Wait for You
Author:J. Lynn

Chapter 10

Twenty-five emails from my cousin, ranging from the end of August, straight up till October 14th.

That was absolutely ridiculous.

I’d waited until after mid-terms before subjecting myself to unnecessary what the fuckery that was sure to occur from opening any of these. Part of me just wanted to delete them. What was the point in reading the emails? Same shit different day.

But I leaned back in my desk chair, exhaling loudly and obnoxiously.

I told myself I’d read them Monday. Didn’t do it. Told myself I’d read them Tuesday. Nope, didn’t happen. Now it was Wednesday, six in the Godforsaken morning, and I’d been staring at my inbox for thirty minutes.

David had been Blaine’s age at the time everything had gone down. He’d been three years older than me—seventeen. He’d been friends with Blaine, but hadn’t been at the party. After everything had happened—the truth, the deal between the parents, and the subsequent lies and nonstop shit storm that had become my life, David knew about the settlement, but had believed what everyone else had.

That I had a mad case of buyer’s remorse.

But David had stopped being friends with Blaine, because to my cousin, whether or not I’d been telling the truth in the beginning, it hadn’t mattered. The whole thing had just been nasty to David. Hadn’t made him one bit sympathetic to me for the past five years.

Scrolling down to the first unread email dated back at the end of August. I shook my head and clicked it open. Same as the one I had read before. I needed to call him or my parents. Immediately. I rolled my eyes. Couldn’t have been that important, because you’d think one of them would’ve picked up the phone and called me if it had been.

That was my family, though. Every one of them felt as if they should not have to pick up the phone. They were too busy for that, too important. Even my cousin, who apparently had a shit ton of time to send emails.

I deleted that one.

On to the next one.

Same stuff, but there were a couple of more sentences. Something to do with a girl from high school. Molly Simmons. She’d been a year younger than me and of course I hadn’t been friends with the chick. I couldn’t even remember what she looked like. David needed to talk to me about her. Was he, like, dating the chick and getting married? If so, I was surprised that he’d even let me know.

That’s one wedding I probably would not be attending.

I deleted that email and was about to move on to the next one when my cell chirped. Dropping my feet onto the floor, I picked it up. It was a text from Brittany, wanting to know if I’d meet her for coffee before my astronomy class. I sent a quick text back, saying yes.

Closing my laptop, I jumped up, deciding that a coffee date with Brit was a million times better than going through the slush pile of my email.

#

At lunch, Jacob was acting like a cracked out jack rabbit because we didn’t have classes Thursday or Friday due to Fall Break. He and Brit were excited about going home. I was happy for them, but also a little disappointed. Four day weekends were what life was made of for college students, but for me, it meant four days of doing absolutely nothing but bouncing off of walls and nerding out by reading ahead in my classes.

But their mood was contagious and I found myself laughing as Jacob tried to convince a guy at another table that if a zombie bit a vampire than it would become a zombie vampire while the other guy was convinced that it would become a vampire zombie.

Brit looked like she was hoping a zombie would crash through the Den and bite them all. “So what are you doing for break?” she asked.

“Just staying here,” I said, and then added my ready made excuse. “It’s just too far to travel for four days.”

“Understandable.” She picked up a rolled up napkin and tossed it at Jacob’s back, but he was in way too deep with his zombie/vampire fetish. “I’m leaving after my last class today.” She rested her head on my shoulder. “I’m going to miss you.”

“Me too.”

“You’ll be bereft without me.”

“I know.”

She sat up, eyes glimmering with excitement. “You know, you could always come home with me.”

“Oh, Brit…” I wanted to hug the girl or cry. The offer seriously meant a lot to me. “Thank you, but that’s your time with your family and stuff.”

“Well, think about it. If you change your mind between now and three, text me and I’ll zip you away.” She took a drink of her soda. “What’s Cam doing? Is he going home?”

Good question. Before I could respond, Jacob whipped around like someone had yelled his name. “What about my fantasy husband?”

Brit laughed. “I was asking Avery if he was going home for break.”

“Is he?” he asked.

Tucking my hair back, I shrugged. “I don’t know.”

Jacob’s brows lowered. “What do you mean you don’t know?”

“Um, I just don’t know. He hasn’t brought it up.”

The two of them exchanged a look and Brit said, “I’m kind of surprised he hasn’t said anything to you about it.”

Confusion rose. “Why are you surprised.”

Jacob shot me a duh look. “You guys are like attached at the hip—”

“No, we’re not.” I frowned. Were we? “No.”

