Falling Into Love With You - Book cover

Falling Into Love With You

Lauren Rowe

Age Rating


I’m obsessed with Laila Fitzgerald. There, I finally admitted it. I’ve tried not to want her. I tried to step aside when my best friend said he wanted her. But it’s proved impossible. She’s too gorgeous and talented, too charismatic and badass, for me not to want her for myself.

Unfortunately, though, karma’s a bitch. In trying to do the right thing by my best friend, I’ve done the wrong thing by myself. I’ve pushed her away every chance I’ve had. Dug way too deep a hole to crawl out of . . . And now, Laila downright hates my guts. And rightly so.

But since we’re stuck together, yet again—and, this time, even more closely—I’ve decided nothing will stop me from getting what I want. This time, I’m going to figure out a way to coax Laila into falling out of hate with me . . .

Falling into Love with You is the sweeping, romantic happily ever after to Savage and Laila’s spicy, enemies to lovers, forced proximity, fake engagement, unforgettable romance.

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Chapter 1


As Savage leaves Reed’s guest house after our stilted, awkward conversation about “Hate Sex High,” I shove my earbuds back in, press play on the song, close my eyes, and listen carefully. A moment later, the makeup artist taps my arm, letting me know she’s returned from outside, so I nod to her and close my eyes again, finding it hard to give my attention, even fleetingly, to anything but Savage’s voice in my ears.

Presently, Savage’s sexy voice is singing, “You’re falling in hate with me/I’m feeling something I don’t want to feel…” And I can’t help wondering…what is the ~something~ Savage was feeling when he wrote this song—the ~something~ he didn’t want to feel? A few minutes ago, Savage swore, up and down, that the entire song was “pure fiction.” But then, he immediately backtracked and said the chorus was a “popcorn lie” he’d spun from various “kernels of truth” in the verses. The thing is, though, I hadn’t even mentioned the chorus when Savage felt the need to vehemently deny its truth. So now, I can’t help thinking the dude doth protest too much.

The song continues to the second half of the chorus, the part where Savage sings a string of “la la’s.” And, once again, I hear ~my~ name at the ends of those lines. ~Repeatedly~. Yep, that’s definitely my name! Granted, Savage’s voice is buried in the mix, artfully interwoven with his bandmates’ voices singing “~la la.~” Most likely to preserve deniability for Savage. But, nonetheless, anyone with the ability to hear would be able to discern ~my~ name at the end of those ~la la’s~.

A flash of energy courses through my veins. Does Savage singing my name in the song enthrall or ~anger~ me? I can’t decide. All I know for certain is that hearing Savage belting out ~my ~name, for the entire world to hear—knowing he’s explicitly identifying ~me~ as the muse for this raunchy song—is making my blood simmer and every hair on my body stand at full attention.

The song continues, with Savage making a big thing about his muse coming three times. “Girl, you came three times,” he sings, twice, before speaking the line in a smug, matter-of-fact tone. Finally, Savage concludes in the bridge, “You’re chasing…a…hate sex high”—and as Savage sings the titular lyrics of the song, a shiver skates across my skin. As freaked out as I am in this moment, I can’t help reliving the night of the hot tub as I listen. The night I did, in fact, chase a hate sex high with Savage, all the way to three glorious orgasms that felt far more intense and electrifying than anything I’d experienced before.

I feel a tap on my shoulder and open my eyes to find the makeup artist smiling at me. She holds up a makeup brush as if to say “all done!” So, I stop the song, which is currently barreling into its final chorus, and check myself out in the mirror.

“Looks great,” I say. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome.”

“Who’s sitting in your chair next?” I ask, hoping she’ll say Aloha, and when she does, I tap out a text to my darling friend, asking her to please get her ass down to Reed’s guest house as soon as possible—earlier than scheduled—because I need to talk to her about something urgent.

Three minutes later, Aloha appears, her famous emerald-green eyes practically glowing. After greeting the makeup artist, Aloha asks me, “Is everything okay?”

I jut my chin toward the makeup artist, who’s presently preparing her station, to let Aloha know the urgent thing I need to talk to her about is confidential, and Aloha instantly gets the message.

“Hey, Susanna,” Aloha says. “Would you mind taking a quick break before we get started? I came early to chat with Laila.”

“Of course,” the makeup artist replies. “How’s fifteen minutes?”

Aloha looks at me, her eyebrows raised. And when she sees the expression of pure panic on my face, she says, “Let’s make it twenty.”

