Still Jaded

Page 2


Well, when you put it like that…
I sighed, "No. I'm just a bitch. I'll apologize to her later."
Miss Connors gave me one of those all-too-knowing looks before turning to her desk. "I think you should leave her alone, but that's my personal opinion."
I should, but the truth was that Grace had become one of my only friends besides Corrigan. I sort of needed her, though I'd never tell her that.
"I heard that Bryce is coming back to town." Miss Connors watched me with hawk-like eyes.
I paused. "Yeah?"
"I know that the two of you weren't doing so well when you moved back. How are things now?"
Hell. No. I reared my head back. "I had my stint in therapy. I'm not going back, so no questions about Bryce, especially Bryce."
"What about Corrigan? Can I ask about him?"
"Him either." I pushed through the door.
Miss Connors yelled as it shut behind me, "Can I ask if they're even alive? Is that okay? Or maybe you—are you alive?"
I suppressed a shudder and veered for the door in joy. Maybe not joy, but I was anxious for my escape. And then I was through. I breathed in the fresh air and heard, "Sheldon! Yo. Stop."
And the fresh air was ruined.
Michael Reveritt jogged towards me in his fitted white shirt that seemed to glide over his muscles with those Labrador chocolate eyes and plush lips that always seemed to be smiling. Or kissing. I knew he kissed a lot of girls. I knew he did more than that too.
"What do you want, Ritt?"
He stopped and shook his head as he laughed. "Always about the sunshine, ain't ya, Sheldon?"
"It's Jeneve. What do you want?" I was tempted to stomp my foot in rhythm and tap out the seconds until I lost patience, but that was rude…and I'd already filled my rude quota for the day.
"Whatever, Sheldon. You know you love how I say your name. Just admit it." Then, he caught the look in my eyes and hurriedly threw out, "Corrigan said you banned the frat house from your party on Friday night? That can't be real, right? Corrigan's got it wrong."
Parties. Frats. And Corrigan. Why was I not surprised this was why Michael Reveritt found me? I grew tired of the game and turned on my heel. "No, you're not invited."
Mike followed. "Come on, Sheldon. You're all alone in that huge house of yours. Corrigan told me about it. He told us about the ragers you used to throw. Why won't you let us come?"
"Because you're morons." I had a better reason, but the moron part was true enough.
Mike reached out and drew me to a stop. He pleaded. "You're best friends with Corrigan, and he's one of my brothers now. How can you cut off a brother from his brothers? It's inhumane. And besides, we're a frat. We have to be at the best party on campus."
"Good thing my place isn't on campus." I peeled his fingers from my arm.
"You know what I mean. Come on, Sheldon. You're one of us, and we have to be there. It wouldn't look right if we weren't."
"Contrary to your thoughts, Ritt, the party isn't for you. It's for me, Corrigan, and Bryce. I'm inviting people that Bryce knows. He doesn't know you—"
"Yes, he does."
I stopped in my tracks. "What are you talking about?"
"He calls Corrigan all the time. Corrigan spends a bunch of his time with us. I've had a few conversations with your boyfriend; at least enough to know that he's a chill guy. He'd be surprised if we weren't at the party."
"He's not my boyf—" I stopped myself. It had been over a year, and I still automatically denied the relationship. I waited a beat and then clarified, "I'll talk to Corrigan about it, but if you guys come, you can't trash my place. If you do, heads will roll. I mean it."
Mike flashed a smile. "I wouldn't expect anything else. And you're family. We won't do anything to your place. Corrigan would take a battering ram to us if we did."
I grinned. Corrigan would; that made me proud.
"So you're cool with us coming?"
I sighed, "Were you ever not coming?"
"Hell, no," he laughed. "I just thought I'd make one last ditch effort before we crashed and officially pissed you off. Good thing, huh?"
I bared my teeth, much like a wolf would do before it tore into its prey. "Do you know what I do to people that piss me off?"
Mike stopped and opened his mouth. No sound came from it.
"The worst I've done is kill 'em…"
I turned and sauntered away but not before hearing Michael mutter behind me, "Holy God, that woman."
Why didn't I want the fraternity at Bryce's party? The real reason is that I didn't want any distraction from his homecoming. I didn't want any drama. I wanted Bryce to feel relaxed, around people he used to know. The frat guys were not relaxing and definitely not drama-free. But I already knew they'd crash the party. It made sense that they'd want to be at the best party around, especially one that was thrown for the local jock celebrity, as Grace had termed it.
I'd have to fix that. I knew that I'd hurt her feelings, but a part of me didn't understand why she was so upset. Yes. I had publicly exclaimed that she had feelings for Corrigan, but that wasn't exactly top-secret. I knew it. Grace knew it. I was pretty sure a whole bunch of other people knew it, Corrigan included. Besides, everyone knew the details of my personal life. If the campus gossip mill hadn't covered it, the tabloids from Europe got the rest. They really loved Bryce over there, and they really hated that he was leaving for a U.S. team.
My phone rang.
And speaking of Bryce…
I grinned as his name flashed over the screen. "What's up?"
"Hey, I'm here," he said.
"You sound refreshed. Shouldn't you have jetlag or something?" And what did he mean he was here? He wasn't supposed to show up until Friday, two days from now.
Bryce laughed. "I slept on the private jet, Sheldon. And yes, I know it's disgusting that I get to fly in private planes now, but deal with it. I don't suffer jetlag, and I don't care."
"Whatever," I growled but grimaced. Could I be any more annoying?
"What's wrong?"
"Nothing," I clipped out.