Levi McCoy took me under his wing when we were kids. He was my protector. My best friend. My everything.
And I was his sidekick.
When he landed an internship at Montague Enterprises, I was thrilled. Hundreds of people had applied, and Levi and his roommate had made the cut. There was just one problem. Only one of them would be offered the permanent position.
That’s when things got messy.
The two bargained for the final job offer, using me as their pawn.
And I fell for it. The scheming. The stolen kisses. The late night texts. My heart was being torn in two, and neither one of them cared. I was nothing but a pretty face to one of them, and an easy target for the other.
All good things must come to an end, right? Except our ending was one I didn’t see coming. Hell, it should’ve never started in the first place.
“But you want to hook up with her and figured tonight is as good of a time as any?”
The little fantasy I’d created in my head in the span of five seconds pops like a balloon with a pin.
An extra-pointy pin named reality.
The bastard has the sense to look sheepish. “I mean…if you’re not cool with it—”
“It’s fine,” I concede, though I don’t bother to hide my annoyance.
It’s not like we haven’t seen each other in almost a year or anything, and that I’ve missed hanging out with you more than anything on this planet. But sure, bring an easy lay along. Sounds juuust peachy.
I cross my arms and fume out the window.
“You sure you’re okay with it?” he prods.
Do I look okay with it? I want to shout. But I don’t. Because then he’d wonder why I wasn’t cool with having a front-row seat to his sexual escapades. Then that question would lead down an endless rabbit hole until he’d finally figure out his tomboy best friend––who he looks at like a little sister––wants to be his sexual escapades instead of some random girl in his college class. Which is ironic because I’ve never even been kissed. I’ve never wanted to be kissed. Unless Levi was the one to do the honors. But he’s too busy sticking his tongue down every other girl’s throat to ever finally notice me.
Damn, I’m pathetic.
“Yup. But you’re buying the popcorn. And I expect one large bowl to share instead of your usual anti-sharing technique. Oh! And I demand an extra squirt of butter.”
Nose wrinkling in disgust, he argues, “Come on, Charlie. You know how much I hate to share. And don’t even get me started on the fake butter they spray on there. You know that shit’s not good for you.”
“It is if you’re running six miles a day. And sharing is good for you. You should try it sometime.”
“Speaking of running,” he remarks, completely ignoring the sharing jab. “Your dad told my mom that you’ve gotten a couple of scholarship offers for softball.”
I groan. “Sometimes I hate how much our parents talk. And before you ask if I’m going, I already told you. College is a hard pass for me. I’m over school.”
“Which is why you’ll be stripping in a year.” His mouth tilts up in amusement, but he doesn’t bother to argue the subject anymore. We both know I’m as stubborn as the female population comes, and I won’t budge.
After picking up Mandy from the subway, we head to the Lincoln Square Loews Cinema and grab our tickets. All the good movies are sold out, so we’re stuck with some bank heist comedy. It doesn’t matter; I’ve got a giant tub of popcorn tucked on my lap and am officially a happy camper. Especially when Levi leans closer to grab a handful, munching happily on the extra buttered popcorn like a champ.
Did he notice the way our hands brushed against each other? Probably not.
Sitting back in his seat, Levi tosses his arm around his date.
There goes my moment of bliss, I grumble to myself. Gritting my teeth, I bring another kernel to my mouth while attempting to block out my best friend making a move on a skank in a jean miniskirt and heels.