Read Everything But Online

Authors: Jade C. Jamison

Everything But

 

 

EVERYTHING BUT

(Tangled Web)

 

Jade C. Jamison

 

 

Everything But

 

High school English teacher Erin Lancaster is stuck with the unwelcome job of filling in for the injured cheerleading coach, but she wants to back out when she discovers she has to be auctioned as a date during the annual spring fundraiser.  She’s horrified to find her rock star crush Riley Schultz will be playing emcee for the event, but she’s even more shocked when he also happens to be the highest bidder for her affections, and sparks fly when she discovers that maybe their attraction is mutual.  Will one week together be enough for them to quell the flames, to enjoy everything but?

 

“All right, can I get a bid of twenty-five dollars for Winchester High’s English maven Erin Lancaster?”

Erin started laughing, afraid she was becoming
hysterical,
giggling just like the cheerleaders had moments earlier.  She knew it was because everything was heightened, what with being on display and all, but it seemed like
forever
before anyone made a bid. 
Shit
.  That would be the ultimate humiliation.  Not even a twenty-five dollar bid.  But finally Ron Gill’s hand went in the air.  And she wasn’t sure what to think about that.  Ron was nice enough but they’d butted heads quite a few times during faculty meetings.  They had different ideas.  They were supposed to agree on a Shakespeare play every year.  Ron was supposed to have his students study it in Drama II and she had to dissect it with her seniors in Honors English, but it was almost as if Ron just wanted to pick a fight.  If she said
Julius Caesar
, he’d insist upon
Macbeth
.  If one of the history teachers jumped in and asked about
Henry V
, he’d dig in his heels and demand
Othello
.  If she wanted to focus on a comedy that year, he’d demand drama.  He was infuriating.

And then it hit her.  He was like a boy in middle school, picking fights because…he
liked
her.  Oh, God.  Why hadn’t she ever seen it before?  And…he
was
a nice enough guy.  But he really wasn’t her type.

And, again, just whom did she think she was kidding?  The last guy she’d fallen for, a
bad boy
at
that,
had crushed her so badly she’d sworn off men forever.  So…let him bid.  She’d enjoy dinner with him and then go home.  She just hoped she could earn at least a little more than twenty-five bucks.

“Can we get fifty?”  This question was followed again by a few moments’ silence until she heard another voice booming in the back.

“Five-hundred.”

Erin was certain she hadn’t heard correctly.  Her eyes scanned the crowd, unable to find the face that owned the voice.

John said into the microphone, “Was that
five-hundred
?”

She saw someone step forward. 
“Five-hundred.”

Fuck
.  It was Riley Schultz.  What the hell?  She felt all her composure
melt
away.  What was that she’d been thinking about
him being
an arrogant dick earlier?  She looked down at him as he got closer to the stage and tried to smile, but instead she knew her mouth was just hanging open, in shock.

“Whoa, dude,” John said into the microphone.  He looked back out at the crowd.  “Um…can I get five-fifty?”

And the rest was a blur.  Riley Schultz won the bid, spending more money than anyone else had, and she had no idea what to say or do.  But at least she’d finally managed to smile.
 

BOOKS BY JADE C. JAMISON

 

 

Tangled Web: A Steamy Heavy Metal Novella

Stating His Case

Fabric of Night

Worst Mother

MADversary

Then Kiss Me

Everything
But
(Tangled Web)

 

NICKI SOSEBEE SERIES

 

1 Got the Life

2 Dead

3 No Place to Hide

4 Right Now

5 One More Time

6 Lost

7 Innocent
Bystander

Copyright

 

Copyright © 2012 by Jade C. Jamison

Cover image © Jade C. Jamison

 

All rights reserved.

 

The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious or are used fictitiously.  Any similarity to real persons, living or
dead,
is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.

