[10] Disapproval

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B A D
B O Y ' S
G A M E

Bright and early in the morning the doorbell of my house begins to ring, I grunt at the constant sound that's causing early annoyance. I glance at the clock on my bedside table just to see it read eight in the morning. Too early if you ask me, Arden obviously also thought so because she began to move around on the air mattress situated on the ground next to my bed in hope of escaping the pestering noise.

Yesterday we talked until it was too late into the night for her to drive home, I did have an emergency drawer of clothes in my room for her though. Arden and I have been friends for nearly ten years so it only makes sense for us to treat each other's home like their own.

I slowly make my way up from the comfort of my sheets, my dad probably having left home for work half an hour ago.

I put on some warm fuzzy slippers and sleepily make my way to the front door, unlocking it and twisting the door open.

"What the fuck, Ellie?" a very pissed off Liam asks me.

I squint my eyes at the sight of the sun, still not convinced that I should be up this early. In addition, I'm confused on as to why Liam is raging at such an early hour.

"Excuse me?" I yawn out.

"I can't believe you," he says, letting himself into my house.

I shut the door behind him and walk to the kitchen, getting ready to prepare some nice coffee that would act as a savior for Arden and me.

"What can you not believe?" I question him and all his rage.

"You're dating an egocentric asshole."

I give him a raised eyebrow, leaning against the island's counter, Liam also leaning but on the opposite side.

"What?" I ask, genuinely out of it.

"You're dating Archer and I find out from a text message from Arden," he states with anger still present, no smile on his face.

I blink, remembering everything now. I wasn't officially dating Archer the last time I saw Liam, Liam not one to partake in gossip and not yet enrolled in our school. Liam would be enrolling this upcoming week, trading out online schooling for public school. Liam always mentioned that he wanted to spend his senior year in California with me, his parent's divorce no reason he should neglect his personal desires.

"Arden?" I yell out, needing a buffer between Liam and I.

When could Arden have told Liam? I just told Arden about Archer and I yesterday evening. I was hoping to not have to confront him with the news yet, knowing that Liam would instantly disapprove of Archer and I's relationship.

Arden yawningly walks into the kitchen, taking a seat on a barstool next to the pissed off Liam.

"Good morning, Liam," she says with high energy, rubbing her eyes.

He doesn't say anything back and continues to stare at me.

"I promise I was planning to tell you soon, there isn't much of a story to how it happened though. Archer simply asked me out and I said yes," I tell him, trying to shake him off of the subject.

"You said yes to him? To him out of all people," he mumbles, his words not as harsh.

I nod and brew some coffee, getting three mugs prepared for us.

I serve the cups, Arden immediately drinking the warm deliciousness while Liam is a bit hesitant and only traces over the top rim of the mug.

"Ellie, I can't approve of you dating someone like him. You deserve a good guy who will care for you and be there whenever you need him. You deserve somebody who won't mind calls from you at two in the morning or watching The Notebook when you've had a bad day," he says, then taking a sip of coffee.

I don't reply, knowing he ought to be right about this. Fake relationship or not, this could end up disastrous. I do deserve a good guy who will care for me and will be there whenever I need them.

And well, Archer West is anything but a good guy. He's a boy who in the end only cares about cigarettes, alcohol, and casual relationships. He would rather have friends with benefits and no obligations.

Archer is a bad boy, I am me, and somehow our fates collided and brought us to both feel an intense amount of hatred towards Ryder.

The worst of guys.

* * *

Today is the formal and I still am lacking a dress, Arden deciding that we should go out in search of one. Liam by now was calm and more level headed, his immediate rage having passed after I ensured him Archer and I weren't incredibly serious.

At noon we all pack in Liam's Jeep and head off to the closest mall to my house, the three of us hanging out for the first time in a while. Recently Archer has been the only person I have been around.

We head straight to department stores once we park, Arden adamant about finding dresses for the two of us.

I scan the racks for a dress in the first store, checking price tags before picking dresses up to try on. Arden picks up a few for herself, Arden would have no trouble finding somebody to dance with her tonight. Boys absolutely adore Arden, her beauty and personality captivating them.

I pick up a couple dresses in my size from the clearance rack and head into a dressing room, shutting the curtain behind me. Liam sat outside the dressing rooms on his phone, waiting for me to model the dresses.

I shimmy into the first dress, a mid-length muted floral dress. I open up the dressing room's curtain to reveal a familiar face.

Archer's.

Archer gives me a look, glancing at me in silence, he's holding a couple of jackets and ties in his hands.

"Hi," I say, a greeting the only thing I can manage to spit out.

"Hi," he replies, still staring at the dress on me.

I start to feel conscious of his stare and cross my arms a bit.

"I'm just shopping for a dress for tonight," I say, although it's obvious.

He nods.

Another familiar face walks up to the dressing room area, this time it is Liam. Liam doesn't immediately recognize Archer, Archer's back facing him.

"How long does it take you to put on one dress?" Liam asks me with a groan.

He sees my face and notices where my eyes are looking, he scowls once he realizes Archer is present.

"I'll be waiting in the sitting area, ask your boyfriend for the opinion," he says with edge laced in his voice, walking back away.

"You told him?" Archer asks.

I simply nod and frown, not wanting Liam to be upset again.

I excuse myself and go back into the dressing room. Hearing my phone buzz seconds later just to see a message on the screen from the one and only Archer.

You should get the dress you just tried on.

I give a small smile, also liking the dress, knowing Archer likes the dress is reassuring.

I put on the clothes I came in and walk out with the single dress, feeling a hand on my arm as I get ready to walk out of the dressing room area.

I turn around and see Archer in a sleek black jacket with a simple silver bow tie.

He steps back a few steps after letting go of my arm and models the look, flexing his muscles and everything.

"Do you like it?" he asks me, taking a more serious pose.

I look at him, realizing that Archer could indeed pull off formal clothes.

"Yeah," I answer, "You look really dapper."

He nods at my statement.

"I'll pick you up at six," he says, "I even got you the flower thing."

I nod and give him a small smile.

"See you tonight."

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