A/N: Hello readers! I cannot believe I am updating this story after TEN YEARS. A lot has changed, but I finally got back to writing after taking a massive break. I have no idea if anyone still looks at this story, but I thought what the hell. Hopefully you all like the new chapter. Like before, I plan to finish this thing in 5 chapters hopefully. Enjoy!

The glaring sun poured from the windows, and I strained to open my eyes against the onslaught of light. My body was not ready for this kind of treatment after last night's debauchery. It felt as if my brain was expanding in my skull, which made me want to bury my head beneath the covers and head back into the land of dreams. Of course, nothing like that would ever happen because a very male, very muscled arm was thrown over my torso; the fingers curling slightly around me.

Last night's actions came back at me at a rapid pace. Callum's ring. The alcohol. The proposition. Sex with Dante. The loss of my virginity. The soon-to-be awkward morning after.

To think about all of it made me want to heave. My foray into the world of mixing hard liquor and crazy, wild ideas had not been the wisest of choices; but, this had been my decision. Even through the alcohol induced haze, I had wanted Dante in a way that I hadn't wanted a guy since I met Callum. I could feel a blush creeping up my neck as I thought about how much I had wanted him last night. I really knew how to get myself in horrible positions. Losing my virginity to the best friend of the guy I was in love with didn't bode well for me. While I had thought it was a great idea last night, I would be mortified if Callum was ever informed of our tryst.

Shaking the thoughts from my head I scanned my eyes across the room, looking for my articles of clothing. I didn't really want to walk around Lane's house in just a sheet. My clothing was dispersed around the room, and I needed to somehow get Dante's arm off of me without waking him up. Very gently, I pushed his arm away from me and lifted myself from the bed.

Surprisingly, he only grunted in his sleep and turned over. I let go of the breath that I didn't know that I was holding and quickly grabbed my clothes. I placed them haphazardly on my body and made my way to the door.

"Going somewhere Rawlings?" I heard Dante's voice drawl from behind me.

One word came to mind: shit.

Slowly, I turned my body to face my virginity stealer. He was leaning against the headboard with the sheet precariously low on his hips. Too low for my liking. His tousled hair and piercing blue eyes were quite the sight, and I could feel my body responding.

"Surely you're used to this by now Dante? Aren't you the king of one night stands?" I asked calmly. There was no way he was going to know that he was affecting me.

Instead of the anger that I expected to see in his eyes, they were filled with mirth. It was strange to say the least. I thought my my question would have at least sparked some indignation on his part.

"Baby, they're not called one night stands when the other person keeps begging for more," he said pointedly to me.

I wanted to punch him for that statement. The asshole actually had the audacity to think that I wanted more from him.

"Who said I wanted more? There was an itch and you scratched it," I blandly stated at him. Two could play at this little game he was conducting.

"I think I scratched it more than once last night." His retort was quick and there was a slight smirk to those perfectly carved lips. I wanted nothing more than to slap that look from his face.

"Listen, we both got what we wanted. I'm not here to play games with you Dante. I just want to go back to my own bed and sleep off this hangover."

Dante arched a brow at me and rose suddenly from the bed. My eyes darted away before I could see what the sheet had been hiding and I instantly regretted the action. The dull throbbing in my head roared back to life with a vengeance. This man would certainly be my demise, there was no questioning it. He approached me swiftly and my body tensed at his nearness—without the alcohol running though my system I was less sure of how I should act.

"Come on Rawlings, it's just a bit of fun. And didn't we have fun last night?"

Flashes of last night flitted through my mind rapidly—his fingers in my hair, tracing every curve of my form, his mouth between my legs. I could feel the blush starting to form and I slightly despised him for it. I didn't want to be affected by him in this way; having one man with power over me was enough, I didn't need two.

I put my hand out to stop him from coming any closer when it met his bare chest. He radiated heat and my fingers felt electric at the small touch. There was no way I would dare my eyes to look down; I wouldn't give him the satisfaction.

