Fake Love - Stardust Series**Book One

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2 | MVParty



“I don’t think this is a great idea.” I commented to Demi.

After the game, we’d gone to her house where she had dressed me up in a mini dress, because, as she said, I’m the guest of honor and I have to look special. She’d made me wear a pair of strappy heels too, even though I was sure that my feet would be killing me by the end of the night with or without heels. We were now walking up the sidewalk to the house the party was at.

“Oh, come on Hay, it’ll be fun!” Demi grabbed my hand and pulled me along. “Besides, if you don’t show up, it’ll really lower your social standing.”

I laughed and shook my head. I didn’t really care about my social standing as long as I had my team and friends. And it wasn’t that I didn’t like parties, I loved them. It had just already been a long day and if I knew Demi at all, I knew we weren’t planning to leave at a decent hour.

I grinned at her. “Who’s driving?”

Demi rolled her eyes. “Me, of course! Your party, you get drunk. I’ll stay sober.”

“I don’t mind if you want to switch.” I told her.

She shook her head. “Absolutely not. I’ll just have a Mt. Dew.”

“Do think they’ll even have that here?” I asked.

Demi laughed and opened the door. It was a packed house. Reegan and her boyfriend, Ty, were just inside the door.

“Hayden! You made it!” Reegan stumbled forward, drink in hand, and gave me a hug. “You look so nice.” She said.

I glanced at Ty. “How many drinks has she had?”

“Four.” He grinned. “We were just on our way out, right babe?” He took Reegan’s arm and helped her to the door.

“It’s time to get you a few drinks.” Demi said, pulling me towards the drinks.

By the time we got there, just about everyone in the room had hugged me and called out their congrats. Our teammate, Grace, and her boyfriend Scott were the ones handing out drinks.

“Whose house is this?” I asked them. I had been to quite a few parties and knew a lot of people, but I’d never been here and had no idea who this house belonged to.

“It’s Kevan’s. From English Lit.” Grace said, handing me a drink.

I knew who he was. He was practically the most popular guy in school, and he had asked me out three times. I’d said no each time, tempting as it was. He was hot and actually a really nice guy, but I wasn’t ready for a relationship yet.

You might think it’s silly, but I’ve always had this idea that I wanted to save myself for marriage. I look around at all my friends who have broken families, like Demi, whose Dad left when she was eight. And then I see my family. My parents were definitely odd balls when they saved themselves for marriage, but they never regretted it. Before Ashton died, they were the happiest couple ever. I want that kind of relationship with my husband and that’s why I’m saving myself.

I also have this fantasy that someday I’ll meet the right guy and he’ll be the only guy I ever date. I want my husband to have all my firsts. I know it sounds crazy and impossible, but I believe in love at first sight. So I think I’ll know when I meet him.

“Hayden!” I heard my name being called over the music and I spotted Kevan waving me over.

“You look great!” He said when I was close enough to hear him. “How does it feel to be MVP?”

“I’m still soaking it in.” I laughed. “I had no idea it was coming.”

He grinned. “When I heard about it, I knew I had to do something to show my support.” He said, gesturing to the party.

“It’s a great party.” I told him.

“Does that mean I get a dance?” He asked.

I raised my eyebrows and then chugged my drink. “That’s why I’m here.” I laughed.

He pulled me into the crowd of people and twirled me around. Rachel Platten’s Fight Song was playing over the speakers.

“You play some pretty original songs.” I said, grinning.

“It’s Paige’s track, actually.” He told me. Paige was another of my teammates. “She was convinced she had the best track and how could I tell a state champ no?”

I laughed. “You have a point there.”

The song ended and Christina Perri’s A Thousand Years came on. We both burst out laughing.

“Very original.” Kevan said, placing his hands on my waist. I put my arms up around his neck.

“At least it’s not predictable.” I said as we gently swayed.

“Hayden,” Kevan started, then stopped. I glanced up at him, silently pleading for him not to ask me out again. “Hayden, I get that you don’t want to go out with me, but I think you’re a great girl and I’d really love it if you’d at least consider me a friend.”

I smiled at him. “Kevan, I already counted you as a friend.” He grinned and we danced in silence for a few moments. I felt like I owed him a little explanation for rejecting him, so after a few moments I continued. “I want you to know that I didn’t turn you down because I don’t like you.” I said to him. “I do. I think you’re a great guy.” I paused. “But I don’t want to do causal dating and no offense, but I don’t think you’re my forever, so…” I realized at that point that I didn’t exactly know what to say.

Kevan smiled. “No offense taken, and I totally understand.”

