Brazen and Breathless
It’s a new year.
It’s a new me.
Or maybe I should say a new us.
We’re out there. We’re not hiding the fact that I’m dating all of them. PDAs are back on the table. The final semester of high school kicks off with a bang. I have to keep my eye on the prize though—make every AP class count, keep my grades up, and find a way to balance life with my guys. My best friends. My boyfriends. My lovers.
The battle with Maddy is still on the table. So is figuring out our future. It’s one thing to say we’re sticking together, now we have to make it happen.
I never thought it would be easy.
Apparently, we don’t do easy.
But am I ready for this?
All I know is I’m not giving them up without a fight.
Ninety some odd days to go, and we graduate.
We can do it, right?
*Please note this is a reverse harem and the author suggests you always read the forward in her books. Contains some bullying elements, mature situations, and is recommended for 17+. This is the sixth in a series and the story will continue through future books.
Crazy in Love
Being back at school exhilarated me. From the moment we walked into the cafeteria together, to when I gave Ian and Jake quick kisses before heading off with Archie for first period, my spirits remained high. Were people staring? Yup.
Did I care?
Archie kept giving me these sideways looks and biting back smiles.
“What?” I asked, raising a brow as my phone dinged.
He chuckled as he slid his arm around my shoulders and took over piloting while I glanced at my phone. “Nothing. Just happy that you’re happy.”
“Well you need to be happy for you, too,” I retorted, giving him an elbow. The text on my phone was from Coop, with pictures of my kisses with Ian and Jake. Well that didn’t take long. Only he also sent a pouty face.
I laughed. I’d given him a kiss when he said he had to run to the library before class. Archie snorted as he glanced at my phone. “Next time kiss Rachel, too, then he can really pop a blood vessel.”
I elbowed him again, but it barely had any impact as he chuckled and then pressed a kiss to my temple before turning us into class. I fired off a quick text to Coop that promised I’d make it up to him later.
A minute after we were in our seats, Rachel’s text hit my phone.
Rachel: Brace yourself. They already hit Snapchat and Instagram.
I scrolled back to Coop’s text and the two pictures he’d sent. They weren’t bad shots really. I saved them to a file on my phone and then tabbed back over to Rachel’s message.
Me: Fuck ’em.
Rachel: That’s my girl.
My phone buzzed twice more, both messages to our group chat.
Archie: You snooze you lose, Coop. Don’t whine cause you had to go to the library. You could have asked F to go with.
Coop: <middle finger emoji>
Jake and Ian piled on, but I just grinned and shut the screen off. It was going to be a great day.
My mood held through calculus and all the way to French. It faltered a little when I realized Mathieu wasn’t present. He always beat me to class, but he wasn’t there. That kind of sucked. Rachel quirked a brow at me as she dropped into her desk. “Problem?” she mouthed, but I shook my head.
Madame cleared it up when she reminded all of us that Mathieu had gone home, his semester abroad ended in December.
Oh. My. God.
I was the absolute worst kind of friend. I had completely forgotten I wouldn’t see him again. I hadn’t even said goodbye. Man, I sucked.
Rachel nudged me with a foot, and I shook my head. “Just…I didn’t even think about the fact that he wouldn’t be back.” I’d breezed out of that last class with him with a half-wave, and I was off. Since we’d been able to blow off classes on the actual last day, we hadn’t bothered to show up.
She let out a little huff of laughter and rolled her eyes. I flipped her off with my hand hidden behind my book so Madame wouldn’t catch it, and Rachel snorted again. Bitch.
But we grinned at each other and then dove into class.
Seriously, though, it kind of bugged me all the way through AP Lit, and I was chewing on the thought when Ms. Fajardo asked me to stick around for a couple of minutes after class. Apparently, I wasn’t doing a good job of hiding my concern, because Coop shot me looks all the way through class and then lingered with me as the others left to head to lunch.
With a roll of her eyes, Ms. Fajardo just shook her head at Coop before focusing on me. “I just have a packet for you to review so you can get me any questions you have.” She held out the folder, and I stared at her blankly for a minute.
As I took it, I stared at it and then her. “I feel like I’m forgetting something.”
Coop snickered at me. The asshole. “Sorry, Ms. Fajardo, Frankie’s still recovering from our holiday break. I think she might have had too much Christmas cheer.”
I totally didn’t wait to flip him off with one hand behind my back before I opened the folder.
Amused, Ms. Fajardo said, “It’s fine. You got all the paperwork in, and since you have the temporary emancipation order, we were able to get it all finalized without involving your mother.”
“So, just take that home and read it tonight. Email me any questions, and we can talk tomorrow. Orientation is next week, so you’ll be signing out on Wednesday for that. Then likely Wednesdays and Fridays for the next few weeks.”
