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Sleepover With the Enemy

Sleepover With the Enemy

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Locked in a school overnight with her arch nemesis...

Chaperone the middle-school co-ed sleepoverIt'll be fun, they said. Too bad they forgot to tell Max that the boys' chaperone was none other than Alex Luven, AKA the bane of her existence.

Max could survive one night with the enemy, though, right? It wasn't like they had to be friends, just allies. Because when it came to watching a bunch of hormonally challenged tweens, it was clear that this was war.

The little heathens didn't want to play Monopoly, they wanted to play Spin the Bottle and Truth or Dare. Worse? They thought it was hilarious to trap their bickering chaperones in a closet for an unwanted game of Seven Minutes in Heaven. It's definitely the longest night of Max's life. And when it's over...nothing's going to be the same.

Main Tropes

  • Enemies to More
  • Truth or Dare
  • Opposites Attract


Chaperone the middle-school co-ed sleepover, they said. It'll be fun, they said. Too bad they forgot to tell Max that the boys' chaperone was none other than Alex Luven, AKA the bane of her existence.

For years she'd watched her best friend pine over the egotistical star athlete. Sure, now her friend has moved on, but Max isn't about to forgive or forget all the years he'd ignored her BFF.

But much as she might despise her co-chaperone, it quickly becomes clear that they have to work together to survive. Because middle schoolers...? They're terrifying. Especially when they outnumber the chaperones twenty to one.

But these hormonally challenged tweens aren't just needy. They're evil. They won't stop with the games that force Max to get to know Alex. Like Truth or Dare, for example. And let's not forget the enforced game of Seven Minutes in Heaven.

It's the longest night of Max's life. But when it's all over and these opponents go back to their respective corners, the future is far from clear. With secrets exposed and a certain kiss in a closet under their belts, no one knows where things stand anymore.

Intro Into Chapter 1


My best friend Avery’s house was dark and quiet aside from the tense soundtrack of the movie we were watching. She clung to my arm beside me on the overstuffed couch. “I can’t take it anymore,” she whimpered. “The suspense is killing me.”

I rolled my eyes as I peeled her fingers from my forearm, never taking my eyes from the screen. “It’s a thriller, you’re supposed to be in suspense.”

She covered her eyes and proceeded to feel around for the Twizzlers on the coffee table like a blind person. “You know I hate scary movies.”

“I do,” I said with a sigh. Avery was the very best friend a girl could ask for, but our differing tastes in movies was a challenge. 

“When you said we were going to watch a Julia Roberts movie, I thought you meant something cute. Something fun,” she said as her hand flopped around in vain.

I tugged the package of licorice goodies out of her reach, laughing when she finally gave up, dropped her hand, and scowled at me when she realized what I’d done. “You’re mean.”

I leaned over and nudged her shoulder. “And you’re nice.”

She snickered at the old inside joke. We’d been friends since second grade when I’d stood up to a bully on her behalf. The bully in question had been mocking her for crying over a dead bird beneath a tree at recess. She’d thanked me with a sweet, watery grin and then tried to reciprocate by teaching me how to braid my long, frizzy dirty-blonde hair. 

Not much had changed since then. I was still the tough one, she was still ridiculously sweet, and my hair was still frizzy and almost always in a braid. 

She sighed warily and turned her pout to face the screen where Julia Roberts was acting all creeped out just because some towels had been moved around in the bathroom. 

“I thought we were going to watch Pretty Woman,” she muttered.

I scoffed. “Seriously? You know how I feel about that movie.”

“Fine, but what about Erin Brockovich? You love that one.”

“We watched it last week,” I said.

“I’d still rather hear you go on and on about how corporations are destroying the world than watch this.”

“I like Sleeping with the Enemy.”

“Well, I don’t like nightmares,” Avery said with a tilt of her chin that said I shouldn’t even try to argue.

My bestie was sweet and all, but she could also be stubborn. 

“You’re leaving anyway,” I said. “What do you care?”

She arched her brows. “Is this a guilt trip coming on? Because I told you I was going to this party tonight. I promised Alex, and—”

“Yeah, yeah, I know,” I said with a dismissive wave of my hand. “You’re making nice with the soon-to-be brother-in-law. Got it.”

