The Not-Outcast

Page 29

Juna was walking away and heard this last comment, sending a last grin over her shoulder before a guy snagged her up. Warm smiles, and soon she was air-grinding on a dude in a corner.

Sasha noticed, watching. “She better not try the new move.”

“But if she does, maybe she’ll get better tips.”

“She’ll hurt herself and then there’ll be no tips.”

Sasha could be a hardass, but not usually like this.

I frowned. “What’s going on with you?”

Not even a blink, she sent back, “What’s going on with you?”

I raised an eyebrow. “Come again?”

“You and the NHL guy.” She scowled. “You’re seeing him?”

She knew I was. I’d called and told her what happened. “We’ve been texting. He’s had away games.”

“You think that’s smart? He was your ideal in school and college. That gives him an edge over you. He could hurt you, ya know.”

She was griping. Griping and Sasha went together like peas in a pod, but this was more. I gestured to my own face. “Right here.”

“What?” A sharp snap from her.

I touched the corner of my mouth. “Right here is where you have this line that goes down.”

She touched her own face, but her movements were jerky, impatient.

I shook my head. “That line just got worse.”

I was trying to tell her this, and I was trying to lead her down the path, but there was a buzzing. It was in the background, and my meds had kicked back in, but it always took a little before they really helped center things away. Because of that, I was sitting here, and I was acting like normal, pretending to myself and to Sasha that I was normal, but I wasn’t. The buzzing was building. It was in my blood, and it was rising, rising. If I let it overtake me, I’d be gone.

I couldn’t do that again.

I liked Tits. I liked the darkness of the place. I liked that there was some grime in it, too. I liked the girls. Of course, I liked the boss. The security guards were like uncles and big brothers. There was an undertone that was settling to me, even all the glitter, too.

I was able to relax in Tits, but Sash was interrupting that flow.

I scowled at her now. “What is your problem? And don’t turn it back on me. You’re in a mood. What gives?”

Her scowl just deepened, but she studied me a moment and let it go. “You’re jonesing.”

“I’m not jonesing.”

“You are. I thought you got back on your meds.”

“I did, and it doesn’t really matter where I’m at. You know how it is.”

She quieted, because she did.

“What crab crawled up your claw?”

She snickered, shaking her head. “You.”


“Well, your. Your brother.”

Chad. My scowl just deepened. Fucking Chad.

“Again, he’s not my brother, but what happened?”

“He’ll always be your brother, because that’s your relation with him, through your parents, through Hunter.”

I grinned. Koala Dude. He could always make me smile.

But we needed to focus here. I couldn’t get distracted. “What about Chad, though? What’d he do?”

“He dumped me.”

Oh-kay. This now entered the terrain where I really had to focus. That meant sitting up, leaning forward, and turning toward her. All the background shit needed to be just that, background. “Say again?”

She had a faint grin, knowing what I just did, and I scooted closer as she said, “He dumped me. Said since you’re seeing his boy, then he can’t see me. It was an either/or situation. And I’m not pissed at you, because you’re not the one choosing. He is.” As an afterthought, she said, “He did.”

Back to scowling. “Fucking Chad.”

She sighed, all the sniping gone from her. “Fucking Chad.”

“Let’s go toilet paper his house.”


I grinned. “You heard me. I know where he lives.”

“That’s your boy’s house, too.”

I lifted up a shoulder. “They joined their houses so we can toilet paper only Chad’s side. And besides, Cut has money. He can pay for cleanup, no problem.”

“This won’t piss off your boy?”

“I’m not sure we’re at the stage where he’s ‘my boy’ yet.”

“What stage are you at?”

“We’re in pre-talks of the actual talk.”

“That makes no sense.”

I flashed her another grin. “He can say all he wants, but until he sees my crazy shit and is okay with it, he and I are only talking and,” thinking about tonight, “doing other things. We’re enjoying each other right now. That’s our stage.”

“The enjoyment stage?”

“The enjoyment stage.”

“Holy cripes!”

That came from a booth in the back and we turned.

Juna was upside down on a guy’s lap.

Sasha sighed. “She tried the move.”

I nodded, seeing Juna flip over on the guy’s lap, but she jumped to her feet. The guy was cradling his dick, glaring at her. “You fucking bit—”

Three bouncers rushed in, and Sasha was getting out of the booth. “I told her not to do the move. She did. I don’t want to sit and hear her babble how she shouldn’t have done the move. Let’s go now.”

My blood buzzing just picked up a whole notch because I knew what this meant.

It was toilet paper time.



There were so many different uses for toilet paper.

The obvious wiping your ass use. Toga use. Bridal party use. General party decoration use. Apocalypse panic-buying use. Then, you know, the whole rolling it and stuffing it somewhere and everyone’s imaginations can fill in the blank for those places. Bulging penises. Bras. Maybe just the use of wiping sweat from under the boobs. But today, no, tonight. Tonight the toilet paper was being used to make a statement: to be a pain in someone’s ass.

Chad’s ass, to be specific. Fucking Chad.

The entire back of Matilda was filled with toilet paper. Some might think we went overboard, but no way. The TP would always be used if we didn’t use it tonight. Pulling up, Sasha cut the lights and we frowned at the massive amounts of vehicles parked in both driveways and on the street.

“Did your boy say they were having a party?”

“The house is dark.”

“They have a backyard?”

I glanced sideways at Sasha. “You’ve not been here?”

She shook her head, her face grim and focused on the house. “He came over to my place each time.”


Fucking Chad.

“I think they have a big backyard.”

Her mouth tightened. She swallowed. She tightened her hold on the steering wheel, she might’ve been trying to strangle it, pretending it was Chad’s neck. She let it go in the next breath and unclasped her seatbelt. “Let’s do this.”

My heart started pounding.

My blood started searing, rippling, getting worked up.

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