IN THE DARK (The Rules Series, Book 2)
Stuck spending the summer with his screwed up family, Gabriel Walker is bored out of his mind and looking for an adventure. And he seems to find it with the hot girl who lives next door. The attraction between them is instant. Electric. Soon they’re spending every stolen minute together. Talk about the perfect summer fling…
Lucy isn’t what she seems. She doesn’t live next door—she’s the girl who’s been hired to house sit for the summer while the family goes on a worldwide vacation. If Gabe wants to believe she’s a spoiled rich girl looking for some fun, she can go along with that. After the summer, she’ll never see him again.
They don’t count on running into each other at college. Now Lucy must keep up the pretense of being a rich girl—and it’s exhausting. She knows she’s falling in love with Gabe and she’s scared he feels the same. Will he still care about her when he discovers the truth?
Reaching behind me, I shrug out of my T-shirt and toss it onto the metal stand Lucy just pulled her swimsuit off of and kick off my sliders, then step into the hot tub, the hot water bubbling around my ankles and calves.
Damn, that feels good. I sink into the water, settling on the bench seat and spreading my arms out wide on either side of me, gripping the edge of the tub. I lean my head back and glance up at the sky, noting the stars twinkling down at me.
Hopeful, pretty stars that almost mock me, make me want to wish for a future that I’m in control of. Not going to happen. Never going to happen no matter how much I want to make that untrue. I’m to do what my father tells me, whether I like it or not. He did what his father told him, and my grandfather did what his father said too.
It’s a Walker family tradition. And a big bunch of horseshit.
A door slams and I lift my head, ignoring the wooziness that threatens to swamp me. Lucy is walking toward me, her arms in front of her in a semi-awkward position and I wonder at that. Is she self-conscious? The girl who flaunts that hot-as-sin body for me on a daily basis like she doesn’t have a care in the world? What gives?
Lifting a hand, I wave her over. “Come join me,” I call.
She smiles and stops at the opposite edge of the hot tub, dipping just her toes in. Toes that are painted this vivid bright orange. Toes I want to kiss and suck and lick…
“It’s hot,” she says but that doesn’t seem to stop her. She sinks into the water until it reaches her shoulders, sitting across from me and even though that’s only a few feet, I feel like she’s a few feet too far.
“Feels good.” I keep my gaze on her, noting the unsure expression on her face as she tugs on one of the triangles of black fabric that barely contains her breast. “I’m sorry I was late. Went to a dinner with my parents and their friends.”
“It’s okay.” She shrugs, like it doesn’t bother her anymore, which is good. Most girls want groveling, or for the guy to make it up to them. Usually by way of an expensive gift or another date. “How was dinner?”
I make a face. “Awful. But I don’t really get along with my parents.”
Her jaw drops open. “You don’t?”
“That surprises you? Do you get along with your parents?”
“Most of the time my mom makes me crazy.”
“Exactly. Both of my parents make me crazy.” I lean my head back again, contemplating the stars. “My mom’s pushy. We went to dinner with this other family she just met. They had a daughter a little younger than me.”
“How old are you?” Lucy asks.
“Twenty-one,” I say to the sky. “Anyway, my mother wanted me to pair up with this girl.”
“Oh yeah?” She sounds disinterested and I chance a glance at her, see the way she’s watching me. I don’t think she likes that I’m talking about this, which is good. Real good. It means she might care. At least a little bit.
“Yeah. So I tried to pretend I was into her but I wasn’t.” I look at Lucy, who stares back me, irritation written all over her face. “You want to know why?”
“Because all I could think about, the entire night, is…” I reach and grab hold of her leg, my fingers sliding down her smooth calf until I lock them around her ankle, giving it a tug. “You.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
New York Times, USA Today and international bestselling author Monica Murphy is a native Californian who lives in the foothills below Yosemite with her husband and three children. She's a workaholic who loves her job. When she's not busy writing, she also loves to read and travel with her family. She writes new adult and contemporary romance and is published with Bantam and Avon. She also writes romance as USA Today bestselling author Karen Erickson.
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