Change of Plans - C.L. Blackwell

Chapter One

Brother’s Best Friend


If I heard that doorbell go off one more time, I swear I was going to lose it. The constant ringing in my ears was driving me insane. It was most likely Caleb, Brody’s best friend who was insanely hot and well aware of it. He was over every day. He might as well let himself in. Brody, my older brother, appeared to not be up to opening the door and my dad definitely wouldn’t either; he locked himself in his office at the university for weeks on end.

After being subjected to the piercing harassment of the doorbell for the seventeenth time, I finally resigned. It must be Caleb because anyone else would have given up by now. I dragged my languid body out of my room into the hauntingly dark hallway. I didn’t bother to change out of my typical Sunday outfit of yoga pants and sweatshirt that probably hadn’t been washed in a couple weeks. When I passed the window in the hall, I peeked out into the driveway to see Caleb’s Jeep sitting in the driveway. Ugh, it was him.

Halfway down the stairs, the doorbell went off again. DING-DONG. Just to annoy Caleb, I purposefully dragged my feet slower across the wooden floor. Usually I would be skipping across the wood to escape the cold and get back to the carpet, but my pink fuzzy socks speckled with red hearts spared my feet from the bitter cold. When I reached the door, I opened it just in time to see Caleb’s hand reaching for the bell again.

“It’s not nice to keep guests waiting, Allison.” Of course, the first thing that came out of his mouth made me want to punch him. The stupid grin on his face didn’t help me calm my urge. His six foot something frame occupied the entire doorway, blocking my nearest escape route. Outside, the wrath of autumn had the temperature dropping to 50 degrees, yet he wore almost nothing. Only jeans and a two-sizes-too-small short sleeved shirt that had his biceps bulging out of his shirt. To match his bad boy facade, his leather jacketed was clutched in his hands and Ray Bans shaded his eyes even though no sunlight escaped through the dense clouds. Although I couldn’t currently see his eyes, I knew they matched the emerald green of his eyes perfectly. His wavy midnight black hair was just a bit too long, often flopping in his eyes, and his smile, that probably made every other girl swoon, was plastered on his face. Ugh. Even with his glasses on, I could feel his eyes trailing me up and down, and I crossed my arms over my chest self-consciously. Somehow he could make anyone feel so small with just a look, not that I would ever let him know that.

I stood taller and shoved my chin higher in the air even though there was no point; he had at least half a foot on me. “I hardly think a pest counts as a guest, and don’t call me Allison.” The glare I sent his way didn't seem to affect him at all. “Brody isn't here, so you might as well leave.”

“Tsk, tsk, someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.” His smirk grew larger to the point where he looked like the Cheshire Cat- well, the hot Cheshire Cat. “Mind if I come in and wait for your brother then?” Like I had a choice, Brody would kill me if I were rude to his precious friend. I waved my hand in a broad sweeping gesture, inviting him in. He swaggered past me, bringing an overwhelming scent of honeysuckle and pine with him. Must be some overpriced designer cologne. After all, his family was the wealthiest in the small town of Wolf Creek, he could afford it. His scent overwhelmed my senses and was driving me crazy. My sense of smell had increased tremendously over the past couple of weeks. Weird. I closed the door behind him and followed him through the foyer.

I trailed him into the kitchen as he flicked on lights as he went by, illuminating the house and exposing the unused furniture. Of course, he walked in and made himself right at home as if he owned the place. That was the thing about Caleb; he made himself comfortable wherever he was. He headed straight for the refrigerator like he had done every time he came over. In the past year and a