Addicted to You(3)

By: Krista Ritchie & Becca Ritchie

My black Escalade is parked on the curb of frat row. Multi-million dollar houses line up, each outdoing the next in column sizes. Red Solo cups litter the nearest yard, an overturned keg splaying sadly in the grass. Lo walks ahead of me.

“I didn’t think you were going to show,” I say and skirt past a puddle of barf in the road.

“I said I would.”

I snort. “That’s not always accurate.”

He halts by the car door, the windows too tinted to see Nola waiting in the driver’s seat. “Yeah, but this is Kappa Phi Delta. You screw one and they may all want a piece of your ass. I seriously had nightmares about it.”

I grimace. “About me getting raped?”

“That’s why they’re called nightmares, Lily. They’re not supposed to be pleasant.”

“Well this is probably my last expedition into a frat house for another decade or at least until I forget about this morning.”

The driver’s window rolls down. Nola’s deep black curls caress her heart-shaped face. “I have to pick up Miss Calloway from the airport in an hour.”

“We’ll be ready in a minute,” I tell her. The window slides up, blocking her from view.

“Which Miss Calloway?” Lo asks.

“Daisy. Fashion week just ended in Paris.” My little sister shot up overnight to a staggering five foot eleven inches, and with her rail-like frame she fit the mold for high fashion. My mother capitalized on Daisy’s beauty in an instant. Within the week of her fourteenth birthday, she was signed to IMG modeling agency.

Lo’s fingers twitch by his side. “She’s fifteen and probably surrounded by older models blowing lines in a bathroom.”

“I’m sure they sent someone with her.” I hate that I don’t know the details. Since I arrived at the University of Pennsylvania, I acquired the rude hobby of dodging phone calls and visits. Separating from the Calloway household became all too easy once I entered college. I suppose that has always been written for me. I used to push the boundaries of my curfew and spent little time in the company of my mother and father.

Lo says, “I’m glad I don’t have siblings. Frankly, you have enough for me.”

I never considered having three sisters to be a big brood, but a family of six does garner some unique attention.

He rubs his eyes wearily. “Okay, I need a drink and we need to go.”

I inhale a deep breath, about to ask a question we’ve both avoided thus far. “Are we pretending today?” With Nola so close, it’s always a tossup. On one hand, she’s never betrayed our trust. Not even in the tenth grade when I used the backseat of a limo to screw a senior soccer player. The privacy screen was up, blocking Nola’s view, but he grunted a little too loud and I knocked into the door a little too hard. Of course she heard, but she never ratted me out.

There’s always the risk that one day she’ll betray us. Cash loosens lips, and unfortunately, our fathers are swimming in it.

I shouldn’t care. I’m twenty. Free to have sex. Free to party. You know, all the things expected of college-aged adults. But my laundry list of dirty (like really dirty) secrets could create a scandal within my family’s circle of friends. My father’s company would not appreciate that publicity one bit. If my mother knew my serious problem, she’d send me away for rehab and counseling until I was fixed up nicely. I don’t want to be fixed. I just want to live and feed my appetite. It just so happens that my appetite is a sexual one.

Plus, my trust fund would magically vanish at the sight of my impropriety. I’m not ready to walk away from the money that pays my way through college. Lo’s family is equally unforgiving.

“We’ll pretend,” he tells me. “Come on, love.” He taps my ass. “Into the car.” I barely stumble on his frequent use of love. In middle school, I told him how I thought it was the sexist term of endearment. And even though British guys have claimed stake to it, Lo took it as his own.

I scrutinize him, and he breaks into a wide smile.

“Has the walk of shame crippled you?” he asks. “Do I need to carry you into the threshold of the Escalade too?”

“That’s unnecessary.”

His crooked grin makes it hard not to smile back. Lo purposefully leans in close to tease me, and he slips a hand in the back pocket of my jeans. “If you don’t unfreeze yourself from this state, I’m going to spin you around. Hard.”

My chest collapses. Oh my…I bite my lip, imagining what sex would be like with Loren Hale. The first time was too long ago to remember well. I shake my head. Don’t go there. I turn around to open the door and climb in the Escalade, but a huge realization hits me.