With: Jen McLaughlin
I threw a football before I could walk. Everything in my life revolved around football–and I loved every second. I was a star. Until, suddenly...I wasn’t. Now everyone thinks I’m the monster who killed his best friend. I’m an outcast on campus, silent and alone. Then Taylor Selmer walks back into my life. When will she learn–I’m beyond saving.
I need to save him...
Chase and I used to be friends. But after the accident, nothing was the same. We used to have something special–until we didn’t. But he doesn’t smile anymore. Doesn’t talk. Doesn’t play. It hurts me to see him this way, and I will do everything I can to get him back in the game. Whether he likes it or not.
I stared at her mouth, wondering what she’d taste like. I’d almost kissed her once. I’d just turned sixteen. She’d been fifteen. For me, our friendship had always been more than platonic, but she’d never seen me as more than someone to waste time with in between books.
“Why did you stop talking to me?” I asked, my voice raspy. I hadn’t even meant to ask, but there was no backing down now. “What did I do?”
“Nothing,” she said, her voice cracking. She bit down on the corner of her lower lip. It was hot as hell.
I looked away before I forgot all about who she was and why she was here. “Then why did you stop?”
She hesitated. “Does it really matter?”
“Yeah. It f**king matters.”
“I had it explained to me that ‘a gentleman of your class doesn’t form permanent attachments to young ladies from the lower orders, and I should look elsewhere if I hoped to increase my social standing.’” She paused. “Yes, he actually used those words. He sounded like he was reading from a regency novel.”
I stared at her.
It was my father’s fault. Why was I not surprised?
She lifted a shoulder. “He wasn’t wrong.”
I wanted to be pissed, but honestly, I should have known he would kill the one friendship I’d ever truly valued. First, he ruined my mother, and now me. Anger swept over me, but I shoved it down. This wasn’t the time or place.
Not when his employee was right in front of me.
“No, he wasn’t wrong. I mean, look at us.”
She paled. “Yeah. I know. You’re in Gucci and Prada, and I’m wearing Old Navy.” She tilted her head. “What if my poorness rubbed off on you? Before you knew it, you’d be dining at McDonald’s for fun instead of the Ritz.”
A laugh escaped me. I don’t know who was more surprised by it: her, me, or the girl that almost walked into a pole at the sound. It drove home how far I’d fallen in the past few months. I used to run this place.
Now I was the f**king Hunchback of Villanova.