Redemption (Forgiven Series)(10)

By: Rebecca Brooke

Emily’s arm stayed wrapped around mine as she led me across the room. I wasn’t sure where we were going. She’d probably said, but unfortunately, I hadn’t been paying attention. We stopped in front of an older couple who must have been someone’s parents. I knew they weren’t Emily’s because I’d met them over winter break.

“Lauren, this is Dr. and Mrs. Jacobs, Caleb’s parents. Dr. and Mrs. Jacobs, this is Lauren Pierce, she’s a friend of mine and Angie’s.”

I reached my hand out to take Mrs. Jacobs’. “It’s nice to meet you. I think it’s wonderful of you to throw this party for Angie.”

Mrs. Jacobs smiled at me. “Thank you. We’d do anything to put a smile on that girl’s face. It’s wonderful to meet you as well. I’m so glad you could make it.”

Dr. Jacobs shook my hand. “Thank you so much for coming. Dinner is a buffet and we arranged for an open bar, so please, enjoy.”

“Thank you so much for inviting me,” I replied with smile.

While Emily introduced a few more people to Caleb’s parents I allowed my eyes to wander around the room until they landed on him again. At some point tonight I had to meet him. What eye candy he was.

“Who are you looking at?” Emily whispered in my ear.

Realizing I’d been caught staring I jumped. “Umm… no one.”

She crossed her arms over her chest. “Don’t pull that crap with me. I know someone caught your eye, so spill,” she demanded.

I sighed and looked over at him. “I don’t know his name, but he’s the guy with the dark hair, standing next to Caleb.”

“You mean Josh?” She looked at me like I was crazy. “He’s Caleb’s best friend, and roommate.”

I continued to stare, finally shaking my head to clear it. I didn’t need this right now. “I haven’t been to Angie’s place since she moved off campus. She always meets me at my apartment.”

She eyed me warily. “Look, Josh is like a brother to me, but just so you know he’s Mr. One-Night Stand.”

My eyes snapped to hers. “I wasn’t even thinking that.”

Okay, that was a lie.

“I don’t need to get mixed up with a guy. I’ve had enough of them after what Ryan did.”

“Yes, but you’re staring at him like you want him for dessert,” she muttered.

“Really, Em, can’t this just be about me being introduced to their roommate, instead of me screwing him?” I bit out sarcastically.

She grabbed my hand. “You’re right. I’m just worried about you. Let’s go meet him.”

Crossing the room toward Josh I started to feel a little nervous. The day after finding another girl naked in my boyfriend’s apartment and I was ready to meet someone new. That wasn’t like me at all, but there was something different about Josh. I could see it when I looked at him. I was so lost in my thoughts that I didn’t realize that Emily had stopped moving.

”Em? What’s up?”

“Can I introduce you later? I just remembered I have to do something.”

“Huh? You never said…”

I stopped when I realized that she hadn’t made eye contact with me. In fact, she was avoiding it. Her face was frozen and I knew from the glazed look in her eyes that she wasn’t paying a bit of attention to what I was saying. I nudged her but didn’t get a response so I followed her gaze until I saw Andrew.

“Em, is everything okay?”

She looked at me and back to where the boys were standing. “I’m just not ready to talk to him yet.”

“Who? Andrew?” I asked confused. I shot a glance in the boys’ direction. I thought she and Andrew were dating?

She sighed. “Yeah. I’m just not sure how he feels about me and I’m not ready to talk to him about it yet. If he doesn’t feel the same way it’ll ruin my night.” Her eyes began to shimmer. She must really care about him because this wasn’t like Emily at all.

I looped my arm through hers. “Okay, how about you introduce me to him later and right now we go get a drink?”

Emily needed a drink as much as I did. Well, what I really needed was to get myself under control. When I’d agreed to meeting Josh later, part of it was to help Emily avoid Andrew, but the other part was for myself. I was nervous about meeting him, which was stupid considering I’d been around hot guys before, but none of them had affected me the way Josh did. Just the sight of him made me forget all of the messed up events of the last few days.

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