Authors: Ella Miles
Copyright © 2016 Ella Miles LLC
All rights reserved.
Editor: Jovana Shirley, Unforeseen Editing,
Cover Designer: © Sarah Hansen, Okay Creations,
a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.
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“Hey, boring,” my loudmouthed friend says, bouncing into my apartment. Scarlett didn’t bother to knock. She just opened the door like she lives here. She practically does though.
We’ve known each other our entire lives. If it weren’t for our parents’ pocketbooks allowing each of us to have our own luxury apartment, we would have been roommates. Sometimes, I wish we had been anyway, so we could have gotten the real college experience. It would have never worked though. Our clothes alone would have been too much to fit into one apartment together.
“Hey, Scar,” I say, not looking up from the book I’m using to study for my art history exam.
Scarlett plops down next to me on the white sectional. She stretches out until she is covering half of the couch. “Really? It’s our last weekend before we graduate. Why the hell are you studying?”
“Because we have finals next week.”
“So what? It’s Friday night. Study on Monday morning, like the rest of us.”
I shake my head as I turn the page. “I want to get good grades, unlike the rest of you.”
Scarlett reaches over and pulls the book from my lap. She tosses it onto the floor before I can even protest.
I exhale, looking at Scarlett. “What are you doing here? I thought you were going out dancing with Jake tonight.”
I watch as she flips her long ombre brown-colored locks over her shoulder before she begins picking the polish off her perfectly manicured hands.
“I broke up with Jake,” she says, not looking up at me.
“Ugh, not again.”
She quickly sits up. “Don’t lecture me, she who has never had a boyfriend.”
I roll my eyes. “I’ve had a boyfriend before. There is just no point in dating right now. I’m supposed to be focusing on my studies and modeling jobs.”
Scarlett yawns. “Boring.”
“How did this become about me? You’re the one who broke up with that boy again. That makes it the fifth time this year.”
“I’m tired of being tied down. I want to be single when I go off into the world.”
I get up and go pick up my textbook off the floor. “But why are you here? You still have time to find a date to take you out tonight.” I turn to face her. “Or you could go alone since that’s what you want so much.”
She smiles mischievously at me. “Or you could go with me?”
“No,” I say as I settle back into the couch.
When I glance back up, she pouts her lip, and her eyes grow sad in a way only she knows how to do.
“Please,” she begs.
I can’t help the smile that grows over my lips from seeing her beg like this. She’s not begging because she needs someone to go out to the bars with her. Scarlett is the most confident person I know. She loves being the center of attention. She’s asking because she wants me to have fun for once in my life.
“I don’t know…maybe,” I say, giving her the same answer I’ve told her hundreds of times before.
“Come on, Kins. You don’t need to study. You have the highest grades in our class, and you don’t even like theater.”
“I do, too,” I protest even though I don’t, not really. I suck at acting. I find the history behind theater interesting, but I have no interest in really working in that field.
On autopilot, I pull my phone out of my pocket. I begin texting my dad, like I always do. But I know what he’s going to say before I even ask. He’ll say no. It’s seven thirty. I’m supposed to call him in an hour for our weekly updates. I love his calls, but I think he chose Friday nights just to keep me out of the bars and clubs, not that I mind. It’s also why he chose Yale for me over some of the other colleges. Yale isn’t exactly known for being a party school. I prefer his calls to drinking until I puke, like Scarlett does.
My thumb hesitates over the phone. I’ve never really had the opportunity to try out my theory on drinking until I puke. I’ve just assumed I would prefer talking with my father to it. And I can’t make any more mistakes.
I move my thumb to press Send when Scarlett’s body tackles me to the ground. My phone drops from my hand and slides across the hardwood floor. It’s a miracle it doesn’t shatter, but from where I lie on the ground with Scarlett’s body pressed to me, it doesn’t seem like it even got a scratch on it.
“What—get off of me, Scar.” I try to wiggle out from underneath her bony body, but it’s no use. I have no leverage to get out from underneath her.
I stop fighting and resolve to listen to her. “What was that for?”
letting you ask your father for permission to go to a bar tonight.”
