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ReWined: Volume 2 (Party Ever After) by Kim Karr (1)

10 Years Ago

Paris Fairchild

I WAS THE replacement. And the thing about replacements was they were always being compared to the original and never quite as good.

You see, I had a sister I never knew who died in a car accident at the age of nineteen.

Tragic.

She was taken way too young, and she left our parents with a loss neither of them ever recovered from.

Apparently, she was everything I was not. Scholarly. Philanthropic. Musically talented. Polite. Driven. The bell of the ball and the apple of Daddy’s eye.

Blah, blah, blah.

Oh, and she wasn’t a murderer, either. My mother had the easiest pregnancy with my sister but then died giving birth to me twenty years later.

Yes, London Mavis Hollis Fairchild was the perfect daughter. Me, I was anything but, and there was no reason to change that now, which was why I was here.

Taking a deep breath, I glanced in the mirror at the bottom of the stairs.

All the people at this kick-off to our senior year party didn’t see me as the replacement, they saw me as the new party girl.

It was the way I wanted them to see me.

They also saw what I didn’t want them to. The red hair that couldn’t be tamed. The quirky girl that shopped at thrift stores because she refused to dress like them. The truth was I couldn’t with the small allowance I received.

But did it really matter?

I squared my shoulders and glanced around the party at Tyler Holiday’s house.

People were everywhere and the place was a haze of smoke, body heat, and blasting music. There were bottles of wine and liquor lining every surface and a million bags of chips scattered everywhere.

It was a shame the house had been turned upside down because it was beautiful with its travertine floors, high ceilings, comfortable furniture, colorful area rugs, and crystal chandeliers. Almost welcoming despite the chaos.

Too bad I wasn’t supposed to be here. In fact, I wasn’t supposed to get anywhere near the Holidays. Ever. I had no idea why, other than some family feud. I’d asked once and was sent away for a year. I never asked again.

After getting myself purposely kicked out of the last boarding school I could get into, my father had no choice but to allow me to come back to St. Helena.

Notice I didn’t say home.

That’s because nowhere felt like home.

Still, I hated the rules and regimens of boarding school. This had to be better. I just wanted a normal life, or as normal of a life as I could have with a grumpy old man for a father.

More than likely going to the Jane Whitmore School for Girls wasn’t going to give me that. But, come on, it had to be better than where I came from.

The girls who went to that school were almost as privileged and stuck-up as those abroad except they didn’t have nearly as much money to top them.

Still, you name it, these girls had it.

Boob jobs.

Nose jobs.

Lip injections.

Hair extensions.

Stylists.

Oh, let’s not forget the Kegel therapy to keep their vaginas tight and their virginity seemingly intact.

Honestly, it would have been laughable if it wasn’t so sad. These girls minds were set on marrying a guy from the prestigious St. John’s School for Boys, and fake enhancements were how they thought they could land their Prince Charming.

Whatever.

What did I know about tradition? It wasn’t like my father or mother attended either school. They were from the previous generation and the age of most of these kids’ grandparents.

After pondering the right direction, I just picked one and began to weave my way through the crowd.

The house was huge. Beautiful. And I looked around. The tour I’d just taken had been unintentional, but I’d needed a bathroom. Too much beer. And so what if the one I found was upstairs? And that I got to see the place that was off-limits on my way to it?

Hey, I was curious. And yes, I knew what they said about curiosity—good thing I wasn’t a cat.

“What are you drinking?” This came from Lawson Brick. A guy everyone called Brick the Prick.

I tried to keep walking but he stopped by stepping in my path. “Nothing, thanks,” I said.

The bottle he held in his hand was vodka, and he raised it. “How about a Slow Screw?”

I wasn’t savvy when it came to mixed drinks, but even I knew that required more than vodka. I looked for some mixers and saw none.

He raised a seductive brow.

Right! I got it.

“No thank you,” I repeated.

“Whatever.” Brick the Prick shrugged and took a swig straight from the bottle.

Stepping around him, I kept walking and found the girls I’d come with. New friends, or maybe it was more like new acquaintances.

