Scene from Lilly and Reed

This morning, Reed drove up to see me. He’s staying the weekend, but in the guest room. There’s no way my dad would let him stay in my room, even though I know for a fact that my dad let Jade stay in Garret’s room when they were dating.

His double standard makes me so mad. And the way he’s so overprotective? I can’t take it anymore. He barely lets me leave the house. I’m so fed up with him right now I’m about ready to stop talking to him.

He said he’s only acting this way to protect me. He claims he’s been getting threats from some guy trying to get our money, and that the guy could come after me to get to him. But I don’t buy it. I think he’s lying. My dad gets threatened all the time and has people he hires to take care of it. So why is this time any different?

“I think we should stay here,” Reed says, standing up to put his jeans on.

“There’s nothing to do here.”

“There are all kinds of things to do.” He yanks his t-shirt over his head. “We could watch a movie.”

“We do that all the time.”

“Yeah, but you guys have an actual theater room with a huge screen and surround sound.”

When Reed first saw our theater room, his jaw dropped. He’d never seen a home theater. He thought it was the coolest thing ever.

“It’s the middle of the day,” I say. “I don’t feel like watching a movie right now.”

“Then let’s go swimming. Or we could paint. You have your own studio in the back yard. You know how freaking cool that is?”

“Yeah, it’s awesome, but we can paint later.” I tug on his hand. “Let’s go out.”

“I’d rather stay here.”


“Because your dad told us not to go anywhere.”

I roll my eyes. “You’re seriously listening to my dad?”

“Your dad is huge. And a trained killer.”

I laugh. “He’s huge but not a trained killer.”

“You said he does all that martial arts training.”

“Yeah, to stay in shape, not to kill people.”

“He goes to the shooting range every week. And he showed me his gun.” Reed is totally scared of my dad, which makes me laugh.

“He was just kidding around. All dads try to scare off the boy who’s dating their daughter.”

“I’ve dated plenty of girls and not one of their fathers has brought out a gun.”

I shrug. “Maybe my dad thought you liked guns. Rachel has a gun too. She and my dad both go to the shooting range.”

“Okay, that’s just weird. Why are they both so into guns?”

“Because crazy people come after us. My parents just want to be able to protect themselves.”

“Do you have one?”

“No, but if I wanted one I’m sure my dad would get me one.”

“Has your dad ever shot anyone?”

“Not that I know of.”

And yet I keep having that dream. The one where my dad comes home late at night, covered in blood.

“Wouldn’t he tell you if he had?”

“I don’t know but I don’t like talking about this.” I stand in front of him. “Are we gonna go or what?”

He sits down on the bed. “Given that I value my life, I’m choosing to stay here.”

I sigh. “You’re seriously that worried about my dad?”

“It’s not just that. I’m trying to be respectful. He told us to stay here and I don’t want to disrespect his wishes.”

“You’re not disrespecting him.”

“Well, I disagree.” He pulls me down on his lap. “And given that I want to marry his daughter someday, I want him to like me. I want him to know I’m a good guy who’s respectful and mature and will make a good husband to his beautiful daughter.”

I smile. “You know that’s like at least ten years in the future. I’m not ready to get married. Live together, maybe. But not get married.”

“Your brother got married when he was 19.”

“Yeah, and that was crazy.”

“Why? He’s still happily married all these years later.”

I turn to face him. “Are you trying to talk me into getting married?”

“Not right away, but ten years seems like a really long time. I mean, ten years ago we were in grade school. A lot can happen in ten years.”

I kiss him. “I’ll still be in love with you in ten years, if that’s what you’re worried about.”

“How about five?” He’s not joking, his face completely serious. “Would you do it in five years?”

“You really want to get married five years from now?”

“I’d prefer three, but you wanted ten so I picked something in between.”

“Why three? What’s the rush?”

“Three years is hardly rushing it. By then, we’ll have dated for four years. And we’ll be done with school, so it’d be a good time.”

“I’ll give it some thought but I’m not making any promises.”

He kisses me. “But you promise to marry me, right? At some point?”

I smile. “You haven’t proposed yet so I’m keeping my answer to myself until you ask.”

He thinks a moment, his lips turning up. “Okay.”
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