Home > A Million Kisses in Your Lifetime(2)

A Million Kisses in Your Lifetime(2)
Author: Monica Murphy

Until Wren.

By the beginning of our sophomore year, almost every fucking girl in attendance at Lancaster had Mary Janes on their feet, Doc Marten and other brands too. Funny how not a one of them wearing those shoes affect me the way Wren does.

The seemingly innocent shoes and little girl socks. The plaid skirt and flushed cheeks and the way she’s always walking around campus at lunch or after school with a fucking lollipop in her mouth, her lips juicy red from the candy. I see her with a Blow Pop between her lips and all I can imagine is Wren on her knees in front of me. Her hand wrapped around my cock as she guides it into her welcoming mouth, that bullshit ring, her precious daddy gave her, twinkling in the light.

That’s what I want. Wren on her knees, begging for my dick. Crying for it when I reject her. Because I will reject her eventually. I don’t do relationships. They’re a vulnerability I don’t need. I see the way my father has treated my older brothers when they’ve brought women home to meet the family. Grant and his girlfriend, who actually works for him—Father made a pass at her, of course. My other brother Finn doesn’t even bother bringing a woman around the family.

Not that I can blame him.

And then there’s my sister, Charlotte. Our father sold her to the highest bidder and now she’s married to a man she doesn’t even know. He’s a decent guy, but shit.

No way am I going to let my father meddle in my relationships. Best way to avoid that?

Don’t have one.

I think of my cousin, Whit. How he was embroiled in a minor scandal during his senior year at Lancaster Prep with a girl who he’s now about to marry. They even have a child—out of wedlock, the ultimate scandal for a Lancaster. My own mother calls Whit’s future wife absolute trash, but that’s what happens to a family like us. Our reputation precedes us, and sometimes it ends up getting tarnished.

A lot of the time it does.

And Whit’s fiancé isn’t trash. She’s in love with him, and no one tolerates his shit like Summer.

Wren draws closer and I stand up straighter, trying to meet her gaze, but as usual, she refuses to look at me. I almost laugh when she says good morning to Malcolm. To Ezra.

She doesn’t say a damn word to me as she walks past, entering the building without a backward glance, followed by the younger girls who all shoot me a look, big doe eyes, every single one of them.

The moment the door slams shut, Ezra starts laughing once more, slapping his knee for emphasis.

“You’ve been trying to catch that girl’s attention for how long, and she still ignores your ass? Give it up.”

The challenge is what drives me on, don’t they see? Don’t they get it?

“She’s having a party, you know,” Malcolm says once Ezra’s laughter has died.

“For what?” I ask irritably.

“Her birthday. Jesus.” Malcolm shakes his head. “For someone who’s supposedly obsessed with Wren Beaumont, you don’t know much about her at all, do you?”

“I’m not obsessed.” I push away from the pillar and go and stand closer to my friends, needing every detail. “When is this party?”

We’re three weeks from winter break, in the throes of working on projects and preparing for finals for our last fall semester as seniors, and we’re already exhausted. I’m over busting my ass for grades that don’t matter since I have zero plans on going to college once I graduate. I’ve come into the first of three trust funds when I turned eighteen in September. Plus, my brothers want me to work for them at their real estate firm. Why go to college when I can just work toward my real estate license and then conquer the world selling luxury homes or giant corporations? My brothers have both residential and commercial divisions.

What I’d really prefer is to travel the world for a year or two after I graduate. Never work at all. Soak up the culture and the food. The scenery and the history. Eventually I can return to New York City, start working toward my real estate license, and eventually join my brothers’ business.

I have options, despite what the old man might think.

“Her birthday is actually on Christmas, but she mentioned she’s having the party the day after. Boxing Day,” Malcolm says. “Most underrated holiday, I might add.”

“Made-up holiday for the Brits to get more time off if you ask me,” I mutter.

“The British equivalent to Black Friday,” Ez adds with a grin.

Malcolm flips us both the bird. “Well, if she has it, I’m definitely going.”

“So am I,” Ez chimes in.

I frown. “You assholes were invited?”

Malcolm scoffs. “Of course. I assume you weren’t?”

I slowly shake my head, rubbing my chin. “She doesn’t speak to me. She definitely won’t invite me to her birthday party.”

“Eighteen and never been kissed.” Ezra pitches his voice higher, trying to sound like a girl yet failing miserably. “You should sneak into the party and lay one on her, Lancaster.”

“If only she could be so lucky,” I drawl, enjoying his idea.

Far too much.

“The Beaumonts are rich as fuck,” Malcolm reminds us. “The security for that party will be top notch, with all that priceless art hanging on their walls. Besides, her daddy watches over her like a fucking hawk. Hence the promise ring on her finger.”

Ezra mock shudders. “Creepy if you ask me. Promising yourself to Daddy? Makes me wonder what’s going on with that family.”

I hate where my thoughts lead me after Ezra’s comments. I hope like hell there’s nothing strange, or dare I think it—incestuous going on within the Beaumont household. I highly doubt it, but I don’t know her or her family. I only know what I witness, and I don’t see nearly as much as I’d like.

“There were a lot of girls at this school wearing promise rings that were given to them by their fathers,” Malcolm says. “They all copied Wren. Remember? It was a bunch of girls in our class and the freshmen when we were sophomores.”

Annoyance fills me. “That trend died a slow, painful death.”

Pretty sure Wren is literally the only one still wearing the ring.

“Right,” Malcolm drawls with a dirty grin. “Now they’re all a bunch of sluts, begging for our cocks.”

I chuckle, though I don’t find what he said very amusing. Malcolm has this way of insulting women that I find extra annoying. Yes, we’re all a bunch of misogynistic assholes when we hang out together, but none of us go around calling girls sluts like Malcolm does.

“Such a derogatory term,” Ezra says, causing us both to glance over at him. “I like whore better. Slut is just so…mean.”

“And whore isn’t?” Malcolm laughs.

We’re veering off track. I need to bring the conversation back to Wren.

The sweet little birdy who’s scared of the mean and nasty cat with fangs.

That would be me.

“If she’s actually having a birthday party, I want an invitation to it,” I tell them, my voice firm.

“We can’t work miracles,” Ezra says with a nonchalant shrug. But what does he care? He’s already been invited. “Maybe you should try a gentler approach with Wren. Be nice for once, instead of your glaring asshole self all the time.”

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