“I’ve got news for you, Aves. When a guy says he wants to take you out in the name of science, he’s totally full of it. He really just wants to take you out.”
“But you’ve taken me out like a million times for the experiment. You kissed me once in the name of science.”
“Somewhere between the shower and the Red Bull I fell in love with you, Aves. I’m talking epically. There is no coming back from a fall like mine.”
“When a girl lets you be the one to hold her as her entire world falls apart, even though you’re ass naked, it changes the way you see her.”
“Why you?” I asked. “Why are you the one
here with me? Why isn’t it him?”
Grayson’s smile was sad and full of sympathy. “I don’t know, Aves, but maybe it’s for the best. You guys are almost seventeen. If it hasn’t happened by now, maybe it’s not supposed to.”
“I can’t accept that.”
“Denial isn’t good for you.”
“It isn’t denial.”
“Now you’re denying your denial.”
“But look at you,” I said. “You always thought I was like a sister too. If you can change your mind, then he can too. He just needs a wake up call.”
“Hey now, you can’t just go jumping in the shower with every guy you know. That’s totally our thing.”
“I was scared for her, which was kind of a new feeling for me because I never really pay that much attention to anyone. Aves was just so destroyed after New Year’s Eve that I couldn’t help myself. I was either stepping up as the role of overprotective big brother, or I’d developed an impossible crush and was pissed off that someone dared hurt my woman. I had no idea which it was.
Turns out I was every bit as tangled up in our warped relationship as Avery and Aiden. Thanks a lot, moms. Prenatal yoga classes should be illegal.”
“This is most definitely a real date,” he promised so passionately it made me shiver. “I asked you out. I’m paying for your dinner. There will be dancing later, and I will be kissing you when the clock strikes twelve tonight.”
I let out a tiny squeak of fear and Grayson upped his intensity. “It’s going to happen, Aves, and youare going to like it.”
“You’ll be fine. Just hang on to me. I won’t make you let go all night if you don’t want to.”
She took me up on my offer. Slowly, she slipped her arm around my waist and then clung to me like she was super glued there. I tensed beneath her touch and had to fight back shivers.
“Feel free to hang on to other parts of me too.” My voice came out thick because it had been stuck in my throat. “My butt’s feeling pretty left out, and I don’t spend so much time working out my abs and chest just to never get felt up.”
“Avery chewed her bottom lip. I was going to have to talk to her about that habit because every time she did it, it got harder and harder for me not to kiss her. One of these days I was not going to be held responsible for whatever actions I was driven to.”
“You think I'm gross?" Grayson asked.
"Yes, I do. You are so horny it's unhealthy. You burb in my face every time you eat onions, and you don't bother to leave the room before you fart. This afternoon you dripped your sweat on me. On purpose!”
“If anybody fell for anybody in the last few months it was me. I love her, Aiden.”
“I’m just not, okay? Can we please drop it? I’m done working on the experiment for the day. We’re supposed to be helping Grayson with his physics too, and he’s got a make up quiz tomorrow on Newton’s Laws.”
This seemed to stop everyone. I wasn’t sure why they were suddenly all staring at me until Brandon said, “Did you really fail a quiz on Newton’s Laws?”
Okay. So they were staring at me because they all thought I was a moron. “What?” I asked a little defensively. “Like it’s easy? ‘Don’t steal’ I get. ‘Red means stop’ makes perfect sense. That Newton guy was smoking some serious crack when he made up his laws. When the hell will I ever use that
“He’s my best friend, and I love him, but I’m not in love with him”
“Heard my girl Avery stomped you so hard in a game of pool that Grayson had to take pity on you before every college freshman at UVU saw just how small your junk is.”
“There is something seriously wrong with your friend.”
“I don’t know. I think I’ve seen this movie, and it doesn’t turn out so well for me.”
I smiled at that, even though she hadn’t meant it to be funny. “How much you want to bet? I’m sure you’ve seen nature shows on alpha males or pack leaders or whatever—the whole flock of sheep thing, right?” I turned my smile extra confident because I know it annoys her when I act cocky. “Aves,Grayson Kennedy is at the top of the Spanish Fork High food chain. I’m the king of the jungle. My friends will like you because I like you.”
“I think this conversation was making Grayson uncomfortable, but I couldn’t stop myself. My brain was stuck in a loop because moving forward meant acknowledging that Aiden saw me as a sister, and that was simply unacceptable.
“He just hasn’t ever considered the possibility of a relationship between us,” I insisted. “Maybe he hasn’t hit that level of maturity yet. I mean it’s not like he’s ever gone out with anyone else. He never talks about any other girls.”
“Maybe he’s gay.”
“Never make the mistake of badmouthing cats in front of her. I think she used to be one in a past life."
"Definitely a cat in a past life," Owen muttered next to me. "But, like, a big scary one that ate people.”
“But that’s the thing with depression. Sometimes there is no controlling it. Sometimes it sneaks up on you.”
“-No me di cuenta que eras tan bueno, Grayson.
El cálido sonido de la risa de Grayson retumbó gratamente contra el costado de mi cara que descansaba en su pecho.
- Las damiselas en apuros siempre han sido mi talón de Aquiles, pero no dejes que eso te engañe. Realmente no soy tan bueno.
- Si, lo eres.
- No, no lo soy. Si yo fuera honesto, no estaría teniendo un momento tan difícil para no agarrarte el culo ahora mismo.
(Avery y Grayson)
-Pero miraté - dije -. Siempre pensaste que era como una hermana también. Si puedes cambiar de opinión, entonces el también puede. El sólo necesita un llamado de atención
.-Oye ahora, no puedes ir saltando en la ducha con cada chico, sabes. Eso es completamente nuestra cosa.
(Avery y Grayson)
Escuché que mi amiga Avery te pisó tan fuerte en una partida de billas el pasado fin de semana que Grayson tuvo que tener piedad de ti antes de que cada estudiante de primer año universitario en UVU viera cuán pequeña es tu basura.
(Libby a Owen)
- ¿Realmente fallaste en un examen de sobre Las leyes de Newton?
Está bien. Así que todos me miraban porque pensaban que yo era un idiota.
- ¿Qué? - le pregunté un poco a la defensiva -. ¿Parece ser fácil? "No robar" le entiendo. "Rojo significa detenerse" tiene sentido. El chico Newton estaba fumando algo serio cuando debió haber hecho sus leyes. ¿Cuándo demonios vamos a usarlas de todos modos?
(Brandon y Grayson)”
“Whatever, I make my own rules!”
“The only way to describe what happened next is the word attack.”
“Sólo porque disfruto aprendiendo no quiere decir que sea una nerd.”
“I haven’t added in the extra points from the science”
“Dad told me he had been young once, and it is okay to have my fun.He said when I'm ready to settle down, I need to select a guy who will be good for the family business."
"Have you had your fun?"
"What has that witch Michelle told you?”
“And for a long while they stood side by side without speaking, each seeing the other in every line of the landscape.”
“I've seen it before. Been here before. Played or managed here, six or seven times in six or seven years. Always a visitor, always away.”
“Men wanted to be strong. One way to be strong was to be knowledgeable. In so many areas, it was not possible to be knowledgeable without getting a Ph.D. and doing a postdoc. Guns and hunting provided an out for men who wanted to be know-it-alls but who couldn't afford to spend the first three decades of their lives getting up to speed on quantum mechanics or oncology.”
“... The type of loneliness where you need to keep struggling to accept a situation is fundamentally different than the sort you know you'll get through if you just hang in there”
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