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Bully Me – Class of 2020
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Loving your tormentor isn’t easy, especially when they collect broken hearts and parade them around like trophies. They’re the bad boys, the alpha a**holes, and the thorns in our sides. They push us past our limits, turn us on, and break us.
They’re our bullies.
Eight bestselling authors are teaming up to bring you eight unique stories about the guys we love to hate.
This anthology benefits one of the largest anti-bullying organizations in the world, and all proceeds will go toward helping to support victims of bullying.
Note from the authors
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CHARLIE (Rydeville Elite #4)
This book is an interconnected standalone romance in the Rydeville Elite world. It can be read without having read the first three books in the series.
Dropping out of college senior year was never part of my plan. But Dad needs me, and I’d move mountains for the only parent I’ve ever known—even working for the company that fired him. It makes me sick, but I’m low on options.
My boss, Charlie, is determined to make my life a living hell, availing of every opportunity to undermine my confidence, to humiliate and threaten me.
Sleeping with him the night of his wedding might have something to do with his attitude.
Or the fact I’m the spitting image of the woman he really wants.
If our financial situation wasn’t so dire, I’d tell Charlie to stick his job up his delectable butt.
But I’m trapped, and things are only getting worse. Because the more layers I uncover, the more I realize he is nothing l expected and everything I crave.
If there was a manual for all the ways a person could fuck up his life, it’d have my name written on it.
I can’t undo the things I’ve done, no matter how badly I want to, and every day is a constant reminder of my epic failure.
It’s as if Demi has been put on this earth to punish me. To inflict more torture and pain. Because every second I’m around her, she makes me feel things I don’t want to feel.
So, I lash out. Doing my best to push her away.
Until I realize she’s everything I never knew I needed, and the fight becomes a new battle—one to win her heart.
RHYTHMIC BEATS REVERBERATE through the speakers, mingling with the sounds of boisterous laughter and raucous chatter as I glance at my watch and sigh. I grab hold of Xena’s arm, admiring her colorful ink, as I pull her down closer. “I’ve got to go,” I shout in her ear, a necessity in this noisy room if I want to be heard.
She loops her arm in mine. “Aw, not yet, babe. The night’s still young.” She nudges my hip, swaying her body in time to the beat of the music. “It’s Christmas,” she roars in my ear. “You can’t leave.” She grins, winking at her boyfriend Leo as he eyes her like he’s seconds away from jumping her bones.
“I want to stay, but I can’t. Mrs. Griffin has a family she needs to get home to,” I explain. It was sweet of her to keep Dad company while I attended this party, at one of our old high school buddy’s apartments in the downtown area, but I promised her I wouldn’t be long.
Understanding washes over Xena’s pretty face. “I keep forgetting. I’m sorry.”
I shrug, draining the last dregs of my gin cocktail. “Some days, I forget too.”
It’s only been two months since Dad had a stroke, which left him paralyzed from the waist down, and only one month since I dropped out of UMaine to move back home to help care for him.
It’s gradually sinking in—that the life I was leading, and the future I had planned, has all changed in the blink of an eye.
One brutal twist of fate altered my destiny, but I’m not crying over it.
It is what it is.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way, because Dad has always been there for me. From day one, he has had my back, and there isn’t anything I won’t do for him.
There’s no way I want strangers caring for him twenty-four-seven. As soon as we discovered his paralysis was permanent, I shed my old life and moved back home to Rydeville.
There was no dilemma. No anguished decision.
Dad needs me. He’s my only flesh and blood.
And I’m home to look after him.
“At least, we get to hang out on the regular again,” Xena says, pulling me into a hug. “I’ve missed you, girl.”
Xena was my best friend all through school, and we were as close as sisters. But after we graduated from the public high school in Rydeville, our lives went in very different directions. Xena had decided back in freshman year that college wasn’t in the cards for her. She walked straight into a job in her uncle’s tattoo parlor and hasn’t looked back since. My journey took me to the University of Maine and Isaac Sullivan, both now firmly relegated to the past.
“I’m glad we’re reconnecting,” I tell her, kissing her cheek. “And I’m so grateful for your support.” Xena and I slotted back into an easy friendship, and I’d be lost without her daily messages and calls. She helps keep me sane on days when despair threatens to kick in.
“Anytime. You know I’m always here for you.”
“Enjoy the rest of your night. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do,” I tease, waggling my brows as I watch the two guys circling her in anticipation. Only Xena would find two ripped, tatted, pierced hotties utterly devoted to her and take it all in her stride, like it’s commonplace to have two boyfriends.