Just a Kiss Contest
Story Title: Wanna Bet?
Summary: He's using her to win a bet. She's using him to make the ex jealous. In the end, they're both going to win much more than expected.
Word Count: 9763.
To view other entries, please visit: http :/ / www (.) fanfiction (.) net /u/2922402/ Just_a_Kiss_Contest
Disclaimer: I don't own anything Twilight-related. Everything belongs to Stephenie Meyer.
Special thanks to faite-comme-moi and jkane180 for beta'ing and pre-reading this fic.
As he was waiting for the girl to open the door, Paul still wondered how the hell he had gotten himself into this mess. It had started by going with Jacob and Embry to this charity event where you had to bid on girls to go on a date with them. It was boring. Paul didn't date. He didn't know how to. His last date was back last summer when he went out with Rachel Black. It ended up with her knee between his legs because he had tried to grope her when she didn't feel like it. Now, he was only looking for sex with girls. He didn't have time for relationships and the troubles they brought. He was good with going to a bar to hook up with a stranger. No strings attached. Besides, he was kind of a jerk to girls. It didn't bother him. He just needed the sex to keep his anger at bay. He would get cranky and more likely to phase because he was pissed off if he hadn't been laid in a while.
Then, Embry had gone on and on about how important it was to romance girls if you wanted to keep one. He had become a complete pussy since he had met this new girl he was crazy in love with. It was ridiculous. He said it could help Paul being nicer to everybody else. Paul had scoffed. Embry had said Paul was afraid of normal dating. Paul had said he wasn't afraid of anything. Embry had mentioned it sounded an awful lot like a challenge. Paul never turned down a challenge, especially not one that could make him win two whole months with no patrol. Besides he was bored, and he could use some fun.
Angela had only been participating in the event because she wanted to make her ex-boyfriend jealous. Ben had broken her heart. She had had a hard time getting over it. Now, she wanted to hurt him back. She wanted to show him he had lost a great girl. She had expected him to be at the charity event. She had expected him to drool when he saw how good-looking she was now. But he hadn't been there; Jacob's friend had bid on her and won the date. Angela had decided she would use Paul to her advantage. He was hot, she couldn't deny it, and it would annoy Ben when he'd see that she wasn't moping over him. It sounded like a great idea to her.
Angela looked at her reflection in the mirror. She had no idea where Paul was taking her for their date. They had talked a little about it back when they shared a drink at the charity event. He had mentioned he wanted to keep things simple. She had agreed. She had taken extra care of her make up and her hair in case they would run into Ben. She hadn't seen him yet, but he was in Forks; she was positive of it. All his friends were here, after all.
She should have felt bad about using Paul like this. At the same time, she hadn't been on a date since her break-up. She wasn't one to look for good looks; she was more interested in someone who could actually hold a conversation with her. Yet, she had to admit that Paul had great assets which couldn't be overlooked. He had a dazzling smile, even if he looked perpetually bored.
She remembered Bella warning her that Paul wasn't as sweet as the other guys. He could be a total jerk when he wanted to. Her friend had told her she had had the urge to slap that cocky grin off of his face more than a couple of times. Angela hadn't seen any of that. She was glad Bella was trying to protect her, but she didn't need protection. She was a big girl; she knew what she was doing.
The door bell rang and Angela hastily made her way downstairs, grabbing her purse from a table nearby. As she opened the door, she came face to face with Paul. He handed her some flowers that she took eagerly. He looked nothing like what Bella had said. Angela was starting to like Paul.
"You look nice."
He didn't look so bad himself. He was wearing a short-sleeved red shirt and it took Angela all she had to not stare at the size of his arms. She had never seen someone with arms so big. Ben was nothing compared to this man. She hardly noticed the tapping of his foot on the porch, as if he was in a hurry.
"Where are we going?" she asked once they were in his car.
"I was thinking we could go to this new diner into town. It's nothing fancy, but..."
"It's fine! It's totally fine. They make great French fries."
Paul was relieved she wasn't upset. He wasn't a rich man - you couldn't really have a job when you patrolled half the night and couldn't get any sleep. Embry hadn't said anything about where he should take the girl to win his bet, so he was going to keep it as simple as he could. But Paul had a problem. Sam had refused to give him his night off just because he had to show Embry he could be a perfect gentleman. He would have to go back to La Push soon. He didn't want Angela to think he was ditching her and he had yet to find a good excuse. Paul couldn't chance losing so quickly.
Angela liked that they were going somewhere they might see Ben. She also liked how Paul had treated her so far. He was behaving perfectly. She had been amazed when he walked to her door to help her get out of the car. Nobody did that anymore. She also liked the warmth of his hand on her arm as he steadied her after she almost lost her balance. He had cracked some jokes about her college studies, proving that he was incredibly funny. She couldn't remember the last time she had laughed this hard.
Paul was mesmerized by Angela's legs. She had the smoothest legs he had ever seen and he couldn't wait to have the right to touch them. Because, if he played his cards well, he would win the bet, but he would also win the girl. She couldn't resist him. She didn't have to know why Paul was with her tonight, right? It could remain a secret. He loved the way she licked her lips every time she laughed. He had to keep in mind that he couldn't stand up from their booth, sit next to her, and kiss her right there. He couldn't ruin anything.
