This is for whoever thinks high school is easy. BTW, I am one of those people.
Twisted Lies (Twisted Pine Academy, #1) by Kai Juniper released last week in the Adult, Romance genre.
You don’t belong here.
That’s what they said when I showed up at Twisted Pine Academy.
As if I wanted to be there. I’d do anything to go back to my life in New York instead of living in California with my eogmaniac uncle and his spoiled-rotten sons.
The only good thing about being here is Jackson. Hot-as-hell and filthy rich, he ditched Twisted Pine to play football for Legion, the rival public school. Now everyone at Twisted Pine hates him, especially my cousin, Braden, which makes me want Jackson even more.
Braden rules Twisted Pine and everyone in it. If Braden finds out I’m with Jackson, he’ll use his power to ruin me.
Let him try.
My loyalty is with Jackson, and I won’t let anyone tear us apart. Together we’re going to take down Braden and his kingdom at Twisted Pine.
They think I don’t belong there? I don’t. But now that I’m here….watch out.
Going around to the front of the house, I see Jackson’s shiny black Range Rover in the driveway. I walk up to the front door and ring the bell.
The door swings open.
“What now?” he asks, sounding annoyed. This isn’t going to go well. This morning I thought we might be able to be friends, but I think he was just being nice because of what I told him about my mom.
“Are you busy?” I ask, trying not to look below his face. He’s shirtless and my eyes keep wanting to move down to look at his muscular chest and those chiseled abs.
“Had another fight with your uncle?” he asks, leaning against the door.
“No. I mean, yes, but that’s not why I’m here.”
“Then what is it? What do you need?”
“I need you to teach me to drive.”
Jackson slowly smiles. “You don’t know how to drive? Seriously?”
“Don’t make fun of me! People don’t drive in New York. Everyone knows that.”
“You didn’t have to take driver’s ed in school?”
“Why don’t you get your uncle to teach you?”
“Because I hate him. And he’s never around. I’m sure he’ll be going back to his place in LA soon.”
“Did he tell you that?”
“No, but Trystan said he never stays longer than a few days. Anyway, I need you to teach me.”
Jackson folds his arms over his chest. “And why would I do this?”
“To help out your neighbor.”
“You’re almost a mile away. That’s not really a neighbor.”
“Close enough. I wouldn’t need many lessons. I’m a fast learner. I just need to know the basics.”
“You have to pass a test to get a license.”
“Yeah, I know all that. I’m not asking you to help me pass the written part. Just the driving part.”
“Why don’t you get your cousins to do it?”
“Are you kidding? They hate me. They don’t even want me here. They think I’m going to go to their school and ruin their popularity.”
He chuckles. “I didn’t think about that.”
“Nothing.” He smiles. “I’ll make you a deal.”
“What? What’s the deal?”
“You don’t like Braden, right?”
“No. I think he’s an ass. So is Trystan, but Braden’s worse. He’s rude. Arrogant. Thinks he’s better than everyone. And I found out today he gets special treatment at school because he’s good at football. I can’t stand guys like him.”
“What kind of special treatment?” Jackson asks. “Like fixing his grades?”
“I don’t know about that, but the way the principal talked about him, you’d think Braden was a model student. There’s no way that’s true. The principal just forgives whatever Braden does because he wins on the football field.”
“He doesn’t always win,” Jackson says with a smirk.
“So what’s the deal you want to make? If it’s money, I’ll need a ride to an ATM.”
“I don’t want money.”
“Then what do you want?”
“ME?” I take a step back. “You want me to have sex with you?” I turn and storm off. “Forget I even asked!”
“Rumor, wait!” He comes up behind me. “That’s not what I meant.”
I turn around. “Then what did you mean? Because saying you want me usually only means one thing. And if that’s what you want then—”
“It’s not. Come inside and we’ll talk.”
“Talk, as in actually talk?” I ask, eyeing him suspiciously.
“Yes. I’ll even put a shirt on so it’s perfectly clear I only want to talk.”
“Fine,” I say going past him, although I wouldn’t mind if he left the shirt off.
We go inside and I wait while he goes to his room. He comes back wearing a white muscle shirt that shows off his arms. It’s almost as distracting as when he was shirtless. I love the curve in his muscles. The definition in his arms and shoulders.
“So what is it?” I ask, sitting on the couch. “What’s the deal?”
“I want to take him down,” Jackson says.
“He’s a little shit who thinks he knows everything and uses people, then tosses them aside.”
“How do you know him so well?”
“Doesn’t matter.” Jackson sits beside me and I get a whiff of his cologne. Damn, he smells good.
“What do you mean by take him down?”
He smiles. “You come from a family of actors.”
“I want you to act. Put on a performance.”
“Performance? What are you talking about?”
“You need to fit in. Do the opposite of what you’d normally do. Act like you belong there.”
“You want me to act like some rich snob? Follow their rules? No way! I’m not doing that.” I get up, but he pulls me back down.
“Just hear me out. I get that you’re not someone who follows the rules. I’m not either. You and I aren’t conformists.”
“I never have been. I don’t go along with something because I’m told to, or because it’s popular.”
“Same here. But you don’t have a choice at Twisted Pine. You do what they tell you, and if you don’t, you’re either kicked out or punished.”
“I’d love it if they kicked me out.”
“But they won’t because your uncle is paying tuition for three kids. That’s a lot of money. And he’s a celebrity. They love celebrities. They can’t risk pissing off Brock.”
“So you’re saying I’m stuck there?”
“Yeah, so you might as well make the best of it.”
“Just get to the deal. What do I have to do to get you to teach me to drive?”
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