Fake Boyfriend Breakaways: A Short Story Collection, page 1
Fake Boyfriend Breakaways
A Short Story Collection
Eden Finley Books
Fake Boyfriend 2.5
Rebound Copyright © 2018 by Eden Finley
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Cover Illustration Copyright ©
Kellie Dennis at Book Cover By Design
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Copy-edited by Xterra-Web Editing
All rights reserved.
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I’ve always known Wyatt was hot, but scotch and half a bottle of tequila makes him so Goddamn beautiful.
After my last disastrous relationship with a close friend, you'd think I'd learn my lesson and choose someone else for a rebound. Someone I don't have a solid friendship with.
I should definitely stay away from Wyatt. But when have I ever listened to logic?
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I’d long forgotten my college crush on Aron. He was never a possibility, having friend-zoned me from the beginning. But now he’s drunk and looking for a rebound.
It’d totally ruin our almost decade-long friendship. I have to say no and be the bigger person … right?
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**Rebound can be read as a standalone but would be better understood if read in conjunction with Trick Play (Fake Boyfriend book 2). While this story belongs to the Fake Boyfriend universe, it does not contain a fake boyfriend trope.**
There were rules, damn it. Important ones. Then I went and broke them. All of them, including the most important one.
“Don’t fall for me.”
I agreed, thinking I was bored, horny, and lazy, and therefore, I could have a reoccurring casual thing with a friend, and it wouldn’t be a big deal. I didn’t expect that casual whatever to last twelve months, and I never expected to start getting feelings for the guy.
He’s Noah Huntington the Third, and his attitude matches his name. He could be elitist, arrogant, and definitely cocky, so when we started fooling around, there was no real danger of me falling for him.
I don’t know when that changed exactly, only that it did.
Of course, when Noah found out I had “real feelings,” he did what he does best. He shut me out and ran away. I hated it, but I understood it, because he told me it would happen.
When you confess your feelings for a commitment-phobe, they run away faster than Road Runner being chased by Wile E. Coyote.
I expected it to happen. Yet, here we are, a month later, and the words on my laptop screen don’t change no matter how much scotch I drink to make them blurrier … more blurry … a blur? Whatever.
I’m sorry. I met Matt and it just happened. I didn’t expect to fall so fast, but I have.
I’ve been staring at the same Messenger conversation all fucking day, because I don’t understand it.
He’s fallen head over heels apparently.
It’s been one month—thirty days since he told me we couldn’t keep doing what we were doing because he can’t handle a relationship. With anyone. Those were his words. Now he’s all over the internet and in the tabloids on the arm of a famous football player and calling him his boyfriend. He never once gave me that label in the twelve months we were screwing around.
I don’t know whether to be angry or just really fucking depressed. A few hours ago, I decided to let the alcohol choose for me, but all it’s done is make me tired and numb.
The knock on my door doesn’t bring any form of hope. It won’t be him. He’s in the middle of the Atlantic on a romantic cruise with the new guy.
I shove my laptop aside and get my ass off the couch to stumble to the door. It’s either going to be Skylar, Rebecca, or Wyatt, and I hope for the latter. I love the girls to death, but I can’t handle their good-cop-bad-cop routine right now. Plus, if they turn up, it means Noah’s and my secret is out. Wyatt’s the only person who knows about Noah and me, and he told me to walk away as soon as he found out it was happening. Even he knew it would end badly.
On second thought, I hope it’s not him.
There’s a chance it could be our other friend Damon, but I doubt it. He’s been in the honeymoon bubble with his new boyfriend, Maddox, and I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t know if a meteor was headed for Earth let alone if one of his friends was upset. He’s also not supposed to know about Noah and me, but the way he eyes me sometimes, I think he at least suspects.
There’s a group of about six of us from college who still catch up at least once a month, and considering how close we are, it’s surprising it’s taken this long for two of us to fuck up the dynamic by fucking each other.
Through the peephole, all I see is the top of Wyatt’s long blond hair. As if he knows I’m staring at him, he looks up, and his sympathetic expression asks me silently to open the door. And when I open up, his blue eyes cut into me and roam over me as if assessing the damage. At five-foot-six, he doesn’t come across as an intimidating guy most days, but today, I can’t even look him in the eye.
“You saw the news,” he says, his voice soft.
“I don’t need an I told you so speech.”
