six

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Author's Note: this is a short update and a filler chapter, but the story will start to pick up in pace in the later chapters. it'll probably be edited later because i was never really proud of this one, but i realized how long i've left you guys hanging so i just had to update real quick, haha. thank you for 40 - now 41,000 reads! really hope to finish with around 100k, so this is great. you guys are the best!

xx tay

S I X

All I could do was blush in confusion. Of course, it was something I was slowly getting used to, but that was never something I wanted to be attributed to me. But by the way I was blushing now, it might as well have become my middle name.

"What do you mean, you want to take me shopping," I asked Dylan.

It was just another day at Sassy Cupcake, one that found us stacking boxes in the storeroom because it was at that time of night where the queue dried up considerably and only stragglers would be coming along.

"Let me get that," he said, nodding towards the heavy box that I was about to pick up. I generally had no problem with the heavier boxes, but after doing it alone for as long as I had, it didn't hurt to let someone take the wheel. He did a good job at lifting boxes - it wasn't exactly a skill, but it was a job - being on the football team, and it was one of the few times his presence at my job felt normal and not as if everything was moving too fast.

"Wow, thank you," I said sarcastically before taking a step back and letting him do his thing. "I'd likely have broken my back had you not come to my rescue."

"Well, you can't top the It-List with a broken back," he reminded me. "If you can't stand up, you can't and won't exactly get what you're asking for."

"Correction," I said, "what you were asking for. I'm only a pawn in your game and unwillingly so."

He positioned his hands underneath the box, the muscles in his arms pulled taut as he lifted it with effort. His face was twisted with strain until he deposited it onto the lower rack of the shelf. "In all seriousness, you would actually have broken your back."

Remembering that I had gotten sidetracked and trying my best not to notice how the movements of his muscles rippled beneath his shirt, slightly visible to me, made me blush - yet again.

"Shopping," I asserted, finally getting a hold on myself. "What are you taking me shopping for?"

He laughed, throwing his head back like a little kid and the action in itself made me want to run my hand through his hair. "Is that what she told you," he asked, looking at me as if I had tripped over and fell into dirty, muddy waters with a bucket on my head the way it happened in cartoons. "Freaking, Amy. She told me that she wanted to have a girl's night with you - no Becca, of course. I didn't think she would sell me out as an incentive for you to join them."

And if I wasn't surprised enough, his words caught me off guard again. The It-Crowd was confusing already, and the fact that the top fifteen were interested in me made my head spin. If anything, I just wasn't used to being sweet talked.

"Granted," he added, "I'm not going unless Spencer or Cameron come with me. Or Collin. I just can't be the only guy there."

My eyes glazed him over with interest and I smirked. "I guess you can't be seen alone. Too afraid to shop with only the girls?"

He rolled his eyes. "They go to all of these places and not once do they go somewhere I would want to go. Maybe Ralph Lauren every now and then, they can spend the whole day looking for topaz bracelets, but whenever I suggest we go to the Nike store, they tell me I should've brought a guy with me."

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