Prologue

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This party is totally insane.

I know it's his birthday, but Brett's gone totally overboard. A big cheesy disco ball is spewing out dancing dots of light, splashing glitter all over the walls and floor. Flashing pink and blue lights illuminating the corners of the room which are full of people doing things that should only be reserved for dark and dingy corners.

In one corner, Emmy is getting manhandled. I think that's the only way to describe the clumsy movement of his hand under her shirt as he does something to her breast that reminded me of milking a cow. Oh well, she seems to be enjoying it.

The other corner is full of the ones that wear a crap ton of black eyeliner on their pale faces. They're talking to each other and smoking and because I've never had a conversation with any of them, I've got zero idea what they could be talking about. I quickly look away when one of them casts their eyes up at me, as if she knows I'm thinking about them. Out of the corner of my eye I see her slowly pull on what may, or not may not be, a cigarette, her lip rings glinting in the club-like lighting.

I flick my eyes to the next corner, where it seems like Brian has managed to sneak a bottle of Vodka into the party. He's laughing like a hyena while pouring shots into Chase's mouth. Looks like someone is going to be clinging onto the rim of a toilet bowl soon.

And then I drag my eyes to the final corner, and there she is. My sister. She's surrounded by all her beautiful clones. Their iPhones are all out—of course. They're squishing their faces together and pouting seductively as their hundredth selfie is taken, Snapped, Instagrammed, Tik-Tokked and had the hell hashtagged out of it. Or whatever else they do with it. My sister takes out some glittery lip gloss and films herself applying it...

Seriously! How the hell are we twins? How are we even related?

My eyes move from my sister to the dance floor and...there he is.

He's standing amidst the dancers and laughing at something. He has the best smile; it really brings out the dimples in his cheeks. His black shirt is clinging to him like a second skin and when he puts his hands in his pockets, his jeans slip down and...OMG, for a split second there I catch a tiny flash of his stomach. Eyes up Sadie! Stop looking in the low-zone.

I know I'm perving like a total idiot right now, and if anyone could read my mind they'd laugh and tell me I'm the last girl on the planet Connor Matthews would ever go out with. And they'd be right. Connor goes for girls like my sister. Not me.

But, of course, all this still doesn't stop me from being totally, madly, heart-stoppingly in love with Connor Matthews. In love with him for the last ten years, since the very first day he moved in next-door.

So that's my sad story. The pathetic story of Sadie Glover, the girl silently, painfully drowning in the agony of daily unrequited love. Unrequited love... it has to the cruelest form of torture. It's always there. Always lurking in the back of your mind, taking up so much space and energy that sometimes you wish it could just be surgically removed.

Suddenly, I'm feeling nervous again. Even though I know him so well, probably better than anyone in the world, he still makes me as nervous as hell. I instinctively raise my finger to my mouth and am just about to bite down on my cuticle, when my mother's botoxed face came flying into my mind–

"Stop! It's unladylike to bite your nails. Bite this instead."

So typical of my mother and her constant need to be "helpful", but I obey and reach into my pocket to pull out the unopened pack of gum she's given me. I rip off the wrapping and shove a stick into my mouth. The intense minty-cinnamon flavors hit me all at once. I've never liked gum, and certainly not this flavor. I'm just about to look around for a trashcan, when...

"Who's up for a game of suck and blow?" Says a now very drunk Brian. He's waving a box of playing cards in the air and I roll my eyes. So typical! The kissing games usually start around this time of the evening- and it's usually a free for all.  But there's no way I'm going to be passing a playing card around with my mouth. Especially when I see who starts gathering around to play. My sister and her friends, Emmy has pried her boob from the clumsy hand and even Connor is walking over to join the game. He gives Brian a high five and my stomach plummets when I hear him give a, 'Let's do this.".

God, there's nothing worse than standing around watching the guy you love kiss random girls! Which sadly, I've seen before. Only three weeks ago, in fact, when the kissing games had started at Emmy's party. And you know no one really tries to keep the card attached to their lips, right? It's basically an excuse to make out with anyone and everyone. I'm still recovering from the ordeal of three weeks ago, and really don't want to add more mental images of Connor with his lips attached to some girl I could never be as pretty as.

"Sadie! Come!" Brett shouts over and me. He seems to be swaying on his feet a little and either he's been smoking what may, or may not be, a cigarette, or he's had a run in with Brian and his Vodka.

I shake my head. "Not a chance in hell!" Why is he even asking me. He knows what I'll say. What I always say.

"You're a party pooper, Sadie Glover," I hear Connor shout. I roll my eyes, he wouldn't even want to kiss me even if I played the game. So why does he care?

My sister and her friends seemed to have gathered around Connor already, like bees to honey. I bet they'll drop the card on purpose, just to kiss him. And it's with a stab in my ribcage that I realise that Connor looks just as psyched to play the game too. Ugh! I can't be around for this! I turn and start walking for the exit when...

BAM! Darkness.

The lights go out with a loud, frightening pop. A distressed gasp rises up from the room and I can hear people fumbling around in search of their phones. Someone bumps into me and I stumble backwards slightly. I can't see who it is in the dark and then...

That's when I decide to do it. I don't exactly know what I decide to do. I have no plan, but I do it anyway.

I run straight ahead, pushing people out the way. I can see a few phones already glowing in their owner's palms. I better hurry. So I moved faster and faster...and smack. I bump straight into him.

I recognize his scent immediately. It's intoxicating and I want to drink it in. I guess just want to be close to him. He exhales sharply, probably from the fright of someone bumping into him. But he doesn't pull away. Neither do I. Our faces are centimetres apart, his breath comes out warm against my lips and then, I feel him lean. The electricity that passes between us as our faces come closer and closer, is palpable. It shocks my sense to life, it makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and it makes my lips tingle. And then we both lean again, and then....

We're kissing.

It takes my brain a second to realise what we're doing, and when it does...

OMG! I AM KISING CONNOR!

And then as quickly as the kiss starts, I stop it, and disappear into the darkness before he knows it's me.

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