Chapter 7.16


God, I couldn’t believe the one job that could take me places got smashed by the most beautiful face in the world.

Jack Rackham was dreamier than his picture on the movie posters that were all over the world last year.

The real deal was always better. Thank God he didn’t see me.

Grandpa didn’t understand when I told him I couldn’t do the job anymore. I lied and said I wouldn’t have time because of my schedule with the play. (It was almost over and our practice times didn’t conflict at all but he didn’t have to know that.)

I wasn’t about to subject myself to the inevitable awkward moments when I’d have to attend Jack’s lot. And no way in hell could my self esteem survive if he didn’t even recognize me. Or worse. Didn’t remember.

Now that my job was over, all I had were me and my thoughts about Kristie. My bff! She wouldn’t talk to me no matter how many texts and calls I’d made.

What did I do that was so horrible? I tried to remember that night with Zachary but I’d drank so much, I just blanked it all.

But I did remember that morning. And he was…sweet…in his infuriatingly cocky way.

Well, there was only one thing to do. Blast her with texts until she caved.

Finally! I broke through her walls.

We decided to wait until the next morning since it was Sunday and no one would be around on campus. Everyone would be sleeping off hangovers or just be lazy since there was no school.

My body felt all jittery when I saw her sitting there on the bench.

The acrid smell of cigarette smoke wafted over to me. She’d started smoking again. I’d thought she quit last year. Guess not. In high school, she’d gone out with a dude that smoked and during her parent’s divorce, she took up the habit. Three years later, she vowed to quit and I thought she’d done it, too, because I never smelled it on her.

I walked closer to her with my peace offering in hand. She didn’t glance at me. She just blew out a cloud of smoke.

“It’s your favorite. Caramel Snickerdoodle Macchiato with extra whipped cream.” I inched out my hand, hoping she’d take it and we’d go back to how things were–laughing about our horrible professors, whining about not having the right clothes for a date, complaining about our parents being too nosy about our lives, and just being together most of the time. That’s who we were ever since I could remember.

“You know those are loaded with calories,” Kristie said not glancing up at me.

Guess she wasn’t in the mood for peace offerings.

I put my hand on my hip. “Come on, Kristie. Stop giving me the cold shoulder. I have no idea what I did wrong, so could you please let me in on the secret? It’s the least you could do.”

That seemed to snap her out of her funk.

Sheepishly, she took the coffee and said, “Thanks.”

I settled on the bench next to her as she looked as if she was thinking.

But I went ahead and spoke. I couldn’t help myself. “You know I’m really sorry. For whatever I did. I mean…I know you liked Zachary and I had no right to take him from you. I’m not seeing him. I won’t. He’s all yours.”

Kristie shook her head. “It’s not that, Chey…”

“Then what is it?”

She bit her lip as she squeezed the coffee. “I think we need a break is all. We’re just…going in different directions.”

I crossed my arms, not understanding anything. “A break? Like…we’re not a couple. That doesn’t make sense at all.”

“Yes it does, Chey. We’ve been friends for a long time but sometimes a person takes and takes from a relationship and the other one just doesn’t have anymore to give. That’s where I’m at.”

“What are you talking about? That I don’t give in our friendship? That’s not even fair, Kristie.”

“Chey, the night of the party, you got so wasted you didn’t even know what was going on. You were all over the place and then all over Zachary. Okay, yes, I was angry about that but seriously, you don’t care about what people think of you because you have a famous grandpa who’ll help you along no matter what you do. Partying is no big deal but for me, I want to get into the best law school in the country, and I can’t jeopardize that by hanging out with someone who…”

She stopped herself and got up as if she was done with the conversation. “Listen, I just think we should take a break. It’ll be good for us…for our friendship in the long run. I’ll go my way for a while and you go yours.”

I shook my head. “I can’t believe you’re doing this. Do you know how shallow you sound right now?”

She didn’t have the guts to answer me.

“Fine,” I practically spit, willing tears NOT to come to my eyes. “I’ll leave you alone and not dirty your precious reputation.”

