Home > Tempting Devil (Sinners and Saints #2)

Tempting Devil (Sinners and Saints #2)
Author: Veronica Eden







Being here is necessary, I remind myself while crouching between the trees, scoping out my target. It’s all part of the perfect plan.

Silver Lake Forest Estates has always made me feel out of place. Tonight’s no different, even as I lurk in the shadows. My friend Gemma Turner dragged me to this community of mansions often last year for parties at her boyfriend’s house on the other side of the lake. Maybe the sense of not belonging comes from being surrounded by people with so much privilege it bleeds from their ears, compared to what I have. Maybe it’s that I can always feel Devlin Murphy judging my presence.

Either way, there’s never been a question about it. I’m definitely not welcome here.

Now I’m staking out a place I never thought I’d willingly go: my enemy’s house.

The weather has been mild for early September in Ridgeview, but I’m dressed in all black to blend in with the night. Sweat dampens the armpits of my faded long-sleeve t-shirt after hiking to my hiding place, where I have a clear view to the giant gate guarding the house. I don’t know if it’s from the anxious anticipation coursing through me or that I’m overheating in the outfit I scraped together for tonight from the second-hand shop. Probably both.

If Devlin catches me on his property, he’ll live up to that big bad name of his. He’s known as the notorious dark devil of Silver Lake High School, both for his looks and his lethal attack on the soccer field.

Douchebag devil. I hate him more than any of the jerks at my school.

One week into senior year and he’s already cashing in on making my life hell once again. He cooled off a little last year after Gemma started dating his cousin and king of the school, Lucas Saint. It didn’t stop him from sniping at me every chance he got, though. It just made him get more creative.

With Lucas and Gemma off at Oak Ridge College of the Arts, the high school has become Devlin Murphy and Connor Bishop’s kingdom, the evil duo ruling over us with iron fists.

Today, Devlin and his soccer buddies baited me with dollar bills on fishing wire, hunting for my desperation. His vicious sneer burned my insides with acidic hatred. The most depressing part? We need money so badly that I almost gave into their cruel trap to add a few more dollars to our meager savings.

Survival always outweighs pride when it comes down to it.

A warm breeze moves the branches overhead, the creaking limbs the soundtrack to my illicit troublemaking.

The plan is to break in and take one of the things he loves most.

From what I can tell, Devlin has at least five cars—expensive ones. These aren’t your typical economy class cars. It’s about four more than the average person needs.

A car heist goes a little further than my usual song and dance. More like miles further. The corner of my mouth lifts without a trace of humor as the thought crosses my mind.

Devlin Murphy deserves it.

The bastard’s had it coming since freshman year. I’ve endured his brand of tormenting bullshit for too long.

A twig snaps with a muffled sound beneath my shoes as I shift my weight. I tighten my ponytail to keep my hair out of my face while I work, flicking my gaze up to the stars dotting the sky above the evergreens. It’s dark enough I think.

Time to get moving if I’m going to pull this off. No more stalling, dancing on the line of will I or won’t I.

There is no will or won’t tonight—only have to and no choice.

I blow out a breath and rub my fingertips together. My shoulders are too tense. Needing to loosen up, I give them a little shake.

The isolated house looming before me is a mix of modern contemporary style with luxe cabin touches—large windows, metal framework, white-washed concrete, and the aesthetic comforts of an oversized mountain cabin.

Cabin is being coy. This is a legit mountain mansion. The biggest in the private community of Ridgeview’s own brand of royalty.

It comes off as arrogant and out of place. The house’s jutting lines sprawl out like it’s their right, juxtaposed against nature as the trees fight to stand their ground.

Because money gives you everything. It opens any door. Nature doesn’t get to say no to money.

My mouth twists in bitter contempt as my nails dig into the bark of a tree trunk beside me. I stand and keep to the shadows.

Adrenaline tingles in my fingertips with the first step I’ve taken in over an hour, the sharp pricks jumping along my awareness and contorting my stomach.

No one is around. Devlin’s house is spread far from the neighbors, the most remote property I’ve seen here. Still, I don’t let my guard drop.

A flash of light makes my heart trip over itself—headlights! Security patrol?—and I duck behind a cluster of boulders. It moves off into the tree line, turning away from Devlin’s house. I breathe out a relieved sigh and creep closer to the house.

Funny how a private community for the most elite of Ridgeview doesn’t expect unwelcome intruders to walk right in, assuming guests and residents only pass through the security kiosk at the gate. Dusk settled as I hiked from the road, slipping between the homes unseen, tracing the path I mapped out to get to Devlin’s house on Google Maps at the library.

A bitten-off snort leaves me. I peek around to check if the coast is clear and dart by a skinny sapling. A little farther and I’ll be past the point of no return.

If the sport schedule bulletin on the school website was right, Devlin should be at soccer practice until 8pm. That gives me at least forty-five minutes to work under the cover of night. His Range Rover was in the student lot today, three spaces down from the rust bucket 2001 Corolla that gets me from point A to B.

The plan races through my head on repeat: get in unnoticed, disable the GPS tracking system according to the YouTube tutorial, drive off like a fucking boss, watch that dick’s fury from afar in school…

I move my hand over my hips, checking the pouch hooked through my belt loops. Inside is everything I’ll need for this plan.

The sense of preparedness, calculating every move, is born out of faking it until I make it. It’s not like I’ve ever committed a crime this serious before.

My wheelhouse is petty theft—earning the stupid sticky fingers name the devil of Silver Lake High taunts me with by shoplifting what I can’t afford and picking pockets when necessary.

The corners of my mouth tighten. Devlin Murphy has no idea what it’s like to constantly stress about money.

Robin Hood steals from the rich, right? Well, the wealthy snobs of this town are the ones teaching me brutal lessons in survival, so I’m returning the favor.

I’ve long since let go of any moral guilt hanging over my head for being a survivor.

Pausing my approach to the house, I bite my lip. The undeniable consequences of what I’m here to do scroll through my head like a marquee. Devlin has more than enough money to bury me and then go after Mom. Hell, he could probably kill me for touching his cars and get away with it.

That crazy look that haunts his eyes when they’re on me…

A shudder shakes my body. Yeah, he’s messed up enough to murder someone. No doubt about it.

You’re stalling. “Ugh.”

I force my feet to move.

This is a big score for me, bigger than I’ve ever taken on. I’m not stealing cheap mascara, taking an extra carton of milk, or snagging a hundred bucks from spoiled classmates that don’t notice they’re short when their no-limit credit cards make up the difference.

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