Rock's Redemption(Insurgents MC Romance Book 8)(8)

By: Chiah Wilder

From that day on, a deeper wedge was drawn between the two brothers. Henri continued to see Lorraine, and the summer before his senior year of high school, Roche spent it sneaking over to her house and hovering over her, wishing it were Clotille he was thrusting into.

Most of his senior year was spent either in the principal’s office or at home, under suspension. His main reason for going to school was to fight, smoke weed, and fool around with the fast girls. He’d bump into Clotille in the hallway or stairwell sometimes, and she’d fidget and clear her throat a lot if he said anything to her. He still thought she was the most beautiful girl he’d ever seen, but over the past few years his heart had hardened, bitterness replacing any tenderness he’d once felt for her.

During school assemblies or at the football games, he’d catch her sneaking glances at him, her eyes pained when he’d make out with one of the fun girls. He didn’t have time for her anymore. He was a couple months away from graduating and getting the hell away from his father and Henri. No one or nothing was going to stop him.

On a cool April night, the senior class had a party down by the river. The teenagers huddled around a large fire pit, their faces appearing grotesque in the glow of the blaze. Roche walked toward the party, his arm wrapped around his newest girl, Sally. He greeted a few of his friends and they all took out cigarettes and lit them, the ends glowing in the dark. Sensing someone staring at him, he glanced over to the edge of the river and locked eyes with her. Clotille had her arm around Luc’s waist, her long chestnut brown hair cascading down her back beautiful under the moonlight. Her gaze moved from him to Sally, who was wrapped around him like a snake on a branch. Clotille turned away, and Sally whispered in his ear, “Let’s go somewhere and have some fun.”

A couple hours later, Sally was flying high on coke and booze. Roche’s buddy, Matt, came over to him. “Damn, Sally’s wasted. You gonna take her home?”

“Why?” Roche knew Sally liked giving out freebies to the boys. He was pretty sure she’d screwed her way through most of the senior guys already.

Matt shrugged. “I’m going home, so I thought if you wanted to stay I could drop her off. I go right by her house.”

Roche laughed, knowing full well what Matt wanted, and knowing Sally, she’d be more than willing to give it. “Sure, that works.” He helped Sally into Matt’s car, kissing her back when she covered his mouth with hers. “You sure you want to go home with Matt?” he whispered in her ear.

She nodded. “You don’t mind, do you? You’ll still call me, right?”

“Sure,” he lied. He closed the door and watched as the red taillights disappeared into the darkness. He made his way back to the party, drank a couple more beers, and then decided to call it a night.

He’d borrowed his dad’s beat-up old Chevy Impala, parking it down by the cluster of trees. He loved walking, especially at night. As he passed a large cypress tree, he heard crying—deep-in-the-chest sobbing—and he stopped, wondering if he should see if the woman needed any help. He decided to mind his own business and walked slowly away, but the sobs pulled him back. Roche walked toward the sounds, his eyes widening when he saw Clotille on her knees, sobbing into her hands.

At first, he almost walked away, but something about the way she cried reminded him of when he’d met her. His heart clenched. “Qu’est-ce qui se passe, chérie?” he asked.

She jerked her head up, wiping her damp cheeks. Recognition passed over her face, and he saw her features soften.

In two long strides, he knelt beside her, holding her hand. “You gonna tell me what’s wrong? Where’s Luc?” When Roche mentioned her boyfriend’s name, she started crying again and sank into him, her cheeks wet against his shirt. “Did he do something to you?” A current of anger rode up his spine.

“No. Yes.” She swallowed and her chin dipped down. “I went looking for him and caught him with Raine, the new girl in school. I can’t believe he did that to me.” She threw her arms around Roche’s neck and cried.

He knew he should feel awful for her, but all he could think about was how wonderful she smelled and how good she felt in his arms. Her soft hair and the way her breasts crushed against him made all his senses jump to life and buzz. He’d never liked Luc and thought Clotille had only gone out with him to please her brother and mother since Luc was always in the papers after making touchdowns for the high school football team.

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