Series: Sinners of Saint #0.5
Release Date: January 31, 2017
Buy the Book:
Amazon US Amazon UK Amazon CA Amazon AU Audiobook Paperback Add on Goodreads
My name is Melody Greene, and I have a confession to make.
I slept with my student, a senior in high school.
I had multiple orgasms.
In multiple positions.
I slept with my student and I enjoyed it.
I slept with my student and I’d do it all over again if I could turn back time.
My name is Melody Greene, and I got kicked out of my position as a teacher and did my walk of shame a la Cersei Lannister from the principal’s office, minutes after said principal threatened to call the cops on me.
My name is Melody Greene, and I did something bad because it made me feel good.
Here is why it was totally worth it.
I snailed my way out of the principal’s office toward the blistering heat of SoCal. Anger, humiliation and self-loathing coated every inch of my soul, creating a clay of desperation I was desperate to itch away.
Rock. Meet. Bottom.
I’d just found out All Saints High was not going to renew my contract as a teacher next year, unless I pulled my shit together and performed some magic that’d transform my students into attentive human beings. Principal Followhill said that I showed zero authority and that the literature classes I was teaching were falling behind. To add fuel to the fire, I found out that day that I was getting kicked out of my apartment at the end of the month. The owner had decided to remodel and move back in.
Also, the blind date I bagged through a questionable dating site just fired me a message saying he wouldn’t be able to make it because his mom wouldn’t give him her car tonight.
He was 26.
So was I.
But being picky was a luxury a woman who hadn’t seen a real-life cock in four years didn’t really have.
When did it all go wrong?
I’ll tell you when—the summer of 2009. I got accepted to Juilliard and was about to fulfill my dream and become a professional ballerina. See, this is what I worked for my whole life. My parents had to take out a loan to pay my way through dancing competitions. Boyfriends were deemed an unwelcome distraction, and my only focus was on becoming a prima ballerina, to join the Bolshoi.
Dancing was my oxygen.
When I said my goodbyes to my family and waved at them from the security point at the airport, they told me to break a leg. Three weeks into my first semester at Julliard, I literally did. Broke it in a freakish escalator accident on the subway.
It not only killed my career, dreams, and lifelong plan, but also sent me packing and back to SoCal. After a year of sulking, feeling sorry for myself and developing a steady relationship with my first (and last) boyfriend—a dude named Jack Daniels—my parents convinced me to pursue a career in teaching. My mom was a teacher. My dad was a teacher. My older brother was a teacher. They loved teaching.
I hated teaching.
This was my first—and judging by my performance, only—year at All Saints High in Todos Santos, California. Principal Followhill was one of the most influential women in town. Her polished bitchery was formidable. And she absolutely despised me from the get-go. My days under her rein were numbered.
As I approached my twelve-year-old Ford Focus, tucked between Principal Followhill’s Lexus and her son’s monstrous Range Rover (Yeah. She bought her son, a senior, a fucking luxury SUV. Why would an 18-year-old need a car so big? Maybe so it can accommodate his giant-ass ego.), I realized my situation couldn’t possibly get any worse.
But I was wrong.
Sliding into my car, I adjusted the rearview mirror, took a deep breath and started backing up, slipping from between the two pricey, small dick symbols. At the exact same moment, Mr. Living With His Mom had texted me again. The green bubble flashed with “GOT THE CAR, R8DY TO SEX IT UP?” accompanied with approximately three thousand question marks.
I got distracted.
I got annoyed.
I bumped straight into Principal Followhill’s son’s SUV.
Choking the steering wheel and gasping in horror, I slapped my hand over my heart to make sure it didn’t shoot out of my ribcage. Shit. Shit. Shit! The thud that filled my ears didn’t leave room for doubt. I did to his SUV what Keenu Reeves did to the movie Dracula.
I fucking ruined it.
My fight or flight adrenalin kicked in, and I briefly contemplated whether I should use an alias and run out of the country to hide in a cave somewhere in the Afghan mountains.
