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I was waiting. His friend Susan was my nemesis—or so I heard. Because of my history with Jake, she hated me. Well, hate was a strong word. Loathed was a more correct summary of the situation, but her reasons were twofold.

Here’s the condemnation part—I was the other woman. Jake had a girlfriend when he and I started our fling in the first semester of this year, but I didn’t know he had a girlfriend. I heard, along with many others, that they broke up. I thought Jake was free and clear. And no, Susan wasn’t the girlfriend. Susan was best friends with the girlfriend, Tara Moore. Susan was doing her best-friend duties, which was hating me. And the other reason she hated me was the other part of my current conversation with Jake.

My roommate and best friend, Erica Rouche, was the other one up for the job promotion. They both started as interns freshman year, then were hired on as junior writers. When the senior writers went on strike, Erica and Susan got promoted again. Things were touch and go for a while, but they both proved they could do their jobs well. The job opening was another step up, into full-time employment. It was a big deal for someone still in college.

And Jake was asking me to…what? I wasn’t following that part.

“The other person?” He scrunched up his adorable eyebrows. “What do you mean?”



“Come on.”

“Huh?” He scratched behind his ear. “That’s why I’m asking you. Do you think you could come with me?”

His shoulders bunched up. His arms moved back, and his hands slid into his pockets. The book he was holding moved, so it was pressed between his arm and his chest, right where his rib cage was and right where I knew he had a tattoo.

I almost groaned. I was reminded that not only was he the last guy I loved, but he was also the last guy I slept with. Remembering how that tattoo, a tribal tattoo positioned to make him look like a piece of art, was on his toned body—yes, I needed to get laid. By someone else.

My eyes snapped back to his. “Erica. It’s Erica.”


“The other person is Erica. The other person who Susan is competing against for that promotion is my roommate, my best friend.”

“Oh, shit.” His hand moved to cup the side of his face. He stared down at me. “I didn’t even think about that. That is a wrinkle in my chances for asking you on a date.”

“Exactly.” My head bobbed up and down. “Don’t tell me who got the promotion already. I don’t want to know. I still have to be excited or pissed when Erica tells me the news. That’s my”—wait a minute—“job.” I fixed him with a look. What had he said? “Date?”#p#分页标题#e#

He was waiting, watching me, and his head moved up and down in a slow nod. “Yeah. This is going to be awkward now, huh? Susan got the promotion.” He gritted his teeth and stepped back. His head moved back, too, as if waiting for an explosion from me.

None came. I was still dumbfounded by the date comment. All that vanished in two seconds, and my brain was back to normal. I took a step back and pretended to do a double take. “Are you talking to the right person? You must be mistaken.”

“Oh no.” He looked down.

“Oh yes,” I corrected. He looked back up, and I shook my head. “You’re asking me on a date? Did I hear that right?”

He groaned.

“A date?” I needed to make sure.

“Yes. A date.” He was much more timid this time.

I clipped my head from side to side. “This is the first time you’ve had the balls to talk to me in seven months and you’re asking me out? Do you remember the last time we spoke?” And speaking of, I should’ve ripped him a new one when he first said hello. I blamed the news for that blip.

“Technically,” he lifted a hand up. “We didn’t speak that time.”

“You’re right.” I snorted. “Because you had your tongue shoved down your ex-girlfriend’s throat. But no, I have to correct myself, because she wasn’t your ex at all. She was still your girlfriend.”

“I’m sorry. I really am. Things are over now with Tara and me. We’re done. I mean it.”

His face got red, and I knew he had more apologies ready to spew, but I didn’t want to hear them. As fast as my anger rose, it faded, too. It still burned, what he did, but I’d process that later. I was more concerned about Erica.

“No, Jake. Go away.”

When he didn’t, I was the one to walk away. I didn’t want to hear anymore, but he got in front of me and held his arms out. “Just hear me out. I’m not asking you out on a date. Although, full disclosure here, I wouldn’t mind if we went that route, but,” he raised his voice when he saw that I was about to give him the middle finger, “I was hoping to ask a favor from you.”