As of today, THE TROUBLE WITH DATING SUE is online!
Boy, if only you knew how excited I am. Chris just went out into the world, and already a couple thousand readers put their hands on him. 😉
Thank you for waiting so patiently for his book, for encouraging me to write on when I really thought I’d never again see any light at the end of the tunnel, and for keeping me company on Facebook when Chris wouldn’t talk to me for weeks.
This is my early Christmas present for you!
And just in case you’re new on my site and didn’t yet one-click the previous books in the series… Here you go!
Remember, the first book is still FREE! ❤
Sue gaped at me for a tense moment and then turned her attention to the math stuff in front of her, deliberately ignoring me. Maybe that was what Tyler had meant about her stomping on my ego because, frankly, it annoyed me like hell. Girls didn’t normally brush me off, and I didn’t have to do much to get their attention either.
But with Sue, it was like crashing into a brick wall. Over and over…
From the corner of my eye, I saw the guys snickering, so I glared at them before lowering myself into the chair next to Sue. I’d come here for some answers, and she wasn’t going to get rid of me until she provided them. Stacking my feet on the table, I balanced the chair on two legs and spun the ball on my finger. “So, what got you in here?”
After a long moment, in which she said nothing at all, she put down her pen and crossed her arms in front of her chest. “You, in fact.”
“Me?” I caught the spinning ball, staring at her in surprise. “Wow.” So Hunter wasn’t kidding. If I got her in here, I should know why. Only problem was, I had no clue. “How?”
“My history teacher saw me flipping you off this morning.”
I cracked up. So it really was not me who landed her in detention. She just had to be careful about her indecent gestures in public. But I feigned a hurt look anyway. “Yeah, that was actually rude.” I wiggled my finger in her face. “We really need to work on your manners if you’re going to keep going out with my brother. Speaking of which…” I resumed spinning the ball and looked innocently at her from under my lashes. “Are you two going to meet up again today?”
“Why are you so interested in your brother’s privacy?” Sue whined. “You should stop poking your nose where it doesn’t belong. Especially when it’s also concerning my privacy.” She arched her eyebrows. “Because I’m not going to tell you shit.”
“Ah, such a cute mouth and such bad words,” I teased her. “Now I get why you’ve been put in detention, Miss Miller. Must be a soccer thing with the language, eh?”
Sue frowned at me as if she had no freaking clue what I was talking about. I shrugged and went on, “It was a surprise to see you sitting with the Bay Sharks at lunch today. I assumed you’d be with the geek squad.”
She cut me a sharp glare. “Why would you think that?” Quickly enough, her face lit with understanding. “Oh, no, let me guess. The glasses, right? You really think because I’m wearing them I’m a nerd?”
“Hmmm. That was the idea, yes.” And the ponytail, and the Harry Potter shirt, and the modest clothes, and… Hey, hadn’t Ryan even called her book lover today?
“And Ethan didn’t tell you that I was”—she interrupted herself with a sweet eye-roll—“am on the soccer team?”
Whoa. She was? Sexy, Miss Miller. I was impressed. Just envisioning her in a soccer jersey… Hmm, that thought had a lot more potential than imagining her with the volcano-builders. Now why hadn’t Ethan told me this?
Remembering how he was maintaining a low profile lately and how much it annoyed me to be left guessing, I murmured, “Ethan doesn’t say much these days.”
Sue leaned back in her chair, frustration etched on her face. “For good reason. It’s none of your business.”
“Maybe.” Probably. “But now I’m curious. Why does he suddenly go to soccer practice?” Was it because of her?
“If you must know, he’s taking my place for a while because I hurt my knee.”
“Is that so?” Chewing on my bottom lip, I contemplated this new bit of information. Eyes still focused on hers, my mind strayed, and I wondered which knee it was.
“Yes, that is so,” Sue imitated my drawl. “And for your information, just because someone’s wearing glasses doesn’t mean he or she is a geek. I only need them for reading, not for playing. And now, if you don’t mind”—she waved me off with a dismissive hand—“go and grate on someone else’s nerves. I’ve got homework to do.”
No one could say I didn’t get a hint when it was slammed in my face. With the ball tucked under my arm, I tipped the chair forward until all four legs were back on the floor and rose to my feet. It was an awkward new feeling to be brushed off by a girl. Any girl. It stabbed me right in the gut.
