Book cover of “Chase Me“ by Lency

Chase Me

  • Genre: Romance
  • Age: 18+
  • Status: Completed
  • Language: English
  • Author: Lency
Amari Vasilios, the CEO of a rapidly growing advertising company in California, experienced heartbreak from her best friend, Zane Shaw, five years ago-a person she least expected to be the first to break her heart. Surprisingly, it was all because of a girl he had known for only four months. Amari was furious at the time, and her anger still persi... 

Chapter 1

Angelica scanned the bustling cafeteria in search of Alex, her boyfriend, and asked me, "So, who's your date for homecoming? It's your senior year; you need to have a date."

I responded nonchalantly, shrugging my shoulders. I didn't believe having a date for homecoming was necessary. However, for people like Angelica, it seemed to be a mandatory requirement. According to her, it was for my reputation. I personally didn't see how that mattered. With or without a date, I would still be part of the popular crowd at our school.

"I don't have a date, and I don't think I'm going," I replied.

"Why?" Angelica looked at me, her eyebrows furrowing in confusion. "It's senior year," she emphasized again as if it held great significance. To me, it was just like any other year, except for the fact that I would be graduating.

"I know," I sighed, taking a bite of my sandwich. "It's just that you're going with Axel, and Zane has a girlfriend. I don't want to be the third wheel."

"You are Zane's priority," Angelica stated, rolling her eyes at her own statement. "He would never make you feel like a third wheel."

"Have you even met his girlfriend?" I asked sarcastically. "She's super-duper nice."

"She's not nice, got it," Angelica replied, her attention suddenly drawn to the three guys entering the cafeteria. All eyes, including the cafeteria staff, were on them.

Zane Shaw, Alex King, and Ivan Preston approached our table, their confident smirks ever-present. We were all labeled as the popular kids, solely based on our wealth, intelligence, and good looks.

Personally, I didn't pay much attention to labels and interacted with everyone at school.

"Is it just me, or does Alex get hotter every damn day?" Angelica swooned, her gaze fixated on Axel as she licked her bottom lip. "Anyways, I don't understand why you've been friend-zoning Zane for so long. He's quite a catch."

"Shh," I rolled my eyes at Angelica's comment. She didn't understand how strict my parents were. Unlike her easygoing parents, my father and brother had an immense trust in Zane. So, we could only remain friends. I had already explained this to Angelica countless times this week, yet she continued to pester me about Zane, despite his current relationship.

"But isn't he attractive?"

"Yes, and he's my best friend." I quickly cleared the table to make room for the boys to place their lunch.

"Hey," Zane greeted, giving me a side hug and flashing one of his irresistible smiles. The kind of smile that could make any girl weak at the knees.

"Hi," I replied, planting a peck on his cheek. "Where have you been?"

He took a bite of his burger. "We had a little meeting, the boys and I. Are you coming to the billionaire boys club tonight?"

"Yeah, I suppose so. Only if you come to pick me up."

"Of course. Are your dad and brother still strict even now that you're a senior?" Zane chuckled, playfully nudging my sides.

"Yup. You know them and their ways."

Zane laughed and shook his head. "I can't believe they even let me be friends with you. They practically disapprove of any guy who comes near you."

"That's not entirely true."

"We both know it is, sugar plum." He teased with a laugh. "Except for your family members, I'm the only guy who gets a pass."

And he was right. Zane had been my best friend since elementary school. We used to have sleepovers when we were little, but as we grew older, we started going out to parties together. That is, if my parents granted permission—more specifically if my dad and brother gave their approval. My mom's permission didn't exactly count.

Zane came from the wealthy Shaw family, who owned numerous warehouses in Russia, Australia, and Brazil. They were part of the billionaire boys club, and that's how my parents knew them. That's also why they approved of Zane and our friendship—he came from a respectable family.

My parents were incredibly protective, especially my dad and brother. They treated me like an eight-year-old instead of an eighteen-year-old. When I was researching colleges, they wanted me to stay close to home, but this time I didn't let them have their way. I wanted to attend Harvard, and I would attend Harvard. Thankfully, they eventually supported my decision.

"Amari doesn't have a date for homecoming," Angelica chimed in, poking me from the side. "She can come with us, right, guys?"

"Yes, of course," they all responded in unison.

"You should come," Zane said matter-of-factly. "It's our last year, well, your last year too."

"Yeah," Angelica pouted. "I won't see any of you anymore. I'll be stuck in this hellhole for two more years."

"Baby, that's not true," Alex reassured her, gently stroking Angelica's cheek. They were sickeningly cute together. "I'll be staying in-state. We can meet up whenever you want."

Angelica was a sophomore in high school. Last year, she and her parents moved from Italy to the United States. However, I had known her for longer. Our moms were childhood friends and they wanted us to be best friends too. I guess they succeeded, as Angelica and I became inseparable.

"You can come with me and Savannah. She won't mind," Zane offered, scanning the table. "Alex will pick up Angelica, so you won't see her until the dance."

"No, thank you. I think I'll stay home and have some fun."

