Falling Helplessly (Chapter Eighteen)




( For his brother’s friend …. 😇 )



Written by:- Williams Kendall____✍🏽








Archer drove us to a diner about ten minutes from the USC campus. A retro, 50s vibe spanned the entire restaurant—bright neon lights, red and white striped booths, and tacky wallpaper. Waitresses moved around on rollerblades with short pink collared-dresses carrying huge trays of mouth-watering food.


We settled at a table in the back, with Madeline and Archer both flanking me as usual, then Emmett and James across from us. A waitress glided over and dropped off menus, before taking our drink orders and leaving us be.


The front door slammed open and a gush of noise carried over to us. Some of the other football players came striding in and noticed our group.


“Sup guys,” Tyler said as he approached us, “We can join, yeah?” He didn’t wait for a response before he pulled tables over and fell into a seat across from us. “Hey Charlotte,” he winked at me, “Thanks for getting our QB in shape out there.”


“Fuck off, Tyler,” Archer grumbled as he kicked the leg of Tyler’s chair and put his arm around my shoulder.


The other boys sat down, calling greetings to each other but I noticed there were still three empty seats. The clicking of heels caught my attention as the red-headed cheerleader and her friends walked in. Tyler whistled to get their attention and they all catwalked over to us.


“Hey there, boys,” the redhead cooed as she sat down gracefully, followed by the two other girls. Archer stiffened next to me, his hand frozen mid-stroke on my shoulder.


“Teela,” Tyler nodded as he picked up a menu.


Teela sat tall and straight in her chair as she scanned our table. As our eyes connected, I tried to smile at her as some kind of peace offering. Maybe she had been joking around earlier? She glowered at me and curled her lip in disgust. Okay never mind.


Her face cleared instantly as her gaze moved to my right and was replaced with a wide smile, “Archer! what are your plans for Thanksgiving? If you’re staying back you could always come to our Friendsgiving.”


“Actually,” Archer spoke lowly, “Charlotte and I are heading home tomorrow.”


Tyler waved his hand in the air as though he was swatting a fly, “Woah, woah, woah! You’re bringing a girl home for thanksgiving, Johnson?”


“Oh…” Teela’s smile stiffened, “fun.”


“We grew up together,” Archer glanced down at me with a small smile. “Our families spend most holidays together.”


“Awe how cute, so you’re like family.” Teela simpered.


The waitress returned to take our order before anymore awkwardness could ensue. The boys all ordered different variations of huge burgers and fries while Madeline and I ordered nachos and chicken strips to share. I felt guilty after all three cheerleaders ordered salads. I should probably eat like that right? I had always been small, but I wasn’t fit. My stomach wasn’t hard and no amount of running stopped my thighs from having some extra squish to them.


It was hard to focus on the amiable chatter swirling around me as I compared myself to the three girls at the other end of the table. These uncertain feelings I’d been having towards Archer scared me. I had come to value our friendship so much, and now that the line was blurring… it complicated things. Especially since there was no way I could ever be even close to Archer’s league. A part of me felt like we were doomed for history to repeat itself. I’d fall for Archer eventually, he’d be disgusted that I’d think he’d want me, then the relationship would be ruined.


“Hey,”-Archer removed his arm from my shoulders and squeezed my thigh-“you good?”


“Oh yeah… Just, uh, thinking about driving home tomorrow.”


Archer nodded and turned back to James who was reliving the game with Emmett and Tyler. Archer’s hand remained on my thigh, pulling all of my attention. He held the leg farthest from him, causing his arm to stretch across my body. His thumb dropped to my inner thigh as he traced the seam of my jeans. Butterflies erupted in my stomach while I tried to focus on Madeline. When Archer had his arm around me, it felt protective. Like he thought I might get lost or something if he didn’t hold onto me. But this felt… possessive.


Heat rushed across my collarbone and up my neck as Archer’s thumb lazily caressed me. Every small movement sent static tingles surging up my spine making my brain go hazy. Did he know what he was doing to me? I peeked up at him through my hair and saw he was still engaged with the boys, nodding his head as James spoke. He seemed tense though. His sharp jaw was locked tightly while his Adam’s apple bobbed up and down.


Archer must have felt my eyes on him because he dropped his gaze back to me. Something passed between us that I didn’t understand. There was a darkness to Archer’s eyes and a flush to his cheeks that was unfamiliar. It was as though an electric current had built up as he rubbed my thigh, and when our eyes met, the energy exploded. It was a wonder no one else could hear my pulse throbbing in my throat.


