She went to walk away, but he took her wrist in his hand, stopping her. Bringing her hand up, he placed a kiss to the inside of her palm and looked deeply into her eyes as he said, “I’d be wasting my time with anyone but you.”
Her eyes softened, but still she shook her head. “Just let me go and don’t look back. Believe me, you’ll be thankful later.”
“I don’t know if I can let go. I’m sprung.”
Her eyes went wide as she shook her head. “You don’t even know me!”
He smiled confidently as he held her gaze. “I know that if I let you go, I’ll regret it for the rest of my life.”
“How do you know that?”
“’Cause I know what I want, and you’re it.”
“You’re crazy,” she accused, shaking her head. “All you know is my name, and you are going to regret getting to know me. Please, let me go.”
“So let me get to know you, prove to you that what we are both feeling is real, and let’s see what happens.”
She only blinked as she tore her hand from his. Her eyes narrowed as she slowly shook her head. “I don’t know what you are doing, but this is crazy. So just stay away from me, okay? Don’t waste your time.”
Turning, she walked away from him but, like he knew she would, she looked back. He could see every emotion in her sweet eyes and knew that she wanted him. He didn’t know what was holding her back from him, but he was going to do everything to make her realize he was it.
As he watched her walk away, he knew that even though he could score on the ice with no problem, scoring with Lacey Martin was going to be a challenge. When she reached her brother and a short brunette, she looked back at him, her eyes wide as they locked with his. His heart lurched in his chest, and a slow grin curved his lips as he whispered, “Challenge accepted.”
Karson King was following her.
That was all there was to it. As much as she wanted to think it was creepy, she couldn’t because she liked it. She liked him. No matter how much she wanted to be mad at herself for it, she couldn’t. Call her an idiot, but there was something invigorating about someone as hot as Karson King chasing after her. Something about his cockiness just turned her on, and she wanted to know more about him, but she knew it was a bad idea. Nothing could come out of it, and she knew the minute he had her, he’d run, but nothing said she couldn’t enjoy seeing him all over the place.
For a week, he didn’t say anything. He’d just show up at the places she was. It wasn’t a big deal, but then he started showing up and saying little things. Like hi, or how are you, funny seeing you here. It was mind-boggling. Maybe it was a coincidence, but she was pretty sure she had never seen him at the library or coffee shop before, and she went to both places religiously.
Like now, she was sitting there, enjoying her mocha coffee, and he just strolled in like he owned the damn place. As she watched him, he made his way to the counter and placed an order, never once looking at her. However, she knew that he knew she was there. Drinking in the sight of him, Lacey found herself breathless. He was beautiful. He wore a dark red beanie that covered his hair with a pea coat that fit him perfectly. In her head, Lacey imagined them cuddled up next to each other, walking through downtown as the snow fell. It was sad, but she couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like to be wrapped in his arms. She could know. He had made it plain and clear that he wanted her, but it was just too scary.
He paid for his coffee, taking it and heading toward her, sitting slowly on the couch beside the table she was sitting at. She watched him as he sipped his drink before placing it on the table and pulling out the same book she had been reading the day before when she was in the library: Eldest by Christopher Paolini. Seeing that, she knew that this was no damn coincidence. Glaring, she stared at him until he finally looked up, meeting her gaze.
“Lacey, funny to see you here,” he said, a sly grin on his face.
Their eyes locked, and everything inside her went hot. Ignoring her screwed-up feelings, she pointed at him as she sneered, “Funny, my ass, you’re following me! Reading the same book I am!”
He scoffed, laying his book down. “Conceited much?”
Her eyes went to slits as she muttered, “Whatever.”
She turned, looking down at her books to do what she came to do—study. Rachel was supposed to come, but she had texted saying she had plans. Lacey was pretty sure her plans involved Grady, but since she wasn’t ready to accept that her best friend was shacking up with her big brother, she didn’t ask and had come to study on her own. Letting out a long breath, she took her highlighter and tried to study, but knowing that Karson was within reach made it very hard. She could feel him staring. She wanted to want to tell him to stop, but she didn’t. She was all kinds of screwed up—a glutton for punishment.
When Karson suddenly appeared at the same table as her, she sat back and met his playful gaze with an angry one. “What are you studying?” he asked, looking down at her books before smiling up at her. “Business? Are you going to own your own or work for the big man?”
She bit into her lip, knowing she should pack her book up and leave. Instead, she answered him. “I want to start my own.”
He nodded, his grin growing. “That’s awesome. What kind of business?”
“I want to design lingerie for women.”
“Wow, I didn’t expect you to say that! I knew you were going for design, too, but I was thinking home interior or something.”