Mad As Hell (Mad World #2) - Hannah McBride

CHAPTER 1

RYAN

The sounds from the party in the frat house next to ours were killing the buzz I was working on. I could hear girls squealing and shrieking, like that actually made a guy’s dick hard. Hell, I’d fucked enough of them at parties to know that maybe they were on to something.

But tonight? Tonight I didn’t care, and my dick was the last thing on my mind. All I wanted tonight was to get obliterated and forget about my shitshow of an engagement party the night before.

Maybe coming back to campus right away had been a bad call, but sitting around my house while Dad gloated at seeing his best friend’s financial loss and total humiliation had settled like a lump of rotten sushi in my gut. When he’d suggested ordering me a companion to, and I quote, “Suck me out of that funk,” I’d driven back to school.

At least my friends were here. Well, two of them. Who the fuck knew where Ash was, but at least Court and Linc were willing to jump on the pity train with me.

Court wasn’t much of a surprise. Walking away from Bex—again—was fucking with his head, and I felt like an even bigger asshole because I’d brought her back into his world in the first place.

As for Linc… Shit, he had enough issues with women, and now the two he’d actually started to open up to and gave a shit about had fucked us all. Maddie by betraying me, and Bex by taking her side.

Regret churned in my stomach, and I couldn’t stop my thoughts from spiraling into what ifs and trying to see the signs I’d missed.

A bottle of Grey Goose dangled from my fingers as I contemplated going upstairs and hitting up Gordo’s stash. He always had the best weed, and right now, I could use it to mellow out.

With a grunt, Linc leaned forward and snatched the bottle from my hand. He took a long drink and passed it to Court. “No.”

“No, what?” I demanded, tracing my finger along the edge of the chair’s arm.

“You know Coach drug tests,” Linc shot back, his blue eyes dark and churning. “Last thing we need is your piss coming up positive.”

Court nodded. “He’s right. Especially with how shitty the games have been going lately.”

Rage burned in my gut, and I lunged for the bottle and swallowed more of the fiery liquid. Dousing fire with fire probably wasn’t the best idea, but what else did you do when the woman you loved fucked you over in front of everyone you knew?

Love.

I scoffed, hating that I’d lowered myself to even utter that word, let alone feel it.

Lifting the bottle into the air, I offered a toast. “To Madison. For fucking me and our shot at a championship.”

Court grimaced. “She had us all fooled, man.”

“Fuck her,” Linc added coldly.

That stupid, fucking, weak-ass corner of my heart that she still ruled, even now, revolted at them talking shit about her. I took another drink, hoping to drown the fucker’s voice. My heart needed to get it together: Madison Porter had played me. I had to lock down my emotions before she showed up at school.

I was Ryan motherfucking Cain. I wasn’t the guy who got led around by his dick; I was the guy who set the tone. And it was time everyone, including Maddie, remembered that.

“What are you going to do?” Court smirked at me, probably reading my expression. The guy was smart as hell and missed nothing. Considering his family, it wasn’t a surprise. They’d probably drilled that shit into his head before the umbilical cord was cut.

I raised the bottle to my lips and smiled, feeling that familiar surge of darkness that had seemed to hover in the distance when Maddie had been near. Now it was back and hungry. The leash was gone, and I was ready for chaos.

“Maddie’s fair game,” I told them firmly before taking a sip of the vodka. “I might still have to marry her, but her happiness isn’t my problem anymore.”

Linc hesitated. “You sure, man? You know those academy douches will be brutal. And now knowing she sabotaged the team, too?”

“Again,” Court murmured. He clarified when we both looked at him, “They don’t know Maddie isn’t Lainey. So it looks like she betrayed the team twice. She made Ryan look like a joke twice.”

I rubbed my jaw thoughtfully. “You think lifting our order of protection isn’t enough?”

He shrugged a massive shoulder. “I think we need to prove