I gulped and my eyes widened as his grip on me tightened. The veins on his forearm popped as though he was tensing every muscle in his body. We were locked in a staring contest that neither of us could break. Then, just as soon as it had happened, it was over. Archer cleared his throat and removed his hand from my thigh. He gave his head a small shake before turning back to the table and returning to the conversation.


A small nudge to my right stole my attention. Madeline was staring at me with raised eyebrows and a secretive smile. Okay, apparently someone else had felt the electrical current between Archer and I. I raised my shoulders in a small shrug, unsure how to explain what just happened. My heart raced aggressively and I didn’t know if words would even come out if I tried to speak.


Thankfully, our food arrived and we all were distracted by the thick smell of grease, meat, and cheese. James cleared his throat before we could all dig in and raised his glass.


“Alright, cheers to Emmett! That was one hell of a touchdown for a rookie!” We all echoed his cheers. “And also,” James added giving me a sneaky grin, “Cheers to Charlotte! Whatever you did to our QB at halftime helped us win, so thanks for being the only person who can handle him.” The other football players all laughed and cheered as I sank into my chair with a deep red blush.


Teela audibly scoffed from her seat causing Emmett to shoot her a glare. When we made eye contact I rolled my eyes to let him know to ignore it. The clatter of forks and knives overtook the table as everyone began to eat. I nibbled at a tortilla chip as I braved a peek over to Archer. He seemed more relaxed now, devouring his overstuffed burger. When our eyes connected again, I felt the uncertainty in his gaze. I smiled weakly, trying to grab onto any normalcy. He seemed to appreciate that as he let out a small breath and smiled back.


Dinner passed quickly after that. Archer didn’t speak to me—or anyone else—until it was time to go. To be fair, when he stood up to grab his jacket he acted as usual, placing his hand against my back to guide me to his truck. But his fingertips barely grazed my shoulder blades, and I sensed his restraint in the tense way he was holding his shoulders.


The truck ride back to the USC Village was quiet. The clicking of Madeline’s nails on her phone screen bled into my consciousness as I combed over every detail of the night in my mind. It had started so well… Archer had been genuinely happy after we made up—which was so rare, especially in groups like that. Then that weird staring contest had ruined everything.


Archer stopped in front of our building and put the truck in park. I bolstered myself for further rejection as I grabbed my purse and plastered a smile on my face. I heard Madeline climb out as I turned to Archer.


“Well, good game tonight,” I said shakily, “thanks for the ride.”


Archer’s hand shot out and grabbed my arm, “Charlotte wait”-his eyes flicked behind as though he was ensuring we couldn’t be heard-“look I… Uh. About earlier, I’m sorry.”


“You’re sorry?” I scrunched my nose, “For what?”


“I just, I shouldn’t have, well… if I made you uncomfortable, I’m sorry.”


My shoulders relaxed as I realized what he meant. I hadn’t been uneasy with his touch before, but to be fair this was a very different interaction than usual. I flushed again as I thought back to that moment in the restaurant. I hadn’t been uncomfortable, I’d been aroused.


“It’s fine,” I smile weakly. “No biggie.”


Archer smiled and pulled my arm to bring me closer to him. I dropped my head on his shoulder as he wrapped his arms around me. His head tilted so he could kiss my forehead and I felt his lips tug into a smile against my skin.


“I just want you to feel safe with me, Sweetheart,” he mumbled with his lips still pressed to me.


I melted further into his touch as I let his gravelly voice wash over me. My muscles eased as his heartbeat thudded into my chest. I mulled over how I felt around Archer. Sometimes I was unsure, or nervous. Often I felt inadequate. Most of the time I was happy though. Did I ever feel unsafe?


“Archer, I can honestly say I think I feel my absolute safest when I’m with you.” I raised my face off his shoulder so he could see the truth in my eyes. His dark eyes melted as a softness glowed from them. I could tell that my words meant something to him.


“So, we’re good then?” He asked.


“We’re good,” I confirmed with a nod.


I climbed out of the truck and waved goodbye before walking up the path towards Madeline who stood waiting at the doors. Instead of entering the building, she pointed her jaw towards the bench that was on the front lawn—motioning for me to follow her and sit down.


“Okay,” she sighed as we both got comfortable on the bench, “I’ve gotten bits and pieces of your history with Archer… But girl, what the hell are you two doing?”


I dropped my head back so I could stare up at the stars twinkling down on us. The sky was a dark navy backdrop for the glowing balls of light as they captivated me. The cold night air stung my lungs in the best way possible. As though each breath cleansed my worries and cleared my fuzzy brain.