I narrow my eyes at her, trying to figure out if I can use the element of surprise to get out from under her grasp. “Why not?”
“Because you are a grown-ass woman who can make her own decisions. You turned twenty-one three days ago, and you haven’t even so much as gone out for a drink yet.”
I frown. “I did, too, go out for a drink.”
“Yeah, you had champagne with your family, and you were back by nine o’clock. That’s not exactly what I mean, Kins.”
“It was a weeknight! What was I supposed to do? Go out and get so drunk that I wouldn’t have even made it to my classes the next morning?”
Scarlett nods. “Yeah, that’s exactly what you were supposed to do. That’s what any normal college student would have done.”
I shake my head. “But we aren’t normal.”
“Yeah, well, for one night, we are going to be.”
“No, I’m going to study, and then I’m going to call my dad in an hour, like I always do.”
I reach back for my phone that is just a foot or so above my head, but Scarlett pins my arms to the ground with her hands.
“Come on, Scar, let me go,” I whine.
I try my best to give her puppy-dog eyes, like she did with me earlier, but I’m not the best actress in the world. And even if I were, Scarlett doesn’t have a heart. She’s ruthless when she’s made up her mind.
“Not going to work.” Scarlett’s grip on my arms tightens. “The way I see it, you have two options. One, you can spend the night lying on the floor with me sitting on you. Or two, you can get your scrawny ass into that closet of yours, pick out something slutty to wear, and go out clubbing with me.”
I wear a pinched expression as I stare up in annoyance at my supposed friend who is blackmailing me into going out. I look at my scrawny arms. I knew I should have gone to the gym at least once or twice. I don’t have an ounce of muscle on my body to fight her off.
“You’re really going to sit on me all night if I don’t agree to your terms?”
She smiles. “All night.”
“Fine.” I sigh. “I’ll go with you. Just let me text my dad to let him know.”
“Nope.” Scarlett jumps off of me and scoops my phone up. She turns the phone off before slipping it into her cleavage. “You are not asking your daddy for permission. Tonight, you’re going to have fun.”
I quickly stand up before Scarlett changes her mind and pushes me back to the ground.
“Let’s go then.” If I appease Scarlett and go to a bar for an hour or so, then I will still have enough time to come back, call my dad, and get some studying in before bed. No harm done.
Scarlett laughs. “Oh, Kins, you know nobody goes out this early. Plus, we need time to change if we are going to find a guy for me to hook up with tonight.”
She grabs my hand, and I follow her past my kitchen where my favorite chocolate-colored chandelier hangs overhead. Then, we go down my hallway to the spare bedroom that I turned into a closet—or boutique is more like it. The room is overflowing with clothes I was given from various designers after doing shoots for them. The other half of the room is filled with every brand of makeup and every jewelry and accessory that I have ever worn. It is every girl’s dream. I’m just not sure it’s my dream.
Scarlett begins scrolling through the clothes in my closet, as easily as she would if it were hers. She is attracted to the tight skirts and cleavage tops that will show off her bought curves. She begins stripping before trying on a variety of my clothes, and then she throws them onto the floor after deciding they aren’t sexy enough.
I sigh. I’ll have a mess to clean up tonight. Unlike Scarlett, I don’t have a maid to clean up after me. It’s not that I can’t afford one. I just like my own space. I don’t want someone coming into my home, touching my things.
I head to the other end of my closet, toward the clothes I just got after the last shoot I did. I find the black crop top that I was given. I take my simple white T-shirt off and replace it with the black crop top. I leave my dark skinny jeans on but replace my flats with a pair of black high heels.
I take a seat at the table in front of a large mirror where I begin to touch up my makeup. My long blonde hair is already curled as it hangs down my back. I apply some red lipstick to finish my look before I look at myself. I’m happy with what is staring back in the mirror until Scarlett stands behind me.
We are both models and both beautiful in our own right. But while I model for
magazine, Scarlett models for Victoria’s Secret. I look seventeen, and she looks twenty-five. Guys find me attractive, but guys want to sleep with her.