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Dangerous to Know & Love

Jane Harvey-Berrick

  Jane Harvey-Berrick

  Dangerous to Know & Love


  The Education of Sebastian

  The Education of Caroline

  The New Samurai


  One Careful Owner (not yet published)

  Dazzled (not yet published)

  At Your Beck and Call (not yet published)

  Jane A. C. Harvey-Berrick has asserted her right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.

  This book is a work of fiction. Names and characters are the product of the author’s imagination and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

  All rights reserved; no part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher. Jane A. C. Harvey-Berrick has asserted her moral right to be identified as the author of this work.

  First published in Great Britain in 2013

  ISBN 9780957496163

  Harvey Berrick Publishing TR20 9RD

  Representation and Management, More & More Creations (Agency), Brisbane

  Copyright © Jane A. C. Harvey-Berrick 2013

  Cover design by Hang Le /

  Cover photograph by Yuriy Zhuravov, with permission from Shutterstock

  Permission for Fall At Your Feet by Neil Finn (Meniscus Media)

  This book is dedicated to the special women in my life, friends without measure

  Lisa, Kirsten, Ana, Dorota, Libby, Nicky and Judith.



  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Chapter 20

  Chapter 21

  Chapter 22

  Chapter 23

  Chapter 24

  Chapter 25

  Epilogue – One Year Later



  Beneath his window cars were driving, bikes pedaling, people jogging, dogs walking – the world passing by. Each activity with its own unique set of actions, an orchestra of noises: tires, brakes, talking, barking. None of the sounds penetrated.

  He felt a presence behind, and turned to see his brother’s concerned eyes watching him.

  “Today’s the day, College Boy.”

  Daniel grinned and shrugged. “I guess.”

  Zef held out his hand and they shook quickly, before he pulled Daniel into a tight hug.

  “I’m proud of you, bro,” he whispered. “Mom and dad would have been proud, too.”

  Then he pulled away and thumped his brother on the shoulder.

  “Don’t fuck up.”

  Daniel grinned.

  “Not making any promises.”

  Chapter 1

  When Lisanne stumbled into the lecture hall with Kirsty clinging to her arm, there were already a number of students spread out across the room. It was too early in the semester for many cliques to have been formed, but a few girls were sitting in groups for comfort, giggling nervously. The boys were too cool for that, and sat in glorious isolation.

  Lisanne cast an eye over the assorted examples of humanity. Most looked average, like her, dressed in jeans and t-shirts, but there was one guy who was wearing a button down shirt and a tie. Good grief! Lisanne made a bet with herself that he had a copy of the Wall Street Journal in his backpack. She was only surprised he wasn’t carrying a briefcase. Why on earth had she agreed to take ‘Introduction to Business 101’? Oh yeah, because her parents didn’t think majoring in music was going to lead to any great career opportunities.

  The response from her new roommate had been to look on the bright side.

  “That sucks,” said Kirsty. “But, you never know, you might meet some cute guy who’ll turn out to be the next Mark Zuckerberg.”

  “What, short, with bad taste in clothes?”

  Kirsty laughed. “No, dummy: brilliant and filthy rich!”

  Lisanne sighed.

  “Hey, Lis! Get your head in the game!”

  Her head snapped up, away from Mr. Big Time, then her expression cleared as Kirsty winked at her and kicked off her shoes.

  “I’m surprised you can even walk in those – oh right, you can’t.”

  Kirsty raised her eyebrows.

  “Hello! They’re Manolos! They’re meant to be seen – not walked in.”

  “Of course. Silly me.”

  Kirsty sniggered. “Yeah, whatever. Okay, seriously – which of these guys would you hook up with?” and her arms swept out to indicate everyone in the lecture hall.

  Lisanne laughed. “None of them for any of that.”

  “No? You don’t think the guy with the red t-shirt is cute?”

  Lisanne craned her neck. “He’s okay, I guess. Not really my type.”

  “What is your type?” asked Kirsty, curiously. All cute guys were Kirsty’s type.

  Lisanne shrugged. The truth was, she hadn’t dated much in high school. Okay, make that never, unless she counted her junior prom and the non-date fiasco. How a non-date could be a complete disaster remained a mystery to her, but it had been one of the worst, most humiliating nights of her life, involving vomit – someone else’s – and... No, she didn’t want to think about that. It definitely didn’t count.

  “Come on, Lis,” said Kirsty, encouragingly. “What about that guy you were chatting with on Facebook last night?”

  “Rodney? No, he’s just a friend from high school.”

  “So he’s not…?”

  “Ugh, no! I’ve known him since kindergarten – that would just be… weird.”

  “So you’re available?”

  Lisanne was very available. She just hadn’t seen anyone she liked that way.

  “Well, tell me what you’re looking for – in case, you know.”

  “Oh, I don’t know: somebody different. Somebody…”

  “Like him?” said Kirsty, nodding her head at the guy who’d just walked in.

  He was different alright. In fact, Lisanne was pretty sure that he’d wandered into the wrong classroom by mistake. No way someone like him was taking the Introduction to Business class.