“I don’t know anymore, Mads,” I whispered. “I thought I loved him at one point in my life. Then I thought I hated him. Now… we’re friends? But I’ve never had a friendship this—all-consuming before. I’m worried that Brit and Kayla were right. I’m in too deep and I can’t handle myself.”


“Well, first of all, those girls were not right. They were mean and condescending and selfish. You can handle anything you need to, these last couple of months have proven that.”


“What do you think though—about Archer? What am I doing?”


Madeline let out a long sigh and she scooted her bum lower on the bench to look up at the sky with me. “I’m going to be honest, I think whatever is happening between you two is super complicated. I mean, everyone basically thinks you’re dating by how you treat each other. But then you talk and I think… well, you guys have known each other for years. Maybe it’s natural for you to grow this close.”


“I think I do like him,” I said so quietly I’m not sure I even meant for her to hear. “I don’t know though. Maybe it’s just because I wanted him for all those years and now we are close. But the last little while I have definitely been more,”-I gulped-“aware of him.”


“You mean like the eye-sex y’all were having at the diner?” Madeline smirked.


“And all the sleepovers, and forehead kisses, and touching,” I listed. “How could it feel so innocent when it all started, then now suddenly make me feel all… hot and bothered?”


Madeline let out a loud barking laugh, “I swear you talk like my nana.” She shook her head still giggling. “But in all seriousness, I think it’s very clear that something is happening—not just for you, for him too. But, I do think you need to be careful if you want to preserve the friendship.”


My eyebrows pinched together as I nodded slowly, considering her words. “I think that’s my problem, I have been so happy having Archer as my friend. Then there will be these moments—sometimes just a few seconds—where I want more. But then reality crashes around me and I remember that this is Archer we are talking about, and I am me. Even if by some miracle he liked me too, it would be so messy.”


“Well, I think it’s fair to be cautious. But seriously Charlotte, if you ever decide you do want more—don’t be surprised if Archer is on the same page.”


We stayed like that for another hour, staring up at the stars as though they would give us the answers we needed. I tried to sort out my whirling thoughts but it was impossible. I just couldn’t ever get passed my overwhelming belief that Archer could not like me as more than a friend. Which would mean I needed to accept and be happy with where we were.


My body felt heavy as the weight of my emotions washed over me. Today had been over-stimulating to the extreme. I’d ridden a rollercoaster from the moment I decided to go to Archer’s football game, and now, even though I was off I still felt the after-effects of the intense ups and downs.


“Well at least tomorrow is a new day,” Madeline mused as we stood up to stretch and go inside. Yes, tomorrow was a new day. A day I’d be driving home with Archer to see my family whom I missed dearly. I silently prayed that all of my erratic emotions would stay controlled this weekend, so I could truly enjoy my time with my family and the Johnsons for the first time since I was 16.



“It’s too fucking early,” I grumbled as I shoved my face further into my pillow. The large, red, glaring numbers on my alarm clock read 6:15 a.m. I was about to say fuck it and go back to sleep when Charlotte’s oversized doe-eyes popped into my mind. She was the one who wanted to get home as soon as possible.


If it were up to me, I’d roll up to my parent’s house in time to eat dinner and drive right back to school. But Charlotte said that the day leading up to Thanksgiving dinner was just as important. Who am I to argue with her? So now I’m getting my ass out of bed at the crack of dawn to get her home as quickly as I can.


The events of last night rushed back to me as I stepped under the hot spray of my shower. Fuck, I really messed up. I can’t deny that I had been living in a fantasy where I had some kind of claim over Charlotte. But last night, I let it get out of control. The warmth of her thigh under my hand had overtaken my senses—and my logic. Her soft curves fit in my hand perfectly, and it sent my mind into a spiral. I wanted to explore every inch of her body. It took all of my self-control not to pounce on her right there in the restaurant.


I’d been so worked up, I had even convinced myself that whatever was happening was mutual. That maybe she was just as turned on as I was. But then the fear in her eyes was like a punch to my gut. I’d made her uncomfortable. Of course, I fucking had. Charlotte was good and pure and innocent. Even if she were attracted to me—which she wasn’t—she probably was mortified that other people were around. I’m such a piece of shit.


I gripped my hair tightly as I rinsed the shampoo from it. I needed to remember who I was dealing with. Being selfish and sucking Charlotte into my shit was basically the worst thing I could do.


