Bri McAndrews is the envy of every girl at Chamberlain and the one every guy wants at their side. What most people don’t know is that there’s so much more to her than the picture-perfect life everyone sees on the surface. Being the daughter of a power-hungry senator has her under constant scrutiny. Even though she’s used to being in the spotlight, it’s becoming harder to meet her father’s expectations. When Trey Donovan stereotypes her as just another spoiled, rich kid, she’s more than determined to show him he’s wrong about her, and she doesn’t care about the consequences it will have for her at home.
After giving the most popular guy in school a beat down he’ll never forget, Trey Donovan becomes more than just the new, all-star quarterback at Chamberlain. He’s the bad boy from the south side every girl is dying to have on their arm. Unfazed by his new popularity, Trey isn’t about to let his guard down. But keeping everyone at a distance becomes a challenge, especially whenever Bri is nearby. She’s way out of his social stratosphere and the one girl he shouldn’t even consider pursuing.
As Bri and Trey grow closer, more than a few vengeful people have a problem with it. Can their budding new relationship survive when so many people are set on keeping them apart?
EXCERPT FROM FIGHTING FOR SOMEDAY
I forced my lead-filled feet down the stairs and through the long corridor. Sweat trickled down my neck from the fire still sweltering inside me. I ran my hands through my shaggy hair and massaged my temples to ease the building pressure in my head.
As I got closer to Mia, it looked like soccer practice had worn her out. Her face was blotchy and her blonde hair was in a messy ponytail. For once, there weren’t any jocks lingering around her locker. Over this past week, it was like the line for the hottest ride at the county fair with the number of guys who lined up to chat with her in between classes and after lunch. The way they gawked and pawed at her made me want to knock a few of them to the ground.
I loved Mia to death, but she attracted a lot of attention and couldn’t really be held responsible for how it fed into the ever-present rage within me. I’d always see her as an annoying sister, but I wasn’t blind either. Her flawless skin and exceptional curves were enough to make any Neanderthal around here drool.
Mia ignored me as she stuffed books and notebooks in her messenger bag. Between her appearance and irritated attitude, the soccer team must’ve ran the entire time. A few guys from our Calculus class sized her up and whistled on their way down the hall. I shot them a lethal glare, crossed my arms, and took a protective stance in front of her.
After the guys ogling her disappeared through the door, I unfolded my arms, leaned against the locker next to hers, and picked away at the scabs on my knuckles. I was so caught up in removing any evidence of a fight from my hands I didn’t see who tapped my shoulder. A riled breath escaped as I curled my fists together.
Mia peered at me, then to her right, and giggled. I turned around and saw a beautiful brunette with the most stunning green eyes staring at me. Her perfect complexion and killer bod weren’t what captivated me the most. I didn’t need to know a damn thing about her to know I’d follow her mesmerizing eyes anywhere. There was a kindness to them I rarely saw in people around here, or anywhere, for that matter.
In a pair of skimpy black shorts and a tight blue tank top that left nothing to the imagination, she squeezed in between Mia and me, flashing a smile that showed off her perfect white teeth. She didn’t seem nearly as wiped out from soccer practice as Mia. Some water droplets trickled down her neck and I almost licked my lips while watching them fall into the curves of her shoulder.
I wonder what it would be like to have my tongue travel along that line. How have our paths not crossed until today? Where the hell has this goddess been all my life?
My mind ran away with itself. I didn’t know a thing about this chick and she’d only end up in heartbreak for me. She was one of them, so letting my guard down was out of the question—no matter how smoking hot she was. Try as I might on that front, the blood surging through my body settled in my dick.
A wily grin fell from her succulent lips. I wasn’t about to let her think she was winning in whatever unspoken chat we were having, so I gave her a panty-dropping smile. She probably thought I’d ask for her number when I finally did speak, but I wanted to make sure she knew I had the upper hand. With her amazing rack, guys more than likely dropped to their knees at the bat of an eye, but I wasn’t about to give in to that impulse.
