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"How'd you like to go to the movies with me?" The deep, husky voice sent shivers down her spine.
Rachel Davis looked up from the book she was reading. She frowned. It was George Simpson a boy in her class.
His eyes caressed her boldly, making her breathless and uncomfortable. She didn't like him much, found him arrogant and brash, but her body betrayed her each time he looked in her direction.
He was good on the eyes, a bit on the short side, but what he lost in his height, he made up for in a well-toned physique. She had heard he'd recently won the local bodybuilding competition for school boys and she could see whythe rippling muscles did make him blatantly sexy.
She didn't know him well, had only smiled at him on a few occasions, but she realized he couldn't keep his eyes off her.
She scowled. She had no plans of being the source of locker room boasting. Did he really think she was stupid enough to go out with him? She'd only enrolled at the school a few weeks ago, but already she'd heard enough stories about him to be wary.
"One of your girlfriends busy?" she asked, her voice laced with sarcasm. She didn't look up, hoping he'd get the message and go away.
"I'd give them all up just for a date with you," he replied smoothly, an unexpected sincerity in his voice.
"It doesn't say much about what you think of your relationships," she responded. This time she raised her head, looking him straight in the eyes. Beautiful, pale brown eyes.
"Relationships? I just have friends," he replied cheerfully. "With you, I'd want a relationship." His eyes twinkled.
"I'm sorry, I don't have time for relationships or a smooth-talking spoiled brat who feels he has to get into every girl's panties."
He cringed. She could tell she'd shocked him.
But then he grinned, a sardonic tilt of his lips.
"While the image of the panties may be stimulating, I'm going to prove to you that I can change. That player, he's not the real me and I'm willing to put him to rest," he responded, reaching a hand out to touch hers.
She jerked her hand away. "Well, I can promise you that you won't have an easy task ahead of you. I'm immune to boys like you."
He raised a single brow, the emphasis on her use of boys not lost.
"I'm fine with that. When the prize is going out with the woman I plan to marry someday, no task can be too difficult."
She snorted in disgust, an unladylike sound that made her squirm. He really was full of himself. Why did he think that any sensible girl would fall for his crap?
"While I'm enjoying the conversation," she said, her voice oozing with sarcasm, "I do have a test in an hour and need to study. Some of us are not as naturally gifted as you are."
At her comment, he stared at her sharply. With a final nod of his head, he turned and walked away.
Rachel watched his retreat. He was good-looking, more than good-looking.
And she was attracted to him, had been from the first time he'd walked, no, strutted, into the classroom, clothed in his air of importance.
It had been her first day at The Lodge School. She'd hated that her parents had wanted her to switch high schools, but she couldn't help but agree that she needed more of an academic challenge, and The Lodge School was the perfect place.
A school with a tradition of excellence didn't come close to describing one of Barbados's best. Her father had attended Lodge many years before, so the school had been the ideal choice. Already she loved it here and had finally admitted that her father had made a fine decision.
From her early teens, she had dreamed of being a lawyer, and coming here was a step in the right direction if she wanted to achieve that dream.
Then she'd seen him. She could tell that he worked out and often. Even at sixteen, or maybe seventeen, he was well-toned with broad shoulders, a neat waist and arms that seemed as if they would burst through the white cotton shirt that was part of the school uniform. The gray trousers he wore hung loosely but did little to hide his muscular thighs.
That first day, he'd swaggered into the classroom and the eyes of every girl, and some of the boys, had devoured him.
He greeted them all with a "What's up?" and headed to the front of the classroom, where he chatted with two equally handsome boysTroy Whitehall and Shayne Knight. Later, she would discover they were the best of friends and, when not at classes, inseparable.
And then she realized that each time she looked in his direction, he'd be staring at her, that sexy, knowing smile on his face. But he never approached her, as if biding his time, as if waiting for the perfect moment to pounce.
Well, he'd finally made his move and if his reaction to her rejection was anything to go by, he'd probably not want to say anything to her again.
She watched his retreating back and noticed that, despite her rejection, he still walked with an air of confidence.
No, he wasn't one to give up.
Before he turned the corner, he stopped and looked back. And then he flashed that tantalizing grin that lit his face up and made him look oh so sexy.
In that moment, Rachel knew that if he didn't give up, he was going to win. Already, her indifference to him was melting slowly away.
George could tell Rachel liked him. She might have appeared indifferent, but he could tell that she was attracted. From the day he'd walked into the classroom and seen her, he had fallen under her magical spell.
He found himself spending most of his class time staring at her. Fortunately, he had a quick mind and could pick up the work they'd done during the day. He tried to avoid doing it too much but inevitably his eyes would stray in her direction.
One of the plusses was that she was in all of his classes and, though he had no idea what he wanted to do after graduation, a career in law was looking like the ideal choice. His decision had been partially influenced by her own revelation during a recent Social Studies class.
He'd floated some possibilities around, but when Rachel had announced that she would be studying law, he'd echoed her choice when he made his own presentation. He'd noticed her reaction.
He had no doubt that he'd get into law school. Of the students in his class, he or one of his two best friends would finish at the top. Troy held the position most of the time, but he could tell that Rachel would challenge them for the top spot. It was not going to be easy for any of them to maintain supremacy. She rattled off facts in class that left him wondering if he was dumb.
