Chapter 8

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Riley

I take an involuntary step forward when Parker bumps into me at the entrance of the dining hall.

He complains behind me and comes to stand next to me. "What's going on, Ri?" He looks in the same direction as I am, and a big grin forms on his face. "Ah, I see. Worried about the new chicks? I thought you liked them? I definitely wouldn't mind a bite out of that deliciousness."

"What?" The word comes out as a growl and Parker looks amused.

"Relax dude. I'm talking about Lexie, of course." He claps me on the shoulder as if that's supposed to calm me down. Anything considering Olivia seems to keep me on edge these days, and I have absolutely no clue what to do about it. "She's hot," Parker adds.

I shrug, trying to deny the pang of relief I just felt at his answer. "I guess."

"You guess?" Parker looks at me incredulously. "What the hell is going on? Who are you and what have you done with my best friend?"

"What are you talking about?"

"I can't remember the last time you acted indifferently about a hot girl, that's what I'm talking about. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I'm just surprised, that's all." We look at each other silently for a moment as he studies my face relentlessly. "I think I know what's going on, though."

I roll my eyes, already feeling slightly irritated with Parker's insightfulness. He knows me best and usually, he can read me like an open book. Sometimes it's annoying as hell but often times it comes in very handy too. This definitely doesn't feel like a good time. "Back off, Parker."

"You know it's ok to like someone, right? That's what Lindsey would want for you."

I have a hard time controlling the urge to slam him into the nearby wall. "Don't you dare. You know that we have an understanding. Don't talk about her." The words come out louder than intended and I can see a few heads turning our way.

"You know I don't usually bring her up but I've seen the way you look at Liv. Don't push her away. You should let her in. "

A harsh laugh comes out of my mouth at his plea and Parker gives me a sad look. "You have no idea what you're talking about."

I can see the resignation on his face before he speaks again. "Just think about it. And you know I'm always here for you if you need to talk."

I don't really have a response to that so I keep my mouth shut and only give him a small nod.

I take a deep breath, trying to push the emotions back down where they belong. The past should stay in the past, that's the way I like it. Parker and I both turn back around to the dining hall and start walking toward our table in the corner. The girls and Ian are still there but so is Gavin Williams now. What is he doing there? He is talking to Olivia and by the looks of it, she is blushing. An unfamiliar clenching in my stomach distracts me for a moment and for a second I wonder if I might be getting sick.

We're almost at the table now when Gavin spots us. He greets us quickly and is gone before I can even form a word, not that my brain seems to be capable of forming a coherent sentence right now anyway. All I can think about is what Gavin was doing with Olivia, especially since she was blushing. And I can't even ask her since that would just be weird.

Luckily Parker doesn't seem to care and asks the question that is threatening to make my brain explode. "What did Gavin want from you guys? Looking for some fresh meat?"

Lexie hits him hard on the arm and glares at him. "What are you talking about? He came over to ask Liv out on a date."

Now I'm definitely starting to feel a little sick. Gavin is our friend but he also has a reputation with girls and I know for a fact that it's well earned. Olivia doesn't really look like his normal type though so I'm a little confused about that. Usually, he goes for the easy targets, and nothing about Olivia says easy, that's for sure. To be honest, Gavin's interest in her worries me a little bit. Why is he straying away from his usual type to take Olivia out for a date? I don't like it. Not at all.

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