Page 20 of Wrap with Love

Page List


“I’m fine.”

“You’re not. I can feel it.” His eyebrows pull together like he’s thinking over his own words. The valet it looks like they hired is opening the driver side door before I can say anything in response. I pull my hand away to get out of the car. When he comes around, he tries to make a grab for me, but I move.

“Nathan,” I say under my breath. I can see the frustration on his face. His hands are clenched into fists at his sides. When we finally enter the party, it’s already in full swing. I hardly recognize the place with all the lights and Christmas decorations. I’m actually a little surprised how many people are here. I only know a handful of them.

Nathan gets swallowed up by people like he’s a rockstar as soon as we walk in. I guess around here he kind of is. My insecurities start to eat at me. I chew on my bottom lip as I stand off to the side and watch as everyone else mingles. My eye catches the girl I saw last week who was hitting on Nathan outside of the bakery. She gave him her card and made it perfectly clear that she wanted him.

Did he invite her here? He’s looking down at her while she talks, and her hands are very animated. I don’t like how close they keep getting to him. One more inch and she’d be touching him. I also don’t like the fact that I’m not next to him with his arm wrapped around me. I turn around to head to the bathroom but run right into Jack. He catches me before I can fall on my butt and make a fool out of myself.

“Cute sweater.” He smirks down at me as his eyes eat me up.

“Thanks.” I glance back over my shoulder, unable to help myself.

“I wouldn't do that if I were you,” Jack says, drawing my attention back to him. “He’s really your boss. You’ll end up fired, and he’ll end up with a new girl.”

“What do you mean?” I try to play coy.

“I just mean if you’re looking for a little fun, I’m your guy.” He steps closer. “We’re in different departments. It would be fine.” He reaches up, running his finger down my jaw. “I can show you how much better I am in bed than Amherst.”

I take a step back. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I say again. He rolls his eyes.

“Men talk, Kayla. Even men like Amherst.”

“He wouldn't,” I blurt out. His eyebrows lift. I don’t know if that look means I just gave myself away or Amherst told him everything.

“Besides, he’s already on to the next.” He looks over to where Nathan is. “Let's get a drink.” He reaches for my arm and starts to pull me along. I go with him because my mind is absent of any other thought than to get away from Nathan. As for my heart, well, that’s broken.



I can pinpointthe exact moment when instinct started overtaking reason. It was when Kayla first walked through my door. I used to be all science and facts, and now I’m all emotion. That’s what drives me from the overly talkative former student all the way across the room to the doorway that Kayla is being dragged through. That’s why my fist comes up and connects with Jack’s jaw. That’s what drives me to take the man to the ground. Jack’s own hand flies up and glides next to my cheek.

I barely hear the shouts of the department staff behind me, and their hands are like gnats I shake off as I split his lip open.

“Nathan, oh no, baby, you’ve been hit.” Kayla’s distress breaks through my rage. I let her haul me off a dazed Jack and pull me to the side. Her lovely eyes are filled with worry as she dabs at my cheek. “He must be wearing a ring because it gashed you here.”

I capture her hand and press it to my lips. “Doesn’t hurt. I swear.”

“I smell a lawsuit,” murmurs Rachel, who is nearby.

“Jack touched me first,” Kayla protests.

“But you’re not the one who hit him. It was Dr. Amherst, so it’s not self-defense.”

I wonder when Rachel became a lawyer, although maybe sorting those issues out is part of her job. “It doesn’t matter.” Punching the asshole felt good and if I have to spend a night in jail, it would be worth it. I give Kayla a wink and then wince when pain arrows into my eye above the cut.

“Don’t do that,” Kayla chides, rubbing my eyebrow. I dip my head down so she can have better access. I should’ve let Jack get in a few more punches. I’m liking all this tender attention she’s delivering.

“You two look cozy.” What is with this girl? Can she not take a clue? How did she ever pass my class? “You know it’s against administration’s policies to date any student although it doesn’t look like you guys dated much but just jumped right into the sack. Don’t worry, girl. I’ve got your back. I’ll file a report on Dr. Amherst tomorrow. I had the same experience with him. He took me out for dinners and told me unless I got on my knees, I wouldn’t get a good grade.”

A crowd has started to gather with Jack and Dean Campbell at the front. Jack’s broken mouth forms a proximate smirk while Dean Campbell grows pale, likely at the thought of the way the department’s funds are going to plummet if I’m not here.

“Wait a second—” I start.

“You better not say anything,” Rachel warns. “It can be used as fodder in the lawsuit.” She turns to the student. “Come with me and we’ll have you write up a complaint.”

“Better put him on administrative leave,” Jack advises. “And you—” He points a finger at Kayla. “You’re done.”

Tags: Ella Goode Romance