The Dare

Page 17

My head jerks up. “Sorry,” I blurt, setting my phone on the tabletop. I give Fiona and then Charlotte apologetic looks. “Someone texted and I was just texting back to say I’m in the middle of a meeting.”

“Someone?” Sasha cracks, laughing. “And does that someone’s name start with a C and end with an Onor?”

I turn to glare at her.

But the remark has already snagged the interest of our president. “Conor?” she echoes. “As in Conor Edwards?”

I manage a weak nod.

“My girl Taylor’s landed herself a hockey god,” my best friend brags on my behalf, and I’m torn between smacking her for making me the center of attention and thanking her for hyping me up. Sasha Lennox is the best hype-woman there is. She’s also well aware that the whole MyBri relationship status stuff was baloney, so now I’m praying she doesn’t slip up and somehow reveal the truth.

“No shit,” Charlotte says, looking impressed. “Good going, Marsh.”

“They fucked in my room,” Rachel boasts, as if that means she’s one step away from being Conor Edwards’ girlfriend herself.

“Oh, big fucking deal,” Abigail speaks up, her pale green eyes cool as ice. “Who hasn’t fucked that guy? I mean, seriously. Show of hands—who here has slept with Conor Edwards?”

After several seconds of hesitation, three hands are raised. A sheepish Willow and Taryn on the other side of the table, and a blushing Laura who’s standing against the wall.

Well. Dude gets around.

I swallow the tiny lump of jealousy that rises in my throat and remind myself that I already knew he was a player. Besides, he’s a grown-ass man. He’s allowed to sleep with whomever he wants, my sorority sisters included.

Sensing my discomfort, Sasha turns toward Abigail, pinning the platinum blonde with an equally icy stare. “What are you saying, Abs? You implying that Taylor is, what, of lesser value because her man has a past? Like that means anything. In fact—show of hands,” Sasha mimics, “who here has slept with one of Abigail’s douchey ex-boyfriends?”

To my great amusement, twice the amount of hands shoot up. That’s right—six Kappas, and none of them look the slightest bit sheepish this time around. I suspect they’re receiving some sort of perverse pleasure in admitting it because Abigail is such a bitch.

Abigail’s trusted lackey Jules sports a deep scowl. “Anyone here ever heard of the girl code?”

Sasha snickers. “You tell me, Julianne. Weren’t you the one who just stole Duke Jarrett away from some Theta Beta Nu chick?”

That shuts up Jules.

Charlotte clears her throat. “Alright, we’ve strayed off-topic. Fiona, you were telling us about the candidate speeches?”

Just as Fiona opens her mouth to answer, my phone buzzes again, eliciting an excited shriek from Rachel, who’s draping practically her entire body across the dining table to see the screen.

“He’s FaceTiming you!”

My heart does a nervous flip. “I’m so sorry,” I tell Charlotte. “Let me just ignore the—”

“Ignore?” Charlotte echoes in disbelief. “For fuck’s sake, Marsh, answer it.”

Oh my God. This is my worst nightmare. What on earth compelled my stupid fake boyfriend to FaceTime me when I just told him I was in a chapter meeting? Why would he do this to—

“Answer it!” Lisa Donaldson shrieks.

I’m pretty sure this is the only time Lisa Donaldson has ever even spoken to me.

Heart racing, I tap the accept button. A second later the call connects and Conor’s gorgeous face fills the screen.

“Babe, hey.”

His deep voice fills the Kappa Chi dining room, and I notice several of my sisters honest-to-God shiver.

“Sorry, I know you said you were in a meeting, but I just wanted to tell you—” He stops mid-sentence, his gray eyes narrowing with appreciation. “Mmmm, damn, T, you look good enough to eat.”

I’m not sure it’s humanly possible to blush harder than I currently am. I shove a hunk of hair behind my ear and grumble at the screen. “Seriously? That’s what you interrupted my meeting to say?”

“Nah, that wasn’t it.”

He offers a little boy grin and anyone with a clear view of my phone sighs and swoons like Victorian maidens.

“Then what was it?”

Conor winks. “Just wanted to tell you I miss you.”

“Oh my God,” breathes Rachel.

Damn. Someone’s laying it on thick. Before I can answer him, the phone is grabbed from his hand and a new face greets me.

“Taylor!” Matt Anderson exclaims happily. “Yo, when you coming over next? Foster found us a new movie to watch.”

“It’s got black holes and giant squids!” comes Foster’s faint shout.

“Soon, Matty,” I promise, then pray he doesn’t call me out for referring to him as Matty. But hell, if Conor’s allowed to lay it on thick, then so am I. “Anyway, I’m hanging up now. I’m busy.”

I disconnect the call, set down the phone, and find an entire room of wide-eyed girls staring at me with naked envy. Even Sasha seems impressed, and she’s in on the charade.

“I am so sorry,” I say awkwardly. “I’ll make sure he never interrupts during a meeting again.”

“All good,” Charlotte assures me. “We all know those hockey players are hard to say no to. Trust me, we know.”

The rest of the meeting continues without a hiccup, although it’s difficult to ignore the death stares coming from Abigail and Jules’s direction. Then Charlotte dismisses us with the clap of her manicured hands, chairs are scraped back, and everyone disperses. I bump into someone during the stampede, stepping away quickly when I realize it’s Rebecca Locke.

“Oh, sorry,” I tell the petite girl. “Didn’t see you there.”

“It’s fine,” she replies in a tight voice, and then darts off without another word.

As I watch her hurry upstairs, I sigh and wonder if things will ever get any less awkward between me and Rebecca. I was forced to kiss her during pledge week, and needless to say it was a mortifying experience for the both of us. We’ve spoken only a handful of times since and never been alone in the same room together.

“Wanna get some lunch?” Sasha links her arm through mine as we head for the front door.

“Sure,” I reply.

“Taylor, wait,” someone calls before we can leave the house.

I glance over my shoulder. Lisa Donaldson and Olivia Ling are sashaying toward us. “What’s up?” I say politely.

“You live in Hastings, right?” Lisa runs a hand through her glossy mane of hair.

“Yeah, why?” I ask, and then stand there trying to hide my shock as two chicks who’ve never given me the time of day explain how they’re in Hastings once or twice a week for their salon appointments and would love to grab a bite with me if I’m free Tuesday night.

“And you too, Sasha,” Olivia offers in what sounds like a genuine invitation. “Usually Beth and Robin and the boyfriends meet us at the diner too. It’s nice to leave campus and get a change of scenery sometimes, you know?”

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