Date me, p.2
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       Date Me, p.2

         Part #3 of The Keatyn Chronicles series by Jillian Dodd
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  I lean into his chest and feel safe. Safe and happy. Happy he wants me and no one else. “I fell. ”

  He grabs the vodka bottle out of my hand, takes a swig, and then kisses me. “You need stitches. ”

  “Why do you two keep saying that? I don’t need stitches. I just need a couple of those butterfly bandages. Run down to the field house and get some. I’m sure they’ll work fine. ”

  He hands me back the bottle and looks at me seriously. “You need stitches. Nothing else will hold on your knee. Drink. ”

  I take another drink. “Why the vodka?”

  “Because it's gonna hurt,” Jake says. Like, duh.

  “Really? I’ve never had stitches before. Isn’t the cut, like now, the worst part? It hurts. A lot. ” I start to get tears in my eyes.

  Tears about everything that feels hurt.

  Jake pulls back his hair, showing me a hairline scar. “Six stitches. ” He holds out his wrist. “Four stitches. ” He points to his own knee. At a thin white line across the top. “Eight stitches. ”

  Dawson points to a scar above his right eyebrow. “Four stitches. Camden threw a golf club at me. ” He shows me his elbow. “Five stitches. Sliding into home plate. ”

  I touch Dawson’s cute little eyebrow scar. “That doesn’t look bad. ”

  He leans in and gives me a sweet kiss.

  I don’t care that Jake is watching. I give him a deep kiss back. I want him to know that I appreciate him. Appreciate the way he asked me to Homecoming. Appreciate how sweet and perfect he’s been to me. Appreciate that he’s not a hottie god.

  Jake grabs another clean washcloth, puts it across my knee, and wraps bright yellow athletic wrap around it to hold it in place.

  Dawson kisses me while he does it. He’s trying to distract me, but I still cringe and make a pitiful ouch sound into his mouth.

  “I’d say another,” Jake says to Dawson.

  Dawson hands me the bottle. “Big drink this time. ”

  I actually take a bigger drink this time. I want the pain to go away.

  Dawson stands up. “It’s time to get you to the nurse. ” He picks me up and carries me to the student center, and into the nurse’s office.

  Jake says to the nurse, “We need some stitches. ”

  “Well, let’s get her in here and take a look,” the nurse says. I remember meeting her briefly during my orientation tour. She looks like a sweet grandmother who would never hurt a fly.

  She undoes the wrapping and removes the washcloth. “Oh, my, sweetie, that is a nasty cut. ” She smiles at Jake, almost flirtatiously. “You were right. She needs stitches. ”

  She cleans the cut, which hurts like a bitch. I squeeze Dawson's hand tightly, tears streaming down my face.

  Then I watch as she goes over and prepares a shot.

  “What’s the shot for?” I say, in a panic, to Jake and Dawson. “My tetanus shot is up to date. I don’t think the chair was rusty. ”

  When she walks out of the room for supplies, Dawson explains, “She has to numb your knee to do the stitches. ”

  Jake agrees. “That’s why I gave you the vodka. So it won't hurt as bad. ”

  He lied.

  Even with the vodka, it hurts a lot.

  She sticks my kneecap about a thousand times, each time sending burning medicine into my already hurting knee.

  Then I watch in horror as she shoves a needle threaded with blue thread into my skin.

  I bury my head in Dawson’s shoulder. I have one of his hands in a death grip and Jake is squeezing my other hand every time she pushes the needle in again.

  Eventually, the nurse says, “That should do it. Five stitches. ” She covers it with a big gauzy bandage and rattles off a bunch of instructions I don’t quite catch.

  I think the vodka is finally starting to kick in.

  Dawson carries me back to his dorm and lays me on his bed.

  Jake pats me on the arm. “You were a trooper, Monroe. And she gave you pain pills. Score. ”

  “Thanks for taking care of me,” I tell him as he walks through the bathroom door to his room.

  “Five stitches,” Dawson says. “That is pretty impressive. ”

  He kisses around my knee, up my thigh, and to my waiting mouth. He gives me a yummy kiss, then says, “You were brave. ”

  I roll my eyes at him.

