Bitter Candy

Here’s an exclusive from YA Contemporary Romance Bitter Candy. Enjoy!
Yet again, Eric was throwing a party for people he couldn’t care less about. He’d only been at Edith Wharton High School for a day, but already he could tell the students there would be carbon copies of people at his old boarding school: vapid, shallow, and pretentious. People who pretended to have a passion for politics and Vladimir Nabokov when they would rather piss their parents’ money away on drugs and alcohol than pick up a newspaper or Lolita.
Why do I keep providing superficial teenagers with free booze? he thought, wrinkling his nose when he saw a wasted girl throw up into a priceless Ming vase and an intoxicated boy stick his tongue into an apathetic blonde’s mouth. The pathetic answer—to be liked, popular. Which was an incredibly idiotic reason considering he didn’t especially want to be friends with these people and the “friends” that he’d had at his old boarding school were dull douche bags who had dropped him like bad weed when the stain of scandal had fallen upon him.
Needing a drink, he walked to the refreshment table. A curse left his mouth when he realized all of the chardonnay bottles were empty. Sigh… He guessed he would have to be content with a glass of red wine.
As he poured himself a glass, his eyes caught a girl—a beautiful girl. She had one of those maddeningly perfect, Snow-White-esque, innocent-looking faces that couldn’t be achieved with either any amount of plastic surgery or makeup. The girl possessed skin like flawless, unblemished porcelain; eyes the color of a warm, sparkling ocean; and lips as red as—you guessed it—a rose. She also had a delicate little body like a doll and long, shiny blond hair that flowed down to the small of her back.
Hello, scholarship girl, he thought, thinking of his nickname for the pretty—if slightly irritating—girl who’d called him a douche. Hilarie Walsh. Her bold insult had sparked his curiosity and—to be honest—kind of turned him on. Something told him that she wasn’t like his other guests; she seemed like she had some depth and had more on her mind than the latest designer handbag or newest luxury car model.
He cocked his head, continuing to stare at her. The girl inspired a strange mix of feelings in him; both lust and tenderness filled him. Her beauty and apparent innocence made him want to tear off her clothes and ravish her, but they also made him want to cradle her fragile little body in his arms.
The sight of her, all alone with a sad look on her face, for some reason, caused him to feel lonely too.
But who says we have to be lonely? he asked silently with a smile on his face, making his way to Hilarie Walsh…
And here’s a real exclusive sneak peak

“Hello,” a black-haired boy said as he leaned against the locker next to Eric’s at the end of gym class.

Eric turned to face his classmate and blinked. The black-haired boy was completely nude, and from the absence of a towel or clothes in his hands, Eric could tell that the guy was in no hurry to change that.

His classmate winked. Eric recognized him as one of his teammates, the Asian kid who had made their team lose the lacrosse game in class because of his total lack of interest in defending the goal and who some of their less tolerant teammates called, “Faggot chink,” under their breaths. “Admiring my muscles?”

“Sure,” Eric said, rolling his eyes.

“I have to say, I’m a huge fan. Anyone who beats up that hypocritical bastard is a hero to me. Daddy Buck is an asshole too, but at least he practices what he preaches.”

“Who are you and what do you want?”

The guy’s dark brown, almost-black eyes lit up. “I’m Teddy Chan, aka not just a pretty face, and I want to be your bro.”

“Not interested.”

“Is it because you’re afraid I want to suck your dick? I’m disappointed. I didn’t take you for a homophobe. And FYI, I wouldn’t want to suck your dick anyway. You’re not my type,” Teddy said, seeming more amused than genuinely offended.

“I couldn’t care less about what you suck.”

“Then why the refusal?”

“Told you. Just not interested.”

“Hey, a guy can never have too many friends.”

“Shouldn’t you get dressed and go to your next class?” Eric asked, closing his locker.

Teddy lifted his golden shoulders. “I can miss a few minutes of Human Geography.”

“Whatever,” Eric said as he buttoned up his shirt.

“Hang out with me tonight. I’ll show you the best Cleveland has to offer.”

“No offense, but Cleveland sounds only slightly more appealing than watching a bad Nicolas Cage movie.”

Teddy held up a finger. “First, Cleveland is great. People who say otherwise are either snobs or New Yorkers.” Then he held up two fingers. “And second, Nicolas Cage is one of the greatest actors of our generation. There is no such thing as a bad Nic Cage movie.”

“The answer is still no. I’m hanging out with my girlfriend tonight.”

“How about tomorrow night?”

“I’ll probably be hanging out with her again.”

Teddy shook his head, clicking his tongue. “My man, it’s not a good idea to be so clingy.”

“Who the hell says I’m clingy?”

“Answer these two questions for me.”

“I don’t have to answer shit—”

“One, have you gone a day without seeing her?”

Eric clenched his teeth. “No, but we have two classes together.”

“Okay, have you gone a day without seeing her outside of school?”

“Well, no—”

“I thought so. Two, are you always the one initiating things?”

“Well, technically yes, but—”

Teddy crossed his arms, grinning. “I rest my case.”

“You don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“Fine, fine, ignore my totally valid opinion. But if your plans with your girlfriend fall through, give me a call,” Teddy said, handing Eric a business card.

As Teddy sauntered away, Eric read his card:

Teddy Chan

Young entrepreneur

Cell: (555)-555-7820

Office: (555)-555-6130

Email: yourgirlfriendwantsme@gmail.com

“Prick,” Eric muttered when he saw Chan’s email address.

But he put the card in his pocket.

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