[15] Third Wheeling at the Movies

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B A D
B O Y ' S
G A M E

Recently Archer has been receiving a plethora of calls from a friend, making me remember that Archer too had a social life and friends. No matter how obnoxious Archer might seem, there were people who enjoyed being in his company.

Archer called me when my car was all fixed up, later that day I made my way to Archer's house to pick up my car from him. Today being Friday, of course. As he unveiled my car, with a fresh baby blue paint job, a silver car rolled up into his driveway. The car was uncharacteristically fancy for the neighborhood and its music was up loud. A blond haired smirking guy sat in the driver's seat, his smirk told me he had to be a friend of Archer's. Their smirks were similar and they probably broke a string of hearts together.

The guy turns off his car and walks up to Archer, patting him hard on the back. At a closer look it was evident that he was quite the looker.

"I'm home, Archie," he says, his voice sounding much like the caller that had been ringing Archer recently.

He must be Zac, his name coming up a lot these last few days in sentences like:

Zac's a fucking idiot.

Shut up, Zac.

Zac, stop calling me.

After they have their little bro reunion, Zac takes a look at me.

"Is this the girlfriend?" he asks, not even slyly checking me out.

I stood awkwardly, leaning against my car.

"Yeah," Archer says, walking over to me and placing an arm around my waist.

Archer's touch always seemed to cause a little spark, a shiver in the skin.

"She's pretty," he says directed to Archer, soon after diverting his attention to me, "What are you doing with somebody like him?"

"Somebody like him?" I ask, a little curious on what he means by that.

"Archer's not exactly Prince Charming, he likes to smoke a pack in a few days and drink away his college funds," he tells me.

"Shut up, Zac," Archer says, moving his arm from around my waist and smacking him lightly on the arm.

Zac gives a sly smile.

"Want to hit the movie theater? You can bring your girl," Zac asks Archer.

Archer looks back at me, as if he's asking if I want to tag along.

I nod, all three of us piling into Zac's car seconds later. I had nothing better to do this Friday evening, I wasn't working tonight and Arden was busy.

Archer sat in the back seat with me, his hand interlocking with mine.

The movie theater isn't far from Archer's house, we get there rather quickly. Zac liked to drive fast and relatively dangerously. The car parks in one of the many parking spaces, still sticking out like a sore thumb.

Archer gets out quickly and makes his way to my side, Zac locks the car doors.

"So, what's a pretty girl like you fake dating Archer?" he asks me, turning around to face me.

A smile is on his face.

"What do you mean?" I ask, playing naive.

He gives a small laugh, Archer now knocking on the window.

"Archer told me over the phone the other night that's he dating a girl and you're just frankly not like anybody he's dated before. In fact, you're a lot better than the others. There's no way he's won you over, your body language says it all," he explains, unlocking the car doors.

He finishes off the statement with a friendly grin, confirming that was exactly how I imagined. He's charming, handsome, and a bit on the playful side.

Archer opens the car door, giving a raised eyebrow.

"The car acted up," I lie.

I get out of the car, Archer taking one of my hands into his. Zac walks ahead of us, glancing back at us to give me a wink.

Archer tightens his grip on my hand.

He leans a bit closer to me, whispering into my ear, "The car didn't act up, did it?"

I swallow a gulp of air, knowing that I was in trouble because my little white lie didn't work.

He continues, "If I were you, I would act like you're madly in love me before your facade fully falls and people can easily see through us."

I don't say anything in response and just walk a bit faster, leading him rather than being beside him. Archer must know that Zac's onto us, after all Archer knows Zac.

'Act like you're madly in love with me,' he says. Well, I'm not an actress, it's hard to act like I'm in love with somebody I'm not. Falling in love is a complex thing, but if he wants me to act as if I'm in love, that's what I'll do. Acting like I'm in love is far better than actually being in love because love is an inescapable act.

I trudge forward with my thoughts, stopping once we reach the box office. Zac chooses an action film, not even bothering to consult us.

He's most definitely a friend of Archer's, their attitude's similar. Archer with his spare hand buys two tickets, one for him and I.

We show a young man our tickets once we're inside and head to our movie's theater. Due to our arrival time and the movie's start time we have a wide array of seat selection.

Archer pulls himself and I in front of Zac, I follow him into a row towards the back of the room. Archer sits next to me, Zac next to him.

"I'll get some snacks," Zac announces before hopping out of his seat and heading towards the exit.

Archer puts up the arm rest in-between us, shifting over a bit closer to me and placing an arm around me.

"It's cold," he says softly.

"Cold, is that how your heart feels?" I ask in the same soft tone.

He doesn't flinch at the question, instead he pulls me in even closer to him.

"No, my heart's warm sometimes," he says.

I scoff, perhaps it is with his family occasionally.

"It warms up for you after all, being around you melts the ice around it," he continues, making me swoon for a moment.

He takes one of my hands and puts it against his chest where his heart its.

"Feel that? That's my heart and it's beating for you," he says in a tone that makes me want to believe that our relationship is genuine.

Instead of offering a sarcastic response at the cheesy statement, I smile in the dark of the theater. Archer's a little too good at acting like he's in love, I want to believe him sometimes and that's unfortunate.

He can go from an asshole to a sweetheart as quickly as it takes for my face to feel red.

Zac returns after a few minutes, passing a cold cup over to me and a bag of gummy bears.

I move my hand from Archer's chest, not wanting Zac to become more suspicious.

"I hope you guys aren't the type of couple that makes out in intense scenes of movies," he says to us.

I hope so too, mostly because I don't know what I would do if Archer kissed me right now.

But, at the same time I wouldn't mind finding out.

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