Okay so I was totally blown away by Reed’s delicious smile and very hot style. He was like the flame to my gasoline. So why didn’t MORE warning bells go off in my head?
All I cared about was the giddy feelings pinging inside me. Like I hadn’t gone on a REAL date since my first year in college.
Simder hooks ups were about all I had time for and honestly, Froggy McToadster who “said” he was my last boyfriend only used me because I had the highest grade in our Cultural Studies class.
Reed swept my hand in his and cooed, “My, Liam, you do look beautiful tonight. Did you do something to your hair?”
Gah! He noticed! I got a cut and blow out at an exclusive salon. A girl’s gotta take care of herself when she’s got the money. (And honey, Dr. Day was sooooo up on his bank account. Too bad he’d put me on a strict budget. I kinda splurged all my funds for the week.) “You like it?” I asked, shyly. Omg, this guy was making my heart do flip flops!
Ushering me inside the door, he said in a silky voice, “Do I like it? It’s going to be all I can do not to take you home and skip right to dessert.”
I found myself constantly checking him out during dinner. Like pinch me now, was I in the most delectable fantasy date or what?
“There are so many vegan dishes here, dear, so don’t worry. Your palate is safe,” Reed assured me.
I laughed. “I’m soooo over veganism, Reed, but thanks for thinking about that.”
Then I looked him straight in the eye and said, “Meat is my favorite now.” OMG! Could I get any cringier?
He laughed along with me and said, “I like the sound of that.”
Feeling a little awkward, I decided to change the subject. “So…like you’re from Sulani. Tell me about growing up there.”
He told me how his father owned a shipping company and decided to branch out into different ports. One of them in Brindleton Bay. “That’s where you grew up, am I right, dear?”
Ack! I knew nothing about Dr. D’s “before college life” except for the fact that he’d met Ginny in high school. But heck, I’d go along with whatever Reed said. “Um…sure, right…good old Brindleton Bay. Eheheh…”
I got him off the subject of me…er…Dr. D and flipped it onto him. He was an amazing person. He’d taken a gap year to see the world and now he’s a photography student, hoping to eventually sell pictures to magazines.
Grasping my hand, he said, “I’d love to go on a dig with you sometime, Liam. Archaeology intrigues me. I want to break into National Simographic one day. I think we’d make a great team.”
Sipping my wine, all I could do was nod and not worry about what would happen if Dr. D found out I was promising the world to this hot guy in his body.
As soon as we got home, it was like magnets pulled us together. We couldn’t get enough.
And before I knew it, our shirts were off and our pants were about to go too.
“Oh, God, Liam,” he moaned. “I’ve always dreamed about this.”
Reed then started kissing my firm pecs, my washboard abs (well, Dr. D’s washboard abs) and OMG!!!! I soooo wanted what was going to happen next!
Suddenly as if out of a horror film, I heard a loud voice shriek, “What the FUCK?”
And “Oh my GOD! Poor Charlie!”
I was totally busted.
The past week had been a turning point between me and Charlene. I’d even go as far as to say we’d become friends.
Tonight I decided to scroll through some awful movies for our next Crapfest Theater–something Charlene came up with. She told me to pick the five worst rom coms of the last decade. Then she’d decide which one we’d see.
I smiled thinking about how much fun we’d had the other night.
I actually hadn’t laughed that hard in literal years.
I was really looking forward to it.
Then I heard a knock on my door. It was late so I wondered who it could be.
When I answered it, Myla’s worried face hit me. “I hate to break this news to you, sweetie, but… Liam is cheating on you with Zack’s best friend. We both walked in on them. I’m so sorry.”
It took me a moment to realize what she was saying and then it knocked me over. “He did WHAT?”
Wasting no time, I bolted over to my house to find an embarrassed Charlene (half dressed) looking guilty as hell next to a shirtless Reed with Zack glaring at both of them. I pointed to my bedroom. “Get in there. Now. We have to talk!”
Reed glared. “Don’t do it, Liam. She can’t boss you around.”
“Oh, G-God,” Charlene sputtered. “I’m so sorry, Reed. But…I gotta go.”
Once we were safely behind my door, I rounded on her. “How dare you use my body without any consideration to my feelings let alone his! Do you realize he’s had a crush on me for YEARS? How could you do such a thing?”
“I…um…I’m really sorry, Dr. Day. I just thought…well, I mean…”
“I’m telling you this, I want that body back. Understand? It’s not yours to do with whatever the hell you want.”
“Yeah…God…I know…I screwed up. I mean…it just feels like we’re stuck. You know? And I…I was weak and Reed’s so…charming! I do want to go back to my body. I’m sorry.”
Pulling back, the reality of our situation hit me. I hadn’t been dealing straight with her either. Todd said the curse wasn’t broken with that other couple so…there could be a chance we’ll never get back. And then what?
“Look…I’m sorry I just lost it there. Just…give me six months, okay? If we can’t figure out a way to break the curse then I’ll relinquish claim on my body. And…you’ll be free…to do whatever you want. I won’t stand in your way.”
“Dr. Day…what if we really can’t break the curse? What will happen to us?”
I looked straight at her, pinning her eyes with mine. “We WILL break this curse, Charlene. I promise.”
“But…it seems so hopeless…”
She stopped and tears rolled down her face.
“Listen, Dr. Todd Montiera, my best friend and a hell of a great researcher, knows about us. He’s going to help. With all of us working together, I can almost guarantee it. We’ll figure this out, Charlene. You just can’t give up hope.”