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These Feelings Keep Running The Red

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They are in his bed which is weird and wonderful and terrifying all at the same time.

She is in his bed, trying her hardest to not touch him, which is hard because he is tall, and his bed is small, and she may be tiny next to him, but if she moves an inch in almost any direction, they will be nearly on top of each other.

She still has her shoes on, so her legs are hanging off the side of the bed, and she’s staring at the ceiling, not at all thinking about the space between them.

“Replacement sheets.” He says, after a minute of silence.

Lara Jean had come over 20 minutes ago, because Kitty is still at a friends house from a sleepover the night before, and her dad is still at the hospital delivering a baby, and it’s Sunday morning, which is usually the only day a week she was never alone, and she doesn’t want to be.

Peter had mentioned they should probably hang out and study important things couple should know about each other, and he has a lacrosse game in two hours that she is contractually obligated to go to, so she texted him, and now she was here, sitting on his bed, not entirely sure what to say.


She’s not looking at him, but she can almost see the way he is probably scrunching up his nose.

“These are my replacement sheets.” He says again, patting the space on the bed between them. The sheets are white and blue and lacy and covered in flowers, and she had been so busy staring at the ceiling that she hadn’t even noticed.

“Replacement for what?” She asks.

“When I turned 13 and joined lacrosse my mom said she would only let me play if I started keeping my room clean and doing my own laundry. Wanted me to change my sheets every two weeks. And I kept up with it for a few weeks, and then, being a 13-year-old boy, stopped. I came home one day, and she had replaced all of my sheets and pillows with these. She picked them up from one of the estate sales she had been too. They make her smile when I use them.” He says. He nudges her shoulder with his. “You caught me on laundry day.”

For a split second, Lara Jean sees herself as his replacement sheets, just waiting until Gen is done washing and tumble drying with the college guy she claims to be dating, but then she pushes all thoughts of Gen out of her mind.

Lara Jean turns to him and he’s smiling, that stupid, bright smile that sometimes makes her stomach twist when it has no right to. Her head is close to his shoulder, and she kicks off her shoes, bringing her legs onto the bed.

“What’s your favorite food?”

They fall into an easy back and forth game of questions, focusing on the dumb stuff, the little things like favorites and go tos.

She continues to stare at the ceiling while pretending that she is not trying to not touch him. The entire room smells like him, like laundry detergent, and grass, and something inexplicably Peter, and it’s driving her slightly insane.

If she was still in the habit of writing love letters to end crushes, his would be something like this.

Dear Peter,

You know I’m friends with Chris so I have gotten drunk exactly three times, and I am convinced I might be getting slightly intoxicated by the fact that I cannot take a breath without smelling you everywhere…

“Go to karaoke song?” He asks, forcing her out of her own head.

“Dancing queen.” She says back with no hesitation.

“Ohhh.” Peter groans. “Oh my god, Lara Jean are you sure you are from this century?”

“Hey!” She halfheartedly punches his arm, and he grabs hold of her, pulling her half on top of him.

They are touching now. In too many places for her to actually count. They are looking at each other now, too. She can see the stupid golden flecks in his stupid beautiful eyes.

“Favorite color?” She says, voice barely above a whisper.

“Yellow.” He whispers back to her.

Her face must twist in confusion because he laughs at her.

“You wanna know why?” He asks, stretching so he can place the hand that is not currently on her back behind his head.

Lara Jean nods.

“It’s the color of the shirt you were wearing when you kissed me.” He levels her with one of his looks that makes her forget that this entire thing is fake.

“You mean my gym shirt?” She asks, wrinkling her nose.

“Yes. That one, exactly.” He flashes a smile at her. “And it was the color of the sweater you were wearing the first time I touched your ass.”

She hits him harder this time, and he’s laughing so hard he is shaking and she can feel it, because she is still half on top of him, and her mind is spinning a little bit too fast to process anything besides this moment right now.

“What’s your favorite color, Covey?” He asks once he’s regained his breath.

She props herself up on her elbow. “Blue.”

He raises a single eyebrow at her, and she wants to hit him, and kiss him, and run away and never look back.

“Not because you only ever wear blue, Kavinsky.” He was wearing blue right now. Navy blue and gray sweatshirt, mustard yellow pants. “It’s been my favorite color forever. Which you should know, seeing as forever includes all of our friendship from middle school.”

He winks at her. “Maybe I exclusively wear blue for the that reason.”

Her heart skips a beat. She’s afraid they are so close that he can feel it.

