Broken and screwed 2, p.10
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       Broken and Screwed 2, p.10
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         Part #2 of Broken and Screwed series by Tijan

  direction. “We have to meet Jesse anyway.”

  Jesse? My head shot up and tingles shot down my spine.

  Cord had been watching me and a knowing look came over him now. A knot shifted in my gut and I fought from glaring at him. I didn’t want anyone to notice and start to wonder, but he seemed smug. Why the hell did he seem smug? My eyes narrowed. He had nothing to be smug about.

  “Yes, run along.” Hannah waved her fingers at her sister’s boyfriend. “Go play patsy for the real star in your group. No wonder he’s a recluse around campus. Who’d want to be seen with you? I bet you use him to pick up even more chicks to cheat with on my sister.” Her lips thinned. “Is that what you do when you guys go out?”

  Jamie’s scowl darkened and he jerked forward a step. His hand rose in the air, already fisted.

  Cord drew him back. “Stop it. Now.” He turned to Hannah, “We didn’t come over for this.”

  “Why did you come over?”

  “To say hi to you and Alex.” At her disbelieving look, he held both of his hands in the air. “I swear. That’s all. The guy cut us off when he was coming over.”

  “My business is none of yours.” She swept them with a cool cold. “None of you.”

  Jamie looked ready to argue, but Derek pushed him forward with his hands on his friend’s shoulders. “Yeah, we’re leaving. See you both.”

  Cord went after them, lifting a finger in a goodbye salute.

  Hannah extended her middle finger. Before they disappeared into the crowd, Cord laughed back as he shook his head.

  I had to give it to the guy. Nothing seemed to faze him.

  Hannah folded back down on her seat with a huff. Her eyes latched on me with a deep frown. She asked, heatedly, “How do you know those guys?”

  I wasn’t completely honest. “I’m in poly sci with Cord and Jamie.”

  “Oh.” She seemed surprised. “Never mind then.”

  My eyes narrowed. She was offended at first and that kindled some anger in my gut. What’d she think? I was hoping to use her to get to them? My anger was on a simmer as I asked, “Why?”

  “Because I thought you screwed my sister’s boyfriend.” She didn’t mince her words. Then she shrugged, turning back to her bag. “That would’ve made sense why my sister hates you.”

  I frowned. She seemed so casual about his cheating. A different thought came to mind. “Does he still cheat?”

  “Oh yeah. All the time.”

  I was blown away. “Serious?”

  “Yep.” She pulled out a different book, along with a highlighter. “It’s my sister’s idea of being modern. She’s such an idiot.”

  “What do you mean?”

  “Technically, he’s not cheating, but I don’t care. Cheating is cheating. Jamie’s allowed to sleep around for another year. Tiffany has it in her head that if she doesn’t let him do his thing now, he’ll do it later. And she won’t let him cheat on her when they’re married.”

  “When are they getting married?”

  “The summer after his first year at law school.” A yawn stretched over her, as if she were bored with our conversation. “Anyway, Tiffany locked him down when they were freshman. Now that he knows Jesse Hunt, she thinks that Jamie can use his connections and run for the senate or something.”

  “Huh?”

  I hoped my jaw wasn’t touching the table. It had dropped so low. I was too dumbfounded. I couldn’t be hearing this right.

  “Yeah,” she shrugged again. “Jamie’s dad owns a firm so once he’s done with law school he’ll have a job there. She has it all mapped out. After he’s a lawyer for two years, he’ll start hobnobbing with the Hollywood crowd. She thinks that’ll help him get noticed and when he runs for office, he’ll be a shoo-in.”

  “You’re kidding me.”

  Nope, she wasn’t. I could tell from the irritation in her eyes. They flashed whenever she spoke about her sister. They’d been on full blast with her entire explanation. She pressed a hand to her chest and pretended to double over. “She makes me want to gag. She’s so hypocritical. I can’t sleep around, but she allows her boyfriend to bang anyone he wants. And she thinks he’s going to stop. Jamie’s not going to stop. He’s never going to stop sleeping around. He can’t stand her. He can barely stomach the sight of her.”

  “How do you know that?”

  “Because he’s told me.” She gestured to her phone. “He’s been trying to do me for three years. He sends me text messages all the time.”

  Holy shit. “Does your sister know that?”

  Her lips pressed together. “I’m not that stupid. I’m never going to give it to him and I’m not opening that can of worms with my sister.” Another shoulder went up in a shrug before she hunched over her book. “Anyway, I need to study. Can we postpone this chat session till after I fail my cultural psychology quiz?”

  I fell silent, still reeling from everything she’d exposed. I wasn’t sure if it was from the relationship Tiffany had with Jamie or because they assumed Jesse would help them out? I figured they were hoping to use his dad’s connections, but did they not know Jesse? Or maybe it was Tiffany that didn’t know him. Jesse hated Malcolm Hunt. I didn’t know what family stuff had been going on, but I knew Jesse hadn’t enjoyed it. Malcolm Hunt could never be considered a candidate for Father of the Year.

