Home > Dirty English (English #1)(9)

Dirty English (English #1)(9)
Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills

I looked at the other twin. “And you are?”

“Declan,” he murmured in his low voice, his accented words like silk, the vowels soft and rounded.

I shivered.

Declan .

One simple word that I felt all the way to the roots of my scalp.

Butterflies danced in my tummy. I yelled at them to settle down, but they didn’t listen.

His full, sensuous lips kicked up in a grin as I repeated it. “That’s a beautiful name,” I said, “the way it rolls off my tongue.”

“It’s Gaelic and means full of goodness . Ironic since most call me trouble.” He smiled. “Elizabeth, right?”

I nodded and he put his hand out for me to take. I rested mine in his much larger warm one, not surprised by the tingles that zipped down my spine. Reluctantly he released my hand, his fingertips sliding against my palm in a sensuous sweep. I let out an uneven breath I must have been holding since the moment he stepped into my vision.

Was his reaction the same as mine?

His facial expression hadn’t changed at our first touch, yet he’d moved closer to me, the expensive scent of his woodsy cologne permeating my senses.

The conversation picked back up with the others, but Declan and I just stood there silently. I glanced at him. He glanced at me. He smiled. I smiled. And right there it felt like we were having an intimate moment, just the two of us as we stared at each other while the world carried on. His gaze kept coming back to me, almost inquisitive as if he wanted to ask me something but didn’t know how. There was a connection between us, and I’m not stupid, I know it wasn’t love at first sight—maybe lust—but he was definitely the hottest guy I’d been this close to in two years.

He was exactly what I needed tonight, the complete opposite of Colby’s blond and preppy Ralph Lauren looks. Perhaps it was time to take my rules a step further, to prove to myself I could be with whomever I wanted and keep control of the situation.

As long as the fortress of my heart remained under lock and key, I was good.

He turned away from me when a pretty girl walked up to him, and just like that I changed my mind. Player?

He looked back to me a minute or two later, a sheepish smile on his face. “Sorry about that. I taught her some self-defense moves last year, and she was telling me how she’d used them on her older brother this summer.”

Oh. I took in his broad chest and biceps. “You’re a trainer?”

He nodded, an earnest expression on his face. “Yeah. I’ve taught in some of the local gyms, but I’m opening my own soon.”

“Is that how you got your black eye?”

He considered me carefully. “No.”

I studied him harder, my gaze boring into the masculine planes of his face. Instinctively, I reached up and delicately touched a red place near his hairline. A cut? He winced and I immediately dropped my hand. “So sorry, I—I don’t know why I did that.”

Stop touching the hot guy! I yelled in my head.

He shrugged. “It’s fine.”

“You use your fists a lot?”

“Yes,” he said softly.

I sucked in a sharp breath. Dangerous. Sexy. Trouble.

Why was I still talking to him?

Blake sidestepped between Declan and me in such a way that it felt forced. “You want a drink, Elizabeth? There’s beer and some punch, although it’s probably spiked. I can scrounge around and find you something though.”

“A water would be great.”

“Yes,” Shelley said emphatically. “She may not drink, but I do. Bring it to mama. Anything will do.”

Declan surprised me by saying he’d get them for us, and I watched him move away, his lithe frame moving with the easy grace of someone used to holding back power like a sexy jungle cat who prowled around and took what he wanted …

I’d like to pet that jungle cat, rub his silky fur and make him purr …

I slapped myself mentally.

Jungle cat? Make him purr? What was wrong with me tonight?

“Don’t mess with him,” Blake whispered in my ear as if he’d read my train of thought.

I shot a look over at Dax and Shelley to make sure they hadn’t heard his comment, but they were involved in a discussion about music.

“Why? What’s wrong with him?”

He narrowed his eyes, a flash of annoyance on his face. “ Are you interested?”

“Get real. I study. I work. I sleep.” Occasionally I have sex.

He nodded, his expression growing serious. “Maybe it’s time to move on and trust someone.”

I arched a brow. “But not Declan?”

He opened his mouth. Shut it. He held his hands up as if to placate me. “Don’t get me wrong. He’s cool. But you’re exactly his type, physically any way, and I saw the way he looked at you. He’s on the rebound, and I just don’t want you to get hurt. He’s a senior and popular—and well, no one knows you .”

“Wow. That hurt. Thanks for the vote of confidence.” I crossed my arms.

He groaned. “It’s just … I’ve seen him go through girls like frat boys and their beer. He’s a user and once he’s done with you, he’ll toss you out. You need a nice guy.”

My mouth tightened. “I thought Colby was a nice guy and look how that turned out.” I sighed. “Are you actually jealous?”

He flushed. “I just know how guys think. Declan’s a jerk and you need to avoid him and not do anything stupid.”

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