Someone people got it: she did it because she cared. It was an extreme thing to do, sure, but that was the bottom line. But still - the questions got me thinking. What was Megan thinking when they challenged Maddie? What was running through her head? What actually made her agree?
I wanted to know. Even though I knew she had her own agenda, I wanted to know why she did it, too. So I posed the question on my Facebook fan page: Would anyone be interested in reading the first chapter of The Love Game, but from Megan's point of view? - I had a resounding YES. So I wrote it. I'm plotting her book alongside finishing the first draft of Always Remember, so getting into her head was easy.
I have to say, this IS chapter one, simply rewritten. The dialogue is the same, but all inner monologue is completely unique to Megan. I hope you enjoy - and it answers some of your questions!
I shake my head as I look at another girl draping herself over Braden. Does no one have any morals these days?
I’m all for having fun in college. There’s nothing wrong with it – perhaps I’d have a little more of my own if he wasn’t so overprotective of me. Not that I mind him caring – but after a lifetime of friendship, you’d think he’d know I’m not a freakin’ china doll.
I run my fingers through my hair just as Bray catches my eye. I raise my eyebrows at him and shoot a disgusted look to the girl, all while trying to keep my eyes off his equally arrogant – but sinfully hotter – best friend, Aston.
Braden shrugs a shoulder, smirking a little, and I click my tongue. If I have to see him seduce a girl and then deal with the “Oh, but he said he’d call!” drama once more in my life, I will shove said girl’s cell phone up her ass. Just because I’ve known him my whole life, it doesn’t mean I have a hotline to his brain. And I wouldn’t want one – because Braden’s brain resides in the area immediately between his legs.
What he needs is someone to calm him down. Someone that will keep him guessing and give as good as she gets. Someone like Maddie.
I train my eyes on the girls as I cross the crowded frat house the kitchen. Shot glasses are lined up on the bar, and Kyle is standing on the opposite side to the girls. His eyes are focused on Maddie, and it’s plain to see he has the hots for her.
“Did I miss anything?” I shuffle in between Lila and Maddie, determined to take Kyle’s attention from her. If I’m gonna find a way to shove Maddie and Braden together, I don’t need Kyle getting in the way. “Ooh, so many shots? What's the occasion?”
“Maddie's getting drunk!” Kay announces, lifting up a glass.
“No way!” I look at Maddie, my lips curving upwards. “For real?”
“Apparently,” she replies in a dry tone.
“Aw shucks, Mads. It's fun!” I wiggle my whole body, and Kyle’s eyes finally leave her. Sure, they’re attached to my boobs now, but it’s better than the alternative.
“No more talkin'!” Lila picks up a glass. “One, two, three, bam?”
“Yah, duh!” Kay laughs and picks up the second glass. Maddie follows suit, albeit reluctantly. “Ready? Bam!”
“Holy sh-crap,” Maddie sputters.
“It's working,” Lila giggles. “Maddie doesn't swear, ever!”
“I didn't swear,” she argues. “Crap is not a swear word.”
“Fine, you almost swore.” Lila rolls her eyes. “I will have one naughty word out of those pretty pink lips before the night is up!”
“I'd like a few things out of those pretty pink lips,” Kyle comments, winking at me.
“Fuckin' pig!” Kay punches his arm over the bar.
“Jesus, Kay. Your fist made of fucking iron?” He rubs his arm.
“For you, Kyle honey, my fist can be whatever you want it to be.” She winks and stands up straight, grabbing Maddie’s hand. “Come on, baby girl, we're goin' to shake our booties!”
Maddie shoots from her seat, her arm reaching out towards me. She grabs the back of my shirt, and I squeal.
“Woah, okay, I'm comin'!” I turn, slipping my arm through Lila’s and pulling her with us.
We find a not-so-packed space in the middle of the room, right in the view of Braden. Here we go. This is what I need.
I grab Maddie’s hands and give them a tug, encouraging her to loosen up as I begin to move. I can feel eyes on me from across the room, and I know Aston is staring at me. That’s what I don’t need – to be mentally undressed by the guy I want to physically undress me. Dammit!