  It was an hour later when Hannah called it quits. She shut her book and stretched, yawning all the while. If I had cared, I might’ve been insecure next to her. The girl was gorgeous. She must’ve noticed my look because her arms dropped from the air and she grinned. “Wanna go for dinner somewhere?”

  My eyes narrowed. “Why are you talking to me?”

  “What do you mean?”

  “Beth isn’t here. You don’t have to talk to me.”

  Her eyes widened a fraction. “That’s some chip you have on your shoulder.”

  I scowled at her, though I couldn’t argue. “I like my chip. I’ve named it.”

  “Oh yeah?” Her grin grew. “What’s the name?”

  With a blank face, I said, “Hannah.”

  She barked out in laughter. “Beth said you were cool, not that you were funny. Back to my first question, want to go somewhere for dinner?”

  “Like the food court?” I glanced around at the fast food shops around us.

  “Nah. I mean off-campus. There’s a nice dive bar with $2 burgers. They’re pretty good. Plus, I wouldn’t mind a pitcher of beer.”

  “I’m underage.”

  She shrugged. “So am I. They’ll let us in. The owner has a boner for Tiffany so all the staff’s been told to be nice to me.” She rolled her eyes. “Little does he know that I hate my sister and he has no shot.”

  “If your sister lets Jamie cheat, does she cheat too?”

  “No.” She shook her head as her lips tightened against each other. “She should. She thinks she’s practicing for marriage and she doesn’t want any evidence spread around campus. Tiffany believes that if she ever cheats, it’ll get caught on video and there goes her stellar reputation.”

  “What’s her reputation?” High class bitch?

  She grinned. “You’ve seen the wicked side of her, but trust me. There are a ton of girls who would kill their mothers to be friends with my sister. It’s nice to be Queen Bee in high school, but this is Grant West. Tiffany’s got connections to the crème of the crop.”

  “Who’s that?” But I had a good sense who it was.

  “The jerks that were just here. Slap in their leader, Jesse Hunt, and Tyler Kurtis, and you’ve got the starting five for our NCAA bound basketball team. Tell me you haven’t noticed that they’re celebrities on campus?”

  Oh yes, I have noticed. I shrugged at her.

  “There are LOTS of girls who would love an ‘in’ with those guys. Derek’s the only one with a steady girlfriend. You know Jamie’s story. Cord hooks up with Chandra, but he still doesn’t like a title on it. I know he enjoys sleeping around. Tyler’s the same.”


  My heart began to pound in my chest. “What about Jesse Hunt?”

  She frowned for a split second and her eyes grew thoughtful. “I don’t know much about Hunt. He’s gorgeous, but the guys are pretty tight-lipped about him.”

  “Does he party with them?”

  “Sometimes he’s out with them and sometimes I’ll see him talking to girls, but I haven’t heard much about him. I don’t think he hangs out around campus much. Since he’s the big shot now, a lot of people crowd him. Can’t say I blame him for hiding out. I saw him at the food court once last year, it was after the NCAA championship game and he was almost mobbed. He had to hide in the bathroom until people finally left him alone.”

  “Is that normal?”

  “No. People aren’t usually like that, but I think it’s because he’s rarely seen around campus. So when people do see him, they want to go and talk to him. There’s a girl on my floor who has a class with him. She says he always sits in the back and leaves right away. He’s not too social.”

  My heart began beating at a fast pace and a fluttering sensation grew in my chest. It wasn’t anger this time.

  It was that night when I learned a pitcher of beer and $2 burgers didn’t end with one pitcher of beer and good conversation. Not with Hannah. When we got to the dive bar, the owner came out to schmooze with her. She was right. He gave off the impression of dirty sex mixed with stalker. We were shown to a back corner booth, between the pool table and the dart games. As dive bars went, it was the prime sitting area. As soon as the owner left, she devoured the first pitcher.

  A second was ordered. When it arrived, she poured a glass for me with the order, “You’re drinking tonight.” I started to tell her that I didn’t drink, but she shook her head. “Nope. I don’t care. Getting drunk is a freshmen way of passage. You get to do it the right way, in a hole like this. Others have to do it in a filthy house party so drink up, Elusive Bitch. You’re getting wasted tonight.”

  Another argument was on the tip of my tongue, but I swallowed it. She was right. It was a normal thing to do. I might as well get it out of the way so I reached for my glass. It was empty when I put it down. Hannah went nuts. Her eyes lit up, she filled both of our glasses again and began doing a drumroll on the table while I finished another.

  We were wasted by the third pitcher.

  This was also the time when the music started and a table of guys arrived in the booth across from ours. It wasn’t long before they were at ours and we had a party going. A game of pool was suggested and Hannah enjoyed being taught how to play. Or she enjoyed that the guy she’d been eyeing curved his body over hers to help her ‘learn’ how to play. I was willing to bet on the next pitcher of beer that she knew pool. After she sunk her third ball, she gave me a wink. Oh yes, she knew how to play the game just fine.

