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The Impossible Vastness Of Us


“And let’s not forget the fact that you’re a Fairweather, Elle.” Bryce rubbed Eloise’s shoulder reassuringly. “Katherine’s only a Kelter. Rochesters don’t date nobodies like that.”

I just barely contained my snort at the outrageous comment. These people were crazy choosing who was cool enough to date based on their family’s last name. Not only had I moved across the country, I’d moved into a freaking Jane Austen novel.

Eloise didn’t seem to hear her friends. “As I was saying, she’s a senior and she’s pretty, but Finn and I are solid. No one is breaking us up.” It was the first time I’d heard any kind of passion from her. And it was about Finn. Clearly he was more important to her than I’d thought.

Her tone made Charlotte quickly change the subject to the calculus homework she was struggling with. Eloise offered to tutor her as we reached my locker, and as I sorted books into it and got out my Microeconomics stuff, I realized I hadn’t once been invited into the conversation and my response wasn’t really expected.

I sighed inwardly.

I could cope with that.

For now.

The bell rang and the four of us walked to our Microeconomics class. I started toward my seat on the other side of the room when Charlotte’s voice stopped me.

“Where are you going?”

“My seat.” I gestured to it.

Bryce sighed. “I don’t think so.” She rolled her eyes and motioned me to the seat next to Charlotte’s. If I remembered correctly it also happened to be the seat in front of Finn. “Sit.”

“Isn’t that someone else’s seat?”

“It was. Now it’s yours,” Bryce insisted. “Sit.”

I looked at Eloise, who was settling in. She nodded. “Sit.”

Okay, then.

I’d just put my ass in the seat when Finn wandered in with Gabe and Joshua. My eyes clashed with Finn’s first and this time he held my stare. The fact that he did made me breathless for some weird, stupid reason. My cheeks felt hot as he approached, but he broke the moment by looking away. Without acknowledging me he passed us, squeezing his girlfriend’s shoulder. “Hey,” he said to her as he took the seat beside her.

Eloise gave him a small smile. “Hey. You okay?”

“Yeah.”

“You’re here.” Gabe sat on my desk, taking my focus off the couple. He was grinning down at me. “I knew this day would come.”

I smirked at him. “Apparently my charm is too great to resist.”

Bryce snorted derisively as Gabe laughed.

“Yo, India,” Joshua said behind him as he took the seat next to Bryce.

I nodded a hello and looked back at Gabe. “Are you planning on staying there?”

“Well, we could remove the desk between us.” He waggled his eyebrows at me suggestively.

It was my turn to snort. “Unless you’re Channing Tatum I really don’t want a lap dance.”

Charlotte giggled.

“Pfft,” Gabe huffed. “Magic Mike ain’t got nothin’ on me.”

“What kind of accent was that?” Joshua turned around to tease his friend.

“Street,” Gabe said as if it was obvious.

“What street?”

“Shut up. Dude, you’re salting my game.”

I burst out laughing. “Okay, get off my desk.”

“Yes, Gabe, get off her desk,” our Microeconomics teacher, Mr. Adams, said as he strolled into the classroom.

Gabe pouted comically and then just as swiftly he grinned, winked at me and jumped up to take the seat beside Finn.

Now that Gabe wasn’t in my face I took a quick look around our classroom and, sure enough, most everyone was staring at me.

I shrugged it off and faced forward, but inside I had happy little butterflies.

They all thought I was “in.” I could have kissed Gabe.

Relaxing, I was readying myself to put thoughts of my popularity on hold and concentrate on class when I felt this tingling on the back of my neck.


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