Bring Down the Stars (Beautiful Hearts Duet #1)(11)

The guy’s eyebrows shot up, disappearing under the blond hair that fell across his brow. “Not a fan of Rand either?” He smirked knowingly. “No, of course you aren’t.”

My blood heated at his flippant tone. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

The guy nodded at my textbook—Global Responsibility and the Third-World Hunger Epidemic—and shrugged, as if that answered everything.

“Oh.” I frowned. “Well…yes. I mean, Rand’s point of view is purely capitalist and mine isn’t. Not by a long shot.”

The student sitting to my right exchanged glances with the girl sitting across from him. Then both packed up their books and left.

“We’re being disruptive,” I said to my across-table neighbor. “We need to stop talking now.”

He leaned back in his chair, his eyes intent on me. “So, what’s your point of view?”

“My what?”

“You said your point of view isn’t capitalist.” He raised a brow. “So what is it?”

“Humanist, I suppose, since you asked. I think everyone; regardless of race, creed, income-level, or sex, should be granted the same shot as anyone else.” I raised a brow at him. “But you don’t?”

“Are you asking me or telling me?” he said with a slight chuckle. “Since we’re tossing labels around, I’m a realist.” He held up his book. “And not a fan of Rand either.”

“You’re not?” I leaned back too, crossing my arms. “Are you just messing with me or what?”

“Maybe,” he said. “What do you care what I think anyway?”

My mouth fell slack. “I don’t. Thanks for reminding me.”

“No problem.”

“Wow, you’re rude.”

“That’s the word on the street.”

“I can see why.” I lifted my own book up to signal conversation over, but my eyes wouldn’t focus. I could feel the hum of his presence like a field of electrical wires, getting under my skin and infiltrating my thoughts. The buzz went beyond distraction. It felt like a challenge had been laid down.

And I never walked away from a challenge.

I lowered my book to see the guy’s glance hide behind his book again.

“Well?” I demanded.

“Well what?”

Why are you watching me?

“Why are you reading Ayn Rand if you don’t like her either?”

“Required reading for an English Lit minor.”

“And your major? Let me guess, pre-law.”

“God, no,” he said.

I raised my eyebrows, but he offered nothing more. “Are you going to make me run through Amherst’s list of majors until I guess which one is yours?”

“Yes,” he said. “Alphabetically, please.”

A laugh burst out of me against my will, and the guy almost smiled. Every one of his hard angles softened.

“Economics,” he said. “But I don’t know what I’m doing with it.”

“That feels like the most honest thing you’ve said to me so far,” I said.

“And that’s important to you?”

“Yes,” I said, my laughter dying away as I remembered Mark and that girl, naked in his bed… “Honesty is very important.”

He lifted one shoulder.

“You don’t agree?” I asked.

“Being honest is sometimes mistaken for being rude.”

“You must be really honest,” I said.

Again, he almost smiled. “Must be.”

Satisfied that I’d held my own against this beautiful, but hostile member of the opposite sex, I went back to my book…for eight entire seconds before my skin started prickling again. The electric hum of his attention was impossible to ignore.

When I looked up this time, he didn’t look away but cleared his throat.

“I’m Weston Turner.”


This wasn’t the first time I’d seen this girl. She was in my Econ class this morning. Her hair caught my eye; a coppery red tendril had escaped the bun she wore and curled against the porcelain skin of her neck. Now, she sat across from me.

Leaning on her elbow, chin on her hand and a little smile on her lips, she replied, “Autumn Caldwell.”

My thoughts took off the same way I did at the starting gun of a race.

Her name was Autumn.

Of course it was. As if her parents knew she’d grow up to be a living embodiment of the season. Coppery hair, like an October forest of turning leaves. Hazel eyes that were mostly rich brown, but flecked with gold, green and amber, and weighted with sadness. A petite girl—I guessed five-foot-nothing to my six-one—passionate and unafraid. I liked toying with people to get them riled up, and she’d seemed an easy mark. But instead of walking away, she’d met me head on. I liked that.

I liked her.

And I didn’t like anyone.

A silence caught and held between us, our eyes locked. Then she shifted in her chair.

“I’m not dating right now,” she said, subtle as a fifty-pound bowling ball dumped onto my crotch.

“Okay,” I said slowly.

“Shit, sorry,” she said, the color in her cheeks deepening. “I don’t mean to be presumptuous. I just meant that it’s nice to meet you, but I need to focus on my classes. I have a lot of work to do. Double-major and a scholarship to maintain.” She waved her hands. “God, I’m rambling…”

Emma Scott's Books