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“Reed? What is it?” she asks, pushing away the fresh oxygen machine. She sits up on her elbows.

“Seriously, what are you doing? What is that thing?”

“My oxygen machine. It blows fresh oxygen on my face, healing and energizing me.” Her tone makes it sound like I should know that. “What do you need, honey?”

“Jax and I are going over to Zack’s. We might stay the night. Thought I would let you know.”

She lies down again, making sure her face is directly under her machine. “Absolutely not. No staying the night.” She wiggles, making herself comfortable. “I just set the rules about Tess—you can’t break them by staying at Zack’s.” She closes her eyes on me.

“Tess is staying home,” I say, not disguising my bitterness.

She opens one eye. “Why?”

“I think you have a pretty good idea, Mom. Thanks.” Sarcasm drips from my voice.

“Reed.” She sighs. “I did what I had to do. I love how I’m the bad guy.”

“Whatever.” I clench and unclench my teeth, getting angrier by the second, watching her pamper herself while I feel like someone has punched me in the chest.

“Fine. You guys can go, but have Jay drive you and please be home by midnight.”

Laughing, I say, “That’s not going to happen. It’s Saturday, Mom. We’ll be home when it’s over.”

“Reed!” She sits up to look at me, then waves her hand. “Just go,” she grumbles.

Not waiting for her to change her mind, I hurry into my room. I change into jeans and a T-shirt. Then I raid my dad’s liquor cabinet.REED

Past – fourteen years oldI find Jax in the garage, waiting and laughing with Jay.

Jay has been one of our drivers and bodyguard for a couple of years now. He used to be a marine. So, he takes serious care of his body. Jax and I have started training with him in the mornings. He pushes hard, but I like making my body burn.

“Let’s go. We’re headed to Zack’s,” I say, sounding like an entitled prick even to myself.

He raises an eyebrow at me, his eyes scanning the garage. “Where’s Tess?”

I’m gritting my teeth so hard my jaw twitches. I know Jay has a thing for Tess. I have no idea how much—I mean, he’s in his midthirties. I also know he would never dare do anything unprofessional. But the way he looks at her makes me want to punch him and then destroy him. I always have him drive us, so I can watch him watch Tess.

Jax is convinced I have nothing to worry about with Jay and is always telling me to get over it, but I can’t. With her long brown hair, puffy lips, and sapphire eyes, she puts any model or actress to shame. And her body. Jesus, her body keeps me up at night. She’s tall at five eight, and skinny, super skinny, but with Olive Oyl as her mother, that’s not surprising. She still has curves though: a tiny waist and incredible breasts. Not huge, but full, perky, with big nipples. Yeah, her nipples are mouthwatering. I almost came in my pants the first time she let me suck on them. Christ, now I have a hard-on and Jax is smirking at me.

“Tess is staying home tonight,” I say at last as I climb into the back of our black Audi and shift my erection to the side, hoping it will deflate if I stop thinking about my girl.

“Everything okay?” Jay’s brown eyes look at me in his mirror.

“Why wouldn’t it be?” I sneer at him. Maybe Jax is right. I probably shouldn’t go out tonight, seeing how I’m ready to kill Jay and all he did was ask where she was.

“Don’t you say a word.” I look over at Jax. He frowns at me.

Rolling his eyes, he grabs one of the bottles of bourbon I swiped and takes a swig. As I wait for him to pass it back to me, he looks out the window.

“Are you going to share?”

“Nah, I think you need to go slow tonight. I can already feel your anger. I don’t want to have to call Dad tonight to bail us out of jail.”

This makes me smile.

Zack’s parents are out of town, so he has the entire apartment to himself. Zack comes from old money also. Not as old as my family’s but old. My great-great-great-grandfather was a duke in England. He gave everything up and moved his family to America, and our fortune hasn’t gotten any smaller. Every generation seems to expand the Saddington empire. I don’t even know what we don’t have a piece of.

Zack’s parents’ penthouse is a perfect place to let loose completely. His mom is into art deco crap or maybe it’s modern. Whatever, it’s easy to clean up. A lot of metal pieces with dark colors and ugly-but-sturdy furniture. I would probably take down some of the art. After all, a Jackson Pollock hangs across half the main wall, but hey, that’s his deal.