Jessie Boone is a self proclaimed bad boy and doesn’t march to the beat of anyone’s drum, but his own. Growing up in less than desirable circumstances has made him no stranger to the hard knock life and his determination to leave it behind is fierce. When he finds himself transferred to East Franklin High School, he sees his opportunity to use his athletic ability to snag a college football scholarship, but Forbes Henderson, the player Jessie means to replace isn’t giving up his spot willingly. In fact, Forbes is willing to go to extreme measures to retain his place as first string quarterback. When Forbes’ malicious plan to injure his replacement fails, Jessie is furious and determined to show him he messed with the wrong person; not only is he going to take the position of first string quarterback, he’s going to take his girl, too.
Claire Deveraux is perfection at it’s best. She is beautiful, intelligent and unaware she just became Jessie Boone’s conquest as revenge against her boyfriend, Forbes Henderson. Like her flawless performance as the perfect daughter and student, Claire’s production of being the perfect girlfriend has everyone fooled, except Jessie Boone, and she fears this tattooed bad boy will see her secret desire to explore his crude threats and promises to rock her perfect world. If she decides to give in to one uninhibited moment with Jessie, will she learn too late that it was all an act of vengeance or will Jessie learn the taste of first love is sweeter than that of revenge?
We pulled into the parking lot of the school and Payton parked behind the sexy badass’ junked out truck. He was still sitting in his old clunker and I thought I saw a cigarette in his hand, then he confirmed my suspicion when I saw him raise it to his lips for a drag and the tip glowed fiery orange. Gross.
“Why did you have to park behind him?” I huffed as I felt heat rise to my neck and face.
“What’s your deal with him, Claire?” she asked, then looked at me and said, “Your face is beet red. What is wrong with you? Are you blushing?”
Getting out of the car at the same time meant walking into school next to him and that wouldn’t make Forbes happy. Payton didn’t understand the ruckus this would cause because she didn’t have a boyfriend and it didn’t help matters that she couldn’t stand Forbes. She thought I was weak and trying to please him, but the truth was that I just didn’t feel like hearing Forbes whine anymore.
“I want to avoid the need to explain to Forbes why I’m walking into school with the guy he hates. It will just start an unnecessary argument I don’t want to have first thing this morning.”
“With the risk of repeating myself, screw Forbes. I’m not parking in the back of the parking lot and walking an extra mile to spare his insecure feelings and if you have to explain that, then you should dump his ass.”
I knew she was right. I was a poodle jumping through hoops to keep the peace and it was ridiculous in addition to exhausting.
“I’m not arguing how ridiculous it is, but can we at least get ahead of him so I don’t have to explain why we’re walking in together?” I pleaded.
She huffed and said, “This is friggin’ ridiculous, you know that, right? Your life might revolve around what Forbes Henderson wants, but mine doesn’t.”
When Payton didn’t move fast enough to suit me, I scrambled out of her car, leaving her behind. I watched a cigarette butt fly out of the new guy’s driver’s side window and then his door swung open in front of me, preventing my escape. He stepped out of his truck, looked down at me and grinned as he said, “Pardon me, Princess. I didn’t mean to block your way.”
His voice was velvety smooth, but I didn’t mistake its coolness as his tone conveyed his contempt for me. His unmistakable disdain for me immediately raised my hellcat flag because he had nothing to base his aversion on since he didn’t know me.
This was our first time face to face and up close. The other times I saw him was when I stole a few glances during cheerleading practice over the last two weeks when I was certain Forbes wasn’t watching me.
I realized he was so much more handsome than I originally thought now that his face mask wasn’t obstructing my view. His hair was as black as I expected, and spikey, and his pale blue eyes were piercing. The contrast of their paleness against his dark hair was almost shocking and I had to force myself to avoid becoming lost in them.
I was angry with him for making assumptions about me, but I was more furious with myself for finding him so captivating. I tasted my bitter reaction as it formed on my tongue, but couldn’t stop myself from blurting out, “Asshole.”
He placed his hand over the left side of his chest where his heart would be and said, “I felt that straight to my heart.”
I watched him shut his door while he waited for my counterattack and I pushed past him as I said, “Screw you and my name is not Princess. It’s Claire, so if you’re going to insult me, at least have the decency to get my name right.”
“Hmm, I think I’ll stick with Princess. It seems to suit you better,” he said to my back as I walked away.
I couldn’t be certain flames weren’t coming off the heels of my boots as I practically ran away, but Payton managed to catch up with me and said, “I’m totally disgusted by you, Claire.”
“And why would that be?” I almost yelled.
“That was one of the best displays of underthinking I’ve ever seen. He bested you and I know I taught you better than that. You basically rolled over. How can I call you my best friend when you caved so easily? And by the way, you’ve got something on your ass.”
I spun around to look at the back of my dress as I pulled the skirt part around to look and said, “What is it?”
“Hot New Guy’s eyes.” She died out laughing and said, “Sorry, Claire, but you walked right into that one.”
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