Home > Bad, Bad Bluebloods (Rich Boys of Burberry Prep #2)

Bad, Bad Bluebloods (Rich Boys of Burberry Prep #2)
Author: C.M. Stunich

There are flames dancing across the water.

How that happened, I have no idea. I clutch my fingers to my chest, heart pounding. I almost lost my ability to make music with the harp … forever. This thing with the Idol girls is so much more than just a nasty case of bullying. Everything to do with the Infinity Club is so much darker and more involved than I first thought.

Tristan grits his teeth, his hands curled into fists at his sides. The way he looks at Harper du Pont is terrifying. If I were her, I would leave. Now. But she doesn’t. Instead, she flicks that blue gaze of hers to the right, checking to make sure her cronies are in tow before she launches another attack.

“Whatever you’re thinking about doing right now,” Tristan says, his voice as smooth as silk, “don’t.” His tone hardens on that last syllable, a perfect match to the rage in his face. They saved me, I think, glancing from Tristan to Zayd’s bloody lip to Creed with his arm around Miranda. Zack is standing on the opposite side of the boat, behind Harper and her new friends.

“If you do this,” Harper says, taking a step forward, her short brown hair billowing in the breeze. It makes me feel good to see it cut like that. Don’t dish it if you can’t take it. I take a step back and bump into Zayd. He puts an arm around me, and all these strange feelings flood over me. My mind changes with each beat of my heart. Please don’t touch me; touch me more; get away from me; kiss me until I see stars. “Then you’re giving up control of the school. You’re Plebs, all of you.”

Abigail Fanning and Valentina Pitt flank Harper as she steps forward, the chair they’d tied me to dividing the space between us. I try to look past them to see Zack, and I notice that he’s bleeding, too, but much worse than Zayd.

“If you think we’ll fold that easy,” Creed begins as bored as always, but when I glance over at him, his blue eyes meet mine, and a strange spark passes between us. He’s shaking, too, but he tries to hide it as he pushes a lock of white-blond hair from his face. “Then you clearly haven’t been paying attention. We’ll destroy you.”

Harper’s mouth is so wicked when it curves up in a smirk, and the reflection of the flames in her eyes mirrors the hate in her heart. Most of the Inner Circle is standing with her, her new girlfriends, and the three boys she’s handpicked to take Tristan’s, Zayd’s, and Creed’s spots as Idols.

“So you’ll break up the greatest collection of Bluebloods in the history of Burberry Prep for some commoner? We’re the future rulers of the world. People live and die based on the decisions our families make. Tristan, I’m your fiancée.” Harper takes another step forward, and then pauses as the ladder on her right creaks and sways.

Windsor York, the screw in the cogs of this machine, appears, his mouth twisted in a wry little smirk.

“Well, bloody hell,” he curses, pulling himself over the edge and then standing up. He brushes his palms down the front of his white second-year uniform. His hazel eyes glitter as he takes in Harper, the chair, me. “Looks like I’m a bit late to the party.”

He walks over to stand in front of Zayd, reaching out a hand for me. The flames catch on his red hair, bathing it in orange light. I reach out to touch him, but Zayd pulls me back. Windsor raises an eyebrow and sighs.

“Yeah, way late, asshole,” Zayd snaps, but I elbow him and step away from his embrace, wrapping my arms around myself and keeping my own space. I need to stand on my own; I can’t trust anyone. Not anymore. “If we hadn’t gotten here when we did …” His voice trails off, but he has to know that Windsor’s on my side. He has been since moment one.

Turning, the prince gives Harper’s group a skeptical sort of look.

“I disabled the motor on your friends’ boat,” he says, his English accent crisp and charming. “I don’t imagine they’ll be showing up tonight.” Harper’s face, already colored red-orange by the fire, looks like a ripe tomato now. She’s furious. “And I’m not late.” He rolls his eyes and flashes me a wink and a smile. I almost smile back. Almost. I’m too confused right now. “I saw Zack on his way up here, with these idiots trailing behind.” He gestures with his thumb in the direction of the Idol boys, and Tristan growls at him. Almost quite literally. “My time was better spent elsewhere. Oh.” Windsor snaps his fingers and then reaches down to pull up the edge of his shirt.

There’s a tattoo there, an infinity tattoo.

Everyone goes silent as Windsor drops his shirt and sighs.

“I’ve been resisting the Club for a long, long time, but Marnye needs someone on the inside to watch her back, so … here I am!” He raises his arms up in the air for emphasis, and then drops them by his sides. “Oh, and I’m an awful, dirty fucking wanker. I don’t have a trust fund, or parents breathing down my neck that control my purse strings: I have nine billion in personal assets to play with.” Windsor pauses, crossing one arm over his chest and resting the elbow of the other in his palm. “Well, twelve billion in US dollars, I suppose.”