“You know that’s not what I mean. It’s more that I need to concentrate on my studies. The bar exam is only months away and I have to score in the top. I can’t be tempted to lose focus.”

I was so hurt and angry, every fiber in my body burned. I knew the real reason. I wasn’t like her preppy sorority sisters. I didn’t fit in with them. I knew that but I didn’t think I was acting any differently than Phoebe. She’d gotten wasted, too, that night. But she was in her sorority, and I wasn’t. It didn’t make a difference these past three years and now, all of a sudden, she has a problem with me? There had to be something more.

I sighed then said, “Okay, fine, Kristie. Have a nice life.”

Without even a decent good bye, she left me, standing there. All by myself.

And just like that, I’d lost my best friend.

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Chapter 7.15


Ever since I was a kid, I always loved going to my grandpa’s house. Well, more like mansion, but he made it homey.

It had this cool waterslide attached to it that he had made especially for me and Kian. We’d spend hours sliding down. So fun!

The wind whipped my ponytails, sending shivers through me. I tried to shimmy off the sad feelings I had about Kristie. How many times had she visited Grandpa with me? Too many to count.

And now she wouldn’t talk to me because I sort of stole her crush? Ugh. I had to stop thinking about it.

Soothing, energetic notes surged past me as I entered his living room. Grandpa was always composing. It was obvious he liked music way better than acting, but as he always said, acting paid the bills. (And he had a ton!)

I was the opposite. I loved music, yeah, but give me a character to dive into and I was in my element.

I could have sat there forever listening to him play. I was so freaking lucky to have been born his granddaughter. (People told me that all the time, too!)

“Hey, Grandpa,” I said, interjecting at a pause in his playing.

“Hey, hey! It’s my favorite red headed granddaughter.”

“Grandpa…how is that a compliment? I’m your only redheaded granddaughter. Makenna has brunette hair. Is she your favorite brunette granddaughter?”

He shrugged and answered, “Can’t I have two favorites?”

He was such a goofball, but I loved him.


Nervous jitters tingled through me as we approached the studio. Plumbob Pictures was always a place of magic to me. Sometimes when I was little, I’d sit and watch my famous grandpa shoot a scene, and I’d even imagined that I’d be doing the same thing one day.

But now, it kind of made me queasy and worried that maybe it wouldn’t happen for me. That maybe I wasn’t good enough to even get a break somehow. Sure, having connections through my grandpa was a bonus, but really, how many famous people’s granddaughters who got into the biz actually became successful? I can tell you not many.

I’d looked it up.

Grandpa pointed toward the studio. “Okay, so I’ve talked to everyone about you. Just because you’re my granddaughter, they’re not supposed to treat you special, just like you’d asked me to tell them.”

“Thanks, Grandpa.”

“Oh, and the famous TBS boys are here, just in case you might want a peek at them. They’re in lot 44 at the back.” He winked.

“TBS? That K-pop group? No offense, Grandpa, I know you were a boy band dude back in the day, but I’m not twelve anymore.”

“Sorry, I keep forgetting.” He swooped me in a big hug and laughed. “You’ll always be my little girl, peanut.”


While Grandpa ambled over to his set (he was starring in a picture called, Dr. Spittootle, about an animal whisperer who sailed the seven seas with a bunch of lions and tigers and monkeys and giraffes,) I reported to my duty station.

The work was pretty easy. My snooty boss, Ms. Parsons, gave me a list of lots to cover. I was supposed to fetch drinks and food for the staff there, including the actors. After doing the job for the past few hours, I was really digging it. Kind of like a waitress on the set of Simseyland.

The last lot on the list was on 44 at the back. And sure enough, the K-pop group was performing a music video.

I stopped to watch them and to my surprise, they were pretty good!

I couldn’t understand a word of their song, but the dancing was phenomenal. Up close, they were very pretty.

Except for the middle guy. He was…God…so handsome, I almost called up my inner fangirl. Had no idea who he was though since I never followed the group.

For my job, I was supposed to ask if anyone wanted something to eat or drink. I’d brought some macaroons since my boss said it was this director’s favorite. But they were so busy, I couldn’t interrupt.

