Home > Vicious (Sinners of Saint #1)(7)

Vicious (Sinners of Saint #1)(7)
Author: L.J. Shen


There was rage brimming inside me. Soon, it was going to overflow.

They were so sure they knew me. So sure I wanted Emilia LeBlanc.

“Fuck this shit. I’m going down to the pool.” I stood up suddenly, and the girls collapsed, each of them landing on an arm of the chair with a soft thud.

One of them whined in protest, and the other shrieked, “What the hell!”

“Bad high,” I offered as a half-assed explanation.

“It happens.” The girl who’d fucked Trent a second ago smiled in understanding.

I wanted to beat the shit out of their dads almost as much as I wanted to screw up Daryl. Their availability repulsed me.

“Are you gonna call me?” Alicia-Lucia tugged on my shirt. Hope glittered in her eyes.

I gave her a slow once-over. She looked good, but not as good as she thought. Then again, she was eager to please, so probably not the worst lay.

I’d warned her.

She’d refused to listen.

And I wasn’t a good guy.

“Leave your number on Trent’s phone.” I turned on my heel and left.

In the hallway, people made way for me, gluing their backs to the wall, smiling and raising their red Solo cups to me, groveling like I was the fucking pope. And to them—I was. This was my kingdom. People loved my type of evil. That was the thing about California, and that’s why I would never leave. I loved everything other people hated about it. The liars, the pretenders, the masks, and the plastic. I loved how people cared about what was in your pocket and not in your fucking chest. I loved that they were impressed by expensive cars and cheap wit. Hell, I even loved the earthquakes and bullshit vegetable shakes.

These people who I hated were my home. This place—my playground.

Murmurs rose from every corner of the hallway. I didn’t usually grace these people with my presence, but when I did, they knew why. Shit was going to go down tonight. Excitement filled the air.

“Fell in Love With a Girl” by The White Stripes pounded against the dark walls.

I didn’t make eye contact with anyone. Just stared ahead as I sliced through the throng until I reached the storage cellar under the kitchen. I closed the door behind me. It was quiet, dark, like me. I pressed my back against the door, squeezed my eyes shut, and took a deep breath of the damp air.

Damn, that shit Dean brought in was strong. I was only half-lying when I said the stuff was bad.

I walked deeper into the room, mentally slamming the door on the rest of the world. On Daryl Ryker. Josephine. And even on people who were only half-villains, like Emilia and my dad. My fingers brushed the weapons on the wall I had collected over the years. I fingered my crowbar, dagger, baseball bat, and leather whip. It occurred to me that one day, hopefully soon, I could give up this collection, which I had never used but owned because it made me feel safer. Mainly, having this shit meant Daryl didn’t mess with me anymore.

I was looking for a physical, slow-building fight. I was looking for explosive pain coming out of nowhere. In short, I was looking for trouble.

When I climbed back upstairs to the outdoor pool, empty-handed, I stood over the edge. The moonlight lit my reflection against the clear water. The pool was full of people in swim trunks and designer bikinis. My eyes roamed the place, searching for Dean. He was the guy I wanted to fight. To break his smug boy-next-door face. But I knew he was out with Help, and besides, rules were rules. Even I couldn’t bend them. The minute I stepped out there with my sleeves rolled up to my shoulders, I invited whoever wanted to fight me to step forward. But I couldn’t ask anyone specifically. They had to volunteer. That was the dangerous game we played at All Saints High to burn time: Defy.

Defy was fair.

Defy was brutal.

Most of all, Defy dulled the pain and provided a great explanation for my marred skin.

I wasn’t surprised when I heard the thump of Trent’s cast behind me. He knew how fucked up I was and wanted to save the night.

“Tell Dean to dump her ass or I will,” he said from behind my back.

I shook my head, sneering. “He can do whatever the fuck he wants. If he wants to bang that hillbilly, it’s his funeral.”

“Vicious,” Trent warned.

I turned around and sized him up. His smooth mocha skin shone under the full moon, and I hated him for his ability to enjoy the opposite sex with such carelessness. Fucking random chicks was growing old too fast. And I wasn’t even eighteen yet.

“This shit with this chick is gonna drag everyone down a very dark path.” He took off his shirt, exposing his huge, ripped torso. He was a bulky bastard.

As always, I kept my shirt on. People eyed us avidly, but I’d never cared about these assholes. They wanted to fill their meaningless existence with something to talk about. I was only too happy to give it to them.

I coiled my fist, cocking my head sideways. “Aw, you care about me. I’m fucking touched, T-Rex.” I clutched the left side of my black tee above my heart, mocking him with a fake smile.

Georgia and her airhead crew were watching us intently, waiting for the monster in me to pounce on one of my best friends. I marched past Trent, my shoulder brushing his, trudging toward the tennis court where we fought on most weekends. It was big, secluded, and spacious enough for the crowd to take seats on one side of our makeshift octagon.

“Give me your worst, Rexroth,” I growled, trying to calm myself down. Trying to remind myself that Trent and Jaime were right. Dean and Help were just a fling. They’d be broken up by the end of the month. He was going to dump her—hopefully with her virginity still intact—hurt and angry and looking for a rebound. She’d be fragile, insecure, and vindictive.

And that’s when I was going to strike.

That’s when I was going to show her she was nothing more than my property.

“Come on, T. Move your injured ass to the tennis court. Just try not to bleed all over my fucking grass after we’re done.”

 

 

The Present

 

“WATCH WHERE YOU’RE GOING, SCHMUCK!” I shouted as I waited on the corner outside of the trendy office building on the Upper East Side.

The muddy stain on my bib-waisted sailor dress, the one with the tiny smiley faces, widened, spreading quickly. I held my cell between my ear and my shoulder, swallowing a frustrated scream. I was puddle-soaked, hungry, tired, and desperate for the walk signal to turn green. On top of everything, I was already late for my shift at McCoy’s.

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