“Okay, do I need to list how often you guys are together?” Jacob raised his brows. “I think it would be safe to assume that you knew about his plans and the size of his cock by now.”

“Oh my God.” I dropped my face into my hands.

Brit giggled. “You’re making Avery blush.”

He was.

Jacob snickered. “I think you’re having a closet relationship with him.”

“What?” Lifting my head, I stared at him. “I am not having a closet relationship with him. Trust me, he’s asked me—” I cut myself off. “We’re not.”

“Whoa. Whoa. Whoa.” Jacob practically fell over. “He’s asked you what?”

“Nothing.” I sat back, crossing my arms. “He hasn’t asked me anything.”

Jacob looked at Brit. “Is it just me or is she just not that smooth to pull off a lie?”

“Not that smooth,” Brit commented, twisting toward me. “What has he asked you?”

“Nothing!”

“Bull poop!” She punched me in the arm. “You’re lying!”

“Ouch! I—”

Jacob shook his head, looking like he was seconds from falling on the floor. “We are your friends. It is the law of friendship that you tell us things you don’t want to tell us.”

My mouth dropped open. “What? That makes no sense.”

“It is the law.” Brittany nodded solemnly.

“What has he asked you?” Jacob persisted. “Did he ask to eat more of his cookies? Did he ask you to be his baby mama? How about marry him? Or to just warm his bed every morning, afternoon, and evening? Did he—?”

“Oh my God!” There was no way out of this. I knew Jacob. He’d just keep going until the whole Den thought I was getting married and having baby. “Okay. I’ll tell you if you promise not to freak out and scream.”

Jacob made a face. “Ah, I don’t know.”

“He promises!” Brit shot him a glare. “Or I will physically maim him.”

He nodded. “I promise.”

I exhaled harshly. “Okay. It’s not a big deal. Let’s get that established first. Everyone understand? Good. Alright, so Cam has kind of been asking me out—”

“What?” Jacob screeched, and several heads turned.

My shoulders slumped. “You promised.”

“Sorry.” He crossed his heart. “I just… wow. Got excited.”

“I can tell,” I said wryly.

Brit’s hands were clasped in front of her chest. “He’s been asking you out, like in the plural sense?”

I nodded. “Yeah, but I’ve said no each and every time.”

“You’ve said no?” he shouted, and I shot up and smacked his arm. He gave me a bright smile. “Sorry. Sorry. Don’t hit. Bitches be scary when they hit.”

Sitting back down, I eyed him. “Yes. I’ve said no.”

“Why?” he demanded.

“And he keeps asking?” asked Brit at the same time.

“Yes, he keeps asking, but it’s like a… running joke between us. He’s not serious.”

Brit tugged at her hair like I was stressing her out or something. “How do you know he’s not being serious?”

“Come on.” I raised my hands. “He’s not serious.”

“Why?” Jacob was stunned apparently. “You’re a smart and funny girl. You don’t like to party, but you’re hot, and that kind of makes up for that.”

“Gee, thanks.”

“What I’m trying to say is how do you know he hasn’t been serious?”

I shook my head. “He’s not.”

“Get back to the important question,” Brit said. “Why would you tell him no?”

“Why would I say yes?” Could a hole open up and swallow me? Please? “We barely know each other.”

“Oh, what the fuck? You guys are like soul twins right now. And what do you think the purpose of going out on a date with someone is all about?” Jacob rolled his eyes. “It’s about getting to know someone. And you do know him, so that’s a lame excuse.”

It was a lame excuse, but it was the best I had. “How do you really ever truly know someone?”

Brit smacked her hands to her cheeks and she shook his head. “He’s not a serial killer.”

“Speaking of serial killers, everyone thought Ted Bundy was a really charming, handsome man. And look how he turned out. Psycho.”

Jacob stared at me, jaw slightly unhinged. “He’s not Ted Bundy.”

“I don’t understand,” Brit whispered. “It’s like someone saying that Earth is flat. Cam is like one of the most eligible bachelors on this campus, probably in this county and state.”

I said nothing.

“I’m pretty sure I’ve been stunned speechless.” Brit shook her head slowly. “I’m absolutely speechless. Someone capture this with a picture.”

“Ha.” Jacob’s grin made my anxiety rise. “Here comes Cam. What a coinkidink.”

