Heaven’s Regrets (Book 1)

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Chapter Two

On the last day of school, I promised Lana and Peyton we would go shopping today, but now I’m regretting it as I rummage through my closet, finding absolutely nothing I want to wear. Settling for my navy tank top, black jean shorts, and Heaven’s Regrets zip-up hoodie, I quickly change before heading downstairs.

Of course, my dad is sitting at the bar with Sharp and Bitz. The three of them are nearly inseparable and permanently occupy the same three stools at the bar’s counter.

“Hey Dad, I’m heading to town now. Can I have some money, please?” I anxiously look at the three of them. Dad isn’t one to talk money out in the open.

“Sure, doll. Be safe.” He hands me a thick wad of cash.

“Jesus, Dad! I’m not going to buy a house!” My eyes go wide, staring at the hundred-dollar bills in my hand. There has to be at least a few grand here.

“It’s not often you go out. You need to have some fun once in a while! Enjoy your youth and all that.” He chuckles.

“Uh, if you say so, I guess,” I say with an awkward laugh. I wasn’t expecting that. I’m pretty sure he’s feeling whatever he’s drinking as he’s usually not so giving with his money. But I can definitely use some new clothes, so I don’t argue.

I shove the cash in my bag and head toward my car. My old Mustang wasn’t much to look at yet. It’s sanded down but still needs a paint job. I just haven’t gotten around to it.

Blasting my favorite playlist on the way to town, feeling the vibrations of the subwoofers, I instantly relax into the rhythm. I’ve spent a lot of damn time working on this car. Regardless of the missing paint job, I was proud of it.

Thirty minutes later, I pull into the mall parking lot next to Lana’s car with Peyton sitting in the passenger seat. I wave them over as I climb out, “So, where are we going first?”

“There’s this new boutique that just opened up. I wanted to check it out!” Lana gushes.

“Perfect. I’m in desperate need of new clothes!”

Peyton agrees to the plan with a nod.

We take our time walking through the mall, catching up about the last few days. I half want to tell them about Ghost, but what’s there to say? ‘Oh, hey guys, I thought I met my soulmate. But it turns out he’s just an ass.’

“Oh! This is it!” Lana’s eyes are wide with excitement.

“Wow. This is definitely not what I was expecting.” I whisper, more so to myself. Taking in the loads and loads of lingerie. “What on earth do you need here?”

“Shit! I forgot to tell you we’re going to a party after. My sister Sadie’s sorority is having some end-of-the-year thing at the lake.” Peyton grumbles. “I wasn’t going to go, but Lana here insisted!”

“Oh, now you tell me. Well, I don’t intend on having some random hook up, so I think I’m good in this department.”

“Hey! You never know what the night may bring! What if you change your mind and you’re stuck wearing basic underwear?” Lana protests.

“Not every party is about getting laid, you know?” Peyton rolls her eyes.

“You guys will thank me later!” Lana winks back at us as she strolls into the boutique.

“I somehow doubt that!” I tease, and we all laugh.

We follow Lana around throughout the store as she grabs more than enough things for one night.

“Alright. You guys can pick the next place!” Lana squeals with her handful of bags.

“How about Vincent’s? I need some normal clothing.” I shoot a glance at Lana.
“If we must.”

Vincent’s isn't quite her style; it has more modest options, so to say. I’m grabbing basically everything that draws my attention, and before I know it, I have to load up Peyton and Lana’s arms too.

“Holy shit. Are you getting the club girls new wardrobes, too?” Peyton nods to the mountains of clothes.

“Uh..” I pause, slightly embarrassed. “My Dad gave me some money. So I figure go big or go home, right? I’m sick of everything I own.” I shrug.

“You do you!” Peyton gives me a warm smile.

I love shopping with them. After my Mom died, I never had much of a female’s input on basically anything in my life. Some of the club girls kind of tried to help, but it wasn’t the same. It was just uncomfortable. Because I knew everything would get reported back to my dad.

“Okay. I think I’m good to go!” I walk up to the register, and we drop the loads of clothing on the counter. The cashier gave us an annoyed glance as she rang the clothes up.

