Adam sits down in front of me on the floor. “Shawn, can you give us a minute?” When Shawn leaves, Adam rubs his hands roughly over my crisscrossed legs to loosen me up. “Peach . . . I’ve never let a girl stay here before because I’ve never been friends with a girl before. It’s not a big deal. I let my friends stay here all the time.”
“In your bed?” I ask, just to be smart.
He lets out a short laugh. “No, not in my bed . . . But, come on, was sleeping in my bed really so bad? It’s big enough for the both of us. I bet you didn’t even know I was there.”
“Come on, Adam . . . This is weird.”
He frowns, and his head does that adorable side-tilt thing that makes me want to sigh. “Why does it have to be weird?”
“I guess I just don’t get it.” He stares at his knees and picks at the frays in his jeans before looking back up at me. “Why is it weird? If we’re friends, why can’t I do something nice for you? If you don’t actually like me, Peach, just say so.”
“Adam . . . I was just kidding around . . .”
He shakes his head and stands up to get some distance, eventually taking a seat on the edge of his bed. “No. I’ve been thinking about it, you know. About why you didn’t come backstage that night. Why you never said hi to me in class. Why you lied about who you were and didn’t want me to find out. I know you think I’m some kind of player or something, and I’m not denying it, but that really doesn’t explain it. I mean, you said we can be friends, so why couldn’t you have said that a month and a half ago? Why’d you have to disappear and then hide? And then lie?”
“I didn’t think you cared,” I say quietly. I feel like such a jerk.
“Well I did.”
I sit down next to him and say, “I’m sorry.”
“Why is it so easy for you to be around the other guys but not me? I mean, you can play video games all night with Mike. You can dance with Joel. You and Shawn have inside jokes like you’ve been friends for years. But I try to do something nice for you and you get all uptight about it.”
“I’ve never shared a bed with Mike or Joel or Shawn,” I answer.
“Would it freak you out as much?”
No . . . it wouldn’t—because I just don’t think of them the same way. Not like I think about Adam. “No, but not because I don’t like you,” I answer honestly.
Because I like you way more than them, way more than I should. “I don’t really want to answer that . . .”
Adam sighs and lets himself fall flat on the bed with his legs hanging over the edge.
“Adam?” I ask after a while.
He makes a noise that translates to, “Yeah?”
I twist my body to gaze down at him, at his shaggy brown hair and those piercing eyes. His arms are relaxed above his head, pulling his shirt up so the barest sliver of skin is showing just above the waistband of his jeans.
“You’re my favorite . . . That’s why.”
Staring up at me like he’s not quite sure if I’m telling the truth, he asks, “I’m your favorite?”
Understatement of the century. I smile down at him. “By a hair.”
Adam smiles, and then his expression grows more serious. He sits up, staring over at me. “How much do you like me?”
Oh, that question is so, so loaded. I bob and weave, weave and bob. “Enough to not make you sleep on the couch with Joel in exchange for tutoring.”
He laughs, and then after a moment, he stands up. “I like you too, Peach . . . And I’m cool with just being your friend. So stop overthinking this, okay?”
I crawl under the covers and snuggle my cheek into Adam’s pillow, feeling mixed emotions over how cool he is with being my friend. “Okay.”
I roll toward the wall, expecting Adam to leave, but instead he takes off his jeans and crawls in next to me, wrapping his arms around me.
I don’t really want to point out what I say next, but I’m too curious about what his reply will be to stop myself. “Friends don’t do this, Adam.”
“Well we’re friends and we are doing this, so it looks like you’re wrong for once.”
I chuckle before snuggling even deeper into his arms.
EACH NIGHT FOR the next week and a half, I fall asleep with Adam’s arms around me, and each morning, I fail the ultimate friend test. I usually wake up before the alarm, and with no reason to get out of bed, I don’t. I lie with Adam until real life calls, and then I spend the rest of the day trying to convince myself that my reluctance to leave his bed each morning means nothing.
He drives me to school, and sits with me in French class, and we spend our evenings together, and . . . this is a mess. I’m a freaking mess.
I know it, and yet I still don’t get out of bed on Friday morning. I lie in his arms until I fall back asleep. When I wake later, it’s because he’s crawled on top of the covers and laid his entire weight on me. He’s dressed, and his freshly washed hair is dripping on my forehead.
“Guess what,” he says, his eyes bright with excitement.
I try not to let a goofy smile consume my whole face. “What?”
“I got an A on that French test.”
My eyes open wide. We studied for that exam harder than I’ve ever studied for anything in my entire life, but I never expected Adam to ace it! “You did?”