Home > Fake Fiancée(13)

Fake Fiancée(13)
Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills

“Your girl?” Bart sneered, throwing his hands up. “You don’t even know her. And for your information, I’d never hurt Sunny. Can’t say the same about you.” He looked pointedly at Max’s clenched fists. “You’re the one who likes to fight,” he said, obviously referring to the altercation between Max and Felix last year.

“That’s right. Now get back to your seat before I shove my fist in your face,” Max said softly, his eyes narrowed.

“I’m not afraid of you, asshole—”

“Everything okay back there?” Professor Whitt had walked in and was staring at them from behind wire spectacles. He frowned and adjusted them, his eyes darting from Max’s face to Bart’s.

“Yes, sir,” Max said, but never took his gaze off Bart.

Neither of them moved.

“Sit down,” I hissed, directing it at both of them. They were acting like petulant children fighting over a toy. And Max and I weren’t even a real couple! Insanity.

Thank goodness, Bart stalked back to his seat.

“I can fight my own battles with him,” I whispered to Max as he sat back down. “Don’t do that again.”

He ignored me, his lips pressed together, his movements sharp yet tautly controlled as he took out his laptop, letting it plop loudly on the desk.

Okay. Fine. He was angry. I got that. But why?

I focused back on unpacking my things, feeling as weak as a wet noodle.

Whitt got down to business calling roll and laying down the law about tardiness and absences. Inwardly, I groaned. I’d done my best in here last semester, but after I’d missed a few days when Mimi had gotten her knee surgery, it had been impossible to catch up. As a person in the arts, science and math were my kryptonite.

The room got quiet. Everyone was staring at me.

“Miss Blaine . . . you with us today?” Whitt said.

“Yes.” I straightened in my seat.

“Good.” He nodded at me and sent me a small smile. With dark wavy hair and a nice face, he was good-looking for an older guy. I’d heard he was actually a nice person, just ridiculously hard.

“Welcome. Let’s hope you pay attention this semester. Tell me, Miss Blaine, what organ is the most important in the human body?”

Crap! He didn’t waste any time.

I flipped the pages in my textbook, skimming over the material he’d assigned through email last week. My anxiety shot up. Maybe instead of pulling down wallpaper I should have read my assignment. “The heart?” Sounded good.

“Why?” he asked.

I chewed on my bottom lip. Think, Sunny, think! “It pumps blood and provides nutrients. We can’t live without it. It’s the center of our—”

“Wrong. We can live without it with a heart transplant.” His finger landed on Max. “You. Mr. Kent. What’s the most important organ?”

Max adjusted a pair of tortoiseshell glasses he’d slipped on at some point, looking suave and cool as if the altercation with Bart had never happened. “The brain, sir. It controls vision, hearing, smell, balance, learning, memory, and a few things I’m sure I’ve forgotten. It communicates by using neurons, and it’s estimated we have billions.”

My mouth gaped. It dawned on me that Max wasn’t exactly the dumb jock I’d imagined.

Maybe there was more to him . . .


“Nice answer,” Whitt replied.

Max paused, his eyes gliding over to mine. “But back to the heart—Miss Blaine makes a valid point.”

“How so?” Whitt asked, crossing his legs as he leaned against the podium.

The entire class looked from Whitt to Max to me. It felt as if the entire room hushed to hear what he had to say.

Max cleared his throat. “The heart may not be the control center, but the brain is nothing without oxygen that the heart supplies. They rely on each other—it’s a relationship of sorts. Also, metaphorically speaking, the heart is the seat of the soul and our psyche. After all, it is the organ that falls in love.”

Whitt chuckled. “Love has nothing to do with our heart.”

“I disagree.” Max sent me a leisurely look, sweeping over my face. “When you first meet someone special, your heart reacts. It flutters or jumps or something. It’s like it recognizes its other half.” He dipped his head, appearing a bit embarrassed by the admission.

I didn’t buy it. Not for a hot minute.

Wistful sighs came from the girls around me. Maybe even a couple of guys.

“ . . . so romantic . . .” someone murmured from the back of the room.

“ . . . you can have my heart anytime . . .” said another.

Oh, please.

I lifted an eyebrow at Max. You are so full of shit, my eyes said.

You know you want me, his eyes replied.

“Player,” I whispered under my breath.

He just grinned.


I FOLLOWED SUNNY OUT OF class, grabbing her hand before she stepped into the stairwell. I wasn’t ready to let her walk away. An idea was niggling at me.

“Wait. Let’s talk a minute. I have a proposition for you.”

She turned toward me, a harried look on her face as she shuffled her backpack around. “What’s up? Oh, and nice acting in class. Half the girls are in love with you now.”

“Just half?”

She glared. “Fine. Probably all of them.”

“But not you?” I asked.

“Sorry, but your little show was impervious to my hard heart.”

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