Finding Dandelion(3)

By: Lex Martin



“Hope you and your friends can handle all this pizza,” she says, all breathy. I don’t know if she’s trying to be sexy or if she’s out of breath from doing the fifty-yard dash to talk to him.

I roll my eyes while I stand there, still opening the door. The guy’s shoulder presses up against the pane of glass, and he laughs.

“I’m sure we can handle it. Thanks, uh—”

“Tamara.”

“Thanks, Tamara.”

Through the glass, I see her wave a piece of paper. “Here, call me if you decide you need an extra mouth for all that… food.” The way she says “mouth” tells me she is not talking about the pizza. Gross.

Her silhouette disappears briefly on the other side of him. His hands are on the tower of pizzas, and I don’t see him reach for the paper, but then his back arches like he’s surprised.

When she steps back, her hands are empty. Okay, I think she just shoved her number into the pocket of this guy’s jeans.

All righty.

He clears his throat. “Yeah, thanks, doll,” he says to the blonde.

When he steps back onto the sidewalk, I get my first good look at him. He’s wearing aviators, so I can’t see his eyes, but the rest of him is all kinds of sexy. Tall and lean. Skin the color of light caramel like he’s been out in the sun. Brownish-blond hair tousled in a devil-may-care kind of way. His biceps, which are corded in muscle, pull at his t-shirt, and I can’t help but stare.

An SUV pulls up behind me, and a guy shouts, “Hurry the hell up, Jax. I’m not going to circle the block again.”

Jax laughs and turns slightly. He finally sees me and tilts his head. He clears his throat again.

“Sorry. I’m being an ass, blocking the doorway.”

I blink.

He smiles down at me, and I think the heavens part because he’s so damn beautiful it hurts to look at him, but before I can get the courage to say something, anything, his friend honks. Jax looks to the SUV and then back to me, smiles again, and walks away.

Ugh! The next time a drop-dead-gorgeous slab of man talks to me, it would be nice to use words.



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Two





- Jax -





Music blares on the stereo behind me, but I’m too tired from this afternoon’s workout to lean over and turn it down. I look across the room and snicker. “Dude, your sister is drunk.”

Sammy is slouched in the chair with her Magic 8 Ball, staring at it like it has all the answers. Her brother Nick, my roommate, barely spares a glance in her direction before he goes back to his cards. “Don’t even think about fucking my sister, Jax.”

I punch him in the arm. “You’re an asshole. You know there are two kinds of girls I never touch—little sisters and roommates.”

Nick’s eyebrow lifts. “I’ve seen your sister’s roommates. You’ve never gotten any of that action?”

“Are you kidding? She’d chop up my balls and shove them down my throat if I ever got close to one of them. She’s a little protective.” If nothing else, my twin is fierce.

I don’t mention that whole fiasco freshman year.

Sammy laughs hysterically at nothing in particular and shakes her Magic 8 Ball. “Is there one guy out there who will love me forever?” She peers into the black triangle at the bottom of the ball. Her face lights up as she reads, “It is decidedly so.”

Rolling my eyes, I take a long pull from my beer and scroll through the texts on my phone. Kelly, Jamie, Emma. They’re hot. Katie. Lanie. They’re hotter.

My mind wanders to the girl outside the pizza parlor, the one who held the door open for me this afternoon. I don’t know why I’m thinking about her. She was beautiful but looked young without any makeup. Kind of innocent and wide-eyed.

Not my type.

I’m debating the larger questions in life, like breast size, but the water sloshing around in that dumb ball distracts me from planning my weekend. I point the neck of the bottle in her direction. “Sam, I hate to break it to you, but that’s all crap. I hope you know that ’cause I like you too much to let you think there’s one perfect guy out there.” Nick’s little sister is a senior in high school, and she’s a pretty little thing, but she needs to wise up or some dick like me will break her heart. Only it won’t be me.

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