She gave a snort of a laugh as she smacked my arm. “Cristian and I have only been dating for a few months. We’re not planning a wedding just yet.”

I laughed in earnest at that. “Are you serious right now? You’ve been planning your wedding since third grade.”

She stuck her tongue out. “You know what I mean.”

I sighed because I did. She and Cristian had agreed to ‘take it slow,’ not hard to do since he was in college and only able to visit every other weekend. But that didn’t stop them from talking on the phone every spare minute of the day. 

When Cristian wasn’t around, Avery had taken it upon herself to befriend Alex as part of her mission to forge a bond between the estranged brothers. It seemed to be working. Alex and Cristian had called a truce and were working on being friends as well as brothers. 

But that didn’t mean I had to be friends with Alex.

“Are you sure you don’t want to come with us tonight?” she asked.

I arched a brow. “To a basketball team party?” 

That was answer enough. Of course I didn’t want to go to a party that would be filled with loud, crass, egotistical jocks. 

“You’re such a snob,” she said with a sad, pitying shake of her head.

I shrugged. Was I a snob? Possibly. But if being a snob meant I preferred the company of thoughtful, intelligent people to a group of guys who thought the world revolved around them, then I was cool with that. 

I watched her as she got up and started gathering her phone and purse so she’d be ready to go when Alex arrived. She nibbled on her lower lip as her brows drew down in a frown and I swore I could actually see the moment when she felt sorry for me. “Are you sure you don’t want to come? I mean, you’re welcome to hang here as long as you’d like, but—”

“Avery, I’m fine,” I said. “I promise.”

She gave me a pout with a full stuck-out lower lip and everything. It only managed to make me laugh. “You know hanging out with Alex all night would be torture for me.”

Her sigh was weary. “I don’t know why you two can’t just get along.”

“Oh, I don’t know. Probably because we hate each other?” I offered.

She wagged her finger in my direction. “You know what they say about love and hate…”

“Ugh.” I covered my ears like a child. I was not a fan of clichés, in general. And even less so when Avery was wielding them in some misguided attempt to make me like Alex. “Please, spare me,” I said. “I promise, I’ll be much happier staying here.”

She nodded, but she looked unconvinced. “Well, my mom is out with that new guy so you’ll have the house to yourself all night.”

I grinned. Home alone with a scary movie. Just the way I liked it.

Avery tilted her head to the side as she watched me, studiously avoiding the screen as if this movie was actually scary. Please. I couldn’t imagine how much she’d freak if I made her watch an actual horror movie.

“Didn’t West get home for winter break today?” she asked. “Shouldn’t you be spending quality time with your stepbrother or something?”

I let out an exasperated sigh. “You sound like Charlotte.”

Our friend Charlotte was dating my stepbrother West, and she was just as keen on making me and West be best buds as Avery was with her boyfriend and his brother. What was with all the enforced sibling bonding? I had no idea. It was like a virus sweeping through my circle of friends.

Actually, if there was any plague going around in my little crew, it was the L-word. Our self-proclaimed Lonely Hearts Club was rapidly diminishing. Out of the seven of us who’d originally banded together as perpetually single ladies, only Emma, Lulu, and I were still flying solo.

“Well?” Avery’s big blue eyes narrowed with suspicion. “You’re not bailing on your family and hiding out here, are you? Because you know I can’t support that.”

I laughed. “Relax, Avery. I’m not bailing on anyone. West gets home tonight, so Alison, Lou, and I agreed we’d make ourselves scarce so he could have some alone time with Charlotte.”

Avery rested against the edge of the couch as her suspicious look faded. “Oh. Okay then.”

Alison and Lou were West’s actual siblings, and they now lived in my house thanks to our parents’ whirlwind love affair. Was it weird gaining new siblings now, when I was a senior in high school and fully grown? Yeah. Kind of. And my mom and their dad only made it weirder by forcing us to do family bonding stuff all the time. 

But the stepsiblings were pretty chill, and it was worth it to see my mom happy for once. So, you know...I could deal.

“West will be home for two weeks,” I said. “So there’ll be plenty of time for me to hang out with my new stepfamily, don’t worry.”

