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Saved by the Crush's Brother

Saved by the Crush's Brother

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This fake baby assignment is the perfect way to play house with her crush. But...her crush isn't home. His bad boy brother is.

Avery's over the moon when her health teacher pairs her with her lifelong crush  for the class's fake baby assignment. A precious fake baby to bond over? It's the perfect recipe for true love.

Except...the baby is a nightmare. And her crush? He's nowhere to be found. After two nights of no sleep thanks to this creepy plastic nightmare, she shows up on her crush's doorstep to demand that he help.

But her crush...he's not there. It's his notoriously bad boy brother who opens the door. Tattooed and glowering, he towers over her in the doorway. "You coming in, Princess?"

What can she say? Desperate times call for bad boy measures...


Main Tropes

  • Bad Boy & the Good Girl
  • Grumpy / Sunshine
  • Opposites Attract


Avery's plan? Snag her crush's attention, by any means necessary. She gets someone's attention, all right, it's just...the wrong brother.

The plan...

Avery's not a fan of unrequited love. This crush on Alex Luven? It's gotten old. She's over it. In fact, this hopeless romantic is finally ready to take matters into her own hands, and the first step is to find some common ground. A mutual activity they can bond over, perhaps. When their health class teacher pairs them up to take care of the "health baby" for a week, she knows the universe is on her side. True love for the win! What better way to bond then over their precious fake baby?

The reality...

This is no ordinary baby. It's a demon in disguise. Surely real babies never cry this much. The stupid doll keeps her up all night and drives her crazy with its neediness all day, and the worst part? Alex is a total flake.

When exhaustion reaches critical mass, she caves. If he won't answer his phone, then there's nothing for it but to show up at Alex's door. Except the hottie who answers the door?

Yeah...this bad boy is definitely not Alex. 

The brother...

Cristian's not exactly excited to be at his family home on his college break. His father's an overbearing tyrant, his brother is an egomaniacal jerk, and now... Well, now it seems he's babysitting his perfect brother's fake baby and kissing the girl of his dreams. So, not all bad then...right?

Except that the girl of his dreams has a crush on his Prince Charming brother. And much as Cristian can't stand his brother, Cristian's not about to get in their way. Right? 

Except that he has...and he probably will again. Because when it comes to true love...his perfect brother can suck it.

*This story is part of a series but can be read as a standalone story.

Intro Into Chapter 1


I’d be the first to admit I was an optimist, but even I was stunned by my good fortune in health class that day.

“Congratulations,” Mr. McClusky said in a flat tone. “You’re all expectant parents.”

I blinked and exchanged a look with my friend Hazel beside me. She arched her brows as a few kids in the back giggled.

Mr. McClusky was already moving toward the side of the room where several boxes were stacked. The head basketball coach-turned-interim-health-teacher shot the room a withering scowl as he opened the top box. “Meet your children.”

“What is he talking about?” I whispered to Hazel just as he pulled out a super creepy baby doll that made us all gasp in horror.

Hazel wrinkled her nose. “My sister told me about this,” she said. Her sister was two years older and now safely off at college, where I imagined no one ever produced lifelike dolls out of a box like some sort of nightmare.

“What did she say?” I asked.

“It’s the health class baby,” she said. “It’s supposed to teach us a lesson on how hard it is to have kids.” She shot me a little smirk. “Basically, a fear tactic to convince us all to abstain or use birth control.”

I gave her a little smile in return because Hazel and I were both members of what I’d half-jokingly termed the lonely hearts club. The two of us and our other friends were all sadly, pathetically, heartbreakingly single. “Not a problem there,” I murmured, making her snort with amusement, although the sound was lost amidst all the whispering and laughing going on around us. 

The thought of my permanent singleness had me glancing across the room at Alex Luven—the boy I’d been in love with since freshman year. Tall, blond, and beautiful, he was currently grinning over something his friend was saying.

“All right, settle down,” Mr. McClusky said as he carried the baby by one arm back to the middle of the room. 

He held up the doll. “Meet your midterm exam.”