How was I going to pay for the damage? Principal Followhill was going to kill me. Technically speaking, her son wasn’t supposed to park in the teachers’ lot. Then again, Jaime Followhill got a lot of free shit he wasn’t supposed to get due to his looks, social status and powerful parents.
I mustered the courage to peel my sorry ass off my seat and examine the destruction I’d caused to Jaime’s precious black Rover. I crawled out of my car and circled around to find my cheap car’s ass kissing the Range Rover’s backdoor, leaving a dent the size of Africa.
Bending down, I squinted at the white scratches, not giving a damn about the fact that my brown knee-length summer dress danced in the air, exposing my new laced panties. People may as well see them, as I wasn’t going to flaunt them in front of Mr. Living With His Mom tonight, even though, in the end, his damn car wasn’t even supposed to be here. Suffice to say, now things couldn’t get any worse.
But I was wrong. Again.
“Oh, no. No. No…” I chanted breathlessly before I heard a guttural growl.
“Next time you bend over like this, Ms. G, make sure I’m not behind you, or this’ll end up on National Geographic: ‘When Predators Strike.’”
I slowly turned around, pushing my reading glasses up the bridge of my nose and scowling at Jaime Followhill as I took him in.
Jaime looked like Channing Tatum and Ryan Gosling’s lovechild, and I’m not making this shit up (side note: here’s an idea for a great M/M book. I’d totally read it, anyway.) Sandy-blond hair tied into a messy man-bun, indigo eyes and the body of a male stripper. Seriously, the kid was so ripped, his guns were the size of fucking bowling balls. He was a walking, talking cliché of the prom king you see in 90’s movies. A baller who had every girl’s attention at All Saints High…
And his eyes were now on me, as he strode to his very smashed ride.
He wore a gray, tight Henley shirt that made his biceps and pecs stand out, slim dark denim and high-top shoes that looked so expensive and tasteless, you just knew Kanye West ought to be behind that design. He had a few bruises on his arms and a fading black eye. I knew where he got them. He and his stupid friends had a game called DEFY. It wasn’t just any fight club. The snotty fuckers used weapons, too. I guess Pretty Boy was not too posh to be pushed.
Wait, did he ask me a question about my hamster? Or was it my hamstrings?
“Well, fuck me to the moon and back.” He stopped a few inches from our cars, releasing a wicked grin. It looked like they melted together. Like his SUV gave birth to my ugly car through its rear end and now the SUV’s significant other (Principal Followhill’s Lexus) demands a paternity test.
I taught Jaime, and he was one of the few kids who wouldn’t yell/scream/throw crap at people in English Lit. He wasn’t a good student by any stretch of the imagination, but he was too busy with his cell phone to make trouble in my class.
“Sorry.” I released a pained breath, my shoulders sagging in defeat.
He lifted the hem of his shirt and rubbed his perfect six-pack, stretching lazily and yawning at the same time.
“Seems to me like I fucked your car up, Ms. Greene.”
“You…” I cleared my throat, looking around to make sure it wasn’t a prank. “You fuck—I mean, you damaged my car?”
“Yeah. Bumped right into your ass. Pun intended, obvs.” He kneeled down, frowning at the space where our two vehicles met. He brushed his tan palm over the shiny metal of his SUV. Jaime made it sound like he was the one who crashed his car into mine. I had no idea why. Maybe he wanted to blackmail me. I considered myself a respectable teacher with a moral compass. But I also considered myself someone who would bathe in the ocean and sleep in her car. If I admitted to doing this to Jaime’s car, that was exactly what I would’ve been doing to survive the financial blow.
“James,” I sighed, clutching onto my golden anchor necklace. He shook his head and raised his hand in the air.
“So I screwed up your ride. Shit happens. Let me make it up to you.”
What. The. Heck?
I didn’t know what game he was playing. I just knew that he was probably better at it than I was. So, in true Melody Greene fashion, I turned around and walked straight back to the car, essentially running away from the situation like the little pussy that I was.
