e-hundred I got off him.

”Better not be, ” Angie says before laughing with me. ”What do you want for dinner tomorrow? And before you say youll be off with your friends, youd better be home for dinner, its like we barely see you. ”

”I canceled my plans for tomorrow, ” I shrug, ”my friends are being asses. ” The truth is I just don want to party with Harley and her friends around.

”Im sorry, sometimes friends are like that, ” Angie pats my shoulder.

”Surprise me, with the food that is. ” Angie grins at me, a grin that I know all too well… what do you have up your sleeve??

Echo walks in the door with an exhausted look on his face, carrying more groceries in bags then he probably should be. I jump up to help him, but Angie holds me down and tells me that its okay and he doesn need my help. When Echo finishes bringing in bags, he comes in and plops on the couch next to Ang. They give each other a suspicious looking look and both nod. Shit… they both have something up their sleeves.

”Er… call me down when dinner is done… ” I say as I get up to go to my room. I lay down on the bed, it sags under my weight. I try to figure out who my mate is, but I still have no luck. Cassies birthday is the day after mine so I decided that I should get her a gift since she always gets me something.

I grab a large canvas and start painting. I paint a landscape of the lake, with all the trees in different shades of green. Once the paint dries on the shoreline, I draw her tanning in the sun as she likes to do, and I paint my friends and I playing in the lake and a few other people on the shore. I spend so much time painting that o don realize the time or hear Angie when she hollers at me from the bottom of the stairs. Theres an hour left till midnight when I finish. I slip downstairs and get the plate out of the fridge and eat it quickly before I go up to my room to sleep.

I dream of weird things in the night. First, I dream about a woman, I feel very strong things towards her, but I can see her face because its too fuzzy. It reminds me of the way Cassie explained that I would know who my mate was if they were around. I dance with the fuzzy person around and around. Then, my dream shifts to me and my friends at the lake, all teasing me about someone, and talking in whispers so quiet that I can hear them (which is most definitely not normal for my friends to do).

I wake up feeling groggy like I haven slept at all, but I don remember the dreams. I lay in bed for a bit, thinking trying to remember the dream. When I decide I can will myself to remember, I get up and pick something out to wear. I go with a white polo and black jeans.

I go down to the kitchen to find Angie and Echo, waiting with two boxes. Oh shit… I look at the boxes and try to figure out which one is the trick. A big one is covered in bright pink duck tape, and a smaller one is just in a normal box.

”Can I eat breakfast first? ” I ask not wanting to choose.

”Sure, ” Echo hands me a bowl of cereal and a gallon of milk. I eat the cereal slowly to prolong the prank.

”Here you go, ” Angie places the smaller box in front of me.

I slowly open it watching both of their faces as I do. They keep straight faces the whole time. I reach into the box and pull out a plastic bag without looking when I peek at it, I immediately, forcefully shove the peach colored blow up doll back into the box and glare at Angie and Echo who are laughing their asses off.

”We thought you could use a friend, ” Echo says.

”You did say you thought it would be nice to have some experience. ” Angie adds in. Exactly how I thought they would turn it… I mentally slap myself, I should have used better words when I told Angie.

”You can have this one now, ” Echo tosses the pink duck tape box at me.

”Can I use a knife? ”

”No, its fragile. ” Both Angie and Echo grin at me. I roll my eyes and begin to find a way to open the box, and after twenty minutes of fighting sticky tape I can open the box… inside is another, smaller box surrounded by brown paper. I open that box, it has a key inside of it.

I look up wide eyed at them, ”is this real? ” I hold up the key. Echo nods, and then I jump up and run to the front door… a bright pink tarp (identical in color to the tape) is covering what clearly is a truck in the driveway. I book it outside without shoes to rip back the trap revealing a dark blue Nissan Frontier King Cab S. I use the key and open the door to look around inside of it, and lets just say, it is nice with all modern tech and leather.

I pull out my phone and text my friends that they need to come over now and check this out. Not even twenty minutes after, Vincent, Mason, and Elijah are all running down the street towards the house.

”This is niiice mate! ” Mason says for the sixth time after walking around it.

”Its better than my beat up old ford, ” Vincent says with a jealous tone in his voice.

”Youve gotta take us out in it! Maybe, you could let us all take a turn? ” Elijah says hopeful.

”I call first! ” Vincent yells.

I just shake my head and laugh, ”Naw, I get to have a go in it first. ”

”Right, right! Thats what I meant, ” Vincent mutters.

”No one will be driving it except for Lupin, ” Angie points out from behind us. ”If I find out otherwise, it will be taken away. Im not paying for accidents caused by any of you. ” She has a point, Vincent crashed both his and Masons truck.

