Home > Four Years Later (One Week Girlfriend #4)(15)

Four Years Later (One Week Girlfriend #4)(15)
Author: Monica Murphy

I’m just the girl who’s helping him out. Some nameless, faceless brain who’ll get him where he wants to be. He’ll forget all about me once he’s finished.

Just like everyone else does.

CHAPTER 5

Chelsea

Their names are Tad and Brad.

I’m not kidding, though I wish I were. Why didn’t Kari warn me about this? I mean, really? Tad and Brad? They’re not twins, they look nothing alike, but they’re fraternity brothers, and they’re both big and beefy, their arms bulging with muscles. They almost seem to revel in the fact that their names match. Like it’s some sort of gimmick to meet people—specifically girls.

So. Cheesy.

Kari acts like it’s the cutest thing ever—like these two shady dudes are the perfect matches for us. She attached herself to Brad’s side the moment we arrived and found our dates sitting in the lounge area of The District, which is just off the bar. He’s the better-looking of the two, with golden hair, pale blue eyes, and an easy smile. Too easy of a smile, if you ask me.

But she’s not asking me, so I keep my opinions to myself.

I’m stuck with Tad. He’s darker, as in darker hair, darker mood, darker words. Whereas Brad is bright and sunny and trying to put on the charm, Tad is rather serious, with somber brown eyes, and only offering the rare smile. He’s never without a full drink, even after we’ve been there for a couple of hours.

And the more he drinks, the handier he gets. I’m not referring to him as being helpful, either. He’s constantly trying to touch me. Grazing my arm with his fingers, resting his hand on my knee. He even tried to place his hand on my thigh, which I immediately shoved off.

Bad enough I’m worried about getting caught sitting in the bar when I’m underage, though I’m not even drinking. It’s even worse that I have to fight off Tad the Octopus every few minutes.

The night started off so promising, too. I’d actually had fun getting ready with Kari. She’d found a super-cute top for me to wear from her closet. Cream colored, with three-quarter sleeves, the front is cotton but the sleeves and almost the entire back are made of lace. With a tank underneath it, I felt sort of daring and free. Totally not myself at all.

I liked it.

All that confidence is gone now, though. I’m ready to bolt. And Kari is definitely not ready to leave. Brad has his arm around her shoulders and he’s whispering something in her ear, nudging his nose against her cheek and making her giggle. He’d offered his beer to Kari multiple times and she never refused him, sipping greedily with his encouragement. I think she’s a little drunk.

That’s my cue to get us out of here.

“Sure you don’t want something a little stronger?” Tad asks, leering at me as he holds out his glass. He’s been drinking the harder stuff, no beer for him, and no way am I drinking anything from his glass.

Recoiling, I scoot away from him as discreetly as possible. We’re sitting on these low, very comfortable couches that are formed in a U-shape. Brad and Kari sit across from us, a glass-topped table in between. “No thanks,” I say weakly, feeling bad about refusing him and irritated that I’ve been put in this spot in the first place.

Never again will I believe Kari when she says, “Oh, it’ll be fun!”

“Shit,” Tad mutters, taking a swig from his drink before turning his glare on me. “You need to loosen the hell up.”

His remark has the opposite effect. I stiffen my spine, resting my hands on my knees like some sort of prim-and-proper schoolgirl—which I am. “I think maybe you should lay off the alcohol,” I suggest timidly.

He sneers. “Jesus, what are you? Some sort of uptight little virgin?”

Flinching, I look away from him. His remark cuts too close to home and he yelled it loud enough for anyone to hear. Despite how noisy the bar and lounge are, filled with chatter and music, we receive more than a few stares in our direction.

I can’t stand him.

Ignoring Tad, I turn my focus onto Kari, desperate to get her attention. Brad has his arm around her neck, pulling her in close so he can kiss her. If I lose her now, I’m done for, so I move quickly, grabbing a piece of ice out of my mostly empty water glass and tossing it at her.

My aim is perfect—the ice cube hits her right in the chest and she yelps, turning her attention on me. “What?” she asks, sounding totally put out.

Not that I can blame her. I’m the priss; she’s the party girl. I’m the uptight virgin; she’s the one who’s letting some guy she barely knows maul her and kiss her in the middle of a public bar.

Somehow our friendship works most of the time, but tonight I need to end this. This is one part of our lives where we totally don’t mesh.

“Can I talk to you for a minute?” I ask, keeping my voice low. “Privately?”

Rolling her eyes, she withdraws from underneath Brad’s arm and murmurs something to him before she stands. I do the same, not acknowledging Tad whatsoever, and Kari and I head to the bathroom, neither of us talking until we’ve made our way inside.

Luckily enough, we’re alone, which is like a small miracle, and I know I don’t have much time before someone does come in here, so I just blurt out what I want to say.

“I’m leaving.”

“No way.” She shakes her head, irritation written all over her pretty face. Her hair is a deep, rich auburn, thick and wavy. She has hazel eyes that change color depending on her mood and what she’s wearing. With her flawless skin and perfect figure, she’s beautiful, both inside and out. She’s my best friend.

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