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Home > With You (Tear Asunder #0.5)

With You (Tear Asunder #0.5)
Author: Nashoda Rose

Chapter 1

“Holy Christ Eme, look at that popsicle. Now that’s Häagen-Dazs quality.” Kat stood beside me, mouth agape, eyes plastered on Sculpt who was currently pounding into his opponent, The Obliterator. “Damn, he’s totally fuckable. Like slam you against the wall fuckable.”

She pinched my arm when I didn’t respond.

“Oww.” I rubbed the spot where her fingers squeezed my skin.

“You see those arms? I bet he could hold you up against the wall and f**k you without even huffing. Nix that, I want him huffing.”

Sculpt was nak*d from the waist up, rippling muscles flexing with every punch. His long legs were agile and lean, able to move quickly compared to the other guy’s slower bulk. Kind of like a Hummer against a bulldozer.

But, there was something about his eyes that had me watching him with breathless excitement mixed with a spritz of nervousness. They were dark, nearly black and piercing, as if he was looking right into his opponent and breaking him apart with his concentrated fearlessness. Shivers tap-danced across my heated skin, then a tweak of something hit my stomach. It felt like I was twirling in a field with my arms out and dandelion puffs were blowing all around me. A dizzying effect, yet beautiful and odd at the same time.

“You sure you want to do this?” Kat’s voice tore me away from Sculpt who had just thrown The Obliterator onto his back and was pulling his arm back at an odd angle. “I’m all for hot guys, but he looks really scary. A hot scary, but still the hotness doesn’t negate the scary cause he is oozing scariness. What about one of those classes? You know, the ones the college offers.”

I’d already considered it, but waiting three months until classes started in September was not an option for me. I needed Sculpt’s help now, and since Kat’s brother knew him, it put him at the top of my list. Matt said the guy was in a rock band and was only fighting to try and make enough money to go on tour. Sculpt needing money was a bonus for me, because I was offering. Not much, but it was something.

“Matt says he’s a good guy,” I reminded her, but I was beginning to think he’d just meant the guy hadn’t killed anyone yet. I think his answer would’ve been far different if he knew Kat and I were interested in actually meeting Sculpt.

My breath hitched as Sculpt pushed his damp hair off his forehead, his fingers weaving through the messy walnut strands. It was a casual gesture, but when he did it . . . it was like my body was being infused with electricity. Why was I suddenly so hot? It wasn’t like Toronto was scorching in June, although right now it felt over a hundred degrees and humid as hell.

“Yeah, Matt says that so he doesn’t get the crap beat out of him.” I laughed because Matt was over six foot, all muscle, and didn’t take “crap” from anyone. “And if Matt finds out we’re here, we’re eating beets for the rest of the month.” Kat’s parents had passed away ten years ago in a drinking and driving accident. Unfortunately, it had been their dad who’d been driving drunk and ran into a cement bridge doing a hundred. Matt, being eighteen at the time, raised Kat on his own, and he cooked—Kat didn’t. That meant he decided what to eat, and he’d totally give her beets for a month. And since I’d moved in with them two years ago, I’d get beets too, but I liked beets.

“Holy Jesus. You see that?” Kat started jumping up and down, screaming Sculpt’s name with the rest of the young college crowd as The Obliterator lay unconscious on the ground. “One punch and down for the count. Woot. Woot. Woot,” Kat shouted while pumping the air with her fist.

I clapped, but as I watched Sculpt, blood dripping down his forehead into his eye, and his chest glistening with sweat, my nerves crept up on me like a horde of white-tailed spiders. Kat was right, he was scary. The tattoo on his left arm extended from his shoulder down to his elbow. The dark black ink popped the images so they appeared three dimensional and vibrant. It suited him and made him totally . . . fuckable.

I noticed Sculpt’s eyes narrow and stare at something behind me. I glanced over my shoulder to see what held his attention so intently and expected to see some hot girl. Instead I saw an older man, maybe fifty or so, standing at the back of the warehouse looking right back at Sculpt. It was so obvious, everyone else was jostling one another or exchanging money, but not this guy. He stood like a statue—staring right back at Sculpt. His thin lips curved upward in slow motion. It wasn’t a warm-and-fuzzy smile, more like a smile that made the hairs on the back of your neck stand at attention, begging to be plucked so they could run for their lives.

Sculpt’s body stiffened. Maybe others wouldn’t have noticed, but I did, because when he ran his hand through his hair this time, it was completely different. His fingers were curled and his nails looked like they would’ve dug grooves into his scalp. When he lowered his arm it was unsteady and slow—rigid.

I glanced back over my shoulder at the guy. The man had this evil glint in his tapered eyes, and his thin lips were pressed together so hard that his bottom lip nearly disappeared. He was wearing a suit; odd considering they were in a filthy abandoned warehouse with mostly college kids.

Lip-guy gave one nod to Sculpt then turned and started to leave. He was surrounded by five men who looked like they were part of the underground fighting ring. I tugged on Kat’s shirt. “Who’s that? The guy leaving.”

