Home > Four Years Later (One Week Girlfriend #4)(5)

Four Years Later (One Week Girlfriend #4)(5)
Author: Monica Murphy

Or kiss it off.

Ignoring my disturbing thoughts, I lead them to a table, stepping away when Owen seems to get right up into my personal space. “Nice uniform,” he murmurs just before he slides into the booth.

I can smell beer on his breath and I wrinkle my nose. I’m wearing an ugly black polyester waitress uniform that is the dowdiest thing on the planet. It’s not like I’m trying to impress anyone, so I’ve never really had a problem with it before.

Yet for whatever reason, now I want to shed it like a snake sheds its skin. Just wiggle out of this ugly, unflattering dress and toss it in the trash. I hate that he’s seen me like this.

But I like seeing him.

“Something to drink?” I ask, casting my gaze at all three of them, not letting it linger on Owen. He might get the wrong idea, and I need his respect if I’m really going to be his tutor. I have a strong feeling that’s not going to work out, but a girl can hope.

You are not hoping. You’d rather not deal with him at all.

I’m such a liar.

His friends order Cokes and Owen asks for coffee, which surprises me. I leave the table and go behind the counter, preparing their drinks and ignoring the way my shaky knees want to knock together. I’m overreacting.

I both want him here and need him gone.

Irritation fills me at the way I’m thinking. Boys don’t affect me. I don’t care what he thinks, what he wants. So why is he making me feel all shaky and uneasy? I talked to him for ten minutes tops, and then, as if there’s some sort of magnetic pull between us, he shows up where I work. Smiles at me like he thinks it’s funny that he’s found me. Says rude cute things like nice uniform in that deep, rumbly voice of his, the one that sent a shiver down my spine.

I am acting like such a total girl, I’m beginning to hate myself.

Forcing myself to pretend he doesn’t matter, I go about my usual routine. I deliver their drinks, then take their order. Deliver it to the cook, then head back out onto the floor so I can wipe down the empty tables, refill napkin dispensers, and take money from the customers who are leaving one by one by one. Until the restaurant is pretty much empty with the exception of me; the cook; the other waitress, Paula; and Owen and his friends.

I take them their food, noting that Owen likes his coffee with a ton of cream. Why I want to store that bit of info for later like a squirrel stores nuts away for winter, I don’t know. It’s dumb. He makes me feel dumb.

And I don’t even know him. He doesn’t care about me. I’m that pain-in-the-ass girl he’s supposed to go see twice a week for an hour to bring up his grades. The one he tried to pay off so she’ll pretend she’s tutoring him and he won’t have to deal with her.

Jerk.

“Anything else?” I ask them minutes later as I drop the check on their table.

Owen slaps his hand against the piece of paper and drags it toward him. “I think that’s it.”

“Great.” I smile, but it feels brittle. “I can be your cashier or you can pay at the register.”

“Hey, what else can you be for us, huh?” one of Owen’s friends asks, making the other one laugh.

My cheeks are hot again and my mouth is open. I’m gaping at them like a dying fish, and thankfully Owen rushes to my defense. “Shut the hell up, Des.” He glances up at me, all traces of the buzzed foolish boy who first walked in here gone. “He’s drunk. He doesn’t know what he’s saying.”

“I know exactly what I’m saying,” drunken Des mumbles, clamping his lips shut when Owen shoots him a deadly stare.

“It’s all right,” I say, backing away from them slowly. “Take your time.”

I turn to flee from their table when I hear someone slide out of the booth, strong fingers curling around my upper arm and stopping me from leaving. He’s standing directly behind me, the warmth from his body seeping into mine, and I go completely still. Willing myself not to react, not to say something stupid and embarrass myself.

Look what he’s doing to me just by touching my arm. This sort of thing doesn’t happen to me. I don’t care about boys. I’ve been kissed a measly three times in my life, once by Cody Curtis the tongue thruster, and he definitely doesn’t count.

So twice. Twice I’ve been kissed, and I’m a virgin. A freaking virgin. Owen Maguire has “player” written all over him. I’m nothing to him.

So why is he touching me? Talking to me in that husky, low murmur of his that slides over me like slow, warm honey?

“… need to talk to you. About this tutoring thing,” he’s saying, and I wrench myself out of his grip, irritated that I didn’t pay attention to what he said at first.

“Just meet me Monday afternoon as scheduled and we should be good to go.” I turn to face him, a fake smile plastered to my face, and he stares at my lips for a long, breath-stealing second before he finally lifts those too-pretty green eyes up to meet mine.

My lips are tingling as if he actually kissed them. God.

“I don’t even know your name,” he murmurs.

Owen

What am I doing? Why do I even care about her name? I don’t know her. I don’t want to know her. I’d never seen her in my life before today. We had our brief encounter this afternoon where she told me no and pissed me off. Now here she is again.

Wearing a really f**ked-up black uniform that’s shapeless and does nothing for her but make her look bad. Her hair is dark, dark brown and her eyes are a wide, innocent blue. She looks completely untouchable, like no girl I’ve ever been interested in before, and I’m asking for her name like I care or something.

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