Ally stared back at him, then nodded jerkily.
“I left because of you and Carter,” he said harshly, his tanned cheekbones darkening. “I left because I walked in on you and Carter about to have sex in your dorm room. Because the next day Carter told me you and he were suddenly more than friends. And I couldn’t stand staying and watching the two of you together.”
She gaped at him, her mind whirling. What could he possibly mean by that? She swallowed nervously, licked her dry lips, and stared searchingly into the depths of his eyes.
“We didn’t have sex that night.” God, why did she say that?
She shook her head. “What are you saying, Jack?”
“Too damn much.” He closed his eyes.
Her insides quivered. “Are you saying you were ...jealous?”
Silence. She sucked in a breath. Then ...“Yeah.”
“There’s different kinds of jealous,” she said slowly, felt his fingers tighten on hers.
He gave a low groan. “I was jealous of Carter, Ally. I was starting to have feelings for you, too...I didn’t want to leave you and it was messing me up. Then Carter tells me you two are going out. I could not face that. I just couldn’t. I know it was chicken shit, but I just couldn’t stay around and watch you two together. So I left.”
Ally’s breath caught in her throat and her heart tumbled into a rapid rhythm. “You had feelings for me...like what?”
“Like this.” And he yanked her up against him and kissed her.
She felt the tension vibrating in his body, their clasped hands crushed between them as his hard, hot mouth covered hers. Her head spun and her other hand came up to clutch his big shoulder. She wriggled her hand out of his and wound her arms around his neck and kissed him back, opening her mouth under his, letting his tongue fill her mouth.
Hot liquid settled low in her belly, an empty ache that needed to be filled, and she pressed herself closer. She was still aroused from their earlier kiss.
Her breasts compressed against his hard chest and he slid a hand around to her low back, to rest on the curve of her butt, pulling her into him. She rubbed herself against the hard evidence of his arousal, making him groan.
They broke the kiss and stared at each other with hot, questioning eyes, then Ally closed her eyes and they were kissing again. Jack pressed closer, one big thigh moving between her legs, and she arched into him, head falling back. He kissed her throat, sucked gently, and she trembled with desire and pleasure.
Then he released her and stepped back. He stared at her with wild eyes, chest heaving and she, too, sucked in air.
“I’m sorry,” he said in a raspy voice. He wiped his mouth. “I should not have done that.”
Not again! How could he keep doing this to her, getting her all excited and then pulling the plug. “But you said you had feelings for me...”
“It was five years ago. Things have changed.”
She pressed her fingers to her mouth to stop her swollen lips from trembling, still watching him.
“I just got carried away,” he continued.
“I don’t get it. What’s wrong with us...doing that?”
“It’s Carter.” He paused. “He’s still my friend.”
“I know, but…he doesn’t need to ever know about this.”
“Does that make it okay? Would you have felt that way about him cheating on you? It was okay as long as you didn’t know about it?”
“It’s not the same thing.” She frowned. “It’s not the same thing at all. We’re not cheating on Carter.”
“It’s still a kind of betrayal,” he said, looking like someone was pulling out his fingernails. “It’s how I felt when I found you two together.”
“It’s different,” she insisted.
His eyebrows slanted down, and the corners of his mouth dipped. “How did Carter take it when you broke up?”
Not well. Carter had been furious and it had been ugly. She could never understand why he wanted to stay together when he also apparently wanted to screw every girl he met. But she didn’t want to tell Jack that because it would just prove his point.
“It was a long time ago,” she muttered.
“He could probably handle seeing you with someone else,” Jack continued. “But not with me.”
“I can’t believe you would consider Carter’s feelings over mine.” She just stared at him, blinked a few times, then pulled her hand free of his. She turned and left the room, went up to her room. There, she sank onto the bed. This was getting to be a regular thing, sitting there frustrated, confused, aroused, because of Jack.
She couldn’t get over the idea that Jack had had feelings for her in college. She recalled her own confused emotions at that time, that peculiar longing she’d had and how she’d been so depressed about Jack leaving. Was it because she’d been falling in love with him too?
It wasn’t that crazy. Except he’d disappeared. She stood up and strode determinedly to the door of her room. She was going to tell him that.
Then she leaned her forehead on the door, hand on the knob. Could she handle any more rejection from Jack? This was the second time he’d pulled back. He’d had feelings for her five years ago, but maybe things had changed, like he’d said.
She turned around and paced back to her bed, sat again, her mind whirling with mixed emotions. She still didn’t understand what his misplaced loyalty to Carter was all about. Carter didn’t give a shit who she was with now, she was sure, and probably didn’t care who Jack was with either.
Extreme Close Up Chapter 21