Home > The Rulebreaker(4)

The Rulebreaker(4)
Author: Claire Contreras

“And I’d kick your ass,” she says, but melts into him as he gives her a hug.

“Damn, you look . . . ” He lets out a breath and shakes his head as he walks over to me. My heart speeds up.

“Right? She’s getting a guy’s number tonight. No, she’s going home with one,” Leyla says.

“Why?” Mav frowns deeply. “She doesn’t need a guy to make her feel beautiful or wanted.”

I roll my eyes and go back to applying my makeup. Normally, I’d agree with him, but honestly? I want to be objectified, dammit. I wouldn’t say it aloud, but I want to be and feel wanted by a man. I want someone to tell me I’m hot and that they want to have sex with me, or whatever it is men tell women. I want that.

“She’s going home with a guy tonight or I’ll riot,” Leyla says.

Maverick’s brown eyes meet mine in the mirror. He looks like he wants to say something, but instead, he shrugs and starts walking out of the room again.

“I’m leaving in ten minutes, if you want a ride, be ready.”

“We don’t want a ride,” Leyla calls out, then looks at me. “How are you going to get a guy if you hang out with them twenty-four-seven?”

“How do you get girls if you hang out with them twenty-four-seven?” I raise an eyebrow.

“Touché, however, I still stand by my original statement that women are more courageous than men and are willing to put themselves out there.” She shoots me a look. “Yourself excluded, of course.”

I laugh at that, because she’s not wrong.

 

“Holy shit. Who is this vision?” Colson boasts when we get to Tony’s.

“Can you stop?” I groan.

“She’s trying something new,” Leyla supplies.

“She wants to get a guy,” Maverick adds and there’s no denying the fact that he doesn’t approve.

“As she should.” Colson raises his beer high and eyes me up and down. “Maybe a hockey player?”

“Not you, if that’s what you’re getting at.” I shoot him a look.

“Nope. You’re right. We made a pact. No hooking up between roommates.”

I fix the short dress I’m wearing as I take a seat across from Colson and Leyla and Maverick settles into the seat beside me. As they start ordering food and drinks, I take a look around the bar to see if I find anyone attractive.

“Earth to Rocky,” Mav says loudly.

“What?” I meet his gaze.

“We’re waiting for you to put your order in.” He raises an eyebrow. “But we can wait for you to finish scouting for prey.”

“Oh shut up.” I laugh with an eyeroll and tell the waitress my order.

“Tequila, huh?” Mav comments after she walks away. “You must be serious about this.”

“Practice is canceled tomorrow morning. Leave her alone,” Leyla says across from me. “She needs to live a little.”

“I do need to live a little.” I smile and thank the waitress as she sets my drink down in front of me.

“And this is how you’re choosing to live a little?” Mav asks.

“What is your problem? You’re the one who’s always telling me I need to get out more and that I’m too hyper-focused on soccer and school and whatever.”

“You do need to get out more, but I didn’t think you were going to take that to mean that you need to find yourself a boyfriend or a booty call or whatever it is you’re looking for.”

“You have booty calls all the time.” I raise an eyebrow and sip my drink. “You literally just told me I need to give you pointers on that whole situation so that you can get yourself a girlfriend.”

“How are you going to give him pointers?” Colson chuckles. “I think it’s safe to say he dates more than you do.”

“You call that dating?” I blink.

“Dating, fucking, whatever. We’re too young to be tied down.” Colson glances at Mav. “Don’t tell me you want to be tied down, dude. Is this because your brothers are settling down?”

“They’re not settling,” Mav says with a frown.

“Yeah, I wouldn’t call getting together with a Canó sister settling,” I say. “If anything, they’re the ones who are settling.”

“They are pretty hot,” Colson agrees. “Mav’s having fun though, aren’t you?”

“It gets old,” Maverick says. “Before you know it, I’m going pro too and who am I going to share that with? More women who don’t really care about me?”

“They take care of your stick though,” Leyla says with a laugh.

“It gets old,” Maverick repeats.

I wouldn’t know. Unlike Maverick, who literally looks at a girl and melts her panties, this is difficult for me. Leyla’s right. Hanging out with him and Colson isn’t helping my cause. No one with sense is actually going to come up and hit on me when I’m sitting beside two beast hockey players. They have reputations for being party animals and having short fuses. Two things that don’t necessarily make it so that other guys our age feel comfortable. Our food arrives and we all dig in quickly.

“What about an older man?” I ask.

“Like a sugar daddy?” Colson pulls a face. “Come on, Rocky. No.”

“Men are dumb and immature at every age,” Maverick adds. “What’s the point of going for someone with more baggage?”

“He has a point.” Leyla points a French fry at Mav.

“Want to switch plates?” Mav asks me after a few seconds.

I glance over at his. He got the lasagna. I got the spicy pasta primavera, but I can’t eat all of this right now. Eating and consuming alcohol at the same time isn’t my strong suit. Because he barely has any lasagna left, I agree to switch plates.

“Why don’t the two of you date?” Leyla asks pointing a fry between the two of us. “You already act like a couple.”

“Yeah right.” I snort and focus on the lasagna in front of me, hoping no one notices my sudden discomfort.

“Rocky’s like a sister to me,” Maverick says. “That would be weird.”

Fuck. There it is. The knife in my heart that I wasn’t expecting but also doesn’t surprise me. He friend-zoned me in just six words and it hurts more than I care to admit.

After dinner, we stick around, ordering more drinks. Normally, this is when I go home. I always have to be up at the crack of dawn for practice, but since that’s been canceled, I figure I’ll give myself a rest day. Besides, Tony’s has live music tonight and I never get to catch the local bands that come in. There’s a DJ setting up who has already started playing popular hip-hop music. Soon, the tables start emptying out and are cleared away, leaving people standing in an area that has a dance floor type of vibe. There are people dancing, but not a ton. I say this to Leyla who glances over at me with a laugh.

“Not yet. Let them get another drink in their system though.” She looks over to the dance floor. “The guy in the pink shirt is absolutely going to start dancing soon.”

I laugh, finding him quickly. He’s already swaying from side to side and bobbing his head as he raps along to the music. I’m not sure he needs another drink at all. A few guys come over to our table and based on their build and loudness I assume they’re on the hockey team with Col and Mav. I know a lot of their teammates, but not all. They only invite a handful of them over to play video games and hang out randomly throughout the week and weekend. I’m not sure what the requirement for the invitation is. I also haven’t been to many of their games since I’m always so busy with my own.

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