Eden: Josh Evans and I have been best friends forever. He knows all my secrets, and I know all of his. So when he randomly asks me to help him lose his virginity, I sort of flip out. That’s a question that sends your mind to places you’ve seriously never considered before. Like, you know. Having sex. With your best friend. Except Josh doesn’t want to have sex with me—he wants me to help him find a girl. A nice girl who’s funny and smart and cute. Except he already knows a girl just like that...
Josh: Eden Sumner is my best friend. So of course she’d be the person to help me find my perfect match, so I can drop my V card before I head off to college. Except the more we search, the more I realize that maybe the right girl has been by my side all along. I don’t need Eden’s help in finding me a girl to love. I’m pretty sure I’m already in love with Eden. But now she thinks I’m only after one thing...with anyone but her.
Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book is what happens when American Pie meets Friends with Benefits. It contains two best friends, plenty of angst, and lots and lots of sex talk. Reading this might have you looking at your best friend in a different light!
|Publisher:||Entangled Publishing, LLC|
|File size:||2 MB|
|Age Range:||12 Years|
About the Author
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"Can I ask you something?"
I glance up from my notebook I'm doodling on to see that one of my best friends, my only real male friend, a guy I've known for what feels like forever, Josh Evans is studying me with this intense look on his face. As in, he's being serious.
And one thing Josh rarely is, is serious.
"Sure." It's the Friday afternoon before Thanksgiving break, and we're in study hall, which is a total waste of time. There's nothing to study for. There are no tests, no homework assignments, no nothing. So we're all just talking and hanging out. Messing around on our phones. Making plans for the weekend and for the next week, when we're off from school.
I'm stuck at home with my boring family, since we don't go on glamorous vacations or even regular visiting-grandma-type road trips. We're hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year. Everyone's coming to our house, which means Mom will put me to work, and if I'm not at home, then I'll actually be at work. And that ...
But there are only a few more months until I'm free. I'll go away to college. Be a new person, do new things, learn new things, meet new people.
Like new boys. Excuse me, I mean men.
I can't freaking wait.
"This is serious," he says.
No duh, I want to tell Josh. He leans forward, that intense expression still on his face. He's not smiling. He's not laughing. It's weird. "You can't tell anyone else what I'm about to ask you."
"Not even Molly."
Crap. Molly is my other best friend. The one who knows all my secrets — and Josh's, too, even if he doesn't know it.
All. Of. Them.
I roll my eyes. Sigh heavily. Make a dorky face and cross my eyes in the hopes he'll laugh.
Josh doesn't even crack a smile. I swear, I think he might even be — sweating?
"Fine," I say on a sigh, acting put out. "I won't tell Molly."
"Pinky swear?" He holds his hand out toward me, his pinky finger extended.
I hook my pinky around his and tug, just like he does. "Pinky swear."
"Okay." He blows out a harsh breath. Scoots his desk closer to mine. Mr. Ward, the P.E. teacher who supervises our study hall period, doesn't even lift his head from the book he's reading. And usually he yells at everyone for one lame reason or another. "This isn't easy to say."
Oh boy. Have I mentioned how ... dramatic Josh can be sometimes? And sensitive? Not that he's weak or anything like that. He's very athletic, as in he plays every sport out there. He's smart. He's driven to the point of being annoying.
"Go ahead, Josh. Say it." I scoot my desk closer to his, too, because I think he might be nervous. And he probably doesn't want anyone else to hear what he's about to confess, so it must be major.
"Okay. Here goes," he mutters under his breath before he turns to look at me. "I really need your help, Edes."
Oh. He needs my help? I can do that. "Of course. You know I'll always help you," I say in pure, solemn friend mode. "Whatever you need."
"Cool. Cool." He runs a hand through his golden-brown hair, messing it up. He does the cute boy with messy hair look well. "Ineedyoutohelpmelosemyvirginity."
My mouth drops open, but no sound comes out. Um ...
"What did you just say?"
"You heard me." He doesn't even blink. I'm starting to think he doesn't look serious after all — more like he's terrified.
