Home > Very Wicked Things (Briarcrest Academy #2)(17)

Very Wicked Things (Briarcrest Academy #2)(17)
Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills

He lolled his head toward me and made a kissy face at me. Yeah, he’d clammed up. Same old, same old.

I smirked. “I’d like to peek inside your head for one day. See what kind of secrets you got going on in there.”

He scoffed. “Nothing but a bunch of naked girls, trust me.”

I laughed.

“It’s not like you to skip class,” he said, arching a brow. “And Lit is your favorite, right?”

I nodded and fiddled with my jacket, not ready to explain. He’d always gotten weird when I talked about Cuba.

I focused on Spider. “How’d you get out of class?”

“Saw you out in the quad from the science lab. Told Mr. Brenner I had a headache so I could check on you. You okay? You know I’ll kick anyone’s arse you want.”

I shook my head. “It’s nothing.”

He grinned. “I saw you talking to yourself. Don’t tell me it’s nothing. You only do that when you’re pissed.”

I picked at my nails.

He tilted my chin up, his hands gentle. “It was Cuba, wasn’t it?”

I shot him a glance, and he seemed good, so I went with it. “I baited him in class. He, I don’t know, snapped at me. I just wanted a reaction from him, you know? It’s been a year…” I stopped talking, noticing his red eyes and scrunched up face. “Too much to drink last night?”

He nodded. “Hung out at Gilligan’s with some of the band guys. Someone bought us drinks, and next thing I know, I was up there singing karaoke and then shagging some chick in the loo.”

I shook my head and grinned. “Don’t want to know who you did the dirty with.”

“Oh, it was dirty.”

I groaned. “Unbelievable. Girls never see you coming.”

“It’s ‘cause I’m a musician and I’m British. I’m like Prince Harry to them. Or David Beckham.”

“You wish. And they aren’t musicians, goof,” I noted.

He shrugged. “Meh. We favor. What difference does it make?”

I poked him in the arm. “Your hair is white.” This month.

He smirked. “Then I’m a freakishly young Davie Bowie.”

I giggled. “I like Billy Idol better.”

“Shall I sing White Wedding?”

I nodded, and he held up a finger, hummed to get the correct pitch, and then sang the first few lines. I grinned until wait a minute. “Hold that song. I seem to remember you drunk dialing me last night.”

“Maybe,” he shrugged, his lips twitching.

“You did!”

“Don’t talk so loud,” he said, closing his eyes and rubbing his temple. “I’ve taken four Aleve, and I’m still feeling a bit crap.”

“At three in the morning, no less.”

“Speak softly, please,” he murmured.

“You’ve got to stop calling and saying crazy things—and what was up with all the breathing?” My eyes flared. “Oh, heck no. Please don’t tell me you called while you were getting busy? With some skank, no less—”

His brown eyes popped open. “What did I say? Do you remember?”

“No, there was music blaring.”

“Good,” he muttered, stubbing out his cigarette on the ground.

What was he afraid I’d heard him say?

Bzzzz. The bell rang, and because I was anxious about Alexander Barinsky and maybe seeing Cuba, I forgot to ask him what he meant by good.

At noon, I went to lunch. The cafeteria was noisy as usual and smelled like taco day, which lifted my spirits a little. Tortillas, seasoned beef, and cheese—what’s not to love?

I sat with Spider and a girl—maybe his date? Her name was Mila, and of course, I’d seen her around, but I’d never chatted with her. She had brown hair, a smattering of freckles across her ski-slope nose, and grey eyes. With her pale pink fuzzy sweater, pink jeans, and a pink headband, she reminded me of a giant stick of cotton candy, and honestly, it hurt my eyes to stare at her too long.

But, she seemed nice as we chatted, nothing at all like Spider’s usual type which was loud, brassy, and well, not nice. Yet, I wondered if she might be the random girl he’d shagged at Gilligan’s. He did have charisma and even the good girls loved his wild look.

WHILE SPIDER WENT to grab our lunches, her eyes kept jumping away from me, and when I turned to see what she was looking at, my gaze landed on the jock table. I wasn’t surprised at the who she stared at. Sebastian.

Did this mean Spider was out?

“Do you wonder if he feels you staring?” I asked.

She startled, her eyes darting back to me. “Is it obvious?”

“Believe me, I’ve done my fair share of secret glances at the football table,” I muttered.

Her face fell.

“No, no, not at Sebastian. Cuba,” I admitted.

“Wow,” she murmured, giving me a surprised look. “Bad choice. Dude has the attention span of a gnat when it comes to girls.”

“Yeah,” I said. “No joke.”

My eyes went back to the jock table and found him. Usually he bantered back and forth with his classmates, wearing those sunglasses that drove me nuts, but today he sat hunched over the table without talking, a brooding expression on his face.

Something was decidedly off with him today. I mean, he’d always been an intense kind of guy, but this went deeper.

I watched Emma stroke his arm, and my skin grew cold, remembering how she’d pretended to be my friend in front of Cuba last year when we were dating. A mean girl, she was pretty and had a sweet smile, until you turned your back and she shoved a knife in it. It was no secret she’d gone through more friends since freshman year than a dancer goes through shoes.

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