I didn’t know what Jordan’s problem was. Thomas Lamb had been a perfect gentleman, almost to the point of ending the night too soon, leaving me to want more time with him. Maybe that was his intention. A secret smile played on my lips as I remembered our conversation from the night before.
Thomas had a sultry voice that gave me goosebumps. When he spoke close to my ear, his breath sent shivers up my spine. When he placed his hand near the small of my back while leading me toward the bar, I could imagine how his arms would feel wrapped around me.
The only guy whose arms had ever wrapped around me was Jordan and he was too familial to count as swoon worthy. Waiting for him in the two-story atrium lobby in the building where we were staying in the Olympic Village, I was getting more annoyed the longer he took getting down from his room.
When the elevator door opened, it wasn’t Jordan who stepped out, but a group of snowboarders including Gil Snider. He met my gaze, and a playful grin broke across his face. I couldn’t help smiling back. Gil broke away from his friends and jogged straight toward me. “Hey, Lara, missed hanging out with you last night.”
“You seemed to be pretty well entertained,” I teased, remembering how girls flocked around him at the lodge.
“Yeah, I couldn’t seem to get away,” Gil said. “Noticed you were preoccupied yourself. All snuggled up with Lamb. That guy is too old for you. You should hang out with someone younger, like me.”
“That’s what Jordan said, too.” Why did I bring up Jordan? Gil, focus on Gil, the hot snowboarder right in front of me.
“Jordan told you to hang with me?” Gil raised his eyebrows playfully over amused chocolate brown eyes. “Would have thought he’d be jealous. Doesn’t he have a thing for you?”
“He was hanging out with Chelley Houston last night.” I faked a pout. “He wasn’t paying any attention to me.”
Gil leaned closer. “If I were your partner, I’d certainly pay attention to you. You’re so… fiery.” I wasn’t sure if he was referring to my red hair or implying I was smoking hot. Maybe both. I giggled at his words and how close he was to me. Whatever cologne he wore wafted across my senses making me want to ask the name of the scent so I could spray it all over my pillow and lose myself in the essence.
A familiar presence came up behind me and I didn’t have to ask who Gil spoke to when he took a step back. “Hey, man, what’s up?”
“Heading over to the ice for some practice,” Jordan said. “You?”
“Hitting the moguls,” Gil said. “Want to get a feel for the powder.”
“Well, good luck with that.” Jordan’s arm snaked around my back, and he guided me away from Gil. “We’ll see you around.”
Jordan didn’t bother shaking Gil’s hand or anything, just pulled me along.
“Bye Gil,” I called over my shoulder with a little wave. “See you tonight.”
“Do you have a date with Gil tonight?” Jordan asked in a low voice. “That was fast. You’ve never even met before today.”
“Not a date, just an understanding that we’ll make a little time for each other at the lodge later on.”
“Whatever.” A grunt sounded from Jordan’s chest, and he scowled. Maybe Gil was right.
“Are you jealous?” I asked Jordan with a teasing lilt to my voice.
“Of Gilbert Snider? Why would I be jealous of that showoff?” Jordan seemed to be avoiding looking at me while we walked side-by-side, for once not touching each other.
“Gil says you have a thing for me,” I said. “Is that true?”
“A thing? What exactly is a thing?” Jordan led me to the shuttle that would take us from the housing complex to the ice arena.
“You know, like, you kind of like me as more than a friend. Like you have the hots for me.”
After trotting up the steps into the shuttle, Jordan turned to look me in the eye. “How long have we known each other?”
I gulped. “Since we were four.”
“If you don’t know the answer to that question by now then there’s no reason to be discussing the topic.” He turned and continued heading up the aisle to an empty seat.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to offend you.” Maybe I shouldn’t have asked. Guess I’d always hoped he did like me as more than a friend, but maybe I was reading him wrong. “I won’t bring it up again.”
Jordan slipped in ear buds—which is something he rarely did—and leaned his head back against the seat with his eyes closed. He didn’t hold my hand.
(As always, feedback is greatly appreciated. -Julie)
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