Page 47

I quickly changed my mind. “I love you.”

Charlie snorted.

Ordering myself to forget about Reece, we headed out of the gated football field. He still had his arm hanging loosely over my shoulders. “I hate coming to these things,” he bitched. “Every single time we have to park out in the field. We’re going to be covered in ticks.”

I smiled up at the starry sky as we trudged through the calf-high grass. “You probably have twelve attached to your legs right now.”

“Man, that’s fucked up.” He dropped his arm and shoved me.

Stumbling to the side, I giggled, knowing he was going to make me check his scalp when we got to his parents’ house later. “I want to watch Never Been Kissed tonight.”

Even in the dark and without looking at him, I knew he rolled his eyes. “That movie is so old it needs to be retired.”

“Never!” I yelled as I jumped over a rock someone almost parked their truck on. “That guy is hot.”

“That guy is really old now in real life,” he shot back.

I flipped him off. “Don’t ruin it for me.”

Shoving his hands into the pockets of his shorts, he shook his head. I could see Charlie’s car, parked next to a van that hadn’t been there when we showed up.

“Hey,” a voice called out. “Where are you guys heading off to?”

I twisted at my waist, looking behind us, and swallowed a groan when I saw who it was. Henry Williams. He wasn’t alone. Two friends flanked him. All three of them were in a grade higher. All three were total douche bags. Especially Henry. He was a special kind of douche bag. The kind that was good-looking and totally knew it, therefore the latter totally zeroed out the former.

“Just keep walking,” Charlie said under his breath.

I didn’t listen. Facing the boys, I planted my hands on my hips. “Nowhere you all are invited to.”

Charlie muttered something as he stopped, turning around. I think he said something about my mouth getting me in trouble, but that wouldn’t be the first or last time I’d heard that.

One of Henry’s friends laughed, and the sound grated on my nerves. It was high-pitched, much like the cheerleader’s voice was, but this laugh reminded me of a cat getting hit by a car.

Henry was absolutely unfazed by my greeting. He swaggered up to where Charlie and I stood, puffing out his chest like a peacock. “You’re looking good tonight, Roxy.”

I arched my brows at him.

Charlie sighed.

“I’m looking good every night.” I crossed my arms over my chest.

He smirked as his gaze crawled over me, leaving behind a sensation of ants marching along my skin. It really was too bad he was such a pinhead, because he wasn’t bad to look at. “That’s true.” He passed a baleful glance at Charlie, and my spine stiffened. “So, what are you doing tonight?”

“We’ve got—”

“I wasn’t talking to you.” Henry cut him off, and it truly was like I had an internal bitch switch inside me, and he’d just flipped it into the on position. “Why don’t you drop this homo and hang out with—”

“Excuse me?” I saw red. “What in the fuck did you just call him?”

Charlie grabbed my arm. “Let it go. You know there’s no point in arguing with stupid.”

There was no way in hell I was going to let it go.

As I pulled myself out of the events of that night, I sat back and rubbed my palms along my cheeks, just below my glasses. Guilt coated my skin with clammy sweat. Lowering my hands, I stared at Charlie. His head was turned just slightly, like he was looking at me, but his gaze was focused over my shoulder, at the window.

Let it go, he had said.

If only I had listened.

Friday night was busier than usual with just Nick and me behind the bar since Jax had taken the weekend off to visit Calla in Shepherdstown. Despite the fact I looked like a hot mess with my hair pulled up in a messy bun and wearing an old tank top that was about two sizes too big, I was grateful for the fact the night was flying by. Lack of sleep was catching up with me, and my already crappy mood was somewhere between “fuck me land” and “fuck off town.”

As the night progressed, my mood veered sharply into “everything sucks city.” Normally Reece spent Friday nights at Mona’s. Maybe not the whole night, but he usually showed up by ten. His normal buds were here, at their table, but there was no sign of Reece, and I knew it was because of me.

Dean showed up closer to eleven, and I was hiding from dealing with him on the other side of the bar. Nick was blocking him, and I don’t know what was said to Dean to make him leave around midnight, and I really didn’t care at the moment.

Yeah, everything sucked right now.

Keeping a smile plastered across my face was harder than it should have been as I mixed drinks and chatted with those at the bar. Staying focused on my job was the only thing getting me through the shift.

That and the knowledge there was a huge bag of nachos at home that I was so going to make my bitch when I got off. I was going to smother them in Swiss cheese, nuke the bastards, and go to town.

Sherwood, our temporary head cook in charge, had just come back from break when I turned to help the newest customer who managed to squeeze in at the bar.

My mouth dropped open. Good God, what was up with tonight?

Henry Williams stood in front of me, and he looked a little better than the last time I’d seen him. Like he might’ve gotten some sun. Good for him.

“I just want to talk,” he said, voice barely audible over the music.

I clenched the bottle of Jack so tightly I was surprised it didn’t explode. “I can’t believe you’re standing here,” I said dumbly.

“I’ve been seeing Charlie.” He leaned in, and heat swept down the back of my neck. “I know he’s really bad and—”

“Don’t talk about him. Don’t even say his name.” I started to fling the bottle like I had the book, but even as my hand itched to let it fly and the need to make him hurt was almost all consuming, I didn’t do it.

Somehow I had learned from the last time.

A girl waved her hand, gaining my attention. Shooting Henry a hateful look, I took her order. Of course he was still there when I finished the cocktail.

“Please, Roxy,” he started. “I really want—”

“Do you see how many fucks I have to give when it comes to what you want?” I spread my arms wide. “This many fucks.”