Absinthe Of The Heart (Sins Of The Heart #1)(9)

By: Monica James


She locked her arms around his nape and began rocking, each painful inch she took etching away at whatever love she had left for Delores. “I just want to forget,” she declared, sobbing at the pain tearing down below. And sobbing at the pain carving through her heart. “Please…just make me forget.”

Ralphie knew what this was, and he knew he should stop, but he couldn’t. He secured his hands around her waist and promised to make her forget. And she did. For a split second in time, she forgot that life as she knew it would forever be changed.

What was done could never be undone, and what they’d all done would never be forgotten…or forgiven, for generations to come.





2004



“Would you look at that ass?” gushes my best friend, Annabelle Greene.

Peering up from my math calculus homework, I roll my eyes and almost gag when I see who she’s referring to. “Belle, please, for the love of god, give me some warning when you’re referring to that asshole. I now have to wash my eyes out…with bleach.” Belle cackles beside me, knowing that talking about him will leave me crankier than a bear with a sore head.

She slides her huge black sunglasses down her nose with her pointer finger and peers over the top of them, licking her glossy red lips. “Too bad he’s such an asshole because he’s so…fucking…hot.” Her pause for emphasis makes me want to knock some sense into her.

“Ugh!” I cover my ears and sing “Naughty Girl” by Beyoncé at the top of my lungs. I know she’s doing this is rile me up because she thinks it’s simply hilarious that, while almost every girl at our school, Harvard-Westlake, would happily drop their panties the moment he enters a room, I loathe the star quarterback with every fiber of my body.

But I’m not like every girl, and for that, I’m glad.

When I think I’m asshole-free, I remove my hands, but hold up my finger in warning. Belle giggles, hands raised in surrender. “Holland Brooks-Ferris, you’re the only girl who wouldn’t think twice if Sin got run over by a bus.”

I can’t help but raise my eyes to the heavens once again. “Please, Sin? Who does he think he is? Some character out of The Sopranos. That name is a reflection of what an utter Neanderthal he is. Besides, his surname is actually Arrington, but apparently, that’s not cool enough for him, and he goes by his mom’s surname instead. And you’re right, I wouldn’t, because I’d be driving the bus.”

Belle’s light laughter catches the warm summer breeze. “Okay, sorry, I meant London. London Sinclair-Arrington,” she clarifies with a smirk

“Oh, really? That’s his name? I didn’t know,” I quip, which is an outright lie.

Sadly for me, I’ve had the misfortune of knowing London Sinclair since he tripped me over and stole my lunch the first day of kindergarten. I wish the torture ended there, but he’s been a constant thorn in my side since that first day, going out of his way to make my life hell.

It’s no secret we’re archenemies, and it’s pretty safe to say we’ve hated one another from day one.

I begged my mom and dad to change schools, but they both said it was the best school in town. They’re just biased because this is where they went, and fell in love. I shudder at the thought. Parents and love—it’s not a combination any sixteen-year-old girl wants to think about.

London, Sin, or whatever alias he wants to go by, is in full gear, practicing for the big game on Saturday night. His confident swagger and the way he holds himself with such an air of arrogance makes me want to slam my head against this thick textbook in hopes of rendering myself unconscious.

The Sin Skanks as I like to call them huddle together on the bottom step of the bleachers, stroking the quarterback’s already huge, inflated ego by batting their eyelashes and cheering him on with ridiculous glittery signs they made in art class.

They’d better not sneeze or move in the wrong way because I’m pretty certain with one sudden movement, we’ll be seeing who’s a real blonde or not. The thought is enough to lose my lunch over.

London charges forward, demonstrating his sheer strength and size as he mows down anyone in his way. He doesn’t care who it is; it could be his grandma—all he cares about is winning.

As he ducks and weaves, he scores a touchdown, which incites an almost riot from the skanks down below. Belle and I are on the top of the bleachers, but his overbearing arrogance almost knocks me from my high perch.

He rips off his white helmet, pointing cockily to his legion of fans. Ugh, I hate his guts.

I continue with my math problem, which is far more entertaining, but Belle’s swooning is near palpable, so I risk a glance his way, wondering what exactly she’s so wrapped up in.