“Now I feel left out,” Sawyer stated, pulling himself up onto the kitchen island to sit down. “What am I?”
Leo killed two more enemies and smiled. “Yours is pretty obvious, dumb shit.”
“What’s that supposed to mean, jackass?”
“It means, anywhere we go, everyone knows you. Life of the party, Sawyer. Usually drunk, fucking shit up, and messing around with more than one girl in a night.”
Sawyer shrugged. “I can’t help I gravitate towards the center of attention. It’s natural for me. Plus, girls throw themselves at me. What the fuck am I supposed to do, say no? I’m not a pussy like you.”
“Sawyer!” Leo exclaimed. “I can’t even cross county lines toward Tullahoma to go hiking without worrying about my tires getting slashed because you thought it was a good idea to fuck around with twin sisters.”
“Hey! You said go for it!”
“Only if you were ready to deal with the consequences. Shit!” Leo threw his controller on the coffee table. “You assholes just made me lose.”
“You lost because I started playing and kicked your ass,” Ashton countered, leaning to the left, trying to take out his next opponent.
“The fact that you guys play video games like we’re still in middle school should be the bigger issue here.” I took another sip of my sweet tea.
“Playing a video game?” Cain questioned, side-eyeing me. “We’re saving the world one game at a time.”
“What?” I challenged. “That doesn’t even make sense.”
Ashton bumped my leg with his knee. “Makes perfect sense, Mila. We’re preparing for the zombie invasion.”
“Oh my God,” I murmured. I was over hearing about the zombie invasion. “Zombies are not invading. You know what?” I held my hand out in front of me. “The only one of you hoe bags I can stand is Sawyer.”
“I don’t know why,” Leo said. “Last year he slept with the only female friend you have or had…”
Cain defended Sawyer, “She was hot. Plus Mila, that was kinda your fault, we told you it was a bad idea to have a girlfriend. You started bringing her around and it was only a matter of time before one of us nailed her.”
“More like railed her,” Ashton added.
“I hate all of you,” I jokingly remarked. “I have no girlfriends because of your reputations. They don’t trust me.”
“Sorry not sorry,” Cain somewhat apologized.
I took a deep breath, changing the subject. “At least you look like you’re handling the split okay, Cain. I’m sorry about your parents.”
His demeanor immediately changed, and I regretted bringing it up.
Ashton nodded at me. “Way to kill the mood, Mila.”
“I’m sorry, Cain. I didn’t mean to—”
“I have a great idea,” Leo stated out of nowhere, bringing all our eyes over to him.
It was one of those moments where you knew something was about to go down. I just never imagined the next words out of his mouth would have such an impact on all of us.
I hated seeing my friend in pain. It was obvious he was hurting and trying to play it off like he wasn’t. I wanted to be there for him, be a good friend. Cain was more like my brother.
They all were.
“Why do I feel like whatever you’re about to say is going to be life-changing?” Mila recognized.
I glanced at her. “Because, my lovely Lala, you know I’m wise beyond my years.”
“You still think James Bond is a real person.”
“He’s not ready to talk about Sean Connery, Mila. None of us are,” Sawyer explained.
“It’s too soon,” Ashton added.
“Oh my God. I’m surrounded by idiots. How many times do I have to tell you Sean Connery is an actor? He’s not James Bond.”
Our eyes went wide.
“Don’t you ever say that again!” Cain ordered in an offended tone.
“You respect the dead!” Ashton demanded, following his lead.
“Guys!” I shook my head. “I was having a moment here. Can I continue?”
The guys nodded while snapping their attention back to me. I looked at my boys and without any hesitation, I said the six words that would change the future of our lives, “We’re going to make a pact.”
They peered back at me like I was crazy and hey… maybe I was. All I knew was that these guys were like my family and I was going to make sure we’d stay that way.
“What kind of pact?” Ashton asked.
“A lifelong one. The Playboy Pact,” I replied.
Cain chuckled, “You sound like a needy chick.”
When you’re sixteen years old you think you know everything, we didn’t.
I sure as shit didn’t.
I thought what I was about to say was going to ensure we stayed tight no matter the girls who may come into our lives. Mila didn’t count. She was my best friend and that was the end of it.
I nodded. “Bros before hoes.”
“Guys before lies,” Sawyer uttered.
“Masturbate before asking her to date.” Ashton smiled.
“Dicks before tits,” Cain asserted.
“And we’re gonna make sure of it,” I professed, finally announcing what I thought was in our best interest, “We’re going to make a pact to stay single and never fall in love.”