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Always Mine (Roommate Duet #5)
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College parties, beer, and one-night stands—that was my life.
Now, I hunt down criminals, ethically or not, but if no one’s asking, then I’m not telling. Drinking and women are still included, though I can’t seem to forget the girl who almost gave me her virginity. She would’ve until I realized she was too young, and I wasn’t looking to get thrown into jail.
In a twist of fate, we’re reunited, except she’s no longer underage but still equally off-limits. After ignoring her relentless advances, she starts to wear me down. I only have so much willpower when she’s around, running her smart mouth and showing off her impeccable dance moves.
Just when my restraint starts to crumble, my poor choices finally catch up with me, putting us both in danger.
There’s no easy way to explain why I betrayed her, but I’ll do whatever it takes to keep her safe—even if it means breaking her heart.
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“All My Friends”
“Is there a reason you climbed out of your bedroom window?” Tessa asks when I jump into her Jeep. I’m still panting, trying to catch my breath after running barefoot across the yard at a full sprint. My heart beats faster, and my adrenaline spikes at the thought of my parents catching me.
“Preacher’s daughter, remember?” After I buckle and place my shoulder-strap purse in my lap, I slip on my heels. “Think they’d ever let me go to a party at ten o’clock at night? Nevertheless, a college party?”
Smirking, she shifts into drive. “I knew I liked you, Corrigan.”
Tessa and I met a few months ago through mutual friends. She’s a freshman at Westminster College and invited me to one of the fraternity’s back to school parties, but knowing my super-strict folks would never allow it, I snuck out. They’re already asleep, and sneaking back in will be a challenge all on its own, but future Maddie can figure it out later. It’s not the first time I’ve taken risks, and I know it won’t be the last. I’d use the “I’m sleeping over at a friend’s house” excuse, except they don’t allow sleepovers unless it’s a special occasion such as a birthday party with plenty of supervision.
If it were an option, they’d install a chastity belt on me.
That hasn’t stopped me from pushing the limits, though. Unlike my two older sisters who moved out and live in California, I rebel against my parents’ ridiculous rules as much as possible. Some people call me defiant, but I’ll be eighteen in less than six months, then shortly after that, I’ll graduate high school and get the hell out of Park City, Utah. If everything works out the way I want, I’ll be in California with my sisters again. I miss them like crazy, and I feel as if I’m losing my mind without them around. Sophie’s majoring in music and plays the violin, and Lennon’s studying to be a music teacher. My parents taught all three of us how to read sheet music at a young age. Singing and dancing have been in our blood for as long as I can remember. Being home isn’t the same without them and has been an adjustment for the entire household. My parents have really tightened their chain on me since Lennon moved out three years ago and are trying to control me more than usual now that I’m last to leave. Thanks to my Bible-hugging, Jesus-loving upbringing, I’m still a virgin and have been commanded to wait until marriage. But what if I marry someone who’s really bad in bed? Will I be stuck with less than par sex for the rest of my life?
If my parents have their way, then yes, on both accounts. Unfortunately for them, I’m determined to live my youth as I see fit, regardless if they disapprove of my choices.
After a half hour of driving and singing loudly to the radio, Tessa finds a parking spot and turns off the engine. “Tonight, you’re twenty-one,” Tessa tells me as she reaches into her larger-than-life handbag and gives me a fake ID. I swear, she keeps everything in there. “They card at the door, so if anyone asks, you recently transferred from Utah State, and you’re majoring in education.” She faces me and plasters on a wide grin. “Because you just love children so much.”
I snicker at her tone, and my brows rise at how thorough she’s being. “Twenty-one, transfer student, education major,” I repeat, placing the ID into my clutch. “Got it. Anything else?”
Tessa puckers her lips, tapping a finger against them. “If anyone asks, you’re rooming with me.” She just moved into an apartment off campus, so that works out well for my little white lie.
“Ooh, roomies. Do we shower together too?” I tease as we get out of the Jeep.
“Of course. We’re bi-curious.” She winks, then meets me at the front of the SUV. “You ready?”
“I think I can handle a bunch of rowdy frat guys,” I say fearlessly.
Tessa notices my outfit for the first time tonight. Her gaze starts at my blood-red peep-toe heels and wanders up my black dress that hugs my body perfectly. She reaches a hand out and fusses with my long dark hair that’s styled into waves. I layered on the makeup, which I’d usually get shit for, but I don’t give any fucks.
“I’m quite confident you can too,” she agrees with a smirk. “The red lipstick is a nice touch. If I didn’t know, I’d never believe you were underage.”
“Good. That’s the look I’m going for.” I flash a mischievous smile.
We walk toward the brightly lit frat house that’s roaring to life with loud music. A ton of people are waiting to get inside, and cars are lined up on both sides of the street. A huge banner with Greek letters hangs from the second-story balcony.