Four Years Later


Bantam
March 4, 2014
Series:
New Adult bestselling author Monica Murphy winds up her sensational series with this sexy story of two college kids with nothing in common but a bunch of baggage and a burning attraction. Over. That about sums up everything in my life. Suspended from my college football team and forced to cut back my hours at The District bar because of my crappy grades, I can’t keep turning to my sister, Fable, and her pro-football playing husband, Drew, to bail me out. I just can’t seem to find my own way. Weed and sex are irresistible temptations—and it’s messed up that I secretly hand over money to our junkie mom. A tutor is the last thing I want right now—until I get a look at her. Chelsea is not my type at all. She’s smart and totally shy. I’m pretty sure she’s even a virgin. But when she gives me the once over with those piercing blue eyes, I’m really over. But in a different way. I won’t deny her ass is killer, but it’s her brain and the way she seems to crave love—like no one’s ever given her any—that make me want her more than any girl I’ve ever met. But what would someone as seemingly together as her ever see in a screwed up guy like me?
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Excerpt

With a girl like Chelsea, she’d view me as slumming. Get with the rough bad boy and keep me her dirty little secret. And I bet she’s never slummed in her entire life. I probably scare the pants off of her.

Don’t you want to scare the pants off of her?

Hell, yeah. Though I shouldn’t. She’s not for me. Not my type.

My phone buzzes, indicating I have a text and I grab it, groaning when I see it’s my mom.

I’m in front of your house. Are you home?

Hell. She is the last person I want to deal with right now. Ever.

Crawling out of bed, I pull on a T-shirt and slip on some jeans, head toward the front door and throw it open to find her pacing the sidewalk that leads to my front door. She looks twitchy.

Great.

“Owen.” She smiles but it doesn’t light her eyes. Has it ever? “Are you just getting out of bed? You shouldn’t sleep in so late.”

Her attempts at mothering make me want to laugh. She’s a total joke. “I have class in less than an hour.” I don’t want her hanging around too long. She’ll end up asking for more, more, more.

She always wants more.

“What do you want?” I ask her when she doesn’t say anything.

Mom flinches and sighs. “Fine, we’re gonna get right to the point? I need money.”

Sure she does. She always does. Her part time job doesn’t pay much. I can’t even believe she’s holding down a job, what with her crappy track record. When she bailed on us, she’d been unemployed, spending a lot of time with her loser boyfriend Larry and basically living at his place or their favorite bar. That had been over four years ago.

Now here she is. Like she’s never left. Though somehow the tables have turned and I’m the one who takes care of her. Funny, considering she never really took care of me or Fable. “How much?”

“Two hundred?” She winces, like she hates asking but it’s all a lie. She has no problem whatsoever asking me for cash. She thinks I’m an endless money train, thanks to Drew the stud football player Callahan. And that’s a direct quote, spit out with so much venom and bitterness I recoiled when she said it.

Yeah. Mom and Fable do not get along. Hell, they don’t even talk. Drew’s never met her.

My family is fucked in every which way you could think of.

“I don’t have that kind of cash,” I say.

Her eyes go wide. Dull and green. Her over-dyed hair is yellow and fried at the ends. She looks like hell. Fable would flip the fuck out if she knew I’ve been talking to her, giving her money for months. “What do you mean, you don’t have it? Your sister’s husband is a goddamn football player for the NFL! He’s loaded!”

I press my lips together. Here she goes even though she knows Fable doesn’t know we’re in contact. “Drew doesn’t give me money.”

“He keeps you in this house. Bought your brand new car. Paid for your education.”

“I earned a scholarship fair and square. This house is a shithole but I wouldn’t let Drew pay for some expensive place I don’t need. And he gave me that car when I turned eighteen.” I cross my arms in front of my chest, hating that I have to defend what I have. She looks at Fable and me and all she sees is dollar signs.

“I need it.” She’s whining. “You’re telling me you really don’t have two hundred to spare?”

“Not till I get paid,” I say which is the fucking truth. I live on my own terms as much as I can. My extra spending money is what I make at the restaurant. It doesn’t come out of Drew’s bank account. I gotta man up sometime.

“When’s that?”

“Friday.”

She glances down at the sidewalk and kicks at it with her beat up Nikes that have seen way better days. Like five years ago plus better days. “Tomorrow then? Can I come by and get it tomorrow?”

“Sure,” I bite out. “And bring some beer,  would you?”

“How can I bring you beer if I don’t have any money?” She glares at me. Those dull eyes sharpen with an edge of anger. Thin mouth set in a firm line. She’s the unhappiest person I’ve ever met. Mean for mean’s sake. Selfish and dumb, she makes the worst choices I’ve ever witnessed.

I’m scared as hell that I’ll turn out exactly like her. The choices I make are terrible. I know better. Yet I keep doing it.

Like mother, like son…