“Why the fuck was that prick bringing you home?”
After Mason made it known yesterday morning that I’m sleeping with Jared, you’d think Shawn would know the answer to that question. He probably does. He just wants me to verbalize it. I’m not going to.
“Leave it, Shawn.” I twist around and pin him with a stare. Next, I toss the tequila back, but this time my eyes widen. Ok, maybe my buzz wasn’t so much gone like I originally thought.
Wow. That was stout.
“How much have you had to drink?”
“Enough that I should be in bed.” What’s with the twenty questions? More importantly why does he even care? From what I saw earlier tonight, or last night really, Shawn and Mason left with the brunette trash from Level. I don’t have to guess what they left to go do and I certainly don’t want to imagine it.
“So, let me get this straight. You, drunk, got onto the back of Cole’s bike? Are you fucking crazy, Tara?” He doesn’t wait for a reply. “Or do you have a death wish?”
“Neither, are you done now?” His palm smacks the side of the refrigerator before turning. Moments later, I hear the door to the half bathroom down the hall slam closed.
I turn back around, pour yet another glass and down it. I’m going to pay for this when I wake up and it’s going to be so much worse than yesterday morning’s hangover. Screw it. If I’m going to do it in the first place, might as well do it right.
“You know, it’s only a matter of time before Holly has him back in her grasps. You don’t stand a chance with Shawn; you never have.” Cassie’s catty bitch-ass voice assaults my ears. Sometimes she’s worse than Amanda. I put up with Mandy’s shit because she is dating my best friend, but it’ll be a cold day in hell before I deal with this bitch’s crap.
Without giving it a bit of thought, I turn and leap forward. She needs a good butt kicking. I’m not a fighter. I know I can take her if I tried, but I don’t actively seek out confrontations. My mother would flip her lid, so I do what’s necessary to avoid that at all cost.
Before I reach her, a set of massive arms grab me by the waist, pulling me backwards and against his hard chest. “Get. Out. Of. My. House.” Shawn bites each word out through clenched teeth. I know they aren’t directed at me. Even if I weren’t looking at her shocked expression, I’d know they are aimed at Cassie Winston.
“I don’t think he stuttered, Barbie?” Okay, Barbie is usually held for Holly, the queen bitch herself, but I had to. Sue me if you don’t like it. I don’t usually act like this, but I’ve had a fair share of alcohol tonight.
“You won’t disrespect her, or anyone else that lives here. Last time I checked, you don’t live here… so leave.” His words are still a bark. Shawn can come off quite scary at times. Frankly, Cassie looks like she is about to pee her pants.
Inside, I’m loving it. This is so much better than me punching her. “Or I could let Tara go, but I don’t think you want me to. Trust me, she will crush you.
“I will? Hell, I don’t know if I will or not. I’ve never hit another person in my life. I’m bigger than Cassie, sure, in every way, but I’m not going there.
The snootiness crosses her face again. It’s the same one my mother wears around me. She should have been my mother’s kid. I’m certain her and my mother would get along much better than my mother and I do. “Yes, she would.
“Oh that bitch went there. Yes, I have issues with my weight. I’m not over weight, I don’t think, but I’m not thin or skinny by any means, and it doesn’t matter how much I work out, I’m never going to be a small size. I love to cook and I love to eat the food I cook. It’s just not in the cards for me. Doesn’t mean I like it, but she doesn’t have a right to throw it in my face, especially with Shawn standing here.
I try to jump forward, but Shawn’s hold on me tightens. “Leave. Now.” Another bark, only this time his voice is deeper. It’s a warning.
“Whatever.” She turns, exiting the kitchen followed by the house as quickly as her feet will move.
Once I hear the door click closed he releases me, and as he steps backwards the warm flannel shirt I’m wearing, Jared’s shirt, is pulled off my body. I turn, facing Shawn. What the heck is that about?
“Go take a shower?” My jaw drops. He rips the shirt down the middle, making two un-wearable pieces. What the flyin…
The material is disregarded and lands on the tile floor.