Their families had lived in Calistoga for generations. Wine. Wine and politics. Wine and finance. Wine and transportation. Wine and land.

Wine.

That’s what we all had in common.

Tabitha Perkins was a cute little blonde with a sparky personality and head cheerleader. Lane Barclay was no-nonsense with a persona to match. Her licorice-dark hair was smooth, perfect. Like her, I supposed. And Darcy Watkins was a wholesome, kind, nice girl. She had a short brunette bob haircut and wore glasses. She was always studying. She wanted to get on the pre-med track in college.

The three of them were sitting on the couches in the family room chatting away. I sat with them and watched the interaction between them. I was also looking for him. The boy I saw in the window when I first arrived.

“Want a hit?” Tabitha waved the joint at me, sending a cloud of fragrant smoke in my direction that tickled my nostrils.

Smoking wasn’t my thing, but my new reputation needed to be validated, so I took what was offered and drew deep. Handing it back to her, I coughed, destroying the illusion that I was a party girl. “That’s some strong stuff!” I tried to cover.

Tabitha went along with it, either that or she didn’t notice my faux pas. Either way, I was grateful.

Just as I was grateful for the invite.

Sneaking out wasn’t difficult. All I had to do was tell my father I was going to bed early. He preferred when I wasn’t disturbing him, so he accepted that easily enough. Honestly, the only time he paid attention to me was when I wasn’t following his rules. Which meant I was in trouble most of the time, because his rules were worse than those at boarding school.

No parties.

No drinking.

No smoking.

No driving.

And no boys.

Basically, no life, which was completely unacceptable.

Besides, what he didn’t know wouldn’t hurt him.

Tabitha passed the joint around a few more times and everything seemed a little more relaxed after that.

Sitting up, she tossed her bleached-blond hair over her shoulder. The sudden movement caused one of her new breasts to pop out of her silk top. “There’s Grayson Dane. Isn’t he cute?”

I pointed to her boob and then glanced over my shoulder.

Settling her joint in the crystal ashtray, she said, “Oops.”

The boy she was looking at was definitely more than a boy. With his chocolate brown hair pulled back and fixed into a bun and those dark, wandering eyes attached to that unbelievable body, he looked like a model that belonged on a billboard for Calvin Klein. “He is cute,” I told her, “and I think he’s looking at you.”

Having fixed her wardrobe malfunction, she practically jumped off the sofa. “Do I look okay?”

“Perfect,” I told her.

Darcy rolled her eyes. “You know he doesn’t care what you look like. Right? He only cares that you’ll let him get to third base.”

“Nice.” Lane laughed high fiving Darcy.

Tabitha lifted the hem of her designer shirt and flashed her black lace bra. “I’m not as much of a prude as you girls are, that’s for sure. I’ll let him get to second.”

“Who are you calling a prude?” Darcy’s hair bounced when she spoke. “I’ll have you know that I licked Christian’s dick this summer, and I did it like he was the best cherry popsicle I’d ever had.”

Tabitha’s mouth dropped and she covered it with her hand. “Slut.”

Lane got to her feet and stood beside Tabitha, and then whispered conspiratorially, “And I let Julian finger me in the movie theater just last weekend.”

Her eyes went wider and then the giggles that erupted made my ears ring.

“I really want a cupcake,” Tabitha drooled when the laugh-fest was over, rubbing her hand over her stomach.

Lane laughed. “I thought you were on a diet.”

“One cupcake won’t hurt.”

“There’s the best cupcake place downtown,” I chimed in. “We could go?”

Six narrowed eyes found me. “It shut down over the summer,” Lane reminded me.

“Right. I forgot.”

“A new one is opening soon, though.” Tabitha said, smiling, “And I can’t wait.”

Suddenly, Darcy was pointing her slender finger at me. “You’re trying to distract us, Paris. You haven’t shared. So, tell us, aside from getting yourself off in front of your professor, what else did you do with him?”

Lane chimed in. “Did you let him fuck you in the library stacks? Because that would be hot.”