The door closes behind the makeup artist, and before I’ve said a word, Aloha lurches at me and yells, “What did Savage do to you last night, you little freak? My room was across the hallway from Savage’s and I heard everyscream and moan!” She takes the chair next to mine, smiling wickedly. “And don’t tell me all those noises were you barfing, and not the sounds of pure ecstasy. I know barfing when I hear it, and that wasn’t it.”

I roll my eyes, even as I’m blushing. “The second half of what you heard was me barfing.”

“And the first half?”

I can’t help smiling. “The sounds of pure ecstasy.”

Aloha squeals. “Tell me everything.

“There’s not much to tell. Savage ate me from every angle and I was too drunk to care if anyone in the house heard my reaction.”

Aloha fans herself. “Girl, you never disappoint. How did you even wind up in Savage’s room?”

“I was horny and drunk and didn’t know which room was his, so I crept down the hallway on my tiptoes, in my undies, and went looking for him.”

Aloha hoots. “Laila Fitzgerald! You little horndog!”

I snort. “I pressed my ear against a couple doors, hoping to feel some kind of ‘Savage vibration’ emanating from the other side. And then, lo and behold, there Savage was in his underwear on the far end of the hallway, on his way to find ~me~.”

Aloha reacts gleefully.

“But that’s not the urgent thing I needed to talk to you about. I need you to listen to something that’s making my head explode. Talk me off the ledge, Aloha. I’m freaking out.” I grab my phone, anxiety coursing through me, and get “Hate Sex High” cued up. My heart thumping, I explain, “This morning, Kendrick gave me an early copy of Fugitive Summer’s new album, so I could listen to the mixes.” I hand my phone to Aloha. “Listen to the third track. ‘Hate Sex High.’ It’s about ~me—~about the night I told you about, when I screwed Savage’s brains out during the tour~.~”

“Holy crap,” Aloha whispers, taking my phone and earbuds.

As she begins listening, I get up and pace back and forth in the small guest house, unable to keep my body, or mind, from spazzing out.

“Love the beat,” Aloha murmurs. “Cool baseline.” She pauses. “Ha! That’s so Savage. It sounds like he’s getting a blowjob.”

“Keep listening,” I say. Clearly, she’s only gotten as far as the introductory “yeahs.”

Suddenly, Aloha’s eyebrows lift. Her eyes widen. She begins muttering things like “Whoa” and “Wow.” Finally, she shouts, “He’s singing Laila! What the fuck!” She presses pause. “He’s called you out by ~name~?”


Dude.” She presses play again and a moment later shrieks, “You came ~three~ times with him that night?”

I blush and nod. “More last night.”

Aloha flashes me a snarky look. “Well, damn. No wonder you don’t care if he’s an asshole.” She snickers to herself before quieting down to listen again. And then, “Wow, he’s proud of those three orgasms, huh?” She pauses. “Okay, Savage, we get it. She came three times.” She snorts. “What a smug little shit to put this song as the ~third ~track on the album, as yet another nod to those three Os. That’s so Savage.”

My pulse lurches. I hadn’t thought of that, but she’s right.

Aloha continues listening for a moment before snorting and saying, “He just had to gloat, one more time, at the end. Such a cheeky bastard.” She presses pause and takes out the earbuds. “So, Laila. I have a question not answered by the lyrics. Something that wasn’t clear.” Aloha furrows her brow, like she’s trying to solve the secrets of the universe. “Did Savage, by any chance…make you come three times?”

We both break into raucous laughter. Even in my present state of total freak-out, I can’t help giggling with my good friend.

I resume my chair next to Aloha. “So, you agree he’s singing my name in those ‘la la’ parts, right? Because Savage denied it.”

“You’ve already talked to Savage about the song?”

I nod furiously. “He burst in here, while I was midway through listening to it. Apparently, Kendrick gave me an early copy of the album without consulting Savage first, and when Savage found out, he hightailed it straight down here to find me.”


“And then, when Savage realized I was already listening to ‘Hate Sex High,’ he had the nerve to deny he sang my name in the song! He ~insisted~ he was singing ‘la la’ all the way through.”

Aloha scoffs, her expression making it clear she doesn’t buy Savage’s explanation for a minute.

I continue, “Savage insisted I was only hearing my name because I’m a ‘megalomaniac’ who thinks the world revolves around me.”