Half-an-hour later I pulled up in front of Charlotte’s building and texted her that I was outside. When she stumbled out of the front door carrying a bag half her size I jumped out of my truck and jogged towards her.


“Morning, Sweetheart,” I said as I grabbed her bag and threw it over my shoulder. Instead of responding, Charlotte trudged off towards the truck grumbling under her breath. She looked like she’d just rolled out of bed and left her dorm. She was wearing my red hoodie again and grey sweatpants that were tight at the ankle. The only bit of skin showing was her small feet peeking out of sandals. She hid from the bright morning sun by pulling the hood up over her dark curls that were flying in every different direction. The action put my last name on display across her back and pride swelled in my chest as I slipped back into the fantasy.


“Fucking adorable,” I mumbled as I wiped my hand over my face and followed behind her.


After I settled back in my truck, I checked to see how Charlotte was doing. She had curled up into a ball with her feet tucked up on the seat. Her face rested on her hands as she blinked slowly. I envied how comfy she could get anywhere from her small size. I hated being in a vehicle and not behind the wheel. It was torture to be squished every which way just to fit into a space not built for oversized people.

“Sweetheart, why are you so grumpy? You’re the one who wanted to get up this early. I would have gladly slept a few more hours.” Apparently that was not the right thing to say. Charlotte’s eyes widened as her mouth opened and closed like a guppy like she couldn’t decide what to say first.


Finally an incredulous scoff popped from the back of her throat as she glared at me, “I am not grumpy. I just didn’t get alot of sleep last night. Besides you’re one to talk.” She whipped her head around to glare out the window and I sat there silently trying to figure out what the hell I was supposed to do.


I made the executive decision to get coffee before the drive. Angry Charlotte was honestly freaking me out. Her pinched eyebrows and protruding bottom lip were cute as fuck, but they didn’t belong on her normally cheerful face.


These fancy coffee shops always confused me. I didn’t know how to order mocha-frappe-venti bullshit with skim milk. Thankfully I’d saved Charlotte’s coffee order in my phone a while ago so I just had to find the screenshot and show it to the guy behind the counter.


I silently passed the little monster in my passenger seat the iced coffee and waited to see if it would work like a magic potion and make Charlotte reappear. She wrapped her plump lips around the straw and sucked suspiciously as though I was trying to poison her or something.


Her eyes lit up as the caffeine reached her tongue and I breathed a sigh of relief when her eyebrows relaxed. Okay, now we can get this show on the road.


The drive started quietly. I had the radio set low to give us some background noise, but besides that, the only sounds were the soft sucking of Charlotte’s straw. I tried to relax and not stress anymore about what happened last night, and eventually, the blurring white stripes of the freeway calmed my mind.


I scrunched my nose as a sour chemically smell wafted over to me. I flicked my eyes to Charlotte and saw that she had a little burgundy bottle propped on her knee.


“What the fuck is that shit?” I grimaced.


She looked up at me with a raised eyebrow and held the bottle out for me to see. “It’s nail polish? I didn’t get a chance to do my nails last night and I want them to look nice for dinner.”


“Get it out of my truck Charlotte, it fucking stinks.”


Charlotte rolled her eyes and let out an exasperated sigh, “I won’t have time once we get to my parent’s house! I still have to get ready for the day when we get there. Besides, I’ll be done soon just crack your window.”


I glared at the road as Charlotte ignored me completely and started painting that shit all over her fingernails. My forearm rested on the center console as I flexed my hand a couple of times, releasing the tension. I really needed to start putting my foot down every once in a while or I might as well get ‘pussy-whipped’ tattooed on my forehead.


“What? I think it looks nice!” Charlotte giggled, clearly fucking proud of herself. “Careful,” she added as I shook my hand away from her, hoping somehow the deep burgundy paint would fall off my nail. “It’s wet you don’t want it to smudge all over the truck.”


“What? I think it looks nice!” Charlotte giggled, clearly fucking proud of herself. “Careful,” she added as I shook my hand away from her, hoping somehow the deep burgundy paint would fall off my nail. “It’s wet you don’t want it to smudge all over the truck.”


I froze my hand midair like it was a grenade that could go off at any second. “I don’t know how, but I am going to get you back for this,” I grumbled as I shot a glare over to her. She just smiled widely and went back to painting her own nails without a care in the world. At least she was back to being my normal cheerful Charlotte. “Seriously fucking pussy whipped,” I mumbled under my breath.


