The Bad Boy Bargain(7)

By: Kendra C. Highley

Probably to drink and pout alone. “Thanks.”

If he was up there, maybe this was the right time to tell him it was over. Then she could get back to the party with a clear conscience, and help Vi keep the peace so her house would still be standing by dawn.

“Faith? Um…” Skye twisted a strand of strawberry-blond hair around her finger.

She paused in the doorway. “Yes?”

Skye blanched. “It’s…nothing. Never mind.”

Frowning, Faith left the kitchen and headed for the stairs. Had Cameron said something to Skye? Had he been an ass to everyone because he was upset? Or was it something else? At this point, anything was possible. Maybe he was changing into a werewolf and didn’t want anyone to see. It was a full moon tonight, after all.

The living room was empty, but she heard a thump and laughter upstairs. She climbed up slowly, dreading this conversation. How mad would he be? Would he cause a scene, or let her go? Vi was right—he didn’t take well to blows against his ego. She’d seen that during football season every time he fumbled a catch.

All the upstairs doors were closed. Faith stood in the dim hallway staring at them. How awkward was this? What if she went into the wrong one? The last thing she needed tonight was walking in on a hookup.

A male voice rumbled behind the guest bedroom door at the end of the hallway. It sounded like Cameron. And it sounded like he wasn’t alone. What was he up to?

She strode to the door and wrenched it open, then jumped back so fast, she hit the wall behind her. “You…you…”

Cameron looked blearily up at her. Holly Masterson rushed to drag a sheet over herself. Neither one of them was dressed—not at all—and Holly’s blond hair stuck out wildly, like she’d been caught in a wind tunnel.

Anger sparked an inferno in Faith’s chest. “Wow, Holly. You might want to redo your hair before you go downstairs. Then again, Cam always overuses his hands. That’s why he fumbles whatever he catches.”

Cameron’s face turned bright red. He dragged a pillow into his lap and sat up. “As if you’d know. We never made it past second base. I got sick of waiting.”

Disgusted, she turned to go. “Screw you. Or better yet, screw her. We’re done.”

She slammed the door behind her and stomped downstairs, managing to make it to the guest bathroom before she burst out laughing and crying at the same time.

Chapter Five


Kyle’s alarm went off early. He’d promised Mrs. Gladwell he’d come over around ten, but he had two lawns to mow first. He must be the only dumbass getting up at seven on the first day of spring break.

He shoved back the covers, marveling at the bruise on his right side. Dennings’s pitching speed was getting much better, but his control still needed work. That little love tap yesterday left a mark.

After rolling from bed, he staggered through a shower, then dressed in old cargo shorts and a T-shirt. By the time he made it downstairs, Grandpa already had coffee going, and Dad was reading The Wall Street Journal—a paper copy.

“Dad, are you ever going to get an electronic subscription? I bought you an iPad for Christmas, remember?” Kyle asked, grabbing a mug from the cabinet. “You’re killing trees, buying that thing.”

“Electronic newspapers don’t read the same.” Dad never looked up from the stock pages. “You off to work?”

“Yep, and I’m seeing a new customer this morning.” He snagged a cinnamon oatmeal muffin from the plate Grandpa had set out before heading to the table. “That makes twelve.”

“Really?” Dad put his paper down. Pride sparkled in his eyes. “I’m impressed.”

“You should go to landscape design school after you graduate,” Grandpa said in his craggy voice. “Traditional college isn’t for you.”

Dad sighed, but Kyle felt a surge of gratitude. The idea of getting a degree in business or finance, or even general studies, sounded so daunting when held up against his dyslexia. Taking the SAT had made him feel like throwing up, and his score wasn’t good for anything but laughing at. No, college wasn’t for him. Especially when he didn’t need a degree. “I like the sound of that.”

“But—” Dad started, but Grandpa waved him off.

“Dean, I know you think college is the way to go, but I didn’t go to college and I built up a multimillion dollar company with a band saw and some elbow grease. I built this kitchen table, and a thousand more just like it. Let the kid do what he’s good at.” Grandpa chuckled. “Lord knows he needs an honest living. Those young people who do nothing but party and spend up their parents’ money their whole lives irritate the shit out of me.”

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