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Bury Me with Lies
Author: S. M. Soto


Nine Years Ago

 

I listen halfheartedly as Savannah gripes on and on about her nonexistent relationship with Jay, her former boyfriend. At Summer Walker’s graduation bash last weekend, Savannah took it upon herself to sleep with Trent Ainsworth, one of the five infamous Savages of Humboldt County. Of course, everyone at the party found out, including her boyfriend, Jay, who then decided to dump her.

Can’t say she didn’t deserve it.

I’ve only been half-listening as she prattles on and on, crying about how unfair her life is. Instead of nodding and “hmming” every so often, I want to tell her it’s her own fault. She wants sympathy for cheating?

Yeah, not happening.

I roll my eyes and take a long pull from the bitter alcohol in the plastic cup. Cobra Starship’s “Good Girls Go Bad” is playing on someone’s radio, and most of the people here are either high, drunk, or getting ready to fuck.

Every muscle in my body tenses when I glance toward the bonfire and the logs surrounding it. My gaze narrows, and my lips thin into a grim line when I spot who’s in line to get a beer. After I specifically fucking told her not to.

She’s dressed differently than usual, and it only serves to fuel my anger. When I see who she’s with—or more accurately, who dragged her here—I grind my back teeth together in frustration, trying to quell the sudden fury roaring through my veins. The audacity of that girl Winnie to think she can go against my word and bring her here? There was a reason I told her to stay away tonight.

My sister’s eyes widen once she spots me through the crowd, and I see the fear flare in their depths, even from here. But beneath the fear is a sudden flash of rebellion. I blame Winnie for that, too, obviously. Mackenzie takes the cup, downs its entire contents like she’s a goddamn pro, and takes another.

I watch her and her friend walk toward the logs near the fire to sit while I observe through narrowed slits.

Why the hell can’t she just do as I say? For fuck’s sake.

I thought the end-of-the-year bash would be the last place on Earth Mack would ever be caught hanging out at, but obviously, I’ve underestimated my twin. And her friend Winnie.

With anger swimming through my veins, I try to keep an eye on her for most of the night, but it becomes harder than I originally thought when I’m here for something else entirely. I split my time between keeping an eye on Mackenzie and keeping an eye out for the Savages.

I came here for one thing and one thing only—and I refuse to let the night end until I get it. I always get what I want.

Somewhere along the way, I get preoccupied with friends wanting to take shots and ask idiotic questions and play these immature games. At one point in time, this party, the events of this entire night, might’ve been something I looked forward to, something that was appealing, but not anymore. Now, the only thing I feel while looking around and pretending is absolute disgust at my former self and everyone else who is inebriated, making fools of themselves. Those two semesters I spent away from this shit town was the wake-up call I needed.

The disconnect is long enough that I lose sight of my sister. When I spot Vincent Hawthorne, frissons of electricity fire through my veins. My heart lurches violently, pounding as I close the distance between us. I tighten my grip around the plastic cup for support.

I’ve been here before. I can only hope tonight will end differently than my other futile attempts.

Vincent is in deep conversation with Zach, both whispering to each other under their breaths. More than likely, they’re discussing some diabolical plan. Sebastian is standing off to the side with Marcus, glaring down at his phone. He’s probably still pissed Summer broke up with him.

Fucking figures.

I’m capable of few emotions. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a sociopath, but I have taught myself the art of being numb. The art of pretending I don’t feel anything at all. It works for me ninety-nine percent of the time. But right now? Nothing is working as I stare at Vincent through narrowed slits. A barrage of emotions slams into me, ranging from anger and betrayal to sadness. I feel all of them tenfold as I stare at the bastard who ruined my life.

As if sensing my presence, Vincent and Zach glance up. Zach smiles wolfishly, taking a step forward. Vincent has a different approach to my presence. He purposely looks anywhere but at me, ignoring me. It’s meant to be a blow to my ego, and if things were different, it would be. I’d feel my heart crumble beneath his neglect, the offhandedness he has for me. Not anymore. I no longer have anything left of my heart to break.

“What do you know, God really is listening. Hey, V, wasn’t I just asking Him to send me someone I can have fun with tonight?” Zach gloats, nudging Vincent. He still doesn’t acknowledge me, just drains the contents of his cup and acts like I’m not even here.

The asshole.

Forcing a seductive grin on my face, I embrace the façade I’ve gotten so used to wearing in this town. “You flatter me, Zach, but I was actually coming here to talk with Vincent for a sec. Is that all right?”

“You serious right now?” Zach tosses his hands up and lets them smack down at his sides irritably. “Fucker’s been getting pussy all night,” he mumbles under his breath, as he stalks off toward the rest of the guys.

“Can we talk?”

Vincent finally spares me a glance, though it’s not a pleasant one. “I don’t fuck twice, Wright. Save your breath.”

Anger vibrates through my veins, and my rage bubbles up my chest. I take a threatening step forward and jab an angry finger at him.

“You owe me something, you sorry son of a bitch. Because the next person I speak to about what happened? It’ll be over for you. All of you.”

Vincent’s eyes blaze with rage. He knocks my hand down, stepping into me. The movement is so sudden, it catches me off guard, and my breath hitches, skyrocketing my heart rate. “Keep fucking with me, Madison. You’re going to regret it.”

My face crumples with distaste. “I regret few things, Vincent, but one is that night. Give me what I want, or I’m going to the police.” My voice comes out harsh, much stronger than how I’m feeling inside.

His nostrils flare. “You have no proof.”

I smile coldly. It reflects just how dead I feel inside. “I don’t need proof when I have my word.” I pause, just to really fuck with him. “And who says I don’t have proof?”

The guys call Vincent over, not realizing the heated discussion we’re having, and with one final glare, he turns his back on me, his gait stiff as he heads back toward the rest of the Savages.

Feeling pissed off and needing to regroup, I storm off, throwing down my cup in the dirt and heading toward the trees. My footsteps slow when I spot the two forms groping and kissing up ahead. They’re partly shielded by the trees and foliage, but not nearly enough. If I can see them, so can everyone else. My heart races in my chest the closer I get. Once they materialize and I see who it is, my anger explodes. I shoot an accusatory glance over my shoulder, toward Vincent, who’s staring back at me with a smirk. He raises his cup in salute and takes a drink.

Well played, motherfucker.

I stomp toward Trent and Mackenzie, my hands fisting at my sides. My nails dig into the flesh of my palms, stinging as they rip into my skin, leaving little crescents in their wake.

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