Home > Four Years Later (One Week Girlfriend #4)(8)

Four Years Later (One Week Girlfriend #4)(8)
Author: Monica Murphy

Huge mistake, thinking I could call and ask her if she’d let me stay with her for a while. I get off the phone quick and toss it on my bedside table. Close my eyes and let my thoughts drift …

To the tutor. Chelsea with the big blue eyes and long dark hair. She hates me. And I should hate her. She’s one of those smart rich girls and I’m just one of the local scrubs who got picked up on a scholarship. Yeah, Drew is rich and he’s taken care of us—hell, he’s made more money now that he plays for the NFL than his dad ever did, and I benefit from that—but I can’t forget my roots. Where I came from.

Mom suddenly hanging around again reminds me of those roots all the time.

A girl like Chelsea would view being with me as slumming. Get with the rough bad boy and keep me her dirty little secret. And I bet she’s never slummed in her entire life. I probably scare the pants off of her.

Don’t you want to scare the pants off of her?

Hell, yeah. Though I shouldn’t. She’s not for me. Not my type.

My phone buzzes, indicating I have a text, and I grab it, groaning when I see it’s my mom:

I’m in front of your house. Are you home?

Hell. She is the last person I want to deal with right now. Or ever.

Crawling out of bed, I pull on a T-shirt and slip on some jeans, head toward the front door, and throw it open to find her pacing the sidewalk. She looks twitchy.

Great.

“Owen.” She smiles, but it doesn’t light her eyes. Has it ever? “Are you just getting out of bed? You shouldn’t sleep in so late.”

Her attempts at mothering make me want to laugh. She’s a total joke. “I have class in less than an hour.” I don’t want her hanging around too long. She’ll end up asking for more, more, more.

She always wants more.

“What do you want?” I ask her when she doesn’t say anything.

Mom flinches and sighs. “Fine, we’re gonna get right to the point? I need money.”

Sure she does. She always does. Her part-time job doesn’t pay much. I can’t even believe she’s holding down a job, what with her crappy track record. When she bailed on us, she’d been unemployed, spending a lot of time with her loser boyfriend Larry and basically living at his place or their favorite bar. That had been over four years ago.

Now here she is. Like she’s never left. Though somehow the tables have turned and I’m the one who takes care of her. Funny, considering she never really took care of me or Fable. “How much?”

“Two hundred?” She winces, as if she hates asking, but it’s all a lie. She has no problem whatsoever asking me for cash. She thinks I’m an endless money train, thanks to Drew the stud football player Callahan. And that’s a direct quote, spit out with so much venom and bitterness I recoiled when she said it.

Yeah. Mom and Fable do not get along. Hell, they don’t even talk. Drew’s never met Mom. And Mom has never seen her grandbaby, though she knows Autumn exists.

My family is f**ked up in every which way you could think of.

“I don’t have that kind of cash,” I say.

Her eyes go wide. Dull and green. Her overdyed hair is yellow and fried at the ends. She looks like hell. Fable would flip the f**k out if she knew I’ve been talking to her, giving her money for months. “What do you mean, you don’t have it? Your sister’s husband is a goddamn football player for the NFL! He’s loaded!”

I press my lips together. Here she goes, even though she knows Fable doesn’t know we’re in contact. “Drew doesn’t give me money.”

“He keeps you in this house. Bought your brand-new car. Paid for your education.”

“I earned a scholarship fair and square. This house is a shithole, but I wouldn’t let Drew pay for some expensive place I don’t need. And he gave me that car when I turned eighteen.” I cross my arms in front of my chest, hating that I have to defend what I have. She looks at Fable and me and all she sees is dollar signs.

“I need it.” She’s whining. “You’re telling me you really don’t have two hundred to spare?”

“Not till I get paid,” I say, which is the f**king truth. I live on my own terms as much as I can. My extra spending money is what I make at the restaurant. It doesn’t come out of Drew’s bank account. I gotta man up sometime.

“When’s that?”

“Friday.”

She glances down at the sidewalk and kicks at it with her beat-up Nikes that have seen way better days. Like five-years-ago-plus better days. “Tomorrow then? Can I come by and get it tomorrow?”

“Sure,” I bite out. “And bring some beer, would you?”

“How can I bring you beer if I don’t have any money?” She glares at me. Those dull eyes sharpen with an edge of anger, that thin mouth set in a firm line. She’s the unhappiest person I’ve ever met. Mean for mean’s sake. Selfish and dumb, she makes the worst choices I’ve ever witnessed.

I’m scared as hell that I’ll turn out exactly like her. The choices I make are terrible. I know better. Yet I keep doing it.

Like mother, like son …

“Come by tomorrow afternoon and I’ll give you extra so you can go grab some beer,” I suggest. That way I won’t be tempted to go out to the bars. I’ll stay home and drink a few brews with Wade and invite Des over. Maybe call one of the few hookups I have saved in my phone. Get a little drunk, get naked for an hour with a willing female, then slap her on the ass and send her away.

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