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The bully isn’t supposed to win.
Senior year was off to a rough start: lube in my locker, panties on my front porch, unimaginative name-calling. See, I got a player suspended from the football team for harassing me, and in my small Texas town, you don’t mess with the football players—even if they mess with you first.
I didn’t care if it was an unpopular thing to do; I stood up for myself… and in doing so, opened Pandora’s Box.
I never dreamed I would attract the attention of locally worshipped star quarterback, Carter Mahoney. Never imagined his coveted attention would turn out to be such a nightmare. Beneath his carefully constructed façade lurks a monster, a predator looking for the perfect prey to play with. Now, since I’m the girl no one likes or believes, I guess I’m the perfect target for his dark games and twisted desires.
After surviving my first encounter with his casual depravity, all I really want is for Carter to leave me alone.
But all he seems to want is me.
Warning: This book is provocative. It is categorized as DARK ROMANCE for a reason. It will not be for everyone. If you are a reader with certain triggers or sensitivities common to the dark romance genre, please heed the author’s note at the beginning of this book.
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Terror claws at my insides as Carter catches me in his arms. I tried to stop myself, but momentum propelled me right into him. Now I shove against his muscular chest, struggling to get away, but he locks his left arm around my waist and keeps me trapped against him as he looks me over.
“Mm, what a thoughtful present,” Carter remarks.
“Get your hands off me, Carter,” I demand, my voice breaking with desperation.
“No,” he replies calmly, then nods at Jake. “Didn’t you hear? Parsons said I can do whatever I want to you.”
That’s a terrifying thought. My breath hitches as Carter’s amused brown eyes lock on mine, then he slowly reaches down between our bodies and unbuttons the top button of my corduroy wrap skirt.
“Please,” I say, trying to shove his hand away. “Carter, please don’t.”
Clicking at me in disapproval, Carter says, “Now, now, don’t try manipulating me, princess. I just watched you do it to him, and I’m a fast learner; it won’t work on me.”
“I wasn’t manipulatin’ anyone,” I say, the accusation making me uncomfortable.
“Mmhmm,” Carter murmurs, savoring the violation as he unbuttons the rest of my skirt, then lets the fabric fall to the floor.
Now I’m standing here, heart pounding, stripped down to a pair of thin black panties in front of these three assholes. I’m sick. Literally sick. Bile rises and I feel myself wanting to heave, but nothing comes up.
“Stop this now,” I say, trying to grasp some kind of authority. “If you stop now, I still won’t say anything. That window is about to close, though. Y’all are taking this too far.”
“Listen to her, getting mouthy,” Carter says, caressing my jaw with his free hand.
“I didn’t even do anything to you,” I snap at him. “What’s your excuse? Why do you want to hurt me?”
“I don’t have one,” Carter says, his tone indifferent, almost bored. “I just like seeing you helpless and scared. It gets me hard. Want to feel?”
So much of that sounds like the truth, I can only stare at him, wide-eyed. “You’re a psycho.”
Flashing me a predatory smile, he says, “Maybe.”
“How ‘bout all them holes you were talking about, Mahoney? Let’s see ‘em, man,” Shayne encourages, nodding at my panties.
My heart thuds in my chest as I consider Carter stripping me of the last scrap of fabric offering me even minimal coverage. At least on this, I get a diminutive measure of relief. “Sorry, Shayne, you’re guarding the door,” Carter tells his teammate.
“What?” Shayne says, disappointed. “Man, seriously? Why do I have to do it?”
Carter ignores Shayne, as if that question is too stupid even to answer, and turns his attention to Jake. My stomach pitches, thinking he’s going to invite Jake to join in, but now that he doesn’t have to share to have me, his interest in double-teaming me seems to dissipate.
“Her pussy is mine,” Carter states, then his gaze drifts back to my face. I squirm against him, trying to pull away again, but his hold on me is too effective and it’s a waste of my energy. “I want it first. I want her innocence. I want to be the one to make her bleed.”
Carter’s chilling words even make Jake a little uncomfortable, I can see it on his face. Not uncomfortable enough to back down, though. “I should get to fuck her, too. It’s my life she ruined,” Jake complains.
“Fine, then fuck her after me. Wear a rubber.”
“You’re not going to?” Jake asks, his gaze snapping to his teammate.
“Oh, no. Her blood will be the only lube when I take her. You’ll probably have to cover her mouth while I fuck her so no one hears her scream.”
Oh, my God, he cannot be serious. As hard as I try to keep it at bay, fear paralyzes me as a vision of Carter’s scenario plays out in my mind. My body trapped beneath him, Jake covering my mouth and helping hold me down while Carter violates me.
I look at Jake to see what he’ll do, hoping against hope he’ll stand up to Carter. I know he’s been reluctant up to now, but he has to realize this is definitely too far.
Again, Jake looks uncomfortable, but for whatever reason, he nods like he’ll follow Carter’s orders. Unbelievable.
Carter looks down at me, captive in his arms. My heart is pounding violently and since he has my chest pulled against his, I bet he can feel my fear. I bet he likes it. “Want to beg me one more time, princess?”
“No,” I tell him, hating my voice for continuing to shake. “I hope it’s worth it to you, because if you do this to me, I’ll ruin your life, too.”
Carter smiles, a smile that would be overwhelmingly attractive if he weren’t such a monster. “Oh, you won’t ruin my life, Zoey. It’s fucking adorable that you think there’s even a shot in hell you could get me kicked off the team, but football’s not my end game. We both know I could shoot someone in the middle of a crowded stadium at halftime, and they’d rush to clean up the blood so I didn’t slip and fall while I finished up the game. Even if you could get me kicked off the team though, princess, it wouldn’t matter.” Reaching down and caressing my breast again, he murmurs, “Football’s just a pit stop for me, nothing more.”