I hated the blush that crept up my cheeks. I had touched myself in front of my creepy professor, but only to get him fired after he’d made a pass at me, and also so I’d be sent packing.

“Oh, my God,” Tabitha whisper yelled. The girls turned toward her and the attention was off of me. “Grayson just winked at me and then bobbed his head sideways before leaving the room.”

“Where’d he go?” Lane asked.

“I think that hallway leads to the pool,” Darcy answered for her.

Lane pushed Tabitha in his direction. “Go before he hits on someone else.”

“Come with me,” she begged, grabbing Lane’s hand. “I think Julian was with him.”

“I’m coming, too,” Darcy announced. “I saw Christian doing a bong outside earlier.”

And just like that, the three of them went scurrying off like mice and left me sitting alone.

A few minutes later, I got up and went in search of food. All that cupcake talk made me hungry. The music had been turned up super loud. Brick the Prick grabbed me when I past him and said, “Dance with me?”

I shook my head. “Sorry, punk rock isn’t my thing.”

“Figures you don’t like the Sex Pistols,” he muttered and started dancing all by himself. His middle fingers were flying high and he focused his anger on the lyrics, singing something like, “You better understand I’m in love with myself.”

Perfect.

Just perfect for him.

In no time at all, I found the kitchen, and there were at least two dozen boxes of pizza in there. Some were tossed haphazardly across the counter, apparently empty. However, the others were stacked neatly on the stove, and I was certain by the aroma wafting my way, they were not empty.

My stomach started rumbling when I breathed in the delicious scent of slowly simmered sauce, hearty pepperoni, and heavenly cheese.

I grabbed a plate from the table and was just sliding the top box off the stack when I saw the boy from the window across the room. He was standing along the back wall looking out the glass to the pool deck where the girls had just gone.

It was the plain white t-shirt that caught my eye. He was tipping a bottle of beer to his lips and turned to look in my direction at the same time I started to open the lid.

Like a kid caught with her hand in the cookie jar, I let the lid fall back in place. Our eyes met at that moment, and he flashed me the cutest dimpled smirk I’d ever seen. It was strange, but I knew that moment would stamp itself into my mind forever.

His eyes.

His lips.

His grin.

A splash of cold on the back of my leg as someone spilled their drink on me had me twisting around.

“Oh, I didn’t see you.” It was Sophie Barton and she was part of the click I referred to as the Mean Girls.

Very pretty in a slutty kind of way. Dark hair, streaked blonde. Tall, thin, and a cute upturned nose I heard she got last summer.

In other words—total bitch.

“It’s fine,” I told her.

As if I were invisible, she nabbed my plate, leaned across me to grab a napkin, and then began loading some pizza on my plate.

When I looked back toward the wall, the boy from the window was no longer looking at me, which was fine, because that meant I could stare all I wanted.

He took another sip of his beer and I imagined being the party girl everyone thought I was and walking across the room to take the bottle out of his hands. Put it to my mouth. Who knew, maybe even put him to my mouth.

“Try taking a picture, it might last longer.” Sophie’s thickly lined eyes looked frigid.

“Oh,” I said.” “I was just wondering who he was?”

She shoved the pizza boxes directly in front of my line of sight. “That’s Tyler Holiday, and he’s way out of your league, honey.”

Tyler Holiday.

Tyler Holiday.

A Holiday.

No freaking way.

I was staring at Tyler Holiday.

The boy I wasn’t supposed to get anywhere near. Warned to stay away from the minute I got off the plane.

The boy I’d come here to meet.

And he was drop dead gorgeous.

Crazy wild too, I’d heard. Drove his father’s motorcycle down a dirt road so fast he missed the curve and broke his leg right on the town line between Calistoga and St. Helena. Jumped off cliffs for the sport of it, scaled mountains for the thrill, and did God knew what else.

A Holiday.

A bad boy.

A true rebel without a cause.

Trouble.

My father would be so mad.

Ignoring her rude comment, I gave her a curt smile, and stepped aside so I could resume my vigil over him. I watched as his head bobbed to the beat, up and down, and then tipped back to sip his beer again.

