Rival Page 46

That was my ring.

Because I not only wanted to have a little tantrum with a baseball bat and this stupid karaoke machine, but I was going to f**k someone up as well.

After discovering that Tate’s car was out of commission until we could get to an open auto body shop tomorrow, I’d resigned myself to having to stay in South Bend for the night.

And to make matters worse, Tate and Jax seemed to be on a mission to make sure I followed them all out to a bar.

Madoc didn’t want me along. He’d joked that I’d fit in better at one of the community college parties.

So . . . I flipped him off, went upstairs to my room, and shredded the shit out of the back of my DC skating T-shirt and applied a hell of a lot more makeup than I’d wanted.

To hell with him. He didn’t think I’d fit in.

Baby, I always fit in.

My jeans were tight, my T-shirt showed off my back with the twenty or so slits running across it, and my hair and makeup broadcasted that I was damn well looking for a good time.

Tate thought I looked good, too. She had me do the same thing to her T-shirt, and then Jared hauled her upstairs to change. They didn’t come back for half an hour, and Tate was still wearing the same shirt.

“Hey, you go to school here?” a guy shouted in my ear while I waited at the bar. I cringed and looked over at him, doing a double-take.

His espresso-colored hair was a little longer around the ears and fell on his forehead, and his blue eyes popped underneath his dark eyebrows. He was cute. Really cute.

He was dressed pretty casually—dark-wash jeans and some kind of beer T-shirt—but he wasn’t hard on the eyes. And he definitely was dressed better than Madoc, who looked like an Abercrombie ad. This guy wasn’t as built—he was lean, but toned—but he had a wide eye-catching smile.

“No,” I shouted back over the music. “I go to Northwestern. You?”

“Yeah, I’m a senior here. What brings you to Notre Dame?”

“Visiting,” I answered, handing the bartender a few bucks and taking my Coke. “You?”

“Bud,” he ordered to the bartender and then looked at me. “Environmental Engineering.”

Cute, engineer, and orders no-frills beer. Definitely my type. Not that I drank Budweiser or any alcohol very much. I could’ve if I’d wanted to. They weren’t carding at the bar, since IDs were checked at the door and Madoc had worked his magic to get us in, but I still opted to stay sober.

“Very cool.” I fist-bumped him and smiled. “Well, I’m heading back to my friends. Have a good night.”

He nodded, looking like he wanted to say something, but stayed at the bar to wait for his drink.

Heading through the dense cluster of people waiting to place their orders, I made my way back to the two tables we had put together near the wall of windows and sat back down.

I noticed the extra body at our table right away. A girl was sitting next to Madoc, and my eyes narrowed at his hand on her leg.

Her long dark hair hung in big curls down over her br**sts, and she had tanned, toned arms that looked great in a loose green tank top that showed off the black lace bra underneath. She was definitely dressed in a slutty-sexy way, yet it was completely expensive and stylish.

Whereas I just probably looked slutty.

She was drinking Amstel Light. Of course.

Madoc glanced at me for a split second but then turned his attention to Jared, who sat at my side. “So how are you liking ROTC?” he asked.

“It’s good,” Jared spoke up. “I have to go to two separate campuses for all of my classes, but it’s keeping me out of trouble.”

Tate, leaning into him on his other side, patted his leg. “Yep. Say it, baby. ‘Tate, your dad was right.’”

Jared jabbed her in the ribs, and she started giggling, pushing him away. “Stop.”

“You know you’re going to be apart? Like a lot.” Madoc’s tone was far from friendly, and his expression was stern. “And his sexy ass is going to be in the jungle or on a ship for six months out of the year away from you. You okay with that?” he spoke to Tate.

What the hell? Why was he raining on their parade? I had never been a fan of Jared’s, but he’d damn well earned my trust over the past couple of months. He and Tate were doing great.

Tate sobered, evening out her smile. “Of course.” She nodded. “I’ll miss him, but I trust him.” And then she smirked at Jared. “You won’t touch any of those guys, will you?”

“Not unless he gets really horny,” Jax joked.

“I’ll get you a vibrator, Tate,” Madoc offered. “Or I could just come over. You know, to check on you when he’s away.”

A splinter of jealousy dug into my heart, but then I saw Jared flip him off out of the corner of my eye. I guess it was pretty regular practice for Madoc to joke like that.

“Yeah, thanks,” Tate mumbled. “I’ll take the vibrator, I think.”

I set my drink down and looked behind me to the side at the newest idiot entertaining the crowd with bad disco karaoke.

Oh, wait. All disco was bad. Why was it that everyone who sings either goes for disco or country?

I should get up there and . . . nope. Never mind. I blinked away that idiot thought and turned back to the table.

And found Madoc staring at me. He still had his hand on the girl’s leg, but he’d stopped rubbing. I couldn’t tell if he was drunk or not. Usually he didn’t sport such serious expressions, but he hadn’t been up to the bar more than once.

Prev Next