• authorcmowens

A Sterling Shore Short

Updated: May 18, 2019



RUBY


“Do I want to know what you’re doing?” I ask Brin as she makes a very long list. People to kill? People to maim? People to pull into their disastrous prank war?


“I’m making a shopping list,” she says without looking up.


Well, that’s anticlimactic.


I glance over, being nosy, and then I get a little pale when I see what she’s writing.

1.) Pick up the guillotine 2.) Baskets 3.) Carving knives 4.) Don’t forget the guillotine. 5.) Fire extinguishers 6.) New panties


I quit reading and pinch the bridge of my nose.


“I think I’m going to leave before I’m charged as an accomplice,” I mumble under my breath.


She doesn’t even notice me leaving, and I grimace for Rye’s sake.


Then Corbin sends me a text.


CORBIN: Get naked. Almost home.


ME: You want me to get naked in front of Rye’s house?


CORBIN: Fuck no. Get your ass home. Now.

ME: You may have to spend a triple dare to get me home… I have errands… ;)


CORBIN: Fuck your errands. HOME. NOW. You don’t want me to track you down. Or do you?


I roll my eyes, try to bite back my smile, and climb into my car before backing out of Rye and Brin’s house.


Just as I pull up to our home, Corbin is getting out of the car, and he meets me half way, picking me up at the waist.


I don’t even bother fighting him as we head inside, but when his pocket vibrates with a text, I can’t help but

laugh at his frustration. Quickly, he reads it, and he cocks an eyebrow at me.


“Why is Rye asking me what a guillotine is?”


****


RAYA


“You can’t be serious,” I hiss, trying to drag Kade away from the moaning and wall-bumping going on in the next room.


“I’m really fucking serious!” he growls. “If that fucker is in there with my mother, I will kill him!”

I slap my hand over his mouth, and practically climb up him while trying my damnedest not to laugh.


“Your mother would never cheat on your father with Maverick.”


“Hisnkgljajhck.”


Yeah… I didn’t understand a word of that.


“Don’t be loud,” I whisper, then pull my hand back.


“Maverick’s car is in the driveway!” he whisper-yells, vibrating with fury. “My dad is in New York. Who the fuck is—”


“Ah! So close!” a woman groans, but it’s so husky and breathy that I can’t tell if it’s his mother or not.

Unfortunately, it’s the last straw for Kade, and I get gently pushed away so quickly that I don’t even realize it until he kicks—yes, kicks—the bedroom door down. I stand back and watch the train wreck from a safe distance.


“What the fuck?!” a man yells, and I slap my hand over my mouth when I realize who it is, desperately trying not to laugh and reveal I’m out here.

Kade’s face goes from furious, to confused, to mortified, to sick. “Holy shit! Sorry! Sorry. Oh, fuck. I’m so sorry!”


He slams the door, races toward me, and grabs my hand to yank me with him as he tries to get away as quickly as possible.


“The hell just happened?” I ask, trying and failing not to laugh.


“I just got scarred for life. That’s what happened. Oh, motherfucker. My eyes,” he groans.


“Guess your dad isn’t in New York,” I say around a chuckle, hearing him groan again as he gags and chokes it back.


“We listened to that… For at least ten fucking minutes,” he says, gagging the entire time the words come out.


Dane Sterling pulls up just as we reach the car, and Maverick steps out with him, causing me to burst out laughing all over again.


“Why is your fucking car here?” Kade snaps.


Maverick looks at me questioningly, but I can’t stop laughing enough to breathe, let alone speak.


“Your dad borrowed it for a couple of days to see if he liked the way it handled before buying one. What’s your problem?”


“He… He… He thought his dad was in New York,” I finally heave out through my guffaws.


“He was supposed to be!” Kade yells, still turning a darker shade of green by the minute. “Let’s go. Now.”


My body is practically convulsing, and I’m in so much pain when I land in his car. He’s reading something on his phone, angrily stabbing the screen harder than necessary.


“I’m never going to hear the fucking end of this,” he grumbles, only fueling my laughter. “Dad’s already asking me what I was thinking.”


“At least we know things still work properly in your family at that age,” I manage to point out, but then the laughter spills forth all over again.


His lips twitch before he rolls his eyes, and I wipe my own tears while buckling up. Just as we get started, he hands me his phone to read when he gets a new text message, since he’s driving.


“What’s it say?” he asks.


My laughter dies, and I get a little sick.


“Why does Rye want to know what a guillotine is?” I ask him, darting my eyes at him in panic.


****

TRIA


BEST FUCK IN THE WORLD: Can I kick Maverick’s ass and still get laid when I get home?

Not sure why that makes me smile.


ME: No. Your resolution for this year was less fighting. I’m holding you to it.


BEST FUCK IN THE WORLD: Just one punch?


ME: No!


BEST FUCK IN THE WORLD: Can I get laid tomorrow?


ME: Not if you punch him. It’ll be a week before you get laid.


