Home > Angry God (All Saints High #3)(9)

Angry God (All Saints High #3)(9)
Author: L.J. Shen

My stomach twisted into deadly knots. I could feel the chill of his pale, cerulean eyes wherever they landed on me, and I suppressed the violent shivers prickling my skin.

“How come?” Arabella drawled seductively, not reading the room.

“I find certain things unappealing to a point of revulsion.”

I saw his gaze from the corner of my eye, skating over my lips. He dug at the knee-hole in his black skinny jeans. His knee was slightly tan, with golden hair—different than the sickly, white-blue he’d been as a child. Smooth and muscular and unfairly perfect.

That was the tragic thing about Vaughn Spencer. He was perfect.

The cold shock of his beauty knocked the breath out of you like a supernova. With ruby, bee-stung lips and wild blue eyes, framed by thick, masculine eyebrows and cheekbones right out of the comic books.

He was gorgeous, and I was not.

He was popular, and I was an outcast.

He was everything, and I was…

Heat rose up my neck, but I kept my eyes trained on the same line of the same page I’d started before he approached the table. I thought about something I’d read not too long ago about how the world breaks everyone, but their broken places end up being stronger as a result. Ernest Hemingway said that, and I hoped it was true.

I ignored it when the football team chuckled and bumped shoulders, pointing at me. Poppy glared at Vaughn, openmouthed, furious, but too ladylike to make a scene.

“Vaughn finds life repulsive. Don’t take it personally.” Knight threw a French fry at Spencer, laughing to lighten the mood.

I could feel Arabella’s eyes on me—assessing, taunting, waiting. She never could look at me without turning red. Sometimes she looked at Poppy the same way. I knew how territorial she was about Knight, Vaughn, and Hunter—the third amigo. She regarded them like some impossible prize. Them giving me attention rattled something deep inside her.

“Yeah. You’re not repulsive in the slightest. I would fuck you, and not even just anal. I would gladly look at your face as I plunge into you.” Hunter snagged my can of Diet Coke and chugged it empty in one go.

If Knight was a golden boy and Vaughn was a bad boy, Hunter was a mix of the two, with hair a rich hue of wheat and a cunning smile even his mother couldn’t trust.

“I would look into your eyes while eating you like a Del Taco on a road trip. Nasty, but worth it,” one of the jocks exclaimed, shooting me a wink.

“I raise you looking into her eyes and add an Atticus quote while I wreck her uterus. But that’s gonna cost you a cream pie,” a third tsksed in my direction, dipping his index and middle fingers into a cupcake on his tray suggestively.

Vaughn sat back, an amused smirk on his face.

I yawned, flipping another page without processing any of the text. Vaughn was pushing it. I was honoring my side of the deal between us and keeping my mouth shut, yet he deliberately antagonized me.

None of it made sense. Vaughn wasn’t daft. He was cruel when messed with, but if you kept your distance, you were safe.

Why wasn’t I safe?

“Thanks for the riveting mental images, dipshits.” Vaughn stood up, glancing around. “Where’s Alice Hamlin? I could use a blowie right now.”

Jesus Christ.

“She’s with her new boyfriend.” Arabella tossed her hair, sucking her green shake’s straw unnecessarily hard.

“Good. He can watch,” Vaughn clipped, pivoting and making a beeline to the doors. I’d almost taken a relieved breath—almost—when he paused and turned around, as if forgetting something.

“Lenora.”

My name felt like whiplash curling on his tongue. Poppy winced. I had no choice but to look up. I put a little smile on my black-hued lips, just to make sure he knew I wasn’t impressed.

“You’re a virgin, aren’t you?” He cocked his head, another one of his patronizing smirks tossed my way.

“Duh, unless Lucifer was feeling desperate…” Arabella huffed, pretending to examine her hot pink nails.

More laughter boomed across the cafeteria.

“That’s enough,” Knight hissed, pushing his tray until it bumped against a smug jock’s abs.

His swift mood change made me think Vaughn had hit a sensitive nerve. As if the Knight Cole even knew what virginity meant. He probably thought a virgin was a Virginia-state resident.

“It’s fine, Knight. I appreciate you coming to my rescue, but I don’t need protection from toothless, ball-less dogs who bark, but can’t bite for shit,” I said serenely, making a point of tucking a bookmark between the pages of my book.

“Whoa…” The guys at the table balled their fists, howling.

I turned to Hunter and the jocks and swept a bored look over their athletic bodies.

“Also, I appreciate the hospitality, but I’m rather adamant on sleeping with men, not immature twats who are only good for drinking, partying, and burning their parents’ hard-earned cash, desperate to forget that high school is the peak of their lives. Which says something, because you’re at an age when not wanking for a day seems like a herculean accomplishment.”

Silence fell across the table. All eyes tried to penetrate the mask of indifference I was clinging to with bloodied fingernails.

Were they expecting me to cry? Cower? Run away?

To ask them why they did this?

Stifling another fake yawn, I licked my finger and flipped a page in my book, taking the bookmark out. My heart searched for an escape route, thrashing against my ribcage. One thing I knew about men like Vaughn Spencer—they either broke you or you broke them. There was no middle ground.

But I wasn’t going to be the one picking up the pieces when we were done with each other.

“You should come and see how it’s done.” Vaughn ignored my comeback, his iron voice slicing the air between us. “Prep you for next year, Good Girl.”

I looked up, despite my best intentions.

“When you assist me, silly. I’m sure your father thinks it’s a great idea.”

No, he doesn’t.

But when was the last time I’d spoken to Papa about my art? About me? He was too busy, and I was too shy to demand his attention. He could think that. He could.

“Never.”

“Never is a very long time,” Vaughn mused, his voice sweet and faraway all of a sudden. “Pride comes before the fall.”

“Don’t be so sure I’ll be the one doing the falling.”

“Considering you can barely fucking walk without tripping over your own feet, I’m hardy shaking.”

“Course not, Vaughn. The only things that scare you are feelings and little girls who walk into the wrong place at the wrong time.”

I’d been busting my bum for years for this internship. I wasn’t going back to Carlisle Castle as an assistant to an intern. I was going to be the intern. Assisting a star intern was prestigious, and I’d have loved the opportunity, but not if the intern was Vaughn.

Never the ocean-eyed god.

I felt my nostrils flare as I stared back at him. I hated him with abandon, with passion that seared through my veins. Fury could be either a weapon or a liability, but in my case, it was both.

There was nothing diabolical about him. No. The devil was red, hot, expressive, and desolate. Vaughn was the Night King—cold, blue, dead, and calculating. You couldn’t get to him, no matter how hard you tried.

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