You’re Mine by Penny Brooks

Chapter 14


Easton. “I think I’m dying…” I groan the next morning, holding my head between my hands as if it’s going to fall off at any minute and, honestly, I wouldn’t be against it fuck, how much did I drink?. I dreamt of cat woman. The dream quickly turned into a nightmare when Ryan’s face replaced hers, causing me to question my sexuality, only to wake up screaming when Ryan spooned me. I was the small spoon. That trauma will stay with me for life, I’ve never shoved Ryan so hard. He fell off the bed and landed on Blake who woke up yelling about a lizard named Mike. I need new friends. I’m still pissed at Blake for taunting me last night, even though I have zero interest in Harper. I mean if she was the last girl on earth, I’d still pass her by, she’s just too-t oo something. Plain? No, that’s not it. She’s just annoying as hell, never listens to anything I say, despite every single. warning and she’s always there. My mind decides to remind me about her banging body beneath that bikini, but I quickly shove the thought away. Fine, so one time I found her hot. It means nothing. Because she’s Ryan’s sister and that was the whole fucking point of not inviting her to my party,. “Thought you were gonna pass out in your own puke last night” Blake sits up and wipes his face with his hands. “What’s this shit about cats again? I’m starting to worry about you, man. That’s twice now, is that what alcohol does to you? Makes. you hallucinate about pussy?” He laughs at his own joke. “See what I did there?”. I chuck a pillow at his face and instantly regret it as my head pounds harder. “I need aspirin. “And I need tits to bury my face between. Alas, we don’t always get what we want, stupid universe…”. I stare over at him and just shake my head. “What?” He shrugs. “You have any OJ?”. “Yeah. ” I slowly get up, body weak from dehydration, careful not to wake a still sleeping Ryan who’s holding the pillow so hard I’m. afraid the feathers are going to pop out of it. Minutes later, we’re out by the pool, looking at the absolute destruction the party has done to my home and for some reason it makes me smile. Maybe because I immediately think about a tail, or the mask stuffed under my pillow upstairs. “Wow. ” Blake takes a long drag of his juice. “Things got crazy. “Yeah. ” I agree, about to take a drink but I pause

“Hey, you e ver made out with Sadie before?” . Blake stills. “Why?” . “Just curi ous…I mean she’s cute, . right? A bi t on the thi n side but-” . “I’m gonna stop you right there before Ryan finds out and murders you in your own b ed. She’s saved herself for him since I don’t even know, the tenth grade? There’s n o way she’s been giving any guys any favors. Even if she says she has, she’s lying. “H mm m. “My head. ” We both turn to watch Ryan stumble outside, flopping onto a lawn chair next to us, dark aviators covering his eyes and a beer clutched in his hand. “Hair of the dog, stop staring at me. “Bad ass. ” Blake grins , earning a . scowl from me as my mind drifts to cat woman. She had dark hair, and while I don’t typically even pay attention to girls with dark hair, hers was silky. Thick. It made me think about pulling it. I clear my throa t as my body ins tantly responds. What the hell is wrong with me? I can always control my reactions. If anything, she should be the one seeking me out. I mean she knows who I am yet she’s playing hard to get? . Fuck that shit . Ryan’s phone goes off , he takes one more sw ig of beer. “My ride’s . he re . “Uber? ” Blak e asks. “Nah, I’m forcing Harper to do hard labor after…” He scowls. “Never min d. Just know she owes me right now. Harper. Why the hell does she keep invading my world? And why do I even c are when she’s a nobody? A nerdy girl with exactly one best friend and a popular brother she mooches off to crash parties she’s not even welcome at . The more I think about her, the angrier I g et. Because when I do think about her, I th ink about her tongue, then I think about her . mouth, and th en I want to p unch something . “T’ll walk you out,” I find myself sayin g as I jog after him. I help him grab his stuff and open the front door to see Harper sta nding there in nothing but cropped denim shorts, one of her brother ’s large football sweatshirts, no makeup, a messy bun, and a scowl. Ah, we meet again. I lean against the door

“Did you ev en wash your face?” . Her eyes widen, and th en quickly turn into sl its. “Why do you care?” . “Oh, I don’t. Just curious why you’re walking around looking l ike a homeless person. ” I grin. She looks rea dy to punch m e in the dick . It only ma kes my moo d brighter. “You’re suc h an asshol e, Easton. I almost expect her to s tomp her foot and say som ething like gosh darn it! . Instead, she take s a deep breath. “Ryan, you ready?” . “Yup. ” He takes one step toward her, then stares down at his phone. “Shit, I think I left my charger upstairs. Let me go grab . He’s leaving me alone wi th the enemy. With the mousy girl who needs to learn how to use a brush. So, who cares if she looks h ot in a bikini? . Put a wig on Ryan an d he would . t o o. I mean as long as you covered up his dick and-whatever, the po int remains, she’s nothing and it pisses me off that I’m even wasting this much headspace thinking about her all of a sudden. She look s around the yard. Anywhere but at me. “Wow, it’s a mess. Do you need help”. ” Don’t, “Tinterrupt. “Don’t do that small talk thing where you act like we ’re friends. As you can see from the mess, I have all the friends! need, and they don’t include you. So, you can go ahead and get the hell out of here. Her mou th drop s open. “Was it something I said?” I sneer and turn to walk back in my house. “Oh, and by the w ay…next time you come uninvited, I’m kicking you out, even if it means tossing you over my shoulder to do it. We aren’t friends. Pretending we are only makes you that much more . pat het ic. “Found it!” Ryan r eturns with his ch arger in his hand. The last thing I see is a slow tear fall from Harper’s cheek. The last thing I feel is sick to my st omach as I walk back into my house and kick the closest chair into the wall