"We did have fun Dante, but you and I had a deal. Nothing more, nothing less."

Even with my hand on his chest Dante dared to encroach my personal space. His hand played with the ends of my hair, which was distracting on so many levels.

"Let's say I have a proposition for you Rawlings, what do you think of that?" He questioned lightly. His tone was playful but with an undercurrent of something that I couldn't quite detect. My heart fluttered in response. Traitor. I couldn't even trust my own responses to this man.

"Shouldn't you put on some clothes before you proposition me? It seems unfair that you're not wearing anything."

His lips curved into one of his trademark smirks acting as if he had gained a point over me. Typical. This man always played in games and measured any and all wins, no matter how small they seemed.

"Let's focus on the matter at hand—do you want to hear my proposal or not? It could be beneficial for the both of us."

My internal alarm warning me of danger was sounding loudly, but the small, traitorous part of me wanted to know what he had to offer. It remembered every single scene from last night and the pleasure that I had received from him. Like I said, it was traitorous.

With my hand still on his chest I asked suspiciously, "What kind of proposition?"

The hand that had been playing with my hair moved to caress my collarbone and I couldn't help the gooseflesh that rose in its wake. I had no idea what game I was playing and I realized the trouble that could possibly be with Dante's so called proposition. Maybe it was the hangover, maybe it was the lack of sleep, or the amazing sex we had, but I wanted to know what he was willing to give. Didn't I deserve my own shred of happiness?

"I want to continue this little thing that we started. Callum still doesn't have to know what we're doing, but I think we can both agree that it benefits both of us. I know you had a good time with me. I think you came what, four times last night?"

I was definitely blushing and I uttered a few expletives to myself. I shouldn't be surprised that he would bring how many orgasms I had with him. Although, he didn't really specify how our future trysts could benefit him, which was suspicious. Dante never did anything out of the goodness of his heart. His actions were always based off of some strange motivation that I could rarely discern.

"I don't see how this could benefit you Dante. We both know that if Callum ever found out then your friendship could be in jeopardy. He doesn't like us around each other."

I watched his face for any signs, anything to show me what he could possibly be thinking, but he gave nothing away. His usual carefree mask was in place and I knew I would probably never learn what his true intentions were. Out of Callum's friends he was the only one who I really didn't know. There was an edge to his mysteriousness that I had yet to understand.

"Rawlings has anyone ever told you that you ask too many questions? It benefits me and that's all you need to know. Now, what's your answer?" He asked, his eyes bright and intent on mine. I searched for any hesitation in his form, but there was none. I was slightly wary of not knowing his motivations, but I couldn't deny that I was tempted by his offer. Is this how Eve felt when she was tempted by the Devil?

Removing my hand from his chest I replied, "Can you give me some time to think it over?"

"I'll give you until Sunday. Plenty of time for you to talk this over with Rae, because I know you will." His hands swept into my hair and he placed a chaste kiss across my lips. I started from the contact and pushed myself out of his arms.

"What was that for?" I asked incredulously. The gesture felt out of character and I wasn't expecting it from him.

Dante shrugged and said, "I just felt like doing it Rawlings. You don't need to analyze every single thing that I do."

Narrowing my eyes I replied with, "Of course I do. I may not know much about you Dante Luckland, but I know you never do something without a reason behind it. I'll let you know what my decision is on Sunday."

"Deal. Now, where's your phone? I'm going to give you my number so you can text me your decision." He stepped away from me and held out his hand in a patient manner.

Wordlessly, I handed him my phone and he quickly entered his number into it. I went to take my phone back when he slipped it seamlessly into my back pocket and invaded my space once again. This man needed to learn about boundaries, although I'm sure not many women complained of him being too close.

"Do you know anything about personal space Dante?"

He of course ignored my question and stated, "I made sure to give myself a nickname in your phone. That way we won't give ourselves away. Now, you better run off Rawlings. People will start to make their way home after their debauchery."

