Home > Very Bad Things (Briarcrest Academy #1)(12)

Very Bad Things (Briarcrest Academy #1)(12)
Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills

“Wait, wait,” I called out, reaching out to make him stop, needing him. Please stay, I wanted to say.

He turned back with his fists held tight by his side and spat out his words. “You’re a naked girl, and I’m a grown-ass man. I’m walking out of this room while I still can.”

But he made no move to leave, and it gave me a tiny bit of hope.

“I . . . I just wanted to know how old you are.”

“Twenty-five. I’m twenty-five,” he muttered, “and you’re jailbait and not my type.”

“What type is that?” I asked, dying to know.

“Experienced girls my age who don’t expect to hear from me the next day. Girls who aren’t in high school. In other words—not you.”

And as we stood there, facing each other, I waited for him to make his move, to snatch me up and take me to his bed like I wanted. But he didn’t, because I wasn’t good enough or pretty enough or smart enough.

I was never enough.

I cleared my throat and powered on. “I started kindergarten when I was six, almost seven, mostly because I’d contracted a bad case of mono at the age of five and had to stay away from germs for several months. So, for your information—not that it matters, of course, because I’m not your type—but eighteen isn’t jailbait.”

We stared at each other and the longer our eyes held, the more I knew my boundaries were gone. It seemed like there was nothing I wouldn’t say to him. Even though my insides were quaking with nerves, I went over to him until our bare chests were only inches apart. I was five feet ten inches, and he was at least six inches taller, making him the tallest guy I’d ever stood next to. Not only that, but his body was built like an NFL football player, with lethal yet lickable muscles. I liked being near him. I felt safe, like no one would ever hurt me again.

My eyes caressed the dragon on his chest, and I wanted to trace it with my tongue. I thought about how warm his skin would be, how it would feel to have his strong arms wrap around me as I kissed his sensuous lips. When his breathing accelerated along with mine, I knew I wasn’t completely alone in my feelings. I searched his eyes, surprised at the new sensations coursing through me. I‘d never wanted someone like this, not even Drew.

I pressed myself against him completely, and he hissed at the contact. “Don’t you want to touch me?” I whispered, rubbing my breasts against his chest to get some friction.

He gripped my arms and shoved me away from him. “You’re playing with fire. You think you want this?” He laughed darkly. “Buttercup, you can’t handle me.”

And with those words, he pivoted around and stomped out of the room, slamming the door hard behind him.

“I’m not waiting for the right girl because she doesn’t exist.”

–Leo Tate

HOLY, FUCK! I bolted out of the bathroom with images of her X-rated body fried into my brain. Why had I stood there like an idiot while she took off every stitch of clothing? I groaned. I’d never look at her again without imagining her naked, without seeing her centerfold body in my head.

I got to the kitchen, poured myself a glass of ice-cold water and chugged it down, and when it was gone, I pressed the cool glass against my hot face. I’m not sure why she was able to get to me. I’m not a touchy feely kinda guy, especially when it comes to matters of the heart, but I think we’d had a moment that day at the open house. Which was ridiculous because I didn’t believe in that shit. However, there was no doubt I had to stay away from her. Maybe I needed to call Tiffany, my current hookup, who was definitely older than eighteen and fuckable.

Tiffany knew the score; she knew I wasn’t good boyfriend material, because I’ve always made it known up front that I’m not in it for the long haul. I didn’t have time for some unrealistic notion of everlasting love. My gym, Sebastian, and the band were my priorities.

Nora was young and had needy written all over her. Something about her behavior wasn’t right. Mix that with the mother I saw and who knows what issues she had. Oh, she’d tried to come across as cool with her little striptease, but she didn’t fool me. She may have acted fearless, but I’d seen the way her hands shook when I mentioned her parents.

“She okay?” Sebastian asked, coming in from the living room. “You were in there for a while.”

“She’s fine and showering now. Can you grab some sweats and an ice pack?” I said, feeling weird as I looked at him. Shit, I’ve been lusting after a chick who was closer in age to Sebastian than I was.

He nodded and left.

I pulled out her phone and dialed Portia’s cell. It rang and rang and went to voicemail on five tries, so I gave up and scrolled through her contacts and found the name: Ellen Blakely, Mother. I had my finger on the number, but instinct made me put the phone down. In the distance, I heard Sebastian knock on the bathroom door and tell Nora the clothes and ice pack were sitting outside.

I unzipped her backpack that Sebastian had left on the kitchen counter, which contained the spray paint, a flask and, oddly enough, a seven-inch everyday carry knife. It had a smooth black-enamel handle, and when I popped it opened, a titanium-coated, stainless steel six-inch blade came out. Impressed, I studied it carefully. I’d known a lot of cops who’d come through my gyms, and I recognized this type of knife as an expensive brand that policemen chose to carry when off duty. As I wondered about why she’d need a personal-protection knife, a blue journal caught my eye, and I picked it up and flipped through it, finding a page where she’d made some list.

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