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Whatever It Takes (Bad Reputation Duet #1)
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I HAVE A BAD REPUTATION.
Call me what you want: Bad Boy Next Door. Trouble. That Kid Who Can’t Do Anything Right.
When Willow moves into my neighborhood, nothing should have happened. She’s geeky. Shy. A true wallflower.
Willow is a good girl.
And how the hell was I supposed to know that she’s related to Loren Hale—yeah, that douchebag celebrity that lives on my street. The same guy I’ve been pranking by spray painting vulgar words on his mailbox and worse. Much worse.
Don’t ask me why I do the things I do.
I’m cursed. Simple as that. But here’s the thing about people who are cursed—they break everything they touch.
And yet. . .I still want to touch her.
Whatever It Takes is the first book in the Bad Reputation Duet and can be read and enjoyed without reading any of Krista & Becca’s other novels.
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1 PRESENT DAY – August
Yesterday I was a virgin.
Today, I’m not.
And I know I’m not “supposed” to put this great big importance on my first time and virginity and all of that, but I didn’t lose it until I was twenty. Having anyone touch me is a big deal. Having someone inside of me…is monumental. Like Thor crashing down during the climax of Avengers: Infinity War.
It was that big of a deal. To me. To him.
And now the guy who took my virginity is thousands of miles away in Philadelphia.
“Over here is the campus bookstore, which I checked does not carry comic books so it’s already a complete fail,” I say to my cell, video recording.
My head pounds from jetlag. It feels like I just stepped off the plane, and I’ve only thrown my bags in my dorm. I wanted to check out the campus before it got dark. As the sun begins to set, students meander into dining halls for dinner.
I focus my cell’s camera on the campus bookstore sign.
Documenting my college experience at Wakefield University is my first order of business, while Garrison keeps me updated on his life back in Philly.
Long distance is not ideal. It’s not my first choice. Or second. But until someone invents teleportation or I’m struck down by lightning and develop super-human speed like The Flash, we’re stuck to modern technology.
“And over here…” I rotate my cell to rows of booths. “Are all the potential clubs that I’m probably not going to join—”
I turn. No no no. A frisbee is flying straight towards my face.
Ducking quickly, the frisbee sails over my head and across the quad to another guy’s hands. My heart beats wildly, and my jaw slowly drops. Dumbfounded. Did I just outmaneuver a flying frisbee? Okay, my reflexes have definitely improved. I am certified-clumsy. Definitely not by choice. Maybe London is a good luck charm for me.
My lips lift into a bigger smile, and I turn to head back down the cobbled path—oh shit, my hip and elbow suddenly collide with a girl and her box, both coming out of nowhere.
She stumbles and manages not to faceplant from my elbow-knock. But the brown cardboard crashes to the ground, flaps opening, and I watch as condoms spill onto the cobblestone.
“I’m so sorry.” I quickly squat and start scooping up the condoms.
“No worries. We’re both in one piece.” Her English accent is noticeable. It hits me again—I am not in America anymore. Add in the fact that this is my new home. That I’m living here for four years instead of the usual three for UK undergrads because my degree requires blood, sweat, tears, and an extra year apparently.
It’s all hardly sunk in.
I’m half expecting someone to pop out of the bushes with a big Gotcha sign.
I just…I hope moving here was the right decision.
The twenty-something girl in front of me blows a red curl off her lips and bends down to help with the condom spill. She’s white, curvy and wears a Wakefield T-shirt—the letters WFU in a circular dark green and gold emblem.
I toss a huge handful of condoms into her box while I perspire everywhere. I am hot. Baking under embarrassment, and I’m aware that this is the most condoms I’ve ever touched.
When they lower me into a grave, my funeral eulogy will definitely be: There was that young, innocent Willow Hale who ran head-first into a giant box of condoms and never revived.
I must be staring too hard at the condoms because the girl says, “You can take some. That’s what they’re there for.”
“Oh no, I’m a vir—” I stop myself. Because…
Willow, duh, you are a virgin no more.
The redhead narrows her eyes. “If you’re a virgin, you could still use these.” She’s tossing a couple foiled packets in my direction. “You’re in uni. It’s better to be safe.”
Except the only person I’d want to have sex with isn’t here. But I don’t have the energy or the time to explain my complicated relationship. Not that she’d even want to hear about it.
Box now full, we both stand, and I pocket three condoms in my faded jeans. She balances the box in one arm and holds out a free hand. “I’m Karla. The student warden…or I guess, what you’d know as an RA—over at Bishop Hall.”
Bishop Hall. That’s the name of my dorm building. I’m about to tell her that we live in the same place, thankful for such a serendipitous run-in, but Karla tilts her head and eyes my face more incredulously.
“You look familiar,” she muses.
I pale and push up my glasses that slide down the bridge of my nose. Moving thousands of miles away was strategic in multiple ways. I thought, maybe, I could return to the shadows. Just for a bit.
Less people recognizing me.