Home > Losing Grip(6)

Losing Grip(6)
Author: Scarlett Haven

The thing about going to a fancy boarding school is that there are a lot of food options. I end up getting some tacos, my favorite.

Liam isn’t in the cafeteria yet, so I go to walk off toward an empty table, but Preston yells after me.

“Wait up, pretty girl!”

I groan.

Well… I suppose if he calls me by a nickname, he won’t have to worry about learning my name.

Preston steps up in front of me, a plate of food in hand. “I just wanted to ask you—tonight, there is a back to school dance. I was hoping you would want to go with me.”

Normally, I would love a pretty boy asking me to go to a dance. It would save me from going by myself. But I know that I can’t depend on Preston actually showing up. He blew me off once, it could happen again.

I chew on my lip. “Look, you’re a cool guy and all, but I just got here. I kind of want to meet people and hang out with everybody. I don’t want a date just yet.”

“Oh.” His face falls.

“But I could save a dance for you,” I say, hoping to soften the blow.

He beams. “Yeah, okay.”

“But don’t blow me off again,” I warn.

He marks an X over his heart. “I promise I won’t.”


He holds out his free hand. “Give me your phone. I’ll program my number, that way I can text you and let you know if plans change.”

Do I want to give this boy my phone number?

I reach into my back pocket, handing it over to him. I wonder if I’m making the right decision, but I can always block him if I decide he annoys me.

Preston Lomax isn’t the kind of guy to get into a relationship. I don’t know him very well, but I do know that.

Still… he does give me butterflies.

Stupid butterflies.

Why do all the hot guys have to be jerks?

He passes back my phone, a huge grin on his face. “I’ll see you around, gorgeous.”

“It’s Cove,” I say.

But he’s not paying attention. He’s already turning to walk away.

I sigh, turning to the empty table. It’s no longer empty, though. I smile when I realize that Laura, the girl I met yesterday, is sitting there.

I smile at her as I slide into a seat across from her. “Hey, Laura.”

She looks up. “Cove! Hey!”

Laura can remember my name—why can’t Preston?

I push the beautiful boy from my mind, not wanting to give him any more attention.

Still, I do glance over to where Preston went to sit down. There is a beautiful redhead hanging onto him and he’s grinning at her. My stomach tightens at the sight.

A tray goes down beside mine. I look over, expecting to see Liam. Instead, I see a girl with fire red hair sit down beside me.

“Harper,” I say. “Hey.”

“Hey, Cove.” She turns to Laura. “I’m Harper.”

“Laura.” She nods at Harper.

A loud giggle captures my attention, so I turn to see where the sound came from. The redhead girl presses further into Preston and he puts his arm around her.

I swallow hard.

“Preston Lomax is bad news,” Harper says.

I turn to look at her. “Who?”

Harper chuckles. “Don’t even try that. I saw you walk in with him and I saw you exchange numbers.”

I sigh. “That boy is…”

“Trust me, just stay away from him.” She puts a grape into her mouth. “He likes shiny new things, but he’ll grow bored of you quickly. That’s what happens when your father’s a billionaire. He can buy anything he wants.”

My eyes widen.

A billionaire?

I imagine a lot of people in this school come from money. My own family is pretty wealthy. But Preston makes us look poor.

Well, I am poor.

Until I turn eighteen, anyway.

When I turn eighteen, I get the inheritance my father left me. It’s the one thing my mom can’t touch. I swear it only makes her hate me more. But I don’t even want the money. I just want to use it to get away from my mom and stepdad.

Laura’s expression is much like mine—her eyes are wide and her mouth is hanging open. “A billionaire? Suddenly, he got a lot more attractive.”

Harper and I both laugh.

Preston was plenty attractive before. Now? Well, I know what money does to people. My own mother chased after it my whole life. The fact that he’s so wealthy makes me want to stay away from him even more.

My phone vibrates, so I read the text.



NUMBER FOUR: Hey. Something came up. Maybe a pretty, blonde cheerleader? ;) I’ll stop by your dorm later.



I roll my eyes, putting my phone back away.

Of course Liam is blowing me off for a pretty girl.

Laura starts asking Harper where she’s from and what life is like for her outside of boarding school. I’m pleased to see that they’re getting along.

Maybe I don’t need Liam after all. I’m making friends on my own just fine.

“Are you guys going to the dance tonight?” Harper takes a sip of her soda.

I nod. “Yeah.”

Laura shrugs. “What dance?”

“The welcome back to school dance.” Harper grins. “It’s always a good time.”

“I don’t have a date.” Laura twirls her blonde hair around her finger.

Harper waves a hand. “Nobody will have a date. All the students come back from summer break single and ready to mingle.”

I laugh, shaking my head. “Should I be worried?”

“You have no idea. The boys here are like sharks, and you’re fresh meat.” Harper wiggles her eyebrows. “You too, Laura.”

Laura giggles, her cheeks turning red. “Maybe I’ll go.”

I cringe. “I’m not sure if I want to go.”

The absolute last thing I need is a boyfriend.

But I did promise Preston a dance.

I glance over at him and see that there is now a brunette sitting on the other side of him. He’s got an arm around the redhead and the brunette.

Maybe Harper is right.

I should stay away from Preston Lomax.



Your brother is hot.



Laura and Harper come to my dorm room to get ready for the dance. As it turns out, Harper is quite the hairstylist. She fixes my hair for me in some kind of rope braid, pulling half my hair back, but leaving half of it down. I look like I paid somebody a lot of money to do it.

“I love it.” I look at myself in the mirror, grinning. “Thank you, Harper.”

“You’re welcome.” She grins, turning to Laura. “Your turn.”

Laura comes to sit down in the seat I just vacated, and Harper gets to work on her hair.

I look through my closet, suddenly glad that I brought all my clothes. I almost left the dress I want to wear tonight.

The dress was a gift from my paternal grandparents. Every year, on Christmas and my birthday, they send me extravagant gifts—usually clothes, computers, and even a car when I turned sixteen. My mom took the car and is currently driving it herself, which is no surprise. The people really don’t want anything to do with me. I think they send me gifts as a way to make themselves feel better for their neglect.

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