I was told that dreams were our heartÔÇÖs desires. My nightmares, however, became my obsession.
His name is Michael Crist.
My boyfriendÔÇÖs older brother is like that scary movie that you peek through your hand to watch. He is handsome, strong, and completely terrifying. The star of his collegeÔÇÖs basketball team and now gone pro, heÔÇÖs more concerned with the dirt on his shoe than me.
But I noticed him.
I saw him. I heard him. The things that he did, and the deeds that he hidÔÇªFor years, I bit my nails, unable to look away.
Now, IÔÇÖve graduated high school and moved on to college, but I havenÔÇÖt stopped watching Michael. HeÔÇÖs bad, and the dirt IÔÇÖve seen isnÔÇÖt content to stay in my head anymore.
Because heÔÇÖs finally noticed me.
Her name is Erika Fane, but everyone calls her Rika.
My brotherÔÇÖs girlfriend grew up hanging around my house and is always at our dinner table. She looks down when I enter a room and stills when I am close. I can always feel the fear rolling off of her, and while I havenÔÇÖt had her body, I know that I have her mind. ThatÔÇÖs all I really want anyway.
Until my brother leaves for the military, and I find Rika alone at college.
In my city.
The opportunity is too good to be true as well as the timing. Because you see, three years ago she put a few of my high school friends in prison, and now theyÔÇÖre out.
WeÔÇÖve waited. WeÔÇÖve been patient. And now every last one of her nightmares will come true.
I turned and stalked off, taking a left down the hallway toward the elevator. The doors opened as soon as I pushed the button, and I stepped inside, trying to calm my racing heart.
They still intimidated me.
And excited me. And challenged me. And knotted me up.
IÔÇÖd kind of wanted to go to a party but not with them.
The doors started closing, but just then a hand shot into the elevator, and I jumped, seeing the doors re-open. I sucked in a breath, staring wide-eyed as Michael reached in, grabbed my shirt by the collar with one hand, and pulled me out.
ÔÇ£Michael!ÔÇØ I shouted.
I stumbled into him, and before I knew what was happening, he grabbed my wrists and locked them behind my back, walking into me and forcing me backward, back down the hall toward the kitchen.
ÔÇ£Let me go!ÔÇØ I demanded, my lips brushing the tip of his chin.
ÔÇ£I donÔÇÖt know, guys,ÔÇØ he teased over my head, ÔÇ£she still seems pretty fucking easy to push around. What do you think?ÔÇØ
Laughter greeted me as he forced me back into the living area.
Every muscle in my body was on fire, and the tips of my toes kept getting caught under his sneakers.
I twisted my body, trying to break his hold. ÔÇ£What the hell are you doing?ÔÇØ
I pushed against his chest and jerked my body to the left, tearing out of his hold with every muscle I could muster.
I stumbled, losing my balance, and fell backward, crashing to the floor. Pain shot through my ass, running down my legs as the fall knocked the wind out me.
Shooting my hands behind me, I pushed myself up and bent my knees, looking up at him as he advanced.
He stalked over and then stopped, towering over me. I immediately moved my hands and feet, crawling backward, away from him.
But then I felt something at my back, and I halted. I twisted my head, seeing a dark pant leg, and I didnÔÇÖt know if it was Damon, Will, or Kai, but it didnÔÇÖt matter. I was closed in.
Oh, no. I slowly raised my eyes, seeing MichaelÔÇÖs lips tilt in a devious smile. I stopped breathing, seeing him lower his body to the floor, planting his knees between my bent legs, and his hands at my sides.
My neck arched back as his face hovered over mine, but I tried to keep myself up as much as possible, no matter how close his body got.
ÔÇ£I thought you were one of us,ÔÇØ his whispered, his breath caressing my lips. ÔÇ£I thought you could play.ÔÇØ
I stilled, staring into his eyes.
YouÔÇÖre one of us now. Will had said that to me on that night so long ago.
MichaelÔÇÖs amber eyes searched mine and then dropped to my mouth, his breathing growing heavy as he stared at me like he was about to take a bite.
I wanted to cry. What the hell was going on?
Three years ago was nearly the happiest night of my life, and it quickly became the worst. And ever since then, Michael not only acted as if I didnÔÇÖt exist, but also, at times, as if he wished I didnÔÇÖt.
Now the guys were free, and they were all back together again. What did I have to do with any of this? What did he want with me?
ÔÇ£I donÔÇÖt know this game,ÔÇØ I told him, barely audible.
He stared into my eyes, thinning his own as if studying me. ÔÇ£All you need to know,ÔÇØ he finally answered, ÔÇ£is that you canÔÇÖt tap out.ÔÇØ