Angela was enjoying herself. There was something about Paul being goofy that she liked more than anything else. Things started to get complicated when the waitress brought their drinks. Paul had asked for a beer. He clearly looked older than 21, but the owner thought differently.
"Do I look like I'm underage? Seriously?"
"He says he doesn't care how old you look. He wants to see your ID anyway. Just please, show him your ID and don't cause any trouble."
"I'm not going to do anything! I'm asking for a beer, and you're going to give me a beer, dammit!"
Paul hit the table with his fist, making it shake, and Angela jumped in surprise. He had gotten better at controlling his anger throughout the last months. Having sex was the best remedy for his anger. Sometimes, though, the smallest of things could drive him mad. There was nothing he could do to control it. He didn't have his ID with him, but anyway, he was underage. He was pissed he couldn't get a drink whenever he wanted to. Alcohol did nothing to him since his wolf metabolism burned it too fast. He simply liked the taste of it in his mouth. There was nothing wrong with that.
He was aware he should attempt to calm down, or else he would frighten the girls, especially the one who was supposed to give him two months of freedom. Paul could feel his anger rising within himself and his hands shook as he grabbed the table. Sam had made him watch some bullshit videos about yoga to help him work past his issues. One breath in, one out. One in, one out. After a few seconds, he felt like he wouldn't phase in a crowded place. Everybody was looking at him, though, including Angela. She looked scared. Great.
"We're leaving. Come on."
He stood up, grabbed her roughly by the arm, and dragged her outside. So much for behaving correctly. But now, he had the excuse he needed. All he had to do was reschedule the date by saying that he wasn't feeling very well tonight after what had happened.
"You're hurting me, Paul!" Angela winced. They were back in the parking lot behind the diner. It was getting dark, and there was a single light coming from a corner of the street. He realized he still had a firm grasp on her arm. When he let her go, he could see the hand-shaped mark on her skin. Shit. She was going to get a bruise from this. It wasn't part of the plan.
"Fuck, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to. I just had a shitty day, and this guy being a stubborn ass was the last straw. I'm not usually like that." Who cared if it was a lie? He couldn't lose the girl because of one single mistake. He would have to make extra effort to stay calm during their future dates.
"Are you sure you're okay? You look... shaken."
Then, she did what she shouldn't have done. Angela looked concerned. She always worried too much about people. In what she thought was a gesture of comfort, she walked closer to Paul, bringing her hand up to sweep his shaggy hair away from his eyes. In doing so, she touched his cheek. Paul had never smelled anything as good as Angela. He had noticed it earlier in the car but, back then, he still had some self-control over his actions. Right now, all he wanted was to lock the anger back inside. He couldn't phase in the middle of Forks.
Angela's sweet smell was intoxicating. He was tired of Jacob fantasizing about Bella smelling like strawberries. He felt like puking every single time. But Angela smelled like peach and mango, and he loved it. Paul turned his face into her hand, closing his eyes to enjoy the sensation. He took another deep breath and, next thing he knew, his own hands were running up Angela's sides, bringing her flush against his chest. He barely registered her gasp of shock, or the way she tried to wriggle out of his embrace.
"What are you doing? Let me go!"
"I just need to have you close for a while. You smell good. So good. I just want to..." Her skin was addictive. He dipped his head until his lips touched her neck, placing a kiss there, then a second and a third one. Being with a woman always helped him control his anger. Tonight would be no exception. He couldn't help it.
Angela didn't know what to do anymore. Paul had changed in the span of a few minutes. She liked him, but it didn't mean he could force himself on her like this, no matter how bad he was feeling. She was by no means up for it. Not like this. Not here. It seemed that he didn't even hear her when she asked him to stop. She was no match for his strength. As his hands came dangerously close to her butt, she gathered her courage and decided to do what her father had taught her. Angela's dad wasn't a fan of violence, but he had taught his daughter one move which was supposed to get her out of trouble: one hard kick between the legs and the guy was bound to let you go.
So she did just that, watching Paul bend in pain. It was enough for him to realize the stupid mistake he just made. He had let his instinct take over. He had screwed up everything. He didn't care that it meant he had lost his bet. What mattered was the poor girl in front of him, the poor girl who looked terrorized. He had all but attacked her. Paul may get all the girls he wanted, they were always willing girls. He had never forced anyone. Shit.
"I'm sorry, I..."
"Don't touch me! Don't you ever dare touch me again!" Angela slapped him as hard as she could, feeling sharp pain in her hand as she did so. She felt like crying with rage. How stupid of her to agree to go on a date with someone she didn't know at all. "Bella was right! You're a jerk! Don't move! Stay away from me."
Before Paul could attempt to move from his spot next to the wall, she was already running away from him. He hit his head several times against the bricks. He was an idiot. He was still angry at the waitress, but he was mostly angry at himself. He was a jerk; she was right. He still didn't really know what had gotten into him. It was unlike him. Now, he had probably traumatized Angela forever, and his friends were going to give him hell for what he had done.
When he phased later that night, he was so angry it took him less than ten seconds to gather the strength to change forms. There were two voices in his head at once. He didn't have to concentrate hard to know who they belonged to.
"Ah! I knew you were gonna lose!"
