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One Little Kiss

One Little Kiss

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When your best friend shocks you with a kiss...

Noelle and Elijah's friendship was built on unspoken rules. If the school's beauty queen and its hot, party-loving player were going to stay friends past puberty, the rules had always been clear. No flirting. No sexual tension. And absolutely no kissing.

These rules keep them firmly in the friend zone—until one dare changes everything. Now suddenly Elijah's pissed when she shows up at his football game with another guy, and comes charging to her rescue when a date gets too handsy. Their friendship is changing, all right. It's going down in flirty flames. And just when Noelle thinks it can't get any worse...Elijah kisses her. Okay, fine, the kiss is amazing. Epic, actually. But, still...a kiss? What could be worse?

A date. Turns out, a bad date with your best friend is worse than a hot kiss. So. Much. Worse. All Noelle wants to do is turn back time. But it's not that simple. Because she can't forget what it felt like to be held in her best friend's arms. And the way her heart races when their eyes meet is anything but friendly. These two have broken all the rules, and now...there's no going back.

Intro into Chapter 1

As a rule I don't hide out in guys' bedrooms. 

Actually, I don't hide. Period. 

But this has been a day. And while the pounding bass coming from downstairs is a dead giveaway that the party is still raging, I can't bring myself to go back down there. 

Instead, I sink down further into the pile of pillows on Elijah’s bed. My friend’s got the sort of memory foam mattress and thick comforter that make me feel like I’m being swallowed alive, and I’m here for it.

I groan as my character dies on the screen, and click the button on the controller to start a new game. 

My friends are all caught up in their boyfriends downstairs, and I’m in no rush to head back home and face more lectures from my parents. So here I am. A useless pile of limbs in a way-too-comfy bed.

I am sloth, hear me roar.

Honestly, I have no idea how much time passes before Elijah finds me. Video games are awesome time-sucks like that. 

But at some point, Elijah opens the bedroom door and stops. I don’t glance over. I know it’s him. And out of the corner of my eye I see his long, lean silhouette resting against the doorframe as he crosses his arms. “Of all the hot girls to find in my bed…”

I glance away from the screen to give him a little smile of welcome. It is his room, after all. But he doesn’t see my smile because he’s eyeing me from head to toe. And that’s when I remember what I’m wearing. 

Or…not wearing.

“I know your parents have dress codes for their dinner parties, but I promise Friday nights at Casa de Elijah are a far more casual affair.”

I look down at my little black dress with a wince of feigned embarrassment. “Too much?”

He chuckles, pushes away from the doorframe and joins me on the bed, sprawling out beside me. His head’s close to mine on the stack of pillows and the weight of his body makes me roll slightly toward the middle before I adjust.

We’re silent for a while as he watches me play the game. Then he says, “You okay?”

That’s it. You okay?

Not a million questions and looks of concern. No hugs and well-intentioned pep talks. Just “You okay?”

I love my girl friends but they’d never be cool with my answering shrug. And this is why it’s Elijah’s room I escape to on days like today. Days when I’m in a “mood” as my dad calls it. Just like your mom. As if down days are exclusive to females.

“Fine,” I eventually sigh. Which I know Elijah will accept, even if he doesn’t believe it for a second.

But I love his silence so much right now, I feel my chest swell with gratitude even as I smack the controller in a rage when I miss the freakin’ target for the fifth time in a row.

“I’d be better if I could beat this stupid level,” I mutter.

He reaches for the controller. With a few quick moves he clears the level and hands the controller back to me.


“My pleasure.”

I love this guy. Have I mentioned that? I love all my friends, but there’s a comfort and understanding with Elijah that is so soothing right now, I know I made the right decision having my date drop me off here tonight rather than taking me back home.

I focus on the game again as Elijah scrolls on his phone beside me, like he doesn’t care that his first floor is currently swimming in friends and hot girls who are no doubt waiting for their favorite host to do what he does best. 

Elijah’s one of those natural born extroverts with the sort of innate charisma that even talk show hosts and A-list celebrities would envy.

Everyone likes Elijah. Especially girls. And the feeling is mutual.

He shifts on the bed beside me, and I don’t realize what he’s doing until his hoodie lands on me in a pile, partially covering my bare thighs and the tight bodice of my dress. “What’s this for?”

“You look cold.” 

I realize belatedly that I am cold. I sit up and slide the hoodie on. “Thanks.”

I’ve only just laid back down beside Elijah, who’s got his knees up now and is frowning as he tinkers with something on his phone. No doubt some new app he’s trying out. 

The boy acts like a fool, but he’s way smarter than he lets on.

The door opens again and a smiling blonde enters. That smile fades fast when she spots me. It’s clear, at a glance, that she’s perplexed. I can practically hear the questions in her mind.

Is she competition?

Should I be jealous?

The answer is a resounding no as any girl in our school could, and probably would, tell her the moment she rejoined the party.

Which is why I don’t bother. Let the gossips fill her in. I don’t have the energy to fake nice right now, so I turn my attention back to the screen.

“Eli, are you coming back down?” Her voice is high and just a little whiny in the doorway.

“Be there in a sec.” He gives her an absent smile, not even looking up from his phone.

I know that’s how he is when he’s engrossed in a technical problem, but I still feel a little sorry for the girl when she backs out with one last wary look. 

The door snaps shut behind her and I let my head inch to the side. It falls against his shoulder with a thud. 

After a while, he breaks the companionable silence. “What are you all dressed up for?” 

Ugh. I don’t even want to talk about it. “My parents set me up with one of the interns at my dad’s firm.”

“What?” I don’t have to see his face to know his expression. He’s giving me the ‘your parents are crazy’ look I know all too well. “Aren’t they supposed to wait until you’re in college, or…I don’t know, over eighteen?”

“I’ll be eighteen in six months.”

Not the point, and we both know it.

“He’s still in undergrad, just doing a part-time internship…or something.” I shrug. “He’s basically our age.”

“Must’ve been a great date,” he murmurs.

“So good.” I answer in the same flat, sarcastic tone. 

“Getting married?”


“Cool, cool.” 

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