Allison was speechless. When she tried to conjure up a response to Jared’s question she came up with a big, fat zero. There was nothing in her mind. Everything had been wiped out when that sentence had come out of his mouth. All that was left now, was a bunch of white noise. She just barely managed to keep her jaw from dropping but … wow. Just … wow.
Jared shifted on his feet a bit. He probably wasn’t used to girls having to think so hard about going places with him. If the question came from Jared’s lips, Allison was pretty sure he could coerce a girl into going anywhere with him.
She started to dream up all of the ridiculous places those bimbos would agree to go with him, just because it was him asking. Then she realized that she was probably one of the bimbos herself … because she didn’t think she was going to be able to say no to what he had asked her. All because he was the one that had asked.
“Ally? You still in there, luv?” He shifted downwards a bit to get a better look at her face. When she still didn’t respond, he waved a hand in front of her, slowly.
She shook her head, clearing it. She was making herself look like a crazy person, big time. “Ummm … did you say … a party?” When he smiled and nodded, she said, “You want me to go … with you?”
“Well, that’s sort of of the whole point of asking a person to go somewhere with you.”
She nodded her head vigorously, “Yeah … right. But … why do you want me to go with you?”
He played with the edge of his t-shirt and she thought that he actually seemed … nervous. She wondered if this was the first time that he was unsure of himself about something. “I’m going to be perfectly blunt with you and I really hope this doesn’t send you running in the other direction but … I’d like to get to know you better. A party seems like as good a place as any to do just that.”
Again she was stunned and speechless. She opened her mouth to reply, but her voice seemed to have left her. He wanted to get to know her. He wanted to get to know her … When was the last time anyone ever said that to her? Had anyone ever said that to her? She knew that all the guys that had ever shown an interest in her, had just wanted to get into her pants.
None of them had actually taken the time to get to know who she was as a person, and not just judge her as another “pretty” girl, without a story past the face. Because of this simple fact she had decided that dudes were dogs and to stay away from them. They all wanted the same thing and that was something she was not willing to give. Jared assumed that she had depth … and that scared her more than she liked to admit.
Swept away by her thoughts again, she was startled by his sudden, soft spoken words. “Say something, please.” He was toeing the ground with a booted foot, and not looking at her. She shoved a hand through her hair that had fallen partly into her face, and sighed. Was she going to do it? Was it even a question?
“Sounds like fun.” She had gathered herself enough to be able to say the words with confidence, and she was proud of herself. She was earning lots of brownie points today. Jared shocked her at how fast his head popped up, and his blue, blue eyes stared intensely, happily, back into hers.
There was hope in that expression. As if he was afraid she was playing him. Ha, wasn’t that a funny thought? She had to wonder at how many times he had been in this situation again. Like … none?
“Are you pulling my leg here?” He asked and she had to smile at his phrasing. That English accent, tickling her ears.
“No,” she replied, in her best mock, English accent. “I’m not ‘pulling you leg here.’ Wouldn’t dream of it, mate.”
He stared at her for a few heavy seconds, and then suddenly and out of nowhere, he let out that marvelous laugh. “Is that really how I sound, luv?”
She smiled fully at him, “Sort of, but your accent is a whole lot better than mine.”
“Rubbish, I think you did quite well. Have you been practicing?”
“Not necessarily. But I do like your accent. It’s nice.” She said. For a second, she thought she had seen a bit of color rise to his cheeks. But he turned his head toward the window before she could get a good look, to tell for sure. Had her complimenting his accent really made him blush? She would think that he got that a lot.
“Thanks.” He smiled, faintly. “So … how should I go about contacting you, later?”
“Oh, right.” She pulled out her phone, and flipped her thumb across the screen to unlock it. She realized that she had received a text … and it was from Derek! Was he back? “Sorry, I got a text from a friend. Give me a sec.”
“Sure.” He turned and leaned back, arms crossed, on the edge of the table. She noticed he was smiling faintly. Victoriously. She smiled too because she felt as if she was the one who had really won something. The guy’s looks were unreal and he wanted her to come with him to a party? Yeah, she was definitely the one in luck.
She looked down at her phone again and tapped the screen a few times, pulling open the text. Derek informed her that he really was back in town, and Allison could barely contain herself. He also let her know that he planned to stop by when he got settled if not before and lastly, that “he missed her like crazy.” She grinned at that. He better be missing me, she thought. He left me here all alone, he deserves it.
Naturally, she couldn’t wait to see her best friend. But first things first. She pulled up her contacts and asked Jared to recite his phone number. He did and when he finished, she stood up, still texting Derek. After the first one she had sent him back he hadn’t stopped and she didn’t want him to. She grabbed her food off the table and forced herself to put her phone in her pocket, though it was buzzing furiously.
Jared looked curious as to whom she had been texting like a mad woman, but he didn’t question. Not that it would have mattered if he had. Derek was her best friend and she was psyched that he was back. She had missed him something awful.
She looked at Jared’s heartbreaking face, yet again and said, “I’ll text you my address … when can I expect you?”
“Around eight … I’ll see you, then?”
“Yeah, I’ll see you.”
Her phone buzzed again and she couldn’t restrain herself from pulling it out of her pocket. She smiled when she read the text. Waving a goodbye to Jared, she paused before heading outside.
“Yeah?” He asked walking toward her.
“I’m really glad that I met you.” She said when he came to stand before her again. “I just wanted you to know that before I left.”
Jared didn’t say anything for a second but finally he said, smiling, “I was going to say the same thing. You took the words right out of my mouth.” Jared moved around her, to the door, and held it open. “I’m looking forward to tonight. Don’t forget.”
“How could I?” She said, and stepped out into the warm, summer afternoon.