“Is this the place?” Will asked, pulling his car into the parking lot of a small business complex.
I frowned looking at the signs hanging from each door on the building. The sign on the far left of the building read Side Street Café. “This is the place,” I told Will, reaching over to unbuckle my seat belt.
“Is your date here?”
“Will, why do you think every time I go somewhere with a guy that it’s a date?” I inquired, rolling my eyes at him.
He gave a one-shoulder shrug. “In case one of these times you reply with a affirmative answer.”
“Well it’s a negative.”
Will grinned. “Get out.”
“On it,” I replied, pushing the car door open. A frigid blast of air met my face and I was tempted to slam the door shut again. Resisting the urge, I hopped out of my car, my feet sinking in the two inches of fresh snow on the ground.
“Be safe!” Will called right before I shut the door.
It was a horrible, freezing thirty-second period in the snow before I burst through the café’s door, already shivering. A few people sitting closest to the door gave me strange looks as I brushed snow off of my coat. Suddenly I felt a hand ruffling the hair on my head. I glanced up to see Arden grinning down at me.
“Hey,” he greeted, retracting his hand. “You had some snow…” He gestured to the top of his head.
I quickly ran my hand over the top of my head, feeling wetness. “Um, thanks.”
Arden dropped his grin. “Follow me,” he ordered, gesturing with his hand towards the back of the café. “I got us a table near the back.”
We maneuvered our way through the crowded room to the far back corner. Arden pulled out a chair for me at a small, two-person table. I couldn’t help by smile at his chivalry. He grinned back, taking a seat across from me.
“So, this place has amazing smoothies,” Arden told me, looking excited. “They have this 911 smoothie that has watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, and a bunch of other things. It’s good.”
I raised an eyebrow. “Isn’t it too cold for smoothies?”
“It’s warm in here,” he counted with a shrug. “But you can order a hot cocoa if you want… wussy.”
I stared at him in disbelief. He was going to sit there and tease me? “I’ll have a smoothie,” I snapped, determined not to give Arden any satisfaction.
He smiled broadly, pushing himself away from the table. “I’ll go order. It’s on me.”
Five minutes later he returned with two tall glasses filled with a pink slush, as well as two plates with what looked like chocolate cake. He placed a smoothie and a piece of cake in front of me before sitting back down.
“Are you sucking up?”
Arden’s expression immediately dropped. He ducked his head. “No.”
“Uh-huh,” I responded, pulling my smoothie closer to me. I took a sip cautiously, trying to determine whether or not I was going to like it or not. To my surprise, it was surprisingly sweet— and delicious. “This is really good!”
Arden looked back up, excited again? “Isn’t it?”
Boy was he resilient. Like a puppy… I shook my head. Arden was not a puppy. “So, how has your weekend been?” I inquired, picking a chocolate curl off my cake and eating it.
Arden shrugged. “Okay. Yours?”
“Interesting,” I responded, seeing this conversation going nowhere. I hesitated a moment before speaking again. “About Friday—”
“I really wasn’t lying,” Arden interjected, giving me a serious. “If there’s one thing I don’t do, it’s lie.”
I blinked at his forwardness. “Uh…”
“I don’t know what Zak or Oliver told you, but don’t listen to them,” he continued, making an annoyed face. “Especially Oliver.”
“Oliver wouldn’t lie,” I protested.
Arden gave me a hard look. “You sure about that?”
“Well, I’m not going to try to change your belief in him,” he told me with another shrug. “However, I do want you to reconsider your belief in me.”
I chewed on my lip, cupping my hands around my smoothie glass. “I do believe you.”
“You do?” He sounded surprised.
I nodded. “You haven’t given me a reason not to believe you.”
Arden ran a hand through his hair, looking relieved. “Good. I’m glad. You’d have to be a real as—”
|Emma Watson||as Harley Allen|
|Jackson Brundage||as Elliot Allen|
|Hugh Jackman||as Rob Allen|
|Gaspard Ulliel||as Oliver Fox|
|Avan Jogia||as Arden Bring|
|Luke Pasqualino||as Zak Adler|
|Alex Mckee||as Tucker Quinn|
|Sarah Roemer||as Melissa Moore|
|Adrian Oliver||as Joel Ross|
|Ben Oliver||as Joey Ross|
|Alex Pettyfer||as Seth Samuelson|
|Chad Michael Murray||as Will Lawson|