I’d never greeted a Monday morning with dozens of giddy butterflies in my stomach. Usually, I reserved my most dramatic sighs and biting comments for Mondays because—let’s face it—they suck. But this Monday morning was different.
I, Alexis Wyndham, was officially Brett Pederson’s girlfriend.
But I still wasn’t ready to announce that to the world.
As we floated in a canoe among the water lilies in Lake Washington yesterday, I laid down a few ground rules to help me ease into this unprecedented (and unimaginable) situation. After all, it’s not every day the Queen B* and the Quarterback become a couple. Dropping that bomb on our classmates could cause a rift in the space-time continuum.
Or at least cause my nemesis, Summer Hoyt, to have one very public and dramatic meltdown.
Rule number one: I refused to be one of those disgustingly cute couples that were joined at the hip between classes. We were dating, not merging our lives and identities into a single life-form. Brett had his group of friends and I had mine, and until recently, they never intertwined because I despised most of the in-crowd. If I hadn’t gotten to know the real Brett during a class project, I would’ve continued to write him off as a dumb jock.
Lesson learned, but still…
Rule number two: no public displays of affection at school. Not that I had any problem with PDAs with Brett. I liked kissing him. But I also had been known to lose control when I was with him…and lose articles of clothing. And after having that awkward run-in with my mom and her boyfriend’s PDA on our living room couch last week, I’d rather not make a spectacle of myself in front of everyone. It opened up the doors to ridicule.
Rule number three: I wouldn’t go to Homecoming with Brett. I’d made it this far through high school without plunging into that cheesy sea of balloons and crepe paper while wearing a silly sequin-laden dress, and I wasn’t going to cross that line during my senior year.
I had the hardest time getting Brett to agree to rule number three, and I had a sneaking suspicion he wouldn’t give up on trying to convince me to go with him, especially since the dance was less than two weeks away. And since Brett was the school’s football hero, he was sure to be crowned Homecoming King.
Which meant I’d have to endure watching him stand next to Summer, who was sure to be crowned Homecoming Queen during the same little ceremony at the dance.
It’s not that I was jealous or anything. I trusted Brett. I just didn’t like the idea of her getting anywhere near him, especially since she was a spoiled brat used to getting her way. And that might be the only reason I’d consider going to the dance—to make sure she knew he was with me.
“Taylor, I swear if you don’t stop primping and come downstairs, I’m leaving without you.” I had shouted for my little sister to hurry up at least five times already this morning. Apparently she’d lost her ride to school due to a dispute over shoes, which meant she had to ride with me.
I was rolling down the driveway when she finally dashed out of the house, makeup bag in hand. “Geez, you could’ve given me a little more time,” she snapped as she jumped in my car. “School doesn’t start for another fifteen minutes.”
“Yeah, and it takes ten minutes to get there, I don’t know how long to find a parking spot, and then we still have to run to class.”
I hated being late almost as much as I hated running or any other activity that was reserved for gym class.
Taylor rolled her eyes before carefully applying another coat of mascara. “You’re blowing this way out of proportion.”
“I already have one tardy on my record this year.” From the morning I’d slept through my alarm after being up all night with Junior, the computerized baby from hell. “I don’t want another.”
“It’s not a big deal.” She shoved her mascara back in her bag and fished around for a tube of lipstick. “Besides, I want to know what happened between you and Brett yesterday.”
Of course she did. That way, she could decide how much intel to pass on to Summer and how to twist the information in her own favor. The tighter Taylor continued to be among the head cheerleader’s inner circle of friends, the stronger her chances of being named Summer’s heir on the squad.
“We picked up my car from the U-District,” I began, not sure of how much to reveal. Saturday night could’ve been a complete disaster if it hadn’t been for Brett’s intervention. I’d made the mistake of going out with a complete douchebag who’d tried to take advantage of me after I’d drunk too much at a frat party. Luckily, Brett had come to the rescue. “And then we went on a date.”