A plate of chicken wings sat untouched in front of me and the hot and spicy smell was calling my name.

God, I was so hungry.

With Sophie glaring at me, I grabbed the entire plate.

“You aren’t seriously going to eat those?”

“Yes, I am.”

“Do you know who many calories those are?

“I do.”

She gaped at me.

With a shrug, I breezed around and stuck the plate in the microwave to warm them, and then twisted to grab a new plate.

When I turned, I smacked right into a hard chest. The plate I had been holding hit the floor and bounced. I screamed, loudly, and Tyler Holiday smirked.

“Oh, God, I didn’t see you,” I said. “I’m so sorry.”

He blinked, his smile growing wider, and then he crossed his arms over his chest. “That’s obvious.”

I thought about bending down to pick up the rolling plate but knew I would look ridiculous.

“Have the munchies?” he asked, reaching across me in such a way that his hot breath washed over my neck.

“I guess I do,” I responded with a giggle, a row of goose bumps emerging upon my skin in the most embarrassing way.

He handed me a new plate he’d gotten from the table and then bent to retrieve the one that had finally stopped rolling. Thank god for plastic. “So, do you?” he asked.

Taking the plate, I blinked. “Do I what?”

Standing tall, he pointed to my Stevie Nicks t-shirt with the plate still in his hand. “Rule your life like a bird in flight?”

“I try to.” I grinned, maybe even flirted. “I’m Paris Fairchild,” I offered and waited for a reaction.

“I’m Ty. Tyler Holiday.” He didn’t even blink once at my last name. “It’s nice to meet you, Paris.”

Ty.

I sighed almost dreamily.

It was embarrassing.

Shaking out of my bad boy daze, I looked up at him and then pointed to the joint behind his ear. “Nice James Dean vibe you got going on.”

Tyler laughed, staring at the bird on my shirt as if it might bring him some clarity. “Yeah, but I’m pretty sure he wasn’t tucking weed away.”

I shrugged and twisted my lips. “No? I have to say, I’m not so sure about that.”

The microwave dinged and he breezed past me to remove the bowl. “I wouldn’t mind hearing your theories on the subject. Grab another plate and follow me,” he said.

“Where to?” I asked.

His tongue crept out to dot his bottom lip. “Somewhere quiet so we can eat and then smoke.”

Taking a step back, I tried to swallow my nerves, but it didn’t help. It was like I could feel my pulse beating wildly everywhere, from the eyelids, to my neck, to the tops of my feet. “Are you sure we should do that?”

Amused-like, he shook his head, and when he did, his amazing hair moved along with him. The color was so dimensional in the lights it could have been a cross between the most expensive milk and dark chocolate. “You do know this is my house? Right?”

Trying to sound unimpressed, I did my best to keep my voice even. “Yes, as a matter of fact, I found that out a few minutes ago. But that’s not what I’m talking about.”

Tyler set the bowl of wings on a pizza box and when he picked them both up, he leaned forward. Despite the food in his hands, his wide chest was all I could see. That and the devious twinkle in his blue eyes. “Miss Fairchild, or would you prefer I call you Miss McCoy, I know exactly what you’re referring too, although I don’t play by the rules. Now nab two beers from the cooler and follow me.”

It was crazy that I’d come here to see who Tyler Holiday was and why I’d been forbidden to go anywhere near him, and now I was together with him.

My father would be so mad.

Yet this wasn’t about my father.

With two bottles and two plates in my hands, I struggled for a steady breath as I walked behind Tyler all the way down the hall and outside onto a path that led to a detached garage. He managed to hit a button and the door whirred open. Inside, there was a rusty old pickup truck that looked like someone had attempted to restore it but never finished. I could tell it had been cherry-red at one time.

Tyler tossed the food in the bed and then swung open the passenger door. “Hop in.”

I froze. “I’m not sure that’s a good idea.”

“Why, are you a coward?” Tyler smiled an easy, quirking smile that would’ve charmed me if I wasn’t so nervous.

