Erin Monello is only seventeen when her parents expect her to settle down and get married, but that's not unusual in her society, where everyone must be married by the time they've reached twenty-one. But settling down is the last thing on Erin's mind, especially not when she's just beginning her life. Even so, her parents find a suitable husband for her, one who they believe will be able to provide for her in the years to come, named Zayn Malik. He shares her opinion on marriage at a young age, so they decide to be friends instead of lovers, even thought they're labeled as husband and wife. But how long will this act last before they realize just how much they care for each other?


1. Chapter One

According to my mother, people used to look both ways before crossing the streets. She says it was because the roads were so unsafe back then. They used to find striped lanes in the road running perpendicular to the traffic, called crosswalks, and they would wait until no cars were coming from either directions and only then would they cross the roads. The rules were pretty strict from what I hear, yet the death percentages were still soaring.

I don't really know what happened, nor do I care, but now, nobody gives a damn whether you check both ways while crossing the road or not.

Except Callie.

That girl is scared out if her goddamn mind of getting hit by cars. I have no idea what influenced that paranoia, but it got her pretty bad.

And somewhere along the line, it began to get me, too.

"Goddammit Seth, you almost got hit!" I screeched, groping for the back of my best friend's vest as the small car zoomed past, blowing his brown hair astray.

He brushed my hand off and chuckled. "Relax, Erin, I'm alright!" To prove his point, he raised his arms above his head, showing me his whole body.

"What's gotten into you?" asked Meredith, another good friend of mine as we crossed the now-empty street. "Practically no one dies from car accidents."

"Callie," I grumbled, still shaking from that close save.

"Ah," Seth breathed, smiling. "I get it."

"Well at least you know she'll be safe from car accidents," remarked Meredith. "God, these shoes are killing me! And we haven't even gotten to the party! How the hell am I supposed to dance with these??"

"Poor baby," Seth mocked in a gooey voice reserved only for babies and small animals, sticking out his lower lip.

"Oh, shut up Seth!" She teased, swatting him lightly with her clutch. "You try wearing four inch heels to go dance all night in!"

"Oh, and I suppose you'll be asking me to try bleeding out of my vagina next?" he goaded.

"Meredith, you didn't have to wear those, you know," I spoke, laughing at her twisted face.

"Oh, you be quiet, Erin! I bought these years ago and I have to wear them before I grow out of them!"

"Says who?" I taunted.

"Seth, tell her I have to wear these before I grow out of them!"

"Sorry ladies, I don't do 'shoe fights.'"

"You're useless, Seth, you know that, right?" Meredith sighed.

"You know what, Meredith? You're right," I said, going along with her. "Maybe we should just get rid of him."

The blonde girl squealed and clapped her hands like a first grader. "Ooh! I like this idea!"

"Well, despite what you may think, my beautiful lady friends, I am not completely useless," Seth spoke in a suave voice. "In fact, it was I who got your worthless asses invited to this party."

Meredith mocked a hurt expression and placed her hand over her chest. "Seth! My ass is not worthless!"

I laughed as we approached the dark wooden door of the party house. Inside, loud, pounding music could be heard, the thumping beat vibrating through the porch to my toes inside my heels. Outside, several couples could be seen making out, an almost-naked boy regurgitating the contents of his drink in the bushes, and several boys, all with their shirts off, howling like wolves.

And it wasn't even nine o'clock yet.

"So, who's party is this, exactly?" I asked Seth, tearing my gaze away from one of the wolf-boys, who was, dare I say it, incredibly attractive.

"Well this house belongs to some girl named Perrie. From what I've heard of her, she's something of a 'party animal,'" he replied, pushing open the door to reveal a sea of sweaty teenage bodies.

"So, she's a slut," I clarified, gazing around the hallway. In the corner of the room a couple was making out heavily.

"More or less," Seth said, causing me to giggle. Seth was the sweet one of the three of us. He wasn't quiet so harsh or blunt, but, damn, could he have fun.

"What the fuck?" Meredith exclaimed. "Is he trying to eat her face?"

I followed her gaze and saw the same couple, this time with his hands cupping her breasts. Her leopard print bra was hanging out of her white t shirt, and her lipstick was smeared all over her face from the boy's careless lips.

"That's sloppy kissing if I ever saw it," Meredith spoke, raising her eyebrows.

"Oh, don't act like you've never had a messy kiss!" I teased her.

"Oh, God, girl, don't even get me started! Remember that guy Devin? I swear to god he lost his fucking gum in my mouth or something that one time, and he spent the rest if the night with his tongue shoved down my throat trying to find it!"

"You let him!"

"Ladies, must I always be the referee?" Seth asked, leading us into the kitchen.

I laughed and rolled my eyes as he handed me a red solo cup filled to the brim with what smelled like beer. The sharp tang sear my nostrils and I handed it off to Meredith, wrinkling my nose. "No, thanks," I spoke. "I don't do beer."

