Home > Very Twisted Things (Briarcrest Academy #3)(16)

Very Twisted Things (Briarcrest Academy #3)(16)
Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills

“You haven’t lost your charm,” I murmured.

“Thank you,” he said, his gaze lingering on my face, then landing on my lips. I nibbled on them, and he froze, something primal flickering across his face.

I took a leap of faith. “My name’s Violet, but I prefer to be called V.”

He nodded. “I’m Sebastian, front guy for the Vital Rejects. Ever heard of us?”

Something niggled at my mind, but was I unable to figure it out. “You’re part of a boy band then? Like One Direction?”

He made a choking sound. “God, no. We’re rock alternative with some punk thrown in. We’re edgy, not bubble gum.”

“Yeah, you look more like a Kurt Cobain kind of guy.”

His lips kicked up. “Yeah? You like Nirvana, right?”

He should know. He’d probably heard me play them. “He’s a rock god. Once, for a contemporary music class, I redid his ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ on the violin. It was epic. My professor totally freaked out.” I laughed at the memory.

Then things just kinda happened.

I leaned over the balcony, put my chin in my hand, and we began talking about music, the Dallas Cowboys football team, The Vampire Diaries—go figure—and just about everything we could think of.

“Here’s a question for you. Do you happen to have a thing for guys with blue hair? Or do you prefer blonds?” he asked.

“You trying to fix me up with your roomie?”

“No,” he growled.

I chuckled. “I guess it’s more about who they are on the inside that counts.” I went with my own question. “Do you like cheese puffs? Because I don’t think I can be friends with someone who doesn’t want to bathe in them.”

“And my brain thanks you for that strange visual,” he said. “My turn. Sunsets or sunrises?”

“Sunrises. New beginnings all the way.”

“Me too.” His eyes bored into mine.

I cleared my throat. “Wine or tequila?”

He arched a brow. “Beer?”

“Favorite color?” I asked.

“Red and lacy.”

My robe was red … and lacy.

“Favorite movie?”

“Star Wars, hands down. ‘May the force be with you, V.’”

“What does that even mean?”

“It means may you never be in danger. Used a lot when fighting bad dudes with a light saber.” He jumped into a fighting stance and did a few moves, and I giggled. “Come on, tell me you’ve seen it.”


He gaped. “I smell a George Lucas marathon. You bring the cheese puffs and tequila; I’ll make sure Spider is out of the house.”

Wait. Was that a date?

“Are you asking me out?”



“I think you like me,” I said, feeling brave.

“Sure,” he said. “You’re a dark-haired angel who makes her violin rock.”

I nodded. “Favorite song?”

“Anything you play.” He grinned. “Especially naked.”

Ignore that.

“Top or bottom?” he said.

My mouth parted. “Hang on. You mean … sex?”

He bit his lower lip, his gaze intense. “Yeah.”

“I don’t know.”

“Why?” His eyes smoldered.

“It’s been so long … since, you know …” I trailed off.

That took him by surprise. “Lights on or lights off?”

My body burned at his questions. “At this point, I’d take either.”

He groaned softly, scrubbing a hand across the faint stubble on his jaw. “Sorry. Shit. I didn’t mean to go that far. Maybe we should move on.”

But my heart was racing. I didn’t want to stop. “Ever been in love?” I asked.

He shrugged—a good non-answer, but I saw the flash of pain on his face.

“What was she like?”

“She got pregnant. It wasn’t mine.” He sighed. “You ever been in love?”

I nodded.

“What was he like?” His eyes searched mine.

Memories from the past slammed into me—the first time Geoff and I had made love in his apartment; the day he’d given me my promise ring. I swallowed. “Wonderful. Perfect. His name was Geoff, and I tried to be wonderful for him, but in the end, I’d changed too much for us to make it.”

“What changed you?”

I tapped my hands against my leg, and his eyes followed.

“It’s okay,” he sighed. “You don’t have to explain. Maybe I’ve been there, too. It does get better, though—the pain. And l have a feeling life hasn’t revealed its true beauty to you. You’re not done yet, V.”

His words.

I gripped the balcony to ground myself, to hold on to the grief that lurked inside always scratching to come out. For so long I’d been huddled in a corner, licking my wounds. I wasn’t ready to come out yet. I still wanted to hide. To give up.

“You sleepy?” he asked.

I sighed. “Not even close.”

He rubbed the back of his neck. “This is kinda out of the blue, but I don’t wanna go home yet. Maybe you’d like to get some coffee? There’s a place at the end of the canyon that stays open all night—Java and Me. We can hang out, watch the sun rise over the Hollywood sign. I’ve been here for weeks and still haven’t done it.”

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