The F King:A Bad Boy Romance(5)

By: Ada Scott

Ryan held up three fingers like a Boy Scout. “Your secret is safe with me. Why the late start?”

“Late start at college?”

Ryan nodded.

“Ah, it’s a sad, shitty story. In a nutshell, I had to get away from everything. I could see my life taking a dead-end path, and if I didn’t make a change, I was afraid I’d wake up one day and find it was too late to make something of myself. So I sold everything I didn’t need, raised about twenty bucks,” I laughed, “and enrolled here. I had this idea that I’d figure out how to pay for everything as I went, but now I’m here, it’s a bit scary.”

“I’m sure you’ll be fine, you’ll figure it out. What are you studying?”

“Human Resources.”

Ryan half-stood and shuffled his way around the table until he was right next to me. “I didn’t quite catch that,” he lied, “did you say Human Resources?”

“Um… yeah.”

I tried not to be too distracted by the way his leg was touching mine, or the way his self-assurance wafted around me like his subtle cologne. Confidence like that only came from a long track record of getting what you wanted. Right now, I could tell he wanted me.

The girl came back with a bottle of Champagne in a bucket of ice and two glasses. She poured them while I smiled politely at her and Ryan ignored her completely. It was hard to keep it together under the intensity of his attention.

No man had ever been so overt with his intentions for me before. I didn’t know how exactly something like that could be quantified, but I was sure of it nonetheless.

Don’t you dare forget who you are, Sarina Beckett.

I wasn’t going to. Of course not. I hadn’t sacrificed too much for my career just to throw it all away for the sake of some low-level drug pusher. Even if he was dressed like a millionaire and smelled like heaven itself.

On the other hand, I did have to hold his interest, had to walk that fine line between too far and not far enough. There was no law that said I couldn’t enjoy the attention a little bit.

Ryan picked up both glasses and handed one to me. I accepted it and let myself look him right in the eye.

Before men realized I was a cop, I knew how to handle a firearm, and I could probably take them down if it came to it, they usually complimented me on my eyes. If I had a gun to my head and somebody forced me to say something nice about my body, they were what I would blurt out.

Of course, after, they realized all that, they went off to find some dainty little piece of arm candy and I went back to focusing on my career. Ryan would have more reason than any of them to back off even faster if he knew the truth, but it was nice to look at him and see him looking back.

He had the kind of eyes a girl could get lost in too, if I did say so myself, and he never broke our connection as he clinked his glass against mine. I thought I could vaguely feel his hand on my leg, but I couldn’t bring myself to look away to double-check.

“So, Sarina, to Human Resources. What would you use me for?”

Ryan smiled at his thinly-veiled innuendo before taking a sip of his drink, and I blushed before taking a sip of mine. Thankfully, my color-change was probably masked by the dynamic nightclub lighting.

Hello? Wake up, Sarina!

I swallowed, shook my head a little, and looked down. Yes, his hand was on my leg. Not on the knee either, but right by the hem of my short skirt, which had ridden up when I sat down.

I gently moved his hand away, and was rewarded by an almost comical flash of confusion across his face. It was brief, but it was there. Then he smiled the way a cat smiles at a mouse. My heart was beating so fast as I took another sip.

“Not sure, what are you good at?” I asked.

Ryan laughed. “You’ll see. You staying on campus, or found your own place like the mature student you are?”

“Nah, I’m getting the whole freshman experience, staying in the dorms. Cumberland, you know it?”

“Hey! I stayed there my freshman year too. Oh man. You’re gonna hate it.”

“What? Why?”

“You just get in today or something?” he asked.

“Yesterday. It seems nice enough.”

“What did they give you for dinner?”

I raised an eyebrow. “They called it South African beef with rice, why? It wasn’t made from homeless people, was it?”

“I don’t think so, no, but it was probably about as South African as Neptune is, and just you wait. Maybe not tomorrow, maybe not the next day, but within the week, you’ll see South African Beef with Rice on your plate again, only it’ll be called something else, and it’ll look like it’s been drying out in the fridge for a few days. Black bean beef, I think, was a common one. Beef stroganoff, where they add gravy, was another.”

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