Chapter Six (conclusion)

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Chapter Six

“I’m going to have to wear long sleeves for the next couple of weeks,” I complained, rolling up my shirt to showcase the ugly brown-green bruises that had appeared after the unfortunate ambush on my paintball date.

            “Or you could wear your wounds proudly,” Harley said. “Like me.”

            And she did. Dressed in slouchy cargo shorts and a fitted tank, her exposed skin was dotted with the same welts I had. Only, she didn’t seem to care if anyone saw.

            “If you’re both walking around all battered-looking, people are going to think we’re being abused,” Sawyer said, frowning.

            “Being forced to hang around you three all the time is abuse,” Jackson said.

            We laughed and continued down the school hallway. As usual, heads turned in our direction while our classmates tried their best to guess which Bay girl was who. I wondered if it was as easy for the rest of them as it had been for Byron or if he was just especially observant.

            “Well, I guess you won, Brewster,” Sawyer said, scrunching up her face in frustration.

            “Won what?” I asked.

            “The bet,” she said. “You challenged us to find you the perfect guy, and we couldn’t. So, you win.”

            She was right. They hadn’t been able to conjure up a soulmate for me, and so from here on out, I would never have to hear them talk about my love life again. But that hadn’t really been the goal, had it? The reason I’d agreed to the whole thing in the first place was to spend more time with my sisters and hopefully get my anxiety under control. Which had worked. Since the whole dating drama had begun, I hadn’t had a full-on panic attack. And that was pretty amazing in and of itself.

            “Oh, yeah,” I said, grinning foolishly. “You’re right!”

            “Why are you so happy?” Jackson asked. “We failed you. You’re still single.”

            I shrugged. “If you think about it…you didn’t fail me at all.”

            “How do you figure?” Harley asked.

            “Well, I’ll admit, the guys you chose for me were kind of…well, they didn’t work out so well,” I said slowly. “But going on those dates actually helped me figure out the kind of guy I do want to date.”

“Which is…” Jackson prompted.

“I need someone who isn’t as shy as I am, but won’t overpower me when we’re together. I want someone strong, but not forceful. I do want to be with someone who’ll bring a little adventure to my life—but not in a way that will put my life in danger,” I looked at Harley when I said this. “I want to find someone that’s easy to talk to, fun to be with and who keeps me on my toes the way you guys do.”

“And cute,” Jackson added.

“And cute,” I agreed.

“So, in a way, we did win,” Harley said.

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