Aloha laughs in a way that would have resulted in a spit-take if she’d taken a sip of a beverage immediately beforehand.

“Preposterous, right?” I ask.

“Utterly and totally preposterous. Not to mention, insulting to your intelligence. He’s singing ‘Laila,’ over and over again. Plus, come on, the verses track what happened between you and Savage during the tour—the stuff with Malik in New York and your hookup later on. So, there’s no doubt, even if he didn’t call you out by name, which he did, that the song is one thousand percent about ~you~. But, yes, there’s no question he ~also ~says your name, repeatedly, to emphasize his point.”

But what’s his point?” I ask breathlessly. “Is his point what he sings in the chorus? The part where he says he’s feeling ‘something’ he doesn’t want to feel for his muse—for ‘Laila’ who’s falling into hate with him?”

“You mean, Laila who’s coming three times while chasing a hate sex high?”

I exhale loudly. “Honestly, it’s the chorus that’s freaking me out the most, even more than all the sex stuff. I don’t know if it would be hitting me so hard if Savage hadn’t raced down here with bulging eyes the minute he found out I had an early copy. But, Aloha, when Savage burst through that door, he looked like he was going to have a heart attack at the thought of me listening to that particular song. And then ~he ~brought up the chorus first, to ~deny~ it was true, before I’d said a word about it. So, I don’t think his main worry was the sex stuff.”

Aloha bites her lip, processing. “How’d you leave it with him?”

“He conceded the song was ‘inspired’ by me. That there were ‘kernels of truth’ in the verses. But he said he took those ‘kernels of truth’ and spun them into ‘popcorn lies’ in the chorus. But why would Savage feel the need to sprint down here, like a bat out of hell, unless he ~knew~ that chorus admits he caught feelings for me during the tour?” I let my mouth hang open, wide, as if to say, ~Can you believe it~?

But Aloha’s face reflects skepticism. “Well, I mean, he could have been worried you’d be livid to be called out, by name, as someone he’d screwed.” Aloha pauses, waiting for a reaction from me, and whatever wilted expression she’s seeing on my face makes her sigh with compassion. “Okay, let’s look at this objectively, honey. Savage is the guy who had sex with you on the night of the hot tub, and then, mere hours later, turned around and screwed someone else. So, even if he ~is~ singing in the chorus about ‘catching feelings’ for you, then how much stock do you really think you should put into those supposed feelings?”

I look down at my lap, feeling embarrassed about my show of excitement.

“Aw, I’m sorry,” Aloha says quickly. “Maybe you’re right. I’m certainly not trying to rain on your parade here…”

I take a deep breath and look up, making a concerted effort to wipe all traces of disappointment off my face. Aloha is right. I’m assigning way too much depth and importance to that chorus, when the obvious truth is that Savage proved himself a diehard womanizer in Las Vegas. A man who’d felt nothing but lust toward me, the same thing he’d felt toward countless other women across the globe. Truly, it was the height of self-delusion for me to think the song is about Savage catching feelings for me, when the truth is that I was never anything special to him. Nothing but another conquest.

Aloha apologizes again and tries to backtrack, but I wave her off, saying, “No, no, don’t apologize. I asked for your honest opinion, and you gave it to me. I’m glad you never pull any punches with me.”

“But, honey, I never want to ‘punch’ you in any way. I just wanted—”

“No, no, stop. Like you said, even if Savage did catch feelings for me after the night of the hot tub, which is unlikely, his ‘feelings’ wouldn’t be something I should rely on, based on his subsequent behavior. I need to remember the timeline of events here. There’s no other conclusion to be drawn when I look at Savage’s ~actions~, rather than projecting some fairytale fantasy onto a few stupid lyrics in a song.”

Aloha looks sympathetic. “Oh, Laila, I’d love for you to be the woman who brought Mr. Fuckboy to his knees. I’d ~love ~that for you. I just don’t want you to get hurt. In the past, I’ve seen Savage in action, from afar, and let’s just say his reputation as a lady killer is well-earned.”

I nod. “Yeah, I know. I always want you to be nothing but totally honest with me. Even if the truth hurts, that’s what I want to hear.”

Aloha puffs out her cheeks. “Okay, well, if I’m being totally honest with you, it seems to me the song is a ‘gloating song’ about Savage having sex with you. A song written to taunt Malik, far more than to express any secret feelings he was having for you. I mean, Savage literally asks, at the end, if ‘he’—meaning Malik—made you come three times, the same way Savage did. If that’s not a pissing contest between two dudes—if that’s not Savage running a victory lap—then I don’t know what is.”

