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Authors: Christine Bell

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Fix You: Bash and Olivia

BOOK: Fix You: Bash and Olivia
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Fix You

 

Bash and Olivia
Book One

 

The McDaniels Brothers

 

By
Christine Bell

Copyrights

Fix You, Bash and Olivia Book One, All Rights Reserved

Fix You, Bash and Olivia Book One Copyright © 2014 Christine Bell

Cover design by Dee Tenorio, Laideebug Digital

Book formatted  by Dee Tenorio, Laideebug Digital.

Laideebug Digital is only responsible for the formatting, the content of this work is purely created, owned and supplied by the author.

 

With the exception of quotes used in reviews, this book may not be reproduced or used in whole or in part by any means existing without written permission from author.

This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places, events or locales is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the author's imagination and used fictitiously. The author does acknowledge the trademark status and trademark ownership of all trademarks, service marks and word marks mentioned in this book. The author does not have any control over, and does not assume any responsibility for third-party Web sites or their content.

All rights reserved worldwide. This book is licensed for your personal use only. No part of this work may be sold, manipulated, or reproduced in any format without express written permission from the authors, except for brief quotations embodied in or reviews.

Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the authors' rights. Purchase only authorized editions

 

Dedication

This one is dedicated to my fabulous readers. You're the cocoa in my puffs. The lucky in my charms. The frosting on my flakes, and I appreciate you all more than you could ever know. XOXOX.

Christine

Acknowledgements

This series flat-out could not have happened without a team of talented people behind me.

 

Dee Tenorio of Laideebug Digital who created the covers that dreams are made of and formatted the books for me.

 

K. Marshall and Erin D. Crum, editors extraordinaire, who did the wet work on this one and made my chicken-scratch wind up sounding like a book. Any mistakes that remain are my own.

 

Dani and Anjana from Barclay Publicity who used their wizard-like powers to get this series out in front of the world.

 

And last but not least, to my husband and our boys (and honorary girl), who pore through hundreds of cover photos, listen to endless plotlines, and workshop book after book with me, sans complaint. I love you all very much.

Chapter One

Olivia

 

"What's your poison?"

I stared up at the row of liquor bottles glittering like jewels on the oak shelf, and squinted to get them back into focus when my vision went a little wonky.
Decisions, decisions.
The guy behind the bar awaiting my drink order seemed a little harried, but not too harried to give my modest cleavage a long look.

I crossed my arms over my chest and cleared my throat before shouting over the din of voices, "I'll take a Long Island iced tea." It was my third one, and probably I should’ve switched to light beer, but screw it. I was having a rough day and the sooner I could forget about it, the better.

The bartender nodded but kept his eyes glued to my boobs. Not good. Maybe Andy had been right and my shirt was too low-cut. Before anxiety took hold, someone tugged a handful of my curls from behind, derailing my thoughts.

"What's up, bitch?"

I peered over my shoulder to see Echo Reynolds standing there looking classy and gorgeous as ever. Her neckline was at least an inch lower than mine, but somehow on her long, lean frame, it looked classic and a little sexy without looking cheap.

"Nothing. Getting a Long Island. Want one?"

It was “Two Dollar You Call It” night at Shorty's bar and that meant half of Crestville College were there to get their drink on. With everything on the menu marked down to a bargain two bucks, it was a weekly tradition that brought out an eclectic mix of people. Something about cheap alcohol seemed to cross all social boundaries. The have and have-nots alike came to take advantage of the cheap liquor, and the few realllly rich haves who were too good to come for the cheap liquor still came to take advantage of the girls taking advantage of the cheap liquor. It was pandemonium pretty much every week, and with tonight being the night before spring break, it was even crazier than usual.

Spring break.

My stomach pitched as I thought about how I should handle that whole mess now.

"Get me a rum and diet," Echo said to the bartender as he passed. She ran a hand through her pin-straight fall of black hair as she waited, eyeing the crowd and making no attempt to disguise the curl of her lip. "God, it's like these people didn't know they were going out in public or something. That girl is wearing Uggs with shorts. It's fucking March, for God's sake. Not that it would be okay in June either, but Jesus Christ, that’s going too far."

The bartender came back with both our drinks and I gave him a five and told him to keep the change. As one of the lucky ones who, up until yesterday, didn't have to face the thought of spending my college years living off ramen noodles and Cup-a-Soup, I couldn’t help but tip the guy in spite of his wandering eye. There would be plenty of kids in line behind me who wouldn't, and even with my financial circumstances on the verge of a major, catastrophic change, years of habit wouldn’t allow me to stiff him in good conscience.

"Where's Andy and the guys?" Echo called back to me as she shouldered a path through the crowd toward the less packed back room.

"They're playing pool, I think." I took a sip of the tart, oversweet drink as we crossed the floor and slowed when the room dipped. Jeez, had it been this hot when we first walked in? Fashion disaster or not, I was starting to envy the chick in the shorts. I slowed to run the back on my hand over my damp forehead. Buzzed and disoriented, I must have closed my eyes for a second, because one minute I was walking along just fine and the next I found myself pinwheeling wildly as someone whirled around and bumped me, sending me flying backward.

"Shit!" I squeezed my eyes closed, bracing for the impact of soft ass hitting hard floor, when a strong pair of arms closed around my waist and steadied me.

"Are you okay?" a low, gritty male voice asked.

