Once everyone got back home, I felt even more excluded and left out. Why was I still mad anyway? Both Charlie and James apologized to me. It was time to swallow my pride and at least “talk” to Charlie. James still had a way to go in the make-up points department. But Charlie?
The smell of luscious buttery toast wafted toward me, making my mouth water. I shrugged. Might as well eat some cheese AND crow all at the same time.
Charlie looked especially cute tonight, too, all wrapped up in that BOY sweatshirt. My cheeks warmed as my heart sped up. He could send me straight to dreamy-land with just one glance.
But then my heart died right there as he glared at me. “What?” he asked, defensively.
Uh oh. He couldn’t see the white flag I was waving.
I decided sarcasm was my best defense. “You DO realize that smells way too good. I mean, I might have to fight you for it, you know.”
Instantly, he laughed sending ZINGS through me. OMG! He was so freaking adorable. “You don’t have to fight. I’ve made a whole plate full. No one cooks around here but me.”
It’d been hard enough getting frozen out by Lexie but at least Charlie felt her cold wind, too.
The two were getting cozy, bonding over a plate of cheese toast.
I shouldn’t have been surprised. I knew from the first day I’d met Lexie Day that she was a hardcore Chucker. Why should it shock me she’d melt around him after we’d gotten back from our tour?
“So I’ve been reading this series, Grimm Unbound. Have you heard of it?” Lexie asked, making small chitchat I wished she’d be making with me. When I’d lived with her, we often talked about the latest novels we were reading. She was a sci fi junkie, which I made fun of her about. But she gave me some good titles I actually liked.
“No, I haven’t. What’s it about?” Charlie asked. The jerk was really putting it on smooth. Hell, he didn’t even like to read.
“It’s a book series in your library upstairs,” Lexie explained “I guess someone else bought them then.”
Grimm Unbound? I wanted to raise my hand. That would be me, Lexie. I loved fantasy, especially fantasy with tons of horror elements. Grimm Unbound was the retelling of the scariest Grimm fairytales in a fast paced, nail-biting rendition.
If she would have thought back to our many discussions on horror and fantasy, she would have figured out who’d bought the seven novel series.
I was basically nobody to her. She’d wiped every single thought of me from her memory.
“You should show me. I’d love to read it,” the liar said.
That did it. I couldn’t take listening any longer. He could at least be a little more honest and tell her he didn’t like fiction. He was more into history and war chronicles.
“The premise sounds exactly what I’d be into.”
I could have been petty and taken the books from the library right then, but I didn’t. I had to somehow get her out of my mind. But that was fucking hard when she lived in the same place.
This sucked balls.
I thought Lexi was going to be mad at me forever. She’d done a pretty good job of avoiding James and me for weeks, but I guessed the time alone did the trick.
And some grilled cheese sandwiches.
If I’d known I could melt her with some cheese, I’d have made them a long time ago.
“So…do you want to read the books?” she asked. “I can show you where they are.”
I had no intention of reading them. I hated novels. Well, I take that back. I actually loved reading novels. Too much. They had a way of turning me into this nerd zombie with my face attached to the pages. I couldn’t put down a story, any story, until I’d finished it, so I had to basically put my life on hold. But I didn’t want to tell Lexie this. I loved the way her eyes lit up when she outlined the synopsis to me. And I wanted to share it with her. Or at least pretend to share it. I’d watch review videos to get the gist of it later.
“Sure,” I answered. “Why not?”
Lexie took me to our “play room”–a little place with books, a computer, a few retro gaming systems and an old keyboard. James basically owned most of it, so I figured the books must be his. He would come in here to think, read, and write songs. Of course, I didn’t want to tell Lexie that either. I liked the fact that she chose to warm up to me. James didn’t deserve her. Not that I thought I did either, but from that first night, I knew she was different from any girl I’d ever met. Such a unique spirit. I loved how she always surprised me by what might come out of her mouth or what she might do. And she made me laugh.
I just hoped one day she’d really like me enough to at least go out again.
Lexie waved her hand. “So, do you want me to get you the first one or all of them down?”
“Just one,” I said. “But I’ll get it if it’s way up high.”
She hit me. “Are you kidding? I’m taller than you are, silly.”
“But…” I raised my hand then thought better of it. I didn’t think it’d be nice of me to remind her how clumsy she was.
“Here you go. Read it and creep.” She winked at me. “But don’t read before bedtime because you’re basically not going to be able to sleep, you’ll be so freaked out.”
“Okay, warning noted,” I said, taking the heavy book from her.
When I opened it, I raised my eyebrows. This sure didn’t look like the horror story she’d detailed to me.
This was a real nursery rhyme book. “Hey, Lexie, this isn’t a novel. It looks like someone’s old childhood storybook.”
On the front cover, someone scrawled, “To Little Jimmy: This was my favorite book when I was a young girl. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I love you! Gran.”
I shut it really quickly, feeling a bit like I’d pried into someone’s personal closet. I smirked. Who knew James used to be called “Little Jimmy”.
“Oh, crap. They’re over here.” Lexie lurched toward the other bookcase, wobbling. I put my arms out to steady her.
But then I got a bit distracted.
In an instant, she lost her footing and tumbled toward me.
Luckily, I caught her.
“Are you okay?” I asked, looking into her beautiful green eyes.
She merely nodded, never leaving my gaze.
I dropped her down and before I knew it, I was kissing her, softly, not wanting to let go. Lexie Day had me wrapped around her clumsy finger. I could see the angry mob of Chuckers already forming. The last fiasco with James’ Flamers was bad enough.
Damn, I was in trouble.
But at that moment, I didn’t care.