I plant my hands on my hips in a defiant gesture. He’s not about to order me around. I might take that crap from my parents, but I won’t from anyone else. “Excuse me?”
Shawn wastes no time. He springs forward in an instant, making me step backwards until my back collides with the wall. He continues to close in, placing his palms on the flat surface of the wall next to my face and leans in. “You smell like him and I don’t fucking like it.
“Oh tough shit.”
Because you smelling like a cheap whore is so much better,” I lash back. I don’t waste my time either. I take both of my hands, placing my palms on his chest and pushing as hard as I can. It might not have come across as a shove, because his body didn’t move away from mine as much as I intended it to. “Piss off, Shawn.” With those last words I leave the kitchen, taking myself up the stairs to my bedroom for a shower… and not because Shawn ordered me to, but because I do in fact stink.
If I weren’t as drunk as I am right now, I might have stopped to analyze what just happened between us, but I don’t. I’m going to struggle enough just getting out of my clothes to shower tonight, or this morning, or whatever the hell time of the day this is.
Mother effin’ jerk, he is.
No one is perfect.
I wish I could scream it at them, but no one will listen to me. Instead, they choose to ignore me by making me into something I’m not. I try to make them happy, but no matter how hard I try it’s not good enough. I make good grades. Hell, I was top of my class senior year, but things happen. We make sacrifices for people important to us. My parents wouldn’t understand that. Instead, they say I could be better. I’m the good girl to everyone else, but to my parents I fall short. To most I have curves, to them I’m fat. I just want them to be happy with my imperfections. You know what? I’m tired of giving and getting nothing in return. Screw them.
The only one that I want to see me for who I really am…is him.
TARALYNN EVANS has always been the good girl, forced to befriend people she cares nothing about. She tries hard to be what them and everyone else expects her to be, but what’s the point when it’s never enough to gain their approval? She’s over lying to make others happy or self-sacrificing to spare their feelings. For once, she just wants to be herself. She wants to feel human, tired of being a puppet. When tragedy strikes her in the worst way, she finds herself bargaining in distress, trying to find reason and rationality in what’s set before her, but will he give in when in most cases the good girl never gets the bad boy?
Ink, sex, lies, loyalty.
Those are the things that define me, and my life. I do me. Nothing else matters. I don’t need anyone’s approval, nor do I seek it. I’m comfortable with the man I am. The only thing that haunts my dreams are those sapphire eyes that remind me of midnight. I will shut it down every single time. I can’t have her. She deserves more than what I’m after. The problem is that sometimes life is a bitch. That curveball was nowhere in sight, but now that it’s been thrown…my life may never be the same.
SHAWN BRADEN has always been the bad boy. He’s always had the love and support of his parents no matter what he does. He knows he can have any girl he wants. Too bad he never wants them more than once. What he truly wants is the one thing he’s never admitting to, not even to himself. What happens when he starts seeing past the facade she’s put on for years and shows him the real girl that is hiding inside? Will he fall against his will, or will she become nothing more than every girl before?
MEET N.E. HENDERSON
Hi, I’m Nancy,
I’m a mom, wife, writer, obsessed reader, and fiction whore to the chore. I’m an introvert. It takes me a minute to warm up to people, but once I do, you’ll probably never get me to shut up.
I live in the south, Mississippi to be exact. I love warm sunny days and I despise cold and raining weather. I have a love/hate relationship with my Bull Terrier, Xena. The little winch thinks my husband belongs to her when he most certainly does not; he belongs to me.
I love to read possibly even more than I love to write. That can be a problem when I have fictional people taking up room inside my brain and screaming to get out. They don’t understand why I can’t give them my full attention.
In my free time, I love riding my Can Am Maverick and finding new off road trails. I’m a city girl, married to a country boy, who likes to get a little dirty and sometimes muddy. Even though I don’t do it often, I love roller coasters. The steel coasters that is. I hate the wooden ones.
Readers, connect with me. I love hearing from you and reading your reviews.
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★ STANDALONE (Book 1 in a series of standalone’s)
★ 445 pages
★ Dual POV