A High so Sweet (Thornes & Roses #2) - Dani Rene
Seventeen years old
One long sip.
One long draw on the joint.
Two long inhales, and it feels as if my head is sparking with electric currents, bringing a smile to my face.
As the buzzing in my veins overtakes the pain and fear, I lean back against the cool concrete of the tombstone. The noise coming from the rest of the kids doesn’t bother me anymore. And as the alcohol takes its hold of me, I sigh as my body tingles with the excitement of what’s to come.
Tonight is my last evening in this small town, the town where everyone knows your name, and if you don’t fit into their world, you’re shunned. There’s only one thing that I will miss about Thorne Haven, and that’s him. But he’s not here tonight. I know the Thorne brothers are off doing their own thing with their friends, and that’s okay.
Actually, it’s not okay.
I pull out my cell phone and unlock it. There are no messages from him. Not even a text to say goodbye. Scrolling through our chat, I ignore the sweet things he said, instead focusing on the fact that he hasn’t responded to my last message.
The one where I told him I’m leaving.
There’s nothing here for me—that’s what my parents said. Mom wants to move to LA, where she’s convinced that I’ll have more opportunities than this town can offer. Dad’s company was more than willing to provide him with a transfer to Hollywood Hills. And me, I have no choice but to walk away from everything I’ve known: school, a home I’ve come to love, and him.
“Hey, stop crying over that asshole,” one of the girls from my class, Brittany, says. She’s one of the popular girls, a cheerleader with big blue eyes and long blonde hair. She doesn’t always talk to me, but when she does, I can’t help but feel noticed.
I’m the loner in our class. And I’m happy with it that way. An emotionally distraught young woman with issues, at least that’s what the psychiatrist told my folks. With each kid I know going to see a shrink, I’m not all that different, but sometimes, I feel so out of my comfort zone when it comes to these parties that I may as well be from another planet.
“I’m not crying,” I tell her, tipping my chin in defiance. I take a long drag on my joint before flicking the butt and killing it with the heel of my Docs.
Music blares from a car that pulls up, shining lights over us. A few of the girls standing around shriek before they fall into a fit of giggles when they realize it’s the football team. Creed Haven saunters up to Brittany, pulling her into his arms and stealing her lips with his. The guy is an asshole, but he’s hot. I guess in a way that makes him think he has every right to take what he wants.
“What’s up?” he greets me with a tip of his head, his eyes locking on me for a moment too long, and all I can do is shrug in response. I know he’s friends with Cassian, but I don’t ask the question that’s burning the tip of my tongue.
I push to my feet, holding onto the tombstone as I do because my head is spinning. I didn’t drink that much tonight. I’m sure of it. Glancing at the bottle I left on the ground, I realize it’s empty.
“Are you okay?” Brittany asks, concern clear in her tone, making me giggle.
“Yeah,” I assure her before turning to walk off. But the moment I do, I slam into a body that’s solid steel. My gaze is slightly blurry, but there’s no doubt about who I’ve just walked into. At twenty, there’s no way you can call Cassian Thorne a boy any longer—he’s a man, and it shows.
“What are you doing?” he questions, his voice low, drenched in warning and disappointment, feathering in my ear when he speaks. “I thought I told you not to hang out here when I’m not around.” Even though he’s never touched me, kissed me, or made a move to show me he wants me, he’s always been there—watching over me like a protector.
“I’m doing what every other kid here is doing,” I bite back, anger surging through me when I look up into those familiar teal-color irises, and for a moment, it’s as if he’s spinning in front of me, but I keep my focus on his face. The anger dancing