‘You are out of your mind. Have you started taking drugs?’ Ray demanded, her voice filled with worry. I laughed as I sank into the sofa, staring at the ceiling.
‘No, I’m not that brave.’ I frowned as I considered it. ‘Or stupid. Look, just explain to me why you hate him so much.’
I grinned widely as she took a deep breath, before launching her attack.
‘First of all, guys like Bailey Fenton are shallow and selfish. They only do things for themselves and never think of others. Do you think he knows anything about me at all?’ She seemed to pause before continuing. ‘No, he doesn’t. He sees what is on the outside, and that clearly makes him think I will look good on his big muscly arm. Anyway. I’m saving myself for Stefan Salvatore.’
I burst out laughing as she sighed.
‘I’m absolutely not going on a date with him. Not even for you.’
Suddenly there was a sharp rapping on the door.
‘I gotta go. See you at school.’ I muttered as I hung up, making my way to the front door. I pulled it open to reveal no other than Bailey Fenton. He wore a tight navy t shirt over his jeans, my eyes drinking in his arms as they folded across his broad chest.
‘Holy fuck.’ I whispered as he smirked.
‘I’ve been called worse. Can I come in?’
I couldn’t say no, it was just too rude. I stepped aside and he walked in, his delicious scent filling the air. How did one smell like pine trees and what was that smell? I couldn’t place it, I had never smelled anything like it before. I closed the door and realised my hands were clammy, so I wiped them on my hoody. He turned to face me as he leaned against the kitchen doorway, his hair falling in front of his striking blue eyes.
‘Why are you avoiding me?’ He asked softly as his eyes trailed over me, making me feel as naked as the day I was born, despite the fact I was heavily clothed.
I stared at the floor awkwardly.
‘I just can’t help you.’ I shrugged.
He stared at me for a moment before nodding.
‘Look. I just need to go on a date with Ray. That’s all. Is there anything I could do to make that happen?’ His tone was flat, almost defeated, so I looked up at him in surprise.
‘Need?’ I questioned stupidly.
‘This really shouldn’t be so hard.’ He muttered as he walked into the kitchen, grabbing an apple from the fruit bowl.
‘Help yourself.’ I remarked in astonishment at his confidence in a strangers house.
He winked at me as he sat in the window seat, my window seat- and bit into the apple, chewing thoughtfully as he gazed at me.
‘Take your hair down.’ He commanded, and I felt myself go dizzy.
‘What? No.’ I shook my head in disbelief.
He stood, walking over to me quickly. He raised his fingers to my hair, pulling the elastic out with ease. My hair tumbled to my shoulders in waves, and I bit my lip. Didn’t I just say NO? He smiled then and I had to stare back at the floor so he couldn’t see the weakness in my eyes.
‘You’re actually rather pretty.’ He sounded surprised, and I felt my mouth fall open. ′ So, anyway. I’ll level with you. I’ve made a bet to get the Ice Maiden to go on a date with me.′ His eyes met mine and this time I folded my arms. Was he really so juvenile? Ray was right. What a dick.
‘A bet? Do you even realise how pathetic that is? Why didn’t you just say no?’ I snapped, annoyed with him.
‘Look, I didn’t come here for judgement day. I just need your help. I will give you something in return, of course.’ He flashed a smile at me, and despite myself those familiar butterflies danced in my stomach.
‘Like what? I don’t need anything from you.’
I hope I sounded brave, but the look in his eyes told me otherwise. He looked me up and down before tilting his head to the side.
‘I beg to differ.’ He smirked, and I realised he was taunting me.
Oh you absolute cretin.
‘Enlighten me then.’
‘Well, you could do with one of those makeover things. You know, ugly duck to beautiful swan?’
I felt my cheeks burn and he sighed.
‘Maybe come to a party or two. But god, you are socially awkward. Trust me, you’re getting the better deal here. My reputation is at stake.’
His words cut me like a knife, and I felt tears sting my eyes.
‘I don’t want to fit in.’
He blew his hair out of his eyes with exasperation as he wrinkled his nose at me.
We stood facing each other as he put his hands on my shoulders, and I realised I was shaking from the close proximity.
Get a grip Annabelle.
‘My sister is amazing with hair and make up and all that crap. I can help you come out of your shell a little bit, and in return you get me that date.’ He persisted as I squirmed under his grip.
My eyes met his and I knew I was doomed.
‘Fine, but she’s not going to be under any false pretences. Which will make her hate you even more than she does now.’
He smiled smugly as he pulled out his phone.
‘We start now. Come with me.’
He had a way of commanding me around, and I hated that I did everything he said. I grabbed my keys and followed him outside, stopping still when I saw his sleek black car. I had seen it many times at school, but the sight of it outside my house just looked foreign. He walked backwards as he watched me, bemused.
‘Nice right? Come on, get in. Wait till you see how fast she goes.’