Playing With Fire

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Chapter 5

NOVA

Niko Xavier was relentless, stopping only when he’d reduced me to a shuddering wreck on the bathroom sink.

“Right.” I gasped, as he gave me a smug grin. “Now are we done?”

“Are you in a rush, sweetheart?”

“I want to get back to Lenore.”

Niko nodded, trailing his fingers down my thighs.

“Take my number.”

“What for?” I said, sliding my underwear back on.

My legs felt like they were made of jelly.

Two orgasms in one night, and from a guy I’ve barely spoken to in the entire history of high school.

“Because we need to do this again.”

“You can have my number, but I don’t need yours.”

He handed me his phone, gazing at me with a perplexed look.

“Why not? Won’t you want to know who’s calling you?”

“Niko, guys like you don’t call, so let’s just call it a day, okay? We both scratched our itch—”

“Whoa, hang on—”

I programmed my number into his phone, handing it back to him with a smile.

“Okay, I’m going to find Lenore. Have a good night.”

I swiftly unlocked the door, pushing my way into the hallway.

I had to get away from Niko, and fast.

This dress was skintight and minuscule, and I just wanted to flop back into my bed with my baggy t-shirt on.

Rian caught my wrist as I rounded the stairs, tugging me toward him gently.

“Niko Xavier, really?”

“Jesus, Rian!”

Rian shoved his hands in his pockets, staring at me with a disappointed expression.

“Is that why you ended it? Because of him?”

“No. I need to find Lenore.”

“Want me to help you?” Rian asked, sweeping his eyes over the crowded room before us. “There are some total dicks out there.”

I nodded, grateful for his help. I was tired, and I just wanted to leave.

Rian led the way, and we scoured each room, our eyes locking when he shrugged.

“I can’t see her. Send her a text.”

NOVA:

Len, where are you?

Rian leaned against the wall, folding his arms as he glared past me.

Niko had entered the room, still fucking shirtless. His eyes met mine, then he saw Rian beside me.

I turned away, not wanting to have a weird situation with my ex and...the man who had given two orgasms tonight.

The man my best friend likes.

LENORE:

In Tom’s room! Are you okay?

I groaned, staring at my phone as I chewed on my lip.

“Did she reply?” Rian asked.

“Yeah. She’s with Tom.”

“Okay cool, where?” Rian glanced around, being tall gave him the advantage of seeing over the sea of heads.

“In his room?” I squeaked out.

Rian looked back at me, his eyes clouding over with anger.

“So she’s left you on your own?”

“No, because I was with…”

My voice trailed off as Rian closed his eyes, pinching the bridge of his nose.

“Want me to take you home?”

“I’m good, I’ll get a cab—”

Rian lifted an eyebrow, waving a hand at my dress.

Well, Tom’s sister’s dress.

“In that? I don’t think so. I want to take you home myself.”

My stomach fluttered at his words, but to do so would only give him false hope.

“Come on,” Rian said, holding his hand out to me.

I could feel someone staring at us, and I turned my head as we left the room to see Niko watching me, despite the girl on his lap.

What the hell?

I texted Lenore to say I was getting a cab home with Rian, and she told me she was staying exactly where she was.

With Tom.

I shivered once we were outside, and Rian slid his arm around me, holding me close.

“Thanks,” I said, my teeth chattering.

“It’s not like you to wear a dress like that,” Rian murmured, ordering an Uber on his phone. “You hate the cold.”

“I know, but Niko threw me in the pool.”

“Yeah, what a dick. What if you couldn’t swim, huh?”

I didn’t answer him, allowing my head to rest on his chest as we waited for the cab.

“I’m sorry about earlier, I was a dick.” Rian sighed, rubbing my back.

“It’s okay.”

“I dunno, Nov. I know you ended it because you wanted space, but jumping into bed with guys like Niko?”

“I haven’t jumped into bed with him!”

“Not yet,” Rian grumbled, stroking my hair.

Something about his arms wrapped around me was oddly comforting. He’s my ex of one week, I shouldn’t be allowing him to take care of me like he’s still my man.

“I don’t want to hurt you, Ri.”

He moved me back, his blue eyes scanning mine as he smiled sadly.

“The minute you ended it I was hurt, baby.”

“Sorry,” I mumbled, tiredness causing my eyelids to ache. “Can we not talk about this again?”

“Do you wanna come to mine? Your Dad will lose his shit if he sees you in that dress.”

I groaned, knowing he was all too right.

Dad was the local sheriff, and although he was fairly relaxed about me going to parties and staying at Lenore’s or Rians, teeny dresses would probably send him off his head.

“I’m eighteen.”

“Hey, he’s your dad, babe.” Rian shrugged, and I chewed on my lip.

“He’s on nights, I think. I’ll risk it.”

“Okay.” Rian seemed disappointed, and I felt bad.

“Thank you though.”

“No worries.”

The Uber arrived, and I sank into the warmth with delight, as Rian climbed in next to me.

“You know, if you want casual, I can do that,” Rian said, stroking my shoulder.

“You can’t, Ri. I don’t want casual anyway, I just want to be by myself for a bit.”

The truth was, Rian was suffocating.

He wanted me to be at every game, every practice, and made it clear that his sports came before anything else.

He saw us living in this town together forever, and it just wasn’t me.

“Keep away from Xavier,” Rian muttered, staring out of the window.

The Uber pulled up at mine, and I hesitated, knowing I was probably making a bad fucking decision, but I missed sleeping beside him.

“Do you want to stay over? Nothing like that,” I said hastily when I saw his eyes light up.

He nodded, paying the driver on his phone before following me in.

All the lights were off, and I kept it that way, sliding my shoes off as I yawned.

Rian locked the door behind us, kicking his sneakers off as he followed me upstairs.

I headed into the bathroom, taking a hot shower.

I was so cold, and the water soothed me, warming me slowly.

I brushed my teeth, dragging my hair into a band before pulling my trusty baggy t-shirt over my head.

My eyes were almost closed when I saw Rian curled up in my bed, and I thought nothing of snuggling in against him.

We assumed our usual position, my ass tucked against his belly as he kissed my shoulder. I loved spooning.

“Night Ri,” I mumbled, as he stroked my hair.

“Night, baby.”


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