Taylor’s eyes widened, and she perked up. “Are you two a couple now?”
I bit my bottom lip. Even though I’d set up those ground rules with Brett, I couldn’t hide the fact that we were going out. And part of me wanted people to know that out of all the girls in our school, he had chosen me. “I guess you could say that.”
“Oh. My. God.” Taylor slumped back against the seat and stared blankly out the front window for about thirty seconds before a devious grin curled her lips. “This is going to be so epic.”
Would it? Or was I just opening the door to more trouble? I’d resisted my feelings for Brett for so long because I feared making myself vulnerable to him. After the way Summer had publicly humiliated me in sixth grade by reading my diary aloud to everyone, I’d pushed almost everyone away and hidden behind my cold, hard persona of the school’s mean girl. But Brett had managed to break through my outer shell and see the real me, and after weeks of getting to know him, I’d learned to trust him.
Today, however, would be when the real test began. It was one thing to sneak around and see each other outside of school. It was another thing to take our relationship public. Hence, my rules.
The parking lot was every bit the nightmare I’d expected at this time of the morning. Taylor scampered out of my Prius as soon as we got on campus, leaving me behind to find a parking spot. No wonder she wasn’t worried about being late for class. I managed to find a spot three minutes before the first bell. Of course, I would’ve gotten one sooner if Sanchez hadn’t cut me off and grabbed the first spot I’d found. As much as I wanted to start my day with a few words with my new boyfriend, I only had time to wave to him from down the hall as I performed the dreaded dash for class, safely sliding into my seat as the final bell rung.
My phone buzzed, and I sneaked a peek at the message on my screen.
See you in 4th period.
I didn’t need to look to see who it was from. Only one person would look forward to seeing me in fourth period, and a warm glow quickened those frantic butterflies in my stomach.
He was waiting for me in Hum-Ex class at what I’d come to accept as our table. When the school year started, I’d claimed a two-person workstation as my own in the back of the room. No one had dared to sit there until Brett took the seat next to me after he’d switched with someone to be my partner for a class project. Since then, he’d sat next to me almost every day in fourth period. The only days he hadn’t were last week when he’d stood by his teammate, Sanchez, after one of my incriminating blog posts.
I ran The Eastline Spy, a blog that notoriously skewered the students and faculty at Eastline High whenever they were doing something they shouldn’t do. I’ve called out teachers for having affairs with students. I’ve exposed students cheating their way to easy A’s. I even posted pics of the previous principal fooling around with one of the teachers (both of whom were married to other people at the time). Last week, however, I’d posted pics of Sanchez and two of his teammates bullying students in the hallway. All three of them had been suspended and forced to sit out of Friday’s game.
Sanchez was back in class today, and the murderous expression on his face told me he hadn’t forgotten last week.
My reputation as the Queen B* would suffer if I looked away, so I returned his glare with an equal dose of animosity as I walked by him. If he tried anything, I wouldn’t think twice about calling him out on my blog again, especially after the way he’d had his hands up my little sister’s skirt a couple of weeks ago.
“I was waiting for you this morning. It’s not like you to be late to school, Lexi,” Brett murmured when I sat down.
He was the only person who could call me Lexi besides my sister and not suffer my wrath.
“Taylor.” That was all I needed to say.
He chuckled. “So I guess carpooling to school is a no-go?”
Brett lived less than two blocks away from me. The environmentalist in me would be all for carpooling, but I still wasn’t ready to ride with him every morning. “You have football practice after school. How am I supposed to get home?”
“I could drop you off at your house before practice.”
“Sort of defeats the purpose of carpooling if we’re making extra trips. Besides, it violates rule number one.”
He arched a brow. “It does?”
“Yep. No joined at the hip—remember?”
He let out a deep breath and shook his head. “Forgive me for wanting to spend time with you.”
