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We were just friends.
That’s how it had always been, and that’s how it would always be … if I had any self-control.
Who said we had to stay in the friend zone?
Apparently I did, for far too long. But the truth was, I didn’t think there was anything sexier than having blurred lines when it came to Stella.
The girl I’d wanted for longer than I’d ever admit to anyone. My best friend. The smartest, prettiest girl I’d ever seen, ever known.
I was the star quarterback, the most popular guy in high school, who could have had any girl he wanted.
But I didn’t want any of those things. I didn’t care about any of that.
All I cared about, all I wanted was one thing.
And the longer I stayed back, tried to keep myself in control where she was concerned, the more possessive I became, the more obsessed with her, the more jealous I became when a guy even looked in her direction. There was nothing worse than being a jock block to yourself. But I was about to change all of that.
I was about to make Stella mine.
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“Do you think she gets butt injections?”
I glanced up from my textbook and looked at Cannon, a guy I’d known since elementary school.
A guy who I comfortably called my best friend.
And the boy I kind of had a thing for.
I followed his gaze out the library window, seeing a group of girls standing over by the student parking lot. I knew exactly who they were right away, their long glossy hair styled perfectly, their designer, skin-tight clothes formed to their perfect bodies. All of them stood around expensive cars their daddies had bought for them.
“I guess you’ll have to be more specific. They all could’ve probably gotten ass injections.” I could hear the venom in my voice. I hated the fact that they made me jealous in any way.
I heard Cannon chuckle and looked at him, seeing he was already watching me. I lifted a brow and shrugged. “What?”
He took off his baseball hat and shook his head, the smile on his face still in place. He ran his hand over his short, dirty blond hair, his smile spreading to a full-on grin. “Nothing.” He leaned back in the seat, one arm braced on the library table, the other over the back of his chair. “I just like how you say shit that’s on your mind.”
I rolled my eyes but couldn’t stop myself from smiling. Cannon and I were total opposites. Not just in personality, but also on the social totem pole that was high school.
I was a book nerd, hardly had any friends, and focused on school work instead of going to parties every weekend. Cannon, on the other hand, was the star quarterback, gorgeous, had the body of a god, and the reputation that he could have any girl dropping their panties for him.
He had a cocky attitude, and I knew he was fully aware he could have anything and anyone he wanted. Hell, I knew girls would be lined up just to drop their panties for him. But with me he was genuine.
He was the guy I considered my best friend, the one person I talked to about everything. He was just Cannon to me, not a popular jock.
He leaned forward and braced his forearms on the table, looking back out the window. He’d since put his baseball hat back on, the shadow from the bill covering the upper part of his face. I stared at his blue eyes, so bright they almost seemed unreal.
That was one of the things the girls at school talked about, not including the hundred other things they liked to gossip about where he was concerned.
But even though Cannon and I were sometimes joined at the hip, the girls wouldn’t come near me with a ten-foot pole. Maybe they were threatened. Maybe they were jealous. Either way, I didn’t care. I just ignored the way they questioned each other on the daily where he was concerned.
What was he like in bed?
What did it feel like to kiss him?
How big was his…
“Stella, you can’t tell me you don’t know which one I’m talking about,” Cannon said and I pulled back from my thoughts and looked out the window again. “Do you think Crystal gets her ass injected?”
I looked at the girl in question and wrinkled my nose. “No doubt. I’m also pretty sure her dad paid for her to get her tits done.” Cannon started laughing and we heard several people murmur for us to be quiet.
“I’m pretty sure all the girls in that clique have had Botox, lipo, ass injections, and tit jobs done.” Although in that moment I tried to sound like I didn’t care, the truth was they were gorgeous, they were popular, and it always made me feel inadequate, especially when guys like Cannon noticed them.
I was a shy, nerdy girl whose best friend just happened to be the most popular guy in school. If it wasn’t for that, no one would pay me any attention. They wouldn’t even know I existed.
No one would give two shits about me.
I looked at Cannon as he stared out the window, his profile so masculine. Because he played football he was a bigger guy, with broad shoulders and defined muscles. His square jaw was the epitome of masculinity, and the scruff that I saw occasionally on his cheeks when he didn’t shave made me feel extremely feminine.
Where he was big, I was small.
But we were friends. Nothing more. I’d never be the girl for him, not just because I knew the type he liked—which wasn’t me—but because we had too much history, that wall of platonic friendship keeping us in our separate corners.
And I was fine with that. Cannon was like family, and I’d never want to ruin that.
We’d go off to college and find people that we cared about. We’d have our own lives, but in the end, we’d always have each other. He knew that. I knew that. I was okay with that reality.