Read Love Me Online

Authors: Jillian Dodd

Tags: #YA Romance, #General Fiction

Love Me (6 page)

BOOK: Love Me
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“I’d like to acquaint him with a few of my bedroom skills,” a girl sitting next to me whispers to her friend, who erupts in giggles.

 

When we’re in line, Peyton starts gushing to me again. “Did you
see
those dimples?”

“Yeah, I saw them. He is pretty cute, but, I mean, I would think you would be the last person who’d want to get involved with a teacher.”

She rolls her eyes and waves her hand at me. “I’m legal now.”

 

Boys are confusing.

4:25pm

 

After dance practice, Peyton yells, “Hey, Keatyn, come here.” I walk over to her. She lowers her voice slightly and says, “You seemed a little off today with your timing and your kicks. That’s not like you.”

“I’ve just got a lot on my mind,” I say with a sigh. I mean, how much more could I possibly have piled on me in one day? Let’s see: Crazy stalker is doing a nationwide search for me. I have a hot—no, a ridiculously hot—man here to guard my body. Maggie thinks I’m letting Dawson off too easy. And Aiden, who I thought had friend-zoned me, asked me on a date. Well, possibly a date.

“I saw Dawson changed his relationship status. Are you getting back together?”

I sigh again. “Last night, we, um, sorta maybe did some stuff that made him think things were on the right track.”

“You had sex?”

“I’m not sure I should talk to you about this. Whitney is your best friend.”

She rolls her eyes. “Whitney says she told you that she was sorry. Did she?”

“Yes, surprisingly, she did.”

“I think Dawson needed closure. He told her that he loves you. Which was
so
awesome.”

I ignore her Whitney slam. “Can I ask you a question about them?”

“Sure.”

“This is dumb, really. But your stupid brother said something to me earlier.” I fidget with my locket then say, “Did Dawson woo Whitney?”

“Woo her?”

“Yeah, like cute little gifts or notes or candy? Did he score points for her or make her dance with him? Did he hang lights on his ceiling? Give her four-leaf clovers? Write on a football for her?”

She looks very confused by all this. “Uh, no. She invited him to the movies with a group of us, sat next to him, made out with him, and they were together ever since. But Dawson was a good boyfriend, always thoughtful and sweet. Although . . .” She hesitates for a second. “You already know she wanted his brother and not him. She started hanging out with him hoping to make Cam jealous, but then it didn’t work. It’s a very unromantic story.” She laughs out loud. “But all that stuff you just said. Dawson didn’t do that. My brother did, right?”

“Yeah. He did. And I don’t know how I feel about him because sometimes he acts like he likes me and other times he acts like he doesn’t.”

“And how is Dawson wooing you?”

“That’s just it. He’s not. He’s sweet. We have amazing sex. Like, it’s amazing. And that’s why it’s now complicated. I can’t resist him, even though I’m still mad at him. I’m complicating it. I swore I wouldn’t do it with him until I got things straight in my mind, but then he started kissing me. And now I’m supposed to go on a sort of date with Aiden. I’m babbling. I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay. Boys are confusing. Tell me all the stuff my brother did.”

So I tell her. Spill my guts, going all the way back to the start of the school year. About the lunch, the four-leaf clover, the dances, the toast, Keats, B, how he was mad at me, tutoring, all of it.”

“So why aren’t you with him?”

“Because it’s even more complicated. When I kicked the soccer ball at his head, it felt like we had this connection. And when he told me he was going to ask me to marry him at the top of the Eiffel Tower at sunset someday, it was too amazing to believe. Especially since I knew his player reputation.”

“Top of the Eiffel Tower, sunset?” She visibly melts and clasps her hands together. “Oh, Keatyn. That’s so romantic! I want that.”

“Well, obviously, it hasn’t worked out so well, so watch what you wish for. Aiden gets mad at me a lot. Gets mad and walks away. Dawson never gets mad at me. Plus I’m pretty sure I’m love-cursed.”

“I think I am too. But we have to keep trying until we get it right.” She hugs me and says, “So where is he taking you for dinner?”