My cheeks blazed, and my reply stumbled out with halting awkwardness. “No, it’s not that. It’s just—um, well, I mean—”
The bell rang and cut me off.
I flipped open my laptop to start taking notes, and less than a minute later, I had an instant message from Brett.
Sorry. Just overly eager. The grin on his face only added to the thrill that raced through my veins. Brett was eager to be with me.
I get it, I typed back. I enjoy spending time with you too. But with Taylor needing a ride, I’d hate to risk making you late every morning over an eyeliner emergency.
His shoulders shook with a silent chuckle. If I had a latte waiting for you tomorrow morning, do you think you could arrive early enough to meet me at the bleachers before school?
I squirmed in my seat, but with more joy than embarrassment. Getting some alone time with him was more than enough incentive to get Taylor out of the house early. The latte sealed the deal. I could definitely try.
Excellent. With Coach wanting me to put in extra prep time for this week’s game, I didn’t know how else I’d get to hang out with you outside of class.
Extra prep time? I typed.
Skylake is this week.
That was all he needed to say. Skylake High School was our cross-town rival. The winner of this game usually went on to win the state championship, which meant the high-stakes game often turned vicious. We’d won the last two years with Brett as starting quarterback, and I knew they’d want to deliver a loss to his nearly perfect record.
Mr. DePaul, our teacher, began to pace the aisles, so I closed the IM window before we got caught. The school had banned instant messaging during class, but that never stopped Brett.
When the bell rang, Brett stuffed his tablet into his backpack and stood. “Sanchez suggested we look over some films today so we can find a few holes in Skylake’s defense.”
Brett played football like a chess game, so I wasn’t surprised he was taking extra time to find more ways to win than just throwing a ball in the air and hoping it landed in Sanchez’s hands.
“I hope you can, too,” I replied, even though it sounded like something Brett would think of, not Sanchez.
“So you’re not upset that I can’t hang out with you before practice this week?” He shuffled his weight from foot to foot while waiting for my response.
“Why should I be?” If I’d been the jealous type, I might’ve been upset. Or if I didn’t trust him. But I did. I knew him well enough now to know he’d be in some dark room with a notepad in hand watching footage of Skylake’s previous games all afternoon, not hooking up with Summer or some other girl. As much as he loved the game of football, he was also strangely devoted to me.
At least, I was pretty sure. The only things he seemed more devoted to were his family and football.
“Just that most girls are kind of clingy, from my experience.”
“Did you forget rule number one?” I teased.
“No, but I might forget rule number two.” He swooped in and placed a kiss on my cheek.
If I’d reacted more quickly, I might’ve been able to smack him before he darted away from me with a huge grin. As it was, I suffered a tiny moment of shock. Despite my warnings about PDAs, Brett had no qualms about playing the part of smitten boyfriend in front of everyone.
Including Sanchez, who stood in the doorway with his mouth hanging open. “Dude, are you mental?”
“Nope,” Brett replied and gave his teammate a playful thump on the back. “Ready to go over some films and come up with some new routes?”
“I owe the team that much after last week.” He cast one more glance at me, his brows furrowed in confusion, before turning back to Brett.
I didn’t hear the rest of Sanchez’s reply as they slipped out into the hallway. But I suspected most of the school would react the same way once word got out about me and Brett dating.
I’d barely managed to travel three feet down the hall before Richard Wang, one of my best friends, ambushed me. “We need to talk.”
I assumed he wanted to know all about this weekend’s drama—from my hasty exit from Friday night’s party to the disastrous date with a frat-boy douchebag that nearly ended with me being raped to my heavenly day with Brett. But instead, he steered me to a poster in the hall.
At first, I thought he was pointing at one of the many Vote for Summer Hoyt for Homecoming Queen! posters that already littered the hallways, but then I realized he was actually pointing at the small flyer next to it.
Debate Team Tryouts This Week!
