I knew I should run. But I didn’t. Because I was not a coward. If I was going to be dragged and kicked out of this ridiculously humongous house for doing what I was about to do, which was kneeing him where the sun didn’t shine, then so be it.
I didn’t care if he was ridiculously handsome or if he owned this huge ass house, he was a downright asshole. Sure, this was his house and he could do whatever he wanted, including making out in the kitchen with a gorgeous blonde, but that didn’t mean that he could place his hands in places where they didn’t belong. He didn’t even look sorry for Hemmings’ sake!
“Hey, there you are!” A blonde came out of nowhere and linked her arm around Phraser’s. He dropped his bloody hands from my waists. His eyes, however, were still fixated on mine. I wasn’t some dumb girl who didn’t know her place and waited until the girlfriend gave me a nasty look so I turned on my heels and headed to where Colton and Jess were hanging.
I folded my arms across the two minions on my T-shirt and gave Jess an annoyed look. “I thought you said you were gonna get us our drinks?”
My friend gave me an apologetic look. “Whoops.” She took a green bottle from the table behind her and handed it to me. “Here.”
I twisted the cap, raised the beer to my lips, and took a long drink. Cold beer was the best and I’ve drunk plenty tonight. It was a good thing that I had a high tolerance for alcohol. I looked around the spacy room, my eyes landed on the dark-haired guy with a beautiful blonde in his arms. He was lucky that blonde came just in time before I lifted my knee and struck it right between his thighs.
“What’s up with you and Frazier?” asked Jess and I returned my attention back to her.
I frowned. “Nothing.”
“Then why are you looking at him with a scary look on your face?” There was so little thing that I could hide from Jess. We’ve been best friends for years, longer than any relationship any of us has ever had, therefore she knew when something was up. No matter how good at acting I was or playing poker, she could tell. “Did he make a move on you or something?”
I held my breath. “No. Of course not.”
There was exasperation in her voice when she called my name. “Autumn, you know you’re a bad liar, right? So what did he do?”
I let out a deep sigh. “He put his hands where they don’t belong.”
Jess’s eyes widened as she stared at me with a genuinely surprised look on her face. “Where? On your ass?”
I laughed. “He wouldn’t be alive if he did.” I took another long drink before I told her. “On my waists.”
“Oh,” she sounded almost disappointed. “Well, that’s not so bad,” said Jess after a long pause. I raised one brow and gave her a questioning look. “He’s a player. I heard that he has been sleeping with almost the whole faculty. Last week he slept with Aarti, his best friend’s little sister. Arnav was so pissed about it and punched him right in his face. Good thing Mateus and Ken, their mutual friends, were there to break the fight. Or else, both of them were probably ended up in hospital.”
My brain hurt. “How did you know all of these? And who are those people?” For all I knew, we’d been here for three hours and there was no way she gained that much gossip in a short period of time.
“It’s the hottest gossip around so of course, I know,” answered Jess as if I just asked the obvious. “Okay, so that guy, the one with a blonde chick.” She pointed at one corner where the couple was dancing. I squinted my eyes and tried to get a better look.
“That’s the horny couple!” I exclaimed, having the light bulb moment. I recognized the blonde as the annoying girl who banged on the bathroom door earlier.
Jess turned to me. “The what?”
“Oh, I was in the bathroom and that girl was banging on the door saying she needed to pee but then she dragged Adam Levine’s adoptive brother in with her,” I gave her a quick relay on what happened, leaving the part where I embarrassed myself by almost dropping my cup when I first saw the hottie. No one back in D.C. was that hot. No wonder New York was one of the fashion cities in the world considering there were so many good-looking people here.
“Yeah, they were the unstoppable couple. They have no boundaries when it comes to having a good time.” Jess nodded like a spectator as her gaze was on the couple.
I looked at my watch on the inside of my wrist and took one last pull from the green bottle until it was empty. It was a quarter past midnight. I pulled out my phone from my pocket and checked my messages. Strangely, there was none from Tyler. I took a deep breath and sent him a quick text.
Was IKEA really that hard? X.
I shoved my phone back into my pocket and turned to Jess and Colton. “Hey, what time are we leaving?” Besides the good quality beer, I really didn’t see any point in me being here. I hardly knew these people. Unlike Jess, I was never a walking F******k, I didn’t have an amazing brain for memorizing people’s names, faces, and the latest gossip about them.
