There are two sides to a story. Here is Taron’s. Give You Up releases October 18th. Preorder now to get the eBook at the new release price!
Unedited Sneak Peek
Two months later . . .
The bass is thumping. The drinks are flowing. The girls are decked out in short shorts and skimpy tops. They come up to us guys with flirty smiles, not being shy with their caresses or the way they lean their luscious bodies against ours, making sure to rub their tits on us as they do so.
Man, these girls are forward, and I am expecting nothing less. Girls cruise these jock-filled parties for one reason, the chance to sink their nails into their next meal ticket. The guys come for something other than free booze. They are here for easy game.
It’s an overgeneralization I am not proud of, but from past experience, it’s what I see happening time and time again. I scan the crowded house and seeing one of my roommates, I raise my red Solo cup, grateful he and Jordan are throwing me a welcome party before school starts in a week.
Andy acknowledges me with a nod. Hooking my thumb on the pocket of my jeans, I take in more of the partygoers, not seeing who I transferred from Stanford to Dumas University for. Five-foot-five, white-blonde hair, slate gray-blue eyes, inked, pierced.
Shit, seeing Syn again after years of nothing from her and with that kid, my hate for her grew to an unbearable level even as my curiosity shot through the roof. Since she left me standing in the hallway of our old high school in shock at seeing her swapping spit with a dude on the baseball team, I have wanted a piece of her.
Most of all, there are secrets of hers to unearth.
Where’d she move to? Why did she ghost me? Why the fuck did she cheat on me with that douchebag, Grady? Was I not good enough? How could she get pregnant with Grady’s kid?
Syn’s mom showed up at our house claiming Syn got knocked up and can we do her a solid and help Syn financially?
What the fuck? That’s what I had said. Mom gave me a disapproving look for the f-bomb. Dad got all paranoid, reminding me to glove up every time. The tips of my ears heated having that discussion in front of my mom. And after they dropped that proverbial bomb? I went looking for Syn and guess what the fuck? She disappeared.
The house she lived in with her mom? Empty. How does shit like that go down with the snap of a finger? Who scrams that fast? People with secrets. A few weeks later, Mom showed me Syn’s mother’s obituary.
Deep in my anger, I run into a wall. Beer sloshes out of my cup and spills onto the wall except it’s not a wall.
The guy is my height, six-foot-two. Blue eyes blazing, he looks down at the stain on his crisp white shirt. I zone in on his sleeve tattoo, a mess of colors and black ink. What sticks out is the tat of a snake wrapped around the body and wings of a large butterfly, the wings blood red and royal blue.
Why the hell does he have the same tat as Syn? I open my mouth. A hand clamps on my shoulder and squeezes. A warning.
“Midnight, hey, man, great seeing you,” Andy addresses the human wall.
The guy grunts. Glares. I ball my hand. Andy shoves his shoulder into mine. I get the hint and move my ass out of dickwad’s line of sight. There will be plenty of chances to smash his face to the back of his skull.
“Remember how I said there are guys that own this town and then there are guys that run Dumas?” Andy says out the side of his mouth. “Midnight Sterling is someone you need to respect and steer clear of. He owns and runs this town. Same with his cousin, Dare.”
I glance over my shoulder. The coeds vie for this Midnight guy’s attention. He ignores them. What gives, and what is Syn to him with their matching tats? I get my answers.
“Steer clear of their girls too. I grew up with Dare and Midnight and those Sterling dudes are possessive as fuck when it comes to their women. Midnight burned down a house ’cause he thought the guy living in it was poaching on his girl.”
“What are their names in case I run into them on campus?”
“Us guys like to call them Night and Day. Night is Riley Lee. Long black hair. Light brown eyes. Things go missing when she’s around so be careful around that one. Day is Syn Winters. Pale. White-blonde hair. Where she is, Dare isn’t far behind.”
“Does this Dare dude look like his cousin?”
“Syn been with him long?”
“Since freshman year. Dare doesn’t go to DU. Neither does Midnight. Midnight followed his girl here from Cambridge. Dare got bored in Cambridge and settled in Dumas with Midnight.”
“What’s with the snake and butterfly tat?”
“Marked. Claimed. All four have the same ink.”
“What’s it mean?”
“Stay the fuck away. The girls try and come between Midnight and Riley, between Syn and Dare, but so far, not much success. Us guys? No way will we risk life and limb and playing ball for tail that belongs to the rulers of Dumas.”
“They hold that much influence?”
“Yeah, man, so keep it in your pants and don’t fuck with their crew. Got it?”
I nod. Mentally, I am shaking my head.
Syn owes me answers and I will get them even if I have to go through her guys.