By: Chantal Fernando

Maybe he should. His lyrics are always amazing. I’m sure he can express what I’m feeling way better than I can. He’ll turn it into art.

His lip twitches, and his head shakes. “What am I going to write about? A pretty girl who hasn’t showered in days?”

“Hey,” I say, lifting my arm up and smelling myself. “I smell just fine.”

He lifts a brow in an “are you kidding me” kind of way, which makes me want to throw a pillow at him. “Under the circumstances, I get a fucking pass.”

“A shower pass?” he asks, amusement flashing in his eyes. “No one gets a hygiene pass, Sabina, no matter what happens. Now get your ass in the shower. I’m going to burn those sheets while you’re in there.” When I don’t move, he adds, “Don’t make me carry you in there, because I’ll do it.”

I get out of bed and walk into my bathroom, slamming the door behind me for effect.

I turn on the hot water, undress, and then step into the shower.

It feels amazing.

Not that I’d admit that.

Chapter Two

“It’s only been a month,” I growl, storming through the kitchen, cleaning up as I go. “Can you get off my arse?”

He’s been here just a few hours, and I already want to murder him. I didn’t realise how messy my house had gotten, although I don’t know how considering I haven’t even left my room. Actually, I do. Tara’s the only other person who has been here, and she’s a little on the messy side, and that’s putting it politely. Cursing her under my breath, I wipe down the countertop while Dean watches, beer in hand, from the dining table. Even though I’m not in the best of moods, I get the feeling that he’s happy I’m out of bed and doing things. It’s like I can actually feel his silent approval. He doesn’t offer to help, just watches my movements as I try and sort my life out after a month of being out of it.

“Nope,” he replies, lifting the bottle to his lips. “I’ve already made progress with you, and if I have to be up your arse to do so, then so be it.”

I still. I never said “up” my arse, but okay. “After I clean up I’m going back to bed.”

“No, you’re not. We’re going grocery shopping. Your cupboards are practically empty,” he says, giving me a once-over. “You need to eat.”

Does he think I’m too skinny? I look down at my stomach, which sure, is flatter than it usually is, but grieving will do that to you. I don’t even feel hungry. Food is usually always on my mind, but right now I feel no need to consume anything. Except maybe some alcohol. Maybe a food stop is a good idea, because I can stop at the bottle shop and get some vodka or something.

Mmmmm, vodka.

Maybe my appetite is coming back.

“Yeah, okay,” I agree, washing the few dishes in the sink. “Can you even go out in public without women going crazy over you?”

He shrugs. “It will be fine.”

I turn the tap off. I’ve seen him in magazines, on TV; he’s everywhere. I’ve seen him in the tabloids with different women, different stories appearing every time I check. I don’t know how much of that is true, but he seems to be playing the field. He’s the current it boy. He writes his own lyrics, plays his own music, and his voice is deep husky perfection. I’m sure it helps that on top of that talent, he’s extremely good-looking, but to me he’s the same old Dean. The one who used to play pranks on the teachers at school. The one I’d sometimes watch from afar.

My mind flashes back to the first time I met Dean Amore, back in high school.

I shift my bag on my shoulder, the heavy books inside weighing me down and making my arm ache. I look around for Ben, but he must be running late. He’s been busy recently and I haven’t spent much time with him. He’s probably been busy studying. That’s all I’ve been doing recently with exams coming up.

“Need some help there?” a husky voice asks from behind me. I turn to look at a boy I’ve seen around the school halls, but one I’ve never spoken to before. He’s tall, much taller than my five foot eight, with green eyes, brown hair, and dimples. His smooth tanned skin makes me want to reach out and touch it. He doesn’t look like he belongs here, in this school. He belongs in Hollywood, or some other magical faraway place. Maybe with the guitar that’s always attached to his side, that’s exactly where he’ll be heading.

“I’m okay, but thank you,” I tell him, readjusting the bag once more. “That’s what I get for being an overachiever.”

He laughs, flashing white straight teeth. He’s good-looking. Extremely so, and it’s hard for me not to notice. “Being ambitious isn’t a bad thing,” he says, leaning back against the building, his knee bent forward and foot resting on the cream bricks.