Khloe Hudson is all out of everything.
All out of patience for her alcoholic father. All out of money from her summer job savings. All out of scholarship essay ideas for colleges. And all out of room in her heart for people who don’t care to see her for who she really is.
But even she has to admit that the French jerk attending her academy is starting to worm his way in just a bit.
Cash Castille couldn’t care less about what Khloe thinks she knows. None of her advanced classes have taught her that love isn’t something that can be measured or figured out using scientific methods. Actions often speak louder than words. And although he gets a rise out of driving her crazy, he can’t help but wonder when her brain will stop arguing with what their hearts already know.
When Cash drops a bomb and asks for the favor of a lifetime, Khloe reluctantly agrees because despite the terms, she needs the benefits of their arrangement. However, as Cash and Khloe navigate through their new found relationship, she can’t help but wonder if the cost of this ploy will be another expense she can’t afford to give. Her heart.
Chapter 2 (Partial)
The first time I met Cash, he thoroughly pissed me off. It may have taken me a second to remember why I was so frustrated with him while I dragged my eyes over the nicely packaged fellow but when I did he was smirking at me. The haughty attitude reminded me so much of everyone else at Warren Academy that I immediately had such a fierce disliking of him it almost scared me. It definitely unnerved me to despise someone so soon after seeing them, before we even spoke a word to one another.
He leaned forward onto his knees and pushed a tanned hand through dark chocolate locks that curled just so at the ends. His green eyes were filled with humor as he chuckled to himself; making his broad shoulders shift. After my first year at Warren Academy, I’d quickly learned that keeping to myself in class was much less of a headache than drawing attention to myself and having everyone stare at my department store clothing and non-designer backpack. It was no secret that I attend on a scholarship and that’s grounds for juvenile mocking here. This year I’d made it abundantly clear to everyone that I wasn’t going to take the same shit as before. Most people got the message.
Aside from the classes that I shared with Liz, I sat myself at the back of the classroom if there were desks and if there were shared tabletops—like in Bio— then I made sure that I sat at an empty one without a partner. I had gotten into the habit of setting my bag on the chair next to me so that as new students came, they didn’t look at my chair as available. That apparently didn’t scare off the hot jerk that was then smirking at me.
He’d tossed my bag on the floor beside me and immediately began trying to flirt with me. Unfortunately for him, I was kind of a bitch, and not easily swayed by his charm.
“What kind of idiot throws a girl’s bag on the floor and then suggests they meet up later to perform sexual favors for each other?” I’d asked in a disgusted voice.
“Do forgive me, Beauté. I forget how aloof Americans can be about sex. The French are often known for our straightforward attitude towards such things.” That accent did funny things to my insides, no matter how badly I tried to keep them solid he nearly liquified them without really trying.
“Do forgive me but you aren’t in France and I’m not aloof I’m just not interested. If you could find another desk I will chalk this up as a mishap and kindly ignore you for the rest of the year.” He smiled at me. A real one, not a smirk. A smile that crinkled the corners of his eyes and made him abundantly more attractive. It really wasn’t fair.
“I rather like my spot here. In fact, I think this will be my favorite subject.” From that point on, I’d decided to hate him. He was more or less as much an enemy to me as Marley Evans was. After class I walked up to Liz for lunch and he followed me. Unbeknownst to me, he and Liz had struck up a friendship in another class and she had told him he could eat lunch with us.
Even when I refused, nothing changed so I stewed silently to myself and any input I added to the conversation was pitiful at best. Cash continued to flirt with me for weeks before he finally got the hint and started dating around the school. It was then that this annoying habit he is demonstrating now came about.
“I love your hair this way.” Amanda Locke says as she pushes Cash’s hair back. I roll my eyes and mock gag. I hate that he finds it necessary to sit next to me while he flirts with every Tammy, Darcy, and Harley (my version of Tom, Dick and Harry) in the entire Academy.
“Is there a reason that you’re over here, Amanda? I kinda want to get this project done so I can get out of here.” Amanda’s angry brown eyes meet mine and I arch an eyebrow, challenging her.
“Don’t mind my little Beauté here, she is all about marks, you know the type.”
“I doubt she does. And don’t speak for me.” I admonish him before going back to glaring at her. She glares back but when her eyes meet Cash’s they soften.
“Of course.” She turns as if to walk away and then stops and asks, “by the way, do you have a pen I can borrow?”
Cash’s lip kicks up in a smirk. “Sure thing, darling.” The next thing I know the pen that I was just using to outline the atomic structure formula is gone. He hands it to her and she shoots him a flirtatious smile before walking off.
“Dude! What the hell?” When he pries his eyes from her ass, they find me.
“Oui?” I grip the corners of the table and count to ten. I’ve lost count of the number of times he has taken my pens and pencils to give to other girls. Mysteriously new bags of pens keep finding their way into my locker. It’s the most annoying never ending cycle.
“The next time you steal one of my pens to give to one of your little hussies I am going to take a pipe cleaner to your eye.”
“Your combative nature may scare other guys off, but I find it a little seductive.” His returning smile makes me want to hurt him in ways I have yet to imagine. Luckily, the bell rings before I have much more time to think on it and I stomp off.
“I’m not doing your homework for you Cashel.”
“Come on Beauté, you know you don’t want to fail. We’re partners.” The nickname he uses for me almost makes me shiver. In contempt, I’m sure.
I stop abruptly and turn towards him.
“If I fail this assignment I will thoroughly castrate you.”
“Have you noticed that you mention my junk a lot?”
“What does the word eunuch mean to you?”
“Beauté,” Cash says as he pushes me up against the lockers and leans into me. “You and I both know that my anaconda is important.” I scoff but the husky tone distracts me. Why is he so close?
“Maybe to half the Academy. And anaconda? That may be a bit generous.” My cheeks heat.
“Would you like to test that theory?” I’m so flustered I just stand there with my mouth open like an idiot. Long moments pass before his smile grows, his ivy eyes sparkling. “Thanks, love.” He says before kissing my cheek and ducking down the hall. My face flames then and I see Liz has been there the entire time.
“How much of that did you witness?”
“Enough to know that we need to talk.” I groan and she swings an arm through mine.
“Come on. We have to find some entertainment until Cash gets back, he’s our ride.”
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