Home > Fake Fiancée(4)

Fake Fiancée(4)
Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills

The Formica countertop was littered with empty pizza boxes and beer cans from our celebration of the scrimmage. I rounded it all up and chunked it in the trash. Tate didn’t care too much about keeping the place clean, but I did. A blueberry muffin that had somehow not been eaten this week caught my eye and I snatched it, devouring it in two bites. I grabbed a protein drink from the fridge and chugged it. I felt wound up. Antsy. Like something was about to happen.

A staccato knock came at the door.

“Bro, can you get that? I’m cleaning up,” I called from the kitchen.

“I’m a fragile flower,” he moaned. “Can we just ignore it?”

Fine by me. I grabbed my backpack, my laptop, and notebooks. Where were those new pens I’d gotten? I scurried around, opening the drawers under the counter until I found the new pack of fine-tips and stuffed them in.

The knock came again, and a chick’s voice came through the wood of the door. “Hello, I know you’re there. I can see both of you through the window.” An exasperated sound came from outside, and I may have heard the creative insult jock-ass.

I cocked my head. Not Sierra’s voice. Thank God. I made a meh noise and opened the fridge to grab a Gatorade. Which one did I want, the blue or the original . . .

A loud plop came from the porch. Was our unwanted visitor stamping her foot? I smirked. She could stamp all she wanted. I was sick to death of girls showing up here expecting to get a signed autograph—or suck me off. I didn’t stick my cock in girls I didn’t know. I wasn’t my father.

A grumble came from behind the door. “I’m calling the cops in five seconds if this door isn’t opened. One, two, three, four—”


That got my attention. I slammed the fridge shut. I did not need the cops over here.

If this was another groupie . . .

I went to the door and flung it open.


MY ALARM BLARED AND I reached over to click it off.

The glare of the sun hitting my blinds woke me. I scrubbed at my face and squinted as I pried my eyes open.

Welcome back to Leland.

I stretched, loosening tight muscles that had washed every dirty crevice in my new rental house the day before. I’d even pulled down the weird mallard duck wallpaper in the den. I felt accomplished and ready to tackle the day, even though I had Professor Whitt this morning and my stupid-jock-ex would be there.

I turned my head to check out the time again and met the beady gaze of a huge brown spider that sat next to my head on the pillow.

My scream pierced the morning silence, the sound ricocheting off the walls and probably waking the old lady who lived down the street. Of course the spider didn’t like this. He skittered off my pillow and down between the cracks of the headboard.

Shuddering in revulsion, I bolted out of bed, stumbled over last night’s shoes, and promptly stubbed my big toe on the wooden dresser. I yelped, fell to the floor, and poked at the red-hot pain that was my appendage. Only me. And only on the first day of class. Ugh.

I eyed my bed accusingly, willing the spider to come out and face what he’d done. Dammit. Now I’d have to sleep on the couch for the rest of the semester.

My phone rang, and I limped over to scoop it up. My bestie Isabella was on the ID.

“Morning, Sugartits!” she sang into my ear.

I winced. “Please. I haven’t had coffee yet.”

“Can’t help it. I had sex last night, and it was phe-nom-e-nal.” She drew the last word out and made a crazy meow sound at the end. I held the phone out from my ear to lessen her sound effects.

“Imagine that,” I said wryly. “Who’s the lucky guy?”

She rattled off some boy from the Tau house she’d met at a back to school party. She described him in vivid detail, right down to the piercing on his privates.

“You think I’m a slut, don’t you?” she asked after a few moments.

“Of course not.” Because that’s what friends say.

She kept chatting, clearly in the mood for socializing, even though I could hear customers in the background of the local Starbucks where she worked. How she didn’t get fired, I had no clue.

“I bet he has a buddy,” she added.

“Don’t they all?”

She harrumphed in disgust. “You need to hop on over and meet that sexy neighbor of yours. Hello, Mr. Quarterback. I bet he’s got some backfield in motion. I bet you could score with him. Heck, I bet he knows how to ball—”

“Stop,” I said. “I don’t do athletes anymore. It’s a hard rule. And if it had been my choice, I wouldn’t have rented a house across the street from him.”

“Hello, have you seen how wide his shoulders are—without the pads? Day-um.”

I heard a slurping sound and pictured her sucking down a latte or a steaming mug of hot chocolate. “What are you drinking?”

“Caramel Macchiato.”

I cursed. I loved that drink.

“I’m also eating a raspberry white-chocolate muffin. It’s delicious. There’s this amazing cream cheese in the middle of it—”

“I hate you. I really, really do.” Sweets were my thing, and the image of a muffin made my belly grumble. Not surprising since my dinner last night had consisted of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich—’cause it was cheap and pretty much all I’d had in the house.

Padding to the kitchen with the phone pressed to my ear, I came to a dead halt in front of the stained coffee maker I’d inherited from my grandmother Mimi when she’d upgraded. My heart dropped. I’d forgotten my grocery run last night. I wailed.

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