Dangerously Damaged (Addicted To You, Book One)
Author:Covington, Lucy

It occurred to me that her family might be inside with her, and that would be awkward. “Is it okay if I come in?” I asked, and then turned the knob and opened the door to her dorm room before she could answer.

 

Lindsay was coming to the door, and she stopped in the middle of her room, like a deer in the headlights and stared at me. “What…what the…how did you…”

 

“Relax.” I was really glad to see her. It was strange how much better I felt, the instant I saw her face. She was real again, she existed. I’d found her.

 

“You shouldn’t be here,” she said, looking behind me, as if cops might burst in and arrest me at any moment.

 

“Why not?”

 

“Because….you don’t go to school here.”

 

“Yeah, but I came to see you.”

 

“How did you know where I live?”

 

I shrugged. “I’m pretty smart, I guess. Maybe not a rocket scientist like your friend—the guy at the hospital. But I can hold my own.” I looked around her room.

 

“Nice place you got here.” I saw the empty bed nearby. “Where’s your roommate?”

 

“She’s not coming until tomorrow.”

 

“So you have a single tonight.”

 

Lindsay’s face turned red and she looked away. “I…I’ve got a lot to do. I’m unpacking and I have to get ready for my classes tomorrow. I have a super heavy class load and it’s stressful.”

 

“You really need to relax. I’m sure everything will be fine.”

 

“Thanks.” She turned and walked to her desk, where she was unpacking a box of office supplies. “I should really get back to what I was doing. I mean, I appreciate you coming and everything…” She trailed off, like she wasn’t sure she meant it.

 

I liked watching her work. I crossed my arms. “You’re cute when you’re being serious.”

 

She didn’t say anything.

 

“Let me help you unpack.”

 

“No, that’s okay. I can do it myself.”

 

“Fine.” I crossed the room and sat on the empty bed. It squeaked loudly and Lindsay turned and stared at me, wide-eyed.

 

“So, I guess you’re just going to sit and stare at me?”

 

“Not at all.” That’s when I noticed the rug on the floor. She’d put a throw rug down near her little mini fridge, and it was all gathered up and lumpy. I got up and went over to it, kneeled down and smoothed it out. “You don’t want to trip on your rug,” I explained. “Not on your first day of college. That would suck.” I looked up at her.

 

“Thanks” she whispered, a slight smile on her face.

 

“No problem.”

 

Somehow, that seemed to relax her. She turned around and began unpacking again. “So, do I get to know your name?”

 

“Justin. But everyone calls me JB.”

 

“Do you go to school in Boston?”

 

I had to laugh. “Not exactly.”

 

“What’s so funny? I can’t ask if you’re in college?”

 

“Do I look like a college boy?”

 

She turned and looked at me with those clear blue eyes. “I don’t know what a college boy is supposed to look like,” she said, all smart.

 

“Well, I’m not going to school. At least, not this kind of school.”

 

“Are there other kinds?”

 

“Sure there are,” I said, moving to the window and looking out at the students walking through the campus. “I guess I’m at more of an academy.”

 

“Like a military academy?”

 

“Not exactly.”

 

“I don’t get it,” she said.

 

“You wouldn’t.”

 

Lindsay turned and faced me. “If you don’t think I’d understand what you do, then I don’t see why you went through all the trouble to find out where I live.”

 

I grinned at her. She was pretty damn smart. “I’m a fighter.”

 

Her expression turned to confusion. She almost said, I don’t get it. It was like one of those thought bubbles in a cartoon, above her head. But she didn’t say it. Instead, she just nodded. “Okay.”

 

“That’s what I meant about going to an academy. I belong to a gym and I train with a team. I’m a student of martial arts.”

 

She nodded again, uncertainly. “Like The Karate Kid or something.”

 

“Yeah, something like that,” I said, trying not to laugh at her.

 

“That’s how you got the cut on your face?”

 

“I was going for a double-leg takedown and the guy just kneed me in the face. It happens.”

 

Lindsay frowned, confused.

 

“A double-leg takedown is a wrestling move.”

 

“So you’re a wrestler.”

 

“It’s called mixed martial arts. That means we learn everything. Wrestling, boxing, kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu…”

 

“Oh. And you enjoy it?”

 

“Yeah, I love it.”

 

She shook her head.

 

“What?”

 

“Nothing,” she said. “It’s just…I don’t understand what’s fun about beating people up.”

 

“It isn’t just beating people up. It’s an art. It takes a lot of skill and technique.”

 

“If you say so.”

 

“I do say so.” I walked towards her. “And besides, you can’t say you hate something you never tried.”

 

“I didn’t say I hated it, I said I didn’t understand it.”

 

“Maybe you should come see me fight sometime.”

 

Lindsay crossed her arms. “I wouldn’t want to see you get hurt.”

 

“I don’t get hurt.”

 

“What about your face?” She suddenly reached out and touched the cut above my eye. Her fingertips felt cool and soft and amazing. I let her do it.

 

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