"Man, Bella is going to kill you..."
A few days later, Paul found himself in front of Angela's house again. Bella had been furious when her friend told her about their disastrous date. Bella wasn't someone very scary, except that she couldn't stand Paul, and he knew better than to argue with her. He didn't want to have to fight Jacob again. They could never make out the winner from the loser in these fights, but it was obvious that his future Alpha was stronger than him. Of course, the wolf girls talked about everything. Emily had threatened Paul with not giving him any food until he apologized. He didn't need her advice to realize it was the right thing to do. He felt like an idiot for behaving like a caveman. He was also afraid what had happened at the diner could happen in the future. It had been weird to say the least. It had been like he had no control over his actions. He didn't want the wolf to take so much power over his body and mind.
He knocked on the front door, clutching in his hand the single flower he had picked up in the neighbors' front yard. He didn't care about behaving nicely to win a bet. He had lost the bet. It sucked, but he deserved it. He had come to the conclusion that he couldn't date a girl the proper way. It was a pity, because he had actually liked his short conversation with Angela. He had found himself liking the sound of her laugh. It was new to him to like qualities which weren't physical in a girl. The last one had been Rachel, and from the way it had ended, he didn't want to try it again.
"I don't want to talk to you," Angela almost shouted when she opened the door. She tried to close it to go back to the safety of her house, but Paul was faster. His foot slammed between the door and the wall.
"I just need two minutes of your time. I won't bother you after that."
"You have sixty seconds. I'm listening."
She was aware he wouldn't let her go until he had said his piece. She wanted to get it over with quickly. She was surprised by the sheepish look on his face, a look that she wouldn't have imagined she would ever see on him. He didn't seem like the kind of guy who would regret his actions. But he also hadn't looked like a guy who could try to grope her against her will.
"I'm really ashamed of the way I acted the other day. I have no idea what happened, but I can promise you I'm usually not like that. I may be a jerk, and I may toss girls aside when I don't like them anymore, but I'm not the guy you saw at the diner." He was only violent with vampires. He wasn't violent with girls. Anyone who used strength with a girl was an asshole. Paul wasn't this type of guy. Angela only snorted, looking at her visitor with disdain.
"Well, thank you for saving me the heartbreak. And don't worry. I'm not going to tell Bella's father what you did. You can sleep in peace."
"I'm not here because I'm afraid. I'm here because I was an idiot and I really wanted to apologize. I know it doesn't change the way you feel, and I wish I could take all that I did back, including this," Paul pointed at the big bruise on her arm. This was what he hated the most. He had done this to a girl. He wasn't proud of it. "I wish I could make it up to you even if it's obvious you don't want to see me again. So, here. I got you this. Sorry. Bye."
Paul put the flower on the little bench on the porch before jogging down the stairs. He was done here. He had apologized without screwing up. There still was this nagging feeling that what he had done was terrible, and he should do something about it. He wasn't going to push her, though.
Angela put her sport bag on the floor to grab the yellow flower. She didn't understand how he could do something so sweet one second, and then be a jerk the next. Paul was weird. She didn't mind the bruise on her arm, it wasn't new to her. She had had many bruises in the past. What she minded was the way he acted behind the diner. This had been unacceptable. So why couldn't she shake this feeling that she was disappointed she wouldn't go on a second date with the big Native American jogging down the street? She shouldn't feel this way. Paul couldn't be trusted.
Sam didn't mind that Paul had double patrols instead of Embry as long as all the patrols were covered. He gave up on trying to put some sense into the guys' heads a long ago. Of course, Embry was delighted. He had two months of free nights to hang out with his girlfriend. Paul, on the other hand, got one hour of sleep whenever he could, which wasn't often. The girls were still angry at him for his behavior, no matter how many times he told them he had apologized and Angela accepted it. Well, she hadn't said anything, but she hadn't screamed at him, either. It meant that he was somehow forgiven, right?
Bella wouldn't talk to him, which wasn't a big change. The only problem was that Emily still refused to feed him. He had to fend for himself. Let's just say that, when you lived by yourself and were a hopeless cook with no money, you were bound to starve at one point. Everybody made him feel like he should apologize even more. But what could he do? She may not even want to talk to him again. He wouldn't know until he tried.
He had noticed that Angela looked like she was going jogging or whatever when he went to her house. She had a bag with her. He concluded she must have been going to a gym. There was a gym in Forks. He couldn't waste time waiting for her in front of it. Luckily, his charms worked wonderfully on the receptionist.
"Are you stalking me now?" Angela asked in disbelief when she saw Paul leaning against the hood of her car. What was he doing here? She was sweating from the work-out, her muscles ached, she didn't want to have to deal with him.
"Would you be upset if I said yes? Okay, okay. Sorry!" he exclaimed as she frowned. "I just thought I'd bring you these. You must be hungry."
She grabbed the brown bag he handed her, checking the contents suspiciously. It smelled like French fries, and she was famished.
"You said they were great, and it's my fault you didn't get any the other week."
"Thanks. How exactly do you do this?"
"Do this. One day you're a complete douche, and then you do something really sweet. It's confusing."