“Already?” Colton, who was a former captain of the Carlton High football team, loved partying. He used to be the center of almost every party. Just like any alpha, he had Luke and Castile on his sides as sidekicks. Judging from the way some guys were slapping his back or raising their beers for a toast, he was making some friends here.
Jess pout. “Can we stay a little bit longer?”
I was about to say that they could stay if they wanted and I’d just get a taxi home when my phone buzzed. It was Tyler.
Frustratingly so. How was the party? It’s getting late. I could pick you up in an hour or two if you want. Text me the address.
I couldn’t stop my face from grinning as I texted him the address. I put my phone away and looked up at Jess. “Fine. One or two hours more until Ty arrives.”
Colton gave me a nod while Jess answered me with a grin.
“I’m gonna need more beer. You guys want some?” Might as well drink as much as I could while it was free.
Jess shook her head. “Ugh. I hate beer. How can you drink so much of it? It tastes like pee.”
I laughed. “How would you know? Have you tasted pee before?”
She punched my arm lightly. I looked at Colton but he raised two bottles of beer and said, “Nah, I’m good.
“Okay.” I nodded. “Be right back!”
I swung the fridge open and my eyes almost jumped out of the sockets. There were so many types of beer inside the fridge, enough to open my own bar. I saw some Corona and Heineken, but I took one bottle with ‘Ulmer Pilsener’ written on the label. “This looks nice.”
I twisted the cap and took a drink. “Mmm.” I let out a deep sigh. It tasted so good. I looked around to find a place to sit and drink since I didn’t feel like going back to the loud party. My gaze landed on the big counter in the middle and cringed. “Gross.” There was no way I was going to sit on the place where Frazier and the blonde made out earlier. I would get AIDS if I did.
I put the beer on the counter next to the fridge and stood next to it. I put both hands on the counter and pushed my body up until I sat on the top of the counter. The black granite felt cold beneath me. I leaned back on the wall and brought the bottle to my lips.
I closed my eyes and dreamily sighed. This was heaven. At least that was how I felt until someone dragged me back to hell. “Looks like you’re enjoying yourself,” said a deep voice with a faint British accent.
My eyes fluttered open and immediately found him leaning against the door frame with his arms folded and a smug look on his face. I raised the beer bottle to my lips and took a long drink, pretending he didn’t exist.
“Good taste. That’s the best lager beer from Germany.” He nodded at the bottle in my hand and added, “which happens to be my favorite.”
I suddenly didn’t feel like drinking it. “I picked it randomly,” I countered. I felt the need to let him know that I didn’t pick his favorite beer on purpose. Some guys, especially one who looked like he got a big head like him, usually assumed that all girls adored him and were even grateful to be in his presence alone.
“Then you’re very lucky.” He shrugged and moved closer, round the big counter in the middle, and stopped a few feet away from me. He rested his waist against the counter and looked up at me. With me sitting on the counter, I was one head taller than him, although I knew full well that he must be above six feet tall considering he towered over me on the dance floor fifteen minutes ago. I glanced at my watch, hoping the hands of the clock would move faster than usual. I couldn’t wait to get back home and claim the massages Ty had promised earlier.
I paid no attention to him as I continued to drink and pulled out my phone to continue my daily stalking. Shawn Mendes might be taken but he was still a hell of a sight.
“You’re a good dancer,” commented him after a moment of silence.
I slightly lowered my phone and peered over the top at the guy standing in front of me. I looked beyond the square jaw and tanned lips, all the way up the straight autocratic nose, and stopped at a pair of eyes the color of hot charcoal. Up close, he was even more handsome than from a distance, but there was no way I would admit that. Not to anyone and especially not to him. Considering his ego was already the size of a T-Rex egg, there was no need to make it even bigger.
I took one last pull of my beer and put the empty bottle on the counter. “And you owe me an apology.” I gave him a pointed look, one that warned him not to mess with me.
He chuckled and took two steps forward, invading my personal space. Close enough that I could feel his body heat and the testosterone radiating from him but not close enough that we touched. “I don’t owe you anything.” Putting both hands on the counter, each on the spot beside my thigh, he said, just above a whisper, “You’re the one who owes me something.”
“I don’t owe you anything.” I shoved him away and jumped down from the counter. I took one step and his hand caught my arm. Goddamnit. I looked at him his hand and back to his face. “I know AIDS doesn’t transmit through the air but with you, I feel like it would. Now would you please go away and disturb someone else?”
“Go out with me. Be mine.” He looked so serious as if he was asking about a matter of life and death and not just asking a girl out.
