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“DO YOU THINK IF A guy and a girl have been dating for a long time, they’ve automatically had sex?” I ask Peter. We’re sitting on the floor of the library, our backs against the wall of the reference section nobody ever goes to. It’s after school, the library’s empty, and we’re doing homework. Peter gets Cs and Ds in chemistry, so I’ve been helping him study.
Peter looks up from his chem book, suddenly interested. He tosses the book aside and says, “I need more information. How long have they been dating?”
“A long time. Like two years, something like that.”
“How old are they? Our age?”
“Then most likely but not necessarily. It depends on the girl and the guy. But if I had to put money on it, yeah.”
“But the girl’s not like that. The guy isn’t either.”
“Who are we talking about here?”
“That’s a secret.” I hesitate, and then say, “Chris thinks there’s no way they haven’t. She says it’s impossible.”
Peter snorts. “Why are you going to her for advice? That girl is a train wreck.”
“She is not a train wreck!”
He gives me a look. “Freshman year she got wasted on Four Loko and she climbed up on Tyler Boylan’s roof and did a striptease.”
“Were you there?” I demand. “Did you see it with your own two eyes?”
“Damn straight. Fished her clothes out of the pool like the gentleman I am.”
I blow out my cheeks. “Well, Chris never mentioned that story to me, so I can’t really speak to that. Besides, didn’t they ban Four Loko or whatever it’s called?”
“They still make it, but a shitty watered-down version. You can dump Five-Hour Energy in it to get the same effect.” I shudder, which makes Peter smile. “What do you and Chris even talk about?” he asks. “You have nothing in common.”
“What do we talk about?” I counter.
Peter laughs. “Point taken.” He pushes away from the wall and puts his head in my lap, and I go completely still.
I try to make my voice sound normal as I say, “You’re in a really strange mood today.”
He raises an eyebrow at me. “What kind of mood am I in?” Peter sure loves to hear about himself. Normally, I don’t mind, but today I’m not in the mood to oblige him. He already has too many people in his life telling him how great he is.
“The obnoxious kind,” I say, and he laughs.
“I’m sleepy.” He closes his eyes and snuggles against me. “Tell me a bedtime story, Covey.”
“Don’t flirt,” I tell him.
His eyes fly open. “I wasn’t!”
“Yes, you were. You flirt with everyone. It’s like you can’t help yourself.”
“Well, I don’t ever flirt with you.” Peter sits back up and checks his phone, and suddenly I’m wishing I didn’t say anything at all.