“Do you think I’m threatened by you?” Harper chokes out with a laugh. “Some tenth-string prince from a country nobody even knows about?”

“England?” Windsor asks, his voice colored with wry humor. “You do understand where the pilgrims came from, right?”

Harper turns from him to Tristan, clearly realizing that there’s no making headway with Windsor York. He just does what he wants, the rest of the world be damned.

“Last chance, Tristan,” she says, and when I see him unleash a whiplike smirk, I know he’s not going back.

“You’re going to wish you’d never met me,” Tristan says, his voice like steel. He watches as Zack moves around behind the pack of Bluebloods to stand beside me. There’s blood running down the side of his face, and I decide that as soon as we get out of here, he’s going to a doctor. His dark eyes catch on mine, and I shiver. If he hadn’t taken on Greg and John for me …

“Consider that goal accomplished,” Harper screeches, tearing the ring from her finger and throwing it at Tristan. He catches it, perfectly, one-handed. My heart skips several beats as he turns to me, silver eyes flashing.

“Let’s go. I’ve got one of Dad’s yachts.” He moves over to stand in front of me, reaches down, and cups the side of my face. Zayd, Creed, and Zack all stiffen up. Windsor chuckles, this light, airy sound that echoes across the lake. Tristan reaches up to cup the side of my face, runs his thumb along my lower lip, and then sneers at Windsor. While he’s turned away, I pull back, putting distance between myself and the guys.

Miranda meets my eyes, and there’s this interesting dichotomy in hers: half fear, half envy.

She moves toward me, away from Creed’s arms, and his jaw tightens as Miranda puts her lips near my ear.

“Which one?” she whispers, flicking her gaze at the five boys on the boat. Harper and her cronies are leaving, slowly, but there’s venom on both sides. Next year … there’s going to be a war.

Before I get a chance to answer her, Tristan gets up in Windsor’s face.

“You, go home to England and fuck off; we don’t need you here.”

“And who, precisely, is we?” Windsor asks, leveling his hazel eyes on me. They reflect back the dancing flames as he smiles and cocks a single dark brow. Tristan looks between the two of us and scowls, standing up tall and straightening out his wool coat. “As far as I can see it, Marnye very much needs me.”

“How so?” Tristan snaps, lifting his chin. Despite the inner fighting amongst the Idol boys for the throne … I think Tristan Vanderbilt still holds the crown. He’s a powerful enemy, and a potential ally. But can I trust him?

Doubtful.

“Because,” Windsor says, blinking innocently and holding a hand out to indicate me, “we’re dating.”

Zayd curses under his breath, Creed sneers, and Zack frowns.

Tristan says nothing, looking down at me with storm-gray eyes. And then he turns, walks away, and pauses at the edge of the boat. Harper du Pont is standing there waiting. She meets Tristan’s eyes first and then flicks her gaze over to mine.

“Enjoy the summer, Marnye. It’s going to be your last.” She turns, disappears down the ladder, and soon we hear the sound of a boat engine being started.

“Did she just threaten my life?” I wonder aloud, but nobody says anything. School is out, summer has started, and in the morning, we’re all going home. I’ll go back to Cruz Bay and my Dad while the boys go … wherever it is that they go.

For now, it’s all on hold.

Come September, all gloves are off.

“Come on, Marnye, I’ve got a boat, too,” Miranda says, taking my hand and leading me away from the boys. I don’t look at any of them as I walk away, past Tristan, and down the ladder.

Second year at Burberry Preparatory Academy was tough.

Third year’s going to be a nightmare.

The last person I expect to see on my doorstep is Zack Brooks.

My mouth drops open in surprise, and I slam the door closed on him. He reaches up with his palm and stops it in its tracks, pushing his way inside as I back up against the counter in shock. His brown eyes are dark with anger, and they’re narrowed on me.

“Zack,” I start, my heart pounding in my chest. I haven’t seen him since that fateful day at the lodge. We haven’t even texted. Well, maybe he texted me, but I blocked him months ago.

“Marnye.” He exhales, standing over me in a letterman jacket and jeans. His dark hair is longer than when I last saw it, and the way it falls over his forehead makes my hands tremble. “You won’t talk to me. I had no choice but to come here.”

“No choice but to fight your way into my house?” I ask, realizing as we stand there that the Train Car is far too small for his large body. He takes over the space with his presence, filling it so completely that I find it hard to breathe. “Maybe you could’ve taken the hint? I don’t want to talk to you.”

   
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