He gulped hard as though he was trying not to puke. “Please tell me you’re still pissed off at Brett so I don’t have to keep my end of our bargain.”
“Tough luck, buttercup.”
He let loose a sting of whispered cusswords before catching himself. “Wait a minute. Did I hear you correctly? You and Brett—”
I clamped my hand over his mouth before he announced it to the entire school. “Let’s take this outside.”
It was lunch, and students streamed out of the building to venture to some of the off-campus dining options that were a short walk away. Richard loved the local fried chicken fast-food joint, so I steered him toward it. The greasy goods would calm him down.
However, we’d barely crossed campus before he bombarded me with questions. “Tell me everything. What happened Friday? Is it true that you caught Summer trying to make a move on him? I mean, the whole party was talking about it, but I can’t believe half the things people say. But then what happened? Because obviously something happened if you two ended up together.”
It would take way longer than the forty-five minutes Richard was allotted for lunch. Unlike me, he had to stay the full day. “Do you really want to hear about my weekend, or would you rather prep for the tryouts this afternoon?”
“Is there an option for me to say both?” he asked with a sheepish grin.
“Can I give you a raincheck on the juicy details?” As it was, I wasn’t in the mood to relive half my weekend. And I definitely wanted to talk with Morgan first. Something Gavin had said while he was pawing at my shirt bothered me. He’d said I was as easy as my friend, and even though Morgan had no qualms about hooking up with random guys, I still couldn’t squash that annoying niggle of doubt that plagued me.
“Absolutely!” He looped his arm through mine. “I’m so excited for you, Alexis. Any plans for Homecoming yet?”
He stopped and jerked me back when I tried to keep walking. “Hold on here a minute, honey. You’re dating Brett Pederson, and you’re not going to Homecoming with him?”
“It’s just a stupid dance.”
“When you’re dateless, it’s just a stupid dance. But you are dating the hottest guy in school. If it were me, I’d be all over him on that dance floor.”
“Well, he might still be looking for a date,” I joked.
“Sorry, but I don’t think he swings my way.” If I was the school’s Mean Girl and Brett was the Golden Boy, Richard was the Token Gay Guy. He had no problem letting the world know about his sexuality, but he purposely played up the flamboyancy to put others at ease. “Besides, I think I might be getting close to having a date for Homecoming myself, which was why I didn’t check in with you sooner.”
He held his finger up to his lips. “Shh! I’ll let you in on my secret if you let me in on yours.”
“Later. Right now, I need to make sure you show up for tryouts with your best game face on.”
“Which means I’d better tone down all the fabulousness that is me.” He wiggled while he ran his hands down his skinny body. “Okay. Let’s be serious. We already know Kelsey and Ajay are the team captains, so I already have one strike against me.”
Kelsey Buchannan was extremely vocal about her conservative Christian values and had more than once condemned gay rights in her debate arguments. “Kelsey can go screw herself.”
“At least she could still technically claim to be a virgin if she did,” Richard snickered. “I already know she’ll vote against letting me on the team.”
“But Ajay will remember you coming to his defense, so hopefully, he’ll balance out Kelsey.” He’d been the victim of Sanchez’s bullying last week, and Richard had rushed in to intervene.
“He’s so cute with his little bow ties.” Richard let his game face drop long enough to release a dreamy sigh. “But you’re right. He might be on my side.”
“So let your debate skills do the rest.” I paused long enough to let him order his lunch and studied his outfit. His faded blue jeans and boy band T-shirt hardly proclaimed him to be debate team material. “And if you want, I can swing by your house and grab a change of clothes for you.”
“You would? Oh, thank you!” He then gave me precise directions on where to find the items he needed. “If I’d known the tryouts were today, I would’ve been more prepared. The poster this morning was the first announcement I’ve seen.”
“I suspect they probably emailed their inner circle last week.” It fit Kelsey’s M.O.
“That’s fine because this dark horse is on it.” He puffed out his chest like a warrior preparing to charge into battle. “And I’m more than ready to earn my spot on the debate team.”
