Out in the hallway, away from the others’ sight, Rob turned to Jennifer and pushed her lightly against the wall. He had an intent look on his face, no sign of humor. “What the hell was that in there, Jennifer?”
‘Shit, he’s using my name. This must be serious,’ she thought. “What do you mean, Worth?”
“This is no time for games.”
She could hear his breath coming out of his nostrils. She wanted to laugh about it, but the pulsing vein in his jaw told her maybe now wouldn’t be the best time. “Maybe a clue?” she said in an attempt to be diplomatic.
“The swat on my ass,” he said through clenched teeth.
She blushed as she replayed that event in her mind’s eye. She grinned, eyes going wide, and showing teeth. “I got caught up in the moment?”
That adorable grin defeated him as always. “I have a request: Don’t do it again?” he sighed.
She shook her head, brow furrowed. “Oh no. Definitely not.”
He stared into her eyes for several long moments as if trying to gaze into her soul, then smiled. “Good. Thank you, blue eyes.”
She sagged against the wall as the tension drained from her body. She hadn’t been sure what was going to happen next. He was simply too unpredictable. It looked like she wouldn’t have to disappear from another guy’s life yet. “My eyes are hazel.”
He grinned, face lighting up. “Not under these lights.”
She smiled. “You’re weird, Worthington.”
His grin widened into a full blown smile. “Yeah. It’s part of the reason why you’re so attracted to me.”
She lost her smile. “No, I’m not.”
“Of course you are. But that’s okay. It happens to everyone, eventually.” He sighed, “Oh the perils of being as pretty as me.” That caught her unawares, making her laugh. He had been messing with her again. Rob reached out and gently squashed the tip of her nose with his finger. “Beep.”
Outwardly, she smiled at his actions, but inwardly, she wanted to cry. It always happened this way. She’d meet a guy that she enjoyed spending time with, but wasn’t attracted to, and they’d look for more. After a bit of time, she’d disappear. She was sure it hurt their feelings a little, but it would hurt them a lot less in the long run. She decided to hang out with Rob one more time before vanishing from his life. She recognized the signs of him falling in love with her, but didn’t want to hurt him: he’d already been through a lot.
“Hey, Kirei-chan. Pay attention!”
“Sorry,” she said. “What does “chan” mean?”
“I erred earlier when I called you Kirei-kun.” He smirked. “When a male uses the honorific “kun” for a female, he’s stating a level of intimacy with her. Usually, they are lovers. I should have called you “Kirei-chan,” which would actually be more accurate. Because we are friends.”
“Where are we going?”
“Training room,” he said with a sinister grin.
She raised her eyebrows. “What’s with the grin, Worthington?” He laughed aloud. “Don’t hurt Kirei, Worth,” she said in a small voice.
“Come on. Has Worthington ever hurt his Kirei?”
“Indeed,” he rumbled.
“Oh.” She shook her head. “No, he hasn’t. Kirei is just being sure. Worth likes being mean to Kirei.”
“That’s different. Worthington wants to make sure Kirei doesn’t get used to him being nice to her. Because that would be boring.”
“Indeed,” she said, giggling.
Rob lightly swatted at her butt. “I warned you about using my words. Only I get to.” She blocked his hand with both of hers behind her, laughing with her tongue poked out. He smiled. “Okay, Kirei. Let’s get going.”