Thanks so much for going on this journey with me! Here is the chapter 5 of Broken Record for your reading pleasure! Scroll to get started!
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K. A. LINDE
Not for reprint or sale.
“Shut. Up,” Savannah groaned.
She reached out and slammed her hand down on her cell phone, trying to stop the insistent buzzing noise coming from the nightstand. She cracked an eye open and winced at the blast of sunlight. Her head was the size of a watermelon, and any minute it was going to split open.
For a brief second, the noise cut off. She sighed and rested back. She wanted to go back to sleep for another century or two.
She wasn’t that lucky.
The buzzing started again. She grabbed her phone and brought it close to her face. She saw through slit eyelids that Easton was calling. Oh, this wasn’t going to be fun.
“Hello?” she asked groggily.
“Savannah, fuck,” Easton growled into the phone.
She tugged it a bit farther from her ear. “Can you keep it down? My head is throbbing.”
“Keep it down.” His voice was sharp.
“I’ve been calling you for hours. It’s one in the afternoon and you just answered your phone. I didn’t know if you were dead or what the fuck happened after seeing your social media blow up all night long.”
“What’s blowing up? I’ve been asleep.”
A harsh breath pushed into the phone. Easton was pissed off. That was what that breath meant. She needed to get her head on and figure out what he was pissed about. Slowly, she eased into a sitting position, which did nothing for her head, but was better than nothing.
“What did you do last night, Savannah?” he finally asked.
“Oh,” she muttered. She put her head in her hand. Well, that wasn’t how she wanted to have this conversation. “I went to a graduation party for the basketball team.”
“Yeah. I think the entire world knows that by now.”
“It was nothing, Easton. I should have told you, but we just had a few drinks and then came home.”
Or at least…that was about all that she remembered. How exactly had she gotten back here last night?
“Well, your new best friend Amanda posted pictures of you together. Remember those?”
Easton let loose another breath. “Great.”
“I mean…I didn’t know she was posting the pictures,” she fibbed. She only briefly remembered that she’d taken pictures with Amanda. She was pretty sure she hadn’t liked her at the beginning of the night.
“Just tell me…would you have even told me about you and Lucas if someone else hadn’t posted pictures?”
Her heart started to race. What the fuck had Amanda posted last night? She put Easton on speaker phone and started scrolling through her social media. There were dozens of pictures. She and Amanda dancing on tables, taking shots, watching the guys do keg stands. She and Lucas standing close together, one of them dancing together, one of them laughing about who the fuck knew what, smiling up at each other, and on and on. So many fucking pictures. Well, shit.
“I…yes,” she finally said. “I was going to tell you this morning that I went with him. But these pictures, they look bad…but nothing happened.”
“What would you think if you saw this and I didn’t answer?”
She tilted her to head to the sky. “I’d think the worst.”
She chewed on her bottom lip. “It’s really not what it looks like.”
“I want to believe that.”
“We were just hanging out. There’s nothing between me and Lucas.”
“I’m pretty sure he doesn’t agree with you.”
“Well, his opinion doesn’t matter.”
Easton sighed. She could practically see him rubbing a hand down his face. “Okay.”
“What else am I supposed to say? I almost booked a flight to Nashville this morning. But I thought I should talk to you before I got there and put my fist through his fucking face. He knows what he’s doing. That’s for sure.”
“It’s not like that.”
“I know the party line. You’ve known each other forever. Your parents are best friends. The Maxwell-Atwood wedding was planned in infancy.”
“That’s not fair,” she muttered. This was doing nothing for her headache. “That’s not how I feel and you know it.”
“You’re right,” he said on another sigh. “It’s not what you want, but that’s how the pictures were painted.”
“I’m sorry that I put you in that position.”
“Just come home soon, okay?”
“As soon as I can.”
“I love you, Savannah.”
She smiled. “I love you, too.”
As soon as Easton hung up, Savannah jumped out of bed. Holding her aching head, she threw open her door and stomped down the hallway to Lucas’s bedroom. She didn’t even bother knocking on the door, just stormed right inside.
“Lucas Nathaniel Atwood,” she yelled.
The shower turned off and a second later, Lucas appeared in the doorway wearing nothing but a white towel and a shit eating grin. “Can I help you, Savi?”
“First, put some fucking clothes on and second, what the fuck happened last night?”