“No,” I answered almost immediately. This was one easy question that I didn’t need to consult my brain to know what to say.
He frowned. His brows lowered a fraction and he looked at me for several long moments. “Why not?”
There was always that question. I wondered when would a guy simply take no for an answer without trying to find the reason behind it. “Because I have an amazing boyfriend who’s going to pick me up in twenty minutes.”
One corner of his mouth lifted. “Dump him. Be with me.” He said it as if it was the right thing to do. He made it sound like I was being stupid if I didn’t take the opportunity to go out with him. Seriously, I swear some guys were conceived by anal sex considering how many assholes were around, including the biggest ass right in front of me.
I shook my head in disbelief and folded my arms. “Not interested. I prefer my boyfriend over anyone, especially someone like you.”
His eyes narrowed. He looked like he was trying to decide whether it was a compliment or an insult. Obviously, it was the latter, but God knew some people could be really clueless. “I bet I’m better than him.” He shrugged one shoulder.
“Geez. You’re like a bag of Pampers. Self-absorbed and full of shit.” I shook my head and walked away without even bothering to look for his reaction.
I found Jess almost immediately. She was dancing on the dance floor with one glass in her hand. “Autumn!” She threw her arms around me and put her head on my shoulder. “Oh, I miss you. Where have you been?”
I held my arms around her, afraid that she might fall if I let go. “Jess, are you drunk?”
“No, of course not. I only drunk a few glasses,” answered her sleepily. I shouldn’t have asked, no drunk person would admit they were drunk just like no criminal would admit they’ve committed a crime.
Carefully I guided her through the crowd and brought her to the living room. A few people were making out there but it was better than the loud music. Right now, I’ve mastered a talent of muting the kissing noises and placing my gaze where they were safe. At the ground.
“I’m gonna get you some water. Stay here.” I went to the mini-fridge and took out a bottle of mineral water. I unscrewed the cap and handed her the bottle. She took a big gulp then put the bottle on the table.
Jess let out a sigh. “I feel so much better now.” Jess blinked multiple times. She tried and failed to focus her eyes on me. “Why are you so sober?”
“Because I didn’t drink as much as you?” I smiled and she nudged my arm. “Where’s Colton?”
She gave me a stupid grin that only drunk people managed to recreate on their faces. “Somewhere. Around. I don’t know.”
Great. She was drunk and he was nowhere to be found. I pulled out my phone and dialed his number. After a few tries and he didn’t pick up, I almost gave up but he answered on the last try. “Autumn!”
“Where the hell is you?! Jess is drunk,” I countered, trying my best to remain calm although inside I wanted to throw rocks at him for not being responsible for my best friend. Beside me, Jess kept muttering ‘I’m not drunk’. I rolled my eyes. She was going to have a massive headache tomorrow.
“I’m on my way. I swear when I told her I’m going to play with the guys, she was talking with some girls and she promised she won’t drink.” There was worried and regret in his voice, for that discovery I might let him live.
“Just hurry up!” I pressed end call and shoved my phone back into my pocket. I held the bottle in front of Jess. “Jess. Drink!” Tonight I felt like our roles have been reversed. She was usually the responsible one while I was being reckless and getting drunk somewhere, now she was the reckless one.
She grinned, sleepy and silly. “I need to make a wee-wee,” exclaimed her as she raised one hand in the air.
I groaned. Batman, save me!
To make it even worse, I heard loud stomping steps making their way toward me and when I looked up, it was Frazier.
He looked down at me from his lofty height and there was no denying that he was furious. I dared to look into his fury eyes and refused to be a coward. I hadn’t done anything wrong, I had no reason to be scared. He was human, just like me and everyone else in the room. There was absolutely no reason to be afraid.
He dipped down until his eyes leveled with mine. “I will make your life here in Columbia a living hell, little minx.” He straightened and rubbed his hands together. “Everyone,” he addressed the crowd. The music died immediately, almost as if even the stereo knew who was the boss. “I have an announcement.”
Then he told the biggest lie that brought the storm into my mundane life and turned my world upside down.
