“Having freshmen stalk your newest conquest is just sad, King,” Grady said.
“Fuck off, I can’t be everywhere. I need to know these things since she won’t give me anything to work with.”
“Aw…poor Karson isn’t having a girl fall to the ground with her legs open? However will you go on?”
“Fuck you,” Karson sneered as Grady laughed.
Not saying anything else, Karson returned to his book. It was the same one he had seen Lacey reading, and he had to admit, it was pretty badass. He wasn’t much of a reader, but from the moment his eyes hit the pages, he was hooked.
“Who is she?”
Looking up, he met Lacey’s big brother’s eyes and slowly closed the book since he knew there was a good chance this wasn’t going to go well. Taking in a deep breath, he said, “Your sister.”
Grady laughed. “Fuck you, no really, who?”
“Lacey,” Karson answered.
“You’re not funny. You better be joking.”
Karson shook his head and figured he owed it to Grady to be honest. They had been friends for years, but what bothered him was that he had never known about Lacey. It was as if Grady had hidden her, and he didn’t understand why. Ignoring that fact, Karson shook his head as he said, “I’m sprung over her, dude. She is amazing.”
Visibly upset, Grady jumped to his feet, his shoulders squaring up as he glared down at Karson. “Well, unspring yourself, asshole.”
“I can’t. Why did you hide her from me? You never mentioned you had a hot sister.”
“Because I know you and knew that you’d be on her in seconds. You’re a sleaze.”
“Maybe I was, but it’s different this time. I actually have this feeling in my chest for her.”
Grady’s nostrils flared as he glared even more. “I’m going to kick your ass.”
“If you have to, then do it, but I won’t stop. I need her, dude, like seriously. I’m in deep and, as my best friend, you should understand that and support me.”
“Support you, huh?” Grady asked, and Karson smiled.
“Yeah, man, we both want what’s best for her, and I think I’m it.”
Grady didn’t say anything else; he just shook his head and promptly decked Karson right in the left eye. Taking the punch like a champ, Karson closed his eyes as Grady got close and whispered, “Stay the fuck away from my sister.”
“You’ll have to kill me, Grad. I can’t.”
When he opened his eyes, Grady was glaring with the hatred of Hades in his eyes. “Is she worth our friendship?”
Slowly, Karson nodded. “Yeah, because I feel you’ll eventually agree with my way of thinking. A girl like that doesn’t come around twice.”
Shaking his head, Grady stomped away without a second glance. As Karson watched him leave, he asked himself if she was really worth it.
The only answer was yes.
Karson knew it was true when he heard Lacey sing. She had the voice of an angel and looked like one as she sang along with the other Catappellas. He used to make fun of those weird people who made music with their mouths, but now that he knew Lacey did it, he vowed never to call them that again. He only wanted to support her, and as he clapped loudly, whistling for her, a smile grew on his face because he knew exactly how to romance her.
All he needed was the help of the Catappellas.
When Lacey came out the back with the same brunette who Karson had seen her with before, he smiled as their eyes met. She looked away like she had been doing for the past week, but that wasn’t going to stop him.
Stepping out in front of her, he said, “You have a lovely voice.”
“Thanks,” she said, trying to go around him, but she must have noticed that his face was damaged. “What happened to your face?”
He smiled as he ran his fingers along the black eye. “Your brother punched me.”
“What?” she shrieked, along with the brunette.
“Why?” Lacey asked, taking a step toward him. She reached out, but then she stopped herself, tucking her fingers into the red dress she wore. It fit her like a glove, and Karson was salivating at the sight of her.
“I told him I was trying to prove to the most gorgeous girl on campus that I’m worth her time. He asked me who it was. I said you, so he decked me because when he asked me to stop chasing after you, I said I couldn’t.”
Her lip wobbled as she looked away. “You have to, Karson. I’m telling you, you’re going to be disappointed.”
“The only way I’ll be disappointed is if you don’t give me a chance.”
Looking at him, her eyes filling with tears, she whispered, “I’m not worth it.”
“You keep saying that, but I can promise you I’m about to prove to you that you are.”
Before she could say anything else, Karson turned and left the hall, feeling pretty damn good about what had just happened.
Lacey was having the worse day of her life.
After having it out with Grady about Karson that morning—which really did nothing since all her bullheaded brother did was scream at her about how she needed to stay away from Karson—her day persistently got worse. First, she dropped her iPod into the toilet. She wasn’t sure how it happened, but it did, so she had to walk to all her classes without any music. She then failed her math pop quiz, slid on some ice outside Jackson Hall, and to top it all off, they were out of the mocha syrup for her coffee. Lacey was two seconds away from saying fuck it and going back to bed. If she didn’t have to study for her design test the next day, she would have done just that.