“Greyson, why don’t you just do your calculus homework and forget about this?”
“Brandon, when are you going to understand that if you want to rule the world you have to dominate it? And to dominate it, you have to be in charge. And if you want to be in charge, you have to change the rules.”
“I don’t want to rule the world.”
“You just want to fall in love and get married.” Greyson’s eyes narrowed at me. “You sound like a girl. Pussy.”
“You’re a pussy, punkass.”
“I’m a punkass who’s about to start the best private club in the world.” He lay back in his bed and his eyes sparkled. “And you are either in or you’re out. What’s it gonna be?”
We stared at each other for about five minutes, and I knew what he was saying underneath it all. I was either a part of the private club or our friendship as we knew it was over.
“I’m in.” My voice was strong, even though I was unsure of what I was doing.
“Good. That’s what I thought you’d say.” He rolled over and pulled some money out of his pocket. “Get me a slice of pepperoni and a Coke. Also, tell Jane that she can come to the room at about nine p.m. I’ll be ready for her then.”
“I thought you were dating Lucia now.”
“Lucia was so last week.” He laughed then, a boyish, charismatic laugh, and I was reminded of why all the girls fell in love with him. This was the Greyson the world saw. They didn’t see the sometimes dark and sinister side of him. “And you know I don’t date. I fuck.”
“You’re so crude.”
“Stick with me, boy, and we’ll go far.” He handed me a twenty-dollar bill and casually flicked his fingers through his blond hair. “We’re about to turn eighteen, Brandon. This is our time to take control of our lives.”
“Trust me. This private club is going to change everything for us.” He grinned at me, and I couldn’t stop myself from grinning back. His excitement was contagious, and I felt a thrill of adrenaline run through my veins. “This is going to change our lives.”
And for once, he’d been right. The private club had changed both of our lives, and now I needed to make sure that it didn’t ruin the rest of my life.
“Brandon, lunch is ready,” Katie’s voice called out to me from the kitchen, and my heart skipped a beat.
I still couldn’t believe that she was here with me. My Katie. The love of my life and dreams. In fact, it still seemed like a dream—a beautiful, vivid dream. But the deep thudding of my heart was an agonizing reminder that the dream could easily turn into a nightmare.
“I’m coming.” I walked out of the study slowly, thinking about my options. “What’s for lunch?” I walked into the kitchen and gave Katie a kiss on the cheek.
“What do you want?” She grinned up at me and winked suggestively.
“Now now. I thought you wanted to wait to have another baby until after we were married.” I laughed as she put her arms around my neck and pressed against me.
“Are you saying you don’t want to have sex again until we’re married?”
“Is that a trick question?” I kissed her lips softly and ran my fingers down her back. “I don’t want to go one day without making love to you, so unless you tell me we’re getting married tomorrow...” I pretended like I was joking, but there was nothing more that I wanted. I wanted that ring on her finger sooner rather than later. A part of me hoped that if we were married by the time she found out the truth, it would be harder for her to leave me.
“I can’t plan a wedding in half a day.” She giggled. “Plus, I need to talk to Meg. She needs to know we’re getting married.”
“Oh?” My body froze. “How is she?”
“I’m not sure.” She looked up at me and frowned. “Remember she went to that interview at that private club? Well, she got offered the job but is on a three-day probationary period. She gave me a quick call but said she can’t talk to me again until after the probationary period.”
“It just seems weird.” Katie pulled away from me and sighed. “I’m a bit worried actually. It’s not like her. I’ve never heard about a job like this. It just doesn’t sound right, does it?”
“I don’t know.” I cleared my throat and ran my hands through my hair.
“You said you knew the private club though, right?” She looked up at me with clear, wondering eyes. “Is the job legit?”