Not today, Satan.

“Y’all really need to stop watching reruns of Dance Moms.” I turned back to my closet and restarted my search for a pair of shorts to wear on my shift. Smothering a yawn, I wished I had time for a nap, but Megan had come over after practice and I had only about an hour before I had to head to work.

“You look tore up from the floor up,” Abbi commented, and it took me a moment to realize she was talking about me. “Did you not sleep last night?”

“Wow. Thanks,” I responded, frowning. “Sebastian came home last night, so he stopped over and stayed for a while.”

“Ooh, Sebastian,” cooed Megan, clapping her hands. “Did he keep you up all night? Because if so, I’m going to be upset that you didn’t mention this earlier. I’m also going to want details. All the dirty, juicy details.”

Abbi snorted. “I seriously doubt there is any juicy or dirty details.”

“I don’t know if I should be offended by that statement or not,” I said.

“I just can’t see that happening,” Abbi replied with a lopsided shrug.

“I don’t know how you spend so much time with him and not want to jump on him like a rabid mountain lion in heat,” Megan mused. “I wouldn’t be able to control myself.”

I leaned my head back. “Wow.” My friends were kind of weird. Specifically Megan. “Aren’t you back with Phillip?”

“Kind of? Not sure. We’re talking.” Megan giggled. “Even if I were back with him, it doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate that fine specimen of a guy living next door to you.”

Advertisement..

“Have at it,” I muttered.

“Have you noticed how hot people flock together? Like all of Sebastian’s friends—Keith, Cody, Phillip. All of them are hot. It’s the same with Skylar and her friends. Kind of like birds migrating south for the winter,” Megan continued.

Abbi murmured under her breath, “What the hell?”

“Anyway, I’m not ashamed of my not-so-friendly thoughts toward Sebastian. Everyone has a crush on him,” Megan said. “I have a crush on him. Abbi has a crush on him—”

“What?” shouted Abbi. “I don’t have a crush on him.”

“Oh, I’m sorry. You have the hots for Keith. My bad.”

I twisted halfway to see Abbi’s reaction to that and I was not let down.

Abbi lifted up onto her elbows, turning her head toward Megan. If looks could kill, Megan’s entire family would’ve just died.

“I might seriously hit you, and since you weigh, like, eighty pounds wet and I have about a hundred on you, I’m going to snap you like a KitKat bar.”

I grinned as I turned back to my closet and dropped to my knees, rummaging through the books and jeans on the bottom of the narrow closet. “Keith’s cute, Abbi.”

“Yeah, he’s hot, but he’s also the school bike and everyone has had a ride,” she commented.

“I haven’t,” Megan said.

“Me neither.” Finding the cutoffs, I snagged them off the floor and rose. “Keith has been trying to get with you since you developed breasts.”

“Which was, like, the fifth grade.” Megan laughed as Abbi threw my poor pillow at her. “What? It’s the truth.”

Abbi shook her head. “Y’all are crazy. I don’t think Keith is into girls darker than your lily-white asses.”

I snorted as I dropped into the desk chair. The back bumped into the edge of the desk, rattling the stack of books. “I’m pretty sure Keith is into girls of all skin tones, shapes and sizes and then some,” I said, bending over and grabbing the pens and highlighters that had fallen from the desktop.

Abbi huffed. “Whatever. We are not talking about my nonexistent attraction to Keith.”

I turned to Abbi. “You know, Skylar stopped into Joanna’s last night and asked if Sebastian knew I was in love with him.” I forced out a casual-sounding laugh. “That’s crazy, right?”

Megan’s blue eyes widened to the size of planets. Not Pluto...more like Jupiter. “What?”

Abbi was also paying attention. “Details, Lena.”

I filled them in on what Skylar had to say last night. “It was just really weird.”

“Well, obviously she wants to get back with him.” Abbi looked thoughtful. “But why would she ask you that? Even if it was true, why would you admit that to her, his ex-girlfriend?”

“Right? I was thinking about that earlier.” I toed myself around in a slow circle on the chair. “I’ve been around her a lot because of her dating Sebastian, but it’s not like we’re friends. I wouldn’t admit my deepest secrets to her.”

Abbi tilted her head to the side and looked like she wanted to say something but kept quiet.

“Oh! I almost forgot,” Megan exclaimed as she dropped her feet to the floor, clearly on to the next topic. Pink flooded her heart-shaped face. “I heard that Cody and Jessica are seeing each other again.”

“Not surprised.” Cody Reece was the star quarterback. Sebastian was the star running back. Friendship made in football heaven right there. And Jessica was, well... She wasn’t particularly the nicest person I’d ever met.

“Didn’t Cody try to get with you at Keith’s party back in July?” Abbi asked, rolling onto her back.

I shot her a death glare more powerful than the Death Star’s laser. “I had forgotten all about that, so thanks for bringing that back up.”

“You’re welcome,” she quipped.

“I remember that party. Cody was super drunk.” Megan started twisting her hair in a rope, which she’d loved doing since we were kids. “He probably doesn’t even remember hitting on you, but you better hope Jessica doesn’t find out. That girl is territorial. She will make your senior year a living hell.”

I wasn’t really worried about Jessica, because, logically, how could she be that upset over Cody hitting on me at a party when they weren’t even together? That didn’t even make sense.

Megan cursed, jumping to her feet. “I was supposed to meet my mom ten minutes ago. She’s taking me back-to-school shopping, which really means she’s going to try to dress me like I’m still five.” She picked up her purse and then her gym bag. “By the way, it’s Friday, and don’t think I’ve forgotten my weekly reminder.”

I sighed heavily. Here we go...

“It’s time for you to get a boyfriend. Anyone really, at this point. And a real one, too. Not a book boyfriend.” She walked to my bedroom door.

I threw up my hands. “Why are you so obsessed with the idea of me having a boyfriend?”

“Why are you so obsessed with me?” mimicked Abbi.

I ignored it. “You do remember that I had one, right?”

“Yes.” She raised her chin. “Had. As in past tense.”

“Abbi doesn’t have a boyfriend!” I pointed out.

“We’re not talking about her. But I know why you aren’t interested in anyone.” She tapped the side of her head. “I know.”

“Oh my God.” I shook my head.

“Heed my words. Live a little. If you don’t, when you’re thirty and living alone with a ton of cats and eating tuna fish for dinner, you’ll regret it. Not even the good tuna fish. The generic kind steeped in oil. All because you spend every waking minute reading books while you could be out there, meeting the future daddy to your babies.”

“That’s a little excessive,” I murmured, side-eyeing her. “And what’s wrong with generic tuna fish in oil?” I looked over at Abbi. “It tastes better than when it’s soaked in water.”

“Agreed,” she replied.

“And I’m really not interested in meeting my future baby daddy,” I added. “I don’t even think I want kids. I’m seventeen. And kids weird me out.”

“You disappoint me,” Megan stated. “But I still love you, because I’m that good of a friend.”

“What would I do without you?” I gave myself a twirl in the chair.