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Pregame

By:Taylor Wade

Pregame
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.                       
       
           



       





Feeling more of the alcohol in my system, I was eager to dance, throwing  my hands up and swaying my hips to the music, mirroring Elle's similar  dancing. Colin stood behind her and gripped her hips as the two danced  in equal rhythm. I locked eyes with Elle as we belted out the lyrics to  the song. Her brown eyes gleamed happily and I could see her tanned skin  start to glisten as we danced into the next song. Across the room I met  a pair of dark green eyes that belonged to a beautiful, sculpted face.  Dirty blonde hair flopped across his forehead in a perfectly disheveled  way. I took in his white button up shirt stretched across a lean but  toned body, with the sleeves rolled up at his elbows. I turned my gaze  back to my friend when I realized the stranger was smirking at me,  obviously aware of me checking him out. We danced to three more songs  until we were sweaty and in need of another drink and I made sure my  attention stayed away from the hot guy that had just caught me staring  at him like a deer caught in headlights.





We got back to the table and ordered another round of drinks when  Savanna came back with her new friend close on her heels. Up close I  could see that he was quite cute if not a little too pale with glassy  eyes and a crooked smile that could only belong to a stoner. He  introduced himself as Oliver Tate but told us to call him Ollie. It  turned out that he was a junior, like Colin, and the two were part of  the same fraternity. The two men started prattling on about sports and  the frat's upcoming party to kick off the school year, which is  supposedly notorious for being one of the best parties of the year.





After my third Jack and Diet Coke Elle had finally convinced me to wear  the ‘Birthday Girl' tiara and sash she had bought for me and I was  blissfully ignorant to how ridiculous I looked. We danced for a few more  songs, and the more people that noticed my new apparel, the more  celebratory shots that were thrown in my face and numerous people-mostly  guys-had sung me happy birthday. I felt a little bad lying to everyone  but decided I was too drunk to care. I sat back down at the table and  took a few breaths to regain my focus since my head had started to spin.  I noticed someone approach the table and my gaze traveled upward past a  well-fitted white button up and locked onto a pair of green eyes. The  hot stranger from earlier was now greeting Colin and Ollie with that guy  handshake that I can never figure out how to do.





"Is he really that hot or am I just really drunk?" I whispered to Elle  beside me. She threw her head back and laughed and I gave her a curious  look until I understood what was so funny. Apparently I was.





"I hope it's not just the alcohol." I turned to find him now sitting at  our table with an arrogant smile on his face and it turns out my whisper  wasn't very quiet. My cheeks caught fire and I forced a smile hoping he  couldn't tell how mortified I was.





"Happy birthday," He nodded to my tiara, still smiling like he was knew  just how embarrassed I was and enjoyed every bit of it. "I'm Gabe."





"Brookelyn Lane. Its not my birthday," Why did I even allow myself to  speak? Here I was making a fool of myself in front of a gorgeous guy and  then I go and tell him I'm a liar. Good work, Brooke.





Gabe smiled, confused, "are you sure about that, beautiful? Because your crown says otherwise."





The only thing I could focus on in my drunken haze was that he called me  beautiful. I just stared at him, obviously for a second too long  because I felt Elle nudge me in the ribs.





"Oh, um, yeah it's not my birthday. And it's not a crown, it's a tiara."  I stuttered over my words like a lovesick idiot and I didn't even know  this guy's last name. What the hell was wrong with me?





Elle started giggling at my behavior and then Savanna joined in and I  couldn't help but giggle as well at my own ridiculous behavior.





"Baby, I think we should probably get you guys home," Colin looked over at Elle, amused. "You're all pretty drunk."

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