Paul was taken aback. Nobody had ever told him he was sweet before. He was hot, he was a pain in the ass, he was always angry or mad at someone. But sweet? No. Sweet wasn't an adjective people associated with Paul. Jacob was annoyingly sweet when Bella was around. Sam was sweet to Emily all the time, it was sickening. Was Paul like them? No. No way.
On the other hand, Angela didn't seem mad at him right now. She was actually smiling. And he liked how the loose strands of her hair were sticking to her forehead. He had this urge to push them away for her, but he refrained. He didn't want to touch her without her authorization. But he wanted to. Badly. And it surprised him. Sure, he had been attracted to Angela when he saw her on that stage at the charity event. She wasn't trying to look sexy in front of the gym. She was wearing old sweats, a tank top too big for her, and she looked like she was out of breath. Paul still wanted to spend time with her. His motivation for being there today was Emily's food, of course, but he felt like a complete douche about his attitude. This had to change and, in the short time they had spent together, he had found out that he actually liked her.
"I screwed up before. I don't want you to keep this impression of me. I'm much better than that... I think."
No, he really wasn't. Not when it came to girls. He couldn't remember how many of them had left his place pissed that he didn't want to see them again, or that he had only been looking for a one-night stand while he had told them the opposite to get them in his bed. It was weird that he thought differently when it came to Angela. He wanted to make things better for her.
"Okay, listen. Here's the deal. I'd like to make it up to you. I don't deserve it, but I'd like a second chance. After what I did I'm not sure you want to hang out with me, though. If I were you, I'd probably say no. I mean, look at your arm."
Angela swallowed her huge mouthful of French fries, shaking her head.
"This? I'm not pissed because of that. Look at this one!" She lifted her top, exposing the bare skin of her hip. There was a big yellowish spot there. Holy shit! Had he done this, too, without realizing it?
"Wow! Did I do that?"
"Nah. I bumped into a table yesterday. I mark easily. It doesn't bother me. What bothers me is that you literally forced yourself on me. It was kind of scary."
"I've never done that to a girl before. I swear. Bella may have told you I'm a jerk, which I guess I am, but I would never, ever force a girl. You see, I have these... anger issues. I've had them for years. And I'm working on them. It's just that, the other day, I was really pissed and you were here. It was weird. It was like I was drawn to you or something."
"That's why you threw yourself at me? Because you thought I could calm you down?"
"It was either that or punching that dick in the diner." Either that or phasing, in fact. But this lie was acceptable. Angela couldn't know about the wolves. Angela smiled a little, which gave him some hope.
"How can I be sure you wouldn't do it again?"
"It was a stupid mistake, and you were right to defend yourself. I may be an idiot sometimes but I would never force myself on you again. It would be disgusting."
Angela was tempted to forgive him completely. She was tempted to try to trust him. He seemed sincere. She knew she would have to tell him about Ben at some point. Her brother had told her the day before that her ex wasn't coming back into town for the summer. She had been mad. She didn't have any reason to make him jealous if he wasn't around. So she didn't have to agree to Paul's request. But, despite herself, she liked him. Of course, it helped that he was hot. All the guys from La Push were. She liked the idea that he could act like a tough guy and be nice in the inside. Paul may not be aware of it, but he was being extra nice with her right now.
"Do you do karate?" she suddenly asked, shoving some fries in her mouth before handing him the bag back. He could have the last ones.
"Karate. Do you know anything about it?"
" I... er... I watched some shows on TV. And I know a couple of moves from wrestling with the guys. That's about it. Why?"
"I want to take classes but I've never done it before, and I feel like a loser in there." She pointed behind her to the gym. Paul almost choked on his food.
"You're taking karate in there?" Paul was dumbfounded. She didn't look like a girl who would be into martial arts. It only added to the list of things he liked about her. After the legs. He loved her legs.
"Yeah. So what? Are you also going to be one of these guys who think I can't do that? Because it's getting old."
"Are you kidding? That's awesome! It's totally hot." Angela was pleased by his reaction. She smiled in spite of herself. She liked this happy side of Paul.
"I only started a couple of days ago. Don't take it bad but... it's actually because of you. I was so afraid back there that I... I thought I needed to know how to better defend myself."
"My junk says you did pretty good the other day. I hate to be the one who made you sign up, but it's a good thing you're learning something like this. You never know what you can encounter in Seattle. So, what about it? You need someone to help you practice?"
It was like Paul was watching himself speak. He couldn't believe the words which were coming out of his mouth. It was like he cared about her. He had never behaved this way with a girl. He didn't care whether they hated them or not, as long as he got to have sex with them. Could he really hang out with her to show her that he could be better than what she witnessed before? He wanted to. He didn't know if he would manage. She may only want to be friends. Could he be friend with a girl like Angela?
"If you're up to it, yes. I wouldn't be afraid of hitting you. You don't seem like someone who could bruise easily."
"Even if I did, I don't think you could see it. But I'll be careful with you. I promise you can hit me down here anytime I'll be too rough."
Paul winked, and Angela surprised herself by actually not blushing. She liked this playful tone. It wasn't a date, and she wouldn't be using him this time, but it sounded like they could have fun together. She wanted to have fun. And she was looking forward to it.
