Page 46 of Mayhem (Mayhem 1)

“Some place to have breakfast. Some place . . . Frenchy.”

I have to laugh at that. “Frenchy?”

Adam grins at me, the strong breeze blowing strands of hair across his face. “Yeah. I need some inspiration if we’re going to knock that many chapters out.”

I spot a bistro up the street to our left and point it out. “What about that place?” It’s a small brick building with a green-and-white striped awning and two tiny tables set up out front.

Adam’s gaze travels the direction of my finger, and then he shakes his head. “That looks Italian.” He turns left.

“French places probably aren’t even open this early.”

“Then we’re going to be driving a long time.” He turns up the radio just loud enough so we can hear it, not bothering to plug his phone in, and starts scanning through the stations.

Since it doesn’t look or sound like he’s joking, I open our textbook and start quizzing him as we drive. By the time he pulls into a parking lot and coasts into an open spot, we’re nearly finished with the first chapter.

I look up and immediately start laughing. “IHOP?”

Adam leans back in the seat. “Do they or do they not have French toast?”

I laugh and shake my head. “They have the best French toast ever.”

“Then it’s settled.” He shuts the car off, and we both get out.

Inside, he orders two different kinds of French toast and a crepe for good measure. I stick to my standard strawberry pancakes.

“Do you know where we could have gone instead?” I ask. When he waits for my answer, I tease, “McDonald’s. We could’ve gotten French fries.”

“Don’t be ridiculous . . . Everyone knows McDonald’s doesn’t start serving fries ’til ten thirty.” He smirks at me, and I laugh.

“You’re kinda crazy,” I tell him with a smile.

“Says the girl who came along on a three-day road trip with ten guys she’d never even met before.”

It isn’t exactly true, but the truth is even crazier. “Touché.”

And thus begins our French lesson. I open the textbook and do a little review before saying, “Okay. We need to practice some of the written stuff . . . aaand we forgot to bring a notebook.”

“No, we didn’t.” Adam wiggles the miniature notebook that I saw him writing in this morning out of his back pocket.

“That is your notebook?”

He nods and sips a coffee our server brought earlier. It’s something French vanilla, and I highly suspect—no, I know that he ordered it just because it had “French” in the name.

“You use that for class?” I ask.

He nods again. I hold my palm out for the notebook, and he hands it over.

When I open it, I see that it’s almost completely filled with scribbled lines. Lyrics. There are random phrases everywhere, written in varied sizes and slants—almost none of them actually following the lines of the paper. “There aren’t any notes in here,” I say as I flip through the pages.

“Sure there are.” Adam takes the notebook back and flips through it before he finally finds what he’s looking for. He slides it over to me. “See?”

The note—literally, just one—says to finish the homework on page 82 for Monday—which, if I remember correctly, means that it’s more than two weeks old.

“Did you?” I ask Adam as I hand back his notebook.

“Did I what?” He flips to a blank page.

“Finish the homework?”

He hesitates before saying, “That’s not the point.”

I immediately start laughing again, and he grins at me. “I think we need to get you a new notebook.”

“Or a cute note taker,” he says with a smirk, and I scoff.

“As if those girls would actually know how to take good notes.” I’d be impressed if the girls he sits with in class even know how to read.

“What girls?” He looks thoroughly confused, his eyebrows scrunched together over eyes locked with mine.

“Those girls you always bring with you to class.”

He laughs and scratches the back of his head. “I don’t bring them. They just kind of follow me.”

I want to comment on how unbothered he seems about that, but I bite my tongue, dropping the conversation and resuming the lesson. I assign Adam written exercises, and eventually, I slide into the booth seat beside him so I can show him exactly what he’s doing wrong. When the server brings our food and sets it in front of us, I quickly move back to my side and pull my plate in front of me.

Adam is eyeing me curiously when I glance up at him. “What’s your deal?” he asks me.

“What do you mean?”

He looks at our server, an elderly woman who is now helping a family of four sitting three tables down, and then back at me. “Why’d you dive back over there?”

I don’t really know how to answer that. Because I’m getting way too cozy with you and I’m pretty sure your absence is going to feel like a giant gaping hole in my life when I have to get back to reality?

Adam sighs and sets his fork back down. “Look, if this is about last night—”

“It’s not.”

“I’m sorry. I’d had a lot to drink, and then you were in the room and I just thought—”

“Adam, it’s not that. It’s cool, alright?”

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