Pregame

By: Taylor Wade

Prologue





She was nothing like I had thought she would be after that first night I had seen her. She was different; there was something about the way she held herself together that showed that she was strong. Yet, at moments, you could see her vulnerability. She had a way about her that drew people towards her, but she was unaware of the affect that she had on people, especially men. She was beautiful—sexy as hell, but she didn’t realize just how stunning she truly was. She was the kind of girl I wanted to get lost in, and for the first time, I was interested in more than just an easy lay.





There were secrets that she kept hidden behind her striking hazel eyes, demons that she tried her hardest to keep at bay. I wanted to know what troubled her, and I wanted to take that pain away.





The more I was around her the harder I started to fall. The harder I fell, the more I realized that there wasn’t anything that I wouldn’t do for this girl. I would go through hell and back just to see that smile light up her face.





Before I knew it I was lost in her. I was scared as hell at the feelings I was experiencing for the first time, and I was worried I’d screw up and lose her. But none of that mattered because I was already in too deep. I completely and fully belonged to her. She had my heart and she didn’t even know just how strong her hold on me was. I was in over my head.





I would do anything for her. Anything at all…





ONE





According to my fake ID today was my 21st birthday, and my best friend, Elle, was determined to make it a great one. By the time we arrived at Dusty’s I was already feeling tipsy from pre-gaming in our apartment. As I tried my best not to stumble through the doors of the local bar, I felt finger nails digging into my arm and looked down to see our third roommate, Savanna, clutching onto my arm as she tried her best not to fall face first onto the gravel in front of the bouncer.





“Please remind me to never again wear stilettos after taking shots of tequila.” She whined with a slur, and I laughed, disregarding the statement, because I knew she’d do the same the next time we went out.





We handed our fake IDs to the bouncer who looked at them briefly before giving them back to us and followed after Elle and her boyfriend, Colin, who had walked in just before us. Elle tossed her long dark hair over her shoulder as she peered back at us and motioned Savanna and I to follow her and Colin over to an empty table. After pushing our way through what seemed like hundreds of other students, we sat down and gave our drink orders to Colin.





I scanned the room to see if I recognized anyone from my classes but bodies were packed so tightly together it was difficult to recognize anyone in particular. Classes had only started two weeks ago and the large lecture halls made it impossible to get to know anyone in such a short period of time. I sighed acknowledging the differences between my new school in comparison to the much smaller university I attended last fall during my freshman year. While I was happy with my decision to transfer it was weird to be in such a different environment. The two universities were only a couple of hours from each other, but the different lifestyles made it seem as though the schools were on different coasts.





“Thank you, Colin.” I took the Jack and diet coke Colin handed me and winced at its potency as I took a sip. Elle laughed as she saw my face knowing that I’ve never been able to adjust to the taste of hard liquor in all the years she’s known me. Elle and I had gone to high school together and became close during our sophomore year. Despite going to different colleges freshman year it was easy to remain best friends. When I decided I had to transfer I knew where to go.





“Brookelyn! It’s our song!” Elle stood up and grabbed my arm with one hand yanking me towards the dance floor while she grabbed Colin with her other hand. “Dance with me, baby!”





Colin just smiled and shook his head as he followed behind us, used to Elle’s energy and free spirit.





Savanna had disappeared a few minutes earlier, and when Elle dragged us to the middle of the crowded dance floor we found her clinging to a tall, lanky guy as they danced with his hands on her ass and her tongue in his mouth. I saw Elle roll her eyes at the scene she’d witnessed numerous times since being assigned Savanna’s roommate freshman year. While the two girls were good friends, Elle got easily annoyed at Savanna’s drunken tendencies. Thankfully, in the three weeks that the three of us have shared an off campus apartment together, Savanna hadn’t brought home any strange men for Elle and I to get to know through the thin bedroom walls.

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