  He laughs. “I should have asked for a shot to numb my hand. You were squeezing so hard I think you killed it. ” He holds his hand up, making it look limp and dead.

  “That’s cuz Jake was squeezing my other hand every time she did a stitch. ”

  “He was trying to distract you. ”

  He leans up on one arm and grins at me. “So, everyone seemed to like the way I asked you to Homecoming. ”

  “It was amazing, hilarious. Awesome. I loved it. I'm so excited to go with you. I really didn’t think you were going to ask me. I was so surprised. ”

  He scrunches up his nose. “You think I’d let anyone else take you wearing that dress? No fucking way. ”

  “You like my dress?”

  “I love your dress. Love your loft. Loved the whole weekend. ” He touches my face gently and his brown eyes look at me with such sweetness. These eyes look so different from the ones I saw that night at the Cave. There’s no more hurt in them.

  I push my lips hard against his.

  And kiss him.

  “Dawson, remember the night at the Cave? How you told me your goal was to take Whitney to Homecoming. ”

  “A lot’s changed since then. ”

  “I know, but we had a great weekend, and you helped me pick out my dress, but you never said anything about us going together. ”

  “That’s because on the long drive back to get you, we decided I should ask you in a big public way. We had it all planned out. I wanted you to be surprised. ”

  “When I was sitting there waiting for you, Whitney told me that you bonded in the limo. How you had gone to the last three Homecomings together, how you wouldn't want pictures with me, and how you'll be king and queen. That's part of why I wouldn't take the key. I didn't believe you yet. ”

  He smiles. “Does that mean you believe me now?”

  “I’m starting to. ”

  Tuesday, September 27th

  He can't be a god.


  I didn’t take a pain pill last night before I went to bed because I had that vodka, so I woke up at three this morning with a throbbing knee. I tried for a couple hours to go back to sleep and finally gave up.

  I hobbled into the bathroom, got some water, and took a pill around five. I got ready, thinking it would help me forget that it hurts. It didn't really work then. But now, as I walk into the Social Committee meeting, I’m feeling completely relaxed and pain-free.

  I sit down, pull my over-the-knee sock down, and inspect the gauze, making sure it's still in place.

  Aiden sits down next to me. “Five stitches, huh?”

  “Yeah,” I slur a little.

  “Why did you run out of my room and pretend you weren’t hurt, when you obviously were?”

  “I felt sick. I didn’t really know about the cut until I saw it was bleeding. ”

  Peyton and Brad start the meeting, so Aiden stops talking.

  I listen to Peyton go through all the details for the Homecoming after-party. It’s interesting and I can’t wait, but I’m really struggling to keep my heavy eyelids open.

  Maybe I can close them for just a second.

  I'm lying in Aiden's bed looking up at his ceiling. He touches my pinkie and tells me about the sexual dream he promised to tell me. I'm turned on by his dream and he knows it, so he rolls over, pulls me hard up against his chest, and says, "Since it's a dream, we can act it out and, technically, it's not cheating. "

  Then he kisses me. A mouth open, full-on tongue, hot, hard kiss. The kind of k
iss I didn't know he was capable of. I feel like fire and energy are rolling through my body. When he bites my bottom lip and tugs on it gently, that fire pulses directly between my legs. He rolls on top of me, but is holding himself above me. Like he's doing a push up. I run my hand across his arm, across the muscles that are all pumped from holding up his weight.

  He slowly lowers his lips to my neck without letting any part of his upper body touch mine. I feel the fire on my neck, but all I can think about is what is touching. His hips have mine pinned to the bed. His legs are between mine.

  He runs his tongue slowly from my neck, down my chest, and straight down to . . .

  "Boots," he whispers with grin. "I think you dozed off. "

  "Oh, I'm sorry," I say breathlessly, as I try to push the feel of Aiden's tongue and hips out of my mind.

  I listen as Brad goes over more details.

  Aiden leans toward me. “Will you save me a dance at the after-party?"

  “I don't know," I tease. "Can you dance?”

  He puts his head down. Like he can’t.

