Chapter 1 - A Love Song For Liars (Triology)

"Sorry I'm late. Car trouble."

I trip into the cafe, and Avery looks up from her table.

"I did bring you presents, through. Check your e-reader." \

My friend grabs her tablet from her bag.

"Oooh! How many books did you get me?"

"Ten? Twelve?"

I laugh.

"You're going away. You'll need some new material."

"You're the best!"

She informs me when I finish telling her about the mix of fiction and non fiction I picked out. We go to the counter, and I order a peppermint tea.

"How was rehearsal?"

Avery asks while we wait. I fill my friend in on what happened with Carla, and her eyes widen.

"The bitches tried to stop me driving away from the crime scene."

I finish.

"Sabotaging your ride is a new low. She's escalating."

I roll my eyes.

"Carla can't stand people taking things she wants."

"It's more than that. You're a traitor to an income bracket."

Avery says, mock chastising.

"Writing essays about how her dad and a bunch of others are destroying the middle class through their greedy empires and campaigning with the administration to spend our community involvement hours with actual disadvantage people instead of working with fancy ad agencies on shiny posters for environmental groups."

Her smile fades.

"For real, through. Why is this High School Musical fantasy is so important to you? In a year, we'll both be at Columbia, and this will all be behind us."

My tea is set in front of me, and I reach for it.

"She doesn't get to decide who has a voice, on stage or anywhere else."

Avery follows me back to our table.

"So, how'd you get here if they fucked up your ride?"

"Timothy fixed it."

I glance at her empty mug.

"Do you want another Americano to get through calculus?"

Hands grip my arms, and in a second, I'm looking straight into my friend's dark, dancing eyes.

"No, I do not want another Americano. I want to know in what world Timothy Adams was elbow deep in your business?!"

Avery's smart. Like, next level. She's the head of debate team and the newspaper, she's taking all AP courses, and she doesn't miss a beat. Her dad moved here from Nevada and met her mom at Spain before they came to Texas. Mr. Spade knows my stepmom because Haley's in software too.

"When was the last time you and Mr. Pool House (Timothy Adams) talked about something other than who ate the last Cheerios?"

She presses.

"Four months?"

"Which is weird given you've been living together for the better part of a semester and you were friends before that."

Yes, we were friends. Or whatever you call it when you hang with someone incessantly, argue over bands until three in the morning, and take over diner booths across an entire city on an epic quest to find the best cheese fries. When I met Timothy, he was part of a community outreach program at my dad's label in Philly for kids from troubled backgrounds. He was talented and gorgeous, but none of that was what attracted me to him. There was a deeper pull. I knew Timothy had seen some shit the way you can tell when another person's been through it. Still, anytime I asked about his family, he shut me down. When my dad finished the album, we moved back to Dallas, but Timothy and I stayed friends.

"Remember when he moved here from Philly to work with your dad and everyone at school lost their designer shit over him?"

Avery muses.

"Oakwood should've eaten him alive, but they didn't."

And that's what I hate the most. The boy I trusted, my partner in crime during one of the most tumultuous periods of my life, traded my friendship for theirs.

ng was messed up


together on music with Timothy living in our pool house and f

t her rais

weirdness slide. That was my first mistake. Do

tea, and Avery scr

u like the others are. So, why

ck to me in a rush. I remember the way he'd looked at me when we were alon


matter, Avery.

ay, calculus is a never-ending nightmare, and there's a poetry assignment breathing d

ed him before


aul Rudd and, through some of miracl

ft in m


iend g

write him a

nce of a clique. His gu

punchline about his di

tea, eyeing her

ick, but I call it Ode

er of us can sto

d to get

were both bre

that stupid nickname. There are a lot

aving sex to

row my

shit about my sex life. You'r

lt away, and I

ok as if that American

are coming up. Debate team needs to be prepar

cany, drinking Chianti and flippi

ry si

date. The most exciting things


fucking im

greeting me in the cavernous kitchen is the biggest rock star in the last two generations bent over a high chair, feeding

she be slee

Island big enough to

some damned food into

with a stare. Apparently, he's met his match in Sophia. With her chocolate eyes, and full head of dark hair, she can bar

was this tough to

h chair, folding my arms.

ke you at

y that to teenage girls.

ose to the ba

p but refuses to talk about how it all went down. Once he found out, he decided I should live with my Aunt Gwen and her husband Uncle Jorge until I was older. You might expect learning your insanely successful rock star uncle is actually your father would be a gift. It wasn't. I

n, little

and slaps at his hand hard enough t

ike a crime s

Sophia with little coos. The kid

h a movie tonight? You're w


ght, I need to get a couple guitar tracks w

ent courses

had rehearsal, then

. The studying, no

, the men play the guitar


and in it, my daughter

eem nearly as impressive as millions of album sales, screaming fans, and seven-figure endorsement deals. I would give anything for his musicality, his confidence.

Sophia while I go down to

on his way t

hould be back soon, and the

ing on new tracks for other artists and causes. In less than a month, I'll be the one on stage, and they won't be able to

hink about

I wouldn't have to constantly worry about getting a kni

e a few people ov

the faucet, his shirt

ia and I are in

ter. You hat

e leave behind messes that w

e messiest part of this household. I play my trump card, my dad's

cle Rudy's s

ly giving up on trying to get it clean, and

e, you can have

over a s

anything, I'll br

ic cast party for the rich assholes, prove to Timothy Adams he's wrong about me tempting Car