Change Him/C4 Four
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Change Him/C4 Four
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C4 Four

It had been about an hour since my Skype conversation with Alyssa, and I was still buzzing with something akin to excitement from Alyssa's "plan". The whole idea was to play hard to get and easy to want. If I was being honest, I wasn't completely sure what that even meant, but I was curious nonetheless.

It wasn't that I had any particular desire to "change" Tyler's ways—as Alyssa had put it—but I was always down for a social experiment, not to mention that this was the first bit of excitement I'd felt since moving.

"Lauren! Our guests are arriving any minute, get down here!" My mom called, and I could practically see her pacing with nervousness at the foot of the stairs.

"Coming!" I yelled. After smoothing down my dress and running a hand through my hair, I went into the hall and was about to go down the stairs when I ran into someone.

Thinking it was Trent, I looked up and was about to yell at him when I saw it was Tyler.

I screamed in surprise. I held my hand over my pounding heart, trying to settle it. "You scared the shit out of me! And what are you doing in my house?" I hissed.

"Well, Lauren Blake," he emphasized my name with a smirk. "Your brother invited me over for dinner."

"Of course. Trent always does attract the assholes as friends," I muttered.

He said nothing, just giving me the same amused smile that made my temper flare. I glared and pushed past him, going down the stairs.

Just like I thought, my mom was walking in circles in the living room, straightening and re-straightening every little knick knack that came into her sight.

"Mom," I called to her when I dropped down the last stair. "Surely Tyler can't stay, right? I thought dad's client and his family were coming for dinner?" I whined.

"They still are, but there is no reason why Tyler can't stay as well. Where are your manners?" She sighed, shaking her head before brushing past me to head to the kitchen.

An arm went around my waist, causing me to shiver and jump in shock at the same time. "Yes, Lauren, where are your manners?" Tyler whispered into my ear, giving me a quick squeeze before his arm was gone as fast as it appeared.

His teasing tone, obviously smug that he was winning whatever game we seemed to be playing, made my blood boil. I fixed him with one of my best glares. "Don't touch me. All I have to do is say the word, and your friendship with my brother will over as fast as it started." That was a bluff—Trent didn't listen to what I had to say for the most part—but he didn't have to know that.

He didn't seem to take my threat seriously, barking out a laugh before going to the living room where Trent was. I lingered in the hallway alone for a minute, shaking off my anger. I then followed and sat on the other couch from them, not wanting to be near Tyler.

The doorbell rang a few minutes later. My dad came from his study to answer the door, looking oh-so-professional. He put on the shit eating grin that sealed him countless business deals and shook the man's hand.

"Nice to finally meet you in person, Mr. Ellison." My father said, shaking the mans hand.

"Likewise, Mr. Blake."

A feminine voice then pitched in. "What a lovely home you have."

"Thank you...oh, I'm sorry, please come in!"

Three people came in through the doorway. My father introduced Mr. Ellison's family to all of us: He had a wife named Carol, and a son my age, named Brandon. Turns out, Brandon went to my school and was also a junior.

And...guess where I was sat for dinner? Right between Tyler and Brandon. I released the smallest of sighs as we sat down. My mom was the only one who noticed, giving me sharp look.

I was beginning to get really bored as minutes ticked by and the adults talked about their business, and all the new "exciting opportunities." I stared down at my mashed potatoes, stirring them with my spoon more than actually eating them.

"What about you, Lauren?" Carol asked me.

"Sorry, what?" I looked up to where she was smiling politely at me from across the table.

She chuckled lightheartedly. "How are you adjusting to your new school?"

I was about to answer them when I felt a hand grip my left thigh. I started coughing, surprised and startled. Brandon patted my back.

"I'm fine," I muttered at him.

Tyler's hand was still on my thigh. I could feel my face heating up. I was too shocked to do anything but attempt to answer Carol's question. "Um well, I already made some-" I choked mid speech, my back straightening in shock. Tyler's hand was stroking my thigh now.

I grit my teeth and grabbed his hand. I clenched it hard and ripped it off my leg, to which he gave a low hiss of pain.

"I'm sorry," I smiled. "As I was trying to say, I already made some friends, and things are going great."

Carol smiled and ignored my weirdness, going back to discussing things with the adults.

"I'm going to the bathroom." I said, giving Tyler a pointed look. I was going to put this asshole in his place.

I walked out of the dining room and stood in the dim hall. A minute later, Tyler walked up to me, smirking.

"What the hell was that about?" I asked him, glaring. "I don't even know you, so don't think you can touch me whenever you like!"

He stepped closer to me, causing me to back up into the wall. He grabbed both of my hands with his, and pinned them to the wall.

My eyes widened in surprise. What the hell was happening?

He was so close that there was virtually no space between our bodies. He dipped his head down to my neck, tilting it up so he could whisper into my ear. "Are you sure you mean that?"

It took my now foggy brain a few seconds to understand what he was talking about. I finally realized he was questioning what I'd said about him not touching me.

"Tyler," I finally choked out. I wanted to say more, but I felt paralyzed. In the back of my mind, I felt irritation flare at the fact that he was doing exactly what I'd said not to.

My common sense returned then, fully-intact. I shoved him away with a burst of anger. I expected resistance but, instead, he dropped my hands and stepped back right away.

I opened my mouth to scream about multiple things, starting with his obvious problem with other people's personal space, but he turned around and strode back to the kitchen before I could speak.

What the hell?

I came back to the table, even more angry than when I'd left it. Trent peered at me with a suspicious and vaguely concerned look on his face. I avoided his gaze and ate my food fast, running up to my room and slamming the door the second I was done.


Later that night, I was lying in bed, and I couldn't stop thinking about what happened. The whole right side of my jaw and neck still tingled when I thought about how close Tyler's lips had been. That, in itself, made me angry at myself more than anyone. I was supposed to hate Tyler and, yet, I was replaying the incident over and over in my mind with a mix of both good and bad emotions.

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