Hazel and I shared a wide-eyed look of surprise. All semester he’d been talking about how important the midterm would be for our grade. Health class was only one half of the year so the midterm fell in the middle of the fall semester, right when me and anyone else who cared about their high school experience had plenty on our plates to worry about—mainly, finding a homecoming date. And some other stuff, obviously, but my first priority was to get Alex Luven to ask me to homecoming as his date.

I was also in the fall play—I only had two lines, but still. And I was falling behind in calculus, and I’d taken on too many babysitting clients to save up for college next year, and—

“You’ll pair up in teams of two,” Mr. McClusky said.

Hazel and I automatically looked to each other and the room broke into conversation but Mr. McClusky spoke over the crowd. “I’ll choose the partners.”

Sighs and groans abounded as Hazel and I exchanged pouts of disappointment. 

Why did teachers always insist on doing this? Group projects would be so much easier if we could work with people we knew and trusted. I hated when they pulled stunts like this—like we were all here as some part of some social experiment and not just trying to get by so we could graduate.

“You and your partner can decide between one week of taking care of your child…” He held the baby up and we all gaped at the creepy lifelike toy. “Or you can write a paper on the topic of my choosing. No less than twenty pages. I expect those of you who choose the latter to present your findings in front of the class and provide a list of at least ten sources…”

He kept talking about what sounded like a torturous assignment but I was only half listening. This was a no-brainer. Obviously I’d take the baby. I mean, I’d been babysitting for years, and if it meant not having to write a paper then sign me up. 

Of course, I’d have to discuss it with my partner…

Mr. McClusky had moved on to divvying up the class into groups of two and names were being shouted out as our teacher read from a roster. 

I crossed my fingers under the desk. Please don’t pair me with a moron. Please don’t pair me with a jerk. 

“Hazel Topher and Allison Hayes.” Hazel gave the shy girl in the back a little smile and I tried not to pout again over the fact that I hadn’t gotten paired with Hazel. 

Of course Mr. McClusky wouldn’t pair me with a friend. That would be too nice, and everyone knew Mr. Mclusky—

“Avery Townsend and Alex Luven.”

The world stopped spinning. I couldn’t hear anything over the crazy pounding of my heart. The air rushed into my lungs so quickly, the oxygen went straight to my head and made me dizzy.

That was it. The moment that the universe had finally granted me my wish. 

I’d been paired with Alex Luven.

I grinned across the room in Alex’s direction but he wasn’t looking my way. I wasn’t entirely sure he’d heard. 

I turned back to the front as Hazel nudged my elbow beside me. She knew what this meant. This was everything I’d been waiting for.

For weeks now, I’d been looking for a way to get close to Alex, something for us to bond over, and now...this. 

I beamed at Mr. McClusky. Our health teacher was a god among men. He was a saint and a mensch and… It was official. 

Me and Alex? 

We were totally meant to be. I mean, I knew that already. Obviously. But this was the proverbial writing on the wall. The sign from above that me and Alex were fated to fall in love.

“For the last…” Mr. McClusky looked up at the clock on the wall. “Five minutes of class, I expect you all to talk to your partner, decide which option you’re choosing and let me know.”

I didn’t need to be told twice. In a heartbeat, I was out of my seat, grinning at Hazel as she murmured “Good luck” and heading over to the other side of the room, sliding into the seat beside Alex that some poor girl who probably wanted to be paired with him had abandoned.

“Hi,” I said, hating how breathless I sounded but also...gah! 

This was it! I’d been reading articles for weeks now on how to catch your crush and they all said the same thing. Find a common activity, discover a mutual interest, invent a reason to spend time together.

I grinned at Alex’s perfect profile. Done, done, and done! And it was all thanks to Mr. McClusky. I leaned forward, resting my cheek on my fist as I waited for Alex to finish typing something on his phone. 

Maybe we’d name our baby McClusky. Our real baby, obviously. The one that would be coming along in six or seven years after we graduated college and got married. 


I studied Alex’s chiseled jawline, his aquiline nose, his perfect wavy blond hair. McClusky… I pursed my lips. Not the cutest baby name I’d ever heard. 