"No. I don't think I heard you correctly." There is absolutely no way he said what I thought. "Repeat yourself."
"You heard right," he says firmly. "That's exactly what I need your help with."
"But ..." My voice drifts, and I think of all the girls. All the many, many girls he's dated since middle school. Though I know he wasn't trying to sex up any girls until hmm ... ninth grade? Tenth?
"So Leila Montes?" His first serious girlfriend — and when I say serious, I mean the first girl I caught him groping at a party. At my eighth grade graduation pool party, as a matter of fact.
He shakes his head, makes a face. "She was a terrible kisser."
That's right. She was. He told me. Too much tongue, I think the problem was.
"Tati Rodriguez?" She's beautiful. She graduated last year. They went out when we were juniors and she was a senior. Josh strutted around school like he was the king of all studs, bragging about his older girlfriend who taught him so many things.
Ugh. I didn't want to hear about those many, many things she supposedly taught Josh, but he told me anyway.
"She blew me off." His cheeks actually turn ruddy, and I realize there's more to that story, but I'll ask those questions another time.
I'm saving the big one for last. The one girl he keeps going back to over and over.
"What about Kaylie?" My other best friend — fine, yes, I have a lot of best friends — who has gone out officially with Josh off and on since we were in the sixth grade.
The sixth grade.
It makes sense that they'd finally do it together, just to do it, you know? So they're each other's firsts.
He slowly shakes his head. "Never with Kaylie."
"Not even close?" I'm shocked.
Josh shrugs. "Sort of close. We got as far as her letting me —"
I hold my hand up. "Please. I don't want to know any details."
He shrugs, his cheeks still pink. "You're the one who asked."
"Well, I take back my question." God, now my cheeks are going hot. This is an embarrassing conversation, and I can't believe he's asking me this in the middle of study hall. Like we're supposed to casually discuss our sexual status with each other while surrounded by friends. No thanks. "So. Do you want to talk about your — plan later?" Honestly? I so do not want to talk about this plan later.
More like never.
"Maybe. I just need to know first. Are you in? Will you help me?"
"Um." This sounds like a very bad idea.
"Come on, Edes." The nickname is from eighth grade. When we got super close and he became one of my best friends despite everyone telling us it was a bad idea. Girls and guys can't be friends, they said. It won't work. It never works.
Josh and I proved them wrong. We're friends, and that's it. I have zero interest in him. Thinking of kissing him ...
A shiver moves through me.
Ew. It's too weird to comprehend.
"Just say yes."
No way can I agree to this. That he'd even suggest something so outrageous fills me with wariness. The fact that he wants me to readily agree, too, is also wary-making. Josh is crazy. He's always been a little crazy, but that's what I like about him. He pushes my limits. He makes things fun.
Life's a lot more interesting with Josh Evans in it.
"Wait a minute." I sigh and shake my head. "You need to tell me exactly how you want me to help. Then I'll make my decision."
I knew she'd ask me that. Eden has to know the how's and why's of everything. It's why she's so frustrating sometimes.
There are lots of other ways she's frustrating, too, but that's definitely one of them.
"I want you to help me ..." I swallow, still having to force the words out. Doesn't matter how much I practiced saying these exact words to her, it's still difficult. "... lose it."
"Lose your ..." Her voice drops to the barest whisper, and I lean in so I can hear her better. I catch her scent, something light and flowery and familiar. "... virginity?"
Nodding, I remain quiet.
"Are you saying what I think you're saying?" she squeaks.
"Well, yeah." I know, I know. She's shocked. So am I, if you want me to be honest. I thought I would've gotten rid of this a long time ago, but yeah, I'm a seventeen-year-old virgin. Not without trying though, you know what I mean? Every one of those girls she just mentioned, I thought something would happen with them. That we'd finally do the deed or whatever.
But I failed. Miserably.
My virgin status sucks. It sucks bad. None of my guy friends are virgins. No one on the varsity basketball team is a virgin — they've all done it, except me. I need to get rid of my V-card before the end of my senior year. I can't be a virgin college freshman. The humiliation is too much for me to even comprehend.