  All eyes, male and female, swiveled in his direction as he sauntered into the lecture hall looking like he owned it. He slumped into a seat in the second row, oozing arrogance, pulling off his Ray Bans as he did so. He was tall and slim with short, spiky black hair. He shrugged out of his leather jacket, and even from that distance Lisanne could see that he had a broad back and strong, muscular arms with swirls of red, gold and black tattoos drifting down them. He turned to scan the hall behind him, and Lisanne couldn’t help noticing a small silver ring piercing his left eyebrow.

  Without speaking to a soul or making eye contact with anyone, he tossed his jacket onto one seat and his backpack onto the other side. Surely there was a law that all the cool kids sat in the back row? But no, not him.

  Lisanne felt her eyebrows pull together in a frown.

  “Ugh, no, I can’t stand guys like that,” she said. “All emo, and thinking they’re better than everyone else.”
  “Yeah, but he’s cute,” said Kirsty, licking her lips. “That boy is fine. I’m going to find out who he is.”

  “Definitely not my type,” said Lisanne, with a note of finality.

  Professor Walden marched into the room and immediately the light chatter quieted, and everyone started pulling out paper and laptops, ready to take notes. Everyone except the guy with the eyebrow ring. He didn’t move. He didn’t even get out a notepad to doodle on.

  Lisanne felt unreasonably irritated with him. Her parents had paid good money for her to attend college, and losers like that guy were just there for the ride. Lisanne couldn’t stand people like that – people who were fake.

  She realized that she’d already spent entirely too much time staring at ‘Eyebrow Ring guy’ and that the lecture had started.

  But every now and then, her eyes were drawn back to him. She’d half expected him to fall asleep, or play with his iPod, but his eyes were trained on Professor Walden, hardly blinking during the entire 50 minutes. It was weird. Maybe he was stoned? Even though it was only nine o’clock in the morning, it seemed the most likely answer.

  At the end of the lecture, Mr. Big Time asked several questions, and even pulled out his copy of the Wall Street Journal to illustrate his point. Lisanne gave herself an internal fist pump: she prided herself on reading people well.

  As the lecture hall started emptying, she couldn’t help noticing that Eyebrow Ring guy didn’t speak to anyone, still not making eye contact with any of the people who shared his class. And he was wearing his sunglasses again. Indoors. What a jerk.

  But she had to admit that Kirsty was right about one thing: he was a cute jerk. His hair was so black it was almost blue, and his clear skin carried a golden tan. From what she’d seen of his eyes, they were a light hazel color, framed by long lashes over perfect cheekbones and full, kissable lips. Kissable? Where was the real Lisanne Maclaine, and who the hell was having these thoughts?

  With a huff, aimed at the unfairness of the world where beautiful people could get away with being jerks, Lisanne went straight to the practice rooms for her one-on-one with her violin professor.

  As she hurried across the quad, she couldn’t help wondering why such a beautiful boy would want to desecrate what God had given him by covering his body with tattoos, and pushing a piece of metal through his eyebrow. True, she had pierced ears, but that was different. Obviously. She didn’t really get why the girls at school were so into tatted up guys. Lisanne just didn’t see the point, and she certainly had no intention of getting one herself. It was only going to look weird when she was forty.

  She sighed, wondering why she’d been born so damn sensible.

  The morning went quickly after that, and Lisanne forgot all about Eyebrow Ring guy. Her violin tutor, Professor Crawford, turned out to be amazing, and Lisanne thought they’d really hit it off. He’d given her some tips on how she could improve her bowing, and it had helped immediately. So she was in a good mood when she bumped into Kirsty again in the cafeteria.

  “Hey roomy!” came the loud voice. “Sit your ass over here.”

  Kirsty was slumped in her seat at a table with three girls Lisanne didn’t know. She was amused to see that Kirsty’s feet were bare and propped up on the seat next to her.

  “What happened to the Manolos?” Lisanne asked, with a knowing smile.

  “Let’s just say I’ll save them for an evening out where I’m going by limousine,” snorted Kirsty.

  Lisanne raised an eyebrow. “I was impressed you even tried to wear them. I’d have broken my neck.”

  Kirsty laughed loudly, and several guys glanced her way, checking her out. From the looks on their faces, they obviously approved. Well, there wasn’t anything to disapprove: Kirsty had wheat colored hair that curled in ringlets almost to her waist, with perfect curves, a pixie doll face and huge blue eyes. If she’d been taller, she could have been a model.

  Lisanne was plain by comparison although, to be fair, most girls were when compared to Kirsty. Her own face was too square, her jaw too heavy, gray eyes ordinary, straight brown hair featureless, and even though her figure was decent, it was nothing special. Nothing special at all.

  Part of Lisanne, the bitchy part that she wasn’t very proud of, would have really liked to dislike Kirsty – but the girl was just too damn nice. Ugh.

  Kirsty introduced her to the other girls at the table: Trudy, Shawna and Holly. They were all fashion majors like Kirsty. Not that Lisanne would have needed the introduction to figure that out – their clothes screamed ‘designer’ from half a mile.