I face planted the table and groaned as Brit started giggling. Under the table, Jacob kicked my leg and two seconds later, I felt Cam before he even spoke a word. I also caught his fresh scent. Was it weird that I knew him by his smell? That did sound weird. It was weird.

“Uh, what are you doing, Avery?”

In my head, I strung together as many fuck bombs as I could come up with, because I knew—oh, I knew—that Jacob would not keep quiet. “Napping.”

“Napping?”

“Yeah.”

Cam tugged on the back of my cardigan. “Why do I think that’s not what you’re doing?”

I gave an awkward shrug.

He sat beside me, his hand on my lower back, and my clothes must’ve gotten thinner, because I could really feel his hand. “Are you sick?”

“Aw, he’s so concerned!” Jacob exclaimed. “Avery, you’re such a bitch.”

Cam stiffened and his tone was low and something I never heard from him before. “Excuse me?”

I lifted my head, eyes narrowed at Jacob. “I’m not sick.”

“Okay.” Cam glanced around, and Brit broke out into a fit of giggles. “What’s going on?”

Before they answered, I jumped in. “Aren’t you supposed to be in class?”

He frowned. “Class was let out early. Don’t change the subject.”

I opened my mouth, but freaking Jacob swept in. “Avery has just informed us that you’ve been asking her out and she’s been saying no, and we’ve been explaining to her that she’s insane.”

“Well then.” The hard look slipped off his face, and I wanted to slide under the table. “I like this conversation.”

Ugh.

“So it’s true?” Jacob asked, plopping his elbows on the table. “You’ve been asking her out?”

Cam cast me a sideway glance. “I have been, almost every day since the end of August.”

On the other side of me, Brit squealed like she was a plush toy that was squeezed. “Since August?”

He nodded.

Brit turned wide eyes on me. “And you haven’t said a word?”

“I’m sort of offended,” Cam commented.

I elbowed him in the side. “No, you’re not. And it’s not like it’s everyone’s business.”

“But we’re your friends,” Jacob sounded so pitiful that I started to feel bad. He turned to Cam. “We totally support her going out with you.”

Okay. I didn’t feel bad for him.

“I like your friends, Avery.” Cam grinned at my arched look.

“Oh, we think she should,” Jacob said. “Like she should do it right now.

“We also told her you weren’t a serial killer,” Brit interjected.

Cam nodded. “That’s a glowing recommendation. Hey, at least he’s not a serial killer. I’m going to put that on my Facebook profile.”

I smirked.

Jacob was positively glowing. “And she compared you to Ted Bundy.”

“I hate you,” I muttered, pushing my hair back from my face. “I didn’t compare you to Ted Bundy. I just said that you never really know a person. Everyone thought Ted Bundy was a pretty cool guy.”

Cam stared at me, amusement twinkling in his eyes. “Wow. This just keeps getting better.”

“Sorry?” I said, fighting a grin.

He sighed, turning back to my friends. “She keeps turning me down. Breaks my little heart.”

I sighed. “He’s not being serious.”


“He looks serious,” Brit said, all doe-eyed as she stared at Cam. He’d roped her in, dammit.

Cam made the most pitiful sound known to man, and I rolled my eyes. “And now she thinks I’m the next Ted Bundy.”

“I don’t think you’re the next Ted Bundy.”

“Besides, she has the wrong hair color for Ted Bundy,” Brit said. We all looked at her. “What? Ted Bundy liked girls with brown hair parted down the middle. Avery’s hair is pretty red.”

“Am I the only person who finds it disturbing that you know that?” Jacob asked.

Brit’s lips pursed. “I’m a psych major. I know these kinds of things.”

“Uh-huh,” I murmured.

“Anyway, this is not about me and my vast knowledge of serial killers. I can wow you later about that. This is about you, Avery.” She grinned as I glared at her. “This fine young gentleman, who is not a serial killer, is asking you out. You’re single. You’re young. You should say yes.”

“Oh my God.” I scrubbed my hands over my hot face. “Is it time for all of you to go home, yet?”

Cam’s deep chuckle crawled under my skin. “Go out with me, Avery.”

Stunned, I turned to him. I couldn’t believe he’d actually ask me out in front of them after all of this. “No.”

“See?” Cam grinned at my friends. “Keeps turning me down.”

Jacob shook his head. “You’re an idiot, Avery.”

“Whatever,” I grumbled, grabbing my bag. “I’m going to class.”

“We love you,” Jacob said, smiling.

“Uh-huh.”

Brit giggled. “We do. We just question your decisions.”

