Broken and screwed 2, p.16
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       Broken and Screwed 2, p.16
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         Part #2 of Broken and Screwed series by Tijan

  Other than those two, I didn’t think anyone knew, except for Jamie. However, he didn’t know who the girl was.

  We had to write a paper for our group project and he grumbled the entire time in the library about what chick Jesse was banging. Cord stared at me the whole time. I ignored both of them. Jamie kept complaining the whole time. The only time when he didn’t was when he had spotted a leggy blonde or a hot brunette. His words, not mine. Then he’d talk about them the whole time, rating them on his scale, and a few times he would leave the table to score a date or he’d just salivate from the distance.

  I was listening to the same rant from him as we met for our last time to go over the paper. We had to plan a presentation, but my part was in the beginning. It was the easiest; I just introduced the group. Cord and Jamie wanted to do the rest. Jamie boasted that they had the most charisma. Cord told me Jamie wanted to be a news sports anchor after college. I asked him if Tiffany knew about those plans, but he only shrugged and went back to typing on the computer.

  “All right. I’m done.” Jamie dumped his book on our table and stood to stretch. His massive arms touched some girls as they were walking by us, but he paid them no attention. When I caught a small grin on his face as he sat back down, I knew he’d done it on purpose. The two girls who’d been targeted giggled together as they took the table behind us. They recognized the two basketball players.

  Apparently they didn’t hold much interest because Jamie’s next words were, “Let’s go to the cafeteria. I’m fucking starved.”

  Cord frowned from the computer. “Dude, I’m still typing our bibliography.”

  “I’m hungry.”

  “I’m not.”

  “Come on, man.” A five year old whine came from Jamie’s throat. He lifted his shoulders in a huff.

  I waited, expecting his foot to stamp or for him to cross his arms over his chest as he pouted.

  He did neither, but I wouldn’t have been surprised if they were still coming. Instead, he rolled his eyes in an exaggerated motion. “You hear my stomach? It’s like Hurricane Murphy in here. It needs to eat or you don’t know what damage will be done.”

  Cord jerked his head towards the door. “Go eat. We’ll still be here.”

  Jamie turned his surly gaze to me, but my head had gone back to my book. No way was I getting pulled into this tug of war.

  “Fine.” Jamie shoved back his chair. “But this sucks, man. I don’t like to eat alone.”

  Cord glanced at the two girls still giggling together. “I think you could get company if you wanted.”

  “I have a girlfriend.”

  “Not on Friday and Saturday nights according to you,” was shot back at him.

  “Oh yeah.” A rueful grin escaped him. “And sometimes Thursdays and Tuesday nights too.”

  As he left, he lifted his arm and hit the doorframe above his head with a thumbs up in the air.

  Cord only shook his head.

  I asked, “Why not Sunday, Monday and Wednesday nights?”

  “Caught that, huh?”

  I nodded. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to know, but I was intrigued. There was a meaning behind their statements to each other.

  Cord grinned as he kept typing. “Because those are the nights Tiffany’s over.”

  “They don’t see each other on the weekends? Just Sunday?” I was starting to think their relationship was more screwed up than whatever I had with Jesse.

  “Sometimes, but rarely. Tiffany likes to spend her time with her friends.” Cord snorted to himself. “She thinks this will be worth the pay-off later and that Jamie will get all his partying out of his system. She thinks by the end of college, he’ll only want to spend time with her and no one else.”

  Judging by his sarcasm, I knew Cord wasn’t a subscriber. “I was told that she thinks he’s going to law school and in five years will run for political office. Does he really want to be a sports news anchor?”

  “Yeah, but don’t tell anyone.”

  “Who’d I tell? Jesse?”

  “I know you have some little friends. Hannah. That other girl that’s always with her.”

  Oh yeah. I was friends with them. We ate every night together and as I thought of that, I glanced at the clock. I was running late. “I have to go.”

  “You’re leaving too?”

  “Sorry. My part is done. I wrote the first section of the paper. Remember?”

  “I thought you’d stay for moral support.”

  “Nope. I’m outta here.”

  “Alex.”

  “See ya, Cord!” Stuffing my books and papers back in my bag, I flashed him a quick grin and waved as I hurried in the direction of where Jamie had just gone. I had no plans on meeting up with him. I really did have to meet with Beth and Hannah. The daily supper date was now a tradition for us and it was highly anticipated every night for me. They didn’t ask questions about the years before or bring up names or things that happened to me. They were comfortable to be around, unlike Marissa, who had emailed me every day since her visit.