Well, princess, I’m not one of those guys. You’ll have to work a lot harder and I can tell you’re going to enjoy trying. Let the games begin, sweetheart!
Her eyes shifted from playful to intense. I raised an eyebrow and ran my tongue across my lips—just to mess with her some more. After she spotted my tongue ring, her knees wobbled and it was clear she was trying damn hard not to clench her thighs together.
I focused on Mia. “Are you ready to go? I want to get the hell out of here.”
My voice was a little deeper than most guys, but the edginess to it took her friend by surprise. Mia’s eyes flickered between us. “I see you’re in another one of your moods. Just give me a second.” I glared daggers at her. She gave me her stink eye. “Since you’re set on being an ass, I’ll do the introduction for you. Bri, this is Trey. I’d apologize in advance for his jackass ways, but then that’s all I’d be doing, so I’ll give you my blanket apology now. I’m sorry.”
Bri stepped closer to me and another strong rush of blood shot straight to my dick. Shuffling back, I kept my face clear of any emotion. The smile on her face was one of the sweetest I’d ever seen and it was becoming difficult to hide my thoughts from her. My body was practically humming because of this chick.
She extended her hand and I noted the multi-colored nail polish on her fingernails before shaking it. Bri clearly wanted to show her independence and what I suspected was a wild side any way she could, making her even more intriguing. Every cell in my body was more receptive than it had ever been as I held her delicate fingers. My heart rate skyrocketed, feeling more alive than ever. Not needing her to figure any of this out, I released her soft hand and shifted my weight so my bag kept my lower half covered up.
“It’s nice to finally meet you, Trey. Mia has had nothing but good things to say about you over the years. How’s the new school working out so far?” Bri asked.
I know that angelic voice. She’s the one who came to my defense in Calculus. How did I not notice her before now? Not only am I fucking idiot, but I’m also blind as a bat.
“Nice to meet you. The school is a school. Nothing worth putting a second thought into,” I mumbled, gazing away from her.
My body was already mutinying against me, so I needed to focus on anything else. Bri tilted my head back to hers and kept her hand on my cheek. “Didn’t your parents tell you it’s rude to look away from someone who’s having a conversation with you?”
I wiggled my chin free. “I wasn’t planning on a discussion. It’s not really my thing. And even if I were to have one, it wouldn’t be with anyone from this school.”
She winked. “I might just have to change that for you, handsome. You look like you need to lighten up.”
I scowled. “It's a bit daunting to even try to when I’m around a bunch of douchebags who have sticks so far up their asses that the light of day is nowhere in sight.”
A devious smile curled at the corners of her mouth and I got lost in every aspect of her gorgeous face. She was a whole different kind of beautiful. That word wasn’t enough of a descriptor and I made a mental note to look up all the ways of articulating the kind of exquisiteness she possessed. Her nose and high cheekbones were perfect and the way her neck muscles twitched as she laughed made it hard for me not to press her body against mine.
She rested a hand on my chest. “You’re not wrong about the kids here, but just remember not all of us are like that. If you keep storming around these halls, you’ll keep giving them the ammunition they need to torment you. Don’t let them bother you.”
I opened my mouth to argue, but she placed a finger over it. “I’d rather not see you get expelled. I hear you’re an all-star quarterback. Mark my words, in a few weeks, everyone will be begging to be your friend.”
Bri swayed back and glanced at Mia, who was oblivious to the two of us until Bri nudged her elbow. Mia glanced up for a moment before diving back into the black hole of her locker.
I narrowed my eyes at Bri. “I’d rather throw myself off a cliff than associate with anyone from this school. No one here is worth my time.”
Mia decked me upside the head and snapped, “Stop being such a jackass. In case you missed it, Bri is being really nice to you. The least you could do is be civil.”
Bri opened her locker, shoved some books into her backpack, and tossed it over her shoulder. As she did, I caught a mixture of vanilla and honeysuckle. She smelled amazing and the urge to be closer to her grew. I rubbed my arm across my forehead to check for a fever. I didn’t know what was going on with me, but I wasn’t a big fan of it.
