Home > Very Wicked Things (Briarcrest Academy #2)(14)

Very Wicked Things (Briarcrest Academy #2)(14)
Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills

I briefly shut my eyes to hide the flash of pain her words gave me.

“Riiigght,” Sebastian said, drawing it out. “Interesting. I feel like I’m missing part of the story here. Either of you want to fill me in? Cause this is good stuff.”

“Back the fuck off,” I said softly to him, a muscle ticking in my jaw.

Silence descended as we all eyed each other. Dovey glared at me; Emma stared at Dovey like she was a bad piece of fruit; and Sebastian just seemed confused.

He held his hand up. “Dude, sorry. I crossed a line. Obviously.”

Emma groaned. “Oh, please. If you must know, Cuba dumped her. Very publicly, I might add, and terribly embarrassing. It was the talk of the school for several days last year.” She shrugged. “Who cares? Another one bites the dust.”

Dovey whitened at Emma’s words, her lips flattening. She laid her hand over the center of her chest and rubbed the fabric together delicately, almost as if she were protecting something. My brow wrinkled, a distant memory niggling—

Emma cocked her head. “Although she wasn’t the first. You’d think girls would have clued in by now. But they all think they’ll be the one to change him. Ha. Cuba changes for no—”

“Shut up, Emma,” I said, pointing my pencil at her. “You don’t know the whole story. Do you want all your dirty laundry spilled out?”

“Sorry,” she quipped, tossing her golden hair, not sounding sorry at all.

The teacher clapped. “This isn’t a foursome, but two people getting to know each other,” Weinstein reminded us, walking by. “Get with your person, please.”

Sebastian stared at me and then Dovey, seeming to want to say more, but I tightened my lips and shook my head at him. Finally, he shrugged and turned back to Emma who already had her notebook out, obviously bored with us and focusing on the assignment.

I turned back to Dovey.

“She your new flavor?” she asked me quietly, indicating Emma.

My entire body stiffened. It was the first time she’d spoken directly to me in a year. I blinked, getting my bearings. It didn’t take long.

“Jealous?” I murmured silkily.

“Oh, but I forget. Emma is just your friend.”

“That’s right.” I bounced my leg up and down. How long was this class? I checked my watch. Still fifty minutes to go.

I folded my hands on the desk, pretending to be cool, but my mind raced. I planned on catching Weinstein after class and begging for a new partner. I’d bring her Starbucks every day, I’d walk her dog, I’d write my name off a thousand times. Hell, I’d pay her.

Anything to get away from Dovey.

I reached in my pocket and pulled out my sunglasses, slipping them on. Ah, better.

“Listen, let’s just suck it up and call a truce, okay? For today let’s pretend we like each other,” I offered. Maybe I could fake being okay with her.

She curled her lip on one side and shrugged, making the shoulder of her shirt dip down, revealing creamy skin. Her bra strap was a bright pink, and I mentally groaned. I wondered if the cups were lacey. She liked lace.

“Aren’t you going to fix your shirt?” I said in clipped tones.

“No. Why?”

My body tightened.

“Does it bother you?” she asked sweetly.

I looked away. She hadn’t dressed like this when we first met. Oh, for practice she’d worn the sheer skirts, but mostly it had been yoga pants, t-shirts and hoodies. Simple yet sexy on her long body. She’d been softer then, too.

I decided the hell with it and pretended like I didn’t even know her. “So, tell me something about yourself. What are your other interests besides dance?”

She gave me nothing but silence, and I fidgeted. So I tried again. “You must practice, what? Fifteen, twenty hours a week? Ballet’s hard work, I hear. Do you run or swim to keep in shape? Swimming’s an excellent choice. My personal favorite anyway. I guess running’s out for you though. Too hard on the feet…” my voice faded. Fuck, I was babbling.

She continued to glare at me, and the silence swelled, ratcheting the tension higher and higher. I teetered on the edge of a precipice, and I knew a fall was imminent if I didn’t get out of this room.

She plucked some lipstick from her purse, opened a compact and slicked on the candy-apple red color. I groaned, an image of her full lips wrapped around my—shit, I had to stop that thought.

“Why do you dress like that?” I bit out, indicating her bright tights.

“Like what?”

“Like a blind slut,” I said.

She laughed bitterly. “Several reasons. Namely, it’s eye-catching.”

“And?”

She smiled, but it wasn’t nice. “You like it. Why else grope me in the hall?”

I ignored that. Mostly because I still hadn’t figured out why I’d done it either.

“You never wore heels before or all that make-up,” I reminded her. “You’ve changed.”

“Pain will do that,” she said.

What did she know about pain? I’d saved her pain in the long run. She just didn’t know it.

She crossed her arms. “You know, on second thought, I can tell you some things about me. You see, I got screwed over by this guy last year. Let’s call him…Tuba.” She smirked. “Anyway, I thought we were serious, because he put on this big act with me. He’d sing these silly love songs and bring me flowers. Oh, and the gifts were wonderful. I’d definitely call him a big spender. But as soon as he’d gotten what he wanted, he ditched me for another girl. And then another. And another.” She shrugged. “But I moved on. First, I dated this guy Max who was absolutely delicious with his long dreadlocks. Then I met Jacques, one of my ballet partners. He’s French, by the way. And wowza. Talk about a hot body. Truth be told, I couldn’t keep my hands off his muscles, especially his abs. Ballet is great for —”

   
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