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

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

He’s shattered through it with one look of his too green eyes and he doesn’t even know it. I refuse to hand over the power.

“Why don’t we sit down and go over everything,” I suggest, settling in my chair and scooting it close to the table.

He doesn’t follow my lead. Still standing above me, he’s so tall, his shoulders so broad, he’s all I can see. I tilt my head back, hating how it feels like he has the upper hand. Hating more how he looks down at me like I’m nothing. Like he could walk away right now and forget I even exist.

Which he probably could.

“Can’t we just say I come and see you every week and you get paid and we pretend everything’s fine? You turn in your little reports and I turn in my assignments, take my barely passing grade and call it good?” he asks as he reaches out and grips the back of the chair he’s standing in front of. His fingers are long; they curl around the edge of the chair so tightly his knuckles turn white. He’s tense.

Great. So am I. “Um, that would be lying. And cheating,” I say slowly, letting my words sink in.

“So? I can make this happen. I just need to catch up on my assignments, right?” He makes it sound so easy.

“You failed three tests already,” I point out, not even bothering to look at the sheet that breaks down his epic failure of English Advanced Comp. I studied it before he arrived. Memorized it, really. “You’re also taking a creative writing class and you’re close to failing that one as well.”

“I thought …” His voice trails off and he exhales, his nostrils flaring slightly. “I thought it would be easy.”

“Apparently not.” I raise a brow, proud of my calm, cool demeanor. Inside, my nerves are starting a riot in my belly.

“I’ll pay you extra,” he blurts. “I can’t … I gotta work.”

His offer shocks me, and all I can do is blink.

“Maybe …” I take a deep breath. “Maybe we could meet at another time? Is that the problem? Does this time not work for you?”

“It doesn’t. Not at all.” He shakes his head. “I don’t want to do this. No offense, but I don’t have time for this shit.”

And with that final statement, he turns on his heel and leaves.

CHAPTER 2

Chelsea

I hate working at the diner. It’s located in the not-so-great part of downtown, next door to a bar where the college students definitely don’t hang out. But considering it’s open twenty-four hours, the last of the college bar-hoppers tend to trickle in around two thirty in the morning, starving and drunk.

I’m working until four only because I don’t have morning classes, so I can go back to my apartment and crash for a few hours. Kari, my best friend and roommate, is rarely there. She has a heavy schedule like me and she used to have a boyfriend. She stayed at his place, smoking joints and having sex all day and night with him, but then he dumped her.

I thought it was the best thing that ever could have happened to her. That guy was a loser. My friend picks the worst type of guy every single time. It’s like she prefers the bad boys. The ones who make her feel good sexually.

I know this because she loves to tell me all about her sexual escapades in graphic detail. I think she likes shocking me, which is fine. I actually soak up all those details and wonder exactly what the big deal is about sex.

It sounds kind of horrifying. Awkward. Painful. Demeaning. It makes me happy that I choose to be alone.

Mom hates that I work at the diner and tries as often as possible to convince me to quit, but I can’t. I need the job to pay for the extra expenses my scholarship doesn’t cover. I work two jobs and go to school full time. I’ll be a senior next year and then after that, I want to get my master’s in education. Not here, though.

I can’t wait to leave this town. It’s so not my scene. I can get into a college much closer to home, Walnut Creek. Well, we used to live in Walnut Creek, until we lost pretty much everything we had. Mom now lives in an apartment in Concord. She made me stay here so I wouldn’t have to face the scandal every day.

Her words, not mine.

Tonight the diner is quiet, but it’s Wednesday, so that’s normal. I shuffle from table to table, serving up giant plates of fries or nachos to the tables full of students. Breakfast to the two old dudes just off shift from the electrical plant, endless cups of coffee to the two guys who came in earlier to study for some crazy test they have coming up in less than six hours.

The usual.

That’s why I’m shocked when the door swings open approximately sixty minutes before my shift ends and in walks Owen Maguire with two other guys as big as him, though not as good-looking.

Crap. I hate that I even think like that.

I’ve never noticed him in here before, but who knows if I would have. I’m usually not thinking about hot guys. I’m usually just … working.

But this guy is different. I meet him once and I can’t forget him. His defiance is irritating, but his face … his eyes …

“Well, check you out.” His voice draws my attention and I snap my head up, our gazes locking. He’s smirking at me, a little wobbly on his feet, and I know in an instant he’s drunk.

Must have a fake ID to get into the bars, considering he’s only nineteen.

“Hi.” I flash the three drunk boys a brief smile before letting it fade. “Want a table?”

“Sure do,” Owen says, his smirk growing. I want to slap it off his face.

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