Home > Very Twisted Things (Briarcrest Academy #3)(8)

Very Twisted Things (Briarcrest Academy #3)(8)
Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills

Wilson made a funny noise in his throat almost like a choke. His brow shot up and his eyes darted back and forth between me to something behind me. I stifled a grin, figuring it was Mrs. Milano, his fiftyish, widowed neighbor who wore her bathing suit most of the time. She must be watering her lawn again in her sparkly gold bikini. This was LA.

I sighed. “Anyway, back to the neighbor. He’s probably a total wiener. At the very least he’s a Peeping Tom—” I stopped as Wilson shook his head emphatically, eyes flaring.

I froze, except for the leg tapping. “Shit. Tell me he isn’t standing behind me,” I hissed.

Wilson gave me an apologetic smirk. “Okay, I won’t tell you.”


I turned.


My breath snagged in my throat. My ovaries exploded.

With impossibly broad shoulders and a jawline that could cut glass, Blond Guy grinned, his otherworldly ice-blue eyes raking over me, lingering on my pink running top. My body sizzled in awareness and my hand shot to my chest, trying to hush my heartbeat.

My telescope hadn’t prepared me for the vision he made, tall with skin so sun-kissed beautiful I needed sunglasses just to peer at him.

And his sexy lips. They were way too sensual looking for a white boy.

He stood there, his stance wide and arms crossed, those big biceps mocking me with their tattoos of skulls, music notes and even a Superman emblem. I sucked in a shaky breath. Whoever this man-candy was, he belonged in the limelight where people could gaze at him adoringly.

He was trouble with a capital T and hott with two t’s.

He was everything I didn’t need.

We stared at each other, everything else fading into the background. Seconds ticked by, maybe an entire minute, but I couldn’t let him go, taking in the way he stood there, so effortlessly, so nonchalantly, as if he hadn’t seen me play half-naked.

Wilson cleared his throat, and we both startled.

Blond Guy stepped past me and handed Wilson a letter, his arm brushing against mine, and I hissed at the contact, tingles rushing up my spine.

He stopped momentarily at my intake and tossed me a questioning glance before he turned his gaze to Wilson. “Good morning, Mr. Wilson. This accidentally got put in our mailbox yesterday, sir. Thought I’d return it.”

I stood there tapping as he and Wilson chatted. I confess I have no idea what they spoke of. It could have been as mundane as the humidity; it could have been as titillating as military secrets.

He abruptly turned back to me as if to speak, and the toe of his shoe got tangled up on the curb. He lost his balance, and I watched in fascinated horror as his body lunged toward the concrete, but at the last minute, he caught himself on the gate that led up Wilson’s drive. Not as smooth as I’d thought. A weird laughter burst out of me, and I tried to reel it in. Unsuccessfully.

He straightened up, spread his hands apart and grinned manically. “Crazy, right? You called me a wiener, and I’m still falling all over you.”

His easy words slammed into me, and my laughter stopped. My mouth opened.

Not only was he easily the most gorgeous male I’d ever seen, but he was disgustingly charming.

But his hotness was irrelevant.

Because I sensed a guy who crushed hearts like saltine crackers in soup.

I sensed a guy who thought he was so awesome he was fairy dust.

I turned around and ran as hard as I could, away from those eyes, that body, that smile—and that fucking perfection I didn’t need.

AS IF FATE meant for us to be together, my reprieve from him didn’t last long.

The next day, after my run and a hot shower, I skipped the coffee shop to avoid Blair and instead went to the ice cream shop next door that opened at eleven.

That was how I found myself trying to decide between ice cream flavors, mostly the chocolate ones. Major decisions for a junk food addict.

“May I taste the Brownie Chocolate again?” I asked the young girl behind the counter. I smiled sheepishly since I’d sampled at least ten already. She sighed heavily and left to get another spoon for me.

“You know, if it’s that hard to decide, why don’t you just get them all,” a husky voice rumbled from behind me.

“That’s thirty-five flavors. I want to enjoy my ice cream, not make myself sick.” I tossed a grin over my shoulder at the mystery voice, expecting to see some dad with his kids waiting in line.

Instead, my gaze crashed into Blond Guy. I sucked in a sharp breath and all the hairs on my body rose up in unison.

A choir of angels may have sung in the distance. I told them to hush.

I stood straighter in my white shorts and Foo Fighters shirt, immediately wishing I’d put on something prettier. “Did you follow me?”

He scoffed. “No.”

“So this is a coincidence? Out of all the ice cream shops in LA, you walk into mine?”

He cocked an eye. “Your gin joint, huh?”

He’d gotten my Casablanca reference. “I love old movies,” I said.

“Me, too,” he said quietly, studying me intently although I refused to reciprocate. I’d already taken a good look in those few seconds and knew he wore a Dallas Cowboys hat pulled down low, his thick hair curling up around the ends and framing his masculine face. He looked like a dessert I wanted to sink my teeth into, and I had to keep reminding myself that I was on a low calorie diet when it came to relationships.

He leaned in. “Uh, I’m glad I ran into you. I wanted to tell you I’m sorry for spying on you. It’s just … the first time I heard you play, I wanted more. You’re—”

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