Dad somewhat smiles, but he strokes his goatee to hide it. “I know it’s been hard, but you’ve done good with giving the Millers space.”

It’s what they requested when they agreed to meet with Dad and Eli a few days after the train incident. Breanna had told them everything and I guess they met with the club so they could confirm her story.

Dad and Eli explained how the club intended to find evidence on the guys blackmailing Breanna. Turns out that’s what the board agreed and voted on after I had come to them for help.

The club has kept the Millers updated on what they’ve discovered and Breanna and I have been allowed no contact. Last image I have of her is with dirt on her face and pain in her eyes as she walked into her house the day Kyle lost his mind. Last words she said to me were “I love you,” and I told her, “It’ll be okay.”

“I promise the club will work this out,” Dad says.

I nod because there isn’t much else I can do. Dad, Eli and Pigpen set me straight after their first meeting with the Millers. Rushing over and disobeying her parents would make things worse on Breanna and she’s had enough of bad. I wanted her to have good.

“Ready to go?”

I stand and so does Dad. He pats my back as we head for our bikes. We have one more stop for the security business before we return home.


THIS GIRL IS smarter than me. Way smarter. Where I remember random facts, she remembers everything. For instance...

“You wore those socks two days ago.” Her name is Denver and she bites on her pinkie nail. She’s always nibbling on her nails, and it’s odd how in the four weeks we’ve been roommates, it’s stopped bothering me. “There’s a small hole under the blue stripe.”


She sits cross-legged on her perfectly made bed. Denver continuously calls attention to these types of things. At first it annoyed the crap out of me, and it was easy to understand why every roommate she had jumped ship, but then I noticed how she sat by herself in the dining hall and how most girls whispered as she walked by, and the annoyance dissolved.

Somehow I had been making friends, because my level of freak-of-nature brain activity was the same as most everyone else here, but Denver had become the outcast. She didn’t know how to talk to people, because she was either too intelligent or too awkward. Either way, I wasn’t interested in being like the people who tortured me in Snowflake. Instead, I decided to be her friend.

Denver’s eyes flicker to my socks again and I note her white ones that are perfectly folded over. I pull a pair of pink socks with crazy red stripes out of my dresser and toss them to her. “You can have these if you want. I have two pairs of that type.”

“We have to follow the dress code or we’ll be in trouble.”

“In class. Outside of class and school events we don’t have to wear the uniform.”

We’re both wearing a plaid skirt that hits our knees and a white button-down shirt. My side of the room is filled with posters of puppies I bought at the campus store. I also went old-school like Razor and taped pictures of my family by my bed. I also have a few of him I was smart enough to print out before everything fell apart.

A sharp ache causes me to close my eyes. It’s been over a month since we last talked. Since he last held me in his arms and told me he loved me. I tell people I have a boyfriend, but I’m not sure if that’s the case anymore. How long can I expect a guy to wait when we haven’t had contact for so long?

I reopen my eyes and Denver’s weighing the socks in her hands like I offered her a loaded gun. “It’s just socks.”

“My mom won’t approve,” she whispers like she’s afraid her mother might hear her in California.

“Well, that may be true, but she’s not here, is she?” A wicked smile spreads across my lips and it widens when I spot the spark of an evil smile start to form in response.

Denver is definitely sealed shut inside her box, and if Razor taught me anything, it’s that boxes are meant to be broken down and thrown away.

A knock on the door and my happiness fades. Nervous adrenaline seeps slowly into my veins and Denver grabs her purse and slips on her shoes. My parents are here. They visit every weekend and meet with my school counselors so they can review my phone records to confirm I’m contacting only them and Addison.

They freaked over my post on Bragger and then freaked more after I told them what happened with Kyle. Mom and Dad promised I would never see Razor again. They didn’t care that he protected me from Kyle. They saw Kyle and Razor as the same problem instead of one guy being the issue and the other being the solution. I informed them I’d be eighteen soon and their opinion didn’t matter much to me after that.

Mom cried. Dad yelled. I remained defiant. A few days later they told me they would give Razor a chance if I showed I could be trusted again. It’s an argument that caused all of us to bleed.

I did break their trust, but there’s not a part of me that regrets it. Those few months with Razor were the best of my life.

But my relationship with my parents isn’t the only one that needed repair. Addison wasn’t too happy I was keeping secrets from her, either. A couple of times I thought about asking her to play go-between for me and Razor, but then I figured that wasn’t fair. Addison and I just need to be friends and I need to deal with the consequences of a whole lot of decisions.

Denver opens the door and my mother says, “Hi,” as my roommate bolts. I sigh. Denver has a long road ahead of her with socialization skills.

My room fills with my family. Elsie attaches herself to my side. Zac and Paul act like they’re going to mess with Denver’s stuff and I continually threaten their lives. Dad tells me how he won the client and saved the factory. I congratulate him, then Dad, Liam and Joshua ask about school, drilling me on my classes, and my mother stays unusually silent near my desk.

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