Visit Jade’s website:

http://www.jadecjamison.com

 

Follow Jade on Twitter:

http://twitter.com/@JadeCJamison

 

Send Jade an email:

[email protected]

Like Jade on
Facebook
:

http://facebook.com/JadeCJamisonAuthor

 

 

 

for
Sorel,

the
other pea in my pod

Table of Contents

 

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter Twenty-one

Chapter Twenty-two

Chapter Twenty-three

Chapter Twenty-four

Chapter Twenty-five

Chapter Twenty-six

Chapter Twenty-seven

Chapter Twenty-eight

Chapter Twenty-nine

Chapter Thirty

Chapter Thirty-one

Chapter Thirty-two

Chapter Thirty-three

Chapter Thirty-four

Chapter Thirty-five

Chapter Thirty-six

Chapter Thirty-seven

Chapter Thirty-eight

Chapter Thirty-nine

Chapter Forty

Chapter Forty-one

Chapter Forty-two

Also by Jade C. Jamison

 

 

Chapter One

 

ERIN LANCASTER WALKED
down the tiled hall as quickly as her black pumps would allow without sliding and spectacularly landing on her ass, causing the papers held to her chest to fly everywhere.  She’d come close once or twice on these polished floors and had since learned to walk with caution when wearing high heels.

She knew she had to stop the feeling of dread in the pit of her stomach
, the one that was causing her to want to race down the hall

It’s only for a little while
, she told herself.  But while she knew the
next
month
or two
were temporary, she couldn’t help but feel mismatched for the job.

See,
Erin
was a high school English teacher.  There wasn’t anything fancy about it.  She’d earned her bachelor’s degree in secondary
ed
and English, one of her first loves.  So she’d come back home and applied at her local high school
for a job
.  The first year
back,
there were no openings and so she worked as a substitute while working nights at the movie theater, but she got
a
job a year later
, one of a handful of English teachers at Winchester High School
.  She’d enjoyed the job itself and loved being back in her hometown with family and friends, and while she’d felt lately like something was missing from her life, it was
not
that her secret desire was to be a cheerleading coach.

Hell
no.

In fact, when she’d been in high school herself, she’d despised those girls.  Well, not all of them.  But most of them seemed to be preoccupied with their looks and boys instead of their educations.  They’d also been the nasty girls w
ho’d laugh at other female
s not as fortunate in the looks department or play mean tricks on
some of the more awkward young women
in the school.

Erin
tried to remind herself that maybe this would be her opportunity to make a positive impact
on these impressionable souls
.  As she rounded the corner to the gym,
her long blonde
hair bobbing with every step,
she took a deep breath, willing herself to believe that she could be a good influence on these young ladies.

“Oh, my God, Brenda.
  She was wearing
what
?”

“Seriously.
  She was wearing that stupid blue floral dress that looks like a pioneer apron.”

“Better than that gunny sack she wears at least once every other week.”

“God.
  Does she not own anything else?”

Or…
not
.
 
Erin
forced the breath into her lungs as she tried not to miss a beat.  And there they were
,
all twelve of them huddled on the bleachers, oblivious to anyone who might be eavesdropping. 
Erin
couldn’t decide if she wanted to chide them for their cattiness or pretend she hadn’t heard it.

Well, considering she’d only been doing this since Monday and had barely learned the girls’ names, let alone their personalities, she decided she’d let it slide. 
For now.
  She wasn’t going to let that shit go once they all felt more comfortable with each other.

“All right, ladies.  Do you all have your gowns for
Friday
night?”

There was some mumbling, some hands
raised
in the air, but
Erin
realized that had been a stupid way to ask her question.  “If you don’t have a gown, raise your hand, please.”

One of the girls, a sophomore who was a first-year cheerleader, raised her hand.  “Miss Lancaster, I’m not sure what kind of gown to get.”

Rainy, the loud blonde head cheerleader, swiveled on the bench and looked up at the young girl.  “Haven’t you ever seen the auction?”

The young girl shook her head.  “I didn’t go last year.  There was no reason to.”

Brenda,
Rainy’s
dark-haired best friend, turned as well.  “Think Prom or Homecoming, only not so formal.”

“Yeah…like you can wear something strappy.
  In fact, the sexier it is, the more money you can earn.”

Jesus.
 
Erin
fought to say nothing.  It felt enough like slavery or prostitution as it was, this stupid auction tradition, but to hear Rainy describe it made it sound even worse

the more skin the girls bared, the more money they could “earn.”  She made sure she didn’t shudder.

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