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Don't Go (For You 3) Alexa Riley 2022/8/3 13:49:53

Walking past the rows, I make my way through the maze until I spot a table with four chairs in the back, with someone sitting at it. It’s hard to tell if it’s Kory because they’ve got their hood over their head.

I walk over and slide my book bag onto one of the chairs and pull out the one beside it. “This taken?” I ask, and watch as she looks up at me.

There’s complete confusion on her face as she watches me. She even looks past me and then at my seat before pushing her hood back. Her dark green eyes meet mine, and the ache in my chest is back.

“Are you serious?” she asks, with a laugh in her voice.

“Yeah,” I say, suddenly feeling stupid.

“There are about seven hundred desks in this library. About eighty on this floor alone. And you want to come all the way to the back corner and sit at the one table that’s occupied?” She raises an eyebrow and leans back in her chair. For a split second, she reminds me of Pandora, but there’s a vulnerability in her eyes. “No thanks, my table is full.”

“You don’t even know me,” I say, feeling like she’s brushing me off just for the sake of turning me down.

“Oh, but I do. You’re Henry Osbourne, heir to the Osbourne fortune. You’re captain of the soccer team, debate team and mathletes. You’ve got a 4.0 and a full ride to Yale waiting on you when you’re ready. I know all I need to know about you, and I know that chair you want to sit in is taken. So either you move along or I will.”

“That will make this much easier,” I say, sitting down. “Now all you have to do is go with me to prom.” Kory’s mouth pops open, and all I can think about is how much I want to kiss her.

“You don’t even know me,” she says, repeating my words.

“You’re Kory Summers, scholarship student. You don’t like gym.” I look around at the stack of books. “You must like reading.” I pause, trying to think of something else, and just go for honesty. “And I think you’re beautiful.”

A blush hits her cheeks, but I can see she doesn’t know what to do with the compliment. So instead of letting her sit there embarrassed, I move on.

“I don’t know much about you, but I thought maybe you’d go out with me and I could find out.” I shrug, feeling a little embarrassed, but a small smile pulls at her lips.

“And you thought our first date should be to the prom?” She shakes her head. “You realize it’s this Saturday, right?”

“I thought waiting until the last possible second would give you less chance to back out.”

She laughs at my lame joke and leans forward. “Or maybe give me less time to find a dress,” she mumbles.

“So that’s a yes?” I feel hope stir in my chest where the ache was. Can this be happening?

“From the rumors I’ve heard, you’re a nice guy. I don’t have any plans on Saturday.” She tucks her hair behind her ear and pulls out her phone. “Give me your number and I’ll text you mine.

“I can’t believe I’m doing this,” she murmurs to herself after she keys in my information.

“What, agreeing to go out with me?” I ask, pretending to be affronted.

She grabs her bag, stands up and walks around the table. She looks down at me, and her green eyes are filled with something I can’t put my finger on. She opens her mouth to say something, but then she changes her mind. Just when I’m about to ask her, she says with heavy words, “Don’t break my heart.”

“Mom, I’m fine, really.”

I’m thankful the lie comes out easily. I’m not used to lying, especially to my mom. I normally tell her everything, but I don’t want her to worry about me. I want her to have a good time on her vacation.

“It was just so fast. I thought you liked your job in Boston.”

“I did. I mean, it was okay.”

I’d taken the job at Bare Benefit right after I graduated from Harvard with a master’s in chemistry. Heck, they had me lined up for the job before I even graduated.

I took it because the pay was good and I’d grown to love Boston over the years. Plus, I got a little obsessed with makeup in college. New York still held bad memories for me, and I’d barely been back since high school. I’d only come for big holidays and I’d spend my time holed up in my mom’s house until I could leave again. I’d actually left high school before the school year ended. I tested out early, which was easy for me.

With such high scores in math, I had my pick of schools, and Harvard was still somewhat close to home. Even if I didn’t want to go home, I liked knowing my mom was close and I could go back any moment if I wanted to.