I couldn’t agree more. I’d helped him prep a few times since school started, and his contributions to The Eastline Spy demonstrated his skill in delivering a solid argument. I knew he could take on anyone on the team.
And if he didn’t make it, then I’d just found the next exposé for my blog.
I spent the next hour and a half running over to Richard’s house and looking for the items he wanted in his bedroom. His grandmother was home, and although she barely spoke English, she seemed to understand when I explained that I was picking up clothes for Richard’s tryout. The mess inside could rival the one in Taylor’s room, but after sorting through the piles of clothes, I found all the articles of clothing he needed.
Of course, the moment his grandmother saw them, she started going off in Chinese and wouldn’t let up until I handed the clothes to her. I followed her into the laundry room, where she ironed out all the wrinkles and pressed neat creases into the fabric. She slipped the clothing onto hangers and handed them to me. “Tell him kick ass,” she said with a grin.
I almost busted out laughing. Richard’s grandmother may have been old school, but she seemed to have a good grasp on modern slang. “I certainly will.”
I got to school just as the final period was letting out and found Richard by his locker. He grabbed the clothes. “You are an angel.”
“Thank your grandmother. She wouldn’t let me leave until she pressed everything and made sure you’d look your best.” I also repeated her message.
Richard snorted with laughter and took a small leather toiletry bag out of his locker. “Gotta love Grams. Give me a moment to change, and I’ll be ready.”
A moment in Richard standard time is equivalent to a moment in Taylor standard time—approximately half an hour. I waited outside one of the boys’ restrooms, pretending to play a game on my phone while keeping my ears open for anything to use on my blog. One of the first things I noticed was that all the posters in the hallway were Vote for Summer! Was anyone running against her? And if not, was it because she’d threatened them if they did? I almost had the entire story idea ready to investigate when Richard emerged, looking like something straight out of GQ.
I approved. “You know, if you dressed like that every day, you wouldn’t have to play the Token Gay Guy to put everyone at ease.”
“I know, but it takes a lot of work to look this good, and I’d rather sleep than primp.” He ran his hands along the lapels of his navy blazer, straightened his blue-and-green striped tie, and smoothed his rock-hard gelled hair. “Do I look like a debate team member?”
Doubt flickered across his face. “Can you stay during the tryout? It’d help if I saw a friendly face out there.”
“Sure.” It wasn’t like I had tons of stuff to do this afternoon. What little bit of homework I had would be a snap to finish tonight, and my boyfriend was out on the field with his team, completely focused on how to beat Skylake on Friday. Besides, I might enjoy watching Richard wow everyone.
The tryouts were being held in Ms. Rothstein’s classroom. As the debate team’s faculty sponsor, she sat at the center desk of the front row, flanked by Kelsey and Ajay. She shuffled through a stack of papers as about twenty students milled around the periphery of the room, all of them dressed as seriously as Richard.
At least he’d blend in on the surface.
But when he barely moved from the doorway, I gave him an impatient shove toward the sign-in sheet on Kelsey’s desk. He adjusted his tie one more time and approached her.
Kelsey was the epitome of prep school fashion. A navy headband held back her perfectly coiffed blond hair, and an expertly matched cardigan complemented a knee-length plaid dress. Knee socks and Mary Janes completed the ensemble. But when Richard stepped in front of her, she wrinkled her nose as through he emitted some kind of foul stench. Which, of course, to someone like Kelsey, he did. “What are you doing here?” she asked with a sneer.
“Trying out for the debate team.” He took a pen and added his name to the list, completely ignoring her reaction.
“Just like you tried out for the cheerleading squad last year?”
“That was for fun,” he replied with a flippant wave of his hand, slipping back into the flamboyant façade he used whenever he sensed hostility. “I’m actually serious about this.”
“And what if we don’t want someone like you turning every debate into some kind of gay pride rally?”