Let me see. I could tell him my father would kill me if I got in a vehicle with a guy and more than kill me if he knew who said guy was. Probably not the best way to keep my image intact.

In the end, I got in the truck.

As we drove up the hill, I turned to look at the house. With the light from the lanterns in the driveway, I could see the outline of the palm trees that flanked the large Mediterranean home and even the round tower that made the place look like a castle.

It belonged in a fairytale.

I looked back over at Tyler who was flipping through a box of cassettes. He popped the tape in the built-in player and then placed both hands on the wheel. The pickup chugged up the dirt road and as we climbed higher and higher, he started singing along to Peter Gabriel. “Lost, I get so lost sometimes.”

There was no way I could look away. The way he seemed to lose himself in the lyrics, like he could feel them, was mesmerizing.

When he noticed I was staring at him, he shut up.

“Don’t stop,” I said. “I like the way you sing.”

His fingers drummed against the steering wheel to the beat and he laughed. “Nah, I’m good.”

“Come on,” I said, you remind me of John Cusack in the movie, “Say Anything.”

He turned the music down. “Never heard of it.”

The giggle that bubbled up my throat should have been embarrassing but I didn’t care. “Really,” I said. “You have to watch it. It’s a classic 80’s movie where the guy tries to win back his girlfriend by blaring a boombox and singing to her outside her window.”

The sideways glance he gave me matched his equally sideways smirk. “Just to be clear, I was not serenading you.”

Embarrassment slid up my throat and fanned my cheeks. I was glad it was dark. “Oh, I wasn’t implying you were.”

His grin slowly faded and he started to whistle along to the faint tune. I didn’t dare turn to look at him fully, but every now and then I shifted my eyes his way.

The fact that he was doing the same wasn’t ever acknowledged. Nothing more was said about the embarrassing moment and we darted down the hill in silence. In appeared that were headed toward the base of the vineyard.

It was the end of harvesting season and equipment was everywhere. Flatbed trucks and forklifts and wooden baskets were most of what I could see. The fields looked the same as my father’s vineyard.

Just as we drove over a small hill, I saw a body of water and gasped in delight. Its colors appeared to be shifting from somber blacks and grays to oily blues and forest greens as the stars from the sky above lit it up. “I didn’t know there was a lake on your property,” I said in awe.

“It’s artificial,” he told me. “My grandfather dug it himself and it’s more like a pond.”

A rowboat sat off to the side, broken and weathered and the remains of a gazebo sat there too. “Either way, it’s so cool.”

Tyler continued down the narrow road and a wake of dust billowed up around us as he came to a stop at the bottom. Reaching behind him, he tossed me a sweatshirt with the words ‘Cornell University’ scribed across it.

“Are you going to Cornell? I asked.

He shrugged, taking on a faraway look that told me he was traveling back somewhere in his memories. “I don’t know. My grandfather took me there to visit the place just before he died. I liked it enough, but I’m not really sure where I’ll end up. You?”

I pulled the soft gray fabric over my head and looked over at him. “I’m going as far away from here as my father will let me go.”

He gave me a small shake of his head, and then opened his door to get out. “I heard he’s a piece of work.”

“That’s putting it mildly.”

“Yeah, well, I was trying to be nice but his reputation does precede him.”

I laughed, self-conscious. “Yes, he’s . . . a complicated man.”

His forearms rested against the jam and he leaned in. “Fair enough. Your family life isn’t really any of my business. I wasn’t prying.”

“I guess that means you don’t want to carry on the feud into our generation?”

His response was a humorless snort. “No, I think I’ll pass on that.”

“Yes, me too.”

He jerked his chin in my direction. “Stay there a minute.”

I gave him a nod. “Okay.”

His door shut and he grabbed the food and an old blanket from the bed of the truck and strode over to the edge of the lake.

Watching the way he moved was automatic. He strutted really, all hard body and toned muscle. He had to be the sexiest guy I’d ever talked to in my entire life.