She’s about to tell him to shut up when something crashes downstairs.


She tenses, and goes to move, but he tugs her back down, so now she’s three quarters on top of him, and his arm is long enough to almost be completely around her. And Lara Jean feels safe.

Safe, and warm, and a little bit in love, but she pushes the last one all the way to the back of her mind.

“Who is it?” She asks. Her head is next to his heart, and she can hear it thrum against her ear.

“Kavinsky, where the fuck are you?” The voice says again.

“Sounds like Gabe.” He says. There is zero concern in his voice at all, but she doesn’t know what to do. “Relax, Covey.”

She realizes he can probably feel her heartbeat too, and it almost makes her want to run again.


“What should we do?”

“Nothing. You’re my girlfriend remember.”

She’s pretty sure his heart beat changes just slightly, but she’s not sure.

“If you want, we can pretend we are napping so when he bursts in here, it doesn’t look like we are ignoring him.”

She nods against his chest, just before the door crashes open.

“KAV- shit.”

Lara Jean can hear the person move across the room, attempting to be quiet. Something rustles. The light changes.

Something collides with her hand. She jumps, and Peter curses, and Gabe smiles at them from atop the chest at the end of Peter’s bed.

“’Sup, Largie?” He says, grinning at her like he knows all her secrets.

His eyes glide over to Peter, and the smile slides off his face.

“Dude, what the fuck, you were supposed to be at the field 30 minutes ago.”

Peter jumps up so fast that Lara Jean nearly slides right off the bed.

She saves Gabe’s phone before it crashes to the ground and looks at the time. The game starts in 30 minutes, so he has just enough time to get dressed and drive to school before the game starts.

Gabe is saying something about coach and the toughest game of the year, and Peter is just staring at his drawers.

Lara Jean slides off the bed and pushes Peter, grabbing his jersey off the back of his chair and stuffing it into his hands.

“Move.” She demands, and then grabs Gabe and pulls him out of the room. “I’ll go start your car.”

She makes it all the way to the driveway before she realizes she forgot her shoes, but she can worry about that later.

Gabe is watching her, a small smile on her face as she hoists herself into the jeep.

“What?” She asks, once she’s started the car and jumps back out onto the drive way.

“K’s never almost missed a game before.”

“I have no idea what that is supposed to mean.” She says, cheeks burning.

This is fake, she tells herself. Fake. Fake. Fake.

“He’s so lucky I got a concussion two weeks ago and was put on water boy duty.” Gabe says, still smiling at her.

Lara Jean nods and turns to house, just in time to see Peter running out, hair a mess, but dressed in his uniform and holding her shoes.

He has her shoes. Lara Jean just might actually melt into the concrete.

He runs over to them, and she takes her shoes and quickly brushes a hand through his hair. She had never been more angry at herself for putting no kissing in the contract, because right now would be a very good time to give him a quick good luck kiss, but fixing his hair will have to do.

“Good luck.” She says, pushing him into the car. “We’ll meet you there.”

Gabe slings an arm around her shoulders, and Peter’s eyes dance between them before he reaches for Lara Jean and presses a quick kiss to her forehead before he closes the door and shifts the car into reverse.

She refuses to look at Gabe as she puts on her shoes.


An hour after she gets home from the victory party, her phone dings.

P_Kavinsky tagged you in a photo!

She opens Instagram, and it’s a picture of them, on his replacement sheets, her curled around him, almost completely on top of him.

Must be my lucky charm

It must have been the picture Gabe took before dropping his phone on them.

She loves it. She loves it more than her romance novels and her scrapbooking and her baking. She loves the picture so much it makes her heart hurt.

It’s weird, and wonderful, and terrifying all at the same time.

She comments back calling him a nerd, and then opens her contacts to find Gabe’s number.

Can you send me the picture, please? :)

Instead of answering her, he sends her a million different emojis, and then the picture.

god, you guys are gross.

She sends him a winky face, and then falls against her bed.

This is fake she tells herself. Fake. Fake. Fake.

She can still feel his lips on her forehead.

Lara Jean flicks around on her phone until she saves the picture and locks her phone.

P_Kavinsky mentioned you in a comment! You’re the nerd <3

Her phone lights up, and the picture is there. Her heart constricts.

She stuffs her face into her pillow.

She feels like this is going to blow up in her face, but for now, she’s going to think about how fast his heart beat when he called her his girlfriend and pretend that everything is normal.

Or at least, as normal as it could be to be refalling in love with her fake boyfriend.