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“Are you in?” Topher’s voice trembles with devious mirth.
I sigh. “So all I have to do is boost a car?” Jillian and Topher both nod their heads enthusiastically. I fold my arms across my chest. “And what’s in it for me?”
“Steal the car, and I know you’re with us. No questions asked, no records revealed.”
I narrow my eyes. “That’s not very enticing. Everyone at Pemberly has a record. So who’s going to care what’s in mine?”
“This, they might find interesting.” He produces a photocopy of all too familiar medical records. “Did I happen to mention that Clearwater Medical facility is even easier to gain access to? Those head shrinks even put all their notes into MS Word and save it on their computers.”
My jaw drops, and I try to snatch the page out of his hand. “Give me that now!” I screech.
Jillian snatches the paper and hands it to me. “I told you Blackmail.”
“And what exactly does he hold over your head?” I snap, ripping the paper into four squares.
I waltz to the trash can and whip out a lighter, burning the offensive paper with it. I give Topher the finger as the burning shreds float into the metal wastebasket.
“Don’t worry, I have copies.” He shrugs as he flips my desk chair around to sit in it backwards. He folds his arms over the back and smirks. “Jills here has a disorder. She likes to steal.”
I furrow my eye brows at Topher. “That’s hardly anything to blackmail someone over.”
“Should I tell her the rest Jills, or do you want to do the honors?”
Jillian stares at the poster above my bed, a vampire and his lover. I bet she’s willing the brooding, gorgeous vampire to leap from the poster and suck the blood right out of Topher, I know I am.
When she doesn’t answer, Topher kicks her in the toe. “Well, seems Jills here likes stealing a lot. Her and her Madison Avenue buddies decided to ditch school one day and rob a bank with guns.”
My mouth drops. Jillian whirls on Topher and tackles him. I have to pull them apart.
“Hey, it’s lights out. You’re going to have some one up here. And Topher you’re not even suppose to be in the girls’ dormitory.”
I’m furious with Topher for making Jillian feel so terrible. I stand up and yank him by his scrawny collar.
“You’re going to do it?”
I shrug. “Why not? No one ever gets expelled from Pemberly.”
Jillian and I crouch low in the student parking lot. Topher, we hope, makes his way to Grave’s office to figure out the ISP address so he can hack into the computer from the safety of his own room. A simple in and out. The problem is, as they tell me, the watchdogs. No matter what anyone does, somehow they are there, especially if it concerns the headmaster’s office. This is what leads Topher to believe there is vital info on the Pets in that computer.
We have the hard job to steal a car and cause a distraction long enough for Topher to slip in unobserved. His theory- I’m new so Graves will go easy on me the first time.
I can’t believe I’m seriously considering this foolish prank. I guess my early morning pep talk just jumped out the window.
“Which one?” I ask, scanning the lot filled with Mercedes, Hummers, and BMWs.
Jillian cranes her neck and then grabs my wrist. “That one.”
I raise an eyebrow, taking in the steel grey Thunderbird. Nice choice, and one I’ve never attempted. Cool, I can add it to my running list of cars I’ve done.
“Whose is it?”
She glances over her shoulder before she shrugs. “No idea.”
I twist my lips to the corner of my mouth with a wry smile. “Let’s do this.”
We crawl between cars, heading for the lone Thunderbird at the far end of the parking lot. Luckily, the car is not under a street lamp. I pull my tools out of the pocket of my hoodie; something I managed to slide in to my bags just in case. I have the driver’s side door jimmied in seven seconds flat. There’s no car alarm, which I find, well, alarming. It must belong to a student then. I pop the latch so that Jillian can climb into the passenger side. Sliding upside down under the dashboard, I pull down the wires I need to hot wire the ignition.
The engine purrs like a cat in heat, beautiful. I sit back up, fondling the steering wheel.
I look over at Jillian, who’s face turns pale white. “So where are we off to?”
“Wherever, town. I don’t care.” She swallows hard.
I shrug and shift the Thunderbird into reverse. I slowly pull down the parking lot row.
