When I won the annual Eagle Elite College Scholarship lottery, I was thrilled. After all, my grandma had just died and I wanted to take care of my aging grandpa -- he couldn't be a farmer in Wyoming forever. And graduating from Eagle Elite meant opportunity.
But I wasn't counting on meeting Nixon.
Nor was I counting on the rules of the Elect.
1. Do not touch The Elect.
2. Do not look at The Elect.
3. Do not speak to The Elect.
And worst of all? Don't discover the secret they hide, because in the end, you may just realize... it's about you.
*This is a New Adult Book, blood, violence, cursing, sexual references, and drug use. Not recommended for those under 17.*
All I knew was that the Elect were way more important than I could possibly imagine or even believe.
I finished in the dry goods section and made my way over to the candy aisle. I needed a little boost after all the crap that went down today. I settled on Twizzlers and sighed.
“Almost done?” Nixon asked out of nowhere.
And immediately ten men in suits were in my aisle, guns wielded.
Nixon laughed. “I scared her. Nothing’s wrong.”
The guys nodded and disbursed.
“Who are you?” I swallowed as Nixon’s breath fanned my face. Oh gosh, I was going to faint if he kept getting this close to me.
“I could ask you the same thing.” His eyes narrowed as he cupped my face and examined my eyes. “Brown. Interesting.”
“They’re plain.” I tried to pull my head free from his grip, but he tightened it.
“They are beautiful. Don’t let anyone tell you any different, Bella.”
His eyes searched mine and then he leaned in more. Our lips were inches away. My heart was going crazy. I leaned in.
“Hey, Nixon, the guys are getting antsy,” came Monroe’s voice. I wanted to tell her to leave.
Nixon jerked back immediately and shook his head as if he had been the one under the spell, when he very well knew he was the bastard who cast it.
“You done?” He pointed to the cart.
“Um, yeah, I’ll just go checkout.” I pushed my car to the checkout stand. Nixon walked behind me, patiently waiting.
“Glad to see you’re buying enough food so you don’t starve in between classes.” He smirked.
“It’s your fault I have to buy food,” I snapped, a bit irritated and still obsessing over the almost-kiss.
“What do you mean?”
“My key card, you asshole!”
He rolled his eyes. “Stop being difficult. You have two key cards.”
“Huh? Are you high?” I threw a bag of potatoes chips at his head. “Phoenix stole my card the night you made him set me up! That same night you were off-campus doing who knows what! I only have the red card that you gave me the other day!”
The color drained from Nixon’s face. “What the hell are you talking about?”
Okay, he was high. I mean, he was there! “In the hall when you said that was the best you could do, and you handed me the card to the Red Cafeteria!”
“Because Phoenix said you were uncomfortable eating with us. The Red Cafeteria is better than the commons—”
He gripped the shopping cart, and I could tell a battle was waging in his mind. Finally, he shook his head. “Bastard. I’ll deal with it. Do you still need this food then? If you’re going to be eating with us now?”
“Yes.” I swallowed, because who knew when I was going to make him or one of the other guys angry and lose my rights to eat meat?
“That will be one hundred dollars and seventy-two cents.” The checker announced, sounding bored out of his mind.
I pulled the roll of bills out of my hand and tugged off the rubber band. The wad of hundreds fell to the ground. This is what Nixon’s stupid presence did to me. It made me nervous and a bit crazy.
I swiped the bills off the floor and froze.
“Something wrong?” Nixon asked in an irritated tone.
“Uh, no, yeah, umm…” I didn’t really know what else to do, so I handed him the stack of bills. The same stack that was wrapped in a one hundred dollar bill, in order to cover the ten one-thousand dollar bills.
“Shit,” he muttered, then pulled out his own wallet. He swiped his card in the ATM and punched in his code, then placed the card on the little table while he pulled out his cell. “No, you ass. I didn’t have cash on me. Yes, I know I can be traced. Who pays you, dipshit? Who? That’s what I thought. Now deal with it.”
“Abandonato,” I whispered under my breath reading the card while simultaneously trying not to eavesdrop. “Is that your last name?”
He didn’t answer me. Instead he was firing off instructions to someone on the other end of the phone and grabbing the receipt.
Well, at least the checker didn’t look bored anymore. Nope, he looked like he was about five seconds away from shitting his pants.
And then things got weird. As in, weirder than they already were.
The men in suits formed a circle around us as we walked back to the car, and that’s when I saw a glimpse of something I’d only seen in movies.
A group of expensive cars in the parking lot and even more expensive-looking men and old men getting out of the cars.
Nixon said nothing as we got into our waiting SUV. Neither did I. I wasn’t sure if I should be freaked out that so many men in suits were surrounding us or what.
“Are we, um… are we safe here?” I asked in a small voice.
Monroe was already sitting in the SUV and put her hand on my shoulder. “Of course, why wouldn’t we be?”
“Oh you know, because of that.” I pointed as a man that looked as old as Grandpa pulled out a gun I’d only seen in action movies, and walked into the store.
“Um, are we witnessing a murder?”
Tex and Monroe laughed while Nixon shook his head and offered a smile. “No sweetheart, just business. That’s all.”
He handed me my wad of cash and looked back at Monroe and Tex. “You guys need to go. We have some more shopping to do, and it—”
Monroe rolled her eyes. “Yeah, I can imagine how it will be.” She smiled in my direction. “See ya later!”
They hopped out of the car and walked to the other waiting SUV in front of us.
“What was that about?” I asked, shoving the money back into my purse.
“It’s going to be a long afternoon.” Nixon whistled.
“Because we are freaking living our own Romeo and Juliet.” He smirked and hit his steering wheel. “Alright, new bag right?”
“Yeah, oh, and I need to pay you for the groceries too. I feel so stupid. I had no idea I had big bills, or that they even existed, or that Grandpa…” My voice trailed off. Why would Grandpa give me such big bills? Was that why he wanted me to hide it?
“Those bills went out of circulation in the fifties. You know that right?” Nixon asked.
I shrugged and started playing with the radio. “Sorry, I’ll figure out a way to cash them out so I can pay you.”
“You don’t understand.” He laughed humorously. “I would never accept your money. Ever.”
“It’s no good to me!” He snapped. “Just drop it.”
Was it because I was beneath him? Because I was from a farm and poor? I crossed my arms over my chest and looked out the window. We were silent the entire way to the mall.
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