“Thank you,” I told her. I really had forgotten all about this. Fuck, that was going to add to the pile I already had.
“And on that note,” Coop said, hooking an arm around me. “I better go feed her before the hamster wheel burns out. I can already see the lists she’s typing in her head.”
With another laugh, Ms. Fajardo waved us out, and I hugged the folder to myself as we walked. “I can’t believe I forgot about this.”
“I can,” Coop teased. “We had a lot more fun things to think about than…” He cut his head to the side. “Business opportunities. Since when do you care about business opportunities?”
“It’s the scholarship and grant money,” I reminded him. “I’d like to keep all my options open.”
He grunted, then pressed a kiss to my temple before pausing in the hallway to nudge me against a locker.
“Coop,” I warned him.
He just grinned, the little shit. “Frankie. PDAs are back on the table.” Then he kissed me with enough ferocity, it threatened to burn right through my clothes.
“Mr. Brennan. Miss Curtis.” The prim voice intruded right through the lustful haze slapping me right back to Earth.
Wearing the cockiest smile, Coop lifted his head and glanced at Ms. Phillips. We’d had her for ninth grade humanities. “Hey, Mrs. P.”
“Good afternoon, you two. Off you go, and I’ll pretend there was nothing to see here.” The warning was unmistakable, but so was the indulgent smile on her face. I had to be about fifty-eight different shades of red, but Coop just grinned.
“Sure thing. We’re going to be late to lunch anyway.” He gave me a mock glare. “You really need to stop dragging me against walls, Frankie. We’re at school.”
I narrowed my eyes, and he waggled his brows.
If he wanted to play that way, game on.
“Sure thing,” I retorted as I ducked under his arm. “I’ll make sure I just trip you next time and grab Rachel. She won’t complain.”
I made it all of three steps before he had an arm around me. “I don’t know whether to spank you for that or get turned on, ’cause that’s kind of hot.”
“Keep it up, Cooper. I’ll do it.”
He laughed. “No you won’t, because you wouldn’t want to lead Rachel on.”
“You and your logic can bite me,” I told him as we pushed out the doors to where Jake and the guys waited with the SUV.
“That can be arranged,” Coop said with a grin.
“Why are you two always late?” Jake asked, glaring at us over the edge of his sunglasses. I slid my own on as our phones pinged.
“I apparently assaulted Coop in the hallway when I tripped him, and his mouth landed on my lips.”
“Well,” Jake said. “All right then. Asshole can ride in the back, Baby Girl gets shotgun.”
“Hey,” came the complaint from Archie and Ian, but Coop just laughed as I circled around to the passenger side.
I could get used to this.
At lunch, I sandwiched between Archie and Ian as we grabbed pizza at Joe’s. It wasn’t as busy, and we could get all the individual slices we wanted. Ian kept one hand on my thigh the whole time, and Archie wanted to see the folder as soon as Coop told them what it was.
He was flipping through it, with me reading over his shoulder. Most of it was pretty straight forward—we’d be doing internships at different businesses, some would rotate us to give us a feel across the board, but it was all about leadership and negotiations.
“Why are you doing this again?” he asked, giving me the side eye. Ian had begun rubbing my thigh, just gentle circles with little massaging squeezes that did nothing for my thought process except to utterly derail them.
“Like I told Coop, it’s about the scholarships and the grants.”
“You got that huge one, babe, you don’t need to pile more responsibilities on your schedule.”
Not that he didn’t have a point but…
“It’s up to her whether she does that or not,” Jake jumped in. “But if you’re looking for our opinions. I’m with Arch.”
From being my hero to joining forces with the opposition. I wrinkled my nose. “I know I have a lot on my plate already.” Four boyfriends were a lot. “But it’s a good opportunity, and it might help me whittle down what I want to do.”
You’d think I had that all in the bag, but I didn’t.
“Is it a good opportunity? That’s two days a week you won’t be at school, which means you’ll have to double up on your homework to keep up with assignments.”
Okay, Jake had a point.
“But stuff like this looks great on college applications.”
Thank you, Coop.
“And if we hadn’t already submitted them, that would be a huge perk.” Course, he couldn’t resist tacking that last bit on.
“Stop all siding against me.”
“We’re not siding against you,” Archie countered, and Ian gave my thigh a squeeze before he nudged my plate toward me. I’d only eaten one slice. I picked up the second one with a half-pout. “We’re all Team Frankie here, right, guys?”
“Definitely.” Ian gave me a little pinch when I rolled my eyes at him. “We’re all Team Frankie, and you have a lot on your plate. If you want to do this, we’ll support you, but cut us some slack. That’s two days a week we’re not going to see you at school, and then you throw in you going back to Mason’s…”
Fine. He had a point, too.
“I would hate to give up on it just because I was afraid of a little work.”
“Is it really giving up if you forgot about it?” Coop challenged.
