Previously, Falyn had her first kiss with Taylor… only to find out it was actually his identical twin Tyler. They had the awkward “so, uh, you kissed someone thinking it was me but we’ve never kissed soooo what’s that about” talk and it ended inconclusively. We’ve all been there, am I right?
Beautiful Sacrifice: Chapter 12
Taylor stops by at the diner with a present for Falyn and tells her that he’s leaving town.
“It’s raining, Falyn. We’re dragging up.”
I made a face. “I don’t speak hotshot. What does that mean?”
Was this a particularly difficult code to crack, though?
“But… you said you were here until October.”
He shrugged, defeat on his face. “I can’t stop the rain.”
“You’re going to miss me.”
“Not at all.”
“Yeah, you are. You’re pissed because you’re going to miss me like hell.”
Back when we were in college, Ariel gave me some of the best dating advice I’ve ever gotten when she said that nobody appreciates being told how they feel. I still think about this all the time, and it’s hilarious how we’ve spent almost six years since then reading books about men who absolutely do not care about that.
Taylor immediately brings up their agreement and assures her that he’s still going to bring her to Eakins, Illinois, with him. He explains that he’ll come back to get her next weekend. So he’s going to fly from Colorado to southern Illinois for a week, then fly back to Colorado to pick up Falyn, and then fly back. Falyn doesn’t question any of this, but of course had to ask what “It’s raining. We’re dragging up” meant.
“I’m coming back next weekend to get you. To take you home. My home. To Eakins.”
“What?” I looked up at him, my eyes instantly glossing over. […] I climbed over the counter and jumped on him, throwing my arms and legs around him. “Thank you!” I kissed his cheek. “Thank you.”
Taylor chuckled, trying to cover his surprise. His hand settled on the back of my hair, and he pressed his cheek against mine. “I’ll see you in a week.”
OR JUST STAY IN COLORADO FOR A WEEK AND DON’T TAKE THREE DIFFERENT SIX-HOUR FLIGHTS? Although I guess maybe this would be worth it to Taylor since everyone in this fucking town is weirdly hostile. Even by Maddox standards.
“You make it really hard not to get my hopes up.”
“If I disappointed you, I think Phaedra would murder me—right after Chuck slit my throat.”
I glanced over to Chuck, who was holding a knife to his own throat and pretending to slice it, not at all teasing.
CHUCK. MY DUDE. This situation was maybe like a five, and you immediately took it to an eleven.
Taylor leaned over after I released my hold on him, and he kissed my cheek before backing away. “There’s a phone in that sack. My number’s already in it. Text me your travel info, so I can book the tickets.”
wow that was excessive but also generous and maybe kind of sweet? Maybe I misj-
Reluctantly, he continued toward the door, adjusting the backpack. “Send nudes!” he called back
Falyn checks the phone and learns that Taylor’s also already set the wallpaper to him and his two friends mooning the camera, and then she gets a text message from him and finds he’s entered his number in her phone as “TAYLOR-BEAST”. Y’all, I don’t say this enough: having dudes hit on you sounds fucking exhausting.
I was fairly certain the three bare asses on the wallpaper belonged to Taylor, Dalton, and Zeke even though all three men’s faces were obscured as they were slightly bent while they mooned the camera.
Were their faces obscured because… their faces are on the opposite side of their bodies… as their asses… just a thought…
Falyn spends the rest of the day distracted by the reality that she’s going to Eakins, Illinois, (for what are still Mysterious Reasons, you recall) and mulling over how Taylor’s “kindness was overwhelming”. Sorry, I mean TAYLOR-BEAST.
ACTUAL PRAISE ALERT: I love, love, love how Falyn describes this bit where, using an iPhone for the first time ever, she tries to wrap her head around the concept that you can see when the other person is typing:
three dots appeared, having their own little dance party on the screen
KIND OF THE OPPOSITE OF PRAISE ALERT: so, uh, as critical as we’ve been over how the story is keeping Falyn’s backstory a secret to artificially create mystery a la J J Abrams’ “mystery box”… it’s pretty obvious by now that her backstory is gonna be some kind of very special episode-level shit about drinking and driving and/or texting and driving. Exhibit A:
With my thumbs, I typed on the touch screen.
I hope you weren’t driving.
(Side note: as opposed to typing on the touch screen with her nose, I guess.) And exhibit B, after Falyn takes a bottle of wine away from Kirby:
“Well,” I said to no one, “at least I’ll sleep well tonight.” I was alone. It was safe to enjoy a glass or two.
Oh right, yeah, so before that happens, Falyn comes home and Kirby’s boyfriend Gunnar shows up to say he needs help because “I really messed up this time”. Kirby won’t talk to him and thinks he’s been cheating on her, and he admits that he’s lied to her about why he’s always late, but it turns out he’s just getting some extra cash doing some construction work fixing up a sorority house. Gunnar asks Falyn to help Kirby understand. Then Kirby shows up and immediately forgives him, before anyone even says anything to her. They make out in the hallway. That was the Kirby/Gunnar subplot. It sure was a subplot. One could say it was in this book. That’s technically accurate!
“You’re so dumb!”
“I know,” he said.
She leaned back to look him in the eyes and sniffed. “Don’t ever lie to me again.”
He shook his head. “I won’t. This scared me straight.”
After Falyn leaves Kirby and Gunnar to resolve their subplot the way it’s been depicted in most of the book – off-screen – she takes Gunnar’s wine to her room and decides, what the hell, she can have a glass or two. She can’t hurt anybody now. No secret past-related reason why she’d think that. She downs two glasses in ten minutes, goes “so much for only two glasses”, and escalates some shit.
The phone buzzed on the surface of the nightstand, and I found myself scrambling to pick it up, giggling.
Can’t sleep. Wishing I were still in the Springs.
I fought the urge to hold the phone to my chest. Watching Gunnar and Kirby’s lovers’ spat, followed by three glasses of wine in less than twenty minutes, made me feel oddly sentimental. […]
“You’re still up?” Taylor asked, his voice sounding tired but not sleepy.
“This phone buzzes every time you text me, and I’m lying here, naked, in bed,” I said, hearing my words slur. “I have this urge to put it between my legs and hope you text me again.”
I knew how completely inappropriate I sounded, but I didn’t give a single fuck.
For a full ten seconds… there was silence.
“You don’t think it’ll work?” I asked, impatient for a response.
“Are you drunk?”
Drunk Falyn also makes an obscure reference to her mysterious backstory.
“I’m missing it, all of it,” I said softly, touching my fingers to my mouth.
“Missing what?” he asked.
Drunk Falyn also seems to have never met Falyn.
“I tried not to like you.”
“I knew it,” he said, amused. He sighed. “I was a goner on day one. You’re fucking mean, and it makes me absolutely crazy. But in a good way.”
“I’m mean?” I asked, feeling tears burning my eyes.
Girl, where have you been?
Taylor, to his credit, is uncomfortable and doesn’t want to take advantage of this situation, but doesn’t want to leave her alone like this either, so he stays on the phone with her until she falls asleep. Sorry, I mean TAYLOR-BEAST.
“I’m conflicted,” he said matter-of-factly. “It’s tempting to let this play out. Then again, I know you’ll hate yourself—and quite possibly me—tomorrow. […] Go to sleep, babe. It’s only going to get worse.”
“How do you know?”
“My dad was a sad drunk, too.”
Don’t forget that Kirby and Gunnar are making out somewhere else in the apartment, celebrating that their subplot is apparently already over. I know I’ve forgotten they were in this book.