BEST FUCK IN THE WORLD: Fuck that. You won’t last a week.


ME: Have we really come full circle and back to the bet as to who can last the longest?


BEST FUCK IN THE WORLD: I won last time. ;)


ME: You sure about this….


BEST FUCK IN THE WORLD: I didn’t punch him.


I laugh lightly while finishing getting on nothing but a robe. It’s already been two days since I’ve seen him, so I’m glad I don’t have to punish him by holding out. Hell, it’s punishment for me, too.


The second he pulls up, I swing open the door, and in five long strides, he has me picked up and pushed against the wall as he consumes me, not even bothering to say a word. When he realizes how ready I am for him, he groans into my mouth, holding me up with just one arm once his phone starts buzzing like crazy.

Reluctantly, he pulls away, and he eyes his phone to see if it’s important. He starts to toss it aside, but then he does a double take.


“That shit’s not good,” he says, finally putting his phone down as he turns all of his attention back to me and starts carrying me toward the bedroom.


“What?” I ask, intrigued just enough to ask.


“Rye wants to know what a guillotine is.”


I freeze, and my eyes go wide, but when Kode starts peeling my robe off and working me over with his mouth, I forget how to even think…


***

WREN


2 days later…


“What are you doing here?” Corbin asks me as he, Ruby, and Maverick get out of Ruby’s car in front of Rye’s house.


“We came for an intervention,” I tell them as Allie comes up and intertwines her fingers with mine. “Rye text me a few days ago and asked what a guillotine was. I was… busy, and forgot to text back. Things have gotten out of hand with those two. Why’re you here?”


“Same,” they all answer in unison.


Rain and Dane pull up with Tria and Kode right behind them, and we all share the same knowing look. We probably shouldn’t have waited this long.


“I haven’t been able to get ahold of him since the guillotine text day,” Dane tells me, wincing.


“I’ve tried calling Brin, too,” Tria says, frowning as her grip tightens on Kode’s hand. Kode looks like he’d rather be anywhere else, though.


“So…” Allie lets the word trail off, and we all look at the front door, a little worried about what we might find behind it since neither of them have been answering their phones for two days.


Finally, I suck in a breath, and knock, trying to ignore the knots in my stomach.


Nothing.


Kode shoulders by me and bangs on the door hard enough to make it rattle.


“This better be life or death!” Rye shouts from the other side as angry footsteps barrel toward the door.


He swings open the front door, and his furious scowl fades to confusion. Kode curses, I try not to laugh, and Allie bristles beside me before turning away, since Rye is only wearing a sheet around his hips. Judging by the fucked-up style of his hair, we must have interrupted something.


“The hell?” he asks, looking around at the small group of people who have assembled. Then Raya and Kade also pull up, as though this was all a planned gathering.


“Who is it?” Brin asks from somewhere behind him.


“Everyone,” he says, still confused. Then his eyes widen. “Do NOT come out here naked!”


She laughs, and suddenly she’s pushing by him in a shirt that’s on inside-out and a pair of sweats three sizes too big for her. And her hair tells us we definitely interrupted.


“Did something happen?” she asks, losing the amusement she had seconds ago.


“Um…” That’s all I can manage to say.


“You fuckers worried them all,” Kode says dismissively.


Rye’s eyebrows go up in confusion. “Why?” he drawls.


“The guillotine question,” Kade says, coming up behind us. “That’s why. The hell, dude?”


Brin’s worry fades, and excitement flashes on her face.


“I bought a guillotine!”


“We know,” everyone says in unison.


“From the museum,” Brin adds, confused again.


“I was just asking you fuckers what it was when Brin asked me to help her pick it up in one of the work

trucks because I didn’t want to sound stupid in front of her. Thanks for leaving me hanging. All of you.”

He flips us off, but has to hurriedly drop the finger to grab the sheet that almost falls off his hips.


“The guillotine?” Ruby prompts.


“It’s for watermelons,” Brin says, acting as though it should be obvious. “And it’s cool.”


I breathe out in relief, but everyone else still seems confused. Rye shrugs. “She really hates cutting up watermelons. And it is cool.”


“Can we go now?” Kode asks Tria, pulling her away before she even has time to answer.


“Why wouldn’t you answer your phone?” I ask Rye.


A slow grin spreads across his face. “Fuck-a-thon weekend, dickhead.”


“What about the fire extinguishers?” Ruby asks, ignoring his comment.


“Brin is paranoid about house fires ever since she read an article.”


Brin opens her mouth to speak, but Rye grabs her around the middle. “Fuck off,” he tells us, pulling her back. “We’re still having our weekend.”


He slams the door, and we all stand around awkwardly staring at it for a moment.


“Well, I think I’ve seen and heard it all now,” Ruby says with a chuckle, turning to walk away.

Corbin just shakes his head, and I walk with Allie back to the car.


“When Angel is grown and gone, we’re so getting a guillotine,” Allie tells me.

Fucking Rye and Brin.

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