Home > Vicious (Sinners of Saint #1)(3)

Vicious (Sinners of Saint #1)(3)
Author: L.J. Shen


My parents had jumped at the chance when Josephine Spencer offered them a job. They’d dragged us across the country to California because the health care was better and we didn’t even need to pay rent. Mama was the Spencers’ cook/housekeeper, and Daddy was part gardener and handyman. The previous live-in couple had quit, and it was no wonder. Pretty sure my parents weren’t so keen on the job either. But opportunities like these were rare, and Josephine Spencer’s mama was friends with my great-aunt, which is how they’d gotten the job.

I was planning on getting out of here soon. As soon as I got accepted to the first out-of-state college I’d applied to, to be exact. In order to do so, though, I needed a scholarship.

For a scholarship, I needed kick-ass grades.

And for kick-ass grades, I needed this textbook.

“Vicious,” I ground out his stupid nickname. I knew he hated his real name, and for reasons beyond my grasp, I didn’t want to upset him. “I’ll grab the book and copy the formulas I need real quick. I won’t borrow it long. Please.” I gulped down the ball of frustration twisting in my throat. It was bad enough I’d had my stuff stolen—again—without having to ask Vicious for favors.

The giggling escalated. The high, screechy pitch sawed through my ears. My fingers tingled to push the door open and launch at him with my fists.

I heard his groan of pleasure and knew it had nothing to do with the girl he was with. He loved taunting me. Ever since our first encounter outside of his library two months ago, he’d been hell-bent on reminding me that I wasn’t good enough.

Not good enough for his mansion.

Not good enough for his school.

Not good enough for his town.

Worst part? It wasn’t a figure of speech. It really was his town. Baron Spencer Jr.—dubbed Vicious for his cold, ruthless behavior—was the heir to one of the biggest family-owned fortunes in California. The Spencers owned a pipeline company, half of downtown Todos Santos—including the mall—and three corporate office parks. Vicious had enough money to take care of the next ten generations of his family.

But I didn’t.

My parents were servants. We had to work for every penny. I didn’t expect him to understand. Trust-fund kids never did. But I presumed he’d at least pretend, like the rest of them.

Education mattered to me, and at that moment, I felt robbed of it.

Because rich people had stolen my books.

Because this particular rich kid wouldn’t even open the door to his room so I could borrow his textbook real quick.

“Vicious!” My frustration got the better of me, and I slammed my palm flat against his door. Ignoring the throb it sent up my wrist, I continued, exasperated. “C’mon!”

I was close to turning around and walking away. Even if it meant I had to take my bike and ride all the way across town to borrow Sydney’s books. Sydney was my only friend at All Saints High, and the one person I liked in class.

But then I heard Vicious chuckling, and I knew the joke was on me. “I love to see you crawl. Beg for it, baby, and I’ll give it to you,” he said.

Not to the girl in his room.

To me.

I lost it. Even though I knew it was wrong. That he was winning.

I thrust the door open and barged into his room, strangling the handle with my fist, my knuckles white and burning.

My eyes darted to his king-sized bed, barely stopping to take in the gorgeous mural above it—four white horses galloping into the darkness—or the elegant dark furniture. His bed looked like a throne, sitting in the middle of the room, big and high and draped in soft black satin. He was perched on the edge of his mattress, a girl who was in my PE class in his lap. Her name was Georgia and her grandparents owned half the vineyards upstate in Carmel Valley. Georgia’s long blonde hair veiled one of his broad shoulders and her Caribbean tan looked perfect and smooth against Vicious’s pale complexion.

His dark blue eyes—so dark they were almost black—locked on mine as he continued to kiss her ravenously—his tongue making several appearances—like she was made of cotton candy. I needed to look away, but couldn’t. I was trapped in his gaze, completely immobilized from the eyes down, so I arched an eyebrow, showing him that I didn’t care.

Only I did. I cared a lot.

I cared so much, in fact, that I continued to stare at them shamelessly. At his hollowed cheeks as he inserted his tongue deep into her mouth, his burning, taunting glare never leaving mine, gauging me for a reaction. I felt my body buzzing in an unfamiliar way, falling under his spell. A sweet, pungent fog. It was sexual, unwelcome, yet completely inescapable. I wanted to break free, but for the life of me, I couldn’t.

My grip on the door handle tightened, and I swallowed, my eyes dropping to his hand as he grabbed her waist and squeezed playfully. I squeezed my own waist through the fabric of my yellow-and-white sunflower top.

What the hell was wrong with me? Watching him kiss another girl was unbearable, but also weirdly fascinating.

I wanted to see it.

I didn’t want to see it.

Either way, I couldn’t unsee it.

Admitting defeat, I blinked, shifting my gaze to a black Raiders cap hung over the headrest of his desk chair.

“Your textbook, Vicious. I need it,” I repeated. “I’m not leaving your room without it.”

“Get the fuck out, Help,” he said into Georgia’s giggling mouth.

A thorn twisted in my heart, jealousy filling my chest. I couldn’t wrap my head around this physical reaction. The pain. The shame. The lust. I hated Vicious. He was hard, heartless, and hateful. I’d heard his mother had died when he was nine, but he was eighteen now and had a nice stepmother who let him do whatever he wanted. Josephine seemed sweet and caring.

He had no reason to be so cruel, yet he was to everyone. Especially to me.

“Nope.” Inside, rage pounded through me, but outside, I remained unaffected. “Calc. Textbook.” I spoke slowly, treating him like the idiot he thought I was. “Just tell me where it is. I’ll leave it at your door when I’m done. Easiest way to get rid of me and get back to your…activities.”

Georgia, who was fiddling with his zipper, her white sheath dress already unzipped from behind, growled, pushing away from his chest momentarily and rolling her eyes.

She squeezed her lips into a disapproving pout. “Really? Mindy?”—My name was Millie and she knew it—“Can’t you find anything better to do with your time? He’s a little out of your league, don’t you think?”

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