He couldn't understand why Rachel was affecting him in this way. He liked girls, enjoyed being with them and despite what everyone said, he still had his virginity intact, a decision he'd made in his early teens. While his hormones raged and he often came close to giving in to his teenage need to do it, he remembered what his mother always said. "There ain't no rush, boy. Take ya time."
But this new girl was different. There was something about her that fascinated him and made him want to make love to her. Nights were worse. He'd find himself awake and thinking about her into the early hours of the morning.
He loved the way she wore her hairin a short afro that made her so cute, if a bit boyish, but there was nothing boyish about her body. She was filling out in all the right places.
She was tall and slim, just under six feet and a bit taller than he was, but that didn't matter. In his early teens, he'd been a bit worried about his height, but the girls didn't seem to care.
He made love to them by perfecting the art of fore-play. When he dropped them home after a few hours of intense passion, he'd leave them drained and satiated; he didn't think they even realized they'd not gone all the way.
He'd always been amazed at what he could do with his hands and mouth and tongue that would leave them totally happy.
For him, there was no time that a woman's mouth on him couldn't take him to heaven and back.
But recently, none of those girls were on his mind.
Rachel consumed his every waking hour. At breakfast, he'd think about her, on his way to and from school, but it was in the early hours of the morning, when he'd wake, hot and horny, from dreaming about her, her scent somehow lingering. He'd occasionally have to take things in hand, but that was only a temporary solution to the need that consumed him.
He knew as sure as the sun would rise each day that they would eventually make love.
That evening as he sat in the school's cricket pavilion, celebrating the team's victory against a longtime rival, he couldn't help thinking about her.
"You're very quiet, George. You in love or what?" Troy teased.
He didn't answer. He wasn't even sure what was going on.
"Now, I said that as a joke, but you didn't answer, so something must be wrong."
George turned to Troy, hoping that his eyes did not reveal the warring emotions.
"It's that new girl?" Troy asked. "What's her name?"
"Rachel," he said without hesitation.
"What's going on, George?" He could hear the genuine concern in his friend's voice.
"Nothing. Everything. Man, I'm not even sure," he grumbled, tossing the cricket ball to the ground in frustration.
"I would not have believed you'd be the first to fall. Shayne is more that kind of guy. I always predicted that he'd be the first to get serious. Then me. But you?"
"Troy, you know me better than that," he responded.
"I do. I thought I knew you, but all of a sudden you've gone crazy for the girls. You better be using condoms. I thought we vowed we'd never let anything get in the way of our dreams. You a lawyer. Me a doctor and Shayne Well, he isn't quite sure yet, but I know it'll more likely be engineering or architecture. He hasn't made up his mind. Of course, his parents would prefer him to do agriculture. They want him to take over the plantation."
"Is that the impression you have of me?" he asked. "I ain't been having sex."
"So why is everyone thinking you're scoring with all those girls?" Troy admonished.
"It's just a mind thing," George reasoned. "I've been scoring, but not in the way everyone seems to think. I know we made that vow and I have no intentions of breaking it. My dreams come first."
"You're trying to tell me that you're still a virgin?"
"Shush." George put a finger to his lips. "No need to tell the world about my status."
"I promise," Troy said, laughing loudly. "It's between you and me. So you're the only one of us who's still pure? So ironic. Most people would think the opposite."
"And isn't that a good thing?" he asked, rising from where he was sitting.
"Why? I know you feel a bit off center because of your height. But with all the girls running after you, you shouldn't be too worried. And as far as I'm concerned, five-six isn't short. What you lose in height, you've made up for with those muscles. All the girls at school are drooling over you."
"They are, aren't they?" he replied, his chest puffed up. He strutted across the bleachers, stopping to pose, flaunting his rippling muscles.
"No need to get all conceited on me," Troy said. "Why don't you use some reverse psychology? I'm sure Rachel is enjoying the attention. Just ignore her for a few days and I bet she will eventually come to you."
"I'm not sure if it's going to be easy to ignore her. Man, a girl has never done this to me before. I can't understand what's happening to me." He lowered himself to the bench.
"You're in love," Troy stated calmly, his hand resting on George's shoulder.
"L-love," he stammered. "I'm not in love. I don't even know what love is."
"Well, you're discovering. I'm glad I'm not like you. I'm not even going to encourage that. I hang with a girl every once in a while, get what I want and move on. No emotional attachment. My schoolwork comes first."
"Your books always come first," George remarked. "But it's not about you. It's about your father and what he wants. I keep telling you that you have to live your own life. Not for your father."
"While it may be a bit about my father, I want to be a doctor. Not because my father is one but because I want to be," Troy said firmly.
"Well, I'm glad I don't have a father breathing down my neck all the time."
"I know you better than that, George. Saying it is not going to make it true."
George did not respond. Instead, he stood. "Come on, man, let's go. Everyone's already left. You want to come over for dinner? You know my mother always has a plate for you."
"Call Shayne and find out if he wants to come over too."
"He went to Tamara's dance recital, remember?" They laughed, the sound echoing across the cricket pitch.
"I can just imagine him right now. He must be dying with embarrassment. I'm so glad I'm an only child no sister to invite me to her dance recitals," Troy said. He stood and executed a clumsy pirouette.
"Better him than me," Troy continued. "Tamara invited me, but I was so glad I could tell her we had a cricket match. I know Shayne is sorry he didn't play for the team this season."
"Yes, he must be regretting it. Come on, I'll call Mom and let her know we're on our way."
"Cool, I'll call mine and let her know I'll be at your house. You can help me with the calculus homework."