Chapter Fourteen

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Later, after a few minutes of oddly comfortable silence, we went back to our friends. Blue came up with some elaborate lie about us going to Starbucks together like I originally told them before running away, which Finn thankfully joked was my burning desire for another coffee refill, and how there was a terrible car pileup that held the pedestrians back for a while. According to him, we had to take a completely different route and ended back to the group almost an hour and a half later. It sounded ridiculous then, and it does now as I think back on it.

Evie didn't seem pleased but of course wasn't going to blow her secret hookups with her brother's roommate by expressing her jealously, though she has nothing to worry about. Not technically. Blue and I are just friends. And despite the laughter that rings in my head when I say it, it's true.

There goes the laughter again...

I roll my eyes and hold my towel tighter to my chest. It's the next day and I'm coming back to my dorm room after taking my post daily run shower. I pass a few zombie-like people trudging towards the bathroom as I turn the corner to my hall. I insert my key and push open the door. I'm shocked to find Riley sitting in front of the standing oval mirror at her study desk. I'm not used to seeing her up so early. She's normally snoring to the heavens until I get back from my run and shower. And the girl is a nightmare to wake up. There was a fire drill last week and she must have woken up five minutes into it. Meaning, if there really was a fire in the building, she'd be burnt toast.

"Morning!" she chirps as she lines her green eyes with eyeliner.

"Good morning," I reply and walk over to my bed. I already have my clothes laid out: light-washed jeans, a white button-down dress shirt, and a gray cashmere sweater to go over it. My feet accidentally nudge my pair of gray Toms underneath the twin bed. I bend down to pull them back out.

Behind me, Riley whistles. "Woo! I'm being flashed with your coochie left and right."

"Riley!" I flush and quickly stand up straight. I hide my face beneath my wet blonde hair as she throws her head back in laughter. I roll my eyes and ignore her as I grab my pair of underwear and cautiously step through them, making sure she doesn't see any more of me than she has to.

"What are you doing up so early?" I ask her and drop my towel to pull on my plain black bra. I hear her gasp as if I've gravely offended her as I snap it together.

I turn to her and see her dropped jaw. "Seriously? I have my audition for a skin cream commercial, Drexia. I told you about it all week. It'll be shown across most states in the country." Why most and not all...? I don't want to seem more like a horrible friend by downplaying her audition.

But she's right. It's all she's been talking about for the past few days. I feel like a crap friend for letting it slip my mind. It's barely been twelve hours of being friends with Blue and he's already clouding my brain. I want to punch myself for being that girl that lets a boy seep into her mind, friend or not. I can't forget my main goal here, and that's school and dance.

"I'm sorry, I forgot," I say after pulling on my pants. "But I'm more that sure you will do great." I'm being honest. When she isn't fawning over Connor over the phone or making hazardous paintings to hang on her wall, she rehearses her lines from plays she's studying in her acting class at school. And she's impressively passionate and gives every line that comes out of her mouth truth. Which, I would assume, makes her an incredible liar. A skill I'm sure she abuses.

She stops applying shimmery lip gloss to her plump lips to smile at me. "Thanks, babe. That means a lot." Sighing, she continues swiping the gloss to her mouth. "I'm just hoping these commercial guys think so too. You've heard me say my lines for the past few days. Did I convince you that I have a rash on my ass that can only be saved by the skin cream, Drexia?"

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