When I caught a look at the cameraman, I almost giggled.

He was way more handsome than the guys he was filming. I guessed I liked more rugged looking men. I wanted to pinch myself, not believing this was my job! I was surrounded by cute guys.

When the director stopped the group and wanted to talk to them, the cameraman noticed me, so I asked, “Would you like a snack?”

He rubbed his hands and said, “I’m not hungry but I could use a soda.”

Instantly, I ran back to my cart and grabbed the drink then came up to him and said, “I hope you like Dr. Sipper. It’s all we’ve got at the moment.”

He took the drink from me and said, “Thanks.”

Looking into his dreamy blue eyes, I about swooned on the spot.

“What about us…miss?” I heard one of the boy band dudes say.

After I’d brought them all drinks and some snacks, they started cracking jokes at me in succession.

I was having so much fun, I’d forgotten I had one more lot to do before my shift was over.

When I told Jin (that was his name–they had all introduced themselves. Jin was the blonde, Taeyong was the redhead and the other guy was Johnny.)

“We’re going to be here tomorrow,” Jin said. “Will you bring us some pizza? They usually only have sandwiches and fruit lately.”

I laughed and said, “Not working tomorrow, but I’ll let them know your order and they’ll have it for you.”

Then I turned around and said good bye. I thought all of them were pretty cool. I’d have to tell Grandpa about them.

I was all finished with my work and just needed to wait on Grandpa to wrap things up. He said he was almost done and to wait at the front of the studio. As I approached, I noticed some actors I’d recognized.

And then my stomach plunged as I realized exactly who they were and what movie they were doing.

“Oh my freaking God, you’ve got to be kidding,” I mumbled to myself.

My mouth went dry as I spotted…him.

Jack Rackham.

And he was doing the second movie to his blockbuster, Moonlight, about a scary werewolf and his fight against himself. The other actors were Dawn Martin and Trevor Allistair. Both super famous because of the first movie. Obviously, they were working on the second one. It was part of this crazy famous YA book series. First book, Moonlight, sold over a million copies. Now the second one, Blood Moon, was being filmed. I’d read them all and loved the five book series. Wow. And this movie was being shot here? I couldn’t believe it!

But the thought of seeing Jack again after all this time freaked me out. Oh God, what would he think? Or would he even remember me?

I’ll never forget his cold stare after I told him I was angry with him for not telling me who he really was. It was like I was nothing to him. He didn’t care about me.

And looking at that same face in real life now petrified me.

Yes, I’d watched Moonlight, his first movie after he took a break from singing. He still performed songs, too, but wanted to branch out. (Okay, I admit that I did stalk him on the rags from time to time. Sue me.)

Seeing him swirled me back in time to that kiss we had when we were kids. I didn’t enjoy it at all.

I was so hurt.

Truly, he was my first crush. My first love.

And oh God, I hoped he didn’t notice me. I never wanted to see him again.

Chapter 7.14


I couldn’t believe it. She fucking stood me up!

And I’d played my heart out at tonight’s game thinking she was up there in the box watching.

I wasn’t imagining things, was I?

I remembered Cheyenne staring into my eyes early this morning and she said she’d be there. Yeah, okay, I had to talk her into it, but she’d finally caved. And we even had more kissing and cuddling afterwards.

Just then Vance walked up and said, “Dude, you look like we lost the game tonight. What gives? That nightmare of a girl didn’t come? I told you she wouldn’t.”

“Shut up, Vance. Just because she wasn’t into you doesn’t mean she’s a ‘nightmare’.”

He backpedaled. “Okay, okay! Sorry! But when she chews you up and spits you out like she did me last night, don’t come running to me for comfort.”

“Believe me, I won’t,” I muttered. I needed a shower. Hanging here in a cauldron of smelly guys and shower mist wasn’t making me feel better.

I was beginning to second guess myself. Usually girls would jump at the chance to get to see me in action in a cozy box with all the alcohol and food at their fingertips. I hoped nothing bad happened to her.

