Authors: Paige Rion
By Paige Rion
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are a product of the authors’ imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead,
is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2014 by Theresa Souders
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She said yes. She said yes.
Those three words replay in his mind like some
twisted mantra. It
s all he can think as he makes his way across campus to his dorm. It
s all he could think as he stared at her after she gave him her answer, and he wonders now just how stupid he looked in those seconds following, before he excused himse
lf and fled from the apartment.
But how could I stay in the same room with her when my head was spinning like a top?
He needs a second to think. He needs to make a plan, to figure out how it will all work now. He went to see her with the intention of pitch
ing his proposal, but he thought he
d have a harder fight. He thought she
d need way more convincing, and even then, he wondered if she would say yes or if it would be too weird for her.
Maybe winning Callie
s heart isn
t as hopeless as I once thought?
thought fuels him. He is a balloon, filled to the point of bursting, the combination of excitement and anxiety mounting inside of him until he doesn
t feel the sting of cold air on his face while he runs. He doesn
t feel the burn in his quads or his calve
s, nor the way his lungs scream from the intake of frigid air. All he feels are the remnants of the electric jolt to his system after Callie agreed to be his fake
Dean bulldozes past a cluster of students at the entrance to the dorm and makes h
is way to the men
s wing on the third floor, bypassing a cute brunette on the way to his room. “Hey, Dean,” she calls after him, but he barely notices. He could blame it on his rush to get back to his room, but that would be a lie. He never notices anyone.
He turns and steps into the hallway, where he spots Emmett leaning toward a girl he
s never seen before. He
s facing the wall, one hand braced beside her head. She
s laughing at something he said, when Dean walks up to him and grabs a
fistful of his shirt. “She said yes,” Dean says, giving him a little shake before releasing him.
s eyes widen. “Dude,” he says, glancing at the girl next to him, who laughs and then turns away, telling him she
ll see him later.
Watching her leave, E
mmett waits until she
s out of earshot before turning on Dean. He shoves him in the shoulders and glares at him. “What the hell? I was getting a perfectly good flirt-on with that chick. I was just about to ask her out, and now if I wanna see her later, I h
ave to go to bio, which I was definitely planning on skipping because I have a date with that cute cheerleader with the—”
“I did it.” Dean spreads his arms wide and he smiles. Victory wells inside of him, bubbling and spurting like a freshly tapped spring.
something… This is it. I can feel it,” he says as he begins to pace the cramped hallway outside of their room.
“Fine.” Emmett sighs and crosses his arms over his chest. “I
ll bite. What did you do that is so miraculous, so groundbreaking, y
ou felt the need to ruin a perfectly good prospect?”
Dean stops pacing and his stomach twirls at the thought of Callie by his side, holding his hand, going out with him, kissing him… He presses a hand to his abdomen at the thought. “I hatched a scheme to f
inally win Callie over.”
Emmett raises his brows and whistles. “Seize the fucking day, man. I
m impressed. Let
s hear it. What
s this brilliant plan?”
“I gave her some money to help her with her debt so she doesn
t have to worry about any more crazy scheme
s or dating to earn money. And then I got her to agree to pretend to be my girlfriend. I sold her some story about how I want Maya back and that the only way I thought that was possible was to make her jealous. Which is perfect because she
ll have to reall
y act like we
re together, ham it up for Maya
s sake. She bought it and agreed.”
Holding a hand up, Emmett says, “Wait a minute. Let me get this straight…” He rubs his face, then continues. “Callie
s going to pretend to be your girlfriend to make this Maya
chick jealous, while you
re going to pretend you want Maya back—which you really don
t—and that you need Callie
s help to do it, when in reality, this is just all some ploy to somehow get Callie to fall for you?”
Dean nods, the corners of his mouth curlin
g at the thought. “Yep. That
s pretty much it.”
“Holy shit balls, dude. That
s messed up.”
s smile falls. “What do you mean? It
s perfect! What would happen if I told Callie the truth? If I went to her place and laid it all out there for her, told her
how I felt? That I
ve been in love with her for the past seven years, that I haven
t truly fallen for anyone else because I
m so obsessed with her. What do you think would happen?”