|Down to the Bone by Julian Keys|
Jarrett "Jet" Evans had always followed a particular evolutionary path, one that revolved around his prowess for football. So far, his time in college had been filled with games, parties, cheerleaders and easy-to-pass classes. He’d never questioned his place at the top of the food chain, not until the day he went to the rare books section of the library and ran into a geeky girl with an unusual skull tattoo on her shoulder. Now he found himself enthralled by a bespectacled anthropologist with a disdain for jocks. But did he really want to leave his primrose path for a woman intent on challenging not just his mind, but his future?
Lidia "Liddy" Marchum knew she and Jarrett weren't of the same "species." She was all geek and he was all jock. Yet she couldn't deny the magnetic attraction she felt for him, nor the allure of the deep intelligence she was discovering in the fine skull of his. Even as she allowed herself to fall for him, however, she feared she wasn't going to be the sort of woman he really wanted, or needed. And then came a crises that required they both learn to adapt.
Could love evolve them both beyond their differences? (F/M)
Jarrett Evans couldn’t stop glancing at the geeky girl. He didn’t usually visit the libraries on campus, this one least of all. It was a brick monstrosity filled with narrow staircases and tall stacks that were barely wide enough for his shoulders. The situation was especially bad up here, in the “Ivory Towers” as they were not-so-imaginatively called. Geek Retreats was their other name. The hanging lamps were harsh and tended to flicker and the air smelled of must and moldy leather. What few tables there were seemed to be hidden away in shadow so that patrons bumped into them.
Which was why he hadn’t noticed the girl at first. She’d been as shadowed as the table. It was only when Crissy leaned provocatively across it that Jarrett caught sight of her. She had dark hair and a plain, almost elfin face made a little more interesting by square, Clark Kent specs. She never looked up once, even though Crissy was practically sprawled across her books and Jarrett was right there, not a foot away. He thought at first that she might be averting her eyes like an embarrassed nerd, but it soon became apparent that she was ignoring them.
That didn’t happen to Jarrett, not since his first growth spurt at age thirteen. Feminine eyes followed him wherever he went, flickered side-wise, glanced longingly before demurely falling. Especially the desperate eyes of girls like this one.
Crissy left to call her girlfriends and Jarrett stepped around to get a better look at the geek. She was seated, so it was hard to see her figure, but the V-neck of her inky camisole top revealed adequate breasts. Her upper arms looked plump and soft, not unattractively so, but Jarrett was used to the toned limbs of cheerleaders. Marking her left shoulder was a strangely compelling tattoo of a skull with a heavy brow ridge. No jawbone, just the jutting upper half of the face. It wasn’t done up to be scary or iconic, rather it looked like some textbook sketch of a piecemeal relic. Not the sort of tat to turn a guy on, Jarrett thought. A butterfly or floral tramp stamp that was sexy, or something delicate and pretty around the ankle or accenting the nape of the neck. Something to kiss and lick seductively.
But a fucked-up skull?
Why wasn’t she looking at him? He was willing to bet that back in high school this girl had suffered from acne, that instead of the fairly cool glasses she had on now, there had been a pair of broken, wire-rims. She’d eaten alone, her nose in a book. And she had gawked in awe at guys like him. So why wasn’t she interested now?