23 // Get in Loser, We're Going Shopping

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     THE most depressing and equally infuriating part of Reese lounging next to me on the porch, as if he had any right to be there, was at that point I couldn't even say I was surprised. That, like a goiter that had overstayed its welcome, I had grown almost used to him being there.

    How disgusting.

     I sighed. "Reese, why are you even here?"

     Reese was stretching his arms, pulling them above his head and shifting his body in a way that betrayed he'd just rolled out of bed, unsurprisingly. A lazy smirk carved into his face.

     "Moral support. I'm your coach, remember? Do you think I would miss the day of your semi-final?"

  I felt myself bristle at his choice of words, even more considering how his supposed 'coaching' was essentially throwing me into the deep-end of Antarctic waters, sans life-jacket and my arms handcuffed behind my back.

     And even more so doing this instead of what some might call communication. And not being an asshole. And actually listening to me. But what did I know, I wasn't the one who called himself Dr. Love.

     "Right, okay, yeah. So if you could, I don't know, explain how any of this came to be, that would be nice? Delightful, even? Much appreciated?" 

     My eyes narrowed.

     Reese hummed next to me on the step, thoughtfully rubbing his chin and ignoring my glare. "Well you see, I always sort of knew I was a genius on the inside, just kind of a genius intuition you might call it, but it wasn't until I was in school and I could finally realize my talents-"

     "Genius? That wasn't really what I was looking for. Dumbass, now, that's a little bit closer."

     Reese merely shot a grin in response, eyes sparkling. "Stella, if you keep flirting with me, I'm going to start thinking that you might be falling in love with me."

    I paused. Involuntarily, I swallowed hard, allowing a moment for his words to process in my head. My palm came to cover over my chest slowly as I blinked up in awe.

    "What?" I gasped. "Could it be done? Did you actually just break my gag reflex with a disgust overload? I didn't think it was possible, and yet, here we are. Broken. A modern day miracle."

     Reese barked out a laugh, throwing his head back and leaning his elbows against the wooden porch. "I'm just saying, I wouldn't blame you. I mean, hot and smart? It's hard not to get into this," he beamed, gesturing to himself as if he was unveiling a grand prize.

      And behind door number two, Reese Powers, the life-ruiner. He ruins people's lives.

     My eyebrows dropped, unimpressed. "Really? I remember you having to- what was it? Prove you're actually somewhat of a decent human being before I let you get anywhere near Savannah after the whole Melissa/Britta mess? And when did that stop being a thing? And how did we get here?"

       I may have had been selling out my best friend, but I still had ground rules that, for any purpose, helped me sleep at night. If anything.

      Reese's face didn't even stutter, still glowing with inconceivable pride. "I got you an actual date with Tyler- two, counting this! Two dates equals one double date with Savannah. Don't you think?"


A cheeky amusement was written all over his face. "But I mean, why would you be here then? Sitting on your porch, waiting for Tyler to pick you up so you guys can go to the mall and find clothes for the double-date that I set up. But what do I know, right? I'm just a dumbass."

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