Paul and Angela did one workout session together. Despite what he said, he didn't really know anything about karate, so he convinced her she first had to work on basic moves. He wanted to spend time with her, and he was afraid that she would try to find another partner if she realized he was better at watching karate on TV than at actually practicing it. Angela wouldn't have minded, especially when he brought her to the beach, and he took off his shirt because it was too hot.
She had a hard time concentrating when he flexed his muscles in front of her. Of course, Paul was aware of the effect he had on women. He wasn't an idiot when it came to this. He liked being a wolf for the muscles. But Angela wasn't hanging out with him for the muscles, or for him. She had agreed to allow him to show that he wasn't always a complete asshole. After what he had done to her, he was sure she wouldn't want to be with him after he made his point. It was a shame, since he was starting to like her, and the tight pink tee-shirt she was wearing.
Paul showed her what he thought was a simple move and asked Angela to do it on him. She tried. She grabbed him by the arm, attempted to put him down, fell down on her stomach and... sprained her wrist. They spent the rest of the day at the hospital. Paul was so angry at himself he almost started a fight with Jared during patrol. Paul and Jared never fought. He was the only one who could reign in the angry wolf. This time, though, Paul felt like a perfect idiot yet again.
Angela was pissed she had her right hand in a cast even if it was only for a couple of weeks. She couldn't do anything with it, except stay home to look after her brothers. She wasn't pissed at Paul. It wasn't like it was his fault. She had been stupid to ask him to be her partner. He was much stronger than she was; meaning that she was bound to get hurt at some point. No, she was pissed she wouldn't get to see him shirtless again. She had felt like drooling on the beach. She was trying hard to stop comparing Ben to this new guy in her life, but she was having difficulties not doing so. It seemed that Paul was much, much better than her ex-boyfriend. Paul was funny, he had a great body. She was still undecided on whether he was a total jerk. By the way he had acted after she got hurt, sticking with her for hours at the hospital, yelling at doctors who weren't taking care of her fast enough, he seemed to be a sweet guy when he wanted to. And he did look mad at himself for her injury.
She didn't have his phone number, which meant that she had no way to contact him. She couldn't drive. Once again, he was the one who came back to her, one rainy Thursday afternoon while she was watching TV. Paul wasn't going to change into the type of guy who brought flowers every time he visited a girl. He may want to show he could be nice; he wasn't going to be that nice. Flowers were expensive.
"Hey, Angela. There's a guy who brought this for you," her brother told her, throwing a bag of chips to her on his way up the stairs. She walked as fast as she could, catching Paul as he rounded the street corner.
"Where are you going? Are you afraid of me now?" He snorted at her question. He didn't want to impose his presence on her any longer. Who knew what could happen this time?
"Afraid of you? Sure. I'm afraid of your knee right here."
"Thanks for the chips. Do you want me to have a good reason to go back to the gym after I'm free again?"
"What? No! I just thought, you know, you're stuck at home. And it's raining. You must be bored. When I'm bored I watch TV and I eat chips. I figured you'd do the same." Did she really think he wanted her to get fat? Jesus. He was a total fail when it came to behave nicely with girls. And here she was. Getting soaked by the rain because of him. She was smiling, though. And he liked her smile. He also liked the fact that she didn't have to raise up her head to look him in the eyes. They were almost the same height. This was awesome.
"You were right. I was watching some lame show. Do you want to come in and keep me company?"
He saw her blush but accepted her offer. He didn't want her to get sick because of him. Sure, he hadn't meant to intrude. He was glad he did since she got him lots of food. By the end of the afternoon, he was convinced Angela was one of the coolest girls on Earth. They had sat one next to the other on the couch, laughing and talking about nothing. All he had wanted was to put his arm around her shoulders when she shivered. He couldn't do this. He was starting to believe that she may actually like him. Paul assumed that she wouldn't let him near her if she didn't. Now, it was all about not screwing up another time.
Paul stayed at Angela's house a lot during the following weeks. The guys were impressed he could be nice if he wanted to. He hadn't tried to kiss her or anything. The closest he had to come to it was holding her hand when she had been frightened while they watched a scary movie with her brothers. Angela had loved the way his hand wrapped around hers. He was very warm. She liked the feeling. She liked his smile, the endless stream of dirty jokes and comments escaping his lips. It should have bothered her. It was refreshing to have someone not watching their mouth around her, though. Just because she was a girl and a preacher's daughter didn't mean you couldn't be rude while talking to her.
Most of the time, Paul would end up sleeping. She had been worried about it until he explained that he had to work nights, and that he could barely get any sleep because he wanted to spend the afternoons with her. She thought it was cute. After his confession, she made a point of having a blanket ready in the living room. Angela loved how peaceful Paul looked when he was asleep. It was like she could see his true face, and she didn't have to be ashamed of staring at his chest rising and falling with each deep breath he took. He always wore tee-shirts which showed off his bulging arms. She was starting to wonder how they would feel wrapped around her. But she would stop herself from thinking like this all the time. He was only with her because he felt bad for spraining her wrist. That was all.
What she also liked about Paul was that, during the time they spent together, she didn't think about Ben at all. She didn't mind forgetting about him. He had been a jerk, a real one. He had hurt her feelings deeply. He had broken her heart. She didn't mind not thinking about him at all. Her idea of making him jealous had been a mistake. It had brought only bad luck on her.
