I stay up all night, trying to isolate x. The eraser at the end of my pencil is at its limits. Just when I decide to leave my work incomplete and cry my eyes out, my door turns open. I stare at what comes next. No, it’s not a ghost. It’s Judah in the flesh. What ever made me think that the night would stay outside?
Instantly, I yell, “Get out!”
He closes the door behind him and walks into my small dorm with ease. He even takes off his jacket and sets in on my chair. His hair is pulled back and his smoky eyes stare me down.
“I just got here.”
I stand up, trying to defend my sanity. I glimpse at his tatted toned arms.
“And you’ll get out,” I point.
He looks around my room and smirks, “Just when I thought you’d be excited to see me.”
The hairs on the back of my neck shoot up, counteracting with the shivers driving along my spine. Ugh. Why can’t I live a normal life? Why does he feel like he can just walk in my place? He takes note of the clutter I have around my table, not to mention the bra hanging on my closet doorknob.
“I’ll go...” he slowly asserts, as his gaze gets darker. “When I’m done with you.”
“I-I am serious!” I stomp my foot, ten times more nervous.
I’m shaking inside, but he doesn’t need to know that. He strides towards me and quickly takes me by my waist.
“And it’s cute,” he keeps his taunting smirk.
My cheeks redden and burn up. I gasp, as he pulls me in closer. Our bodies are glued together. Judah leaves no wiggle room. His grey stare makes it hard for me to breathe. My head spins, yet goes nowhere. I look down at his chest, feeling hotter than ever. I don’t know how to act under this man’s full attention.
Judah leans in. I freeze when I feel his hot lips on my neck. The tenseness in my body cuts down, because his kisses are tender against my skin. I completely confuse myself, because I let him slip his hands beneath my top. His forceful palms ride up my sides, raising my shirt more and more. Feeling embarrassed to the core, I tug back down my top. He grins against my collarbone. I feel his hot breath cascade down my skin. I shiver all over.
“Wha—” I squeal out.
His hands decide to travel up my skirt. He pushes me up against the wall. I bite my lip, suddenly feeling lightheaded. He watches my expression. I’d be lying, if I said I hated the feeling of his body on me. I’d be lying so hard....
Suddenly, Judah presses his moist lips on mine. His hot wet tongue doesn’t wait for a longer second to thrust into my mouth. The kiss burns my insides, vaporizing all the air out of my lungs.
My heart pounds too fast. Every sensation he gives me escalates. His lips are soft to the touch, but rough to the pressure. Without warning, he lifts my thigh and invades between my legs, brushing his fingers against me. My face heats up. I lose my mind.
I slap his face as hard as I can. Judah, who I’m convinced is a Greek God with spell binding powers, pulls back.
I’m breathless, dizzy, and I don’t know what. My own hand stings. He looks a bit surprised, but nothing stops this guy from smirking. Nothing stops him from anything.
“That was fun,” he comments.
I rest my hand over my mouth, tasting the stains he left behind on it. He pulls away from me. Suddenly, I feel cool air again. I think long and hard about what just went on. He kissed me. He touched untouched territory. I can’t forgive him. I internally berate myself. Why did it have to feel so good? Why did it have to be Judah?
Walking backwards, Judah gets a little too comfortable around my room. He kicks off his boots and pulls his thin shirt above his head. I stay stuck on the wall like wallpaper.
My eyes keep count of his defined abs. It’s impossible for me to not gawk at his visible V lines showing above the waistband of his pants. I look away, trying to inhale some air back in my system. Before I know it, he drops himself on my bed. I tell myself to give up—I know he’s not going anywhere.
“Judah,” I growl.
“Don’t be scared, sweet cheeks. I don’t bite,” he smirks, “Hard.”
I wake up in a groggily fashion. I feel stuck in Judah’s strong arms. Just as I place my hands on his arms to push them away, he stirs and holds me tighter in his bare chest. It’s a feeling I really shouldn’t get used to.
“I-I need to get up,” I tell him, searching for a valid excuse. “I have school.”
Slowly, he frees me. I crawl over him and jump off the bed. I still don’t know why he’s there. No mathematical solution comes to me. No math professor will appear to explain the probability of having a hot, bad guy sleeping in my room. I stop and wonder. Did he come to my dorm again because he still has trouble sleeping? That’s what he told me the first time he followed me. But why does it have to be me? He’s so strange.
I grab some fresh clothes and lock myself in my bathroom, throwing a silent tantrum. I need therapy at this point. No, scratch that—I need church. I quickly wash up in the shower and get dressed. I brush my fingers through my hair and try to get ready for the day.