She nodded. Avery cared more about me bonding with my stepfamily than I did, just like she worried about her boyfriend’s relationship with his brother. I suspected it was because she didn’t have any siblings of her own. After her dad took off, it was just her and her mom. She seemed to take it personally when people like me and Cristian didn’t appreciate our siblings—or even our newly minted stepsiblings—the way she thought we should.

“But what about you?” I asked. “Isn’t Cristian coming home for break, too?”

The beam on Avery’s face at the mention of her boyfriend was sudden and nauseating. 

Aside from being a meddler in other people’s families, Avery was also a romantic. To the extreme. Luckily, Cristian was just as goofily in love as she was because otherwise her dreamy look like now would just be pathetic.

As it was, it was....sweet. I supposed.

I tried not to cringe when she let out a sigh worthy of a Disney princess. “I can’t wait.” She shot me a rueful look. “But I’m going to have to wait for two more days because he promised his mom he’d spend a couple nights with her first before coming home.” 

I wish I was exaggerating when I said she clapped two hands over her heart like she was Cinderella about to burst into song. “Isn’t he the sweetest?”

“Um, I guess,” I muttered.

Sure, Cristian was a nice guy, but I wasn’t a big fan of gushing, in general.

She snapped out of it pretty quickly, turning to me with a no-nonsense scowl. “But you will hang out with West while he’s home, yes?”

“Yes, Mom,” I said with a groan. “Charlotte would make me even if I didn’t want to.” 

“She’s so bossy these days,” Avery teased, making us both laugh.

Charlotte had always been the shy, soft-spoken one in our group of friends. She was also the latest to fall victim to this epidemic that seemed to be spreading like wildfire through our little circle. I was happy for her, I really was. But ever since she’d gotten together with my stepbrother last month, she’d been coming out of her shell. Which was a good thing. 

She was still an introvert and still on the shy side, but she had a new confidence about her that was nice to see. While Avery was obviously exaggerating about Charlotte being bossy, the girl was very insistent that West and I bond, so there was no avoiding a whole lot of quality family time over the holidays.

Which was fine, I supposed. Most of my friends would either be off with their boyfriends or their families over winter break, anyway. And while it was still weird to have a whole new family living in my house, I guessed it was better than spending another year with just me and my mom.

Or worse, with my dad. My dad was kind of like a celebrity in my life. Not in the sense that I was suffering from hero worship or adored him so very much, but in the sense that he made cameo appearances. He’d left when I was a kid. Since then he’d always been more involved in his girlfriends’ lives and their kids’, only deigning to take an interest in mine when he was between significant others. 

As if on cue, the guest star of my life chose that moment to text. 

Dad: Give me a call when you have a sec!!!

Ugh. I cringed at the exclamation points. As the editor-in-chief of our high school newspaper, I couldn’t turn off the inner critic. One exclamation point was one too many, in my book. But three? That was just overkill. And desperate. 

But all exclamation points aside, I knew what he wanted to talk about, and I wasn’t ready for the conversation ahead. 

“Who’s that?” Avery asked, leaning over to read the text over my shoulder like the nosey BFF with no boundaries that she was. I turned my phone off and tucked it away before she could see.

Normally, I wouldn’t care. Avery knew my life better than anyone. But with the amount of grief she gave me over my bonding efforts with the new family—or rather, my lack of effort—I could only imagine how much she’d freak when I told her that my dad and his latest wife were planning on moving to our town with their two teen daughters.

Avery started talking about her plans with Cristian over the next two weeks, and I sank back into the couch with relief at having avoided the conversation.

I’d tell her eventually. Of course I would. But I’d do it after I’d come to grips with this new revelation. 

My phone vibrated in my back pocket.

The same went for my dad. I’d call him back soon, just...not until I was ready to talk. 

Tonight was not that time. All I wanted to do tonight was veg out on Avery’s couch and pretend I couldn’t see the ending to this thriller coming from a mile away.

A knock on the front door spared me from hearing any more details about all the romantic evenings with Cristian that Avery had in store. 

“That’ll be Alex,” Avery said as she headed toward the front door to answer it. Before I could even let out a sigh of weary resignation at what was to come, she had the door open and Alex was striding in like he owned the place.

My lips curled up in a sneer out of pure instinct. 

I hated Alex. I always had. Why? Because Alex loved Alex enough for everyone. 

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