The Insiders

Page 51

I mean, we barely talked.

I mean, that wasn’t going to fly all the time.

But, I mean, it was Kash. He was my fix.

“You sure that’s all it is?”

My knees almost buckled from the relief. “Yes. That’s all.”

He still wasn’t happy, but he was relenting. The look faded, and his smirk showed again. “Want to get out of here with me?”

I hesitated. “Where? I know what parties you go to, and Matt…” I didn’t want to swim in his depths. “I can’t handle your crowd. I’m not like that.”

“Like what?” But he was grinning. He knew what I meant.

“The orgies. The drugs. No, thank you.”

“I know.” His eyes flashed in an apology. “Look, I’ve been embarrassed. Really embarrassed. What you saw that night, or the other nights. I’m sorry, Bailey. I am. Seeing how you were looking at me, at everyone.” His foot moved back and forth on the carpet. “Kash reamed me out the next day.”

He did?

“I woke up and the night came back to me in patches. Jesus, Bailey. You saw me fucking some random from behind. That’s—yeah.” A strangled laugh slipped out. “That’s pretty high up on my list of embarrassments.” His eyes caught mine. “But I wasn’t high that night. I was the other night, but not that night. It feels weird. I just usually start out with people being disappointed in me, you know.”

He was trying to be funny.

“Hey.” My throat was closing up. “I’m not judging you. Don’t think that.”

“Still.” He shoved his hands deep in his pockets. “I want to make it up to you, and trust me, me getting you out of here before Cyclone and Seraphina insist you join the Trio of Terrors is one small way of making things right again. I got a friend who’s in a polo tournament today. You want to go?”

I wasn’t sure.

“It’ll be all classy and shit. Wine. Hats. Dresses. Guys who dress up like they’ve got sticks up their asses. The whole shebang. And if you don’t want to hang out in the club area, I know the place the tournament’s at. We own a barn there, and there’s a loft we can sit in. I won’t let anyone up there, if you don’t want them.”

I was weighing my options.

Stay. Work on the computer. Do something I loved? Or go to this polo place, where I was pretty sure I didn’t like any of Matt’s friends? If I stayed, Cyclone and Seraphina could make it awkward, if they insisted I join them for lunch. That meant enduring Quinn and Victoria—who, even though she had said only one sentence to me, I already knew hated me.

There was no dilemma here.

I groaned. “What do I wear to this getup?”

Matt’s smile flashed wide. “There’s my sister I love.”

I let out an abrupt laugh.

Sister. Love.

I felt faint. He could’ve tipped me over, right then and there.



We were heading down the road when the phone in Matt’s car went off. We had a car ahead of us, with security, and an SUV behind us, but he had wanted to drive himself. Hitting the button to answer the phone, he said, “Talk to me.”

“There’s an issue at the field.” It was one of the security teams.

Matt frowned. “What’s the issue?”

“There’s two problems. There’s press, and your loft is being used.”

Matt’s head reared back an inch. His frown deepened. “I figured there’d be press, but I was hoping to enter the back way and let Bailey stay at the loft. Who’s using the loft? It’s supposed to be off-limits unless we give the say-so.”

“According to the field manager, your father gave the say-so.”

“My dad? He’s there?”

“No, but he gave them permission.”

“I want those people cleared. I can’t bring Bailey there unless it is.”

There was silence on their end, until, “Maybe you could go another day?”

Matt’s scowl was immediate. “Fuck that. It’s horses, and sticks waving in the air. Yes, there’s press, but no one that’s a risk to Bailey. We’re going; that’s final. Tell the manager to clear the loft. We’ll be there in twenty minutes.”

I was more distracted by the press comment. “You think Camille Story will be there?” I hadn’t thought about that, but she’d been known to go to events like this. And she loved reporting on Matt. A lot. She had a thing for him. She never came out and said it, but that was my theory. The stats of her stories on Matt compared to those on others was disproportionately in his favor. Almost a landslide.

His answering growl confirmed my question. “I hope not. She’s a pain in the ass.”

I was starting to enjoy this. “You guys ever sleep together? Because she reports on you a lot—like a lot a lot.”

Silence. Again.

My eyes widened. “Are you for real? You did Camille Story?”

He was moving in his seat, adjusting and rolling his shoulders back. “What? She’s hot. And I was wasted.”

“She never reported on that.”

Screw enjoying. I was loving this.

I asked, “Did you reject her? Is she one of the girls that she says you bang for a night and then toss ’em out like garbage?”

“No.” A beat. “Maybe. I don’t know. She took pictures of my dick. She was going to post them on her site, but Kash found out and slapped her with a lawsuit that would’ve bankrupted her four times over.”

“Kash does stuff like that?”

“Kash takes care of us. Either physically or with this shit. He scared the crap out of her. She backed down, signed a contract that she had to destroy all of those pictures—and he got her first site shut down because of it.”

“Oh, whoa.” I remembered when she disappeared for a month.

“We have to watch out for her if she’s there. She’s scared of Kash, though. He’s the reason she posts only half the crap she wants to. She can’t afford to run across him again.”


What more could I find out about this guy who was crawling into my bed?

I couldn’t stop myself. The need to know was too high. “Who is Kash to your family?”

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