I'm going to be eighteen in January. I'd love to get rid of it by then, but I don't think I can work that fast.
Well, maybe with Eden's help ...
"So you want us to ..." She wags her index finger between us, like she's implying that I want to lose my virginity with her.
"No. No. It's not what you think, Edes." She's my best friend. How awkward would that be? Oh hey, Eden, let's do it once and then go back to being friends because I want to lose my virginity and I bet you do too because you're still a virgin, right?
I frown. Is she still a virgin? I don't know. She would've told me if something happened. We share everything. I mean, everything. I've told her things I would never tell anyone else. Stuff my guy friends wouldn't understand because ... they're guys. They're jerks. And they take nothing seriously.
Eden actually listens to me and offers good advice. Advice I can use. She listens to me, and she cares, and that ...
If we ever got involved — like boyfriend/girlfriend involved — it would ruin everything. I need Eden as my friend. I like having her in my life.
We take it in a different direction? Forget it. A relationship wouldn't work between us. Even if it could, it would eventually end, because it always ends. Then I'd lose her forever.
I can't risk it.
"So you don't want to lose it with me." She blows out a harsh breath. "Thank God."
The relief in her voice is obvious. I'm vaguely offended. "Have you done it yet?"
"Maybe." She's not quite looking me in the eyes.
I give her a look. She's so full of shit. "You can't answer maybe. It's a yes or no question."
"Maybe I'm going for mysterious." She tilts her nose into the air, swinging her long, dark brown hair over her shoulder.
"That's dumb. I know everything there is to know about you, Sumner." It's true. I know she dated Cole Browning both in the eighth grade and then again for most of our junior year, and only let him get as far as second base. Poor guy had the biggest case of blue balls known to man. I sometimes tease her about it.
Cole also happens to be one of my closest friends, so I give him shit about it, too.
I also like to call her by her last name every once in a while because she hates it. And sometimes it's my job to drive her crazy.
It's a super easy job.
Eden's irritated voice snaps me out of my thoughts.
"You don't know all my secrets, Josh."
"I know a lot of them."
"Not the most secret of the secrets," she replies, her eyebrows up, lips pursed, like she's challenging me.
Another one of her irritating traits. She's always challenging me. Makes me nuts. Can't she just be agreeable? I like agreeable. Agreeable is pleasant.
Until it gets boring.
I shove the niggling thought out of my mind.
"Don't forget. We made a pact," I remind her, because it suddenly hits me. We did make a pact. One I should hold her to.
She frowns, little wrinkles forming between her eyebrows. It's kind of cute. Listen, I'm not dead. I can admit Eden is really cute. Beautiful, even.
Yeah. Okay. She's beautiful. But she's just a friend. Doing anything with her would be like doing it with my sister.
And that's freaking weird.
"What pact?" Her nose wrinkles.
"You don't remember?" I try my best to sound extra offended, because yes, now I really am offended. "Come on, Edes."
"I have no idea what you're talking about."
"Freshman year, our first school dance. I was bummed out. You were bummed out. Kaylie had just dissed me. That one kid you were hot for laughed when you asked him to dance." I remember every detail of that crappy night, yet there is no recognition happening. I can tell from the blank look on Eden's face. I can't believe she doesn't remember.
Then realization dawns, and the frown disappears, replaced quickly by shock. And the slightest hint of panic. "You didn't take that pact seriously. Did you?"
"I did." Not really, not at the time. But hey, it seems like a good idea to bring it up now.
"We were joking!"
"We were frustrated." She's whining. Eden's not a whiner.
"Hell yeah, we were. That's why I took it so seriously." First dance our freshman year and already we were both disappointed in high school in general. Eden had big plans, and she'd convinced me our lives were gonna get so much better when we got into high school.
Didn't happen. Not immediately, at least.
"You just said a few minutes ago you didn't mean your, uh, request that way," she points out.
"I didn't. I still don't. It's just — a backup plan. And I knew if I brought the pact up, you'd freak out." Which is true. Eden loves a good freak-out. But I don't want to lose it with Eden.