Maybe I ought to learn Mr. McClusky’s first name. 

Satisfied by this, I was smiling once more when Alex looked over at me, his wide lips curving up into that brilliant smile I loved so much. 

He was a smiler, like me. “So, what do you think?” he asked as he leaned forward. He was close. So close. “We’ll do the paper, right?”

He looked back at his phone when it dinged, which was good because he missed the fact that my own smile fell. “Actually,” I started. “I was thinking we should do the baby.”

He blinked down at the screen he was staring at. “Yeah?”

I nodded quickly, tucking a lock of my own blonde hair behind my ear. And yeah, there was a little part of me that was imagining how adorably tow-headed our baby would be.

Okay, a big part of me. 

When he looked up again, he seemed distracted, but a smile still hovered on his lips. “Sorry, what were you saying?”

Before I could respond, his friend Trey interrupted. “Hey, Alex, can you give me a lift after practice?”

Alex’s smile shifted into a sneer. “Can’t, man. My brother’s got my car.”

I winced in sympathy, but Alex missed it. I was an only child so I couldn’t imagine how tough it would be to have an older sibling who was such a…

Well, I wouldn’t say a jerk, but he was a bad seed. Everybody knew that, even though he graduated two years ago. He’d transferred to Lakeview High as a senior and while I’d never actually talked to him that one year he’d gone to school here, I had a vivid memory of a big hulking guy with muscles to spare, tattoos, too-long hair, a growl of a voice.

“Cristian’s home from school?” his friend said.

Alex rolled his eyes as an answer. “He says they have a break, but how much do you want to bet he’s failed out and just hasn’t told my dad yet?”

His friends snickered but I frowned down at the desk. Lakeview High was small enough that, if you paid attention, you could figure out what was going on in some people’s lives. And when it came to Alex Luven?

I paid attention.

He and his brother had never gotten along. I remember seeing them fight in the hallways once when Cristian was a senior. It was a fistfight that everyone talked about for days afterward. 

Cristian had started it, obviously. He was the exact opposite of Alex. Getting into trouble and barely passing his classes while Alex aced his way through school and led the basketball team to victory. I remembered there’d been some talk that Cristian would be suspended after the fight.

He wasn’t. 

Their dad intervened, I supposed. Everyone knew that their dad was crazy rich and had invested loads of money in this school. 

Some people—like Alex— seemed to actually appreciate all that their father did for them. Maybe Cristian didn’t realize how lucky he was to have a father who cared...

I just barely held back a wistful sigh as I watched Alex talk to his friend, only half listening as he joked about how Cristian was failing out of school because he was a lowlife drug dealer. 

The whole conversation made me sad. I mean, I didn’t approve of Cristian’s tendency to fight or his bad attitude, but still...

Poor Cristian. 

He might not appreciate what he had with his family’s wealth and an amazing brother, but I still sort of felt bad hearing Alex talk about him.

My loyalty was to Alex, obviously, but you had to feel bad for any sibling of his. It couldn’t be easy being related to such an amazing guy with a heart of gold who had offers from schools around the country rolling in thanks to his basketball prowess.

Meanwhile, from the sounds of it, Cristian had flunked out of school and needed to borrow Alex’s car just to get around. 

I was overcome with sympathy for both Alex and his brother by the time Alex turned back to face me. He blinked in surprise like he was shocked that I was still here.

I smiled brightly. “So, what do you think?”

He blinked again, his eyes darting around like the answer was written on the walls somewhere. “Sorry, about what?”

I laughed. “About the health baby,” I said. “I figure it’ll actually be easier than doing research and maybe…” I shrugged, nerves making my belly do a flip-flop. “Maybe it’ll even be fun.” 

That came out way higher and far more chipper than I’d intended but Alex’s answering grin put me at ease. “Fun, huh?” He laughed and ran a hand through his hair. “Whatever you say.”

I straightened a bit. It wasn’t often I felt like an expert on something—or anything, really—but babysitting was my jam. Kids loved me. Babies adored me. I gave him my most confident smile. “I have a ton of experience with babies,” I said. “It’ll be easy.”

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