a fool the two times I've been here? And whats worse – why do I care?
I head home, determined to get strangely-frightening-yet-oddly-enticing-guy out of my head. For reasons I can't explain, I want to know him better.
Tuesday, December 31
“You ready to have some fun tonight?!” My best friend Stevie shouts throwing open my bedroom door, looking dynamite in a tight aqua dress and gray peep-toe pumps. “I brought some bubbly to get us started.” She sits on my bed and uncorks the champagne, taking a drink straight from the bottle.
“Classy,” Naomi, my other best friend, says as she joins us on the bed and rests back on her elbows. She's dressed in her typical motorcycle-loving attire of zipped up black leather biker jacket, skin-tight jeans, and her Harley Davidson black leather riding boots. Her tightly curled, blond hair is untamed and wild.