SECRETS & LIES 7 (Secrets & Lies #7) - H.M. Ward

Secrets & Lies, Vol. 7

The Ferro Family

H. M. Ward


There’s no arguing with Ferro. The man was livid at this turn of events. Apparently, Nate is anti-fracking. Or maybe he just hates his father and wants to screw him over? Who knows? He hasn't said a thing to me about it. As I drive back to campus, my stomach is in knots. Ferro didn’t elaborate on what would happen to Nate if he didn’t agree to fork over the house, but he didn’t need to. There’s a soul-sucking darkness in that man that sets me on edge. It’s like standing next to a domesticated monster disguised by a designer suit and a placid smile. The long, lazy movement of his limbs and relaxed tones Ferro speaks with can lull a person into a sense of security. But around that guy, once your guard drops, you’re toast. I have no doubt human life is cheap in his eyes, and blood has no bearing on his actions. He’d kill his son if it were required to get what he wants.

What the hell did I get myself into? I’m so far over my head I can’t breathe. I’m drowning and have no idea who to ask for help. If I tell Nate, he’ll dig in his heels. If I don’t, and he finds out from someone else—that’s even worse. There’s no safe option here, no clear path leading in a direction I want to go. I slam my palm against the steering wheel and swear.

Pita hisses from the back of the bus. “I’m not in the mood for your crap right now,” I scold.

More hissing wafts up from a few seats behind me. It’s like the beast is trying to tell me something. Too bad I don’t speak raccoon.

“That’s nice, Fuzzball, but I need a plan. How can I outfox a Ferro?” As the light turns red, I brake and bring the big, rusty bus to a stop.

A sleek black convertible full of guys pulls up in the lane next to me. The driver's slicked-back hair is the color of honey. Coupled with his olive skin and dark shades, he looks totally badass.

The passenger directly behind him is super-pale, with a mess of dark hair standing up in all directions. He’s the only one in the group not wearing sunglasses. I can see his dark eyes look up at me. Shock skitters across his face, and then his lips curve into a coy grin.

He tips his chin up and hollers, “Hey, baby! Nice ride.” The guy chortles and bumps fists with the man next to him. They’re clearly college guys who think they’re God’s gift to the opposite sex. Rich, spoiled, brats who never had to work hard for anything. They all leer up at me, the driver included.

I pull the handle that opens the door, press my hand to my chest, and bat my lashes. “Really?” My voice is syrupy sweet. I smile like there isn’t a thought in my head.

The dude with the 'fro, continues, “Yeah, it’s fucking hot. Hey, if you want something a little less rusty between your legs, I’m here for you.”

I angle my chin down, drop my fake smile, and glare at him. “Wow, that sounds amazing," I say, flatly. "A stellar guy like you shoving his little rusty dick up inside of me would be amazing. Best pickup line ever.”

The other guys in the car start laughing as their friend frowns. “I didn’t say little!”

“Yeah? Because that’s the only reason I’m not dropping my panties for you. It had nothing to do with the fact that you inferred your little soldier was rusty from misuse. Or did you leave him out in the rain? Either way, not appealing. At the next traffic light, you should really stick to the classics. Try, ‘Hey, baby! I wanna melt in your mouth, not in your hand.’”

The guys stare at me, eyes wide, tongues hanging out like I’m a sex goddess. Idiots. The light flips to green, and I beam at them, wave the tips of my fingers, and pull away with the bus door still open.

The car speeds past me, vanishing from sight. Assholes. Why do they even do that? Has chatting up a girl at a traffic light ever worked? I mean, what do they think is going to happen? Even if I wanted him, where am I supposed to leave my bus?

Meh. I drive on, maneuvering the bus through the narrow streets near campus. As I’m prowling for