Rival Page 48

I knew she was talking about Madoc, but I acted dumb anyway. “Aidan?” I asked.

She smirked at me knowingly. “No, you idiot. You know who I’m talking about.”

I refused to look over at the table, so I led the way off stage and wiped my fingers across my damp forehead.

Aidan emerged from the crowd on the dance floor and placed a hand on my hip. I stiffened as he leaned in to speak in my ear. “That was great! You’re a good singer.”

I offered a small smile and looked up when the surrounding speakers began playing regular music. The DJ announced a break, and couples wrapped their arms around each other and started dancing to the slow song.

“Would you like to dance?” Aidan shouted in my ear.

I looked around for Tate, who seemed to have disappeared, and I couldn’t see anything through the crowd. I decided this was a good way out, though. Not that there was anything wrong with Aidan, but I was done for the night.

“Sure,” I shouted back. “One before I head out.”

He grabbed my hand and led me into the middle of the mix, turning around to wrap his hands around my waist. He pulled me in, and I held his shoulders as we swayed to Green Day’s “21 Guns.”

“How do you know Madoc?” I asked.

“We’re on the team together.” His thumb was rubbing strokes on my back. “Although, he’s on the fast track. He’ll probably be captain next year,” he said, not looking particularly pleased.

Captain by sophomore year?

“He’s that good?” I asked. I’d never seen Madoc play soccer.

“No, he’s just that connected,” he shot back. “Madoc doesn’t have to earn a whole lot on his own.”

My hard eyes fell, and I was a little pissed.

I could say Madoc was an entitled little prince with the hard path of life freshly paved for him, but for some reason, I felt the need to defend him.

I’d been there when he’d quit piano and started studying cars instead. He worked hard, read a lot, and tinkered for hours to learn his way around a garage. Madoc put in the muscle when he cared and pushed things away when he didn’t.

His name may have gotten him on the team, but he wouldn’t play if he didn’t want to. And he wouldn’t play if he didn’t know he was an asset.

Aidan’s fingers were slipping in and out of the rips in my shirt, caressing my skin as he pressed himself into me more closely.

“I should probably get go—” I started to tell him good-bye but suddenly felt like I was backed up against a wall.

Aidan looked directly behind me.

“Take a hike, Aidan.” I blinked, hearing Madoc’s voice as he came around to the side.

Turning around, I looked up at him and noticed his blue eyes shooting bullets at Aidan.

Oh, no. This was a zero to sixty moment with Madoc, but we had skipped the zero part.

Aidan took his hands off my waist. “Hey, man—”

But Madoc inched into our space. “Touch her again, and I’ll chop off your hand.” He said it so matter-of-factly.

My breathing turned shallow, but my temper rose.

No, no, no . . .

Aidan rolled his eyes and backed off, probably figuring it wasn’t worth the fight. Madoc looked ready to draw blood.

I bared my teeth, shaking my damn head that felt like my brain was expanding and pressing against my skull. I was ready to explode.

“Madoc.” I clenched my teeth.

“Just shut up,” he ordered, breathless. “Just shut up, and dance with me.”

Huh? Dance with him?

No hauling me out of here, screaming at me for one reason or another? No barking in my face and ordering me home?

I stood there trying to figure out what the hell was going on and barely noticed him pulling me in. Madoc’s strong hands gripped my waist, holding me tight but barely touching me otherwise. His chest was right in front of my eyes, and I slowly looked up at him.

Damn.

When he stared down at me, everything was still except for our feet that moved to the music. It was like he was searching my eyes for something.

Everything about him, the shade of his eyes, the muscles I felt under his shirt, the way I already knew how his body moved when it loved, everything about him drew me in.

I sucked in a breath, wishing he’d stop touching me and wishing I could pull away. In another minute I would. In another minute I’d be satisfied with the warmth I hadn’t felt in months or the heartbeat I could feel again.

In one more minute I would let him go.

I closed my eyes. Just. One. More. Minute.

I dug my fingers into his shoulders when his possessive hands threaded into the open back of my shirt and claimed my skin.

Not like Aidan’s light strokes. Madoc splayed his whole hand, touching me with everything he had.

I let my forehead fall into his chest, inhaling his cologne. Butterflies swarmed in my stomach, and I smiled as the flutter descended lower. It felt so good.

Looking at him, I tried to keep the shakiness out of my voice. “You have someone here with you, Madoc,” I said quietly. “Why are you dancing with me?”

He brought one hand up, holding the side of my face with a firm hand and kneading his fingers into the back of my neck. “You ask too many f**king questions,” he spat out, an angry tone to his voice.

And jerking my body into his, he slammed his mouth down on mine.

Madoc? I didn’t say his name out loud. I think I may have groaned it, but otherwise I instantly stilled.

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