  Most of the guys had joined the game of pool, but the quieter one stayed behind. He was in the booth with me. I knew where this was going. When he tried talking to me, he scooted closer. I moved farther away, closer to the end of the booth. He scooted again. I was at the end next, but he didn’t get the hint. He draped an arm around my shoulder and crowded against me.

  Hannah saw my dilemma. I waited for her help, nope. She laughed and pointed instead. The rest of his friends turned as well. All of them started laughing at my situation. It seemed to give the guy more encouragement and he pressed harder against me. However, this was the time when two more arrivals showed up.

  A girl and a guy were holding hands as they paused by the pool table. She had sleek black hair and striking dark eyes. The guy next to her had a similar exotic look with black hair, dark eyes, and a physique that showed he enjoyed lifting weights. The guys who had been flirting with Hannah saw the couple first. Some of them checked the girl out in a blatant manner, which she seemed to enjoy. Her perfect small lips curved up, looking smug. The guy frowned at her and shot a glare around the table.

  That was when Hannah caught sight of them.

  All hell broke loose after that.

  Hannah started cursing at them. The girl cursed back. The guy clamped a hand around his girlfriend’s waist, but he had a few harsh words for Hannah as well.

  As I listened to both sides, I started to piece together the puzzle.

  The girl had been Hannah’s best friend. She went to Grant West with her, lived with her—my eyes bulged out when I heard Hannah yell at her, “You two are always screwing in the room. It’s my room too!” Bombs went off. They still lived together. The roommate yelled back, “Just because he can get it up for me, don’t blame me for enjoying sex with my boyfriend.” Hannah tried to lunge for her. The guy who had ‘taught’ her how to play pool held her back. He shared an uneasy glance with his friends and I knew they were going to bail. They had started to ease back when the shouting began. Most of his friends were five feet away from the table now. It wouldn’t be long before they completely left.

  I glanced at the guy who’d been crowding me. He was still there. He gave me a smile that I knew was aimed at being charming and reassuring.

  My stomach protested and I clamped a hand over my mouth. I wasn’t sure if it was the beer or the guy’s cheesy smile, but I darted for the bathroom. I lost it. My stomach emptied out and I was bent over the toilet for the next ten minutes.

  Gross.

  When I was done and a whole lot more sober, I searched my purse for a breath mint and then I headed back out.

  I heard them before I saw them. When they weren’t by the pool table, I followed the shouting. They were in the parking lot and Hannah had a death grip on the girl’s hair, who was trying to claw Hannah’s eyes out. The big guy was yelling at Hannah to let loose, mixed with more curse words and a few derogatory terms, as he was trying to pull his girlfriend away.

  No one had Hannah’s back.

  It might’ve been the beer. It might’ve been the deliriousness that came with vomiting or nostalgic memories from other friends, but I joined in. Angie and Marissa would’ve been proud. The girl was swinging her hand around, her nails ready to rip into Hannah’s face when my fist blinded her. I punched her in the cheek and she fell to the ground. The guy gaped at her before rounding to me with a snarl.

  Hannah stood with a clump of black hair in her hands. Dazed, she looked at the hair, at the girl on the floor, and then at me. The guy started for me, but she threw the hair at him and grabbed my hand. “Run!”

  She didn’t have to say it twice.

  Holding hands, we took off down the block. We kept going, panting and giggling. We went down two more streets before we slowed outside of a grocery store.

  Panting, Hannah swiped her hair from her face and swept it back into a ponytail. As she did, she kept shaking her head at me and laughing. “That was awesome, Alex. I didn’t know you had it in you.”

  I shrugged, unable to hold back my own grin. It had felt good. My chest swelled. I wanted to call Angie and Marissa. They would’ve laughed their asses off, but then I remembered reality. Angie and Marissa were no longer my friends. And Hannah wasn’t really a friend either.

  The grin fell from my face.

  The situation was no longer so funny.

  Hannah’s grin faded too. “You okay?”

  “Yeah. Who were those two?”

  “Oh.” All humor was gone. Her lips pressed together and her shoulders stiffened. “They’re no one.”

  I frowned. “Are you kidding? I punched her for you. Who were there?”

  “No, I meant they aren’t even worth talking about. Trust me. It’s all stupid drama.”

  I remembered some of the shouts and asked, “She’s your roommate?”

  Hannah visibly cringed. Her shoulders jerked up, her jaw clenched, and she wrapped her arms around herself. She sat on a bench outside the store. I sat beside her. When she didn’t say anything, I asked the next theory that was mulling in my head. “And he was your boyfriend?”

  Her eyes closed. Her head hung down and her shoulders drooped beside me. She was wi
thering before my eyes. In a broken voice, she whispered, “Yeah.”

 
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