It wasn't a surprise she was pissed when her brother announced that her boyfriend was asking for her at the door.
"What the hell are you doing here, Ben? I don't want to... Oh, it's you." She blushed as she realized it was actually Paul standing on her porch. She was going to punch Joshua for his silly comment. She would do it with her left hand. The bandage had been off her right wrist for only one day. She didn't want to chance anything.
"You have a boyfriend and you never told me?" Paul frowned, his fists clenching at his sides. Had she led him on all this time? He knew she was too nice to be true. How could he stupid enough to think she could be interested in him anyway? Even if it seemed that hanging out with her had reined in his anger issues a little, he was getting very, very angry right now.
"No! I don't have a boyfriend. Ben's my ex. He's an ass. Calm down, Paul. It's all fine." Angela had noticed that, sometimes, Paul would get mad for small things. All you had to do was remind him that everything was okay, talk in a soft voice, touch his arm lightly, and he would calm down. Needless to say, the part she liked the most was when she could touch his arm. She loved the feeling of his skin against hers. He had to admit that she had a weird effect on him. Persons who could prevent him from phasing when he was struggling with his anger were rare. Angela was doing a pretty good job at it. It was like the sound of her voice had a relaxing effect on him. She kept on talking while he breathed.
"It's actually because of him that I got involved in that charity event the other month. I wanted to make him jealous by going out with someone as... sexy as you." It would have been unfair to be angrier because she had meant to use him. He had done the same, even if he wasn't ready to admit it out loud to her. He had used her to win a bet, which was worse than making an ex jealous.
"You think I'm sexy?"
"You're sexier than he is, that's for sure."
"You think I'm sexy. Nice." Angela had recently discovered that being around Paul made her blush a lot. He found it funny, and he would laugh every time she was embarrassed. Her blush was cute. "Listen. You know the movie we kept seeing previews about the other week? It's showing in Port Angeles and I thought you'd want to go with me."
"Are you asking me on a date?"
"Do I get to have sex with you afterward?" Angela would have been shocked a few weeks before. She had spent too much time with him to be shocked now. She knew it was only a joke. Besides, Paul had confessed that he didn't know what dating a girl the right way meant.
"So it's not a date."
She bit her lip to keep the laughter inside. "You don't always have sex after a date, Paul."
"What's the point, then?" Angela shook her head dramatically. Inside, she was bouncing around, realizing that he still wanted to hang out with her now that her hand had healed. It had to mean he liked her, right? But they were going out in public; the last time they had done so she had ended up kneeing him in the crotch. She didn't want to have to do it again. There was no doubt Paul had changed. She even had a hard time imagining he had been disrespectful at one point.
"I'll explain in the car. And you're driving."
Later that night, Paul parked in front of her house after they came back from the movies. To prove to him that a date didn't always end with sex, Angela gave him a peck on the lips. He was surprised, sure; but he had liked it. He grabbed her arm as she lowered her head and was about to step out of the car.
"Hey. Where are you going?"
"I'm sorry about that. I shouldn't have done it. I..."
"I liked it. I mean, it's not what I call a kiss, but it's better than nothing. So, I guess no sex?"
"You're a jerk, Paul."
"Yeah, or so I've been told. No need to be embarrassed. You're not the first woman to attack me like this."
He couldn't lie to himself. Sure, it had lasted less than three seconds, but he had liked it. It may have been what people meant when they talked about taking things slow. One thing was bothering him, though. He absolutely didn't want to have to break Angela's heart later on. He knew Jacob would kill him if Bella found out he had hurt her friend again. It was amazing how much of a puppet Jacob was for Bella. It was disgusting.
Angela was relieved he didn't mind her kiss. But when she leaned in to do it again, he pulled away, breaking her confidence a little.
"You have to know something, Angela. I like this thing between us, but I... I don't do relationships."
"I figured that much. You're saying it every time you have the chance to. But to your credit, you just went on a date with me, without screwing up. That's impressive."
"I guess it's the one exception. Seriously. You've been around me. Anything can set me off; I'm not really interested in feelings. Girls usually hate me."
"I used to hate you, right after the diner. I don't hate you now."
"You don't hate me yet."
"Geez. Are you trying to push me away? If you don't want to see me again, you don't have to sugarcoat it. I'm a big girl. I can take it."
"I'm not. I'm just warning you so Bella won't kill me afterward."
Angela laughed, picturing her friend yelling at Paul on her behalf. Bella was so small; she couldn't hurt Paul at all. She was more likely to hurt herself. Angela was relieved he hadn't rejected her. She had been afraid he would. Of course, it was bothering her that he didn't seem to want to get more involved. Was it only looking for some fun during the summer? Could she do it?
Paul didn't know for sure what had happened in his car. After he left Angela's driveway, he kept repeating the scene in his mind. He had warned her, she hadn't minded. She knew what she getting herself into. He wasn't one hundred percent positive he wouldn't deceive her. He had done good tonight, except for the sideways glances under the skirt of the girl in front of them in the line at the theater. Angela hadn't noticed, thank God.
What he was sure of, was that he had liked the short kiss, and he was willing to do it (and more) as soon as possible. Consequences be damned.
Do you feel like doing something forbidden?
