I start walking into the house when my sister calls out, “What are you dressing up as?”

I turn around and smile widely. “The devil. By the way, you planning on working today?” I ask her.

She holds her phone up and then starts typing on it. “Yep, be right there. I need to text Lacy first. Pick her up at my apartment before the party.”

Megan

“No Abby, I’m not going to do it,” I tell her for the twentieth time. She started calling me this afternoon. Now she just showed up at my door. This should be easy. I should just close it in her face.

“You know I wouldn’t ask you if I didn’t need you right now. Lacy was going to go with him but something come up and she can’t make it tonight. Just go to the party with Jackson. You’ve been in love with him forever. He needs you, Megan.”

I get frustrated at her words, but I can’t even try to discredit them. She’s right. I’ve been in love with Jackson since we were little. However, he has always thought of me as his little sister’s pesky friend. I walk into my kitchen expecting her to follow me. I grab two bottles of water out of the fridge and hand her one.

“Abbs, it would be different if he asked me, but heck, he doesn’t even know he’s going with me. He thinks it’s your skinny friend from college that he’s going out with. He’s not going to be making anybody jealous bringing me. I’m doing him a favor by saying no,” I tell her calmly. And I have no issues with my self confidence or anything. I’m stating facts. I’m on the larger size, but I’m fine with it. I’ve learned to love my curves.

Abby throws her hands on her hips. I always hate that stance. That always means she’s about to dish out some tough love or something like that. She is a force to reckon with and being the baby of her family, she is used to getting her way. “Are you kidding me right now? When you heard about what Emily did to him, I had to hold you back from going over there and killing her. You’re the perfect one for the job. Please, I can’t let him go by himself. All you have to do is keep him distracted and entertained. I don’t want her close to him.”

My fists clench at my sides. I can’t stand the thought of Emily being there tonight. I know it’s going to be hard for Jackson. “I don’t have a costume,” I tell her as a last ditch effort to get myself out of this mess.

“Well, what did you plan on wearing to the party?” she asks me.

Shrugging, I tell her, “I was just going to throw something together.”

“Grab everything white that you have. We have to stop at the store really quick and then he’s picking you up at my apartment.” She starts barking orders at me, and slowly I start going through my closet. She starts grabbing shoes and clothes and throwing them in a bag.

“All right, let’s go.” I grab my purse and follow her out the door with my head hung down. I can’t help but wonder what I’m getting myself into.

Chapter 2

Jackson

I ring the bell on Abby’s apartment door and stand back. I really wish I could get out of this tonight, but I know how upset Mom would be if I wasn’t there. She would understand, but she lives for stuff like this, having her family and friends all together.

Abby swings the door open on my thoughts and ushers me in. She’s looking nervous and my stomach starts to twitch. Now what?

“There’s been a small change in plans,” she tells me quietly. She is standing really close to me.

“Where’s your costume?” I ask her.

“It will only take me a minute to get ready and Derrick won’t be here for a while, but great costume, bro. You make a great devil,” she jumbles out quickly.

“Okay, now I know something is up. You are nervous. Nothing makes you nervous. What’s going on?” I say, trying to get her to look into my eyes.

She takes a deep breath and then starts rubbing her hands down her pant legs.

She takes a step closer to me. “Lacy couldn’t make it.”

I smile at her and shrug. “Is that all? No big deal, Abby. It’s fine. You have anything to drink?” I start walking toward her kitchen.

“But I found you another date,” she mutters.

I turn around at her words and instantly notice her red face. Walking back to her, I stop when I get in front of her. “Who is it, Abby?”

“Be nice to her, Jackson. I’m not joking,” she warns me. No hint of a smile. She’s all seriousness.

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