My dick throbbed, wanting nothing more for me to pin her up against the lockers and kiss her until she begged me to fuck her. There was no way the pretentious pricks around here could satisfy someone as self-confident as her, but I was more than up for the challenge. Just thinking about what Bri would be like in bed made me shuffle closer to her. I curled my hands together to prevent myself from taking hers, holding them above her head, and kissing the living daylights out of her.
Don’t fantasize about fucking her. You need to leave before you do something really stupid.
Bri slammed her locker shut and it was exactly what I needed to get my head out of the gutter. She shook her hair out and the wavy brown locks framed her face. My stomach dropped to my knees and I sucked in a ragged breath. The spark in her eyes fired even brighter as she ran her finger under my chin to close my mouth before focusing on Mia.
“I’m not sure what my folks are forcing me to do this weekend, but I’m sure it’s something, so I’ll plan on seeing you Monday morning for breakfast.” Mia stared at her, a puzzled look on her face. Bri rolled her eyes and tapped the side of Mia’s head. “Coach Nocky talked about it at practice. We’re getting together in the mornings before school next week to go over our game plan and do all that team kumbaya shit, so we’re ready for our first match on Friday.”
Mia groaned. “I remember why I blocked it out in the first place. I hate doing that crap and despise getting up early even more. Isn’t sleep more important than food and being all warm and fuzzy with one another?”
“I’m not dignifying that with an answer. Just remember we have a quiz in Advanced Bio on Monday. I’ll do the assignments for Calculus and Psychology, so you need to do the ones for English Comp and Advanced Sociology. We can swap in the mornings while we pretend to listen to Coach drone on about the Panthers.”
Mia’s face blanked again. Even I wondered where her head was at because she was always on top of her shit.
“We’re ranked number one in the state and they’re dead last, so I don’t know why he’s even sweating the game. Usually, I zone him out when he goes on his tangents, but you’ve been such a space cadet lately, I’ve been paying attention for both of us. Seriously, what’s up with that? And you need to stop giving me the same lame-ass answer you have been,” Bri said, putting a hand on her hip and raising both eyebrows.
Mia shook her head as her face flushed bright red. They engaged in some unspoken conversation I stood no chance of understanding. My eyes flickered between them for a minute before I gave up. Something Bri mentioned hit me at full force. Bri was in all the same classes as Mia, so that meant she was in my Calculus and English Comp classes.
How had the last four years gone by without me knowing she was Mia’s best friend? My mind went into overdrive as I tried to recall seeing her around our neighborhood, or even in school the past week, but I had nothing. A large knot tangled together in my stomach just as fast as my heart sank.
After Mia left me behind in junior high, anything school-related for talking points quickly became off-limits. I had been a complete asshole to her whenever she talked about her new friends or Chamberlain. For someone who hardly ever cried, I’d made Mia shed tears on more than one occasion for trying to share this part of her life. Even though that was behind us now, I hadn’t really been approachable in the past few weeks.
As I watched the two of them, I grew more confused. They carried on without words for several more minutes. It reminded me just how useless it was to attempt to even try to figure out a chick. They’d forever be a mystery and their ever-changing minds alone was one of the many reasons every guy on earth would agree with me.
By the end of their unspoken conversation, it seemed like they were going to talk later tonight, with actual words and everything, but who knew at this point. Mia glanced at me and I gave her a pointed look, making it quite clear I was about two seconds away from leaving her behind.
“I like your divide-and-conquer plan. I’ll need peace and quiet to study for the test and to get all the assignments done. That won’t happen at the loft. Way too much noise from the bar travels upstairs. Trey, do you think your mom will care if I crash at your place for the weekend?” Mia asked with her puppy dog eyes.
My focus remained on Bri, who was watching Mia and me, her eyes inquisitive. My head spun about as fast as a top. I really wanted to know what she was thinking and it pissed me off that I even cared.
