Absinthe Of The Heart (Sins Of The Heart #1)(10)

By: Monica James


His dirty blond hair is longer on top with shorter sides, a lot longer than you’d expect a jock’s hair to be. It’s always mussed from him running his long fingers through it, as he knows it drives all the girls, except me, wild. Even though I can’t see them from this distance, I know from them staring holes straight through me that beneath that tousled bed hair lies a set of the stormiest blue gray eyes I have ever seen. They’re the kind of blue that reminds you of the clearest cerulean sea, but they can also suck you into a punishing storm seconds later.

His nose is evenly sloped and slightly upturned, adding to the air of arrogance he constantly carries on his broad, muscular shoulders. His jawline is chiseled and always brushed with a dark, heavy scruff, which makes him look so much older than sixteen.

His body is taut, muscled, and absolutely imposing, standing at six-foot-four. The way he holds himself, he knows he’s been gifted in the looks department. Too bad his virtues got lost in the mail.

He’s everything you’d expect a quarterback to be—attractive, rich, and so full of himself, he believes his own bullshit.

I narrow my eyes, watching the way the red jersey clings to his upper torso. He’s certainly grown from the scrawny little brat who cut off one of my pigtails in the second grade. Too bad he didn’t grow a brain as well.

Lost in visions of our turbulent past, I don’t notice him looking at me until it’s too late. He’s seen me staring, and even from up here, I can see that trademark cocky, dimpled smirk. I hate that grin. I’ve slapped it from his face a handful of times.

As he runs forward, his bulging arms swinging by his side, he points at me before blowing a kiss. The skanks turn briskly to see who dared steal their limelight, but they have absolutely nothing to worry about. I am not interested in anything London Sinclair has to offer. Not wanting him to think I’ve gone soft, I raise my finger—the middle one, that is—before blowing my own kiss with it.

I can see his perfect white teeth flash me a smile from up here.

Screw…him.

As Belle ties back her long blonde hair, she muses aloud, “I wonder what his favorite drink is, because whatever it is has made him big and strong.”

“Blue Cherry Gatorade,” I reply without pause.

She pauses from primping and arches a sculptured brow. “That’s right; you’re a walking encyclopedia when it comes to Sin,” she teases, just how she always does.

“I’ve made a point to know my enemy. It’s smart business,” I explain, scoffing when a groupie runs to the sidelines to offer London a towel.

“Are you looking at Sin…voluntarily?” Belle asks, feigning horror with a hand pressed to her chest.

“Don’t be ridiculous,” I counter, suddenly feeling hot. But I was, and I hate myself for even giving him a sliver of satisfaction. I need to get out of here because London’s arrogance is suffocating. Besides, I need to study.

Belle breaks her ogling and peers up at me. “Hitting the library?”

I nod. “Yes. I have to finish that history paper.”

“Holl, you’ll ace this, just as you always do.”

Her confidence in me is reassuring, but if I want to get into Stanford, I need perfect grades. Unlike most of the kids who go here, I have to work hard for my education. I don’t have a trust fund. Nor do I have Mommy and Daddy forking out hundreds and thousands of dollars easily.

My father, Bobby Ferris, comes from money. My grandfather was a Texan oil tycoon. He came to Los Angeles after he struck it big, wanting to capitalize on his good fortune. Before my mother, Delores Brooks, met my father, she was doing it rough. She was poorer than poor, but thanks to my father, her life changed.

We lived in an extravagant mansion in the Hollywood Hills where my neighbors were famous actors and people of “importance.” It was all superficial nonsense, so when my grandfather made a bad investment and our lives changed forever, I didn’t think twice when we were forced to sell and move to a less luxurious part of Los Angeles.

Instead of a six-bedroom mansion, we live in a two-bedroom home where our neighbors are your average, working-class American families who drive hybrids instead of Hummers. Both my mother and father work honest jobs so they can pay the bills, but to the rich and richer, we may as well be white trash. My grandfather is seen as a con artist because he went to prison for embezzlement, and my mom, she’s an apparent gold digger, which is ridiculous, because if she were, why would she still be married to my dad? And my dad, he’s seen as having no balls because he remained faithful to his family.

My soiled history is something London Sinclair ensures I don’t forget.