Wyatt’s pouty lips turn up into a tiny smirk, and a strand of his long blond hair comes out of his bun and falls by his face. He’s always been the prettiest guy I know and has the looks of a model, but the guy is smart too. He’s a data manager for a multi-million-dollar start-up and owns stock in the company. I slave away as an office assistant for a giant corporation where I have to wear a suit and there’s a line of people waiting and qualified to fill my job if I fuck up. He’s going to work in sneakers and jeans and making bank.
He pulls out a bottle of tequila from behind his back. “I’m not here for I told you so.”
“Fuck, I love you.”
Warm laughter bubbles out of him. “I’m guessing by the smell of your breath, I have some catching up to do.”
I sidestep so he can enter my cramped apartment, and he immediately throws himself on my couch, opens his bottle of tequila, and takes a gulp. I freeze when his gaze finds my laptop. His eyes narrow as he reads the private messages from Noah and then slams the lid shut.
“You don’t need to be looking at that. It’ll only make it worse.”
Without a word, he hands over the tequila.
“Aren’t we a pair of classy motherfuckers,” I say and drink from the bottle like he did.
The lingering taste of scotch in my mouth mixes with the burning sweetness of the tequila, and for a moment I think this could be a bad idea, but then I throw back another. And another. Then it seems like a brilliant idea.
“Share,” Wyatt says.
I hand it over. “Why am I an idiot?”
Wyatt winces as he swallows a gulp of tequila, but I don’t know if it’s from my question or the afterburn from the liquor. “Some people are just born stupid and have no hope.”
He laughs, and the tequila lands back in my hands. “You fell for someone you shouldn’t have. That doesn’t make you an idiot. It only makes you human.”
“You warned me. Hell, Noah warned me.” I shake my head. “Idiot.”
“While I don’t understand how or why you and Noah started fucking around, I do understand falling for the wrong person. Trust me on that one.”
My brow furrows. “Where is your boyfriend tonight?”
Wyatt doesn’t miss the judging tone, but in my defense, his boyfriend is a dick.
“We broke up,” he mumbles.
“What, when?” I tell myself smiling would be the asshole thing to do. Wyatt is way too good for Simon, but that doesn’t mean he’s not hurting right now.
“A few weeks ago.” He shrugs. “Around the same time as you and Noah …”
A thick silence lands between us as we pass the bottle a few more times. I’m hoping he’ll provide more details, but after we finish about a quarter of the bottle, he doesn’t elaborate.
“What happened?” I ask.
“How about we don’t talk about Noah and we don’t talk about cheating dickwad fuckface.”
I blink at him, trying to figure out if he’s being serious or not. How the fuck could someone cheat on Wyatt?
“You let me whine about Noah—something that was inevitable—but you’ve been sitting on that for weeks?”
“Not talking about it.” He takes the tequila again. “Why do you think I haven’t told the rest of the group yet? I don’t need the pity stares, thanks very much.”
“Oh, you so are. Your eyes give everything away. Always have.”
“I never knew you realized that shit.” I close my eyes tight. “There. Fixed?”
It has its desired effect as Wyatt laughs and shoves me, but then that ugly silence comes back.
“We should go out,” Wyatt says. “My ass deserves to dance.”
I groan and throw my head back on the couch. “I don’t want to dance.”
“We can even go to a het bar if you wanna pick up a chick. You need a rebound, and I want to go out. Preferably somewhere we won’t run into he who shall now remain nameless.”
“Running into Voldemort would be bad juju, bro.”
But joking aside, he’s brought up something I haven’t really thought about in years. After breaking up with my college girlfriend, I swore off women forever and decided to only date men. If I couldn’t make it work with the greatest girl in the world, it was never going to work with another woman. We meant a lot to each other, but what we had was something I wasn’t ready for.
The humorless laugh that escapes is drowned by accepting the tequila once more. “You remember why I stopped dating women to begin with?”
“Because they tend to want something more.”
“Right. And now look at me. I’m the one trying to cling onto a person who doesn’t even want me. I was convenient, and I regularly dropped everything to run over to his place whenever he called, even though I knew he was using me.”
In the beginning, I was okay with that, because I was using him just as much. I don’t know when that changed—there was no defining moment, no thoughts of the future, and then suddenly there were, and I couldn’t get him out of my head.
That should’ve been the time to end it, but that’s the problem with infatuation—it makes you accept any scrap you’re given because you hope and wish he’ll change his mind.
Wyatt shifts awkwardly next to me. “I don’t know what to say to that.”