After she caught me staring with no shame again, I held my breath and looked at my hands. I curled them together so tightly they’d become white. The self-inflicted pain was necessary. I could only hop from side-to-side so many times before they picked up on why I was doing it.
Bri’s fucking with me. I’m like a little pet project for her now. That’s the only explanation. She’s gone out of her way in a very short amount of time to reveal just how sexy she can be. She’ll be haunting my dreams for weeks, if not months, to come.
She readjusted her backpack and leaned into me. “I’ll be seeing you soon, sweets.” Her hand ran from my abs up to my chin before she gave me a soft kiss on the cheek. “I know you like what you see. Trust me, the feeling is very mutual.”
Her lips slipped into a shrewd smile before she headed down the hallway. My head fell forward while I watched her sashay away. It was like a desert had taken up residence in my mouth as I stared at her amazing ass.
Bri turned around, winked at me, and shouted, “I meant what I said, gorgeous. I’ll see you around. I’m taking it upon myself to wipe that hard edge off your face and show you a good time. And believe me, I’m a good time.”
Without another word, she made her way out the doors to the parking lot. My jaw remained ajar, completely blown back by her self-assured remark.
“Are you about done gawking?” Mia asked, smacking my forearm.
I stormed toward the doors Bri just disappeared through. “Whatever. Let’s get the fuck out of here. I’ve had my fill of this side of the tracks.”
When I remained silent, Mia shoved at my shoulder. “Yeah, I’m sure that’s it. I saw how you looked at Bri. You like her. Give her a chance. She’s not like the others.”
I shot her a murderous glare. “Mind your business, Mia.”
She narrowed her eyes for more, but I wasn’t about to get into it with her. I hated how she knew me so well. It was a pain in the ass, but I also knew her and with how spacey she was with Bri, it was obvious she was hiding something.
I slowed down. “Why did you ask if you could stay over? You know my mom never cares. She misses having you around.”
Mia released a nervous chuckle. “I don’t think I can stay at Micah’s anymore. I wasn’t sure if Lyla talked to your mom, so that’s why I asked. They always seem to be on the same page.”
She tried to remain nonchalant but couldn’t look me in the eye. I ran my hand over her red cheeks and Mia stuck out her tongue before slapping my hand away. I continued to torment her with lewd gestures and kissing sounds until she finally mumbled, “Lyla caught us in a compromising position the last time I stayed over. We aren’t allowed under the same roof without a set of eyes watching our every move.”
Stopping mid-stride, I hunched to my knees and laughed so hard tears dripped down my cheeks. Mia pounded her fists on my back and I laughed even harder. “She caught you guys having sex! That’s fucking priceless!”
“Why don’t you say it a little louder? And it’s not funny, you ass. We weren’t having sex per se and thank God for that. I don’t think I’d ever be able to look at Lyla again if that were the case,” Mia muttered once we reached my Acura.
I opened the door, tossed my backpack and duffle bag in the backseat, and hopped inside. After shoving the key in the ignition, I adjusted my mirrors and waited for her to get in. “If you’re banned from the house, it sounds like she saw more than enough.”
Mia gave me a sheepish smile. “She got an eyeful, but I wouldn’t change how the night went one bit.” I raised an eyebrow. She grabbed her bags from her feet, threw them behind her, and confessed, “Micah asked me to be his girlfriend.”
I cranked the ignition a few times before the car turned over. Someday, I’d have a vehicle that wasn’t on its last life. Micah and I had put a lot of work into the Acura to pimp it out, but it was ten years old with over two hundred thousand miles on it. There was only so much we could do to keep it from breaking down every few months. I flipped off a few kids snickering and pointing at me, peeled out of the lot, and sped toward the interstate.
“I’m glad you guys got your shit together. It’s about time. It was getting pathetic to watch.”