With that tight white t-shirt that made his biceps and pecs stand out, slim dark jeans, and combat boots that had seen their fair share of the ground, he took my breath away.

I hadn’t even noticed when he’d come back and swung my door open. “Like what you see?” he drawled.

A blush crept up my neck as I hurried to grab the plates and beers. “I was looking at the lake.”

His chuckle told me he didn’t believe me. “More like an artificial pond.”

“I guess it’s all what you want to see.”

He was leaning in the truck and he scratched his chin. “Yeah, I suppose it is. What do you see?”

The dreamer in me came to life as I glanced back at the spot. “I see a place like heaven, where the sun shines on the sparkling blue water with a rowboat floating on its surface. And maybe there’s a gazebo filled with chairs and tables beside them for drinking lemonade on hot days.”

He laughed and I watched his throat work. “Lemonade?”

“Or wine,” I quickly added.

“Better. Come on.”

The place he’d set up near the water wasn’t far, and I followed him to it.

“So you’ve never gone to school around here?” he asked over his shoulder.

“No. This year is the first time.”

He stopped and turned around. “That’s crazy. Do you know why?”

The word you was right on my tongue because I had a feeling he was the exact reason I’d never been allowed to stay. “I told you, my father’s complicated.”

“Fair enough.” He kept walking, whistling a tune while he did.

When we reached the lake, we both sat on the blanket. Me cross-legged, him with his legs stretched out and his back against a tree all bad-boy like.

Yes, I was sure this bad boy was why I’d never been allowed to stay, and because of that I wanted to know everything about him.

After I twisted off the tops from the beers and handed one to him, he made an impressed face. “Where’d you learn to do that so easily?”

I shrugged. “Practice.”

That sexy brow of his rose.

“In boarding school the kids used beer tops as chips all the time.”

With his eyes on me, he dished the pizza out on the two plates. “So you’re a gambler?”

“No, not at all. Somehow, I was always the one making the beer runs and I got pretty good at opening the bottles.”

The smell of pizza wafted in the air as he handed me one of the plates. “So what? You watched but didn’t play?

“Pretty much.”

He shook his head. “Why would anyone do that?”

Squaring my shoulders, I said, “First of all, I have no idea how to play cards, and secondly, my father would freak if I did and he ever found out.”

“Do you always follow the rules?”

“No, not always.” My voice was hoarse.

“Good,” he smirked. “Life would be boring if you did. You know, I could teach you to play?”

“I don’t know, gambling isn’t really my thing.”

He shrugged and took a bite of his pizza. “So tell me, Paris,” he mused, “what is your thing?”

I stopped chewing and looked at him. “What do you mean?”

There was a rather flirtatious tone in his voice. “I mean, are the rumors true?”

The cheese got lodged in my throat as I swallowed, and I coughed. Choked was a better way to put it. Yes, the image of myself I’d created was coming back to haunt me. The thing was, I didn’t want Tyler to see me in any way that wasn’t who I truly was. “What rumors?”

Using his beer bottle, he drew an imaginary circle around my body. “That you’re a real party girl?”

Here it went. This time though, it was a rouse I didn’t want to keep up. “Well, I think you already know the answer to that.”

“I don’t know. I heard some pretty naughty things.”

“Do you always believe what you hear?”

He threw his head back and laughed, causing a flutter of embarrassment to fill my chest. “Touché. But I have to know, did or did you not get kicked out of boarding school because you did your professor?”

That blush I had been feeling fanned up my neck and along my cheekbones. “Sort of,” I answered honestly once I’d finished chewing.

One cocky brow rose. “It’s a yes or no question, Paris. Sort of isn’t an option.”

Paris. I liked the way he said my name.

I liked him.

Whether it was because I was high, or drunk, or because frankly, I was starved for attention, I told him the truth and I didn’t stop there. My mouth never shut up through the pizza and wings. I told him about London and my mother and how I felt so lonely in that house with my father who didn’t really want me there.

When I finally stopped talking, Tyler pushed the empty plates aside and pulled the joint from behind his ear. He lit it with a lighter he pulled from his jeans pocket. The fragrant smoke swirled between us, and I sucked it in.