”Come on, ” Elijah frowns. He is the only one that hasn got to drive any of the vehicles.

”Angie said no, ” I put my hands in my pockets, ”and I have to do what she says, shes practically my mom… sorry E, ” I add in.

”Well, Lupin why don you take it out for a drive with them, so Echo and I can get everything ready for tonight. ” I nod my head at Angie.

I jump in and laugh as they fight over shotgun, which is only settled when I lock the door so no one can get in. They all climb into the back and I pull out and head towards the gate. About halfway there I get a strong whiff of something amazing, I have to fight the urge to stop and find where it comes from but even after I can smell it I still have to tell myself not to turn around. I take sharp left making everyone in the back fall over. I laugh to myself and park on the dirt next to a path that leads up the hillside to the lake.

”Thought you didn want to go to the lake mate… ” Mason says when I open the cab door.

”I didn , ” I jump down onto the dirt, ”but Ang wants me away from the house long enough that she can prepare whatever shes got planned. ” I shudder at the thought of coming home to a bunch of blow-up dolls laying around the house flows through my mind. ”Anyways, did any of you smell that amazing scent in the air? ”

”You mean new truck smell? ”

”No, it was better than that! ” The guys raise their eyebrows at me, all with the same smirk.

”That was your mate then, mate, ” Masons smirk turns to a grin, ”You really didn think about that? ”

That explains why it was so hard to fight turning around… ”I… nah, I wasn thinking about it. ” Everyone laughs at me and then the teasing really begins. All three of them tell me all about how pretty she is, and then deny knowing anything when I ask them to tell. We get to the lake, I can smell the beer we had covered in mud last time. I laugh about it. We pick out a nice shady spot next to the lake. I turn my back to the guys (and I shouldn have). Two of them shove me from behind and I fall into the cold lake water.

”Bastards! ” I yell while sneaking two handfuls of mud. Before they see it coming, I splat all three of them with the smelly stuff.

”Hey! We thought you could use a bit of a cooling off after smelling your mate, ” Vincent teases. He has a large amount of mud in his hair and some of it even landed in his mouth that was wide open.

”Asses, ” I mutter as I sit, now only in boxers, next to Elijah. We talk about our plans for the next couple of days and everything else we can turn into jokes till the sun is high above our heads. Everyone wades out into the lake to cool off. We fight and goof around till Vincent spots movement on the trial. We can all smell them, Harley and her friends coming, with what smells like food.

We wave at them as they enter into the clearing in their bikinis. Vincent whistles while he clearly stares at their skin.

”Pervert, ” I splash him in the face and then laugh as he gets a mouthful of fishy water coughing and spluttering.

”Yeah! ” Mason yells loudly, ”get with the program mate! Bros before hoes. ” Elijah slaps Mason in the head for yelling it. We head back to the shore to meet the girls who are pulling out the food, and putting it on a blanket.

”No, dry off before you so much as touch my blanket! ” One of the girls glares at us.

”Jodi, don tempt them, ” Harley whispers to her.

”Hey Harley, ” I ask, ”mind if I talk to you privately for a minute? ” She nods her head, clearly happy that Im at least back in talking terms with her. We walk around the lake then I turn to her, ”Im sorry for shutting you out… ”

”Its fine, I was a total ass about saying yes and then changing my mind. ”

e not an ass, I was just… a little hurt over it. ” We make up and then walk back over to the others who are patiently waiting for us.

”A lovers quarrel come to an end! ” Vincent teases. I slap his shoulder and mutter you wish it was you back.

We eat and talk, then the girls grab an empty bottle out of the cooler they brought with all the food.

”Who wants to play? ” Jodi asks as she sets the bottle in the middle of all of us.

”Absolutely! ” Vincent gets a wicked grin on is face. ”All us guys will play, so its just up to you all whos playing. ”

”I didn … ”

”Shhhh, ” Vincent covers my mouth.

”All of is, ” the girls all nod their heads. Harley clears the leftover food and then we sit in order of girl boy girl, except that theres more girls than guys. Its me, then Jodi, Elijah, Harley, Joanna, Vincent, Daphne, Mason, and Hope.

”Birthday boy first! ” Joanna yells pointing at me. I roll my eyes to spin the bottle, but Vincent stops me.

”Woh, hold up, if it points at another guy they have to spin again. ” The girls giggle and shake their heads in unison to say no.

Vincent gulps, then lets me spin the bottle. It stops pointing at me. ”Now what? ” I ask.

