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

But here’s the thing, I know rocket science is supposed to be hard, but maybe I just haven’t gotten to those classes yet. So far, it’s math and physics, both of which I mastered years ago. Last year, before the start of my PhD program, I got all the books I would need to complete my degree and memorized all of the necessary formulas within a week. They could hand me my diploma now and save us both a lot of time.

I tried pitching that one to my advisor; she wasn’t impressed.

“It’s Event Horizon, sci-fi, horror, and a whole lot of ‘what-the-fuck?’,” he tempts, holding the bowl of popcorn out to me.

“Dammit, that combination is my Kryptonite,” I complain, snagging a handful of popcorn for myself and heading straight for the living room. You know, horror/sci-fi/what-the-fuck movies and cute guys with brown eyes.


I follow Alex to the living room, munching on popcorn as I go. I should probably slow down, or I’ll finish it all before I even get the movie started. On the other hand, I recently learned the very important life lesson: if I want something, I’d better go for it before my brother, Pax, swoops in and fucks it. Or eats it in this particular case.

Not that I’m salty about the whole my brother stole the guy I’ve crushed on for years thing. Besides, it’s not like I ever got around to telling Elijah or Pax about my feelings before they went and fell in love. It’s all a moot point anyway. What’s done is done, and the bottom line is that I’m going to keep wolfing down popcorn like it’s my last night on Earth because popcorn is officially my one and only love. Popcorn can’t break my heart; it’s foolproof when you think about it.

Alex settles onto the couch, and I plop down next to him, reaching for the remote and starting the movie. Neither of us says a word as it starts, both reaching into the bowl of popcorn and taking large handfuls, our shoulders bumping against each other on the cramped couch. Even without any words being exchanged, I feel a little bit of tension start to unravel inside me simply at the fact that I’m not spending the whole night alone.

I had enough of being alone back in New York after Elijah moved out here to California. The entire reason I agreed to having a roommate, aside from the sky high rent prices issue, was so I wouldn’t have to sit alone in an empty apartment every night. Not that I begrudge Alex whatever kind of social life he wants to have, but the sound of the buzzer when he got home might’ve been my favorite sound in the world.

He snorts at the movie, and I glance over to find him grinning with amusement.

“Whoever wrote this knows jack shit about black holes,” he says, shaking his head.

“That’s what he said,” I quip, and Alex laughs.

“Wow, that was mature.” By the smile on his face, I don’t think it’s a complaint.

I give a lopsided grin in return. “I do what I can.”

Another relaxed silence falls between us. Considering we’ve only been living together a couple of weeks, it’s not surprising that it’s taking us a little time to find our footing as friends, but from what I know of him so far, I have no doubt we’ll get there.

The faint scent of cologne tickles my nose. It’s the kind of secondhand smell that seems unintentional, likely left on Alex’s clothes by whoever he spent time with tonight. I wonder idly about what kind of man that would be. From all the comments he’s made since we met several months ago, the first time I came to California to visit Elijah, I’m guessing it was someone with more muscles than brains. Can’t say that’s my type. I’d much rather have a sweet nerd in my bed any day of the week, but to each their own.

“Sorry,” he says, and I shake my thoughts loose and glance over at him.

“Hm?” I lift my eyebrows and pop another salty kernel into my mouth.

“Oh, I was just complaining about the physics of space travel as portrayed in pop culture, and then I apologized for boring you.” A wry smile twists on his lips.

“It’s not you. I was just a million miles away in my own thoughts.”

“I’m glad that happens to other people too.” Alex polishes off the last of the popcorn and then takes the bowl from my hands and stands up. “Want some more? I feel like I ended up hogging most of it.”

“Considering how fast I was hoovering it up before we even sat down, I think it was fifty-fifty at worst. But I’ll definitely take some more.”

He gives me a dorky little salute I can’t help but laugh at as he walks out of the room. I hate to admit it, but I steal a quick glance at his ass because he’s cute and I’m human.