Home > Twisted Secrets (Bastards of Boulder Cove #3)

Twisted Secrets (Bastards of Boulder Cove #3)
Author: Rachel Leigh

 

Prologue

 

 

NEO

 

 

Twelve Years Old

“Quit it, you jerk!” Scar bellows as I tighten my grip on her ponytail.

Crew and Jagger ignore the commotion, too caught up in their game of Minecraft.

“Leave her alone,” Maddie hisses, grabbing my arm and trying to break my hold on Scar’s hair.

“I told her to never come in my room again. So why’d you bring her in here?”

“Because she’s my best friend and so are you, so will you please stop being so mean?”

“Choose, Maddie.” I tip my chin. “Me or her? Choose now.”

I don’t let go of Scar’s hair as I wait for an answer. She twists her head to the side, attempting to pry my fingers from her ponytail.

“I’m not choosing!”

“Then I’m not letting go. Me or her?” I’m dead serious. I want Scar to hear Maddie say that she chooses me. Maybe then she’ll leave and never come to this house, or my room, again.

“Her. I choose her because, right now, you’re being a bully and I don’t like bullies.”

Her words are like a knife straight into my back. Maddie and I have always been really close. We do everything together, but lately, she’s been bringing this girl around more and more. Scar never used to come over this much. We’d only see her, and occasionally play with her, at meetings. Now she’s here all the time, and I hate it.

“You’re lying.”

Maddie steps closer to where I’m still holding Scar’s ponytail. She grabs my hand, assisting Scar in untangling my fingers. She grabs my middle finger and bends it back. “Am I?” Her eyes hold a sinister glow to them. Something evil I’ve never seen before.

Finally, I let go. Not because Maddie was hurting me or because I was worried she’d break my finger, but because I’ve never seen her so serious before. Maybe she wasn’t lying. She would choose Scar, and I can never allow that to happen.

“What in the world is going on here?” Mom asks as she enters my bedroom.

I look at Maddie, wondering if she’ll rat me out.

“Neo won’t let us come in and play video games, and he pulled Scar’s hair.”

“Neopolo Saint!” Mom crosses her arms over the chest of her white-knitted sweater. “You better not have pulled this sweet girl’s hair.”

Maddie continues to fuel the fire while smirking at me. “He did. And then he made me choose between him and her.”

What has Scar done to my sister?

The next thing I know, Dad’s walking in, all stern and serious like he always is. Great. A family reunion.

“What happened?” he asks, staring at my mom like she did something wrong.

“Your son pulled Scarlett’s hair.”

“Wow. Thanks, Mom.”

Everyone in this stupid family is turning on me today.

“Why?” he deadpans, now looking at me.

“’Cause she’s in my room and I don’t want her in here.”

My dad looks at my mom, then Scar. “It’s his room. If he doesn't want you in here, then leave.”

Scar’s eyes widen and I swear she’s gonna cry. I hope she does. It would be funny as hell.

“Sebastian,” Mom bellows. “Be nice.”

Dad’s shoulders shrug. “Neo doesn’t need girls in his room when he’s hanging out with his friends. They’re not toddlers anymore. We can’t force them to play together.”

“Thanks, Dad.”

“Don't thank me.” He looks at Maddie. “You and your friend go play somewhere else.”

It’s so weird to me that he doesn’t often call Scar by her actual name. It’s always, that girl or your friend.

Not that I care, she is just that girl.

Maddie and Scar go out, leaving me with my mom and dad, while Crew and Jagger shut us all out and continue playing their game of Minecraft.

“Fun’s over. You need to do your schoolwork.” My dad crosses my room, positioning himself directly in front of the television.

I look at Crew and Jagger, who have paused their video game.

“That’s not fair, Dad. Maddie has her friend here.”

“Your sister isn’t my problem. She’s your mom’s.”

I look at Mom, hoping this time she’ll be the one to jump to my defense. Instead, she hangs her head low, like she’s embarrassed or doesn’t want to speak up. Probably worried he’ll yell at her or something. He’s always yelling at everyone.

“You are my son,” he continues, “and you will do what I say.” He points his finger over my shoulder. “Get to your desk and I better see schoolbooks open when I come back to check on you.”

The guys and I share a look before they quietly set their controllers down on the floor in front of them. “See ya at school tomorrow,” Crew clips, before he and Jagger both stand up and head for the door.

“This isn’t fair, Dad.”

“Life isn’t fair.”

“Just because Maddie's a girl, she gets to have all the fun.”

“You and Maddie are headed down two different paths. You did the right thing kicking that girl outta here. The more luxuries we give her, the more comfortable she’ll be. But don’t fucking pull her hair again, understood?”

For some reason, my dad doesn’t like Scar. He’s always made that clear to her. Yet, she continues to come around. She’s stubborn and tough. Except when I get a good hold on her hair. That’s her weak spot, and I use it to my advantage.

“Yes, sir,” I tell him, before going to my desk to get started on my schoolwork like he demanded.

Dad leaves and Mom walks over to where I’m sitting. Her hand rests on my shoulder and she keeps her tone low. “It’s okay to make Scarlett feel comfortable, Neopolo.” Mom’s the only one who can call me by my given name and get away with it. Oddly enough, I sort of like it when she does—but only her. No one else can call me that.

“But Dad said—”

“Your father says a lot of things. If you want to be nice to her, be nice to her. She’s your twin sister’s best friend and I think it would make Maddie really happy if you two got along.”

I spin around in my chair, and Mom drops her hand from my shoulder. “That’s the thing, Mom. I don’t want to be nice to her. Dad told me some really bad things about the Sunders and I don’t think anyone should be nice to her.”

“He did, did he?”

I nod.

“Well,” she leans closer, “I think your dad just wants the best for you, but the only one who knows what that is, is you.”

“I think it’s best if she just disappears.”

Mom tilts her head to the side and her eyebrows bunch together. “Why is that?”

“Because she’s a snake and snakes bite.”

Her hand lands back on my shoulder. “Only the bad ones bite, and I promise you, Neopolo, Scar’s not one of the bad ones.” She squeezes my shoulder gently, before leaning down and kissing my cheek.

Doesn’t matter—a snake is still a snake.

Before standing back up, Mom whispers, “Ya know. Sometimes when a boy is mean to a girl, it means he has a crush on her.”

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