Angela kept staring at the text on her cell. She was waiting for Paul to pick her up. He hadn't said more, except that she should dress like they were going clubbing. She was excited, and a little bit apprehensive. Knowing him, "forbidden" could mean anything. Her mind was racing with possibilities.
"Nice skirt," Paul complimented her when she was safe in his car. He liked the denim of the mini-skirt against the tanned skin of her legs. He had to refrain from running his fingers along her thigh. Because they were going out didn't mean he had the right to do this. He did manage to steal a quick kiss. "You'll have to get rid of the sweater, though. You have something underneath, right?"
"Yes. But why?"
"Because you'll have to show your ID to get into the bar if you don't show off more skin."
"You're taking me to a bar? Are you insane? I'm underage, Paul!"
"So what? So am I, and I have no problem getting into this one."
Angela scowled. She got rid of the blue cardigan and they managed to get into the crowded bar without having to show any IDs. Apparently Paul was a regular, and he knew all the staff. She liked the way his hand was pressed to her lower back as he guided her inside. She was nervous in this place. She had never been in a bar before. She may enjoy her night. At least it was what she thought until she spotted someone at a table. Paul noticed her stop, her hand gripping his arm.
Tonight was a test for him. He used to come here all the time before he lost this ridiculous bet. There were always girls willing to keep him company. If he could manage to keep his hands to himself, or on Angela, if he could stop himself from staring at other girls, he may be able to go out with her more often. He may be able to do this relationship thing, as long as Angela stayed as cool as she was. If she started to mess with his head, he was out.
"I know these guys. Oh my God. What is he doing here?" She pointed at a group of guys right in front of them. They looked too young to be in here. "That's Ben. That's my ex."
"This little dude with the glasses? You were right. I'm sexier than he is. What was so attractive about him? He looks boring."
"It's not the point. He's going to tell my parents he saw me here. I'm dead, Paul. Please. Let's just get out before he sees me."
"No way. He won't tell a thing. He'll be busted as well if he does. But then, he may just be an idiot. He broke up with you after all. And if he messes with you again, I'll mess with him right back."
It might not be a really interesting fight, though. Paul had no doubt that one punch and the guy would be done. It wouldn't be fun at all. What could be fun was what Paul had in mind right now. He wrapped his arm around Angela's waist. She was shaking like crazy. She looked terrified.
"It's this ex you wanted to make jealous by going out with me, right?" She nodded. "Well, I think that's your chance. Hold on tight. Act like you're my very hot girlfriend. I'm doing the rest."
Without any warning, his hand landed on her ass, squeezing lightly. Angela guessed she had to go with the flow. It was awkward, but Paul was actually helping her. Spending time with him brought out her reckless side. She slid her arm down Paul's back, her hand ending in the back pocket of his jeans. Thank God she was wearing make-up, or her blush would have lit up the whole room.
"What's up, boys? Looking for some hot girls? I'm afraid I've already got the hottest one in my arms. Yep, sucks to be you. Have a good night."
Angela had to bit her lip to keep from laughing when she saw Ben gaping. She liked Paul more and more, even if she wasn't a big fan of the slap on the ass he gave her as they passed the guys' table. Ben couldn't stop gazing at her. It took him a few seconds to avert his eyes after she sat down at a table in a dark corner, and he was staring straight into her eyes. She flashed him a brilliant smile, before hiding her face into Paul's shoulder, finally giving in to the laughter.
"That was hilarious! Did you see his face?"
"I told you. Taught the guy a lesson. It's exactly why I don't want a girlfriend. It's hell for you when you break up with her. Do you want a beer?"
"Sure." A couple of sips later, she decided she wasn't a big fan of the taste. Paul gladly took her beer. He wasn't having a hard time looking at only her. She looked great. A little bit out of place, sure, but she was banging her head to the music, mouthing some lyrics, and he caught himself thinking that it was cute. His ears were focused on the ex-boyfriend who had been bitching about how much his girlfriend had changed, and that she would have never gone to a bar with him when they were together. It sounded like he had many mean things to say about Angela. Paul had to take deep breaths to stay in the booth instead of decking the asshole.
"Do you trust me?"
"What? Why? You're not going to ask me to take my top off to piss him more, are you?" She had noticed the way Paul had been studying Ben for the past five minutes. He was plotting something.
"This top will come off for me only. Not here. But you're going to mess with him. He just said you must have paid me to go out with you because there was no way a guy like me could be attracted to you."
Angela started to stand up. She was furious. How dare he? One glance at the guys confirmed that they were laughing, looking at her from time to time. Ben was a jerk. She couldn't see what she had liked in him in the first place. College had changed him so much. He was disgusting her.
"Stay here. Make him jealous. But don't hurt me, okay?" Paul made her sit down, grabbing her arm to pull her flush against his chest. His hot breath fanned over her face. She caught her breath when he put his hand behind her neck, bringing her lips just inches from his.
Next thing she knew, he was kissing her. It was different from what they had shared before. He wasn't being careful with her. He was attacking her. Except that this time, she wasn't scared. She attacked right back. Her fingers gripped the hair at the back of his head, trying to get closer. He was so hot; she wanted to feel more of him. The way his tongue was trying to fight for dominance was doing things to her lower stomach. She gave in to the kiss, letting him set the pace, not caring that they had an audience.
