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Danger! Bad Boy

By:April Brookshire

Danger! Bad Boy



Book Two of the Beware of Bad Boy series





April Brookshire





CHAPTER ONE




“Falling in love is like jumping off a really tall building.

Your brain tells you it is not a good idea,

But your heart tells you, you can fly.”

-Anonymous



GIANNA



The whole way out of Colorado I’d expected red and blue flashing lights to come up behind us. Imagining Caleb and me being hauled into the nearest police station to wait for our parents to pick us up had not been fun. Driving down Interstate 70 into Utah, I’d let out a sigh of relief. My mom wouldn’t think to look for us outside of Denver. Cece had texted me an hour ago asking what the heck was going on and why my mom had been blowing up her phone. My mom had even gone so far as to call Cece’s mom.

Two seconds after texting her that Caleb and I had sort of ran away together, my phone started playing “The Jump Off” by Lil’ Kim.

At Caleb’s look, I asked, “What? Cece picked it.”

“Figures,” he muttered, shaking his head.

“What’s up?” I asked breezily upon answering, as if I weren’t on the run with my boyfriend.

“Gianna!” Cece screeched, making me pull the phone a few inches away from my ear. “Where the heck are you?”

“Somewhere in Utah,” I told her. “Actually, we’re coming up on a town called Richfield. It’s late so we’re checking into a hotel for the night.”

“What the heck are you doing in freaking Utah?” Cece yelled into the phone.

“Promise not to tell anyone?” I asked, wanting to assure her secrecy and hopefully calm her down. “Especially my parents or yours?”

“Of course,” Cece scoffed like it was a given.

Feeling scared, alive and crazy at the same time, I needed to confide in my best friend. “Caleb is taking me to Vegas!”

My phone beeped and I knew it’d be another text from my mom. She’d given up on calling a couple hours ago. Caleb had answered a call from his dad before we were even out of Denver. His dad wasn’t happy about us taking off and was even less happy when Caleb informed him we’d be gone for a few days. At the same time, his dad was dealing with the emotional fallout of separating from his wife. Caleb had told him we’d be at a hotel for the next few days but he purposely failed to mention the hotel would be in Las Vegas.

“Aw!” Cece whined as I ignored my mom’s text. “I want to go to Vegas!”

“Next time we’ll go as a group,” I assured her.

“Group road trip!” Cece squealed. I was sure the image in her head was like in commercials where friends on road trips had a crazy good time. The ones where the sun was shining, the windows were rolled down and nobody wore their seatbelt.

Caleb pulled off the freeway and into a gas station. At just past midnight in this small town there was only one other car in the lot, probably the clerk’s.

“Look, Cece, I have to go, we’re stopping at a gas station.”

“Fine, but you better call me when you get to Vegas tomorrow!” she ordered, still sounding put out about not being invited.

“Of course,” I replied on a yawn.

“Love you, Gigi!” she said. “Be careful!”

“Love you, too.” I hung up the phone and got out to stretch my legs. Caleb was already pumping gas; filling up for the four hours we still had to drive tomorrow. “I’m going to get some snacks. Do you want something?”

Every once in awhile, at normal moments like this, it’d hit me how weird it was that we’d gotten together. How had this guy gone from being the bane of my existence to the center of my world in such a short period of time?

He looked as tired as I felt, but he hadn’t complained once while driving over seven hours over the Rockies and through the Utah desert. “Gatorade, barbeque chips and cashews.”

Having his order, I walked into the convenience store and headed straight for the bathroom first.

As I browsed the aisles, grabbing Caleb’s snacks and a few things for myself, the middle-aged male clerk mostly ignored me while reading his car magazine. Actually, it was more like a car porno, with a girl in a bikini sprawled across the hood of a classic car on the front cover.

The bell on the door chimed and I looked up with a smile, expecting it to be Caleb. It wasn’t. A shady looking guy in his early twenties headed straight to the back freezers where the alcohol was kept. Feeling suddenly nervous about being in a gas station in the middle of the night in the middle of nowhere, Utah, I snatched a bag of chips on my way up front to pay.

My arms were full and I clumsily dropped the items on the counter. “Can I get these in a bag, please?”

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