My heart feels like it’s lodged in my toes. Aloha is right, yet again. After his tussle with Malik in that restaurant, Savage wanted his adversary to know he’d won the game and claimed the prize. Also, that he’d done all of it exceedingly well. Savage sat down and wrote “Hate Sex High” to deride Malik, not because he felt tortured by his blossoming feelings for me. In the end, the song had very little to do with me, actually, and everything to do with his desire to flip the bird at Malik.

Suddenly, I feel like I’m standing in that hallway in Las Vegas, all over again. An acute sensation of rejection washes over me. I feel pathetic. Foolish. Embarrassed. Why do I ~still ~want Savage to want me, more than anyone else—but especially more than some random groupie he just met? Why does he ~still ~have this ridiculous hold over me?

Aloha says, “Aw, Laila. I could be wrong. After the night of the hot tub, was there any indication Savage was feeling ‘something’ he didn’t want to feel toward you? Think back.”

Images flood me. Savage’s arm slung over that groupie’s shoulders. A booze bottle dangling in his free hand. The woman’s obvious excitement that Savage had deigned to choose her. I hear her voice saying, “Let me at that famous body!” And every molecule in my body recoils and shudders at the memory. “No,” I reply, my spirit heavy. “On the contrary, the only indication was that Savage felt the same thing men always feel for me: nothing but lust.” I take a deep breath to regulate the pang of embarrassment twisting my core. How on earth did I hear “Hate Sex High” and turn it into a confessional about Savage catching feelings for me, when the truth is so damned obvious?

Aloha juts her lower lip in sympathy. “Aw, honey. Who cares what I think? I wasn’t there, and you were. Trust your gut.”

“I do. And my gut is telling me you’re right. It’s telling me I heard what I wanted to hear in the song, not what was actually there.”

Sighing, Aloha gets up from her chair and hugs me. “Oh, sweet Laila. You and your horrible taste in men.” She kisses my hair. “Why can’t you ever fall for guys who aren’t players and heartbreakers, girlie?”

I nuzzle into Aloha’s dark hair and exhale. “It’s my fatal flaw. I see a guy with multiple red flags sticking out of his hair and ears and asshole, and I run towards him, at full speed, rather than away.”

Aloha chuckles, while I groan in misery.

“I don’t even like Savage, as a person,” I say softly. “He’s an arrogant jerk. It’s like he’s cast a spell on me. Like I’m a drug addict and he’s my drug. I know he’s bad for me, but I can’t stop wanting him.”

Aloha pulls back from our embrace to level me with her green eyes. “Do you really want him—or do you want him to want ~you~?”

“I want him to want ~me~!” I shout, without hesitation. “~Why doesn’t he want me, Aloha~?”

Aloha chuckles. “Well, it seems pretty clear, from what I heard coming out of Savage’s room last night, you both want each other—physically, anyway.” She smooths my hair, presses a kiss to my forehead, and resumes her chair. “Buckle up, Buttercup. It sounds like the next three months are going to be a wild ride for you. You’re going to be living and working with Savage, and probably having amazing sex with him every night, too, if those sounds I heard last night were any indication. So, do yourself a favor and make sure you’re not projecting feelings onto him that might not be there. Or else, the next three months could really mess with your heart.”

I sigh. “Don’t worry. I’ve got my head on straight now. Savage has no idea Malik was nothing to me. I made him think I was with Malik for weeks after I’d already kicked him to the curb in New York. Obviously, it drove Savage crazy to think there was one woman on planet earth who was resistant to his charms. That’s what the song is about.”

The makeup artist sticks her head inside the door. “Ready for me?”

Aloha raises her eyebrows, asking me if I’m good.

“Yeah, come in,” I reply, flashing a wistful smile at Aloha. “We’re done here.”

“I’m always here for you,” Aloha says softly.

“Thank you. I’m good. If you don’t mind, I think I’ll hide out here for a bit. I promised Kendrick I’d listen to the whole album, and I don’t want to go out there and bump into You Know Who while I’m doing that.”

“Stay as long as you like—provided you let me know if there’s another song about you.”

“God help me,” I mutter, before leaning back and shoving my earbuds in again. But, thankfully, as I listen to the rest of the album, I don’t hear another song that contains my name buried in the mix or a single lyric that feels even remotely like it was inspired by me.

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