I pushed him away and rolled my eyes and his response was to merely laugh and back away. I know that my push barely affected him. I had more interaction with Dante in the span of a night than I did in a typical month. My brain couldn't comprehend what was happening. I needed Rae to talk me through this situation.

"Whatever. I need to go anyways. You've kept me long enough." I moved towards the door and placed my hand on the doorknob.

"Looking forward to Sunday Rawlings—I know you won't disappoint me."

Ignoring his comment I quickly left the room and didn't glance back. I had no desire to see that smirk or his nakedness anymore. Quiet as I could, I closed the door and peered down the hallway. Not seeing a single person, I sighed in relief and made my way out of Lane's house. I was thanking the gods when I didn't meet a single soul during my escape.

All I wanted was Rae's advice, my bed, and some Advil. Maybe then I could understand the absurd situation I now found myself embroiled; a friends with benefits situation with Dante. I guess the world had witnessed crazier things, I hardly registered.

I got back to the dorms without any issues—thank god—and quickly changed out of my party getup and into some pjs. I grabbed Advil from the medicine cabinet and threw back two pills. I quickly made a bagel as well and texted Rae. I desperately needed to talk to her about Dante and maybe she had some insight concerning my little predicament.

Was a friends with benefits situation with Dante really want I wanted? Or needed? I mean it wasn't like I hadn't had a few dalliances with guys even while being besotted with Callum. I was in love, but not a complete idiot. I just never let them become more than I what I wanted. Most people would describe me as foolish. Didn't all the relationship blogs say that you shouldn't give so much weight to unrequited love? Didn't that reek of not wanting to actually put yourself out there and find true love?

This wasn't the first time I had analyzed my actions and decisions, nor would it be the last. But, I was stubborn. I wanted Callum on such an intense level that I had to at least continue trying. Consequences be damned. On a completely logical level, I knew it was slightly dramatic. Ok, maybe more than slightly dramatic, but at least I had other options. Not the best options, but they were out there. Waiting for me to take the next step.

I flopped onto my bed and went to eat my bagel when the door was unlocked and Rae popped in, wearing a boy's t-shirt that was not her own. Not surprising in the slightest. She had a drawer filled with the t-shirts of the boys she had conquered (her words, not mine) since coming to college. Rae considered them keepsakes and they each held dear memories for her.

"Another conquest t-shirt? What are you up to now?"

Rae stuck her tongue out at me and said,"Wouldn't you like to know. But stop delaying Scarlett. I got your text and I need to know everything. What did you get up to last night after you left our little drinking game with Dante?" She removed her jeans and sat down on her bed, which was across from mine.

Averting my eyes from her I mumbled, "I may have danced with Dante and I may have had sex with him." Rae always appreciated when I was blunt with her about things. She wasn't one to mince words and didn't like when people skirted the issue.

"SCARLETT JOY RAWLINGS! YOU LOST YOUR VIRGINITY TO DANTE?" Rae all but screamed at me. I could feel her eyes on my form, which didn't give me much room to hide from her. "Even I would never have guessed that was the important thing you wanted to tell me. I thought you were going to tell me that you and Lane finally hooked up!"

"I didn't mean to sleep with him Rae! It just happened—ok, I may have propositioned him. Wait, what do you mean by me finally hooking up with Lane?" I asked. My thoughts were in a jumbled mess. I wasn't expecting Rae to be so shocked by my sleeping with Dante. Rae lived for this kind of drama! She excelled at it really, which was why she was a Drama student. I was completely thrown by her comment about Lane. I mean, he and I were close but I never got that vibe from him.

"Never mind about Lane. How in the hell did you end up sleeping with Dante? Callum will kill him if he ever finds out what happened between you two. You propositioned him?" Rae tilted her head slightly as she met my eyes. After her outburst she calmed down. Rae was ever changing when it came to her moods and reactions.