“I think you should attract attention. Peel out or something.”
“I don’t want to get caught.”
Jillian glances at me. “Neither do I. But for this little stint to buy Topher the window he needs, we’re gonna have to attract attention.”
“From who? Whose car did I just hotwire?” She gulps, and I see it.
“Okay. His name is Shane, and he’s one of them.”
“One of them? Christ, you mean one of those guard dogs or whatever. Shit Jillian, not only are we going to be sitting in the headmaster’s office all day tomorrow, but now we are about to piss off some big bully guy. That’s great. See damnit, I trust and I fail!”
“Just fucking go!” She wiggles her foot over the console and slams it on the gas.
The car doesn’t race forward because I have my foot on the breaks. But the engine revs loud enough to echo across the serene and deathly quiet campus. I try to push her foot off mine, only to succeed in swerving and barely missing a red Hummer in the last spot. Free of the parking lot obstacles, we squeal out on to the main drive leading to the road.
“Jillian, get your damn foot off mine.”
She laughs nervously as she curls into a ball on the far side of the car. I don’t like the puke green pallor to her face. I have a very bad feeling about this. All I know is, Topher better get that ISP address and make it all worth the while.
I hear the sound of wolves howling over the screech of the throttle. Jillian slides even further down in her seat. But the sound reverberates down my spine, curling around the core beneath my stomach.
“What the hell was that?” I turn to stare at Jillian.
“Heaven, look out!” She wails and thrust her arm out to brace against the dash.
And here’s a list of everyone participating! Wow, we just keep growing. Please be aware of the ratings. Some content is STEAMY!
So, to kick it off, your hosts:
Joining us this week:
AJ O’Donovan, Poetry (PG13)
Stephanie Draven, Paranormal Romance (PG 13)
Heather S.Ingemar, Dark Fantasy/Poetry (PG13)
Babette James, Fantasy Romance (PG 13)
Cynthia Justlin, Romantic Suspense (PG 13)
Kaige, Historical Romance (PG 13)
Julia Knight, Fantasy Romance (PG13)
Ansha Kotyk, Middle Grade Adventure (PG13)
Jeannie Lin, Historical Romance (PG 13)
RF Long, YA Paranormal (PG13)
Caitlynn Lowe, Epic Fantasy (PG13)
Shawntelle Madison, Paranormal Romance (PG 13)
Crista McHugh, Contemporary Erotic Romance (PG 13)
Bria Quinlan, Rom Com (PG)
Leigh Royals, Historical Romance (PG 13)
Megan S., Paranormal (PG13)
Dara Sorensen, Historical Paranormal (PG 13)
Bethanne Strasser, Historical Romance (PG13)
Melissa Aires, Futuristic Romance (R)
Jax Cassidy, Contemporary (R)
Christina DeLorenzo, Furturistic Sci-Fi (R)
Maya Doyle, Parnormal Romance (R)
Ginny Glass, Paranormal (R)
Amber Green, Romantic Suspense (R)
Cate Hart, Paranormal YA (R)
Kinsey W. Holley, Erotic Romance (R)
Ali Katz, Erotic Paranormal Romance (R)
Aislinn Kerry, Fantasy (R)
Inez Kelly, Fantasy Romance (R)
Cherrie Lynn, Contemporary Erotic Romance (R)
Mel/Alexia Reed, Urban Fantasy (R)
Rebecca Savage, Romantic Suspense (R)
Fae Sutherland, Contemporary Erotic Romance (R)
Stephanie Adkins, Paranormal Erotic Romance (NC 17)
Evie Byrne, Erotic Historical Romance (NC17)
Ella Drake, Erotic Contemporary (NC17)
Dawn Montgomery, Erotic Paranormal Romance (NC17)
Lauren Murphy, Erotic Romance (NC 17)
Kim Knox, Erotic Paranormal Romance (NC17)
Kirsten Saell, Erotic Fantasy Romance (NC 17)
Jeanne St. James, Contemporary Romance (NC 17)