I blinked twice and tried to catch my breath. Was I? I took stock, noting that my arm was soaked and sticky, and my Long Island iced tea was now a very short island iced tea, but all things considered, I'd fared pretty well. Nothing was broken, sprained, or twisted and I was still on my feet, albeit with help. Not too shabby. I looked up at the guy blessed with the fast reflexes, and the “thank you” on the tip of my tongue froze in place.

He was…what? Gorgeous wasn't right. His nose wasn't quite straight, like it had been broken some time in the past. Nothing like the patrician perfection of Andy's nose. His eyes glittered, so bright that calling them blue seemed wrong somehow. His hair was more of a suggestion than a reality…little more than a brush of black stubble. His jaw was like stone, tense, square, and severe like the rest of him.

But his lips? Those lips changed everything. Full and firm at the same time, sensual and delicious-looking.

I was already closing one eye and leaning in to get a closer look when my woozy brain shot up a warning flare. Jesus, what was wrong with me? I'd had three drinks, and I was a notorious lightweight, but surely a lifetime of manners training should have dominated the primal and very rude urge to get all up in a guy’s grill to gape at a his mouth like that. Not to mention, I had a boyfriend. Until I worked up the guts to rectify that situation, at least.

Buzzcut’s eyes went dark as he asked again in a voice that seemed even more gritty this time around. "Are you all right?"

The world that had seemed to go quiet and fall away from the moment I'd stumbled came rushing back in. Shouts and drunken laughter crashed over me and I realized that I was still in the circle of this stranger’s arms.

Panic swallowed me whole and I struggled to pull away. "Yes, yes, I'm fine. Thanks." I searched the room frantically, hands shaking as I straightened my shirt, which had ridden up to expose a strip of bare abdomen. My gaze finally landed on Andy, who stood in the back room a dozen yards away looking in my direction, and my gut lurched.

"I can get you some paper towels for that if you come with me," Buzzcut was saying as he slowly released me and gestured toward the bar. I shook my head, taking another step back before bumping into the wall of people behind me. Another hot flash washed over me, and beads of sweat broke out over my lip.

"No thanks, I'm good. I-I've got to go."

He tipped his head to the side and eyed me curiously, but then nodded. "No problem."

I didn't realize until then that he was wearing a Shorty's T-shirt with his name emblazoned on it in white letters.

Sebastian
.

I let the syllables roll around in my brain, making sure not to whisper them out loud no matter how badly I wanted to. Because I had a serious problem on my hands.

"Can I talk to you?" Andy's low, clipped tone bit into my ear and I flinched.

Sebastian eyed Andy and then me assessingly before turning to make his way back toward the bar without another word. That was good. The last thing I needed was for my boyfriend to beat the crap out of some poor guy just for being nice. But my relief faded as quickly as it came when Andy wrapped his hand around my forearm tight enough to make me wince.

Annnd that was going to be bruise, no question.

“The curse of pale English skin,”
Echo had said last time I’d sported fingerprints on my wrist.

Shame overrode my alcohol-induced haze and threatened to choke me. "Where are we going?"

Andy glared at me, gray eyes like two chunks of coal, so dark they were almost black. He didn't bother to answer as he yanked me toward the restrooms.

Echo—who was either completely oblivious to the situation or pretending to be because it was easier for her that way—called after us, "I'll sign us up at the beer pong table."

I didn’t have the chance to answer as Andy pushed forward, elbowing his way past two girls in line at the door marked "Shawties." One of the them complained and he snarled, "Shut it, cow,” before rapping on the door incessantly while the other girl behind us tried to comfort her friend after Andy's snide insult. He ignored them and kept right on knocking until the person in the restroom came out with a scowl on her face.

"Chill out, asshole."

He didn't respond to her either, and dragged me into the bathroom. I sent the shorter girl who had tears in her eyes a sympathetic smile and mouthed an apology, shame wrapping more tightly around me when she looked like she felt even sorrier for me than she did for herself. Before I could think on that too hard, the door slammed closed between us and Andy leaned down until his face was level with mine.

"What. The. Fuck," Andy ground out through gritted teeth. I could smell the beer and bourbon, sour on his breath, and it made my stomach churn. He pressed me hard against the wall and punched the paneling behind my head loud enough to make my ears ring.

"Calm down,” I whispered desperately, close to pleading. “Look, it was nothing, I—" The words died on my lips as I realized I wasn't sure which thing he’d seen that had infuriated him. Was it the bartender with the wandering eye or Buzzcut Sebastian with the lips from heaven that had gotten Andy so mad? Maybe both. Maybe neither? Could have been some other imagined slight that had blown up in his mind to be a betrayal. Generic excuses rattled around in my head like a pinball, but I was afraid to voice any of them for fear of making things worse.

The thing about Andy was that, before, most of the time? He was great. Funny, witty, smart. Handsome and polite, and my parents loved him. They couldn't wait for us to graduate from college and get married. And I thought I couldn't wait for that too. But lately, especially when he drank, his temper got the better of him and over the past few months I'd gone from being irritated by his possessiveness to being downright scared.

Two weeks ago, things had taken a dark turn when he'd finally crossed the line and put his hands on me. It was just the one time, and it hadn’t been a punch—more of a hard grab and a shake—but it was enough.

Now this.

I wasn't scared anymore. I was terrified, and the look on his face and the spittle coming from his mouth as he shouted at me wasn’t helping.

BOOK: Fix You: Bash and Olivia
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