“A word of advice then, friend to friend.” I grinned at him. “Don’t settle for a girl that you think is hot. Find the girl that will make you happy – your other half.”

Wow Hayden, I didn’t know you were such a romantic.” Kevan laughed.

I rolled my eyes and backed away. “You want to go get another drink?” I asked. “My feet are killing me.”

Kevan glanced down at my heels and back up at me. “I’m not surprised.” He laughed. He led me over to the drinks where I immediately sat down and removed my shoes.

Scott was attempting to do a keg stand while Grace and a dozen other people stood by cheering him on. After a few tries he toppled over, and everyone burst out laughing.

“Hayden!” Grace was practically crying with laughter. “Your turn!”

I shook my head and laughed. “No way!”

“Come on Hayden!” Grace grabbed my arm and pulled me up. “We all know you can do it.”

It was true. I did the keg stand at just about every party they had one, and I was good at it. I glanced down at my short mini dress. “I can’t do it in this dress though!” I told her.

Grace glanced at my dress. “It’ll be fine. It’s tight, so it won’t slip up.” She was right that it was tight, but I was more worried about the short. Grace pulled me over to the keg. By this time, everyone was chanting my name.

I laughed. I guess it would be fine. Who cared if my dress did slip up? I placed my hands on either side of the keg and pulled myself up into a handstand while everyone cheered. Grace placed the nozzle in my mouth and began counting.

At seventy seconds, I spit the nozzle out and let myself down. All the sudden, it was really loud and bright. I turned and walked straight into a solid body.

“That was pretty impressive, Hayden.” A voice directly above me said. The hands that belonged to the voice slid low on my back. I groaned. It was Jayce Hammond.

Jayce was the other popular guy at school aside from Kevan. But while Kevan was a good guy, Jayce was the bad boy.

“You should try it sometime.” I said to Jayce, pushing his hands off me and backing away from him.

He winked at me. “It’s not my style.

I rolled my eyes and grinned. “Do you know where Demi is?” I asked him.

He pretended to think a moment. “No, I’ve been with a few other girls tonight, but not Demi. Not yet, anyway.” He winked again.

“Not happening!” I told him as I pushed past him. I went and found Grace, who told me that Demi had gone upstairs to make a call. I grabbed my shoes and a drink and headed upstairs.

At the top of the stairs was a hallway. “Demi?” I called. There was no answer, but I wasn’t surprised because it was still pretty loud. I saw an open door at the end of the hall to the left and started in that direction. A few steps in, I heard Demi’s voice.

“Please,” she said. “It’s really important to her.” A pause. “Well, if not for her, then do it for me.” Another pause. “I swear you won’t regret it.”

What was she talking about? I was almost to the doorway when Demi giggled, and her voice slipped into a tone I had never heard before.

“You’ll just have to wait and see.” She said. “But it will be fun. I promise.”

I froze. Who the heck was she talking to like that?

“Okay bye, I love you.” Demi said. I heard her moving and stepped into the doorway.

“Who was that?” I asked, grinning. Demi jumped, obviously startled.

“Gosh! Hayden! How long have you been standing there?” She asked, a panicked look on her face.

“I just got here.” I told her. I paused. “But I did here you talk on the phone a little. Do you have something to tell me?” I asked, still grinning. Demi stared at me.

“What? Oh. No!” She bent over and began picking up her things. “That was… Reegan.” She said quickly. “About study group on Monday.”

I raised my eyebrows. “Mm-hmm.”

Demi walked past me into the hallway. “Really, Hay, there’s no secret. I promise.” She glanced back at me as I walked after her. “But you and Kevan.” She grinned.

I laughed. I knew she was deflecting, but she’d tell me when she was ready. “We’re just friends.” I replied, referring to Kevan and I.

“But Hay,” Demi wiped the smile from her face and pretended to be serious. “Just think. You could be friends with benefits.” We both busted out laughing.

“Demi!” She knew I would never in a thousand years do that. I glanced down at my empty cup. “I need another drink.”

I woke the next morning to the sound of Demi’s hairdryer in the other room. I groaned and pulled the covers over my head. After a few minutes, the noise stopped, and the covers were pulled off me.

“Hey! What time is it?” I moaned, propping myself up on my elbows. It was way too early to get up on a Saturday.

Demi grinned. “One thirty.”

“Ugh.” I flopped back down into the pillows. Okay, maybe not as early as I thought it was. “How late were we out last night?” I asked Demi, who was pulling some clothes out of her closet.

“About twelve thirty.” She tossed a shirt at me. “Do you even remember any of it?”

“Not really.” I moaned. “I remember dancing with Kevan and doing the keg stand, but nothing after that.”