"Try this, then," A handsome boy suggested, handing me another cup, sloshing around with whiskey.

There was no denying it--he was attractive. His jaw was chiseled like a marble statue, with his high cheekbones jutting out elegantly. His brown hair was ruffled and unkept, but he pulled it off. He smiled a smile that reached his eyes and reeked of beer.

"Thanks," I answered, still in awe of his perfect features. Next to me, I could see Meredith's jaw drop and Seth holding in hysterics. I guess our faces were something to see.

"I'm Louis, by the way," the boy said.

"Oh, I'm Erin," I replied. "And this is Meredith. She'd kill me if I didn't introduce her to someone as attractive as you."

Meredith blushed as Louis grinned. "You're not to bad yourself, Erin. And neither are you, Meredith."

"Erin!" whined Seth, jokingly. "Why didn't you introduce me??"

I giggled and playfully swat his arm. "This is Seth. He's the epitome of dumbasses everywhere."

"Nice to meet you, Seth," Louis spoke, holding out his hand to shake it. I grinned at the old-fashioned feature in such an extravagant setting. "We're starting a game of truth or dare, if you wanna join?" He offered, pointing over his shoulders at a group of boys and girls who looked just as wild and crazy as I felt.

I nodded, but before I could even open my mouth to speak, Meredith had already established herself in a seat next to another (amazingly) attractive boy, this one with dark brown curls and bright green eyes.

"That's Harry, by the way," Louis clarified, poking Harry in his cheek as we passed him to sit on the old couch.

"Hi!" Harry greeted us in a deep, raspy voice, holding up his large hand by way of hello.

"Ooh, who're you?" Seth said flirtatiously to a small platinum blonde girl curled up near the arm of the couch.

"Perrie," she answered, her eyes raking up and down his body. I could practically see the gears turning inside her brain, switching in her hunting mode.

Seth raised his eyebrows and plopped himself down next to her. "Hello, Perrie, I'm Seth." He waited a second before adding, "You're absolutely gorgeous, by the way."

Perrie grinned sweetly, but I could tell she wasn't uncomfortable. She had done this before. But then again, it wasn't like I was new to this scene either. I had participated in my fair share of parties, more than a few of them ending in one-night stands. I wouldn't admit that, not even to Meredith, but they had happened, and I don't think I regret one second of it.

Sooner or later I'll be married, tethered down to some boring man who works as a lawyer or something equally as bland. He'll never want to take me out, but he'll get upset if I'm even around other men. I've seen the type.

Last year, Meredith was almost engaged to someone like that. His name was Lance, and he was a total douche. He was the sort of person who wanted to keep her all for himself, but never actually spend time with her. He just liked the idea of having her. They were engaged for a few months before Meredith finally went to her parents in hysterics, screaming that she couldn't marry him, it was just impossible.

She almost pulled a Princess Bride move and declared that if she was not let out of the marriage, she would not be alive the next morning.

I can't even begin to explain how relieved I was when she told me her parents had cancelled her wedding. Lance would have locked her away and gone out to have affairs with other pretty women just like Meredith, and then I would've lost my best friend. Who would come get drunk with me then?

It's a selfish reason, I know, but it's true. I freaking love that girl, and if she was forced into a marriage anytime soon, I would have to drop the partying act completely, and let's be honest, who am I without that?

"So, Harry, truth or dare?" Asked Louis playfully.

Harry pondered over the decision for a second before peering up and Louis and I on the couch. "Dare."

"I dare you to... Go take two shots!"

Harry let his head fall back on the couch, his beautiful brown mop of curls fanning out behind him as he groaned. "Really, Lou? Two shots?"

Louis nodded proudly and swelled his chest up in mock pride. I had to admit, he was adorable. And not just in a baby-cute way, nor an attractive way, although no one could deny his good looks. There was something about him that was almost magnetic--I wanted to know him better. Not like in a romantic way, I just wanted to be friends with him.

I wanted to see what parties at his house were like or how he treated his siblings, if he had any. I wanted to know what sports he played and go to his games and cheer him on and watch his cute features light up as he won the game.

Nothing romantic about that.

Hi guys!

My name is Jo, and I'm super duper excited to start working on it. I've already gotten it all planned out and I just can't wait until it picks up!

I'll try to update as much as possible, but please don't hate me if it's not a daily thing.

If anyone actually wants to know (or cares) who I imagined Erin Monello as, it's Freya Tingley. She's on Instagram too, if you wanna follow her at @freyatingleyShe's absolutely gorgeous.

I'm really excited to see how this goes. Also, most of the chapters will probably be longer than this, and the author's notes will definitely be shorter. This was just kinda a tester chapter thingy. 

Please feel free to like and comment! I spent a long time writing this and it would mean the world if you just tapped that vote button or typed out a small reaction to the chapter.

PS. This is also on Wattpad, for anyone who prefers that site.

I love you!

Jo xx

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