“Yes,” I mumbled, then took a bite of the pizza, and Jake grinned at me.
“Then, we figure it out.” Jake winked, and Archie nodded.
“I’m going to look more into this program though and ask Grandpa…” He flipped to the next page. “Make sure this isn’t a lot of dog and pony showing with no substance. If you’re going to spend time on it, then they need to make it worth your investment.”
It was a done deal as far as he was concerned. “Tell you what,” I offered. “If you and Grandpa Ted come up with something that says this is a bad idea, I’ll ask Ms. Fajardo to get out of it.”
“Sold,” Archie murmured, then gave me a kiss before he scooted out of the booth with the folder in one hand and his phone in the other. “Gonna go call him now.”
And he was off.
I stared after him a beat, and Ian chuckled as he trailed his hand up to wrap around my nape. “He’ll be fine, Angel. He just has to make sure everything is good enough for you.”
He really did try to fix everything. “You know, I haven’t even finished reading everything in that folder.”
“It’s all fine,” Coop told me. “Before the day is over, Archie will know all the nitty gritty and everything in the small print.”
But that really should be me doing that. Still, it was hard to tell them no. At Ian’s gentle urging, I turned and met his kiss. The slow massage of his lips against mine and the teasing of his tongue had me sighing, and the tension melted away.
Course, I could just let them fry all my brain cells, too.
He lifted his head and smiled at me.
“You two are adorable,” Jake snarked, then threw a napkin. “Stop hogging her.”
“Not my fault you called shotgun for her,” Ian teased without looking away from me.
I rolled my eyes and he gave my nape a squeeze as I turned back to my pizza, but he curled his arm around my shoulders and it was just nice to be cuddled. Seriously, I loved the girlfriend perks. Across the table, Coop wore a grin as he watched me and I crossed my eyes at him, which only made him laugh.
“So enough about me…” I began.
“Not possible,” Jake said with a wink. “But do continue.”
Okay, warmth spread through me, even if he was just teasing. “Anyway,” I said through a laugh. “How are your days going?”
“Meh,” Jake said.
“Not bad,” Coop grunted. “But…I always thought senioritis was a myth.”
“No myth,” Ian agreed as he took a sip of soda. “I keep thinking of all the things I could be doing if I weren’t here.”
“Yep,” Jake agreed, and I stared at all three of them.
“Really?” I turned that over in my head. I mean, I did miss having them around all the time. I’d gotten very used to having them just right there. But I still got to see them in classes.
“I love you, Baby Girl, but yes, really. Not all of us are as enamored of the academic process.”
“Or being away from you,” Archie tacked on as he slid back in next to me. He offered me the folder back. “Grandpa is going to check the program, but he has heard of it. He’ll call back with the details and let me know if he has any concerns.”
“Yes,” he said. “Thank you.”
Lunch passed almost too swiftly after that, and we were back at school. But at least it was study hall. Jake dragged me to the farthest corner of the library, where a table had been set up in a little nook between shelves as far from the librarians and the others as we could get. It was also tucked up in the engineering reference section.
One hardly anyone used because according to Jake and Archie, it was hideously out of date and the best resources were online. After setting our backpacks down, he slipped his arms around me and pulled me down across his lap before kissing me soundly. Not that I was complaining, but we were kind of at school.
I didn’t get any of those words out around his tongue demanding access to mine, or with how his fingers dug into my hips and urged me to rock forward. The erection he sported had a tangle of lust coiling in my belly.
“Jake,” I whispered against his lips when he dipped his fingers beneath the waistband of my jeans. When the hell had he unbuttoned and unzipped them?
“Shh,” he whispered, nuzzling kisses along my jaw. “No one comes back here. No one can see. And I’ve missed you.”
He had two fingers under my panties and speared into me even as I surged up. I sucked in a breath and tightened my thighs as he worked his thumb against my clit. We should so not be doing this. Mouth on mine, he sucked on my tongue as he plunged his fingers in a series of relentless strokes even as he circled my clit.
The orgasm ripped out from under me, and I damn near drew blood biting down on my own lip to keep from crying out. I was still shaking when he eased his hand out of my pants, his pale blue eyes shimmering with smug satisfaction as he licked off his fingers one by one. “Best post lunch dessert ever,” he whispered, and a shudder went down my spine.
I glared at him, but I doubt there was any heat to the expression at all, because seriously. What brain cells managed to survive that pleasurable onslaught were still pinging off each other in some mad dance. Panting, I looked at his watch as he continued to clean his fingers, and little shudders raced through my system at the promise of his tongue savoring the taste.
We had time.
“You’re sure no one comes back here?” I asked around the time I found my voice.
