Home > Good Guys Don't Lie (The Boys #4)

Good Guys Don't Lie (The Boys #4)
Author: Micalea Smeltzer

 

 

Prologue

 

 

One Year Ago - Cree

 

 

The bonfire blazes high, the smell of smoke, alcohol, and sweaty bodies filling the air. I’ve been hanging with my friends for the last hour or so, currently nursing my second beer. But I’m feeling antsy. Big gatherings like this aren’t usually my scene, I only come because I know my friends would roast the hell out of me if I didn’t. I can’t help it that I’m not a social butterfly.

“I’m going to go for a walk,” I yell to be heard above the music.

My friend Daire gives me a bleary-eyed look. When the weed came out, I passed but several of the guys indulged. “A what, man?”

“I’m going for a walk.”

“It’s a party.” He throws his arms out wide. “Who goes for a walk at a party?”

“Me.” I stand from the tree stump I was using as a seat. “I’ll see you later. Don’t do anything stupid.”

“Me?” He points to himself, giving a dopey grin. “Never.”

Slapping him on the shoulder, I head off away from my friends with no plan in mind. I toss my empty beer in one of the many trash bags along the way—the school turns a blind eye to us using the old football field for parties if we clean up after ourselves.

Shoving my hands in my pockets, my eyes follow my feet and the ratty orange Vans I’m wearing. If I keep my head down, there’s less chance of someone trying to talk to me. Being in the popular crowd has its perks, but I’m not much for socializing with people I don’t know well. It can be a bit much at times, but it comes with the territory. That doesn’t make having social anxiety any easier though.

I’m sure it would be shocking to most of the school population to learn how much social situations stress me out—especially considering I play hockey and have no problem being on the ice or interviewed after games. But for some reason my brain catalogs that as something different than this.

Looking up, my gaze is drawn to a tall slender girl swaying beside a tree. A solo cup is clasped in her hand and long red hair cascades halfway down her back. She’s beautiful in a unique way. It’s ethereal, the way she moves to the song—Electric Love by BORNS—but there’s something in her eyes that tells me she’s as uncomfortable here as I am.

I can’t help it as I take the necessary steps closer to her.

She startles at my approach, eyes dropping to her drink. “Hey.”

She bites her lip, tucking her hair behind her ear. “Hi.”

“Sorry to bother you,” I start, rocking back on my heels. “It’s just … you looked as out of place as I feel.”

She laughs in an endearingly awkward way. “Is it that obvious?”

“A little.” I grin and she smiles back, her eyes dropping to her shoes. “What’s your name?”

Hazel eyes twinkle with the reflection of the bonfire. “I don’t give strangers my name.”

I nod my head, trying not to laugh. “Fair enough. What about a fake name then?”

She thinks for a moment, her nose scrunching and making the freckles sprinkled there move. “Daisy,” she settles with. “You can call me Daisy Buchanan.”

My heart skips a beat. As an English major and a fan of novels in general, I’ve had a special place in my heart for The Great Gatsby ever since I read it in high school. I always reread it every Christmas. Sometimes twice a year if I feel moved to. The fact that she’s mentioned one of the main characters does something to me.

“Gatsby fan?”

Her cheeks flush. “Maybe.”

I hold a hand out to her, bowing with a flourish. I don’t know what makes me do it, I’m not normally like this. “I’m Jay, then. Jay Gatsby.”

“Bad choice,” she stage whispers. “He dies in the end.”

She slowly fits her hand in mine, and I bring it to my lips. “It’s worth it if I get to have a pretty girl like you.”

She throws her head back and laughs.

I’ve never experienced lust at first sight, but this girl … I’m fucking enraptured.

“Did you eat a whole bucket of cheese before coming over to me? Because that was extra cheesy.”

“I’m bad with the ladies.”

She snorts, looking me over. “I doubt that.”

“Why?”

“Because you’re hot.”

I try not to grin, but it’s pretty difficult not to. “You think I’m hot?”

She thinks it over, seeming at war with herself. Her shoulders straighten with a resolve. “Sure, why not?”

She dumps the contents of her cup in the grass and gets rid of her cup when we pass a trash bag.

Extending my hand for hers, she hesitates a second before taking it. Her hand is tiny in mine, her skin several shades lighter and cool to the touch from the night air. “This isn’t like me,” she feels the need to admit.

“Me either.”

Not that I haven’t had hookups, that would be a lie, but it’s rare for me and usually after at least one or two dates. I’m not like some of my friends who can sleep with anyone. I blame it on growing up with parents who are madly in love with each other. I can’t help searching for the real deal.

I reach my old Ford Bronco, painted a sage green color. It’s entirely redone, inside and out, and cost a pretty penny, but was a gift from my grandpa. ‘Daisy’ arches her brow in surprise.

“I’ve always wanted one of these. But my parents would never approve of something that’s considered an antique and not a Mercedes.”

“Mercedes is overrated.” I give a small shrug.

“Tell them that.”

“Mercedes or your parents?”

She smiles at my teasing. “Both.”

The door creaks slightly when I open it. Still gripping tightly to her hand, I help her inside the lifted Bronco. She looks around longingly and I know it wasn’t a line about wanting one herself.

“What got you into cars?” I ask before I close the door.

“My brother. It’s kind of his thing. Do you have any siblings?”

“One—a sister.”

“Younger or older?”

“Younger. She’s planning to attend here next year.”

“Is having your little sister around going to cramp your style?”

“Nah. I love her. She’s cool.”

Closing the door, I jog around to the driver’s side and hop in. Putting the key in the ignition ‘Daisy’ seems to hold her breath, listening with her eyes closed as the engine turns over.

“So, Jay,” she begins, as I maneuver out of my parked spot, “since you don’t do this often, what exactly are you assuming this is?”

I chuckle, grinning at her. “Whatever you want it to be.”

We drive around for a while, windows down. Her hair blows in the wind, and there’s a peace in her eyes that was missing before. There’s a calmness between us in the quiet, like we’ve known each other for a long time, but that’s far from the truth.

“Pull in there.” Her voice permeates the silence, a purple painted nail pointing to the turn off for a local pond. I’ve been here before. It’s nothing huge, but it’s plenty deep and nice to look at.

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