“Nothin’ to say,” I mumble. “It’s just … ironic, I guess. It’s like, full circle. Skylar wanted me to commit, I wanted Noah to commit, and now I feel like I should be committed. Like psychiatrically.”
“Dramatic much? Maybe you’re done with this.” Wyatt inches a little closer and reaches for the tequila again. After a swig, he leans forward and puts it on the coffee table.
I wave him off. “I know I’m being melodramatic. Just need some time to get used to it. I’ve spent the last few weeks knowing he didn’t want a relationship, but to find out it’s just me he didn’t want? Kinda stings.”
Wyatt huffs. “Try finding out that your unemployed boyfriend spent his days fucking people in your bed instead of looking for a job.”
My hands ball into fists. “Wy … you deserve so much better than that bullshit.”
“So do you.”
I lie back, resting my head on the back of my couch and close my eyes to soak in the light buzz in my veins and the thumping of my accelerated heart rate.
Wyatt sits up straighter and turns to me. “Can I ask you something?”
“What is it about Noah that you actually want?”
My brain is too out of it to know what he means. “Wha?”
“Do you want him or a relationship? You kept running back to him knowing it wouldn’t get anywhere, but you never said no. Were you hoping he’d change his mind, or could you not stay away from him?”
“You’re sense not making,” I slur. “Wait … no, I said that right.”
Wyatt laughs. “I make total sense. If you couldn’t stay away from him and he consumed your every thought, then it’s a Noah issue. If the only reason you kept going back was because you wanted to be with someone—have that connection—then it’s a relationship issue.”
I close my eyes again and try to really think about it, but everything is muddly right now. Muddy. Murky? Fuck, words are hard. “I have no idea how to answer that question.”
“Then we should find the answer. I could totally be your life coach. I’d be awesome at that.”
“Mmm, that’s true. Out of all of us, you’re probably the one who’s got his shit together the most.”
He scoffs. “Cheating boyfriend proves otherwise, but I meant because I’m good at bossing people around.”
I snort. “That too.”
“So, we’re gonna get up, you’re gonna go put on jeans so tight everyone can see your impressive dick print, a sexy-ass shirt, and then you have to decide if we’re hitting up a gay bar or going looking for pussy. I vote for the latter, but I’ll even risk a Voldemort sighting for you if you wanna hit up that new fuckboy bar in the Village.”
I wince. “Please don’t say pussy. Or fuckboy.”
“Pussy, pussy, puss—wait, is pussy one of those words where if you say it three times in a row one will climb out a bathroom mirror and come kill you?”
We burst into simultaneous laughter, and I have to hold onto my stomach to keep it from hurting. “Fine, I’m in. Err, I mean I’m up for going to a bar, not so keen on killer body parts.”
Wyatt laughs so hard, his head lolls on my shoulder. Guess the tequila’s kicking in. He looks up at me, and I get stuck in his gaze. “Wait … are we really talking about killer genitals? Because I think that’s a new low, even for us.”
“Unfortunately for me, it’s probably a new medium.”
He laughs again and tries to stand but can’t seem to get off the couch. “Okay. As soon as I find my feet, we’ll go find you a rebound, and then maybe you could try dating someone who won’t treat you like a rentboy.”
He stills, his body pressed against mine and his face just inches away. “Shit. Are you okay?”
His blue eyes hold genuine concern which makes me laugh some more, but it fades when he stares at me in a way he’s never stared at me before. Or at least, I’ve never noticed before. I’ve always known he was hot, but right now, with his breath so close to mine, his petite but firm body on top of me, the way his long blond hair falls in his face …
Fuck, I’m drunk.
My gaze falls to Wyatt’s full lips, and my hand moves on its own to push his loose hair behind his ear.
“Aron?” he asks, and his brow scrunches in the most adorable way.
“You’re kinda beautiful,” I whisper.
He breaks into laughter and buries his head in my shoulder. “You’re so drunk. Maybe we shouldn’t go out.”
“I’m totally okay with not leaving this apartment,” I whisper.
His body, which is still pressed against mine, starts sliding down as he’s going to climb off me, but I wrap my arms around him and hold him close.
EDEN FINLEY SERIES:
Other author's books:
- Trick PlayBlindsided (Fake Boyfriend Book 4)Fake Boyfriend Breakaways: A Short Story CollectionHat TrickOne Night with Hemsworth (One Night Series Book 1)Fake Out
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