Just as a form of protest, I contemplated actually weaving my charm around her now. See how long little Sue was capable of keeping me at a distance when I decided to really woo her instead of just teasing.
But then there was my brother. Even though he’d claimed not to have a romantic interest in her, I couldn’t be sure after walking in on them yesterday. This was a tricky situation. I wasn’t going to steal Ethan’s girl simply to prove that no chick could resist me.
About to head off, I cast Sue a pensive look. “Just tell me if he kisses you. I’d really like to know.”
“The hell I will. Now go away.”
Like I said, the charm of a tank. Unfortunately, something about her abrasive attitude worked like a damn lasso on me. It must’ve had to do with her “when hell freezes over” statement on the phone yesterday. Every cell in my body rebelled at the thought of retreat. Like I was a slave to my own damn ego.
Since the guys were observing our conversation like it was the most entertaining daily soap, I tossed T-Rex the ball with a hard look at them all so they’d mind their own business. Then I let my ego get the better of me and did something rash and really stupid.
Deliberately slow, I leaned across the table toward Sue. When she glanced up at me, I pulled her spectacles off her nose and stared into her gummy-bear eyes. “My offer for a date in a week is still on.” Until then, I wouldn’t know for sure if Ethan was into her or not. Once he was out of the way, I could teach this little kitten a lesson.
“Give them back, dickhead!” she hissed, reaching for her glasses, but I moved my hand out of her reach before she could grab them. Susan put on a glare so hard it could’ve cut holes in concrete. “And I’ll never go out with you. Not today, not next weekend, and not in ten thousand years.”
Oh, wanna bet? A slow smile tugged at the edges of my lips. “You will go out with me, sweetness. And I’ll show you how fast hell can freeze over when I want something.”
Sue gulped. I could see it, I could hear it, and I knew I already had one foot in the door. “You see?” Capturing her gaze, I carefully laid her glasses back on the desk. “The fire’s already reducing to a soft glow.” Since her mouth hung open so sweetly, I couldn’t resist closing it gently with my finger. The satisfaction of having the last word made me grin as I walked back to my friends.
“Dude, what are you? Five?” Tyler snickered as I straddled my chair, folding my arms on the backrest in front of me. “For a minute there I thought you were going to push her to get her attention. Is that how you talk girls into dates now?”
“Shut up. I told you she’s difficult.”
“But you didn’t say you wanted in her pants,” he teased.
A humorless laugh left me. “Because I don’t.”
“Sure.” Brady rolled his eyes and made air quotes with his fingers. “You will go out with me?”
“It’s just to teach her a lesson,” I defended myself.
“In what? Charming the pants off a girl, kindergarten-style?” Tyler mocked me. Would it also be kindergarten-style if I smacked that stupid grin right off his face? “Anyway, I thought she was into your brother. Do you really want to steal her from him?”
“Ethan said they’re just friends.” He’d practically given me permission to hit on her yesterday. If that changed, he’d have to tell me straight.
“Hey, Chris!” Susan’s saccharine voice made us all immediately turn our heads in her direction. A gloating grin took form on her lips. “It takes a little more than a cute smile to get on my good side. And luckily your brother comes equipped with the whole package.”
Whoa. That was a shot below the belt.
Abandoning some of the sugar in her voice, she added, “You want to freeze hell? Go ahead and try. It’ll get you nowhere with me.”
I could do nothing but stare at her for an endless moment. The thoughts running wild in my mind during that time ranged from wanting to walk over and prove her wrong with a kiss, to laughing out loud, to telling her she was messing with the wrong guy.
When I’d finally stomached the surprise of her boldness and came around, I licked my lips, never taking my eyes off hers. The left side of my mouth tilted up in a challenging smirk. Everybody’s eyes were on me, even Mr. Ellenburgh’s. The entire room waited for my next move, and I wasn’t going to disappoint.
“Game on, little Sue,” I told her in a wicked drawl that rendered her silent.
Her shocked stare amused me. Chuckling, I turned back to my friends, who studied me with open mouths. Until Brady shook his head and burst out laughing. “No freaking way, dude! You don’t stand a chance with that girl.”
Oh, was that so? I cocked my head, pursing my lips, then cast them all a brilliant smile. “Watch me.”