  And I feel bad. Embarrassed for him. “Oh my gosh. Is that why you only wanted to dance to slow songs? Is that all you know how to do?”

  He can’t be a god. I’m certain of it now.

  Happy Homecoming to him and whoever he asked to go with him.

  Although, I’m a bit surprised I haven’t heard about it. Or seen the stars glowing from the ceiling on someone’s Facebook page.

  “I’ll get my French homework done before tutoring. You can teach me to dance instead. ”

  “I don’t really feel like dancing, Aiden. The knee and all. "

  “I’ve gone above and beyond the call of duty in Social Committee. It’s not something I really had the time to do, but I did it for you. So you owe me. ”

  I stop for a latte on the way to history and as I'm walking up the stairs, I decide that I'm very concerned that my subconscious believes that acting out a dream in real life is not cheating.

  But then I think about it. If you were pretending to be dreaming or were possibly in a heightened state of consciousness, would it be cheating? Like, technically?

  That sounds like a question for Brooklyn. If I were ever to speak to him again.

  Surely, if this were the case, someone would have figured out that loophole before me. So, probably not.

  Then I have an odd sense of déjà vu. I think I said those exact words to Aiden in the dream, and he said, No, you think outside the box. You color outside the lines. For you, it's not cheating.

  I wonder if Aphrodite was good in bed.

  I mean, we know she was clearly capable of seduction but, technically, once they were seduced, was she?

  I have the sudden need to find out.

  Passion, nakedness, and sex.


  Riley and I are working on another stupid history project.

  Our project is: How did transportation affect the Industrial Revolution?

  Uh, hello. Who thinks up this stuff?

  The answer is pretty simple: The use of widespread transportation allowed the Industrial Revolution.

  Project done.

  But, no.

  We have to waste our time cutting out little pictures of trains, highways, cars, and boats to glue on a poster. I'm supposed to be looking on my phone for some statistics.

  But instead, I just googled: Was Aphrodite a good lover?

  Just as I hit the enter key, Riley grabs my phone looking for statistics. He sees my search and says, “What the hell?”

  I bury my face in my palm. “Shut up. ”

  “Didn't you just have an amazing weekend with my brother?"

  “Yeah, so?”

  “You’re still obsessing over the god. ”

  “No, I’m not. I’ve just developed a scholarly interest in Greek mythology. ”

  “Bullshit. ”

  I roll my eyes and pretend to put my phone away but, later, when he goes to refill his water bottle, I peek at it.

  Aphrodite represents the power of love. The kind of love from which you cannot escape.

  No wonder she had so many guys captivated.

  She rules all aspects of love, desire, beauty, and sex.

  And, oh my.

  She is considered the mistress of pleasure. She symbolizes passion, nakedness, and sex.

  Oh, wait. There’s more.

  Once Aphrodite enters into a relationship, her powers go beyond love and sex to include deep friendship and the connection of souls.

  Oh. My. Gosh! That's why I thought he spoke to my soul. It is just a stupid godly love trick. He can do it to anyone he smiles at!

  And now, thanks to my research, I know.

  I'm not crazy.

  Riley says, "I think I know how I want to ask Ariela to Homecoming. "

  I light up. I'm so excited for him. "How?!"

  "Well, I want to do something at the football game Friday night. While I'm in my uniform and she's in her cute little cheerleading skirt. What should I do?"

  "I thought you said you knew?"

  "I know where. I just need to figure out how. Something all her friends will see. And I was thinking it'd be cool if whatever I do had, like, something she could keep. A memento. ”

  "So cupcakes and balloons are out. "

  "Yeah. "

  "You could write it on her megaphone. "

  "Would she see it?"

  "Probably not. Plus, she'd probably get in trouble. Um, what else is out there?" I think for another minute. "Oh, I know! You could change the sign the guys run through. I could even help with that. "

  He shakes his head. "She'd keep ripped paper?"

  "This is hard. "

  "I know. I want it to make her melt. For her to think it's super sweet. "

  I raise my eyebrows at him in surprise. “Who the hell are you and what have you done with my friend?”
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