“He said some French place. He said it’s not really a date. That it’s tutoring with food. Then he said it was a date and that we’d celebrate the fact that he got an A on a quiz. But then he said it wasn’t a date because it’s complicated with Dawson. But then he told me to un-complicate it. Which is part of the problem. Clearly, the boy has no idea
what
he wants. So, I don’t know what it is. Just a dinner, I guess.”

She grins at me. The same stupid grin that her brother gets when he thinks he knows something that I don’t. “The French restaurant is very nice. It’s definitely a date.”

I roll my eyes at her. “Great. Is that where he takes all his girls to woo them?”

She grabs my shoulders and looks me straight in the eyes. “Keatyn, my brother has never
had
to woo anyone. You saw him at the Cave the other night. They flock to him. Practically line up. I happen to know that he’s only been to that restaurant twice. Both times with our parents.” She looks me over. “You’re all sweaty. You need to go get ready. What are you going to wear?”

“I don’t know.”

She grabs me by the elbow. “Come on. I’m going to help you pick out something perfect.”

 

I’ve showered, shaved my legs, deep conditioned my hair, and am now curling it into the sexy supermodel curls I wore the night we danced under the twinkle lights. 

Peyton is sitting on my bed flipping through a magazine when my phone buzzes.

“Oh shit,” she says, looking at my phone. “It’s Dawson. He wants you to meet him for dinner. What are you going to say?”

“The truth,” I reply, walking over to grab my phone. “We promised to always be honest with each other.”

 

Me:  I can’t. I’m going out for dinner.

 

Dawson:  With who?

 

Me:  Aiden. We’re combining tutoring with some French food tonight.  

 

Dawson: That sounds like a date.

 

Me:  We’re both single now. We can both go out on dates.

 

Dawson:  I only want to date you.

 

Me:  Someone asked me today what you’re doing to try and woo me back. Do you think you’re wooing me?

 

Dawson:  I’m pretty sure I did that last night.

 

Me:  Sex is not wooing.

 

Dawson:  Oh :(

 

Me:  Dawson, I know the sex is good. We have a great friendship. But I just don’t know if you even like me enough to woo me.

 

Dawson:  So you’re gonna date both me and Aiden?

 

Me:  I’m not sure that Aiden wants to date me, but I am going to dinner with him. 

 

Dawson:  I hate you right now.

 

Me:  And I love your honesty. If it’s any consolation, I have hated you quite a bit recently too. 

 

Dawson:   :(

 

“He says he hates me,” I tell Peyton. 

“He’ll get over it. You have to do what’s best for you. And even though I like Dawson, what he did sucked.”

“Yeah, it did. My mom told me that you have to learn to love yourself before you can love someone else. Do you think that you love yourself?”

She picks up one of my pillows and hugs it. “I think that’s good advice, but it’s hard to love yourself. Especially if you’re like me and have screwed up more times than not.”

“Isn’t that part of loving yourself? Forgiving yourself too?”

“Yeah, probably. Although, I’m having a hard time with that. My mom has cancer.”

“I know. Aiden told me. It’s in remission, right?”

“Yeah, but when we found out, my parents made some big changes in our lives. I was a little bitch about it. We had to make bucket lists. I was mad. Mad she had cancer. Mad they moved me away from my friends. So, on my bucket list I put that I wanted to go to boarding school. So, of course, they sent me.” She shakes her head. “Serves me right. I haven’t really liked myself much since.”

I sit on the bed next to her. “Don’t be so hard on yourself. That was a lot to handle. And I know your parents did what they thought was best, but moving you away from your friends, your support system, would have been awful. I can see why you acted like a little bitch.” I smile at her. “Aiden told me about that time. About how he ended up here. He loves it, though. Do you?”

“I just try to stay busy enough not to think about all my mistakes.”

“My mom says that our pasts, including our mistakes, are what make us who we are. My dad died when I was eight.”

Her eyes get big and she reaches out to touch my forearm. “I’m so sorry.”

“It’s okay. The reason I’m telling you that is because my mom loved my dad, but now she’s with someone else. Someone she met and just knew was right. She says that sometimes life makes you wait for true love until you’re ready for it. Like all of the stupid mistakes you’re making now, when the right guy comes along, you’ll maybe have them all out of your system. If that makes sense. At least, I hope that’s what it means.”