"Don't be so boring. There's an after-party," Zane said, pulling out a flyer from his bag. "See, after-party at Joshua's."

I glanced at the flyer. Joshua was the captain of the lacrosse team, a pretty cool guy. The only thing about him was that he was h*gh twenty-four-seven.

"Nope," I replied, shaking my head. "I'm not going. Remember what happened last time? I don't want history to repeat itself."

Ivan burst into laughter. "That was so wild and hilarious. Didn't know you had it in you, Amari."

I threw the flyer at Ivan, hitting him in his handsome face. "Shut up, Preston." I didn't want to be reminded of the night I ended up stripping on a pool table at a party. Thank goodness Zane found me in time and brought me home. If that news ever reached my family, I'd be grounded for life and likely forced to become a nun.

Zane snickered. "It won't happen again, I promise."

"It wasn't your fault. I drank too much."

"That's because I wasn't there in time to stop you," Zane said matter-of-factly. "You're going to homecoming. I'll pick you up."

"Savannah won't mind?"

"No, why would she? You're my best friend, and she knows it."

He said it so casually, as if he were completely certain.

"Perfect," Angelica clapped her hands excitedly. "By the way, Ivan, who's your date?"

Ivan smiled mysteriously. "You'll see for yourself, Rossi."

Angelica rolled her eyes at him. "You're always so mysterious, Preston. But then you end up bringing some stripper."

I laughed and stood up from my seat. "Gotta go, guys. See you all tonight at the club."

Zane stood up as well, ready to walk with me when Savannah entered the cafeteria. Her heels clicked loudly, drawing everyone's attention. "Zane, baby, I've been looking everywhere for you," she exclaimed, throwing herself at him. Zane caught her and chuckled softly. "I was here with my friends, sweetheart."

"Right," she said, looking at us. "Hey, guys." She greeted us cheerfully. Her cheerfulness made me feel sick to my stomach. It was all a facade; deep down, she was bitter and mean.

Everyone in the group greeted her back, and then she focused her attention on Zane again. "Baby, homecoming is tomorrow. Aren't you excited?"

"Very," Zane replied. "By the way, Sav, Amari is coming with us." He stated it as a fact, not a yes-or-no question.

Savannah glanced over at me and raised her eyebrows. "Great. The more, the merrier. Who's your date, Amari?"

I cleared my throat, knowing this question was coming. "I won't be going with a date."

"Oh."

Zane nodded. "Yeah, she'll just tag along with us."

"Oh."

"Sav," Zane said softly. "She's my best friend, and you know she's kind of my priority."

"I don't have to be your priority anymore," I interjected, even though it was a lie.

"Amari, shut up!" Angelica yelled from her seat. I playfully glared at her before refocusing on the couple in front of me.

Savannah appeared visibly annoyed. Like, really annoyed.

"Fine," she said, forcing a smile. "Of course, you can come with us, Amari. I absolutely won't mind." The sarcasm dripped from her voice.

Angelica picked up on it, but the boys remained oblivious. Especially Zane, who had a wide grin on his face. "I love you, babe," he said, kissing Savannah on the cheek. "You're the sweetest."

I let out a deep sigh and made my way out of the cafeteria. Zane was a completely different person when he was in a relationship. It was as if he became oblivious to everything around him. Normally, he would sense when something was bothering me, but now he didn't even acknowledge my existence.

The only time we talked was during lunch or at the Billionaire Boys Club. Apart from that, he simply ignored me.

It bothered me like crazy, even though I knew it shouldn't.

-

"You're going to homecoming...in that?" Milan and Dad looked me up and down as I entered the living room, wearing my sparkling dress.

"Yes," I replied curtly, ignoring their stares. "Could you guys at least show some excitement?"

"Where's my baby girl?" Mom rushed out of the kitchen and squealed when she saw me. "Oh, my baby girl. You look absolutely stunning, mi amor."

"Pudding, are you really going to let your daughter go out like that?" Dad asked, disapprovingly eyeing the dress. "Isn't it a bit too... revealing?"

"Of course not. Let her wear whatever she wants for once. She's not eight years old anymore." Mom walked over and hugged me tightly. "You look truly beautiful."

"I still don't approve of the dress," Milan stubbornly interjected, crossing his arms.

"Shut up, Millie Billie."

Milan glared at me. He didn't appreciate being called Millie Billie.

"Alright, gather around," Mom insisted, bringing us together. "Let's take some pictures. This is Amari's last homecoming before she heads off to Harvard next year."

After the photos, Zane arrived to pick me up. My best friend was undeniably the most handsome guy I'd ever laid eyes on. His midnight black hair and dark brown eyes, framed by elegant brows, perfectly complemented his tanned skin. With his prominent cheekbones, well-defined chin, and nose, he was the dream guy of every girl at school. Including mine.

Yes, I had feelings for my boy best friend. And yes, I knew it wasn't something I should pursue. Because liking him would inevitably lead to love, and love would eventually result in heartbreak. I didn't need that kind of negativity in my life right now.

"Wow, you look beautiful as always," Zane complimented me, his smile melting my heart like a popsicle in the sun.

