I called my brother. “Hey, Cherry. Look, I can’t talk—”
“Cait’s sleeping with Griffin,” I blurted out, cutting off whatever excuse he was about to make.
“What? Who?” It took him half a second to connect the dots. “Seriously? How do you know?”
“I just caught them.” My words had turned to a whisper. I was ashamed of my former friends for betraying me, and of myself for having been so naive. I knew Andy would call me stupid and tell me I deserved what I got for dating a Griffin, and that I was a sheeple like Mom and Cait, and—
“Oh, Cherry. I’m so sorry. Neither of those asshats deserves you.”
That reaction, I didn’t expect. Andy’s kindness broke me. Angry tears flooded my eyes, and before I could help it, I was blubbering and ranting in front of a platform full of strangers. I’d called Andy because I needed his sarcasm to toughen me up and put me on the defensive. I needed to be strong, like him. But instead he gave me tenderness, something I couldn’t handle at the moment.
“You’re lovely and sweet and kind. And you would never do something like that to anyone. Not even an enemy. I’ll come get you; tell me where you are.”
“I—I’m going home. I’m at the train. I feel sick.” My words were coming out in gasps.
“Screw them both. Let them have each other. I never liked that idiot. He’s like Mom and Cait. He thinks his blue blood earns him the right to everything—clearly. They’re selfish people, Cherry. Selfish and stupid and blind. I’m glad he showed his true colors before you got too invested in him.”
Not wanting Andy to know I was as invested as I could be, I stayed silent while he shouted and ranted all the things big brothers said to sad little sisters. “I should beat the piss outta him! Want me to kick his ass? I’ll go find a couple of friends and we can make sure he doesn’t show up for—”
“No.” I sniffled. “I just—” What did I want?
“Listen. Go home and take a hot bath, drink a bottle of wine, and try to get some sleep. I’ll come get you in a week. We’ll go to New York and get trashed, and you—”
“Sleep!” I snapped, finally losing the hold I had on my ferocity. “You think I could sleep right now? I’m not Mom, Andy. I can’t just take something and coast through shit like this.”
“Okay, don’t sleep. Try eating a whole sheet cake and plotting their deaths. They aren’t worth the energy you’re putting into being pissed off. I’ve never understood how you were friends with her. Or part of her club. Which, by the way, she only started because Wendell cheated on her with that chick from Derby. It’s ironic, because then she turns around and does this to you.”
“Andy, I don’t care why she started it,” I groaned, wiping my eyes. “I don’t care that someone cheated on her in high school. I care that she’s currently sleeping with my boyfriend—”
“Cherry, take a breath. If you’re crying, you’re losing it.”
I heaved, realizing I was blind with rage and tears.
“If you can’t get past this with a simple cake, then I don’t know what to say. If I ever make the mistake of falling in love again, it’ll be with some girl in a different financial bracket. This is why we don’t date our kind.”
“Yeah, great advice now!” I spit my words, feeling the fury building.
“Don’t lose control! You’re in public, and you’re a Kennedy for God’s sake. We don’t lose it in front of strangers. Plus, you’ll be upset you didn’t cry in the shower like a winner.”
“Shut up!” I hated him sometimes.
“Cherry, getting upset and ruining your summer is pointless; you’re the only one who suffers. They’ll win. They’ll ruin your last summer before college is over and the real world hits. Don’t let them do that to you.”
“What should I do then?” I burst again, sobbing.
“I don’t know. Maybe take her down. