Home > Defy (Sinners of Saint 0.5)(2)

Defy (Sinners of Saint 0.5)(2)
Author: L.J. Shen

That could be because my eyes always drifted his way while I taught his Lit class. Like a moth to a flame, I always noticed him, even when I didn’t want to. I was worried he knew that too. That I was looking at him in a way I shouldn’t be when he was dicking around, messing with his phone.

Not like a teacher.

But like a woman.

“I said I dented your car.” His blue eyes shimmered with intensity.

Why was he doing this? And why the fuck did I care? This kid received more pocket money than I had in all my savings combined. If he wanted to shoulder this, I should just accept.

Was it a better grade he was after? Doubted it. Jaime was a senior on his way out the door. I’d heard his rich ass had landed a spot at an excellent Texas university (see: Mommy Dearest), where he’d play football and probably fuck his way into some kind of a man-whore Guinness World Record.

“You did,” I said, swallowing. “And right now, I’m running late. Please step out of my way.”

We mentally shook hands on that lie, our eyes hard on one another. I had a feeling I was digging a hole. A hole in which I was about to dump a ton of dark shit that’d land me in hot trouble. I was striking a deal with the devil’s spawn. Even though I had a good eight years on him, I knew who he was.

One of the Four HotHoles.

A self-centered, privileged princeling who ruled this town.

Jaime took another step my way, his body flush with mine. His breath skated over my face. Mint gum, aftershave, and musky male sweat that made me oddly heady. I was so unprepared for this that my face twitched.

I took a step back.

He took a step forward.

Bending his head down, he moved his lips close to mine. To my horror, my knees buckled, and I knew exactly why.

“I owe you,” he murmured darkly. “And I’ll make sure you get to cash in on that debt. Soon. Very soon.”

“I don’t need your money,” I sputtered, my womb tingling with fuzzy warmth.

His mesmerizing eyes widened, and he flashed me a dimpled smirk. “It’s not money I’m going to give you.”

How could someone so young be so arrogant and self-assured? I felt his thumb stroking my stomach, barely touching, teasing, making me quiver through the thin fabric of my dress. It was like he’d shoved his whole fist into me and attacked my mouth with his.

I licked my lips and blinked, astonished.

Holy shit.

Holy. Fucking. Shit.

Jaime Followhill was hitting on me. Blatantly. In the parking lot. In plain sight.

I wasn’t a troll. I still had a dancer’s body after all, green eyes, a nice California tan, and soft chestnut curls. But I didn’t exactly give the cheerleading crowd a run for their money.

Tripping backward, I swallowed a groan, feeling my pulse everywhere, eyelids included. “That’s enough, James. Drive safely, and please be sure to do your homework for tomorrow,” I had the audacity to say.

I tucked myself back into my Ford, and then accidentally bumped my car into the Range Rover one more time before I fled the scene, smearing the ugly dent into a long, wide scratch. From the rearview mirror, I watched as he cocked his eyebrows at me in a challenge.

I drove so fast I swore my curls transformed into a dramatic blow-out by the time I parked under my building.

At home, I slouched on my couch in front of my phone and waited for Principal Followhill to call and tell me she was firing my ass and suing me for every single penny that I had. Or in my case didn’t have.

Long hours passed, but the call never came. I crawled into bed and closed my eyes at ten p.m. but couldn’t sleep to save my life. All I thought about was that gorgeous asshole, Jaime Followhill.

How he smelled like the hottest guy I’d ever been near.

How he looked like the most delicious thing in the world when he rubbed his tan six-pack.

How he helped me out of a shitty situation without flinching, knowing that his mother would probably crush me for this, and now…he wanted something back.

On paper, he was still a kid, but every other part of him felt like a man this afternoon.

It so defied logic, it was unnerving, almost infuriating when I thought about it.

This morning, I’d woken up with the impression that I hated the Followhills.

But after this afternoon, there was no denying it—there was at least one Followhill I wanted to get very friendly with.

HERE WAS ALL YOU NEEDED to know about Todos Santos: it was the richest town in California and, as a direct result, home to the most entitled teenagers in the world. My students knew I couldn’t fail them. Their parents had enough power to strip me of my citizenship and banish me to an oxygen-deprived planet. These kids did whatever they wanted during class, much to no one’s surprise.

The day after the car incident was different.

I taught six classes. The first five had gone better than expected, meaning I didn’t have to slap anyone with a detention slip or call an ambulance/911/a SWAT team for assistance. But it was the sixth and last class that changed my life forever.

I sashayed into Jaime’s class—following another barking session from his bitchy mom—into an echoing silence I wasn’t used to. Everyone was seated, nobody threw anything, and Vicious, Jaime’s BFF, hadn’t cut anyone’s face and adorned their forehead with a satanic symbol just to burn time.

Normally, this was the part where I had to contain the wrath and deplorable behavior of the Four HotHoles. (Hot Assholes, as they were dubbed by everyone in Todos Santos.) It was three months before graduation, and they were all seniors, a possible excuse for their behavior. Except they’d been this way since the first day.

There was Jaime, who spent my class texting the whole world and drawing the attention of every girl who wasn’t tongue-deep into Trent Rexroth, the underprivileged mocha-skinned football star, who made out with random chicks in the back. He once had a girl sucking his cock under his table in calculus. I kid you not. There was Dean Cole, the airheaded stoner who enjoyed pranks and annoying me in equal measure, and finally, Baron “Vicious” Spencer, the World’s Biggest Jerk.

Vicious was by far the worst. He made good on his name. So goddamned cold and sullen all the time that people nicknamed him after Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols. He had coal black hair, expressionless eyes, fair skin, and the kind of rebellious anger that could electrify you to the point of the chills. The permanent tick of his clenched square jaw made girls wet their panties from fear and lust. He was a jock, like all the HotHoles, but he was leaner than the rest, not as muscular. But scarier. Definitely fucking scarier.

That day, Millie LeBlanc, a sweet girl who was the most frequent target of Vicious’s wrath, arrived three minutes late. I tilted my head, signaling for her to take a seat. I felt bad for her. Her parents had dragged her all the way from Virginia her senior year to take a job as live-in servants at one of the town’s many mansions—Vicious Spencer’s house to be exact.

As always, she strode right in the psycho’s direction and took the empty seat beside him as if she didn’t know or care who Vicious was. My soul shouted an extended “Noooooooo!” when I saw how he was watching her. He will grind you and feed you to his pet snake, I wanted to warn.

But Emilia just lifted her head, offered a polite smile, and drawled a Southern “hey, y’all” in the direction of him and the other HotHoles. Vicious blinked slowly, intrigued by the idea that she dared to speak to him without permission, and his expression clouded into a taut frown.

“Motherfucker, did you just ‘hey, y’all’ me?” He let out a feral growl. “Please tell me it’s a fucking safe word you’re using now because some new boyfriend shoved the Confederate flag up your ass, pole included. Otherwise, don’t ever fucking ‘hey y’all’ me again.”

Wow. That was more words than he’d spoken all year.

Millie sighed and said, “I’m only trying to be polite. You should try it sometime.”

“I don’t do polite,” he retorted, a rare smile tugging on his lips. Usually, he seemed to despise her, but he was studying her so intently it looked as if he was the one who’d like to shove numerous things up her perky little butt.

“Leave him alone, baby doll.” Trent, the guy next to her (who took a breather from letting the chick next to him suck his thumb) glanced from Dean to Vicious. “Vicious stop being a—”

“A raging fucking asshole,” Jaime finished from behind them, scraping his chair back and towering over their heads, his sculpted muscles flexed to the max.

Goddammit. It was the first time my workday had ever been blissfully uneventful. The HotHoles just had to ruin it.

Before I could warn everyone off with an impotent threat I’d never follow through with, Jaime galloped toward Vicious and pinned him to the nearest wall, his fingers laced firmly around Vic’s neck in a death squeeze.

“Where’s your loyalty, man? Leave it be, okay?” Jaime tightened his hold on Vicious’s neck.

“James!” I raised my voice, flying up from my chair and banging my palm over the desk. “Back to your seat, now!”

Vicious looked thoroughly amused, rolling his head on the wall and laughing like a maniac. Jaime and Vicious were best friends, but they were also two alphas with a shitload of testosterone and hormones coursing through their veins.

They were also the inventors of Defy. The teachers and high school staff didn’t know too much about Defy, because it went on at Vicious’s house parties over the weekends, but we got the general idea. The game was simple: Our students challenged each other to bloody fights and beat the shit out of each other. For fun.

Defy was supposedly voluntary, but I didn’t doubt people were afraid enough of Vicious to indulge his whims, however ridiculous or dangerous.

“Make me,” Jaime challenged me on a whisper, his eyes narrowing into slits and zeroing in on my face, his fingers still digging into the neck of an amused, bluish Vic.

Jesus Christ. I never touched Followhill when it came to detentions and tardy slips. His mom was the fucking principal, and she already hated my guts. But he’d cornered me. I had to react.

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