Home > Very Bad Things (Briarcrest Academy #1)(15)

Very Bad Things (Briarcrest Academy #1)(15)
Author: Ilsa Madden-Mills

“I’ve never done anything like that in my whole life. You were the first,” she whispered.

And I sucked in a sharp breath, feeling the blood rush to my groin at those words. It was wrong, but I wanted to be her fucking first in everything. I moved a bit further from her, until I was practically on the edge of the bed.

“That’s not really you is it?” I finally said, getting myself under control.

“I don’t know who I am anymore,” she said with a sad smile.

“Tell me about your family.”

“Sometimes I dream my family is dead,” she said, “and it’s not a nightmare.”

“What happened to you?” I said, remembering her mother.

She drew up, like she was protecting herself. “I think it’s your turn to tell me a story, Leo.”

“I know you’re hiding something,” I whispered, squeezing her hand. “You said everyone has secrets. What are you hiding?”

Her face hardened. “Nothing.”

I wanted to question her more. I wanted to know what made her tick, why she was scared of her parents, and why she’d written that list, but I sensed she’d had enough for one night. So I ended up telling her the story of how my mom had played on a quiz show in LA and won a family trip to England. No one knew that story but me and Sebastian, yet I found myself describing all the touristy places we’d visited and how Stonehenge had been my favorite. I told her how awed I’d been at those vast chunks of rock that have stood for thousands of years and how no one knows how they got there or what they were used for. I chuckled as I told her how, when we’d gotten back, Mom had insisted we call her Mum. So, of course, we did.

After a while, I glanced over, and she was asleep. I didn’t know much about her, but I did know one thing: she was the first girl to ever show up uninvited at my house and get an invitation to spend the night, much less to have breakfast in the morning.

MY EYES POPPED opened automatically at 6:00 a.m. on the dot, the time I normally take a quick run in the park. Thankfully, I woke up completely clothed, on top of the covers, and still a respectable distance from Nora. There had been no kissing, no cuddling, no sex. Nothing. Nada. Just a bit of hand holding, that’s all.

But, here’s the rub. I’ve never in my life slept the entire night with a girl. It was an unwritten rule to be gone before sunrise. So yeah, this waking up next to someone was strange.

She was still asleep, so I propped up on my elbow, leaned over, and inhaled her scent one more time, committing it to memory. I truly intended to leave, but I found myself staring at her, seeing how her dark lashes contrasted with her hair and skin. And her lips. They were full and erotic looking, and I wanted to— I jerked back away from her. I had to get out of here before I did something I regretted. Giving her one last lingering look, I told myself this would be the last time I saw Nora in a bed. Ever.

I disentangled our hands, severing our connection, and got out of bed.

I made my escape just as Sebastian came out of his room, dressed in running clothes.

His eyes grew, and he shook his head. “What the fuck, Leo? Did checking on her take all night? She’s not one of your sluts.”

I sighed. “Relax. It’s not what you think.”

“Then what is it?” he said, cocking his head.

“We started talking and I . . . I guess, I fell asleep. Nothing happened.”

His eyebrows shot up. “Huh, guess that’s a first for you.”

I shrugged and made to go into my bedroom when he touched my arm to get my attention. “Hey, man. Don’t be hurting her, okay. Don’t add to her problems.”

“I’m trying not to,” I said curtly, striding into my room.

When I was alone, I sat down on my bed, wondering when my little brother had gotten so perceptive.

BY 9:00 a.m. THE smells of bacon and coffee were in the air when she wandered into the kitchen wearing baggy blue sweat pants and Sebastian’s old Dallas Cowboys shirt that somehow managed to cling to her breasts, despite being too big for her. It irked me seeing her in his clothes.

She yawned and then glanced at me sheepishly, and I wanted to ask her how she’d slept, but instead I poured her a cup of coffee and avoided her eyes.

“Cream and sugar?” I asked her.

She smiled shyly and nodded.

“Both are on the island,” I said, handing her the cup, her fingers brushing mine as she took it. She poured in a liberal dose of cream and sugar and drank. After a few sips she spoke, her voice husky with sleep, “Thanks for staying with me.”

Sebastian saved me from replying when he walked in. “Breakfast time,” he called out with a grin. He stopped and took in Nora, and I imagined his eyes were admiring the same view I had tried not to. “Hey, there. Not sure if you remember, but I’m Sebastian, Leo’s brother,” he said, gesturing at himself. I couldn’t help but notice that he’d showered, shaved, and put on nice clothes. Not his usual weekend lounging clothes. Was he trying to impress her?

She blushed. “I’m sorry for imposing on you guys this morning.”

“Pretty girl like you? You’re always welcome,” he said, moving in to stand next to her.

She drank her coffee, peering at him over the rim, and it made me remember how she’d analyzed me. I wondered what observations she’d come to about Sebastian. She’d probably like him. All the girls did. And he already thought she was hot. It pissed me off to imagine them being attracted to each other. Surprised at the feeling, I paused right in the middle of flipping the French toast.

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