”Spin again. ”

I spin the bottle and when it stops its pointing in between Elijah and Harley.

”Oh shit! A threesom kiss! ” Vincent yells out.

”No! ” Joanna yells over him, ”it means you have to kiss the person thats closest to you. ” She just wants to see us kiss each other. I look at Elijah and hes looking back at me with huge eyes in a please no kind of look. I lean across Jodi (mentally preparing myself) and plant a kiss on Elijahs cheek.

”No!!! On the lips! ” Joanna glares at me.

”I have a mate! ”

”So! The rules are on the lips! ”

”Too late, he already kissed the cheek, it counts. ” Harley says making Joanna stop getting mad.

”Im not playing this stupid game, ” I jump up and head towards the lake. I strip down and walk in, I don stop till Im almost to the middle and I float on my back. I think of my mates smell to help me calm down so I don accidentally shift out of anger. I don notice that everyone else stops playing too, Vincent and Joanna are mad that everyone else quit. They run off and make out while everyone else gets in the lake.

I just float around on the surface ignoring everyone, but I can hear the splashing. After a while, I swim over to the others, I jump on Elijah and make him fall face first into the water, we play around in the water, Mason tries showing off for Daphne, but she just laughs and turns him down at every opportunity she can.

We talk about my new truck, now they all want to take a ride in it. Ill think about it but I doubt Ill actually let all of them ride it in. Angie might get mad at me.

”Anyone seen Vincent and Joanna? ” I ask after realizing that they aren here.

”Don know… ” Harley begins looking around. ”I hope she didn leave, she is our ride… ” Harley and I get out and start searching around the lake were the blanket is, but with no luck, we don find them.

”I guess we will see when we get back to the dirt parking lot. ”

”Yeah.. ”

We spend the whole day at the lake, and by the end I can feel the burn on my shoulders, face, and arms. We walk back in a large group to find that Joannas car is gone. I make everyone jump into the bed. I open the back window so they can tell me where to stop. I close the window after Mason gets out last, and drive up and down the road wasting gas (not that Ive used much, the truck is good on it). By the time I pull into the driveway at the house, next to Echos old beat up truck, its dinner time. Cassies dark green car is parked by the sidewalk.

I get out, I can immediately sleep something extremely wonderful, this time I know that its my mate. How many people are there, I wonder. I walk up to the door, then decide to sneak around the back for a peek. So I run around the house and peek in the glass door.

Angie and Cassie are talking in the living room, Jaxon and Echo are playing games at the table. I can help but to stare at Cassie, she looks very beautiful, too beautiful for her own good. Shes even blushing, I wonder what about.

The smell of my mate is so strong I can help myself but go inside now. If I was having trouble ignoring it earlier this made it look like nothing. I have to find out who its coming from. The closer I get to the living room the stronger it gets, and its coming from Cassie.

”Well hello there handsome, ” Cassie says when she looks away from Ang. My mouth drops open, I want to run and jump on her to touch her.

”Lupin, please shut your mouth, your drooling. ” Angie laughs at me.

”A-all all this time? ” I ask as I sit on the floor across from her to afraid to sit any closer. Cassie bites her lip and nods. I can feel a wave of different feelings crash down on me; bad for Cassie having to wait so long, guilty for brushing her off as being the one, happy to finally know…

”Ill leave you two to it. The cake should be almost done. ” Angie gets up and goes to the kitchen.

I continue to stare at Cassie, and she blushes and looks down at her hands.

”I got you something for your birthday, ” Cassie says as she looks up at me. Her hazel eyes meet my blue ones. God she has beautiful eyes. ”But you have to come over here to get it. ”

”Oh… okay, ” I almost whisper, I get up and feel like Im floating as I get closer to her. I deeply inhale her scent. ”What is it? ”

She pats the couch beside her, neither of us have broke eye contact with each other. I sit next to her, I have to cover my lap. She pulls something out of her pocket, tickets to the local movie theater in town, and hands me one of them. I touch her finger as I take on from here, and my finger feels like fireworks are exploding inside of it.

”We can take your truck to the movie theater, ” Cassie says with a blush. ”If you want to, or we can take my car. ” She starts playing with her brown hair. ”They are for tonight by the way. ”

”Oh, ” I smile and look down at the reddish pink movie ticket in my hand. A movie, I wonder whats playing. ”Either or. ” I put my hand on Cassies leg and sparks immediately start flying in my hand.

”Happy Birthday to you! ” Angie starts singing as she walks into the living with a cake, everyone joins in. As soon as Angie places the cake down every one stops singing. Its a homemade Cajun nut cake with homemade white icing.

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