“What the heck do you mean he is moving back?" I questioned my mom, crossing my arms over my chest.
"I mean, Jessica broke up with him. He'll be staying in his old room for a while since he’s been in jail he has nowhere else to go. What's the issue, Cassidy?" My mom cut her eyes at me, and I could tell she was already over this conversation.
The problem was that I could not stand my stepbrother Greyson. He was a huge pain. The jerk was three years older than me, so when I was a freshman, he was a senior. My mom met and married Greyson’s father during spring break of my eighth-grade year while I was visiting with my cousin.
Apparently, they met each other on some singles cruise and couldn't live without one another, so they moved quickly. My dad died when I was a baby, so I was happy to have Lawrence in my life. He was always really nice to me, but Greyson was another story.
When Greyson and Lawrence first moved into our house, everything was fine. Greyson was actually kind to me, and we got along great.
After Lawrence suffered a major heart attack and suddenly passed away a month before my high school year started.
He became angry with any and everybody. In his grief, he started hanging with the wrong crowd. During which he got into all sorts of trouble. Mom even had to bail the idiot out of jail a time or six.
Yet she let him stay with us anyway. Greyson’s deadbeat mother. If you could call her that. Disappeared when he was just a few weeks old, leaving him with no other family.
Midway through his senior year, he met and started dating Jessica Carlisle, the head cheerleader and most beautiful girl in our school with her big blue eyes and bouncy blonde hair and somehow the girl managed to get him on the right path again.
Soon after getting with her he became famous amongst our peers, thus crowning him Mr. Popular partially overnight. It seemed as though Greyson had transformed into a whole new person.
Well, except for the fact that he began to pick on me badly. He called me all kinds of degrading names. It was as if all the anger he had about his father’s death was suddenly directed all on me.
What was worse is that he did it in front of all his little football buddies who immediately fell into suit like the followers they were. Those stupid nicknames made their way back to our school, and they plagued me all four years I was there.
But I was finally done. I graduated last year and kissed those horrific memories goodbye.
Or so I thought.
Greyson’s little good guy act didn’t last too long because he ended up back in jail two years ago. For what? I don’t know.
"Yeah, well, he's a pig, and a criminal and I hate him. I thought I was at least going to be able to enjoy my summer before my Southmore year of college in peace. If I knew you were going to be letting him stay here again. I would’ve just stayed at campus."
"Yeah, well, get over it, Cas, he is going through a hard time right now. So don't add to his stress with immature bickering. You will be nice to him."
His stress? Really? Ever since Lawrence died, mom has had a soft spot for Greyson. But not me. I hated him.
"Everybody goes through hard times, mom. So don't expect me to kiss his ass because everybody else does."
"Cassidy Isadora Kavanagh! You watch your mouth. I know you two had your rough patches when he was here before, but I thought you would try and get along this summer. You're both adults now. Don't you think it's time to grow up? I mean, would it kill you to at least attempt to put your differences with him aside?"
"Technically, I'm still your baby even if I am 19, and yes, it would kill me," I told the traitorous woman I called my mother, dramatically falling forward atop the kitchen island. "See, it's already taking effect, mom."
"Well, I hope it passes soon because he'll be here in the morning. You’re turning 20 in a week, Cas. You’re nobody's baby,’" my mom sarcastically responded, patting me on the back before she went back to cooking.
Wow woman, tell me how you really feel.
"So, there's no way I could talk you into calling the devil and telling him that his room is no longer available, huh?" I argued, looking over at her with puppy dog eyes and hoped they would do the trick.
I couldn't stand being around him for two seconds, let alone the entire summer. But mom just rolled her eyes, shaking her head.
"No. Now go wash up for dinner, and I don't want to hear anymore about it. He's staying. You're going to make it work, and that's final," Mom said, motioning her finger upwards towards my bedroom.
Unsatisfied with her answer, I huffed before lifting myself off the marble countertop and turned on my heels, stomping out of the kitchen.
Why was she so okay with letting the person who made my high school years a living hell move back in here?
Everyone always gave Greyson a pass, but I wouldn't. Nope. Not anymore. I wasn't gonna let that asshole get away with his bullying. I was gonna make his summer a living hell.
Yup, that was precisely what I was gonna do. I conversed with myself in my mind while also trying to convince myself that I wasn't being completely immature and petty.
Lost in thought I rounded the corner and my body slammed into what felt like a brick wall.
"Woah there stringbean, you almost took me out," Greyson smiled down at me, flashing his perfectly pearly white teeth while his large hands were firmly planted on my hips.
He stood, towering over my five foot frame as the smell of his familiar musky cologne enveloped my nostrils.
He wore a black tank that had the sleeves cut out, leaving his muscular tattoo covered sun-kissed arms on full display. His honey blonde hair had grown since the last time I saw him.
When we knocked into each other a few tendrils of those golden locks had fallen over his forehead. I quickly found that I was beginning to swoon before I mentally cursed myself for being an idiot.
God, why did the devil have to be so damn tempting?
"No such luck, I guess? You weren’t supposed to be here until tomorrow." I spat, cutting my eyes at him.
Then I shoved his hands off of me, trying to ignore the irritating ache that throbbed between my legs for him. “What’d you bribe a guard to let you out early or something?” I hate him.
"Ouch Cas, that hurt and no I didn’t," Greyson replied mockingly and placed a hand over his heart, making me roll my eyes.
But he just eyed me up and down as he brushed his fingers over the facial hair he hadn’t had before.
Swallowing hard, I felt my cheeks start to heat up from embarrassment.
Why did he still have this stupid effect over me?
"I got released early and caught a cab. You're looking good, by the way, string bean. I knew you'd eventually grow into those ears."
"Oh, fuck off, Greyson," I pushed past him as he laughed. Irritated, I hastily made my way up the stairs to my room trying to get away from him.
"I missed you too, Cas." Greyson chuckled, but I snapped my head in his direction, flicking him off before slamming my bedroom door.
Shit, this was gonna be a long summer.
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