“If that’s everything, your total comes to one thousand eight hundred and twenty-six dollars,” she huffs.

“Here, should be nineteen hundred.” I hand over a stack of bills, suddenly feeling uncomfortable. It must look a little questionable seeing a seventeen-year-old with that much cash.

“Seventy-four dollars is your change.” She gives me a questioning look as she holds the money out.

“Keep it. Thanks, have a good night.” I give her a small smile as we gather the bags.

“Are you sure?” The cashier’s eyebrows knit together in confusion as she eyes the cash. I’m sure she wasn’t expecting it after her less than friendly attitude.

“Yep!”

“Well, thank you! You ladies, have a great night!” That sure changed her attitude. Funny what the little things can do for a person.

“Are we riding together?” I ask the girls as I toss the bags in the trunk.

“Follow us. That way, we won’t have to listen to you worrying about your car all night long.” Lana laughs.

“Yeah, yeah.” I roll my eyes. “Lead the way then.”

By the time we get to the lake, I’m ready to call it a night. If I had known it was forty-five minutes away, I definitely would have headed home instead.

Cars line the muddy makeshift road down to an enormous field that provides more parking options just before the lake. Is the entire town here? I take a deep breath, closing the car door behind me. There are few things I hate more than crowds.

The clubhouse is almost always packed. The only alone time I can ever find is in my room or the shop. But that’s different, the members are more like family than anything else, so I usually don’t mind.

“This is going to be great!” Lana yells over the roar of the party.

“If you say so.” Peyton and I say in unison.

“You guys need to lighten up!” Lana wraps an arm around each of our shoulders, giving us a gentle shake before strolling off toward the party. Peyton and I share a look and follow her to the extensive selection of alcohol piled not so neatly by one of the beer pong tables.

Almost everywhere you turn, someone is groping someone, shotgunning beers, or chugging out of a beer bong. At least the music was alright.

I catch a group of people passing around a joint out of the corner of my eye. Pot was more my thing if I had to choose. I tell the girls I’m going over and take a soda off the back of a truck. I recognize quite a few people once I get closer. I had gone to school with a lot of them.

“Hey! I know you! You’re uh Cassie. Right?” A familiar-looking guy stood from the log and started walking toward me.

“Uh, yeah. Do I know you?” I squint my eyes at him to get a better look.

“I don’t think we’ve officially met. I was a senior when you were a sophomore. Uh, my name is Garrett.” He extends his hand, suddenly looking nervous.

“Okay, yeah, I vaguely remember seeing you around,” I say, meeting his handshake. It’s too dark to make out his features fully, but I think he’s the same guy Lana had the hots for back in the day.

“Why don’t you come sit for a bit? I’m sure you know most of these guys.” He nods toward the group sitting around a fire.

“Sure, I could sit for a few. Then I have to get back to my friends.” I follow him over to the large log and take a seat.

The girl next to me instantly passes me a joint. Taking a nice long drag, I can feel my body already relaxing on the exhale. Call me a lightweight, but it’s been a while since I smoked.

After the joint passes by a few more times, I’m feeling really good. I hadn’t even noticed the few bikes parked at the top of the hill. Which reminded me of home, and home sounded perfect right about now—a big full kitchen of anything I want to eat and my bed.

“Thanks for this. I have to check on my friends. I’ll see you later?” I go to stand up, but Garrett pulls me back down.

“What’s the rush? I’m sure they’re having a good time.” He wraps his arm around my shoulder, pulling me in closer. “Plus, I’ve got some better stuff.” He says, pulling out a small plastic bag of a white substance, suddenly kissing my neck.

“Sorry, I don’t mess with that.” I gesture to the cocaine. “Plus, I really have to get back. I’m their ride.”

“Oh, come on. Live a little!”

“I said no, just let it go.” I throw his arm off my shoulder and stand up. I don’t get far before his hand squeezes tightly around my wrist.

“Let’s just have some fun. Then you can go.” He glares at me.

“I fucking said NO.” I rip my arm from his grip and take off to where I last saw Lana and Peyton.

“Dude, let her go. She’s more trouble than she’s worth.” I hear someone say to Garrett. I’m guessing one of his buddies.

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