Hooked on the Game (The Sterling Shore Series #1)

Hooked on the Game (The Sterling Shore Series #1) by C.M. Owens

Book: Hooked on the Game (The Sterling Shore Series #1) by C.M. Owens Read Free Book Online
Authors: C.M. Owens
    "Why are you being so nice to me all of the sudden?"
    He frowns as I take a seat beside him, making sure to leave a respectable amount of distance between us without going overboard and making it look like I'm disgusted by him.  I was once disgusted by him, but he keeps... blurring the lines.
    His eyes fall to my shoulder where one of my yellowing bruises barely remains visible.
    "Because believe it or not, I don't like knowing you got hurt.  I feel like an ass.  Seeing the proof of the damage that could have been done... Let's just say it scared me.  Now, can we eat?"

Chapter 5
    Playing Games
    My room looks like fashion central threw up in it.  I've tried on seven dresses, three pairs of jeans, and fifteen or more shirts.  Nothing looks right.  Nothing even comes close to looking right on me.  I don't look like a pretty girl dressed up and ready to party.  I look like Raya Capperton, daughter of Ray Drivel, the conman's trashy daughter playing dress-up.
    Just when I decide it's pointless, the door to my room creaks open.  Butterflies ruffle my stomach as I anxiously wait to see Kade's blue eyes, but I'm met by a different pair of blues instead.  My heart sinks back down from my throat as Ember walks in wearing an excited grin and a killer dress.
    Her hair is tossed in perfect ringlets today instead of pigtails.  Her red dress is just short enough to drag the eye down, and her classy cleavage brings the eyes back up.  She looks far less innocent than she did yesterday.  I'm jealous.  I've got Paul Colton's latest line of fashion, and she looks better in her thrift store buy.  Maybe that's the problem.  These clothes are too dazzling for the jaded.
    "Hey.  I hope this is okay.  Kade let me in and told me where to find you."
    I nod, forcing a tight smile.  I'd fallen asleep while we were watching the movie, and Kade must have carried me back to my room last night.
    He'd caught me off guard with the sincerity in his eyes when I asked him about why he was suddenly being nice to me.  The look he gave me... He's different than what I once thought, and now it's even more confusing.  He didn't say anything much after that.
    We sat in a comfortable silence, kept our distance, and watched a terrible movie like it was riveting.  I shouldn't have asked that question.  I wish I hadn't.  Today we've barely spoken at all, since he was busy preparing for the party.  I've stayed in my room most of the day.
    "Is that what you're wearing?"  Her wide eyes only cement my reservations.  She sees the trashy girl playing dress-up, too.
    "It looks terrible, doesn't it?" I groan, glancing down at the tight white, strapless dress that was meant for someone far more impressive than I.
    "Hell no," she gushes.  "It's fucking awesome.  That's... I'm so jealous."
    I almost bite back a grin.  I'm jealous of her thrift store dress, and she's jealous of the dress I can't actually pull off.  "Maybe we should trade."
    She laughs and shakes her head.  "Not happening.  I'd never look that good in white.  There's only one problem... You can't wear that underwear.  It's leaving lines."
    I try to glance back at my rear, but I can't twist that way in this tight dress.  I finally give up and look over at her rummaging through my drawers until she finds where I store my panties and bras.  Another boundary.  I need to make a mental note to google what the boundaries are around here.  I was apparently raised very differently.
    "Here," she says, handing me a pair of white thongs.
    I don't even know how those managed to make it to the counter.  I can only assume Kade tossed them and several other pairs of underwear on the counter that day.  It's not something I need to think about right now.
    I slip out of the more comfortable underwear and make the trade for the small stringed thing meant for a goddess.  This should be interesting.  Ember goes to be in front of the mirror as she checks her hair.
    "It's crazy down

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