Lucas flipped his wet hair out of his eyes. Savannah was careful not to let her eyes drift any lower to the sculpted body below. To the built chest or the six pack abs, or the V peeking out of the top of the towel. Her eyes snapped back up. Focus.
“You’re the one only wearing a T-shirt,” Lucas pointed out.
Savannah’s head snapped down to her bare legs. Jesus Christ, how the hell had she gotten into this position. She tugged her shirt down lower to cover more of her thighs. “Ugh! How did I even get into this T-shirt?”
Lucas walked over to a drawer and tossed basketball shorts at her. She caught them and quickly slipped into them, rolling them down about ten times so they fit her. “You really don’t remember?”
She shook her head once.
“Fuck,” he groaned.
“I need to know what happened. There are pictures of us together all over the internet, Lucas. Your friend Amanda is a real peach.”
The smile slid off of his face. “What’s the last thing you remember?”
Her cheeks heated. “We were dancing at the party. Then I had another drink and it gets fuzzy from there.”
Lucas didn’t answer her. He rifled through his drawers until he pulled out a shirt, basketball shorts, and boxers. Then he disappeared back into the bathroom for what felt like way too long just to change. Savannah tried not to tap her foot in irritation. She knew that she shouldn’t have gotten that drunk. She’d put herself in this position. But damn, it’d be great if Lucas filled her in instead of leaving her in suspense.
The man who stepped back out of that bathroom was a different person than the one who had walked in. Gone was the easy smiles and playful demeanor. He looked serious and irritated.
“What?” she asked. Fear struck her. “Did…something happen?”
Lucas didn’t look at her as he shook his head.
“Lucas?” she whispered.
“The one time I’m a good person and you don’t even remember.”
Savannah swallowed. “What does that mean?”
Lucas looked her in the eyes. “Nothing happened, Savannah. Go home to your boyfriend.”
He brushed past her and out of his room. She felt tears pricking at her eyes, and she couldn’t even explain them. She didn’t want something to have happened. But the way he said it…it sounded so hopeless. Like something could have happened, but it didn’t because of him and not her. Her stomach turned.
She’d had no expectations for this weekend. If anything, she’d thought that she would watch him graduate and get out of there as soon as possible. At best, she’d hoped that they could get their friendship back on track. Even that seemed unrealistic after what they’d been through. Now here she was, thinking that she had somehow made it worse and she didn’t even know how.
She brushed a hand under her eyes and followed after him. She found him in the kitchen brewing coffee. “Come on, Lucas. We should talk about this.”
“There’s nothing to talk about,” he said with his back to her.
“I thought you wanted to fix this. I was dragged here for your graduation. You can at least have the decency to explain to me what happened last night. I don’t want to walk away this weekend with us on bad terms. We’ve been friends so long.”
Lucas whipped around. “We’re not friends!” he roared.
Savannah took a shocked step backward.
“We haven’t been friends for years, Savi! We grew up together and have been one step away from fucking since high school. That’s what we are,” he spat. “We went different ways. You chose North Carolina. I chose Vanderbilt. We come together every summer, get fucked up, and fuck. You feel guilty about it. You get pissed at me. You blame me. But this is what we are. I don’t know when you’re going to see that.”
She swallowed hard. “Fuck you, Lucas.”
“Yeah, I probably should have. At least you’d have a real reason to feel guilty when you run back to him. Again.”
“God, I don’t even know why I bother.” She shook her head. “You’ve led me on for years with your bullshit. I should have seen through you long ago.”
“Whatever lie you have to tell yourself.”
“Lie?” she nearly shrieked.
“Who led who on, Savi? You dated every other guy in high school other than me.”
“So, what? You’re punishing me for not fucking you in high school!”
“I’m not fucking punishing you. I’m telling you the truth you don’t want to hear.” He stepped forward until they were nearly touching. His breath hot on her face. “When you’re drunk, all you want is me inside you, and when you’re sober, all you do is try convince yourself that isn’t true.”
Savannah narrowed her eyes. “You’re full of shit.”
“So, if you want to fuck right now, then I’m all for it. Otherwise, get out of my face,” he snarled.
“I hate you.”
Savannah wanted to scream as she stalked back to the room she’d been staying in, threw all of her stuff back into her suitcase, and hurtled back toward the door. “Thanks for proving time and time again why we never fucking work.”
“Right back at you, babe.”
She glared at him once more before walking through the door and slamming it in his douchebag face.
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