I hoped that he would magically disappear when I re-entered my room. But he’s always there. At least he’s awake. I watch him put on his shirt. My fingers rub my lips.
“Are you done with me?” I ask, feeling quite stupid.
After slipping on his black boots that have probably stepped in blood before, he looks up at me and asks, “What?”
“You said you’d leave when you were done... with me,” I say, confusing myself.
“You really want me to go, huh?” Judah smirks.
“Well,” I start, shifting on my feet, “Yes.”
It’s the first time I had this much confidence in front on him. Maybe this will be the end of my crazy encounter with this bad boy. I feel a weight lift off my shoulders.
I watch Judah stand tall. He slowly walks up to me, closing in the gap. He practically hovers over me. His grey gaze is deep and I get lost in it. I get a little frightened by his serious, half way sinister, expression. My heart hits my chest and my confidence dwindles to nothing.
“I’ll leave. But I’ll come back,” he says.
A new weight—a heavier, scarier weight drops over my shoulders. I tremble under his narrow stare. His voice lowers and echoes in my ears. His smirk reappears, as he tucks a strand of my hair behind my ear. There is so much I don’t know about him. But there’s something about him that makes me want more of him.
“I like you, sweet cheeks. You’re a lot of fun to play with,” he tells me, “And I’ll keep playing with you.”
Damn him. I bite my lip a little too hard.
Judah and his shadow walk out my room, without another word.
“I don’t get it!”
I explain to Mara for the millionth time, while omitting some factors out, how I ended up with this mysterious guy.
I shrug my shoulders, unwilling to explain again.
“He was smoking hot, though! Like too hot,” she exclaims, “Like GQ front cover model with a special tattoos and leather edition!”
I frown, trying to shake his body image out of my head. Mara’s skill is too much for me to process.
“I don’t know why he’s interested in somebody like me,” I ponder.
“You’re too good girl for him. He’s so bad boy for you. I guess opposites really attract,” Mara cheers.
“Bad is an understatement. He’s a criminal,” I add.
“What?!” Mara squeals, “What are you doing in bed with a criminal?!”
I hurriedly shush her, considering that we’re in the college library.
“It’s just weird, okay? I didn’t know what to do or say... He just... sort of appeared out of nowhere,” I blabber.
“What did he go to jail for?” Mara interrogates.
I shrug, “I don’t know. I didn’t ask.”
I watch her face frown.
“Okay, Ro. Now you’re worrying me. What if he’s a sociopath or a serial killer? I don’t think you should be around that kind of guy. I don’t care how many ‘Hail Mary’s’ he’s done.”
“It’s not that easy,” I complain, “He...”
I stop talking immediately, recalling Judah’s words. Telling Mara that Judah said he’ll ‘play’ with me isn’t something I can do. Also, telling her that I haven’t exactly made any set plans to stop Judah isn’t doable. Mara would go crazy, even though her own rational and logic are warped by Judah’s good looks and permanent ink. Whenever I think about seeing him again makes my skin crawl in different directions.
“Anyway,” I brush her off, “I got class soon.”
I pick up my books and dash. I hate worrying my best friend, but she’s head over heels about Judah just as much as the next girl. So, she won’t be much help in convincing me to stay away from him.
The end of the day arrives and I walk to my dorm room. I’m thankful to find it empty.
I had forgotten to pick up my phone from this morning. It’s still lodged onto the bed. I take it and scroll through.
1 missed call. Judah.
Can’t believe he took my number... For God sakes, what am I going to do with myself?
His voice hums in my head. I couldn’t stop thinking about this guy all day. Last night’s kiss and other things replay over and over in the back of my mind. This isn’t good.
I wonder why he called. He knew I was at school.
Wait a minute. A guy like Judah can pick up any girl he wants. He could score with Victoria Secret models at that. So why is he wasting his time on me? What does he want? I know for sure that it can’t be me. I’m boring and... inexperience. My body is plain, so it can’t be that either.
I massage my throbbing forehead and groan. My stomach churns with butterflies.
I take a glance at my phone’s screen. It’s like the letters are jumping at me. 1 missed call.
Would he be upset that I didn’t pickup? Why am I even thinking that? But what if it was important? No, nothing is important. Should I call him back? No, I have to stay away from this guy. He’s not good for you, Rosalie!
But he kissed me. I liked it. He’s not that bad... He can’t be.
I put my thoughts aside. It doesn’t matter. It’s not like he’s the type of guy I can bring home to my parents. He’s definitely not a guy I can build some kind of relationship with—he’s only interested in sex. That’s right.
I refuse to look at my phone for another second and throw it on my desk. I decide to forget him and erase him from my mind.