The rest of the trip passed more peacefully. Charlotte put that chemical shit away and chatted my ear off for the rest of the drive. I absentmindedly nodded along while she got excited about all of the traditions we’d be participating in soon, and everyone we’d get to see. If anyone else talked for this long around me, I’d probably snap. But Charlotte’s voice was so soft and light, it was like listening to music.


My mom had texted me that she and Annie would already be at the Avery’s house by the time we got to town so I drove straight there. The second the truck was in park, Charlotte jumped out and bounced up to the front door. I took my time grabbing her bag before I followed the sound of high-pitched screeching.


I entered the living room to find Charlotte wrapped up in an embrace between her mom and dad. She and her mom were both squealing excitedly as they caught up. My mom stood up from the couch and strode over to me quickly with her arms wide open.


“Hey baby,” she said softly as she pulled me down to her height.


“Hey, Ma.” I scrunched up my face as she insisted on kissing my cheek. “Where’s dad?”


Mom’s smile dropped for a moment before she recovered and said in a sugary voice, “Oh baby, he wanted to be here. But he had a business trip he couldn’t miss. His boss has really been working him to the bone recently.”


I straightened and didn’t respond. There was nothing I could say except, ‘Do you think I’m as fucking naive as Annie?’ I didn’t like being rude to my mom after everything I’d put her through so it was easier to stay silent.


Speaking of my sister, I looked around to find her—already having a pretty good idea where she’d be. Sure enough, she was tucked into an armchair in the corner watching her iPad. Annie had been an “oops” baby long after my parents had stopped trying to give me a sibling. I’d been 15 when she was born and needless to say, my mom already had her hands full dealing with my attitude and my dad’s bullshit.


“Hey, get off that fricken thing and say hi to your brother,” I chastised as I waved my hand in front of her face. Annie’s chunky little cheeks spread into a huge grin as she dropped the iPad and stood up on the chair for me to grab her. I picked her up easily and hugged her as she setted on my hip. I felt bad that she was left to her own devices so often but it was hard when I was away at school all year then in training camps during Summer.


“Archie guess what!” Annie whispered in my ear, cupping her small hand in front of her mouth to block the sound.


“What…” I played along, keeping my voice low.


“Chicken butt!” She shrieked in my ear. I cringed away as she fell limp in arms while hysterics overtook her body.


“I see Kindergarten is teaching her loads of important stuff,” I deadpanned to my mother. Annie had caught the attention of the Averys as well. Charlotte came over to say hi to Annie, who calmed down enough to greet her.


Annie stayed in my arms as she told Charlotte all about her school friends. Her little fist gripped my shirt so she could lean down and talk expressively about all of her five-year-old antics. I cracked a smile as Charlotte listened intently, nodding her head at the appropriate time and interjecting questions to show interest. Annie glowed under the light of Charlotte’s attention, as I watched on.


Remembering we weren’t alone I looked up to see our parents silently watching us as well. Mrs. Avery and my mom both had secretive smiles as their eyes lit up with excitement. Mr. Avery however, looked grim. His gaze was locked on Charlotte’s back where my last name was sprawled. What brought me pride a few hours ago now made my pulse quicken. We made eye contact as his lips thinned but he stayed quiet.


“Got called into work this morning, he’ll be back soon though. Do you guys want some lunch?” Mrs. Avery replied.


We were all ushered into the kitchen for sandwiches. The aroma of turkey dinner already wafted around us as the counters were covered in mystery dishes. I settled on a stool with Annie on my lap as Charlotte excused herself to go clean up. I tried to focus on my sister to avoid the hungry stares of the two mothers who wanted to squeeze me for information. Mr. Avery had gone back to his office to finish up some work and this was the perfect opportunity for the wolves to close in.


The front door crashed open and I was relieved knowing that only Oliver could enter a house that obnoxiously. Sure enough, a few seconds later heavy footsteps came running into the kitchen.


“Archer! Bro!” Ollie yelled as he clapped me on the back.


“How’s it going man?” I replied genuinely happy to see my best friend again. He’d always been a brother to me, even when I’d treated him like shit. Guilt swirled in my stomach as I thought about the captivating girl upstairs. I hoped Oliver was okay about my new relationship with his little sister.


“So,” he said as though he’d read my mind. “I hear you drove my sister here. Finally got her to stop hating you did ya?”


I rolled my eyes, internally relieved that he seemed chill. “She never hated me,” I said ashamed of how pouty my voice sounded.


“Sure she didn’t,” Annie sassed as she hopped off my lap to go back to the living room. Oliver howled with laughter as I glared after my traitor of a sister.


