Prom King by Alexa Riley

“What’s wrong?” she asks, and I can hear her grabbing her keys.

“A bird soaked me in water.” The phone goes quiet for a moment.

“Okaaaay.” She drags the word out. “I’m on my way, sweetheart.”

When she hangs up, I make my way toward the front of the building to wait outside on the steps. The second I see my mom I rush over to her car because I want to get out of here before everyone is dismissed from the assembly.

“I’m going to need to dye my hair,” I say when I open the door and get in. This sounds like a brilliant plan to me. No one will recognize me as the girl that got the soak down.

“Where are your glasses?” Mom asks, ignoring my comment.

“Gone.” They must have fallen off when I was doused with the water.

“Tell me what happened. Do I need to go into that school?” My mom is good at hiding her emotions, except when it comes to me. She’s breathing heavily, and her tight grip on the steering wheel gives away her anger.

“No, it was an accident,” I admit before giving her a rundown of what happened. “Thankfully someone else stole all the attention from me, and I was able to get away.” I let out a breath, hoping Emerson was right about no one seeing my nipples.

“Do you think the boy who took his shirt off did it on purpose?” she asks as she pulls into the driveaway of the little blue house we’re renting.

“Um, I don’t know.” I try to think back, but it all happened so fast I didn’t even really get a good look at his face. Emerson called him Crew, but I didn’t see much. “It’s all a blur.”

“Let’s get you out of those wet clothes.” I follow her into the house and go straight for the bathroom to take a warm shower and put on dry clothes. I toss Emerson’s shirt in the washing machine so I can take it back to him tomorrow.

“I made you lunch.” She motions to the plate at the small table that sits in the kitchen. “And I called to see about getting you another pair of glasses. I really should have gotten you a back-up pair, honey. I’m sorry.”

“It’s fine,” I try to reassure her. I know she’s worrying over me, but I can’t help but wonder if there’s going to be some teasing in the days to come. Which is why I like the idea of dyeing my hair. My mom is never going to let me do it. If I wanted to dye my hair because I truly wanted to, she'd be down. Doing it to hide my embarrassment will never slide with her.

Mom rests her hip against the counter as she watches me eat my peanut butter and banana sandwich. It doesn’t matter how old I get, I could eat this every day.

“We’ve been invited to a party this weekend. I think we should go. We’ll get to meet some more folks from around here.”

I scrunch my nose. not sure how I feel about a party. “Are you working?” I ask and she shrugs. Meaning if something drops in her lap she’s not going to pass it up.

“Apparently it’s a big deal around here. At least that’s what he told me when he invited us. It’s his party.”

“He?” I question.

“Rory. He’s the one who followed me out of the coffee shop.” She really never misses anything.

“He asked you on a date?”

“He tried,” she admits.

She has a way of dancing around answering questions that always gets her what she’s after. She didn’t want to outright shoot Rory down, which means he’s going to be a mark.

“He was handsome,” I point out, earning me another one of her shrugs.

I’ve never seen my mom interested in any man. Sure, she went on a few dates here and there, but she had a motive with them. I always wonder if one day she’ll find someone. Especially now that I’m older.

“He’s extremely rich too, and you know what that means.”

“Did he seem like a jerk?”

“Not really.” Her eyebrows furrow as she considers it. “He’s a hard one to read.” I can tell she’s annoyed with that fact. “I’m sure I’ll get a better feel for him at the party.”

Uh oh. She’s gone and found herself a challenge. Now she won’t be able to stop until she can decipher what kind of man he is. It will bug her otherwise, and she won’t let it go.

“Eat, then we’ll go get our nails done and find us both a new dress. We’ll get something special for the party. I think you could use a girls' day after what happened at school.”