Demi spun around. “You did the keg stand?!” She dropped her head back. “Ugh. Why did I not know this? I wouldn’t have let you drink nearly as much as I did if I’d known that.”

I let out a laugh. “How much did I drink?”

Demi sighed. “Five. At least that I counted. It makes a little more sense now. You usually do pretty well with your drinks, but at three you were announcing to everyone that you were going to invite Cristiano Ronaldo to join our soccer team and by five you were sitting in the middle of the floor sobbing because it wasn’t fair that everyone on the team didn’t get an MVP Award.”

“Oh my gosh.” I covered my face with my hands. “Everyone probably thinks I’m crazy now.”

Demi laughed and jumped onto the bed. “You really have no idea, do you?”

“About what?”

Demi laid down on her side next to me. “Everyone loves you!” She said. “You’re the girl that all the guys want to date, and all the girls wish was their best friend.”

“What?” I rolled over on to my stomach and buried my face in the pillow. “Is that a good thing?” I mumbled. My brain was still a bit foggy.

Demi laughed. “Oh my gosh Hayden, you’re like the most popular girl at school. Of course it’s a good thing!”

“Why am I popular?” I moaned.

“Well,” Demi rolled me onto my back again. “You’re sweet and nice, and you’re gorgeous. Why wouldn’t they want to be your friend?” She pulled me up and pushed me into the bathroom. “Take a shower and then we can talk some more.” She left the room, leaving the door open.

I looked in the mirror and blinked. There seemed to be two of me in there. A loud buzzing noise sounded in my ears. I shook my head, but it wouldn’t go away. Finally, I noticed Demi’s phone laying on the counter. Someone was calling her. I laughed at myself and picked it up. The number was unavailable.

“Someone’s calling you.” I called to Demi in the other room. I pressed talk and brought it up to my ear.


A guy’s voice sounded on the other end. “Demi?”

“Uh, no.” Wait a minute, I recognized that voice. “Dad?”

“Hayden!” My dad sounded surprised. Demi appeared in the doorway, eyes wide.

“Dad, why are you calling Demi?” I asked.

“What?” Dad sounded a little confused. I was confused too. “Oh! No, I was calling to talk to you.” Dad said.

“Oh.” I rubbed my eyes and looked at Demi, who was still standing there, an odd look on her face. “Then why didn’t you just call me?” I asked my dad.

“What? Oh! I did.” He said. “I tried to call you, but the call didn’t go through. Maybe your mom forgot to pay the phone bill?” He sounded uncertain.

“I thought she paid it last week.” I said.

“Oh.” Dad cleared his throat. There was a pause.

“So?” I wrinkled my forehead. This was a crazy exchange.

“What?” Dad sounded oblivious.

I sighed. “You said you called to talk to me?”

“Oh! Right.” He gave a small laugh. “Yeah. Uh, I just wanted to tell you that I ended up getting Tuesday off, so now we can go to Arlington.”

I laughed. “Oh my gosh! Really?” I squealed and hugged Demi, who stood there, clueless. “Thank you so much, Dad!” The affect of last night’s alcohol was definitely still there because I was almost in tears. “You have no idea how much this means to me.”

“I need to go, Hayden.” Dad said. “But I just wanted to let you know.”

“Thank you. I love you.” I told him.

“I love you too.”

I hung up and hugged Demi again. “My Dad got Tuesday off, so he can go to Arlington!”

Monday morning I stood in front of the mirror staring at my reflection. Demi’s words about me being popular were stuck in my head. It was true, my social medias were blowing up and reporters had been knocking on our door all weekend, but that was just because of the championship and MVP business. Demi had made it sound like it was bigger than that.

“Ugh.” I’d never worried too much about what I looked like, but all this popular stuff was messing with my head. I’d changed my outfit three times already this morning and the casual dress I was wearing right now was not my style. “Get it together, Hayden. It’s school, not a party. Don’t overthink it, just be yourself.” I said to my reflection.

I checked the time and moaned. I was running way late and I’d already missed the bus. I shrugged out of my dress and changed back into my first outfit – white denim shorts and a light blue tank.

“Mom! Can I drive the car to school?” I called down the hall.

Mom stuck her head out of her bedroom. “Really?”

I’d gotten my license two months before, but she was still hesitant to let me drive by myself.

“Please? I missed the bus.” I gave her a pleading smile.

“Well,” She pursed her lips. “I guess, but you have to come right home afterward. Anything extra and you call, okay?”

“I will!” I darted back into my room and grabbed my backpack.

“The keys are on the counter!” Mom said as I ran down the hall past her. “Be careful!”

“Yep!” I grabbed the keys and headed out the door. “Love you!”

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