“What’s all the excitement?” Charlotte strode into the kitchen before catching sight of her brother, “Ollie!”


I watched the two siblings reunite. Pure joy bounced off of them as they hugged and talked a mile-a-minute at the same time. How the fuck did they hear each other?


Charlotte had changed into dark jeans that hugged her curves so perfectly I had to actively force myself to avert my eyes. She swapped my hoodie for a beige sweater that sat low on her hips and cut under her collar bone. I was relieved I wouldn’t be fending off glares from her father anymore, but at least in my hoodie, I didn’t have to peel my gaze away from her body.


“You didn’t hate me growing up, right?” I asked quietly as she came over to sit next to me.


Amusement flashed in her eyes as she took in my worried state and Oliver’s smug grin. “Awww,” she patronized as she patted my shoulder. “Of course not!” An airy giggle burst from her lips as I shook my head.


Poking her in the ribs I goaded, “At least I don’t laugh at my own jokes.” Her giggling stopped as she swatted my hand away.


“Yeah… this is really gonna take some getting used to,” Oliver mused. I looked up to see all three of them watching us like we had three heads.


A pretty blush spread across Charlotte’s cheeks as she stepped away from me, offering her mother some help. Oliver took her seat so we could catch up. I had a moment as Oliver told me about his job where I realized for the first time I was actually enjoying a holiday.


My dad not being here removed so much pressure from my shoulders. I didn’t have to watch my back constantly, avoiding being cornered by him. My mom was happier too, I could tell. She laughed freely with Mrs. Avery as the two cooked together. Annie even pulled her nose off the iPad for a bit to spend time with us.


Charlotte stood at the counter in front of me chopping vegetables. A curl had fallen in her face and she kept huffing breaths up to blow it away. I chuckled as she let out an exasperated sigh when the curl fell right back into place. She looked over at me at the sound. A soft smile played on her lips before she turned back to her job.


The rest of the day passed easily. Oliver and I snuck away to play video games for a while before Annie corralled us out for dinner. Bright reds and oranges adorned the dining room as we made up our plates and sat down. Mr. Avery sat at the head of the table and called for us all to hold hands for grace.


I placed both palms out for Charlotte and Oliver to grab. I was again mesmerized by how perfectly Charlotte’s hand fit into mine. I barely heard the prayer before an echo of ‘amen’ told me it was time to let go. Before I could pull my hand back from Oliver his grip tightened as he flipped my hand.


“Arch…” his voice had an unreleased laugh in it, making me look up. “Are you wearing nail polish?”


I swung my head over to Charlotte as I cocked my jaw, waiting for her to take responsibility. Everyone at the table looked on amused as Oliver showed off my burgundy nail.


‘I want pretty nails like Archer!” Annie jumped in her seat making the adults laugh.


She nodded, seeing the joke was over and shifted forward to speak. “Archer if I knew you liked nail polish I could have lent you some.” The table erupted in another wave of laughter as I rolled my eyes and started eating.


“Charlotte,” I warned.


“I’m ignoring all of you,” I said between bites.


A few hours later we were all comatose in the living room. Three helpings of turkey plus multiple slices of pies weighed heavy at the bottom of my stomach. My eyes were almost drifting closed when Oliver spoke up.


“Archer, man let’s go out. It’s ladies’ night at the pub.”


“Dude, there is no way. I can’t move,” I grumbled.


Oliver hucked a pillow at me, smacking me right in the face. “C’mon man! I barely get to see you, I need my wingman.” I felt Charlotte stiffen next to me as she listened to our exchange. I had been worried about this. All I wanted to do was relax and honestly, spend time with Charlotte. But I didn’t want to leave Oliver high and dry. Any other time I was home, this would be an opportunity I’d jump on.


It also frustrated me that Oliver had to label me his wingman. He always did that, acting like we went out and scooped up a bunch of girls. In actuality, usually, our nights out were Oliver getting wasted while I sipped whiskey and ignored the majority of people who approached us. It never bothered me before, but now guilt settled in my stomach.


“Okay fine, just for a bit though,” I sighed as I tried to shake the feeling. I was single, technically I could do anything I wanted. But it didn’t stop me from avoiding Charlotte’s eyes as I stood to go get ready. I didn’t want to see what her gaze held. Disappointment? Jealousy? Fuck, maybe she wouldn’t even care.


Maybe a night out was exactly what I needed to get this girl out of my head.



As usual please vote or comment if enjoyed this chapter!


How do you think the dynamic between Archer and Oliver is going to change as Charlotte gets closer?

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