Definitely, Maybe in Love(9)

By: Ophelia London


“Henry,” she said, “this is one of the girls who live across the street from you.”

A vague look of recollection crossed the guy’s face, making me wonder what catty tales Lilah had told him, and further wondering if he recognized me as the girl who’d caught him chewing out his moving man earlier today.

It did kind of stun me, though, how good-looking he was up close. He had the whole tall, dark, and handsome vibe going on. Too bad it seemed his personality was just as brooding.

Lilah grinned sardonically at Henry Knightly’s confusion. “We all call their place the Brown House,” she explained. “It’s the only house on your street not painted a decent color. Quite the eyesore, if you ask me. The city should have it condemned.”

“Be sure to write your city councilman,” I said.

“Always have to be so clever, don’t you?” she accused with another sneer. “Save any more cats lately?”

Knightly’s eyes suddenly moved to mine, but he didn’t speak.

Lilah waved in my direction. “This is Spring,” she garbled to her date. “You know…”

He looked at me for another moment then nodded. “Hello.”

I replied out of convention, mirroring his nonverbal gesture and disyllabic greeting. His eyes didn’t remain on me for long after the introduction. When they slid off my face, I took the opportunity for a more detailed physical appraisal.

I am only human.

Sure, the bone structure of his face was what may be referred to as chiseled. There was definitely a defined chest there, nice shoulders, and long legs. If I had a yen for dark, curly hair, he might have been extremely appealing. Up close, however, his brown eyes were flat, and their glazed-over expression informed that he didn’t give a flying frack about meeting me or about being at a party.

He wore a blue, gray, and black-diamond argyle sweater under an open charcoal jacket. It was a Friday night, the end of summer, and the guy was dressed in business casual.

At the same instant that I moved my gaze to his face, Knightly looked at me again. An expression of confusion paired with disapproval creased his brow. Oh, yeah, Lilah had definitely been talking crap. Why else would a complete stranger be staring at me like I was his worst enemy?

“Henry!” Lilah stood right next to him, but her shrill voice was loud enough to be heard from fifty feet. “I promised you the first dance, remember?”

Knightly’s eyes remained on me, but he nodded in Lilah’s direction.

“See you later, Spring,” Lilah said, linking her skeletal arm through his. I snickered under my breath as I watched them walk away.

It startled me when Henry Knightly turned and looked at me over his shoulder, locking our gazes once more. Not until he was out of sight did I realize I hadn’t been breathing.





Chapter 3

I waved to Julia as I strolled by, but she didn’t notice. She appeared natural in the arms of Dart, and dancing to what was sure to be her new favorite song. Mel’s entire left arm waved to me, flailing over some frat guy’s head like a castaway signaling to a rescue plane. I wiggled my fingers at her as I passed, continuing my solo meander around the perimeter of the party.

A tall, red Hawaiian shirt stepped into my path, practically walking right over me. “Dude,” I growled. “If I bruise, you’re so dead.”

“Sorry.”

“Alex?”

Hawaiian Shirt spun around, looked down, and blinked, trying to place me. But I would’ve known those lazy blue eyes with pink-hooded lids and that lanky frame anywhere. “Spring?” he said at last, his face brightening. “Hey. Wow.” He actually did a double-take. “You look amazing.”

“Oh, well, thanks.” I gestured at him. “You, too. I didn’t know you were back at Stanford.”

Freshman year, Alex Parks and I had had a class together. There’d been a mild flirtation, but nothing much. Couldn’t remember why. As I looked up at his smiling, carefree face, his sun-streaked hair falling across his forehead, I kind of regretted not going out on at least one date with him.

“Took a couple semesters off,” he said, sliding his hands into the pockets of his khaki shorts. “But it’s good to be back.” His eyes kind of slid up and down my body, not a very subtle check-out. “And it’s great to see you. Really. That hair is crazy cool.”

I toyed with the end of one braid. “Thanks.”

He ran a hand through his surfer-boy hair. “So, what’s—”

His words were cut off by a thunderous clash of cymbals and a drum roll. When tropical music blared through the speakers, cheers broke out. From the ripple effect of the crowd, I knew something was happening to the left of the dance floor.

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