My temper snapped and I whipped out my phone, holding it out in front of me like a recorder. “As opposed to your consistent right-wing, conservative slant on every issue? Tell me, Kelsey, are you already discriminating against Richard because of his sexuality?”
Even though I wasn’t actually recording anything, Kelsey didn’t need to know that. All she needed to know was that she was on my radar and the wrong thing could end up on my blog.
She glanced down at my phone, leaning away from it, her chest rising and falling faster than before. “No, I didn’t say that.”
“No, you just said you didn’t want someone ‘like’ Richard and then mentioned his sexuality.” I gave her one of my trademark Queen B* eat-shit-and-die grins. “I think it’s pretty obvious you’re discriminating against him because he’s gay, and I believe most of my readers will see it the same way.”
Ms. Rothstein cleared her throat. “Alexis, I believe Kelsey misspoke. Richard is more than welcome to try out, and if his skills are of the appropriate caliber, then he might have a place on the team.”
I didn’t miss the way Ajay squirmed in his seat and tugged on the bow tie he always wore to school, something that frequently made him the target of bullies like Sanchez. If Richard’s gay-dar was accurate, then the debate team co-captain’s discomfort stemmed from something more than just his accessories.
Richard gave Ms. Rothstein a gracious smile. “Thank you.”
Then he upped the wattage as he turned to Kelsey. “Prepare to be wowed.”
Her expression contorted into a smirk. “This is the debate team, not a high school musical. If you want to wow someone, I suggest you try out for that.”
“Sorry, but I don’t sing,” Richard said, nose in the air, but I saw the sweat beaded along his forehead.
Kelsey dismissed him with a wave. I opened my mouth to challenge her again, but he grabbed my arm and pulled me toward the back of the room. He wiped away the sweat with the back of his hand. “See? I told you she had it out for me.”
“Yes, but you need to remember a couple of other things. One—she’s not the final say on who makes the team. Ajay and Ms. Rothstein also have a vote. Two—she’s right. This is serious business, and if you want to make the team, you just need to drop the act and be yourself. No more playing the part of the stereotype. I know you can carry on a debate without the sass, so prove it to them.”
He nodded and jogged in place for a few seconds, shaking his limbs loose. “Drop the sass. Got it.”
“I want them to see you as something more than just the Token Gay Guy. You’re Richard Wang, Debater Extraordinaire.”
“Debater Extraordinaire.” He paused, one corner of his mouth quirked up. “I like the ring of that.”
“Then earn it.” I sat down and pulled out my laptop. “I’ll just sit back here and work on my next blog post.”
I didn’t miss the worried glance that Kelsey gave me over her shoulder. Good. Let her think my next exposé would be about her. Maybe she’d learn to keep anti-gay bias away from school-sponsored activities.
Once it was time to get the tryouts under way, Ms. Rothstein stood and closed the door. “Good afternoon, everyone, and thank you for coming out to the debate team tryouts. For those of you who don’t know, Kelsey Buchannan and Ajay Patel are our co-captains this year, which means we have room for four more members and two alternates.”
Six slots, which meant more than half the room wouldn’t make the team.
“Of course, for those of you who don’t make the team roster this time, I’d like to remind you that the debate club is open to everyone in the spring,” Ms. Rothstein continued. “It’s a great way to hone your skills for next year’s team.”
Ajay and Kelsey each produced a wire basket and handed them to the teacher.
“The first thing we’re going to do is draw the order of debates. Since we have an even twenty here, I’ll have each of you draw a slip of paper from here.” She held out Kelsey’s basket. “On the paper, you’ll learn when you’ll go and what stance you’ll be taking on a topic—pro or con. Once we get that sorted out, then we’ll get to the actual debate topics.”
Thankfully, Ajay’s basket contained the topics. I’d be scared to see what Kelsey would come up with.
