I walk away from Grace to see Alek sitting down in an empty classroom with a piece of paper in his hand. He looks fucking rough. What did she do to him?
"Alek?" I ask.
"Shes perfect for you." He mutters.
"What do you mean?" He hands me the picture. His mom. The one i put in a safe house from his dad.
"Her insurance so I dont talk." He informs me. Holy shit. "I haven't seen mom in five years and she finds her in what? Three hours while she's at school. Marry her."
"She doesn't want to pick sides. Its too dangerous for her." I confess while my heart clenches.
"Shit, good point. Let me think on it." He says. I nod. Hes good at finding solutions. The best really, he doesn't think like normal people its a good trait to have.
"Lets head to lunch. She said we could sit with her." I grin.
"You got it so bad." He chuckles and I cant even argue.
I find my Grace laughing at something Kennedy said in the cafeteria. I see McConnell watching her like hes gearing up for something. Is he going to try to ask her out again? I take my time grabbing my lunch and stand off to the side watching him.
"What are you doing?" Alek asks. I nod my head towards McConnell. "Oh this should be good." He chuckles standing beside me to watch it unfold.
McConnell wanders over trying to look casual but I know Grace sees him. Her jaw is set but shes still joking with Kennedy. I noticed yesterday that she is never relaxed. She is always alert. Always. Even when she looks bored she's taking in her surroundings. It must be exhausting. If I could just help her feel safe, even for an hour, I would feel like a king.
McConnell finally approaches her and says something. She nods and follows him out of the cafeteria. They aren't gone long but when she returns you can see that she's trying to hold in a laugh. She sits back down with Kennedy and I watch as Kennedy throws her head back in a loud cackle.
We walk over and take a seat across the table from them.
"Ladies." Alek smirks. I watch Grace look between us. Calculating. Judging how best to handle the situation. I give her a wink before taking a bite out of my wrap. She gives a small nod before she goes back to her sandwich.
"So, are you going to the party?" Kennedy asks.
"We were thinking about it. Why?" Alek answers.
"Well we are and I figured you guys should come over to Grace's around lunch. We're hanging out in her pool all day." She mentions. Pool? Grace wet and in a bathing suit? Sign me the fuck up!
I watch as Kennedy jumps away from Grace with a yelp making me smile. Grace is still eating like she didn't hear what was going on.
"We would love to." I grin making Alek cough.
"Actually, I cant. I have to work." Alek excuses himself. He doesn't have to work tomorrow but im not saying a word. I can get Grace all to myself even if its just for a few minutes.
Kennedy is so lucky I love her.
I told her I can't be with Keir and now she's inviting him over for a fucking pool party! I pinch her ass. Hard. Making her yell and jump in her seat. Good, i hope it hurt!
I take another bite of my sandwich and send a glare at Keir.
"We would love to." Prick. At least it will just be him. Maybe i'll luck out and Christian won't be there. Ha! As if...
God i am in soooo much shit.
Liam corrected the misunderstanding between us and I told him I couldn't date him but I appreciated his honesty. Like a fucking chump! He was so sweet about it too. Told me he valued me even if we couldn't be together like that. I am awful. I am so ready for my fight.
We're ready to head to class when I get called to the office.
"I'll walk you there." Keir offers and follows me out. Christian is waiting for me in the office. "Whats Bianchi doing here?" Keir asks.
"He works for my uncle."
"Do you know all of us?" He asks.
"You want me to wait for you?" He offers.
"No its fine. I don't know what he wants. I'll see you later." I wave him off and step into the office.
"Hey Christian. Whats up?" I ask.
"Oh, Mr. Van Doren asked me to let you know he can't make it to your fight tomorrow but that he will see you at breakfast Saturday." He smiles innocently. I narrow my eyes at him.
"Why didn't he just text me that? Or tell me tonight?" I ask. I see a bit of panic set behind his gorgeous coffee eyes even though his face remains calm.
"Uh... well... he..." I tilt my head and examine him. His cheeks are flushed and he's wearing a fancier suit than normal. His messy hair is combed back.
"You have a date!" I cry. "What the hell are you doing here?!"
"Uh... I dont have a date...yet." He says looking at the floor. "I came to ask you to lunch."
"Oh... um... I just had lunch. I have gym now. Im sorry." Fuck fuck fuck. Why!? Three in one day?! Why?!
"Oh, I understand. I'll see you after school." He smiles softly. He might as well have just kicked my heart across the room. Stupid puppy dog eyes.
"I'll see you then." I smile awkwardly. "Sorry again." And I leave. God damn it why can't I be heartless all the time?
Its like the universe heard my call for violence and smiled upon me. I dont get ten feet down the hall when I'm pinned against the wall by a large body. I look up and see its the guy that hangs out with that Chad idiot and the slimeball from the diner. I cant remember his name. Carter? Maybe.
"Hey babe. I heard you were up for a bit of fun." He leers. His watery blue eyes flicking to my chest.
