Puck Buddies (Roommates #2) - Tara Brown Page 0,1

didn't think you were here. I just assumed your gran would want her cookbook back.” She doesn't sound like she wants to hurt me, but her words and coldness toward me do. “I wouldn’t have stopped in if I’d known there was a party.”

“It’s in the boathouse. Everyone’s down there.” I shiver slightly from the cold air on my bare arms and legs but fight looking cold. “Wanna come in?” She came to this house to be rid of me and my things, knowing I never come here. She wanted to avoid me.

“No.” She says it breathy, in almost a whisper. Her face is filled with regret, but I don’t know which part she’s thinking about. Which acts she regrets. I suspect it’s all the moments I wouldn’t change, even if my life depended on it. They flash in the back of my mind, each one slicing me.

She bites her lip, maybe fighting saying something she’ll also regret, maybe just to avoid talking until she mutters, “It was a good game tonight.”

“I miss you.” I ignore her small talk and lay my heart out there for her to reject. I’m already exposed to the elements; I might as well be naked in every way. She’s the only person who has ever seen me vulnerable. Well, along with Charles and Benson, but they’re like parents so they don’t count. “I’m a fucking idiot.”

“I know.” Her expression changes for a second, possibly a twitch, but she doesn’t say anything. She waves and turns. “I have to go.”

“Wait.” I jog over and spin her around. “Wait.” I say it softer the second time. “Don’t go.” I step in closer, brushing her hair away from her face. “Stay with me.”

She lifts her gaze that hardens when her eyes meet mine. “Why?”

“Because I need you.” I drop to my knees, in the snow. “Forgive me. I’m crazy about you and I fucked up.”

Her lips toy with a smile but her eyes are flooded with emotions. She blinks, losing some of them down her cheeks. “Try not to get too drunk, Beast. You have a game in two days.” She pulls out of my hands and turns away, leaving me there to freeze to death.

It’s not the snow and the cold that will be the death of me.

It’s my own stupidity.

Chapter One

Beer-soaked boobies

Sami

Oxford Circus, London

January 1, 2011

5:03 am

Walking past Banana Republic, I look at the blouse on the mannequin and then down at the beer-soaked dress I’m wearing, wishing I could say someone else dumped the pitcher on my chest.

I also wish I had the balls to just smash the window, take her clothes, and leave mine on her. A new outfit might offer a new perspective or even a new opportunity for an otherwise wasted night—wasted life.

Even with the night long gone and the morning here, cold and damp as usual, I don’t feel any newness in the New Year.

I suspect it’ll be the same crap year I just had, only this one I’m graduating. That is one bonus, a little more freedom from my parents.

I shiver as I stroll, hating that London and New York share the same wintery weather, and I can’t say I like either version. Wrapping my arms around myself to stay warm, I want to regret staying in London the extra week but I can’t. The South of France might have been a better spot to party with far better weather, but London taught me something I didn’t know. An important life lesson: boyfriends are bullshit. Love is bullshit. People pretending to be in love is the biggest bullshit.

I’m glad I’m free of Drew, that moron. I can’t believe I dated him for three months. It’s my new record. Actually, the part I can’t believe is that I made it past the first week. His being a Londoner likely helped. We didn’t see much of each other.

My feet are killing me, so I pull off my Louboutin boots and slip on the Tieks I have in my purse. Luckily, I brought my hobo bag instead of a traditional New Year’s clutch. I stuff the boots into the bag and sigh as the teal ballet flats bring me back to life. Pins and needles join the sensation of blood rushing back into my feet.

I look ridiculous in flats with my short midnight-colored cocktail dress, but the boots had run out of blocks left in them four streets back. The ballet flats can go all night, or all day rather.

As I continue