"Hey, Bitch!" Ali exclaims as she burst through my door without knocking.

"Bitch? Really?" I turn away from the pile of laundry on my bed to give her a sarcastically, skeptical glance. 

"Yeah. Okay, I was giving it a shot. Didn't like the way it rolled off the tongue. Probably won't use it again." She shrugs.

I shake my head and chuckle at her candor as I go back to folding my clothes.

"Anyway, I came by looking for you this morning, and you weren't here. Did you end up spending the night with a certain freakishly tall hockey player?" She wiggles her brows, suggestively.

"Nope. I was at the gym."

She eyes the sweat-soaked clothes on my body. "You're kidding me. How the hell did you workout this morning? I have the worst hangover." She dramatically sighs as she plops down in the seat at my desk.

"Yeah. Well, I sobered up pretty quickly last night." I tell her.

"What the hell happened between you and Maddison? Last I saw, he was running out of the house, and I assumed he was coming to find you."

"Yeah, he did." I shrug. "But I don't really want to talk about it," I tell her as I continue to fold my clothes, being sure to avoid eye contact with her.

"You know me well enough to know that I'm not going to stay out of it, so you may as well just fill me in now." She tells me with determination in her voice as she leans back in my chair and folds her arms across her chest.

I stop distracting myself with laundry and turn to her as I say, "He's a jerk. I don't know what else to say. One minute we were kissing and the next...".

"Excuse me, what?!" She interrupts. "Back up. When the hell did that happen?" She sits up, looking at me with her eyes wide, shocked by the bombshell I just dropped. .

"When he and I were outside, right before I left," I explain.

"Oh. My. God! And how was it? I feel like he probably knows what he's doing.".

"Oh, trust me, he does." I quickly nod in agreement. "It was amazing. The hottest kiss I've ever had." I feel my cheeks begin to heat as I recall the moment Eli pinned me against the side of the house with his perfect body.

"So, what was the problem then?" She asks me, confused.

I sigh. "I just got in my head, I guess. He's looking for a hookup, and as you know, I'm not. Not to mention, he's Marc's brother. So, I stopped it before it went too far, but I think he got offended. I was having a hard time explaining myself, but he was such an asshole about it. Then as you saw, he took that Alyssa girl upstairs and probably had sex with her." I turn back towards my bed to continue working on my laundry, not wanting Ali to notice the disappointment that's surely evident on my face. 

"They didn't have sex." She says matter of factly.

"Okay, well, whatever they did together upstairs." I shrug.

"No, Logan. He didn't do anything with her. He came back downstairs almost as soon as you left." She shakes her head. .

I can tell by the expression on Ali's face that she's being honest and sincere, as she tries to assure me of her words. Maybe Eli was telling me the truth? I didn't believe him when he told me that nothing happened between him and Alyssa last night. After dealing with Zac, my first instinct was to assume that Eli was lying. Regardless, it doesn't matter.

"Well, either way, I don't care. I'm done thinking about that boy. Or any boys for that matter. I need to focus on myself." I try to state confidently, but I know I'm unconvincing.

 

"Mmm-hmm," Ali hums as she gives me a knowing look.

"What?"

"Nothing." She says in a sing-song tone.

It's obviously something.

"But I do think you care, more than you want to admit," she quickly adds.

I knew it wasn't nothing.

I stay silent. I don't know what to say to Ali right now. I had written Eli off in my mind, and I figured Ali would be onboard with my decision, but she doesn't seem to be. 

"Look," she continues. "I'm not okay with Maddison treating you the way he did last night. That whole 'taking Alyssa upstairs' thing was a dick move. But I do know he likes you... a lot. I don't think he's used to having feelings for someone, and he obviously doesn't know how to handle said feelings, so maybe you should cut him some slack on this one?"

Likes me a lot? Are we talking about the same playboy hockey star? Eli doesn't do feelings. He does hookups, which is precisely the reason I stopped ours last night.

"Whose side are you on?" I ask her, surprised by her suggestion.

"Yours! Obviously. But, you and I are the same, in that if someone did that to me, I would never forgive them, solely because I'm too stubborn. I'm just saying if you want to forgive him for being a dumb ass, maybe you should let yourself forgive him. After he apologizes and explains himself, of course."

I was sure that Ali would be cursing Eli's name after I told her what happened. I assumed she would pick up her metaphorical feminist torch and burn down these dorms if I suggested forgiving him. Instead, she's encouraging me to give him another chance.

I want to. I really want to, but I know it's not a good idea. The only relationship I've ever been in, I was cheated on. Why set myself up for another obvious heartbreak? Eli has girls falling at his feet for a chance with him, and what? He's going to give that up to be with someone as inexperienced as I am? I don't think so. He doesn't know how to be committed, and I don't know how to be casual. He's going to leave as soon as he gets what he wants. I know Ali is trying to be a good friend, but I don't think she realizes that me admitting that I want to give Eli another chance is just setting me up for failure. .

"Anyways..." I begin to change the subject before being interrupted by a knock at my door.

"Hey," Marc says as he pops his head in my doorway.

"Hey. Come in." I tell him as I nod towards my room, hoping he didn't overhear any of mine and Ali's conversation.

"Marcus," Ali flatly greets him without looking in his direction.

"Ali," Marc responds in the same uninterested manner.