Snow begins its decent. I walk down the pavement, heading towards the sidewalk. I stuff my dry hands in my coat pockets. I’m preoccupied with looking at my foggy breaths. Then I look up. I make severe eye contact with Judah. He leans against his matte black Jeep. Although it’s below zero, he wears a leather bomber jacket. I watch him smoke a cigarette. He watches me watch him. My nostrils flare up, aggravated that he’s come to my dorm for the third time. He doesn’t look in pleasant spirits, but I could careless.
“What are you doing here?” I groan.
The panic starts to set in when his stare only hardens.
He pulls the cigarette out of the way of his words.
“Watch your fucking tone with me,” he shoots fast, “Sweet cheeks.”
His life threatening glare makes me shut up. I plan to pass him by and walk down the hill. But Judah grabs my arm in one blinding move, after I take a step away from him. I squeal, once my back hits the Jeep. I’m a tad in shock. The skinny snowflakes float between my face and his. I blink and try to push him. My hands are no match to his solid chest. He grips me tighter, negating my right to even squirm. This is different from his usual smirk and wink combo. I’m not used to it, so I shake more.
“Would you let—let me go?” I fight.
He smirks, “Get in.”
“No!” I reject, “I have class.”
I know for a fact that he doesn’t care whether I have class or have to go visit my grandmother. He still opens the passenger door and pushes me in, without even looking at me. Fuming, I check to see if my arm is broken. It hurts when I contract the muscle. I sigh, unable to believe all this. At least my body parts are still intact. My optimism dissolves as soon as Judah sits in the driver’s seat.
Judah doesn’t respect any speed limit, as he drives to the middle of town. I decide to protect myself with the seatbelt.
“Someone’s looking for me,” Judah says.
I don’t want to look at him. But when I look out the window, I notice that we’re merging onto the highway. I let my nails scratch my palms out of nervousness.
“W-what does that have to do with me?” I frown.
Judah doesn’t answer right away. He takes a few minutes swimming in silence. He then turns on the heated seats and adjusts the setting.
“You’ve been around me,” he simplifies.
“Uh...” I start, “That’s because you keep dragging me everywhere with you.”
“They would ask you questions,” he explains, “And you’re no good at lying.”
I knit my brows together. What does that mean for me? Where are we going... and how far? Looking at his impatient expression and his foot on the pedal, I’m guessing that he’s gotten in trouble somehow. Is it with those men with the sunshades? Is it with the man that was beaten up at the coffee shop? Or is it with the club hooligans? Who’s looking for him? Actually, I don’t want to know. I think about reporting this guy to the police, as soon as I get a chance.
We park in a giant hotel complex. I hate myself for enjoying the warm seat. Judah slips on a black baseball cap, and motions his chin for me to follow closely. I hop out the Jeep and quickly step forward to match his pace. Instead of being like normal folks and walk to the front lobby, Judah brings me to the back emergency exit of the hotel. Judah kicks the rock that stopped the door from locking. Someone had put that there, before we arrived. He stretches the door open for me. I slowly walk in. Not valuing my hesitation, Judah seizes my hand and drags me up the flight of metal grilled stairs.
Once we enter the hallway, Judah pulls my hood over my head. I guess he doesn’t want cameras to notice our faces. I feel like an outlaw. I shouldn’t think about it, but his large hand enveloping mine makes butterflies dance around my stomach. I blush red, scolding myself internally for being so petty.
Judah presses the elevator button. I stare at the fancy damask wallpaper, just so I don’t think about how close I’m standing to him.
I whisper, “Where are we going?”
He ignores me, because the short bell rings and the elevator opens up. We get in, and he selects the top floor. Luckily, it’s empty.
As soon as I steal my hand back from Judah and take a breath of ease, he presses his body against me. I back up into the wall, and he doesn’t stop coming closer. His cap casts a shadow over my face. Everything looks darker... his eyes, his smirk... I start to get hot all over.
“If you get any closer—I swear I’ll...” I stammer, trying hard to push him.
“You’ll what?” he challenges, raising a brow.
I squeeze my eyes shut, because I don’t what to say or do. After I exhale, the elevator opens up again and Judah takes me. I pray for God to save me. But Judah opens the door to a penthouse first.
The onset of winter is seen through the wide windows. I realize that I’m trapped in a lavish space with Judah. Crystal chandeliers twinkle across the ceiling. Modern glass, chrome, and marble line the walls. Everything is black and white and square. I troublesomely stand stationary like a piece of furniture. Already, there’s a knock at the door. Judah slowly lights a cigarette, burning the secret he’ll never say.