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.
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Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she's not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.
She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband and their snoring Boxer, Sir Winston Churchill. She loves to hear from readers! You can follow her writing journey at www.rachelvandykenauthor.com
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I pushed open the door and immediately threw off my jacket, followed by my shirt. Then I addressed my skirt. I heard chuckling.
My hands froze on my skirt’s zipper. I looked up.
Nixon lay across my bed. “Please, don’t let me interrupt. Continue.”
I flipped him off.
He laughed harder.
I quickly pulled on the tank top I’d worn to bed and thrown across the chair. “What do you want?”
“Not sex, but thanks for the offer.”
“I was not…” I took three deep breaths. Arguing got me nowhere with Satan. “Why are you here?”
“Waiting for my sister. What else?”
I exhaled in relief.
“What, you disappointed I didn’t want an afternoon screw?”
“Not at all.” I sat far far away on Monroe’s bed. “Besides, if you needed one, all you’d have to do is knock on any door on this floor. Just be sure to use protection. I know how you are about germs.”
“Only yours,” he sang.
I threw a pillow in his direction, hoping to smack him in the face. He caught it mid-air and scowled. “Can you at least wait for her outside?”
“Why?” I ground my teeth together. At the rate I was going I would have nothing left to grind.
“Because, I like your bed. It’s comfortable.”
“It has my germs and I swear to you I drooled all over my pillow last night.”
He shrugged. “I only hate germs on people, not objects.”
Nixon looked at his watch then put his hands behind his head and closed his eyes.
“Why what, Farm Girl?”
“Why don’t you like people touching you? Is that your rule or an Elite thing?”
“You ask a lot of questions for someone so stupid.”
That stung, but I was too tired to let it sink too far into my consciousness. “It is the only way to find out how to survive in this place.”
“You’ll survive, if you follow the rules. I thought I told you that.” He propped up on his elbow. “The system works, Trace. I know you think I’m an asshole, but if I was nice, they would eat you alive. Wouldn’t you rather I do the tasting?” He smirked.
Damn, I was literally itching to punch him in the jaw.
“Why can’t everyone just be nice and get along?”
He groaned into his hands and stood. “Maybe I will wait outside.”
“You do that.”
He walked to the door and then stopped. “Has anyone made fun of you today?”
“Is this a trick question?” I asked, jumping off Monroe’s bed. “You make fun of me all the time!”
“Other than me.” He shoved his hands into the pockets of his slacks. “Tell me the truth.”
“N-no,” I stuttered. “No one made fun of me today[ce1] .”
“I guess my point is made.”
“The hell it is.” I bent down and picked up another pillow to throw at his face. “You think you have that much power? To protect me from them? You think you’re that much better? That what you do is better than what typical college kids could do to me?”
His eyebrows rose. “Care to make a wager?”
“Fine!” I poked him in the chest.
Nixon closed his eyes as if in pain. “Please don’t touch me.”
I backed off but only because he’d said please.
“I’ll stop bothering you…but when I win—when you can’t take it anymore—when you are living in hell every single day, I want to hear it from your lips. Not Monroe’s, not Chase’s. I want you to approach me. I want you to tell me…”
“Tell you what?” I whispered.
“That you need me.”
“When hell freezes over!” I snapped.
“Bring a parka, because life’s a bitch and you just bought a first class ticket, sweetheart.”
I was still in a crappy mood when Monroe finally arrived. True to his word, Nixon sat outside, at the door, waiting for her. Why he didn’t text her or call her I have no idea.
I couldn’t really hear what they were saying. But Monroe was yelling, and Nixon was yelling, and I was pretty sure one of them was going to throw a punch.
So I was really surprised when Monroe bounced into the room with a wide smile on her face. “Guess what!”
“You killed your brother?”
She rolled her eyes. “I’m not that lucky, no.” With a huff she sat on her bed. “The Elect are throwing a party tonight and I get to bring you!”
Excuse me while I pull out my pom-poms. “Swell.”