Richard filed into the line to draw the numbers and showed me his slip of paper. “10-Con. I guess that’s a good thing I’m going last. It’ll give me time to watch the competition.”
“Exactly.” And seeing as how Richard had never been a member of the debate club, he needed all the help he could get on the rules of the debate.
Ms. Rothstein carried Ajay’s basket back to her desk. “Tryouts will last all week. The pro side will choose the topic today, the con side tomorrow. We’ll redraw the order tomorrow, so each of you will have two chances to show us your skills. On Wednesday morning, I’ll post a list of who made the first cut. We’ll have the second round of tryouts the next day. The final team and two alternates will be announced on Friday. Any questions?”
“Yeah—where’s my barf bag?” Richard whispered under his breath.
“Breathe. You’re not up for at least another hour.”
More like an hour and a half, but when Richard finally got his chance, he took his place at the Con podium and waited for his competitor to draw the topic.
“Should the European Union allow sanctuary to migrants?” Richard’s opponent read aloud.
Richard gripped the sides of the podium so tightly, his knuckles blanched. He had three minutes to come up with a good argument against it, even though it was probably something he was for. But once his opponent started his opening comments, Richard settled down and started making notes. By the time it was his turn to speak, he ripped his opponent’s arguments to shreds and left no doubt in my mind about the winner of that debate.
Now, if only it was enough to convince the three people in the front row. They made a few notes before Ms. Rothstein stood again. “That’s it for today. Tomorrow, we’ll have a new set of topics for you, so get some rest and read up on current events.”
Richard bounced over to me and gave me a high five. “Did I just kick that debate’s ass or what?”
“Your grandmother would be proud at how well you picked him apart.” I slid my laptop back into my bag. “Want to grab a frozen yogurt to celebrate?”
“Of course. I’m starving!” Richard gave Ajay a winning smile before running out into the hallway. “Meet up at the place on Eighth?”
“Sure.” And if we didn’t like the scene there, we could go to the other fro-yo place a block away.
We’d barely made it to the parking lot when my phone rang. I checked the screen and saw Morgan’s name. I showed it to Richard before answering and putting it on speakerphone. “Perfect timing. Richard and I—”
“You. Fucking. Bitch,” she spat.
If someone else had said that to me, I would’ve replied with something childish like, “I know I am, but what are you?” But Morgan was one of my best friends. I turned off the speaker and pressed the phone to my ear. “Morgan, what’s wrong?”
Richard lingered nearby, leaning in to catch our conversation.
“You are. I ran into Gavin today, and he told me all about Saturday night.”
Oh, shit. As craptastic as Saturday night had been, Morgan’s anger added a whole new level of angst to it. “Let me explain—”
“There’s nothing you can say,” she said, cutting me off, her voice shaking as though she were on the verge of tears. “You knew I liked him, and all this time, you were flirting with him behind my back.”
“Me? Flirting with him?” More like the other way around, but I never got a chance to tell her that.
“You went out with him, didn’t you?” My silence only confirmed Gavin’s story and unleashed a new wave of anger in Morgan. “I can’t believe you were such a back-stabbing bitch! And then, to come on to him so you could lure Brett into beating the crap out of him—”
“Excuse me?” Oh, hell no. How dare Gavin twist what happened Saturday night into making him the victim? “That’s not what happened at all.”
“Bullshit. Gavin has a black eye and two broken ribs because of Brett. Plus, your little show got him kicked out of his frat.”
And for a good reason. Gavin tried to rape me when I was drunk. “Morgan, please, give me a chance—”
“Why should I? You’re just going to tell me a bunch of lies anyway. Some friend you are. You weren’t content to have Brett chasing after you. You had to go after Gavin, too.”
My stomach twisted into a dozen knots, and the frantic beating of my heart pounded in my ears. “Morgan—”
But no matter how hard I tried, she wouldn’t let me get a word in edgewise. “Go to hell, Alexis.”
Then she hung up.