Bad Wolf(9)

By: Jo Raven



It has to be him. No boy ever sparkled so darkly in my eyes quite like Jarett… no other boy ever meant anything to me.

Why didn’t I recognize him right away? How could I not see who he was from the moment he appeared, when I’ve been thinking so much about him all this time? Replaying in my mind the things I told him, his brooding profile, his limp that got worse when the weather turned cold and that he refused to talk about, his dark outline behind his attic bedroom window.

His sudden, rare smiles that turned my heart inside out.

But I guess the different name threw me off. That, and Sydney’s weird behavior.

Okay, so it’s more than that. He changed, I think. There’s something profoundly different about him, and it’s not the way he looks. His hair is shorter, sure, his shoulders broader. I think he even grew a few inches taller.

His eyes are the same, though. His mouth. But his expression was harder when he looked at me. His smile sharper. His eyes darker.

I frown, rising up on my elbows, the song coming to an end. I hit stop on my phone playlist and frown harder.

He lied for me.

He told his brother my boyfriend was looking for me. He came to rescue me. What would his brother have done to me? What a screwed-up brotherly relationship is that? It was like… like he’s used to stopping his brother from doing something awful, smoothing his ruffled feathers and nudging him back into line.

What was it he’d said to him?

“Plenty of chicks around. Take your pick.”

Yikes.

God.

Also, it finally strikes me as I lie back down, hitting play on “The Boys are Back in Town” by Thin Lizzy, this is the first time ever that I’ve heard him string so many words together. Back when I knew him, he almost never talked.

What else about him has changed? I wonder…





Chapter Four





Jarett





The girl in my bed rolls over and yawns, stretching her thin arms over her head. The covers fall down, revealing her tits and nipples.

Annoyed, I look away and lean out of the window, sucking on my cigarette and blowing smoke out into the chilly morning air.

“Morning,” she calls out from behind me, way too chipper for my darkening mood. “Got any coffee?”

“Ran out,” I say flatly.

“Can I bum a smoke off you?” She wanders up beside me, naked. I wonder if the neighbors across the street get an eyeful. Should I care?

Nah, I don’t give a damn.

“Here.” I pass her the smokes and the lighter. “Help yourself.”

“Thanks.”

I give her a clinical look as she lights up. She’s too skinny. She also looks a bit like Gigi, I think randomly, and cringe.

Ah fuck. That’s not why I picked her last night… is it? Jesus Christ. That’s an asshole move, Rett, and you know it. Even if I didn’t end up fucking her.

And especially since I can’t fucking remember her name. Why did I bring her home? What was I thinking?

Nothing coherent, probably. I was drunk off my ass. Happens a lot lately. I like how it knocks me out afterward. Blackout. No dreams that I can recall.

She blows out smoke and looks at me from kohl-smudged eyes. They’re blue, but much paler than Gigi’s.

And that should be a relief, that she isn’t so similar from closer up, but it only serves to annoy me more. Fuck, what’s wrong with me?

“So, hot stuff.” She smirks at me. “Won’t you offer me breakfast?”

“Fridge is empty.”

Her face scrunches up. “That sucks. Hey, did we fuck last night?”

“No.”

“But I’m naked.”

“You insisted on taking off your clothes. Feel free to put them back on.”

“Whatever.” She snorts and tucks one arm under her tits. “How about a round two?”

God, can’t she take a hint? “I said, we didn’t fuck last night, and I got to be somewhere. Finish your smoke and get out.”

She lifts her penciled brows. “Seriously? You’re kicking me out?”

She’s the first chick I’ve brought home in months, and now I’m starting to think it was a huge fucking mistake.

“Yes,” I tell her calmly. “Get lost.”

“Wow, you’re a jerk.”

I shrug. Not gonna argue about that. “Don’t forget your purse. Not gonna come after you to return it.”

She throws the cigarette out of the window, glares daggers at me and stomps back to the bed, hunting for her clothes. “Well, aren’t you a piece of work? I should’ve listened to the rumors.”

“Yeah,” I mutter, turning away from her bared ass and putting out my burned-out cig in the ashtray I’ve got there. Grabbing the lighter she left on the windowsill, I light up a new smoke. “You should have listened.”

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