The Not-Outcast

Page 60

Me: You at your place right now?

Cut: I headed to Hendrix’s. You done already?

Me: Nope. I think it might be a late night.

Cut: Okay. Have fun.

We were in Matilda, and I put my phone back in my purse just as the light turned green.

I was driving this time, and I glanced at Sasha. “I feel like I should tell Cut what we’re going to do.”

“Plausible deniability.”

Right. That was a good way to think of it.

I added, “I’ll tell him later.”

Sasha’s head bobbed up and down. “Later.”

Like next year later, maybe.

“You know the code to get in?”

My stomach dipped. “Yes. And I know where they keep the extra key.”

A smile from her. “Excellent.” A beat later, “Plausible deniability.”

“Plausible deniability.”

Koala Sister: Um.

Koala Brother: Um what?

Koala Sister: Um um.

Koala Brother: OMG, Cheyenne. Just say it.

Koala Sister: Nothing. Love you. Miss you. How are you?

Koala Brother: Dude.

Koala Sister: DUDE!

Koala Brother: Same, by the way.

Koala Sister: Dude.



“That was your girl?” Hendrix asked, coming back with a beer in hand.

He handed it over, sitting down on his couch.

I took it. “She’s doing a girls’ night.”

Hendrix frowned, taking a sip of his beer. “I had a buddy who always thought ‘girls’ night’ was code for ‘I’m going out drinking with my girls and I’m going to cheat on you.’”

“I don’t think that’s what this is. Cheyenne’s not like that.”

“Still.” Another sip and he shrugged. “He found out after they broke up that his girl had been cheating on him the whole time. Screwed him up for life.”

“That’s a seriously depressing story.”

Another sip. Another shrug. “Just saying it how it is.”

“Girls’ night for them is at Sasha’s club. Where other girls dance.”

He grinned. “That’s awesome. You got a cool chick.”

“Speaking of—”

“Nope.” Beer in hand, he pointed at me, shaking his head. “Don’t go there.”


“I’m into the Not-Russian, but we’re not those guys. We don’t talk about chicks with each other, or our feelings about them.”

“I was going to ask if you wanted to go down to Come Our Way on Friday for a volunteer day. We’re back then and have a half-day. You mentioned doing an extra day.”

“Don’t I feel like a dumbass now.”

I grinned. “I never did it the first round. Thought it’d be cool to go before the charity event.”

“That’s Saturday night, isn’t it?”


His eyes narrowed and he took a slow sip from his beer. “I’m in.” Then, he eyed me. “Be honest, dude. You’re going to check out that Dean guy, aren’t you?”

I never answered him. It wasn’t that I didn’t trust Cheyenne. I did, but he was there and he worked with her and … I’d be checking this guy out.

He laughed. I didn’t have to answer him.

We went over to the hockey setup he had in his apartment.

I went first, hitting the puck into the net and the sirens lit up.



The mission was set.

Get inside the house, get Chad’s phone, and fuck up his life. Those were more Sasha’s words, but I was along for the ride. I was an eager accomplice. We pulled up to the house. The lights were off. Everything seemed easy enough, right?


As we were heading inside, a pair of headlights swept over us and we both froze.

A second later, the car parked and the lights went out.

I was sweating out my own piss because I’d have to lie to Cut, and I didn’t want to lie to him. But two car doors shut, and we saw two slender figures heading our way.

“What the hell? You’re doing a Possible Mission without me?!”

I relaxed. It was Melanie.

Then, I stiffened. It was Melanie and someone else.

“Who’s with you?”

Possible Mission was the name we used for missions just like this, and we had a strict three-person attendance rule. Sasha. Melanie. Myself. No one else was allowed on a Possible Mission. We also had a Fight Club rule where we didn’t talk about Possible Missions outside of the three of us. Our toilet paper mission hadn’t been classified as a Possible Mission because Melanie wasn’t there. Same as tonight.

“Heya, Cheyenne.” It was Cassie.

And dammit. She sounded all sweet, and she gave me a little wave like I just made her feel bad.

“WTF, Mel?”

I took Possible Mission rules serious. Straight to the heart.

Melanie flinched.

She knew how serious I took them.

“Sorry. I wasn’t thinking. She’s one of us.”

Both Sasha and I gasped.

Sasha had been bent over the doorknob. It might’ve seemed from the outlook that she was trying to pick the lock, but we had a key. Both of us forgot our phones in the car, so we had no light. She was fumbling to get the key in when Melanie and Cassie showed up.

“No, she is not!” I was also a bit passionate on this subject, too.

Another grimace from Cassie, and I could see because both of them had their phones out and pointed toward us. Melanie knew better. This wasn’t our first near-criminal mission. Cassie, bless her heart.

I softened my tone. “Sorry. I didn’t mean that how it came out.”

Melanie helped me out here, turning to her girlfriend. “You’re an ‘other.’ You’re not in the triad. That’s me, Shy, and Sash. That’s all she means.”

I added, “Other means significant other, not other as in an outsider. That’s a key point.”

The hurt look faded from Cassie and her shoulders bounced back up. “Oh. I got ya. I understand. I have some friends like that.”

The door opened, and the alarm beeping commenced.

Sasha straightened. “Entrance.”

I scooted around her, putting in the code.

At the time I heard Melanie ask behind me, “You do?”

I could almost hear Cassie’s shrug. “Just some friends from college.”

“Are they straight friends?”

Sasha grunted. “She’s with you, Mel, about to do a breaking-and-entering. Stop with the jealousy shit.”

“What? I’m just asking.”

Another grunt from Sasha as she swept past me, hitting the light switches. The front main rooms all flooded with lights, and I made a note to ask how she even knew those were there. I had no clue, and I thought I’d been here the most.

Apparently not.

“Check your insecurity,” I told Melanie as both came inside.

Cassie’s gaze went to the floor, and Melanie’s eyes widened at me.

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