"You don't look too bad yourself," I replied, smiling back at him. "Where's Savannah?"

"Oh, she's waiting in the car. Are you ready to go?"

I nodded. "Mom, Dad, Milan, I'm heading out."

"Have a great time, darling," Mom said, standing beside Dad. "Just remember not to do anything I wouldn't do."

Dad narrowed his eyes at her and added, "You should be more specific, pudding. Don't do d***s or have one-night stands, Amari. God is watching you."

"Dad!" I exclaimed, feeling utterly embarrassed. I couldn't believe he had just said that.

Milan chuckled and gave me a hug. "Have a great time, little sister."

Zane and I waved one last time at them before making our way toward the waiting limousine. Savannah was already inside, dressed in her blue gown. She looked annoyed and angry.

Unlike Savannah, who had straight black hair and gray eyes, I had wavy brown hair and ocean-blue eyes. Savannah was of African-American descent, and she preferred wearing weave over her natural hair which I personally think suits her way better.

I, on the other hand, have a mix of Jordanian, Caucasian, and Greek heritage. That's how I acquired my naturally tan skin, thick eyelashes, and eyebrows. When I was younger, my eyebrows were quite bushy, but now that I'm older, I make sure to maintain them regularly.

Savannah is undeniably beautiful on the outside, but I've come to realize that her true nature is far from pleasant.

As I stepped into the car, Savannah shot me a disdainful look. I simply rolled my eyes in response and let out a sigh. Going to homecoming with them was proving to be a terrible idea. Staying home and watching Netflix seemed far more appealing than being stuck with a girl who constantly glared at me.

This is bound to be one never-ending night.

-

"Zane, I'm fed up with your girlfriend," I grumbled, downing another glass of champagne. Drinking alcohol at homecoming was against the rules, but breaking rules seemed fitting at the moment. "She's ruining my night!"

Savannah had been glaring and snapping at me all evening. It felt like she was deliberately following me wherever I went. I was exhausted from dealing with her.

"What do you mean?" Zane asked, looking puzzled. "What did she do?"

"Well, ever since you two started dating, she can't stand me," I huffed, placing the glass down.

"Hate is a strong word," Zane replied calmly.

"It's the right word to describe how she feels about me. Can't you see it? She's trying to drive a wedge between us!"

"You're being delusional, Amari," he chuckled, brushing a strand of hair away from my face. "She's perfectly nice to all of you."

"It's all a façade, Zane," I exclaimed, throwing my hands up in frustration. "Can't you see?"

"No," Zane laughed, throwing his arm around my shoulder. "Come on, Amari, are you jealous?"

"Jealous?" I seethed, slapping his hand away. "Of course not. Savannah doesn't like me, and I just wanted to tell you that."

"Savannah likes you. You're being overly dramatic."

"Dramatic?" I snapped angrily, raising my voice to be heard over the music. We stood outside on the balcony, away from the crowd. "What about you? You've been lying to me for weeks, Zane. Is that what you call being a best friend?"

Zane raised his eyebrows at me. "What?"

"Where were you last Friday? Fridays are our movie nights."

"I was studying at Ivan's," he replied.

"No, you weren't," I yelled. "You were on a dinner date with Savannah. Ivan told me."

Zane raised his hands in surrender. "Okay, I admit it. I lied once."

"Why did you do that? We barely spent any time together over the summer, and now we only talk during lunch. Why?"

Zane remained silent, staring at the ground.

"I'm asking you a question, Zane," I tapped my heels impatiently. "I deserve an answer."

"Well, I... Um... You're right. Savannah doesn't appreciate our friendship," he confessed quietly, almost in a whisper.

I laughed bitterly and shook my head. I knew it. "So, you're going to break up with her, right? Just like you did with all your previous girlfriends who couldn't stand me."

He stayed silent, and suddenly, a heavy feeling settled in my chest. "Zane?"

"I'm not going to break up with her," Zane replied, running his hand through his thick, lustrous hair. "I, um..."

Suddenly, it dawned on me what he was about to say. The burning sensation in my chest intensified. "Zane, I'll tell you," I said, trying to blink away the tears. "If you end our friendship, it's over. Please don't tell me you're ending our friendship because of a girl."

He took a deep breath. "It's a difficult decision."

"It shouldn't be a difficult decision, Zane," a voice interjected from behind him. It was Savannah. Had she been eavesdropping on us the entire time? How sneaky. She smiled at me before turning her attention back to Zane. "Darling, who's it going to be? Me or her?"

I stared at Zane. "If you end our friendship, Zane Shaw, you won't exist to me anymore," I declared, my voice sharp as I narrowed my eyes at him. "Do you hear me? We've known each other for over seven years. Are you really going to throw that away for someone you've only known for... what... four months?"

Savannah made a disapproving noise. "Darling, is it me or her? You can't let go of the love of your life for the sake of your best friend. Think about yourself for once."

Zane raised his hand, silencing Savannah. He looked up at me and offered a sad smile. I could see the pain flickering in his eyes as he finally uttered the words, "I don't think I can be friends with you anymore, Amari."

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