After a rough couple of days, Harry came to the door after everyone was asleep and told me he wanted me to be his girlfriend. I said no, only because I think we should date first. I don’t want to rush into anything, and that might be because I’m scared. Scared he’s going to hurt me.
But anyway, everything was perfect. We were all getting along. But then, this morning, Noah had to come in and ruin it all.
Because my life can’t just be simple.
I can’t have a boy like me and have friends.
No, that would be asking too much.
Because Noah decided to declare that he thought I wanted him. He put the moves on me, Anna. He told me he thought I liked him, and I’m pretty sure he told me that he liked me too.
I mean, not too.
That would require me liking him. Ugh! Anyway, he didn’t say he liked me, but he said he would give in if I tried something with him. Such a guy thing to say, first off. And secondly, it was hot, Anna.
I was in total shock. He was flirting with me. He had his finger on my lip and … I thought he was going to kiss me. I’m so confused. Because Noah was sweet to me yesterday when I needed him, but Harry, well, I could probably give him my heart.
The idea settles into my stomach.
I erase the message, realizing I was making no sense, when Mohammad’s name pops up on my screen.
“Where the fuck have you been? I’ve called about a million times,” I shout into the phone.
“Whoa, whoa, whoa. I just saw your calls. What’s up?” he asks, obviously not too concerned.
“I have to talk to you about something,” I say, sucking down a gulp of air.
My chest is pounding from me just thinking about telling Mohammad what happened. And I’m not even sure if it’s right to tell him this. I don’t want to mess with their friendships.
“Mallory, what’s going on?” he asks.
“Wait, is Harry with you?” I suddenly realize they might still be together.
“No. Why? What’s going on?” he asks again.
“You have to promise to keep this a secret.” I drop my voice lower and look over to make sure my bedroom door is tightly shut. I also listen for any noise coming from the hallway.
“All right …” he replies, urging me on.
“There was this moment—this incredibly super-intense moment—with Noah, just now in the bathroom,” I whisper.
“A good or bad moment?” Mohammad asks. “Just tell me what happened.”
“Well, nothing actually happened. But Noah was so intense this morning. Instead of being kind of annoying but cute Noah, I got I’ll leave you in a puddle of hot, melted lava Noah.”
“What?” Mohammad asks, his voice rising.
I can tell he’s as confused as I am.
“Like, this was not the Noah we know, Mohammad. This was the determined, I’m going to stare at you until you crack Noah. He was dirty,” I admit, my eyes going wide at the memory.
“Holy shit. He talked dirty to you?” Mohammad almost shrieks, something finally registering. And he sounds the way I feel.
“Yeah, he did. He said that I wanted him, Mohammad. He said that he was going to have me practically begging for him,” I say a little quieter, “before he gave in to me.”
I pause, my heart feeling like it’s going to rip out of my chest as I wait for Mohammad’s response.
“Oh shit. My man is good,” he says fondly.
“Mohammad!” I reply, annoyed. “I need help here!”
“Relax, Miss America,” he starts. “Look, I have to ask because I think it’s what you want to talk about. Does that change things for you with Harry?”
I think about his question. I don’t know how I’m feeling, but Mohammad is right. I wanted him to ask me that question. I wanted him to be the one to bring it up.
“There’s nothing going on with Noah. And Harry is adorable. And sweet. And after last night, well, I feel a lot closer to him. He wanted to be my boyfriend.”
“But …” Mohammad pushes.
“I’m sorry you have to hear this. But Noah was like melt my panties hot. I mean, my whole body freaked out this morning.”
“Okay, okay. Eww. Too much information.”
“Honestly, I think it just took me by surprise though. I’ve never seen that side of him.”
“The I’m intense and going to get exactly what I want side?” Mohammad asks with a sigh, like he understands.
“Well, when you put it like that …” I say, thinking about Noah’s personality. “I guess he’s just been kind to me lately.”
“Oh, come on. Noah’s one of the best-looking guys in school. He’s never had a problem with getting girls,” Mohammad replies.
“He gets girls?” I ask, my eyes going wide.
Mohammad laughs into the phone, and I instantly want to pull him through from the other end and punch him.
“When you first got here, your head was so far up Harry’s bum that you didn’t even notice you’d ended up being friends with the hottest guys in school.”
“First off, rude.” Because honestly! “My head wasn’t up Harry’s bum. Was it?”
“I apologize,” Mohammad concedes. “But seriously, did you not realize that Noah is, like, the shit? Because if you didn’t know before, I’ll tell you now. He is. Which is why I find this whole thing so entertaining.”
“This is ridiculous. I think it’s just a power thing with Noah. It’s probably his attempt at breaking me apart from Harry, so he doesn’t have to be around me as much. I doubt he even cares about me,” I huff.
“You know that’s not true,” Mohammad cuts in.
“I know. But if he likes me, why tell me now? And why in that way?” I ask, feeling desperate. Desperate to know the answer.
“Because he had to get your attention,” Mohammad replies simply.
“I think it’s more likely that he just enjoys taunting me. He wants me to think that I made the wrong decision.”
“And have you made a decision?” Mohammad asks. “Harry was happy when we left last night, but he didn’t really say.”
“I’m not officially his girlfriend yet, but we’re together. I’m with Harry.”
“Noah probably thinks this is his only chance. Harry asked you to be his girlfriend, and you said no. Noah must think you said no for a reason.”
“But I said no because I want to give Harry and me a little time. So much has happened since we met that I know him, but I don’t really know him. Like, what is his favorite color? What does Harry like to do when we aren’t out or dealing with drama? Stuff like that.”
“Well, there’s your answer then. Guys don’t think like that. Noah probably thinks you wouldn’t commit because you aren’t sure. And that’s an in.”
“Would he really risk his friendship with Harry like that though? I mean, this whole time, he’s been concerned about me coming between them. And now, he’s knowingly putting himself into it?”
“I was thinking the same thing,” Mohammad admits. “We’ve been friends forever. He would never jeopardize that. Which can only mean one thing. Noah must really like you. He would never let something come between him and Harry. It’s just not Noah.”
“Oh shit. That’s it,” I reply, my breath catching. I’m overwhelmed, like I can feel the blood pounding through every vein in my body.
“What are you trying to say?”
“I’m saying that we know that Harry and I made up last night. But Noah must not. The last he heard, Harry and I were over. I was pretty upset after seeing Harry and Olivia together at the pub. And after, I made some strong declarations to Noah about how I obviously didn’t mean anything to Harry. That we weren’t anything.” I swallow hard, knowing that I’m really in over my head.
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