“What’s going on?” Kyle Wiggens, one of my best friends as well as my tight end, strolled over.

Vance laughed. “Oh, dude, you’ll never believe it. A girl stood up Hawthorne tonight and he’s moping around. Seems cupid got him good.”

“No shit?” Kyle said. “Well, well…I need to meet this hottie. And soon. If she’s capable of turning down THE Zachary Hawthorne, she sounds just my type.”

“Cut the comedy, Kyle. Just a misunderstanding, is all. I’m sure something came up.”

“Dude, did you text her?” Kyle asked.

Vance laughed. “The idiot never got her phone number!”

“You’re shitting me!” Kyle shook his head. “Are you losing your touch?”

Feeling heat rise in my neck from embarrassment, I shot back, “I just forgot. I figured I’d see her tonight and get it then.”

But that was a mistake. God, how stupid could I get?


I only had sixty minutes before I was going to meet up with my grandfather at his house in Del Sol Valley. Thankfully, he’d pulled a few strings and got me this swanky intern job at his studio. He’d said I have to meet people in the business to get ahead in the industry. I really felt uneasy about using his star power to help me out, but he said everyone uses everyone to land acting gigs. In the end, it didn’t matter if you’re the granddaughter of the biggest star in Del Sol Valley, talent is what makes that star rise.

And then he told me all I’d be doing is fetching food and drinks for people on the set. No biggie.

I glanced over my lines for a play called, Something Disgusting. It was a Fakespeare spoof. I played a clueless princess who was always faking my death while the knights would stab each other in the back (literally), falling like flies. It wasn’t my favorite play in the world, but since acting Truliet back when I was a kid, I seriously didn’t like Fakespeare and jumped at the chance on this part. Luckily, I was cast!

Just then, I heard a knock at my door. My stomach jolted when I saw Zachary’s very handsome but very angry face.

Oops. Guess he didn’t like me standing him up.

He just stared at me until I couldn’t take it.

I gulped then said, “I…I’m sorry. I decided it was best if we didn’t see each other.” Lame, yeah. But he didn’t need to know the real reason.

“What changed your mind? The least you could have done was left me a message. I thought something bad happened to you.”

He wasn’t taking my excuses. “Look…to tell the truth, Kristie is my best friend. It wasn’t cool that I stole you from her like that. She’s crazy mad at me, so like, I care about her too much. This just…can’t work. I’m sorry.”

He shook his head. “What? How is that fair, Cheyenne? Kristie doesn’t own me. We were never a thing. That’s just stupid. Come on. Let’s get some coffee and we can talk about this.”

Crossing my arms, I looked away from him. “She’s mad at me for it so no. And anyway, I’ve got work so I have to go.”

I said good bye to him and ushered him out the door.

Why did this seem unfair? Yeah, okay, fine, I did agree with him. Kristie getting mad at me for stealing her crush is just beyond petty. A part of me wanted to rush back and tell him I didn’t care about Kristie getting mad but the other part needed to at least make up with her.

But what did it matter? He was just some overconfident jock who always got his way with women. That much I could tell. I’d be just another notch in his jock strap. And besides, he wasn’t my type. Why fight for something that wouldn’t work anyway?


Fucking shit! This wasn’t right. No way in hell was some catfight going to get in the way of me dating Cheyenne.

What was this? High school? Since when can a girl exert power saying she had first dibs on a guy?

I wasn’t giving up.

I had no clue where this chick Kristie was. Like I didn’t even know her last name. I knew Cheyenne’s. She was Cheyenne Day, theater and music major, with a voice that could win Sim Idol. That girl was special. And she caught me in her net somehow. I’d be the first to admit, this wasn’t like me. Usually, I’d have given up by now, but it was a quest. I could tell Cheyenne was making excuses. She wanted me as much as I wanted her. Now it was time to find Kristie and talk some sense into her.

Walking down the steps, I found one of the other dorm mates who came into the front door.

She arched an eyebrow. “Hello…can I do something for you?”