Kat glanced over her shoulder toward the door and shrugged. “No idea, but . . .” She froze, eyes widening. “Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Matt.”

“Shit.” When Matt got mad, it wasn’t just a few short curse words, it was a lecture that had us both hanging our heads and shifting our feet.

Matt’s face grew fierce when he noticed us. We were too far away to tell, but I knew two red blotches were burning bright on his chiseled cheekbones. It was the kind of face that would make Godzilla tuck his tail between his legs and run.

“On the burner,” I muttered.

“On high,” Kat replied.

Matt began shoving people out of his way as he strode toward us. It looked like he was pushing car-dashboard spring dolls, people popping right back in place after he passed. And not a single one of them gave him attitude for it.

Kat squeezed my forearm. “Go. I’ll intercept him while you ask scary hot-ass.” She licked her lips, and her eyes shimmered like aventurescence. “If he helps you . . . you so have to f**k him.”

I rolled my eyes, typical Kat. “Owe you, missy.”

“Sure do. I f**king hate beets.”

I smiled then ducked and weaved my way through the crowd. I heard Matt shout my name and picked up the pace until I’d made my way around to the other side of the warehouse where I’d last seen Sculpt.

I stopped, stood on my tip toes and peered past the crowd. Sculpt stood ten feet away with an arm hooked around a girl’s waist. Blonde, tall, and wearing what looked like a spandex miniskirt that barely covered her ass. If you could even call it an ass; more like a pancake.

Okay, Sculpt didn’t look so scary now. The hard lines of his face had eased—somewhat. I was never very confident when it came to guys. Bullies, and an alcoholic mother who called me ugly and told me I ruined her life put a big dent in the self-image.

You get made fun of enough times about your weight, you start to believe it. Wide Load was my nickname in grade seven. Grade eight, Gavin Hochman changed it to Balloon Butt, which wasn’t so bad really . . . okay it was bad, but I got used to it. My height had finally caught up to my ass in grade ten, but I wasn’t a toothpick. I still had an ass, but I also had h*ps and curves which Kat said was every guy’s wet dream. I still wasn’t so sure about that, especially when all the magazine covers had models looking like the girl currently hanging off Sculpt like a piece of tinsel.

Seriously, the guy was too attractive for his own good. The tinsel on his left arm glared at me as if I was going to steal her Christmas tree. I wanted to stick my tongue out at her, because, really, I was no competition for her. Sculpt obviously liked rail-thin, legs-to-the-ceiling, make-up-heavy chicks, and I was . . . well, not.

But my purpose was also far different than hers.

I pressed closer and touched the tip of my finger to his arm. He completely ignored me. The girl snickered and slapping her was feeling like a real good idea. I may be unconfident around guys, but I was the complete opposite with girls my own age.

I tapped again—harder.

“Sugar, one sec.” Sculpt didn’t even turn his head and continued talking to the two guys in front of him.

I glanced over my shoulder and saw Kat chatting to Matt who was wildly searching the crowd for me. Shit, I needed to do this now.

I looked at the girl. “Umm sorry, but I haven’t seen my brother in a really long time. Would you mind giving us a minute?” I smiled sweetly. “Please.” I raised my brows for that doleful effect, and I could tell she bought it as she slipped from his grasp. The funny thing was, he didn’t even notice, or if he had, he didn’t care.

The girl backed away, although she stayed close enough to make certain her claws could still reach him.

My turn. I wrapped my fingers around his bicep, well, wrapping was an exaggeration as they couldn’t even come close to circling anything on him except maybe his baby finger.

I tugged while squeezing. “Sculpt?”

He spun around looking on either side of him for the missing girl, then his eyes ran the length of me as if I was up for auction. He looped his arm around my waist and tugged me in tight. I heard the tinsel girl huff then her high heels clicked on the cement floor as she stormed away.

Sculpt leaned in so his lips were close to nibbling on my ear. My breath hitched, and a vibration went through my body. I wasn’t sure if it was from nerves or something else entirely, then I decided it was both. “Not my type,” he said in a deep throaty whisper. “Too young, and I don’t do . . .”

Short. Boring. Drab. The words never left my mouth, instead I did what I always did when guys used to make fun of me—I curled my toes.

“Brunettes,” he finished.

Oh. I pulled back, and he let me, but his arm remained around my waist, hand resting on my hip. Dry mouth was rearing its ugly head as I stared up at him, taking in the slight curve of his nose, his angled cheekbones ,and God, he had this dimple in his chin I wanted to run my finger across.

“Where’d the blonde go?”

To find more bleach for her hair.

“You scare her away?”

His breath tickled the sensitive place just below my ear, and my nerves shot off so violently that I knew I’d have fallen flat on my face if he’d let me go.

“Um well no, not exactly. I told her I was your sister and needed to talk to you.”

His brows rose and he wasn’t smiling . . . Shit. “Sister? I don’t have a sister, at least not one I’m aware of. Unless you’re trying to tell me something?” There was an edge to his voice; rough with a hint of darkness.

My mouth gaped. “No. God, no. I’m not your sister. It’s just . . . I wanted to talk to you alone.”

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