Shy Kinda Love

Shy Kinda Love by Deanna Eshler Read Free Book Online

Book: Shy Kinda Love by Deanna Eshler Read Free Book Online
Authors: Deanna Eshler
to the bar, Keegan informs me that Patrón’s real name is Kade Cross. Of course both Keegan and Gemma harass me about him and our staredown in their apartment. I try to ignore their taunts and tell them I am not attracted to him at all, but my lying skills are lousy. I am definitely attracted to him. The problem is, I don’t want to be.
    The girls leave for the bar but I stay behind, waiting for Ryder. I’d asked him to join us tonight because I felt like I needed the support. I’m not feeling comfortable about hanging out with our new neighbors, and I know there will be a lot more people at the bar now that the semester is about to begin. While I wait for him I turn on one of my theme songs, “Broken Girl” by Matthew West. Music has been my language since I was twelve, just after my mom left. Once my life took that drastic turn I began to be consumed by emotions I couldn’t explain. At twelve, I didn’t have the words to describe or understand the feelings that were consuming me. Then one day, on the radio, I heard the song “Perfect World” by Simple Plan. It was like they’d written the song for me. After that revelation, I became obsessed with music—listening to every line of every song, searching for more words to speak for me.
    A few minutes later Ryder walks through the door, and he shakes his head when he hears the song. “You and your soundtrack for life.” He reaches one hand out to me where I am sitting on the couch. I reach out my hand, too, and he pulls me to my feet. He wraps me in his strong arms and kisses my forehead.
    After a few minutes of catching Ryder up on my new neighbors and the drama with my roommates, Ryder and I head off to The Hole. Once through the door, I see my girls sitting at a table with our new neighbors. I take a deep breath and walk over, introducing Ryder to the guys. I introduce Kade last, avoiding eye contact, then I excuse myself to get a beer.
    I linger at the bar a few minutes after I get my beer, and soon Ryder joins me. “What are you looking at back there?” I ask, when I notice he keeps looking over my shoulder. I really want to turn and look for myself.
    Ryder looks back to me and I see that hardness in his eyes he gets when he is in protector mode. “What do you know about these guys, Shy? You need to get me all of their names so I can run a check on them. Also, you really need to let me put in surveillance cameras outside the apartment.” He reaches for his beer and I see the muscle in his jaw twitch. “I felt so much better when you lived with me.”
    I sigh and roll my eyes. “Ryder, in case you forgot, me moving in with the girls was your idea in the first place. You are not pulling your ultra-stealth-CIA-detective-commando bullshit in my life now. I’m a twenty-one-year-old girl. I’m supposed to live next to guys, get drunk at parties, and go home with strangers —” I’m cut off when Ryder growls. I know I’m pushing his buttons, but he is the one who told me to get a life. “If there’s anything about these guys, or anyone else I run into, that triggers my Spidey sense, then I will call you and your superhero duties into action.” I end with a big smile and a playful punch to his chest.
    Ryder glances back over my shoulder, then takes a deep breath. “I’m running a check on them. That’s not up for discussion. In the meantime, you promise me that you’ll call me if you get any strange feelings. From anyone, not just them.”
    “My Spidey sense,” I correct him. “If you get to be a superhero, then so do I.”
    Ryder finally relaxes and pulls me in for a hug. “Baby, you know how much I worry about you. I know you know, so I won’t push this anymore.” He squeezes me, kissing the top of my head. “I know you need to have your normal twenty-one-year-old experiences, but don’t give me that shit about going home with strangers. If I ever find out you did something so stupid I will personally install a tracking device in your ass

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