“Hi, yeah, so I was wondering if you knew where I could find Kristie. I was supposed to meet her about thirty minutes ago, but she’s not in her room.” Totally hoped that didn’t come off creepy.

“Oh, yeah, she’s at the commons. They’re having a debate championship there. It’s starting in about ten minutes.”


After I walked a ways, I saw the little devil sauntering down the sidewalk in front of the commons park.

She noticed me and a huge grin spread on her face.

Normally, I’d think of at least ten different lines I could fling at her to make her melt in my arms. Most pretty girls did that to me, but not now. I was so angry that I couldn’t even appreciate her beauty.

“Hi, Zachary, what brings you to Britechester?”

Throwing on a fake smile, I answered, “Yeah, um, I was looking for you, actually.”

When she looked like she’d just won the lottery, I decided to let her know why. “Listen, Cheyenne won’t speak to me because you’re mad at her. And I’m honestly having a hard time understanding why. You and me were never a thing. So, can you let her know you’re cool with it? I mean, cool with me and Cheyenne dating. She won’t see me because you’re angry.” God that sounded so fucked up coming out of my mouth. I’m sitting here begging a chick to let me date her friend. And she wasn’t even my ex!

Her demeanor instantly changed and she drew into herself. “I’m not mad about that. I mean, yeah, I am, but…it’s complicated.”

“Well, can you help me out then? If you don’t care just let her know you don’t. It’s a win win for everyone.”

“Zachary, I’ve been friends with Cheyenne for a long time and…she just seems like…she doesn’t care. She parties and gets out of control and I’m just…done. Go out with her. I really don’t care. But I’m not talking to her. Not for a while. I need a break.”

She turned and stormed off without a glance back.

This seemed hopeless. But for some reason, I wasn’t going to give up.

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Chapter 7.13


The frat party was going along like I’d expected. After Van and I won at beer pong with Kristie and Cheyenne, I decided to hang with Kristie. After all, she was the hottest girl in the room. Like a blonde angel. And her eyes…they were the prettiest I’d ever seen.

It didn’t take long–people were getting trashed. One girl (who I found out later was Phoebe Reynolds, one of Cheyenne and Kristie’s best friends) was being held by a dude (Phoebe’s boyfriend) and downing a shit ton of beer.

It didn’t end well. But everyone got a laugh out of it.

Even Phoebe.

Then Kristie asked if I wanted to do some karaoke.

I said yes. This should have warned me that I was verging on shit-faced myself, but wtf. It was a party and I’d hoped I was going to score with this beauty later on. Why not humor her?

I noticed Cheyenne getting her party on as well, swilling loads of beer. I knew Van wanted her so I didn’t really think about what she was doing.

Grabbing a mic, Kristie and I started on a country song. Honestly, Kristie couldn’t sing even with autotune. It almost made my ears bleed.

So I tried to sing a little louder. I had my pride to think about. But most people were drunk anyway and probably wouldn’t remember how awful we were. I could see it now in the school newspaper: FOXBURY QUARTERBACK KILLS PEOPLE WITH DUET.

I wasn’t going to take that chance. But it didn’t help. We were killing it. Literally.

On our next song, Kristie invited Cheyenne to sing with us. I was kind of worried. Cheyenne looked all wobbly from the booze, and I had no idea if she could sing or not. I’d decided this would be my last song.

But on her first note, I was amazed. She had the most incredible voice I’d ever heard.

My voice blended with hers so amazingly that I couldn’t even hear Kristie’s off tune warbles.

After another song, I was mesmerized by our harmony and basically forgot about my infatuation with Kristie.

I saw Cheyenne in a whole new way. I didn’t know if it was the liquor or her singing but when I compared the two, Cheyenne outshined Kristie in every way. Kristie was like this pretty boring Barbie doll, but Cheyenne was a sexy rocking goddess. I couldn’t help the attraction. Sure I felt the cold stares Kristie was throwing at me during the song, but I was overwhelmed. Could anyone blame me?

On our last song, I didn’t even realize Cheyenne and I had totally taken over as a duet. The crowd was going wild, hooting and hollering for us. God, it was such a fucking high. I’d never forget it.