“Whoa, not so fast,” he chuckled, grabbing me by the elbow and spinning me around. I turned, my eyes darting to his palm on my flesh. He withdrew it, but it was too late. Butterflies somersaulted in my stomach, and my skin prickled with need. I got hot and bothered by one of my pupils. Only Jaime Followhill wasn’t just a pupil.
He was also a sex god.
There were stories the length of the fucking Bible running around the hallways in All Saints High to prove it.
And they weren’t the only things that were long and impressive about the guy, if the rumor was true.
“I said I scratched your car.” His blue eyes shimmered with unrestrained intensity. Why was he doing this? And why the fuck did I care? This kid received more pocket money than I had in all my saving accounts combined. If he wanted to shoulder this, I should’ve just accepted. Was it decent grades he was after? Doubt it, as Jaime had fantastic scores to begin with (See: Mommy Dearest), and I heard his rich ass had already landed a spot in a Texan university, where he’d play football and probably fuck his way into some kind of a man-whore Guinness record.
“You did,” I swallowed. “And right now, I’m running late. Please step out of my way.”
We mentally shook hands on that lie, our eyes hard on one another. I had a feeling I was digging up a hole. A hole in which I was about to dump a ton of dark shit that’d land me in hot trouble. I was striking a deal with the son of the devil. Even though I had a good eight years on him, I knew who he was.
One of The Four Hotholes.
A ruthless, privileged criminal who ruled this town.
Jaime took another step my way, his body flush with mine. His breath skated over my face. Mint gum, aftershave and sour male scent made me eerily heady. I wasn’t prepared for that, which is why my face twitched uncomfortably.
I took a step back.
He took a step forward.
Bending his head down, his lips murmured into mine. To my horror, I noticed my knees buckled, and I knew exactly why.
“I owe you,” he said darkly. “And I’ll make sure you get to cash in on that debt. Soon. Very soon.”
“I don’t need your money,” I stuttered, my womb tingling with fuzzy warmth. His mesmerizing eyes widened, and he flashed me a dimpled smirk. How can someone so young be so arrogant and self-assured?
“It’s not money I’m going to give you.”
I felt his thumb brushing across my stomach from side to side, barely touching, teasing, making me quiver through the thin fabric of my dress.
It was like he’d shoved his whole fist into me and attacked my mouth with his. I licked my lips and blinked, astonished.
Holy. Fucking. Shit.
Jaime Followhill was hitting on me. Bluntly. In the parking lot. In plain sight. I guess I wasn’t a troll. I still had a dancer’s body after all, green eyes, a nice California tan and soft chestnut curls. But I didn’t exactly give the cheerleading crowd a run for their money.
Tripping back, I swallowed a groan, feeling my pulse everywhere, eyelids included.
“That’s enough, James. Drive safely and please be sure to do your homework for tomorrow,” I had the audacity to say before I tucked myself back into my Ford.
I accidentally bumped into the Range Rover one more time before I fled the scene, smearing the ugly bump into a full-blown white scratch across its right side. From the rearview mirror, I watched as he cocked his eyebrows at me in a challenge.
I drove so fast, I swear my curls transformed into a dramatic blow-out by the time I parked under my building.
At home, I slouched on my couch in front of my phone and waited for Principal Followhill to call and tell me she was firing my ass and suing me for every single penny that I (didn’t) have.
Long hours passed, but the call never came. I crawled into bed and closed my eyes at 10 p.m. but couldn’t sleep to save my life. All I thought about was that gorgeous asshole, Jaime Followhill.
How he smelled like the hottest guy I’ve ever laid eyes on.
How he looked like the most delicious thing in the world when he rubbed his tan six-pack.
How he helped me out of a shitty situation without flinching, knowing that I’d have probably gotten clubbed for this by his mother…and now he wanted something back.
On paper, he was still a kid, but every other part of him felt like a man this afternoon.
It was unwarranted, almost infuriating when I thought about it.
This morning, I woke up with the impression that I hated the Followhills.
But after this afternoon, there was no denying it—there was at least one Followhill I wanted to get very friendly with.
Also in this series: