Under the Lights (The Field Party #2) - Abbi Glines Page 0,1
his army men when we were four, we had been inseparable. I had been watching the boys for weeks go up into that tree house from my front yard at the cottage. I’d wanted to know what was up there. My curiosity had given me my first real friends.
When I had left with my mother, it was at the time things had started to change with all three of us. I wasn’t just one of the guys anymore. I was a girl, and things had begun to get awkward. Back then I had thought I was in love with Brady. He’d been popular and had a smile that once made my heart flutter wildly when directed at me. I thought then he’d be the only boy I’d ever love. I’d left soon after my feelings had started to grow. Now I could hardly remember what either boy looked like. There had been other boys in my life since them. Only one made a mark on me. Only one of them I had loved. Carl Daniels. I thought he’d be my forever. Until he decided that sleeping around with other girls was acceptable when I wouldn’t give him my virginity in the back of his car.
He had proven to me that I really couldn’t trust anyone. Loving someone meant getting hurt. My mother and Carl had both shown me how vulnerable love could make you. I wouldn’t make that mistake again.
It seemed like another lifetime now. Gunner and Brady were the safe-and-happy part of my past that I often dreamed about at night when I needed to escape my reality.
My life here would be very different from the way it had once been. I had made a mistake that I would never truly pay for. The guilt and regret would be my companions throughout my life. And being rejected by your own mother wasn’t easy to accept. It was a wound that went so deep I doubted I’d ever get over it.
I stood up and walked over to the mirror and studied myself. My mother’s dark blue eyes looked back at me. The straight blond hair that hit just below my shoulders was nothing like her red locks. I imagined I got my hair color from my father. A man I didn’t know. She would never even tell me his first name. She never even told my nonna. Once she had said it was because he couldn’t be a father to me. She was protecting me and him with her silence. I never understood that. I still didn’t.
I reached up and ran my fingers over my bare earlobe. The piercings that once framed my ear were almost all gone now. I’d not been able to wear them in the correctional center. I had gotten used to not having to deal with them, and I didn’t desire to put them back. Even without them, I was so different from the girl who had left here six years ago.
The Rest of Them Could All Go to Hell
I continued to glare out the passenger window of my own damn truck. I had drunk two beers. That was it. If Brady hadn’t been so busy with his hands all over Ivy Hollis, then he’d have seen I was sober enough to drive myself home.
“How’re you getting home? I sure ain’t letting you take my truck,” I told him, glancing over to see Brady smirk. Asshole.
“West is picking me up. He’s gotta take Maggie home anyway,” was his obnoxious reply. Since West had hooked up with Brady’s cousin Maggie, he’d become a do-gooder like Brady. It could drive a guy to drink.
“You completely messed things up for me with Kimmie. Can’t get a girl in my truck alone if you’re driving it.” And I was pissed about that.
“You should be thanking me. Do you not remember the drama Kimmie caused you last time you got her alone in your truck?”
He had a point. Shaking her loose wasn’t easy. I’d had to make out with Serena in front of her to get her to leave me alone. I just grunted a response. I didn’t like it when he was right.
“Whatever,” I mumbled.
Brady chuckled, and I didn’t have to look at him to know he was grinning. “Who is that?” he asked, all the humor suddenly gone from his voice as he slowed the truck down.
I glanced over at him to see which direction he was looking. Following his gaze, I saw someone walking toward the back