“You want one?” he asked, cupping his hand to shade his match from the slight breeze.
“I don’t smoke. It’s a disgusting habit.” I smiled, letting him know I was flirting more than anything. Trying to wind him up.
He stared at me, throwing the burnt-out match into the ashtray. Already, I’d noticed Alex had this intense way of making me feel as if nothing else mattered. That I was the only interesting thing in the room—or in this case, the street.
“You’re one of those, then,” he said.
“One of what?”
“A crusader.” He inhaled deeply, then let the smoke drift out of his lips. Even I had to admit he looked sexy.
His words made me grin. I was anything but; smoking rarely bothered me at all. “I don’t kiss boys who smoke,” I said.
The corner of his lip twitched up. He leaned forward, still staring intently. “That’s good. I don’t want you kissing them.”
“You’re a boy who smokes,” I pointed out.
This time a full-on smirk broke out on his face. “I’m the exception that proves the rule, sweetheart.”
The way he said it made my heart hammer against my chest. There was something about Alex Cartwright that made me feel breathless. I wasn’t used to boys like him, ones who oozed sexuality out of every pore. Until then my boyfriends had been more friend than boy. Low key, almost feminine
Alex didn’t have a feminine bone in his body.
“What makes you think I want to kiss you, anyway?”
“You’re the one who brought up kissing, not me.” Another cocky response. “Not to mention the fact you keep looking at my mouth and licking your lips. I can tell you want to eat me for breakfast.”
The image his words conjured up made me choke on my coffee. I spluttered the hot liquid out. Alex started to laugh.
“Kissing. I was still talking about kissing.”