When he passed me the joint, I didn’t hesitate to take a hit.

“So, are you a virgin?” he asked.

Coughing out of control, I handed the joint back to him. “I’m done.”

Taking it, he leaned closer to me. “Yes or No?”

“Yes.” I was still coughing, embarrassingly hacking, I might add.

“Thought so.” Tyler nodded and sucked in smoke, his eyes squinting as he did. “Don’t worry, your party girl cover is safe with me. I won’t tell anyone you made it all up. And for the record, I’m a virgin too, but not for long because you’re going to change that.”

This time my mouth fell open.

He tossed the butt down and ground it with the toe of his boot. “Don’t get all excited, it won’t be happening tonight. I want you sober and begging.”

I laughed at that. “You’re a little full of yourself. Don’t you think?”

Looking nonplussed, he said, “Knowing who you are is different than being full of yourself.”

The way his voice wrapped around his words gave me the biggest thrill, that and the thought of seeing his penis hard for me, the girl who was out of his league, made me weak in the knees.

I fell back on the blanket and stared at the stars. “It’s beautiful out here.”

He plopped down beside me. “It’s my favorite spot on the entire vineyard.”

“Yes, I bet you bring all your girls out here.”

“Actually, I’ve never brought anyone here.”

I glanced over at him. “Get out of here.”

He flipped a hand at me. “I’m serious!”

I smirked a little to myself. “I feel somewhat honored, Hatfield.”

The beer and weed had left me mellow and languid. Our feet touched, nudging each other. “It’s nice, just hanging out with you, Paris. No pressure. None of that meaningless conversation boring me to death.”

I turned onto my side and got up on one elbow. “You know everyone down at the house either thinks I’m blowing you or we’re screwing?”

He turned to face me and wrapped a piece of my hair around his finger. “Here’s the thing about me, Paris Fairchild, I don’t give a shit what anyone thinks.”

I should have taken that at face value at the time, but I didn’t.

“I get that, Ty—”

He cut me off with a kiss. A kiss so dazzling I got lost in it. In him. Our mouths opened and our tongues stroked.

We kissed that way for a long time. His hands moving up and down my slight curves. Me, exploring the lines and ridges of his hard body every place I could reach, without leaving his mouth.

Up and down.

Up and down.

When his erection nudged my thigh between us, he pulled back and looked at me. “We should get back.”

He was right, of course. Things were getting hot and heavy and it was time to stop before neither of us could.

Tyler ran his fingertips down my face and rested them on my lips. “You’re beautiful, you know that?”

What I knew was that I was tall, with crazy red hair and too skinny to be called sexy. I shook my head, that blush back fiercer than before.

“You are,” he said again.

And I believed him.

In that moment, I knew my plan to exact revenge on my father was going to somehow bite me in the ass.

The thing was, I didn’t expect to fall for the boy everyone called ‘Trouble.”

And Tyler Holiday was nothing but trouble.

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Lord of Pleasure (Rogues to Riches Book 2) by Erica Ridley

The Warden: A Novella by M.C. Cerny

Undeniably Hellbound (Spells That Bind Book 4) by Cassandra Lawson

Billionaire's Vacation: A Standalone Novel (An Alpha Billionaire Romance Love Story) (Billionaires - Book #13) by Claire Adams

Oz (The Telorex Pact Book 1) by Phoebe Fawkes, Starr Huntress

Captive: A Bad Boy Billionaire Boss Romance by Bloom, Cassandra

Lassoed: Steele Ranch - Book 5 by Vanessa Vale

Swear to Me: A Second Chance Mountain Man Romance (Clarke Brothers Series Book 2) by Lilian Monroe

Triplets For The Dragon: A Paranormal Pregnancy Romance by Jade White, Simply Shifters

Meet Me at the Lighthouse by Mary Jayne Baker

Running the Risk by Lea Griffith

Detecting Love: An MM Contemporary Romance by Peter Styles

Miss Match by Laurelin McGee