“I’m positive, Baby Girl,” he assured me. The husk in his voice just did things to me. I wiggled off his lap and fixed the button on my jeans and zipped them up. I couldn’t do anything about my now-soaked panties, but turnabout’s fair play, right?
His eyes widened as I went to my knees and then undid his jeans. The shock registered, and he darted a look up past me. “Worried?” I teased as I undid his belt. The fact that his ring winked at me as I unzipped his jeans just sent another shiver through me.
I loved that ring.
I loved the meaning behind it.
I loved the fact that Jake had gotten it for me.
I loved him.
“No,” he said with a bob of his Adam’s apple as he swallowed. He tracked my every motion, and I swore his cock jumped when I ran my hand over it.
Then I pushed the where we were out of my head as I swiped my tongue across his slit, catching the drops of pre-cum.
“Just keep quiet,” I whispered, and I felt more than heard his groan as I swallowed around his cock. I’d gotten much better at this over the last few months and I’d almost mastered my gag reflex, so I could take him all the way to the root and he bumped into my throat.
He fisted my hair as his muscles went rigid. I showed him the exact amount of mercy he’d given me as I cupped his balls and began bobbing my head with swift, sure strokes as I added pressure with my tongue.
He hissed out a breath, then another, and then I couldn’t hear him breathing at all. Slanting a look up, I found him staring down at me, almost red-faced as he held his breath, and then he came so hard and so fast, I nearly choked on his release.
The tautness of his hand in my hair kept me in place as I swallowed every drop, and then he sagged back as I lifted my head. My jaw ached, but nothing could hold back my smile as I tucked him away gently and pulled up his zipper. He could fasten his own belt. Tugging me up, he kissed me hard and sweet, his breath ragged as he whispered.
“That’s one of the hottest fucking things you’ve ever done to me,” he said. “I’m pushing you more often. I like this.”
So did I.
Smoothing a hand over my hair, I settled into the chair next to his and accepted the bottle of water he offered, even as I preened under the awe in his stare. I’d just recapped the water when a freshman wandered into the row and hesitated when he spotted us. Jake stilled, then glared at the interloper.
It took the kid no time at all to retreat, and I had to bite my lip as Jake glanced at me with a wince.
We stared for a beat, then we both cracked up.
Yep. We were crazy.
But I loved it.
Still, even with how great the day was going, I knew it was coming. It didn’t happen until I hit the bathroom between sixth and seventh, but Maria walked in as I washed my hands and our gazes locked in the mirror. There were a couple of sophomores there too, and they had been blatantly whispering when I walked in and silenced as soon as I disappeared into a stall. They lingered at Maria’s arrival for whatever happened next.
Yep. Gossip for the mill.
“Hey,” she said, and I lifted my chin.
One of the sophomores giggled, and Maria flicked a cool look at them. They didn’t seem moved until I joined in staring at them, and then they were shoving each other out the door. With a glance back at Maria, I finished washing my hands.
“So, it’s true?”
“Depends on what it is.” I wasn’t trying to be coy. Maria hesitated as I grabbed a paper towel and dried my hands. There was no more putting it off.
I faced her.
“You’re dating all of them.” It wasn’t a question.
Surprise flickered across her face. Like she couldn’t believe I’d admit it. I had to admit, her floundering amused me, a little. But Maria and I were okay. I felt bad about what happened to her. I was sorry she’d been hurt.
I would never be sorry I had Jake.
Or any of them.
They were mine now.
“Wow,” she said slowly. “I didn’t think you’d just come right out and say it.”
I shrugged, then fixed my backpack. “I have nothing to hide.”
Not anymore. They could all suck it.
“You know people are going to call you a slut.”
The corner of my mouth kicked up before I could even restrain the reflex, and I snorted. “They called me a slut before I dated anyone, apparently. If I’m going to do the time, I might as well enjoy the crime.”
With that, I headed to the door, then paused and glanced back at her.
“You could do me a favor though.”
“And that would be?” She looked really skeptical.
“If anyone asks, you feel free to tell them the boys are off the market. They’re mine, and I have no intentions of sharing them anymore.”
And I had been sharing them, whether intentionally or not.
“Just ask Sharon my feelings on the subject… You know if she’s had her nose fixed yet?”
Maria almost smiled at that and then shook her head. “I’ll take your word for it.” Before I could open the door though, she added, “Hey, Frankie?”
“You make sure they treat you right.”
“They already do,” I told her with a real smile. “Later.”
Out of the bathroom, I swallowed the first bit of shakiness and blew out a breath as I hurried to seventh. I’d texted Jake I had to make a pitstop at the bathroom and I’d meet him. Thankfully, he’d taken me at my word and wasn’t waiting for me right outside the door.
No, he was just down the hall where he could see it.
Which meant he saw Maria come in.
But all he did was raise his brows. “All good?”
I grinned and tucked myself under his arm. “It’s perfect.”