A Perfect Ten

Page 33

“What? Really?” I leaned in to see his home screen with a football-themed background. My stomach pitched with excitement and then disappointment because she’d known him better than I had. “What numbers did you use?”

“What?” She zipped her face up quickly, her eyes wide with guilt.

I pulled back, frowning hard. What the hell was she trying to hide from me?

Before I could grill her, though, his phone rang in her hands. She yelped and almost dropped it. She had to fumble to keep it from slipping through her fingers, but once she had it securely back in her hands, her face drained of color. “Oh my God, it’s ringing. What do I do?”

“Silence it!” I hissed, glancing around in the hopes that no one important heard the distinctive ring tone of 2 Live Crew’s “We Want Some Pussy”. But the place was so loud and the karaoke was so bad, I didn’t think we’d have a problem with anyone hearing much of anything we were doing over here in our private corner.

Zoey continued to freak, though. “How do I shut it off? I don’t know where—” Her words cut off as her attention focused on the screen. And just like that, her entire face lit up. “Oh, it’s Quinn.”

She pushed Answer and lifted the receiver to her ear.

“No!” I yelped, reaching to snag it away.

Too late.

It was natural instinct for her to talk to her man. She was already saying, “Hi!” A split second later, her eyes grew wide and she flashed her gaze to me. “Oh crap,” she mouthed as she realized she’d just answered Oren’s phone.

I could hear Quinn’s voice on the other end of the line, no doubt asking her what she was doing, answering his phone.

Panic filled her face. “Um...because I just helped Caroline steal it,” she said, only to wince and press her fisted hand against her head. “Sorry,” she whispered to me. Then she kept on confessing everything. “Because she’s Midnight Visitor...and I’m helping her set up one of those Google Voice phone numbers in his contacts list and—”

“Zoey!” I ripped the phone from her hand before she could tell him everything...even though she just had.

“I’m sorry,” she wailed again, clearly distraught. “But I can’t lie to him. I just...I can’t. I swear his voice is like truth serum to me.”

I growled at her and pressed the phone to my ear, my mind racing over how I could cover damage control. “Quinn?” I said hesitantly before I bit my lip.

“Caroline.” He was usually nice and polite to me, but the hard tone in his voice as he said my name let me know he wasn’t feeling very nice...or polite. Then he exploded. “What the hell did you just pull my girlfriend into?”

“I’m sorry,” I instantly gushed. I really was sorry for putting her in such an awful position. “But she was the only person I knew I could count on. You know, you should be honored to have such a reliable, supportive woman.”

“Yeah, well, I’m a bit too ticked at the moment because you just sucked her into some devious little nest of lies. Zoey hates to lie.”

“I know. I know.” I winced, feeling even more guilt from everything I was doing.

If I was smart, I’d call this off now and go home, pretend last night never happened. But when it came to Oren, I was never smart. I was way too emotional for that shit.

“I feel like crap for sucking her into this, but...it’s too late now. Please just tell me you’re not going to tell Oren...or Noel.”

“Are you seriously asking me to lie to my two closest friends on earth?”

Oh, boy. I was screwed. But I said, “Yes, I guess I am. I’m sorry. But please.” Please, please, please.

Of course he’d tell them, though. Why wouldn’t he tell them? His loyalties would always lie with both Oren and Noel before they’d ever lie with me.

It felt as if my life had just ended. Things started sinking into the pit of my stomach. Evil, awful things that didn’t belong anywhere near a stomach.

Panic, dread, hyperventilation.

Noel was going to find out what I’d done.

Oh shit. Oren was going to find out. What would he do when he learned last night had been me? Would he ever talk to me again? Would he be...disgusted?

“Dang it, Caroline,” Quinn muttered in my ear. “As much as I think they both deserve to know what you did, you just had to go and pull Zoey in on it, didn’t you? I can’t let her catch any heat from this.”

I blinked, shocked speechless. But, oh my God. I’d completely forgotten there was one more person with whom he’d always side, with whom his loyalties were even stronger than the ones he had for his two closest friends on earth.

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