  She was determined to be friends again. I had no interest. That ship had sailed. Accepting her friendship was the beginning of a slippery slope. I just knew it. Then Angie would be in contact. Justin might be with her. Even Eric might give me a phone call.

  They had all ditched me.

  I wasn’t signing up for a second abandonment.

  Going through the doors that led to the food court, I stopped abruptly before I rounded the corner. I heard Jamie saying, “Come on. Seriously. You’re killing me, Chatsworth.”

  Expecting Tiffany’s comeback, my eyes popped out when Hannah growled instead. “Lay off, Jamie. I mean it. I have a crap load of texts to show my sister if you don’t leave me alone.”

  “She said I could be with other girls.”

  “Not her sister. She didn’t have me in mind and you know that. She’d go ballistic if she knew you were doing this.”

  “Come on,” his voice lowered to a husky soothing murmur. “Doesn’t that feel good? I can make you feel really good. You know I can. Just say the word. You can feel this all night long.”

  A slapping sound came next before Hannah rasped out, out of breath, “I told you to stop touching me. I mean it.”

  “Bitch!”

  Gritting my teeth, I tightened my hold on my bag and threw my shoulders back. Cued my entrance and I rounded the turn. He had Hannah pressed against the mailboxes. The rest of the room was empty, not a surprise. It was Friday night. Most didn’t eat in the cafeteria on the weekend nights. Plastering a bright smile on my face, I marched up to them. “Sorry I’m late, Hannah. I got caught up with a group project.”

  Jamie turned. His glare doubled from the usual one he kept for me. “You’re everywhere.”

  His hand hadn’t moved from under her shirt and Hannah slapped at it now, pushing him away at the same time. “She’s my friend.”

  “She’s weird.”

  My back stiffened, but I couldn’t argue. I was weird.

  “She’s my friend,” Hannah stressed again. “Leave me alone, Jamie, and leave her alone.”

  “She’s in my group for class.” His eyes chilled. I expected frost to start growing on them. “I don’t know what you’ve got over Cord, but it’s not cool. I’m going to find out.”

  Okay. The slight enjoyment I’d been having fell away. Anger replaced it. “Excuse me?”

  “You heard me.” He raked a disdainful eye up and down me. “You’re not hard on the eyes. I’ll give you that one, but I know you’re not banging Tatum. So I figure you’re blackmailing him.”

  “You think the only reason he likes me is if I were blackmailing or sleeping with him?”

  He wasn’t far off, but it wasn’t Cord that was sharing my bed.

  “You’re not giving it up to him. You’re a damn prude if I ever saw one.” A cocky smirk came over him. “You can’t stand the sight of me, I know that too. Most girls love me. Hell, most girls put the moves on me within five
minutes of meeting me.”

  Hannah groaned, “Oh my god.”

  He kept going, his gaze harsh as he stared me down. “Your social skills suck too. Only people I can tell that like you are Cord and this chick, plus her freak cousin too.”

  “That’s enough!”

  Ignoring the outrage beside us, my eyes narrowed to slits and I took a step closer. His eyes widened, just a fraction, before the same cocky arrogance slid back in place. Oh yes. He was cautious of me now. He saw the anger in my eyes and he’d taken notice of it. It wasn’t the anger he’d dealt with in Hannah or his girlfriend, or any other girl.

  They were normal. I was not.

  I had banked this rage for so long, since coming to Grant West, but it was there. It was why my friends had left. They’d been afraid. Jamie wasn’t, but he had fallen silent. He knew he’d stepped into something that maybe he wasn’t sure he should’ve.

  As I continued to stare at him, only him, Hannah was behind me now, I let the rage grow. I let him see what was inside of me.

  It had gone beyond the bristling stage. It was full-on raging in me now.

  I was loving it. It made me feel alive.

  It made me feel powerful.

  Then Jamie backed away. “Whatever. You’re a freak.”

  An evil grin came over me. He was right. A part of me was freakish. It was the part that’d been given birth when my parents dumped me. I’d been scared of it, but now I was starting to embrace it. No words had left my lips, but an unspoken knowledge was there. I would do anything to get back at him. He only had to give me a reason. I would enjoy it. No, I would thrive on it. Jesse and everyone else be damned. In that moment, as I was feeling my rage, no one could stop me.

  Jamie saw it all. He backed down from it.

  Wise choice, my friend.

  “Jamie!” Hannah smacked him in the chest. “Stop talking to my friend like that. I mean it.”

  He scoffed at her, shaking his head, as he backed away from us. He didn’t turn his back so he treaded in reverse until he hit the door. Reaching behind, he fumbled for the handle and pushed the door open as he slipped through it.

