By the Numbers (Love Logic #3) by K.M. Neuhold

Chapter 1



Alex

I grimace as I toss a wad of lube-drenched paper towels into the wastebasket near the bed, joining the condom what’s-his-name deposited in there not two minutes ago.

The sound of the running sink from the bathroom shuts off, and the door swings open a few seconds later, just as I’m pulling my t-shirt over my head.

“Listen, bro, I have to work early…” he’s saying before he’s even all the way out of the bathroom, stopping mid-brush off when he sees that I’m already dressed and looking around for my shoes. No, bro, I wasn’t planning to stick around to cuddle, unclench and breathe.

I spot one of my shoes laying upside down at the foot of the bed, the sheets askew, reeking of cum and sweat. The smell of it lingers in my nose as I hastily slip on my shoes. The clock on his nightstand says it’s only nine. I’ll still have plenty of time to study tonight, which is the silver lining of guys who take no effort to get into bed and then finish like it’s a race.

“Thanks for the ride,” I say flippantly, patting his broad, hard chest as I saunter past him, the same chest I braced myself against while I rode him like Seabiscuit and nearly broke his bed frame.

“If you want to hang out again…” He leaves the words hanging in the air, forcing me to pause for a fraction of a second in the doorway to give him an apologetic half-smile. Funny, the offer only came once he knew I had no problem leaving as soon as the fucking was complete.

“I know where to find you,” I assure him, even though the chances that I’ll call are less than zero. Actually, no because negative numbers still exist. The chances of me calling are the square root of negative one, they don’t exist.

As I climb into the Uber waiting out front for me, a melancholy feeling settles into my chest. By tomorrow Chad or Chet or whatever the fuck his name was will be nothing but a blur in my memory, one of the many men I’ve had fun with over the last few years.

Early on, there was a feeling of power in that, taking what I wanted and then walking away without a backward glance. But that feeling is more of a dull echo now, leaving me to question why I’m still repeating the habit long after the results have changed. It’s illogical, and that in and of itself should be enough reason for me to stop.

“This you?” the driver asks, jarring me out of my musings.

“Yeah. Thanks.” I tip him and hit the five star rating on the app and then hop out of the car.

I reach into my pocket as I head up the walkway and curse under my breath when I realize I forgot my keys, again. However, the bonus of having a roommate for the first time in my life is that there’s someone inside the apartment who can let me in. I had to become very friendly with my neighbor at the place I rented last year so I could buzz him when I needed to get in. Then, I made the stupid mistake of fucking him. Let’s just say that Theo moved to town and needed a roommate just in time.

I hit the buzzer and a minute later, the intercom crackles to life.

“Forget your key again?” Theo guesses, his deep voice sounding tinny through the speaker.

“I’m told my forgetfulness is charming,” I offer, grinning even though he can’t see me. The sound of his chuckle is cut off by the buzz of the door unlocking.

I jog up the steps to the second floor and kick my shoes off as soon as I get inside.

“Thanks,” I call out over the sound of the TV coming from the living room. My roommate startles me by emerging from the kitchen instead.

“I thought you were supposed to be some kind of genius,” he teases, holding a bowl of popcorn, a relaxed, half-smile on his lips, his dark hair messy like he’s been napping, and his soulful brown eyes half-lidded. Did I mention my new roommate is a straight up smoke show? Because, yeah, he’s bangable. Not that I’m going to go there. Nope, because that would be stupid, and as he pointed out, I am in fact a certified genius. No bad decisions happening over here, not a one.

“I’m so busy thinking impressive thoughts, I can’t be bothered to remember my keys,” I deadpan, even though it’s a little true. More often than not, I’m caught up in my own head, which causes me more trouble than it’s worth.

He shoves a handful of popcorn into his mouth and then nods toward the living room. “I was about to start a movie, if you wanted,” he offers tentatively.

I glance at his bowl of popcorn again and then toward my room. I should study so when my mom calls tomorrow, I won’t have to flat out lie to her about how I’ve been spending my time.