Mia switched the radio to a pop station. I changed it back to the hard rock one it was on. The lyrics from “What I’ve Done” filled the car. I tapped my fingers on the wheel in time with the beat of the song, noting it had been far too long since I’d picked up my guitar and got out some of my frustrations.
As we neared the south side, I couldn’t help but get wrapped up in the words. Taking the scholarship at Chamberlain was supposed to be a good thing, but so far, it’d only made me angrier than I already was most days. If I wasn’t dealing with all the shit at school and on the field, I was battling with my old friends.
Except for Micah, they all had written me off—calling me a sellout. That was on the nice days. On the others, they’d just take turns trying to knock me on my ass for bailing on them. After hearing the boys admit they were having problems at school this morning, it was another thing to add to the con column for Chamberlain.
“You should really give Bri a chance. You’ll never meet anyone as kind as her. She noticed you on your first day, but she’s known about you for a long time. She knows how much you mean to me. I know you like her and she likes you,” Mia spoke up.
Just the sound of her name sent a strange wave throughout me. It was tranquil and completely foreign. Bri shouldn’t have this kind of effect on me. This constant betrayal became more aggravating by the second. I shot Mia one of my harsher glares.
Bri is way out of my league. I’ll never fit in her world.
She opened her mouth—no doubt to pile on some more. I banged my hand against the dash and snapped, “Mind your fucking business, Mia. I won’t say it again.”
Mia frowned and crossed her arms before looking out the window. A sharp pain ran through my chest for yelling at her.
“When are you going to learn how to drive so Micah and I can stop being your chauffeurs?” I asked in a playful tone.
“I guess whenever you teach me. Micah has tried a few times, but I’m not sure he’s the right person for the job.”
Her voice trailed off as she fiddled with the collar of her white Lions T-shirt. Mia did her best to look at anything but me. Close quarters made that next to impossible. I tugged at the part of her shirt she held on to for dear life and saw a huge hickey. She gasped and swatted at my hands.
I chuckled. “I can see why he’s not the right fit. If you’re coming over tonight, you better make sure that stays covered up. I’m sure Lyla and my mom have talked by now. If she sees that, she’s going to give you a sex talk that lasts for hours. I’ve had it several times and it makes you want to claw your eyes out.”
“Why do they have to talk to each other about everything? It’s really annoying sometimes. I’m sure your mom is going to corner me to have the talk at some point soon anyway, so I might as well get it over with.”
My stomach knotted up as I pulled up to an open spot behind her uncle’s bar. There was something about Chase that had never sat well with me. I rested my hand on her arm. “Do you want me to come in with you or will you be okay?”
I hated seeing the way her body tensed up while she fumbled around for her keys. A half-hearted smile spread across her face as she said, “I’m going to take a quick shower here and throw a bag together for the weekend before heading over to your house. I’ll be there in an hour or two, so please tell your mom not to wait to serve supper.”
Before I could convince her to let me go upstairs with her, she unlocked the back door and strode inside. Mia hated every second she was there and who could blame her. Chase was unstable. You never knew when he’d go on one of his streaks and put her into lockdown. He’d go on a bender and she’d have to deal with him and his insane ways—not to mention the nonsense he spewed at her. Micah and I had never agreed with letting her stay with him, but our moms reminded us that Chase was her legal guardian and they couldn’t overrule his decisions.
For as overprotective as my mom was of Mia, it blew my mind she was so adamant about not overstepping with Chase when it was obvious to all of us she was in an abusive situation. At least it was early, so he wouldn’t be plastered yet. Once the light in the loft flickered on, I headed for home.
As I weaved through the alley, Bri consumed my thoughts. I hated not knowing a thing about her. What was even stranger for me was I wanted to know everything and that was not my MO. There was just something about her I couldn’t resist and that scared the fucking shit out of me.
Not getting kicked out of school or beating Sebastian to a pulp already had my plate overflowing. With all the shit that happened today, there wasn’t a chance in hell any of that was going away anytime soon. Getting involved with Bri would complicate my life even more. It was best for both of us if I steered clear of her altogether.