Cheyenne was such a party animal though. I thought she was sexy as fuck, too, but I kind of was getting nervous for her when she started singing and dancing on the tables in the kitchen. She was going to break her neck like that.

So, I stepped in. “Cheyenne, hey, don’t you think you should dance on the floor where it’s safe? I’ll dance with you.”

That made her stop. She bent down and said, “You will?”

I chuckled. She was so much fun but seriously, she was crazy drunk, she probably needed to go back to her dorm and sleep it off. “Yeah, I’ll dance with you.”

Then she grabbed onto me wrapping her legs around my waist, staring into my eyes. I felt this instant bond with her like I knew she was something special. Like I’d found this one in a million girl.

“I…think I love you,” she whispered.

Now when a girl says something like that half drunk, I wouldn’t think anything about it. Just an inebriated jag, but there was something in her eyes that made me believe her.

I didn’t know what to say. “You do?”

In answer, she pulled my face to hers and pressed her lips to mine in a delicious kiss that got me instantly aroused.


Before I could stop it, we were all over each other and I was trying to figure out how I was going to get out of this. Trust me. I wanted her. And not just for a one night stand. I, Zachary Hawthorne, two-time All American quarterback, slated to be a first round draft pick, sworn lady killer and bachelor, wanted to become this girl’s boyfriend after spending only a few hours with her.

I had to be fucking crazy.


Today was the worst.

The worst morning. The worst hangover. And I’d been the worst friend to Kristie. She wouldn’t even pick up when I tried to call her. It just automatically went to voicemail like I was blocked.

I walked over to Phoebe’s room to see if it was my imagination or was Kristie really trying to avoid me.

“It’s not your imagination,” Phoebe said, making a plate of pizza pockets. “She’s mad.

“I mean, like, you were all over him in the kitchen, Chey. Everyone saw. And then you guys sneaked up to your room and we didn’t see you again all night. Like what is she supposed to think? I mean, she’s been crushing on him all semester, too.”

I shook my head. “How was I supposed to know he was the Foxbury quarterback she’d been gushing about? I don’t follow football.” But even that sounded like lame excuses to my ears. I should have known.

My drunk self saw Kristie making goo goo eyes at him.

He was HER type. Not mine. So why did I end up in bed with him? Why did I not want to release myself from his grip when I sobered up? And why did I desperately want to go to a football game and meet back up with him?

“I’m not going to see him again, so you can tell her that for me,” I said, weakly, sitting on the couch. “Then maybe she’ll unblock me from her phone.”

Phoebe peered down at me imperiously. “Damage has been done. This is about trust and you’ve broken it.”

When I didn’t say anything, she said, “But you’ve been friends for too many years for her to throw it out over some guy. He’s not worth it and since you’re not going to see him again, maybe she’ll forgive you.”

“You think so?” I said, grasping at any shreds of hope.

My brother stopped working on his graphic design project. Both Phoebe and he were art majors–he’s going into graphic design and Phoebe hopes to do app design. After camp when we were twelve, Phoebe shattered her mother’s dreams of her starring on the stage and told her she was an artist, which amazingly the woman took pretty well. She now believes Phoebe will be a famous illustrator one day even though Phoebe has no intentions of doing that.

“Look on the bright side, sis, if you do hook up with him again, he might give us free tickets to his games. I love football. And you know Britechester sucks. I’d rather root for the Lobsters.”

Phoebe glared at my brother. “That’s not helpful, Kian. We don’t want her to go out with him again. Think about Kristie’s feelings!”

“Oh yeah. Sorry.”

I wasn’t about to tell my brother I already had two box seat tickets to tonight’s game. I felt guilty enough that I really wanted to go.

I decided I needed to sleep off the anguish that was in my heart and the stabbing headache from all the alcohol I drank last night.

But when I saw my bed, I couldn’t get Zachary out of my mind.

He’d towered over me as he cradled my body, not wanting to let go, and I succumbed, promising him I’d see him. Thank God I didn’t give him my phone number.

I just wanted to hide away from everyone and everything.

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