AUTUMN POVHe was towering over me, with two of his minions on each side. Seriously, why do douchebags always have followers? I stole a glance at Jess but she was already passed out, her head rested on the arm of the couch and her lips slightly parted.Everyone’s eyes were on him as they all waited for his so-called announcement. I bet it was something unimportant like how he finally managed to excel in the art of torturing innocent people or seducing some other girl to dump her boyfriend. Whatever it was, I didn’t plan to listen as I pulled out my phone, leaned on the back of the couch, and opened Instagram.“I just found out that this girl,” he started. I didn’t notice he was pointing directly at me until I could feel everyone’s eyes making a hole in my head. I looked up at him and sighed, waiting for him to continue so I could get it over with. I doubted he could really ‘make my life a living hell&rsq
AUTUMN POV The drive was quiet. He was driving in silence, keeping his eyes on the road while I was riding shotgun. I didn’t expect a conversation either, considering we were both strangers. Even though what happened tonight seemed to be the longest three chapters of my life, I hardly knew him, maybe I only knew one or two things about him. One, he was an ass. Two, he was a charming but arrogant pain in the ass.I saw the metro station in the front and pointed it with my forefinger. “You can drop me there....” He didn’t slow down. “Now it’s behind us,” I watched the station as we drove past it. I turned to face him, penetrating him with a stare that I hoped could make a hole in the side of
AUTUMN POVI woke up alone. He was nowhere on the bed. My first thought was that he was probably in the shower or busy in the kitchen. Tyler was an early riser, after all, he was wide awake once his feet touched the ground and he’d stay wide awake throughout the day.I, on the other hand, was not a morning person. I hated waking up. Be it for school or on weekends. I was one of those bed-huggers. The longer I stayed on the bed, the happier I was. I’d be grumpy the whole day if I didn’t get enough sleep. Tyler knew of this, which was why he’d never wake me up unless it was necessary.I stretched my body across the king-sized bed and then stared at the ceiling for a solid five minutes, contemplating my way from bed to the fridge. I pushed myself up and made a sma
I stopped right in front of him. He was a lot taller than me so I had to look up to meet his eyes. “I want to have a word with you.” I went straight to the point.He turned and looked at the crowd behind him before returning his gaze to me. “Fine. Let’s go somewhere quiet. I don’t want to risk my rep by talking to you in public.”I rolled my eyes. “If anything, I should be the one risking my rep for talking to an asshole like you.”He gave me an annoyed look and shifted his weight on one foot as he folded his arms beneath the grey shirt he was wearing. “Do you want to have that talk or do you want to piss me off?”“Talk,” I replied curtly and followed him as he led us to one of the b
AUTUMN POVI folded my arms around myself and looked at her in defiance. There was no way I let someone like her intimidate me. “It’s funny how the people who know me the least have the most to say.”She raised her brows and tried to look down at me from her five inches high heels. “Oh, she talks. I thought you just nod your head while banging someone else’s boyfriend and the admission board.”“Watch your mouth, Margo, she and I are just friends,” said Frazier as he moved until he stood right in front of me, the side of his arm almost touching my shoulder. “And she didn’t sleep with the admission board.”I looked at him in surprise. I thought he sa
AUTUMN POVI couldn’t concentrate during the lecture. All I could think about was Jess and her telling someone about my past relationship with Joe and Ashton. No one would be able to understand the struggle of wanting someone to love me, needing someone to love me, when everyone else could care less. When I grew up, my family wasn’t as loving and caring as they were now.My dad, my older brother Steven, and I caught my mom having sex with our neighbor Josh. Since then our parents decided to remain married but continue to have sex with other people. It was sick and wrong. Steven and I grew up without the love of our parents.When my high school boyfriend of two years, Ashton Martin, cheated on me with the captain of the cheerleader, I couldn&rsquo
AUTUMN POV“Let me know which asshole this Phraser guy was, so I could teach him some lesson,” growled Tyler by the time I finished telling him about what happened at the party last night.“Hey, he and I are friends now.” I didn’t know why I defended Phraser. Maybe because he defended me in front of Margo and promised to clean up the mess. Above all else, I didn’t want Tyler to get involved in a brawl.Tyler stared at me. An incredulous look plastered on his handsome face. “You’re friends which someone who made up a rumor and swore to make your life a living hell?”When he put it that way, it sounded ridiculous that I even considered becoming friends with Phrase
TYLER POVI couldn’t believe this was happening. Not now. Not after three years of living my life without her. Yet here she was, right in front of me where I could touch her to know that she was real. She looked at me with those blue-green eyes beneath her long lashes, and I suddenly felt like a seventeen years old boy who was completely in love with his three-year girlfriend.“What are you doing here?” I caught her arms and helped her get up on her feet.She smiled and put her forefinger up, pointing at the ceiling. “I’m going to the club. They have the best margaritas here. What about you?”“I’m going home. I was just from there.” Although I was there for work, for a completely different reason than her. I star