Chapter 1

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1. How it all started (and fell apart) 

"Just a month, that's all I ask from you, dude." I want to snap at him like I always do, don't call me dude oh my god, but I don't. 

"No," because, no. Just no. "That's not happening." I turn away, and I'm walking but then he's pulling me back by my elbow and I do not yelp. I don't, alright. I have some dignity.

(I have none, obviously. Because I let out a pretty girly shriek.) 

"I will not, and I mean, never, ever pretend to date you." 

First, because he's an asshole, he grins and asks, "Would you prefer to actually date me?" But  the glare I give him is enough to wipe the smile off his face. "Why not?" he asks indignantly. There are a lot of reasons. 

I smile. It probably looks more as if I'm baring my teeth at him, but the more frightened he is, the more likely he is to go away. "Because you'll fall in love with me." This is mostly bullshit. Like, 89% BS.

Some kind of emotion flashes across his face, I swear it's nervousness, and if that's the case, what. Just what. But then his laughter is bouncing around the halls and it's gone. "Please," he says as if it's ridiculous I'd say that. And then he leans close like he has a secret to tell me and I hear him snort lightly in amusement, "If anyone would fall in love in this, it'd be you."

I tilt my head. Not likely, but I'll let him have it because I don't feel like conversing any longer. 

(If anyone would fall in love in this, it'd be you. So I'm a little scared he's right about that, so what?) I hate fearing that, and I hate fear in general.

That's obviously why I'm an idiot and I march back up to him to ask, "What's in it for me?" 

He grins. He's already won, he knows, which I hate. But he's one of my only friends so I listen. Grudgingly, but I do. 

"Here's what we're going to do..."

2. Before I dated the devil (excuse me, fake dated the devil)

Once again, I'm dragging my drunk asshole of a neighbor Tyler (I refuse to call this person my friend at the moment) home again and he smells gross.

"You're an idiot and I hate you," I say because he is and I do.

He giggles (which later on he'll swear it was a manly laugh of into my ear. His body is a heavy weight against my side and I have to gasp a little to not crumble under his weight — what the fuck does he eat— not that I would admit it. Ever. 

"Listen," he says enunciating his words slowly and precisely, "You smell like roses," and then his nose is right in the junction of my neck and shoulder and I am not reacting to this. There are no butterflies, alright. None, whatsoever. And if shivers shoot down my spine, that's no one's business but my own, okay? It's...It's cold out. Yeah. 

 "And you smell like beer and sweat," I say through gritted teeth, and he just laughs full body in the way he does when he's drunk. "Smells great," I say, sarcasm putting an edge to my voice.

He doesn't realize. Of course he doesn't. Because, him? Idiot. "Thank you," he says, his voice serious. And he can't be serious. But when I look at him and there's a pleased look in his eyes, holy God, he was being serious. He had a flush in his cheeks like I'd given him the best compliment.

The rest of the way he was quiet. When I made it to his window which was on the first floor, thank the Lord, I pushed up his window sill slowly, and he stayed silent. 

"Sometimes I think you don't like me at all," he said quietly, still clearly drunk in the way he was leaning heavily on me, but his voice was thoughtful; simply curious. He didn't look hurt when I didn't reply, he simply let me climb through his window and haul him up after me. His white v-neck was a stretched out and it was pushed away to show his collarbone where a scar was that I remembered like it was my own. (He'd fallen from a ladder, a lame attempt to climb into my window to scare me when we were fifteen.)

I reach out my hand like I was going to trace it but stop an inch above it, hesistating. Finally, I just drop my hand.

"Cassie, you hate me don't you," I ignore him first. Think about telling him, it's Cassandra. Not Cassie. It would be no use, I think, he's so drunk.

But while I unlace his sneakers, he says, "I like you though," and he had to be really damn wasted to say something like that, so I just shove his shoes under his bed, and stand up, staring. In the darkness, he's half asleep, his eyelids nearly closed. His nose is upturned slightly, just enough to make him look boyish. Young. Of course he's good looking, but it would change things if I let myself notice so I just instead focused on the words he's mumbling.

"I don't hate you, you know," he was saying purposefully slow, as if he needed me to hear the words he was saying, "I try to sometimes." And whatever the hell that meant, I wouldn't know, because when I asked him what that meant, he was already gone, snoring.

If he remembered that night at all, he didn't act like it. 

I slid his window down behind me and ignored the feeling bubbling in the pit of my stomach. 

author's note: I kind of felt like writing something consistently. Maybe a few of you will like this, that'd be rad. I don't really know where this story is going at all but you know, i'm just going ~with the flow~ 

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