The Friendship Pact (Winston Brothers Prequel)By: J.L. Beck & Stacey Lewis
Best Friends forever. That’s what we said. I met Reed Winston when we were kids and I moved in next door to him, his two rowdy brothers, and his sweet parents. We’ve always been friends, and his whole family was there for me when my parents died in a car accident almost two years ago. Losing my parents almost killed me. They were my rock, the only family I had, and losing them was like losing a piece of my soul. But in my lowest moment, the Winstons’ fought hard and I was able to stay with them instead of having to move to a different state to live with an aunt and uncle I barely knew. They took me in even though they didn’t have to, and gave me a home filled to the brim with love.
Living with them didn’t stop me from falling in love with their son though. If anything, being so close to him day in and day out made my feelings so much stronger. Reed claimed my heart before he even knew he was doing it, and I’m going to share with you the night I realized that Reed Winston was the one for me. The one where he went from my crush to my everything.
That particular night wasn’t like anything I’d experienced before. It was my first date with Danny Roberts, one of the hottest guys in school. He was a heartbreaker, but I didn’t care. I just wanted someone to tell me I was pretty and maybe give me my first kiss. The only reason I said I’d go out with him was to make Reed jealous. I wanted to push him over the edge and make him admit he had feelings for me too
“So, this date you’re going on…” Reed plops down on my bed, his bright blue eyes staring up into mine. His voice has the power to make me weak in the knees, and when you add the way his thick, rich brown hair flops over his forehead when he leans towards me, well, it’s like he was built to make girls stupid.
As much as I want to stretch out beside him, I can’t let his voice and his handsome face distract me. I have a date. A real one. My first one. I’m not about to let him ruin it. Not when he doesn’t want me. Someone else does, so it’s time to let go of my childish crush.
“What about it?” I try to act nonchalant as I pull a dress out of my closet and hold it against my body, tilting my head and eyeing myself in the mirror. I know I’m far from perfect. My body is still filling out, but dressing up for a date makes me feel pretty, and that’s all that matters to me tonight.
My mom always told me I was the prettiest little girl she’d ever seen. I’m going to hold onto that thought for as long as I can. The memories I have of her voice have long since started to fade, making all the little things I do still remember that much more important.
Reed sighs, his smoldering gaze meeting mine in the mirror. “I don’t like it, Fallon. I don’t like him, and I definitely don’t think this date is a good idea. You’re not old enough to date.”
My face falls, and I clench my hands into fists, the fabric of the dress wrinkling in my grasp. “I don’t really care what you think, Reed. You should just be happy for me, instead of coming in here to tell me how I shouldn’t go.”
The look I give him basically says he needs to either shut his mouth now, or get the hell out of my room. I tell myself I don’t care what he has to say. Me going on a date, or not going on one, isn’t any of his business. If he doesn’t want me to go, he should give me a reason to cancel. One that’s not just “I don’t like it.”
“I am happy for you.” Reed tries to cover up his anger, but I know him well enough to know he’s pissed, and not just because of the words he said just a few seconds ago.
Exasperation makes my next words sound more harsh than I intend, but I can’t stop myself from saying, “I didn’t tell you that you were too young to date Laura.” I say her word like it’s a curse, like the name is something nasty in my mouth. Him spending the last few months with his tongue down her throat and his hand down her pants has just about killed me.
Reed rolls his eyes, a slight smirk pulling at his way-too-kissable lips. “I’m older than you, Fallon, and I’m a guy. I know what guys want and a girl like you is exactly what they’re all looking for.” I can feel my blood pressure rising at his chauvinistic words. Reed doesn’t understand how I feel, partly because I haven’t told him, and partly because I know he won’t understand. He doesn’t see me as anything more than the little sister he never had…or wanted.