  “I’m so sorry. He shouldn’t talk to you like that. He’s such an asshole.”

  I shook my head and pushed it down. The rage was still simmering, but I had it under control, enough to look at my friend. She wouldn’t know.

  She gave me a shaky grin. “I’m really sorry.”

  She didn’t. I shrugged. “It’s okay. I’ve grown used to his attitude. We are working on a project together.”

  “Still,” she sighed. “He shouldn’t be able to talk like that to you. I’ll say something. I’ll make him stop.”

  “It’s okay.” When she tried to continue arguing, I stopped her. “I mean it. I’ll handle him.” I already had, though she’d been unaware of it. Jamie wouldn’t be a problem for me anymore. He would be fearful from now on, but I highly doubted that I’d have to deal with the same type of callous treatment again.

  “Hey, guys.” Beth joined the conversation. She glanced over her shoulder. “I almost got bowled over by Jamie. Why’s your sister’s boyfriend shaking like a leaf out there? He looked ready to piss his pants.”

  “What?” Hannah was taken aback. “What are you talking about? He was just in here, being an asshole to Alex.”

  “Oh.” Beth swept speculative eyes over me. “Maybe I got it wrong.”

  She hadn’t and I knew she knew she hadn’t.

  Hannah muttered more derogatory names at her sister’s boyfriend as she led the way inside the cafeteria. After placing our bags on a table, we separated for the different buffet lines, but I felt Beth’s knowing gaze on my back the whole time. When my tray was full, I headed back to our table. She was already there, waiting for me.

  She placed her glass on the table and leaned over it. “What’d you do to Jamie Striker?”

  “Nothing.”

  We both knew I was lying.

  “What’d you do? I didn’t get it wrong, but I don’t know how Hannah is clueless. You did something. I know you did.”

  “No, I didn’t.”

  “Stop lying to me.”

  Okay. Well. How was I supposed to explain it to her? That I opened a compartment inside of me and let him see the darkness my parents had created? That’s what had happened, but it would sound crazy out loud. Lying was the best option. It made the most sense and I’d go back to forgetting about the rage inside of me. I’d been doing a damn good job at it since coming to college.

  Beth sat back, defeated. “Fine. Don’t tell me; just don’t do anything to hurt my cousin.”

  “Tiffany?”

  She gave me a disgusted look. “Hannah. I don’t give a shit what happens to Tiffany.”

  “Oh.”

  The topic was dropped, but she started another one. A corner of her mouth curved up. “So what are your plans with boytoy tonight?”

  “He’s not a boytoy.”

  “What is he then? You’re screwing the hottest guy at school and you won’t say a word. I know only because I walked in on you two.”

  “What’s your point?”

  She gave me an incredulous look. “That you wouldn’t have told me either. So he’s not your boyfriend. You’d tell people if he were, that leaves boytoy.”

  I frowned and starting picking at my salad with a fork. “Your logic sucks.”

  Laughing, she reached for her glass again. Her knees were lifted and she settled back against her seat with her feet propped up on it. “Say what you want. I think I’m right. And you never answered my question.”

  “What question?” Shifting in my seat, I looked to see where Hannah had gone. She should’ve been back by now.

  “What are your plans tonight?”

  “We haven’t discussed it. Why?”

  “Because we’re going to Club T again if you want to come.”

  “The club you ditched me so both of you could have sex with people? That one?”

  With her straw in her mouth, she grinned around it. “That’s the one. Wanna come?”

  I sighed, “Sure.” Jesse could pick me up if he wanted, but I’d been telling the truth. We hadn’t discussed it and I refused to let myself sit at home, twiddling my thumbs in case he called. I’d never been that girl before, but I felt like it at times. When he said jump; I asked how high? I wasn’t going back to that. I couldn’t. I’d be destroyed if I did.

  However, after we ate and went to the dorm to dress, my phone started buzzing in the car. I ignored it. Not the most mature move, but I knew if it was him, I’d read whatever he sent and I’d go to him. The last month had been like a slow drug. I was becoming more addicted to him the more time we spent together.

  It was when we had gotten inside, my phone kept flashing through my purse and Hannah had enough. She snapped, “Just answer it already. Whoever’s calling isn’t going to stop. It’s annoying.”

  Taking a deep breath, readying myself, I was prepared to keep my hormones in check.

  I didn’t need it. It wasn’t from Jesse. It was from Cord.

  Call me back. Entire damn paper is gone. Come to the house, we have to work on it tonight.

 
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