She leans back and looks up at my ceiling, like she’s saying a prayer or making a wish. 

“Hey, there are glow-in-the-dark stars all over your ceiling. Did you and Katie do that?”

I laugh. “Actually, your brother put them there.”

“Oh, wow. He is
totally
wooing you. You should really give the boy a chance. Now, what are you going to wear?”

I walk in my closet and try to stay calm. But it’s hard. 

Because I. Am. Nervous. 

Crazy, butterflies-in-my-stomach, strung-out, starting-to-sweat nervous. 

Nervous that since the second he asked me on a sort-of date to a French restaurant my mind has been going to all those dreamy places. I’ve been writing scripts in my head about how he’ll take me to dinner and tell me I’m the one. That he made a wish on the moon. That it was fate that brought us together. That he wants to marry me. That he wants to grow old with me. 

That he wants to kiss me with his tongue. 

French restaurants and French kisses should be paired like a lamb chop and a vintage Bordeaux. 

They. Belong. Together.

And I could so belong to Aiden. 

I should call Maggie. She knows Aiden’s past. Has anyone ever successfully moved out of the friend zone with him? 

No.

I can’t do that. I don’t want to know. 

I don’t want to be like any other stupid girl. 

I can’t even see my clothes. They have all just become a blurry colored background. Like a sunset. 

Oh. My. God. 

Everything—even my own closet—is plotting against me. 

When has my closet
ever
looked like a sunset? Never. Never, ever. Ever. 

Always. Only. Ever. For you. 

“Can’t you find anything to wear?” Peyton says, pulling me out of my maniacal thoughts. 

I look at my closet again. Take a whiff of it. 

It sort of smells like Aiden. 

That’s it!

He was in my room putting up the stars. That’s why I can’t think. There must have been love potion still lingering in the air that got trapped in my closet.

I walk out into my room, open my window, and take a deep breath of fresh, cleansing air. 

“I think I almost have it figured out,” I lie.

“You aren’t usually so indecisive. Here, I’ll choose one.” She wanders into my closet, flips through the rack, and pulls out a pale pink Marchesa organza ruffle dress with a black bow at the waist. “This is what you should wear. It even looks Parisian.”

Oh, I can’t wear
that
dress. That’s the dress I’d been saving in my closet at home for the perfect occasion. I brought it here to give me hope. It’s the dress I thought I’d wear when I got my life back.

I’ve even given the dress a little script. 

We’ll go to Paris. Stay at the Four Seasons. Shop all the designer boutiques. Stop for tea and macaroons at Ladurée. Then, as I walk into Cartier, an amazingly hot guy—who, unbeknownst to me, is the prince of a small country—holds the door open for me. He whispers to me in a sexy accent. He tells me I’m beautiful, causing me to blush the exact same shade as the dress. He helps me pick out a fabulous piece of jewelry, then insists on buying it for me, telling me that the gorgeous gem pales in comparison to my beauty. 

But, in all likelihood, that won’t happen any time soon.

My mind flashes to me wearing this dress in my coffin, instead. After Vincent finds me, rubs his tattoo against me, and makes me film a movie. 

I shudder. “You’re right, Peyton. That dress is perfect.”

“You’re acting strange,” she says, scrutinizing my face. Then her face breaks out into a grin. “You’re nervous, aren’t you?”

“I just got dumped by Dawson and then slept with him. Now it’s complicated and I’m going to dinner with your brother. Please, don’t stress me out any more. This dinner is a simple tutoring exercise.”

She smirks. “Whatever you say. How about shoes?”

I pull a pair of black Jimmy Choo high-heeled sandals that have black ostrich feathers gracing the front of them. “These, for sure,” I say, my confidence coming back. I grab a pair of long black feather earrings, a pearled Alexander McQueen clutch, and a rose quartz flower ring for my accessories.

“Love the feather earrings,” Peyton says. “Très chic.”

My phone buzzes.

“It’s my brother,” she says. “He’s just pulling up and says he’ll meet you in the front hall.”

 

A wonderful sense of powerlessness.

BOOK: Love Me
4.28Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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