“Lighten up, baby girl!” Kay shouts, looking at Maddie. “Mr Carter himself is watchin' your sexy little body!”
“He can keep looking,” she replies. “Looking is as close as he's gonna get.” She turns her back to him, and a quick glance shows Braden’s eyes are now on her ass. What a surprise.
“Someone needs to take his ass down a peg or two,” Lila says, moving closer. “Lord knows he hit every branch on the way down the beautiful tree, but he's sure perched at the top of the ego one.”
“Right,” I agree. Well, it’s true. “But he's always been like that. That's just Braden.”
He might not have been the quarterback in high school, but he was as good as. Let’s just say we didn’t have the cheer team fawning after the football team in our school.
“You know what?” Kay says. We glance over at him and another blonde is wrapped around him. Good freaking Lord.
“What?” Maddie says, her lip curling in disgust.
“That boy needs to know what it's like to do what he does. What it's like to be humped and dumped.”
Ding, ding. We have a winner! Kay, you are a genius, my girl.
We all turn our eyes to Maddie, and I suppress the large grin wanting to break out onto my face. She shakes her head furiously, turning and pushing her way through the crowd. We all follow her – goddamn it, she has to do this!
I need my best friend to stop being such an asshat – because I care too much about him to see him make a stupid mistake. I care too much to see him get trapped by some fake-boobed bimbo wanting to bag herself a hot guy. He’s an asshole, but he doesn’t deserve that.
“Mads, it'll be fun!” Lila takes her hands once we reach the yard. “Come on!”
“Um.” I shrug a shoulder, faking reluctance “I guess it wouldn't hurt.”
“No.” Maddie shakes her head.
“You only have to hump him once,” Kay reasons. “Besides, he's not exactly bad to look at, is he? I could imagine smacking that ass.” I hold in my snort.
“Then you do it!”
“Oh, no.” I sigh. “She can't. Kay might be bi but everyone knows she prefers girls, so he won't go there. Lila has a boyfriend who happens to be his friend, and I grew up with him. He's like my brother or something. You're the only one that can do it.”
“I don't understand what we'll get out of this.” Maddie’s green eyes look at us all warily.
“Satisfaction of knowing the guy finally wanted what he couldn't have,” Kay shrugs. “Come on, Mads. It'll take two weeks, three, tops.”
“A month maybe,” I throw in there. “After that, he'll get bored and give in or he'll be in love with you. He's always watching you, Mads. Even in class when you think he isn't. And he refuses to talk about you to me, so I know he's attracted to you. Usually he gives me a play-by-play over his weekend conquests.” So I made that last bit up. C’mon, Cupid, give me a hand here?
“Plus Megs knows how his mind works,” Lila says. “So we have that advantage.”
“You're not going to take no for an answer, are you?” Maddie brushes her fingers right through her hair, her jaw slightly tight.
“Nope.” Kay shakes her head.
“Oh, hell. I have a feeling I'm gonna regret this.”
Oh hell yes.
“Maddie Stevens. Your mission, should you choose to accept it.” She grins and puts her hand out. Lila and I rest ours on top of hers. “Is to play the player at his own game. Do you accept?”
She looks like she’s gonna bolt. No, don’t do that.
I stare at her intently, like I can put my thoughts straight into her mind. Do it. Do it. Put your hand there. Don’t run. Do it.
She visibly takes in a deep breath, and looks upwards as if she can’t quite believe she’s agreeing to this. I hold my own breath, knowing that if anyone can get through to Braden, it’ll be our quiet, shy, yet honest Maddie. She’s probably just about the only person I’d trust to save him from his man-whorish ways.
Her hands moves slowly onto the pile, and air slowly leaves my lungs.
I relax, trying not to sigh with relief. One month – it’s all I have to push them together and try and get them to fall in love with each other.
Someone pass me Cupid’s bow and arrows, ‘cause shits about to get serious.