  “How were your other classes this morning?” said Kirsty.

  “Yeah, pretty good. My violin professor is awesome.”

  “Violin?” sneered Shawna. “That sounds majorly lame.”

  Kirsty laughed, but said briskly, “Not the way Lisanne plays it.” She smiled and winked at her roommate, but then her attention was distracted and her eyes flicked across the room.

  “Check out Mr. Tall Dark and Deliciously Dangerous!” said Shawna, licking her lips, as she followed the direction of Kirsty’s gaze.

  Lisanne saw Eyebrow Ring guy making his way through the cafeteria. He was still wearing his sunglasses. He was still alone.

  “Oh, him,” she snorted. “He’s in our Introduction to Business class. He’s a real jerk.”

  Even as she said the words, they felt awkward in her mouth. Rationally, she knew he hadn’t done anything specifically to annoy her. It was just the way he’d sat there, without taking any notes, like he was above it all.

  Shawna smiled in a superior way. “For your information, his name’s Daniel Colton. He’s a local, and he’s got a rep – that’s what I heard.”

  “What sort of rep?” said Kirsty, eagerly.

  “He’s gotten into two fights already this week,” said Shawna, pleased to be the one to deliver the news. “Went postal on some grad student for no reason.” Then she dropped her voice. “They say he’s the go-to guy if you want anything extracurricular. You know, weed, booze, coke, speed – the guy’s got it. I wouldn’t mind spending some extracurricular time with him, if you know what I mean. I heard he’s a freak between the sheets.”

  Lisanne’s lips curled down in disgust, and not just at the glazed expression on Shawna’s face. How on earth could that guy get away with being so blatant as to sell drugs on campus? It fit in with her low opinion of him, which had taken a further nosedive. But then again, if people knew about him in the first week, it wouldn’t be long before the college authorities heard about it, too. In all likelihood, he wouldn’t even make it to the end of the first semester.

  “He’s certainly got the bad boy vibe going for him,” agreed Kirsty.

  “Mmmhmm,” murmured Shawna. “Hot, definitely hot.”

  “Mad, bad and dangerous to know,” said Kirsty, smiling. “What do you think, Lisanne? Got a thing for bad boys?”

  Lisanne shook her head so hard she could have sworn her brain rattled.

  Kirsty laughed, and started to talk about plans for the weekend.

  Irritated with herself, Lisanne put all thoughts of Eyebrow Ring guy out of her head. Some people just didn’t know their luck.

  * * *

  Lisanne’s first week away from home had been hard, to say the least. She missed her family. She missed being able to talk to her mom, who was also her best friend. Sure, they talked on the phone every night, but it wasn’t the same. She missed her dad’s bad jokes and his strong, quiet presence – the feeling that whatever problem she had, he’d sort it out. Lisanne even missed her little brother Harry who, at 13, was not so little, and a real pain in the butt. Still, she missed them all.

  And college was so different. For a start, she was sharing a room for the first time in her life, which meant there was little privacy, even though Kirsty turned out to be pretty nice. There was that word again. She had to get used to the communal bathrooms, and wearing flip-flops in the shower, irritated that she’d have to wait un
til her sophomore year for the women’s dorms to be renovated with private bathrooms. She missed being able to cook for herself, and instead having to eat all of her meals in the cafeteria. And the amount of work her professors were piling on had been overwhelming. She felt a little panicky when she realized how heavy her schedule was going to be, and the fact that, by the end of week one, she was already behind in two classes – especially business, which could have been in Ancient Greek for all she’d understood of it.

  But it was Friday night, and Kirsty persuaded her to go downtown for a pizza with some of the girls. Despite the fact that Shawna was there, it was more fun than Lisanne had expected. They spent Saturday morning studying and in the afternoon hit the outlets and, at Kirsty’s insistence, Lisanne spent more than she ought to on a new pair of jeans to wear clubbing that night.

  By Sunday, Lisanne was so worried about her homework that she was determined to spend the afternoon and evening at the library. Jeez, how sad was that?

  Not surprisingly, the library was almost empty, the main study area echoing loudly as she scraped her chair along the floor. Three guys who appeared to be pre-med seniors, hunched over anatomy textbooks, and threw her irritated looks, surprised by her intrusion – and a couple of people wandered aimlessly through the stacks. She turned off her iPod with a sigh, letting the last notes of Love and Theft’s Runnin’ out of Air die away, then Lisanne’s surprised eyes fell on the last person she expected to see in a library, let alone on a weekend – Eyebrow Ring guy.

  He was sitting at a table by himself, with his business studies textbook propped open in front of him. Every now and then he’d type some notes into his laptop.

  Lisanne flopped down at a table that just happened to have him in view. She’d decided he was most likely there to meet one of his druggie contacts, and if he was, she’d tell the on duty librarian. Probably. Maybe.

  But she found herself mesmerized as his long fingers intermittently swept through his hair, or tugged at his eyebrow ring.