All that Angela could feel was Paul surrounding her. His free arm was wrapped around her waist, his fingers digging into her skin, hitching up under her top, caressing her lower back, then going down, just under the waistband of her skirt, scraping her underwear.
Paul was fighting to keep things safe. Her scent was driving him wild again. He wanted to touch her everywhere. He hissed in her mouth as she gathered up the courage to place her hand on his chest, underneath his shirt. Her fingers were cold, the perfect contrast against his hard muscles. She scratched experimentally, smiling when his stomach contracted. The kiss stopped being only a way to make her ex jealous. He was kissing her because he wanted to, because he was enjoying it.
"I've been wanting to do this for weeks. But if it's too much... I can stop..." Angela could only moan as his lips ghosted down her neck, letting her breathe. Paul sucked on her collarbone, smiling when she tilted her head, giving him better access. He guessed she didn't object to being ravished this way. So much for taking things slow with her. His stratagem to piss off the ex was working better than he imagined. Angela was panting in his arms, and he wasn't releasing her yet.
"I don't... You can... It's... Gosh, I'm hot."
Paul chuckled, then hissed one more time after Angela brought her leg up to cover his. She was getting dangerously close to the hard-on in his jeans. He was uncomfortable. His mouth went back to hers, biting on her lower lip. His tongue traced the outline of her lips while his hand was busy running up and down the smooth skin of her leg. She couldn't stay still. She was being consumed by Paul. He was everywhere at once, from his hand keeping her in place so her breasts were rubbing against his chest, to his tongue diving once again in her mouth.
She had never been kissed like that before, and she didn't want it to end. She should have minded that his left hand was moving higher and higher up her leg, to the point that he was starting to graze her panties.
"Hey, you two! Get a room!"
Slowly, painfully, Paul pulled away. Angela was panting hard next to him, her lip gloss long gone. Her face was flushed, her scent intoxicating. He couldn't even tell if she was embarrassed by the cat calls directed at them. He hadn't meant to kiss her so much. He hadn't meant to touch her like he did. It was weird that once he started, though, he couldn't help himself. He had to have more. Angela was attracting him in different ways, but he certainly didn't mind this one. Damn, he had a big problem down his pants.
"The ex's super jealous of the show you just gave him." It was an understatement. Ben couldn't stop glaring at him. Paul had heard his friends making fun of him. He'd had a hot girl like Angela, and it was obvious that she seemed to know what she was doing. Ben was an idiot for ditching her.
Angela smiled, kissing Paul's cheek shyly. What was she supposed to do now? Had he kissed her because he wanted to, or simply because he wanted to help her? Her heartbeat was wild, and she wanted to resume their kissing.
"Let's go now." Paul grabbed Angela's hand, tugging her to his side. He didn't want to let her go away so soon. She was feeling adventurous and she wrapped her arm around Paul's waist, her fingers slipping under the waistband of his jeans. "When you have a girl like this one, you need to be a real man to know what to do to please her. It looks like you're still too young to know what to do. Later, loser."
Angela was in too much of a daze to care that everybody was watching her every move. Paul was literally dragging her outside. She couldn't shake off the feeling that she wanted his lips on her again.
"Are you okay? You're not going to kick me again, right?"
They had been sitting in his car for a couple of minutes. Angela was still trying to understand what had happened in the bar. It wasn't like her to attack a boy like this. She was the one saying she wanted to take things slow. She was the one Ben had broken up with because she wanted to keep things simple in bed. So why hadn't she minded such a huge public display?
"Wow... that was... intense. I think this was good payback for what he did to me. Thanks, Paul."
"Anytime. But I'm sorry it got out of hand. I told you; I can't control myself when I start touching you."
"It's fine. I'm more than fine. I was thinking... I... I think I don't really mind if you don't want to date me. I don't care as long as I get to kiss you like that."
"Yeah? You sure? And what about doing more than kissing?"
"You're a jerk, Paul."
"But if you keep behaving as nice as you have these past weeks, I guess I can handle you being a douche from time to time."
"Awesome. Now get over here and let's resume where we left off."
He captured her smile in his mouth as she scrambled to his side, her elbow banging into the car window. She would get a bruise from this, not that she cared. Paul's hand went back to her hips to keep her in place on his lap. He liked this Angela very much.
When he drove her back to her house, Paul felt like he was on cloud nine. He had never been that ecstatic in his entire life. And all because he'd gotten to kiss an amazing girl for hours. He had been right to want to make it up for his ridiculous attitude back at the diner. It had paid off, even if sex wasn't on the program yet. He would get Angela in his bed sooner than later.
Besides, he knew he wouldn't have difficulties not looking at other girls. His body had welcomed hers so easily while they were kissing. He wasn't ready to go to other women. He'd have to thank Embry for making this stupid bet. By doing so, he had allowed him to meet Angela. Paul would have never tried to flirt with her otherwise. He would have been missing out on something big. Hanging out with Angela was going to be fun from now on.
Angela had a goofy smile on her face as she went to sleep. She had been right to give him another chance. She was going to have the sexiest boyfriend alive when she convinced him that he was good boyfriend material. It didn't matter that he could be a jerk. He wouldn't be Paul if he wasn't. And Angela liked Paul the way he was. Consequences be damned.