Playing with the edge of my t-shirt I said, "When Callum took me to the bathroom he told me that he was going to propose to Leah. I saw the ring Rae. And I don't know, something just broke in me. I wanted to get back at him in some way, which is super childish I know. I just wasn't expecting it."

Rae's eyes went wide at my admission. I could tell that she hadn't been expecting that at all. "Oh Scarlett, I'm so sorry. I couldn't even imagine. I mean, I know it's stupid to ask, but are you ok?"

"I don't know to be honest. I just feel a little numb about the whole situation and now with Dante involved, I think I got myself into a bigger mess." It felt so good to talk this through with Rae. I had a rather nasty habit of bottling my less than pleasant emotions until they could no longer stay buried.

Rae tapped a finger against her chin and tutted quietly. "I don't think that you necessarily got yourself into a bigger mess, but it's definitely complicated. Dante is single and so are you, Callum doesn't have a say when it comes to the people you sleep with. I mean, are you going to sleep with Dante again?"

That was the big question, wasn't it? Was it worth taking Dante up on his proposition? "I know you're right when you say it's my choice to sleep with whom I want. I just don't want Callum to find out, ya know? And well, Dante may have propositioned me," I trailed off, wanting Rae to follow up with more questions.

"Propositioned you? How so?"

"He offered me a friends with benefits deal, stipulating that Callum wouldn't find out. I'm just super wary Rae. I don't know what his motivations are and I never told him that I was a virgin."

I could see Rae analyzing and processing our entire conversation. She excelled in the inner workings of the people around her, even if she did admit that Dante was more difficult to read than most.

"Ok, so call me crazy, but I think you should go ahead and do it. You're both single and you're not truly hurting anyone's feelings. I think you should maybe discuss some ground rules, that way you're more comfortable with him. Oh, and I have one question: how was he in bed?" Rae asked with a predatory smile upon her face. She had always been curious about Dante's prowess in bed and now she had a firsthand account.

I blushed heavily and avoided eye contact and said, "The rumors were true. That man knows a way around a woman's body."

Rae squealed and said, "I knew it! You lucky bitch! I am so jealous that you got to experience him."

Laughing I threw a pillow at her. Typical Rae. The girl had lost her virginity at the young age of sixteen to some foreign exchange student. Ever since she has been a connoisseur of men and their various talents.

"So you really think I should go through with this?" I knew on some level I wanted to explore whatever this was with Dante. The sex was good and I think I deserved a bit of it in my life.

Rae focused herself on me and said, "I think you should do whatever makes you happy Scarlett. Set your boundaries and have fun. Don't focus so much on Callum for once. You give a lot and he doesn't always reciprocate."

"Ok…thanks Rae, for listening and just being here. I don't know what I would do without you." I shot her a grateful smile and pulled my blanket around my form.

"You know I got your back girl. Besties ever since I kicked that boy who made you cry in kindergarten. Nothing could separate us," Rae finished with dramatic flair.

"Besties for life Rae Amelia Caston," I replied with a smile.

"No more sappiness! I need to eat and change out of these clothes. I know you just made a bagel, but let's go to the diner and eat some greasy food. We earned it."

I agreed and Rae went to get ready for the diner. I pulled my phone off its charger and looked through my contacts to find Dante's number. I finally found the one that I had never seen before: Lover. Of course. I should have figured he'd pull something like this. Casting all of my doubts away I sent him a text.

Scarlett: Hey, it's Scarlett. No need to wait for Sunday. I'm in. We just need to establish some boundaries

Dante: Aw, Rawlings I knew you couldn't say no. Let's meet Sunday. Come to my place and we'll come up with these boundaries. My address is 564 Grovewood Blvd

I struggled to not roll my eyes at his text. Somehow he managed to sound smug over the phone.

Scarlett: Don't gloat, you ass. I'll be at your place by noon.

Dante: You like when I gloat. I'll see you then.

I didn't respond and I plugged my phone back into its charger. I felt like Alice in Wonderland, wondering where this rabbit hole would lead me and wondering if I could ever make my way back.