"You were told wrong." I glare up at him. He sneers a laugh and pins my arms to my sides. I cant get to my blades and he is a whopping six foot three at least compared to my five foot two.
"I dont know, you look like you're going to put up a nice fight for me." Oh fuck no.
"Then you're right. Im your dream girl." I smile up at him sweetly before bringing my knee up between his legs hard. I slam my head forward into his nose and watch the blood pour from his face. I take a deep breath and straighten my uniform and leave him bleeding on the floor behind me. I see a shocked looking Christian staring at me so I smile and head to gym class.
We're doing another obstacle course today so I put on the tattoo coverup that Keir gave me and braid my hair back before leaving. Its a good thing too because I'm paired with Liam again.
"What happened to your forehead?" Liam asks as we start our run.
"Oh some asshole didn't believe no meant no." I explain.
"Who?" His voice goes low and deadly... and sexy. Jesus Grace! Get your hormones together!
"I cant remember his name. Chad's friend." I shrug. "Big fucker."
"Callum." He growls.
"Thats the one. I thought it might be Carter but ive just been calling him dick for brains." That makes him laugh. I love his laugh. Ah! Get it together!
Maybe its a good thing I'm saying no to them. Im obviously quite taken with all four of them. And isn't that just a disaster waiting to happen?
We finish our run and line up for the obstacle course again. I notice Keir and Alek are behind us. The whistle blows and I throw myself into a run slowing down to step through the car tires. I slam down onto my stomach and drag myself under the net hopping up to climb the wall and swinging across the kiddie pool to the other side.
"Yes! Like a boss!" Liam cries offering me a double high five far too high for me to reach. I pinch his very hard stomach making him curl up so I can high five him properly.
"That was low, grace." He chuckles.
"I am a problem solver. Thank you very much." I snark as I watch Keir pull his massive form up the wall and his thick arms hold him up on the rope as he swings. Fuck me. No! No, Grace. Calm your ovaries!
Holy shit. Grace is a badass. She just smashed her head into some assholes face!
I saw what he was doing. What he was going to do to her. I was in the middle of charging up to them when Grace kicked his ass.
And now I'm here. With a body in the back of my Lambo.
"Dad, I have an issue." I greet him over the phone.
"What kind of issue?"
"I have to do a dump run." I clarify.
"Oh. Ok I'll send someone to help. What happened?" He asks.
"Some guy decided to try and force himself on a girl I like." I growl trying not to remember those scars on her gorgeous body. Would he have given her more?
"Youre a good man. Was it Grace?" He asks.
"She'll come around, son." He assures me but im not so sure. I saw her with Chekhov. Hell, he escorted her to me and I saw the way he looked at her. Possessively. It made my blood boil, she's mine. Or...she will be.
"Where are you?" I tell him and hang up and within half an hour Ace is dropped off with a duffle bag.
God, is she hot. Small and deadly. Almost like Grace but Grace is sweet and funny where Ace is cold and... well a bit crazy.
"Clean up?" She asks.
"Cool. Your dad says you need to know disposal tips so I need your keys." She commands. I throw her my keys and she slides into the front seat beside me. She smells like apple and cinnamon and oil. Its familiar and I cant place it but it niggles at the back of my mind just out of reach.
"You're going to have to find a less conspicuous ride if this is going happen again. In the future just drive normally. No speeding. The last thing you need is to be pulled over for a speeding ticket while you have a body in the trunk." She lectures. But they are all good points.
"I assume you put down a tarp in the back?" She asks.
"Im not an idiot." I gripe. I see a little smirk tug at her lips.
"I know that. But people can make mistakes. I was just checking." She placates.
"Sorry." I mumble.
"All good. Im taking you to one of my dump sites. After this is all taken care of I'll give you the number of some cleaners. Theyre good." She says. I nod as she pulls up into an abandoned construction site.
Well, it looked abandoned until a man who looks like he's seen better days walks up to us. Ace gets out of the car and waves me out.
"Ace." The man greets looking a bit green. "We have it all set up for you."
"Thanks. Go with him." She nods at me and gets back into the car. I follow the man to a giant metal tube. I see Ace backing in beside us before getting out again.
"See you in a few, man." She says dismissing the man who looks positively relieved.
"How do you know he won't talk?" I ask.
"First? He works for your father. Second, i have my own insurance in place. Thats another thing. Always make sure your contacts are loyal to you." She smirks.
"But he works for..." I begin.
"He does. But he also knows that bad things will happen if he talks about me. Im not technically with you guys so he would sell me out in a heartbeat. Now, he won't." Shes smart. I have no doubt that my dad would put her under his protection but its smart practice anyway.
She hands me a rain poncho and I raise an eyebrow at her.
"Oh shut up. You want blood on your fancy ass suit? Put it on." She snipes. Ya, this is a fancy ass suit. I wanted to look nice for lunch with Grace. I put on the poncho and know I look ridiculous but at least I won't ruin my suit.
She opens the back and I see her tense but she doesn't say anything. What was that about?