In Too Deep


Eliza Jane

Chapter 1

Where the hell are my boxers? I lift my head from the pillow just enough to scan the room, careful not to wake the curvy redhead next to me. Her auburn hair is splayed across my pillow and vivid mental images replay through my head–tangling my hands in her hair, those red waves cascading down onto my chest. I smile at the hazy memory.

I have a rule about girls spending the night: they don’t. Ever. I also have a bad habit of breaking my own rules. I’d been so exhausted after last night’s extra-curricular activities, I’d passed out. I should know by now–redheads are trouble.

Our clothes are scattered across the floor, and her pink lacy panties hang from the lampshade, but I still don’t see my boxers anywhere. What the hell happened last night?

I roll off the bed, careful not to disturb her, and step into my jeans. Guess I’ll be going commando today.

“Hey you,” she says from my bed.

Fuck. “Hey.” Our eyes meet, hers are rimmed with the remains of last night’s makeup. Her hair’s a disaster too. I’ve been in this situation before, but that doesn’t make this morning-after-charade any less awkward. I mean, Christ, I can’t even remember her name.

Her eyes travel down my chest and stop at my unzipped jeans. A grin tugs at her lips. Her smile tells me she’s not the least bit distraught about waking up next to me this morning. If she doesn’t care, then neither should I.

“Toss me my dress.”

I lift the slinky dress from the floor and hand it to her, careful not to stare as she lets the sheet fall away from her naked chest. This girl certainly isn’t shy, but I don’t have time for a repeat right now. I need coffee. Besides, I’m late for my meeting with McAllister.

“Listen, I’ve got to run.” I hear myself say before stealing one last glance at the bare skin of her shoulder before the fabric of the dress hides it away. “Last night was fun...” I stop short, unsure of her name.

She turns to face me and crosses her arms over her chest. Her bottom lip is jutting out, and I pretend not to notice and focus instead on putting on my shoes so she understands it’s time to go.

She stands and turns, waiting for me to zip up her dress, and once we’re both presentable, I walk her out to her car. She grips my arm as she carefully navigates the gravel driveway in her too-high heels. I’d forgotten her little red sports car was parked out in front of the school all night. That should give McAllister something to think about.

When Little Miss Hot-and-Ready is on her way, her little red sports car disappearing down the road, I turn towards the entrance of the school, reminding myself once again why I don’t bring girls home with me.

When I stroll into McAllister’s office a few minutes later, he greets me with a curt nod as I slide down into the leather chair in front of him.

“A new student started today.” He pushes the folder on his desk toward me. I make no move to take it, simply because he wants me to. “Taylor Beckett. She’s a hacker,” he adds, knowing that fact will entice me.

He’s right. I flip open the folder, unprepared for the photo staring back at me. She’s too pretty to be a computer geek. Even in the grainy yearbook photo, I can see that. She has the biggest blue eyes I’ve ever seen and dark hair that flows loose over her shoulders. Her chin is tucked down just a bit, like she’s probably shy.

I feel him watching me, and I quickly recover, flipping past the photo to the pages behind it. She’s smart too. Excellent grades –advanced placement classes –stellar test scores. I smirk. The old man’s done well. For once.

“She’ll be a good addition here,” he says.

I can’t argue with him, so instead I stand to leave.

“You’ll be working with her as soon as she gets settled,” he calls after me.

Fine. Whatever.

Chapter 2

I’ve been dreading this moment all month. My parents are leaning forward, captivated by phrases like, “prestigious boarding school for gifted teens…” and “…each with a special talent…”

“Taylor,” the headmistress, Vera snaps, turning to me. “Do you have any questions?”

I shake my head.

She folds her hands on top of the desk, and continues. “We are a small, elite school with only seventeen students. In Taylor’s year there are ten and in our second year, there are seven. We have talented academic professors from all over the world and an impressive list of special instructors who also teach martial arts and self-defense.”

“Hmm.” My dad nods, impressed.

I stifle a yawn.

“There are a few things you should know about Wilbrook,” Vera says, and as if on cue, my parents lean forward in their chairs. “We’re more than just a high school, our most talented students stay on to work for the corporation when their schooling is done.”

Translation: I could be here for a very long time. This place sounds more like prison than a school, and the look of glee on my parents’ faces makes me wonder if we’re hearing the same thing. I picture myself in an orange jumpsuit, an inmate identification number stamped across my chest in large black letters that, if possible, make my boobs look even smaller than they actually are.

Vera leans forward, adjusting the few items that are neatly lined up on her desk. “Now I know all of this sounds very exciting,” she continues, her mouth tugging down just a fraction, “but our teaching methods are quite unique and not for everyone. We have an extremely rigorous course load as well as physical and endurance training. We believe in exercising both the body and mind to their fullest.”