I want her to help me find someone to lose it with.
"I would not." She sounds defensive. A little snotty. We've had these types of arguments before. This is usually when I kick in and really start giving her a hard time.
"You would, too." I lean in close, our heads practically touching, silently daring her to look away. And she doesn't. She stares at me, her lips parted, her brows scrunched together ...
"The foreplay act between you two is getting way old," shouts my best friend Abraham Chen. I don't even look at him, because if we make eye contact, he'll just get worse. "Just do her already and get it over with, Evans!"
Eden's cheeks go pink. My heart rate picks up.
Because fine. You want to know the truth? Well, guess what? I'm a guy. And I've thought about ... doing Eden. Who wouldn't, especially if you're me? I've spent a lot of time with this girl. Hanging out with her in class or at lunch, going over to her house on the weekends, texting her, Snapchatting her, whatever. We talk all the time. People think we're a couple. We do act like an old married couple. Even my mom says so.
It's not like that, though. My friendship with Eden means too much to me to screw it up by ... screwing her. We're just friends and that's it.
"Shut up, Abe." Eden glares at him before turning that glare on me. "We were idiots back then. We've changed. You can't hold me to a pact we agreed on three years ago."
My smile is smug. "Watch me."
"What are you saying? If I don't help you find someone you can have sex with for the first time, then you're going to force me to be the one who pops your cherry?" She starts laughing when I scowl.
"Yeah, exactly that. Though I wouldn't force you, Edes. I'm not a rapist." I'm only making this worse, so I need to shut the hell up. "Come on, I need your help. You in?"
"Yeah, right." Eden laughs and shakes her head. "I don't think so, Josh."
"Can I come over after school?"
I shut my locker door with extra force, savoring the loud clang it makes as it slams into home. I keep my back to Josh, because I'm still thinking about what he asked earlier. Like, it's all I can focus on.
Finally, I turn to face him. "Why do you want to come over?"
"So I can convince you to help me?" The hopeful look on his face is cute; I can admit that.
But it's going to take more than cute looks and puppy dog eyes from Josh to convince me that I need to help him find a girl to lose his virginity with.
"Like I have time to help you with your weird plan."
"Fine." He's frowning — those cute puppy dog eyes are long gone. "Maybe you could just help me with my list."
"List?" I play dumb, taking him in, trying to see something different, but I don't. He's just ... Josh. Tall, lanky with good shoulders, thick-haired, blue-eyed Josh. Wearing his usual outfit of dark gray Nike sweatshirt and black shorts, even though it's November and like, fifty degrees outside. "What list are you talking about?"
"I dunno." He shrugs those good shoulders, and my gaze goes to them. I've cried on those shoulders more than a few times. So have plenty of other girls, including the ones he's dumped. "I was hoping you could help me make a list."
I start walking fast, because school is done for the next nine days, and I don't want to waste a single second being here when I don't have to. "A list of what? Girls you want to do?"
He catches up with me, a scowl on his face. "Geez, Eden. Keep your voice down."
"Oh, sorry. Forgot you don't want everyone to know, considering you asked me in the middle of study hall." My sarcasm is heavy this afternoon, but seriously. He did ask me in the middle of study hall, surrounded by all sorts of people we know. Or people who like to eavesdrop.
"No one heard me."
"Abe could've." Abe is Josh's best male friend and so freaking obnoxious he makes me crazy. Plus, he has a big mouth. That also makes me crazy.
Fine. Abe makes me crazy in all the ways.
"He didn't. Like I can tell him anything anyway. He'd blab to everyone." At least Josh knows his friend's weak points.
I stop short just before we reach the double doors that lead to the senior parking lot. "You really want to make a list?"
I love making lists. Josh knows this. I love planning. Organizing. My favorite store is Paper Source. Or Office Depot. My favorite time of year is back to school, which is weird, I know, I know. But all the notebooks, fancy pens, highlighters, and folders make my organized heart sing.
Excerpted from "Saving It"
Copyright © 2017 Monica Murphy.
Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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