"What the fuck?" I hear myself say in shock as Ali climbs off of Marc's lap.
"Shit," Ali says under her breath as we catch her red-handed.
"Um... hey. Hey guys," Marc says as he adjusts himself before standing up next to a wide-eyed Ali.
"What the actual fuck?" I ask again.
"Logan, I've been meaning to tell you..." Ali begins.
"Meaning to tell me? This has happened before?" I ask with wide eyes as Eli's deep belly laugh radiates next to me.
"Did you know about this?" I ask, turning to my boyfriend.
"It was never confirmed, but I mean... I'm not blind, baby," he says in pure amusement. "You had to have known," he adds through his laughter.
"I had my suspicions," I tell him. "But, I figured you guys would've told me if something was going on," I say, turning back to my two closest friends.
"How long has this been going on for?" I ask, but they both stay silent, looking to the other to answer.
"Since move-in day," Marc says quietly, finally breaking the silence.
"Move-in day??" I ask in shock.
"Oh my god, this is good," Eli adds, unable to control his laughter.
"But you hooked up with Cam that night," I remind Ali, but she shakes her head. "And Lauren?" I ask Marc, who also confirms that I'm mistaken.
"You assholes left me stranded at the kickoff party to go hookup with each other?" I ask in shock and disbelief. It's not that I'm upset. I'm just surprised that they would ditch me.
"Shit. Logan, honestly, I've felt bad about that ever since," Marc says with sincerity.
"Don't feel bad bro, she slept in my bed that night," Eli's smug voice adds next to me.
"You guys hooked up at the kickoff party?" Marc asks, looking as shocked as I am right now. "This has been going on for that long?" He adds, motioning between his brother and me.
"No," I shake my head. "No, it wasn't like that."
"It was totally like that," Eli says, being the arrogant asshole that he is. I swat him in the chest, but he grabs my hand and kisses it between laughs.
"So, what is this then?" I ask while motioning between Marc and Ali. "Are you guys like... together?"
"Oh, no. It's casual," Ali quickly says as she shakes her head.
"Not everyone falls in love at first sight like you guys," Marc says as he looks between Eli and me.
Eli stiffens up next to me. If Marc could not use the word 'love' in front of his brother, that would be nice. The guy just got his first girlfriend. I'm pretty sure that word would freak him out, being only a month in, which is exactly why I haven't told him yet.
"I think I need a drink," I say as I turn away from my friends and head back inside.
"I'll go with you," I hear Ali say somewhere behind me.
"Logan. Logan. Logan," Ali repeats as she chases me down. "Please don't be mad at me," she adds in a pleading tone.
I stop in my tracks as I turn to face her. "Mad at you?" I ask with confusion. "I'm not mad at you. I'm just... surprised. Why didn't you tell me?" I ask.
"I don't know," she says with a sigh. "You and Maddison have this whole soulmate thing going on, and Marc and I are just having sex," she shrugs. "I felt a bit silly divulging all of it when you have the real thing."
I cock my head to the side as I look at her with sympathy. Just because I have a boyfriend doesn't mean she can't talk to me.
"And, I wasn't sure how you would feel about us being friends with benefits. I know you're protective over Marc," she adds without judgment.
"Yeah, I'm protective over him when it comes to him being with shitty people," I tell her. "Ali, I love you, you know that. And you guys are adults. You can do what you want, and I would never judge you. I just don't want you to feel like you have to hide things from me," I tell her with sincerity.
Ali's expression melts in front of me. "I love you too, Lo," she says.
"Lo?" I ask with a chuckle. "New nickname?" I question with skepticism and a smile.
"Maybe?" She shrugs. "I'm kind of drunk, so I'm just testing it out," she adds, causing us both to laugh, and relieving the tension.
"So, friends with benefits, huh?" I ask.
"Well, it was just benefits at first. The friends part came later," she explains.
"And you don't have feelings for him?"
"It's not like that," she quickly says, shaking her head.
I pause for a moment, trying to figure out if I believe her or not.
"Have you hooked up with anyone else this year?" I ask. "What about that guy Dylan? You guys went on a date."