Chapter Ten: Stage Kisses

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The extent of Freddie's love life could fill twelve journal pages. She knew this because she'd done it. Eight pages had gone to boyfriend number one, and four pages had gone to boyfriend number two.

Boyfriend number one (of the whopping eight pages) had been Freddie's next door neighbor throughout grade school. His name was Andy, and one day, when he had been twelve and Freddie eleven, he had asked her if she would be his girlfriend. She had flushed and said, Yes, and for the next six weeks, they had been Very Serious. Sometimes they'd held hands. Sometimes he had come over for dinner, and twice, they had kissed.

Okay, so the first kiss had only been on the cheek because Freddie had panicked at the last minute and turned sideways. The other, though, she had faced with determination. It had started as a peck, then quickly escalated into something slobbery that Freddie hadn't liked at all.

However, she'd assumed her distaste for kissing hadstemmed from her own inexperience (after all, Andy was allowed to watch PG-13s, and she was not). Plus, she and Andy were fated in the stars—she was sure of it. One day, they would progress to further bases and maybe even get married. That was how love worked.

Until Andy's family moved away, and as devastated as Freddie had been, she'd forgotten about him three weeks later when a girl named Divya Srivastava had moved into town. Who needed boys when she could have a best friend?

Freddie's second boyfriend, who had been awarded only four pages in her journal, was named Carl. It had really only been a summer fling, almost worthy of a Grease musical number, except that John Travolta was much more interesting than Carl could ever hope to be be.

Carl had been fifteen; Freddie too. And he'd been dark haired, and when he hadn't been wearing his Boy Scout camp uniform, he'd worn t-shirts that said things like, Never Trust an Atom, They Make Up Everything or This Shirt is Blue If You Run Fast Enough.

He'd also worn a Witchlands hoodie that said Voidwitch on the back, and that was what had first caught Freddie's eye. A funny guy who also gamed.

With Carl, Freddie had had her first real kiss (many of them, actually). Including the kind with tongue. She had seen PG-13s at this point, and unfortunately, she'd learned that the movies made kissing look way more exciting than it was.

When the summer had eventually come to a close and Carl had been getting ready to leave, he'd asked Freddie if she would still be his girlfriend when he went away. She had answered with a polite, "No, thank you." (This had not gone over well, as one might imagine.)

After that summer, Freddie had decided that kissing wasn't very interesting—and certainly wasn't for her. Clearly other people enjoyed it, and that was great for them, but she had better things to do with her time. And for two years, she had stuck by this assessment.

Until today.

Until right now, when she was kissing Theo Porter.

Of course, she hadn't gone into this kiss planning to Kiss Him For Real. It was just going to be a pop kiss on the lips—a way to show those RH brats that she, Freddie Gellar, was in charge.

Except that wasn't what was happening at all.

When Freddie had stretched onto her toes and brought her face to Theo's, he had stiffened. Surprised, certainly, which she would have expected. But when her lips had brushed against his, and when he had leaned in...

Well, that she hadn't expected.

She also hadn't expected her own body to react like it was currently reacting—as if time were standing still and she'd forgotten how to breathe.

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