Shaking my head, I stood. “Be careful when you guys drive home.”

“We’re always careful,” she said, jumping up and giving me a quick hug. “Remember what I said about coming home with me. If you change your mind, text me before three.”

“Okay.” I hugged her back and gave a little wave at Jacob. Of course, Cam was already on his feet, waiting for me. I arched my brow at him. “Following me?”

“Like a true serial killer,” he replied.

I cringed as we crossed the Den and headed outside. “You know we weren’t being serious, right? And I’m sorry about saying something to them about it. They just started pestering me about you and the next thing I know—”

“It’s okay,” he cut me off, dropping his arm over my shoulders as we stopped by the cluster of trees between the two buildings. “I don’t care.”

Looking up at him, I squinted. “You don’t care?”

He shook his head, and I was sort of floored. What person would want anyone to know that they’d been asking someone out and that person had been repeatedly turning them down? I wouldn’t want that known. And why was Cam still asking me out? It wasn’t like I was the only option for him. With the unruly dark waves, the luminous true blue eyes, the face and body to covet, Cam was hands down gorgeous. I doubted there was a single girl on campus who didn’t think that. But he was more than a swoon-worthy hot guy. Cam was charming, nice, sweet, and funny. He was the kind of guy you wanted to bring home and show off—the kind of guy that was never single for too long and the one you fell head over in hells in love with.

Cam had a lot of options, so why not explore them? Maybe he was. Contrary to what Jacob and Brit thought, I wasn’t around him twenty-four-seven. He hung out with the chick named Steph a lot and I always saw him with other girls around campus. The asking me out bit had to be something he didn’t take seriously.

It couldn’t be, not after almost two months of it.

An uncomfortable knot formed in my stomach. What if he was dating other girls? Hooking up with them? I mean, totally his right, and I didn’t care. Totally didn’t care.

“Uh-oh,” he said.

“What?”

He dropped his arm, but caught a strand of my hair that was blowing across my face and tucked it back. “You’re thinking.”

I tried to ignore how my cheek tingled when his fingers grazed it. Maybe I was coming down with a nerve disorder. “I am.”

“About?” he asked.

“Nothing important.” I smiled as I pushed away thoughts of him with other girls away. So was not going there. “You going home this weekend?”

“I am.” He stepped closer, blocking the glare of the sun. As he spoke, he reached out and gathered up my hair, separating them into two long pigtails on either side of my face. “I’m leaving tomorrow morning, bright and early. I’m not coming back until Sunday night. So no eggs for you this week.”

“Boo.” I squelched the very real, rising disappointment. Eggs on Sunday had become a weekend staple.

“Don’t cry too much about it.” A slight grin appeared as he tickled my face with the edges of my hair. “Are you going to take Brit up on her offer and go home with her?”

I shook my head. “I’m just going to hang out here and get some reading done.”

“Nerd.”

“Jerk.”

The grin spread as he dropped my hair across my shoulders. “You know what?”

“What?”

Cam stepped back, shoving his hands into the pockets of his jeans. “You should go out with me tonight since I’ll be gone all weekend.”

I laughed. “I’m not going out with you.”

“Then hang out with me.”

My smile started to slip. “How’s that any different from going out with you?”

“How is me asking you to hang out with me tonight any different then us hanging out on Sunday?”

Ah, he had a good point. My heart rate kicked up as I watched him. “What do you want to do?”

He shrugged. “Order some food in and watch a movie.”

I shifted from side to side, suddenly very wary. “That sounds like a date.”

“That’s not a date with me, sweetheart.” He laughed. “I’d take you out, like out in public. This is just two friends hanging out, watching a movie and eating food.”

Pressing my lips together, I looked away. Somehow I knew that wasn’t what this was about, but then again, what the hell did I know about guys and having guy friends? I didn’t think twice when Brit or Jacob came over. Why should I treat Cam any different?

Because he was very different to me.

None of that mattered, because I did want to hang out with him. Cam was fun. So I sighed and said, “Yeah, sure. Come over.”

Cam arched a brow. “Wow. Calm down before you get too excited.”

“I am excited.” I shoved him in the shoulder. “When are you coming over?”

“How’s seven?”

In the pit of my stomach, a nest of butterflies were born and began drinking energy drinks. “Works for me. See you then.”

I made it onto the sidewalk when he stopped me.

“Avery?”

I turned. “Yeah?”

His lips formed a crooked smile. “See you tonight.”

My stomach flopped. This was going to be a long afternoon.
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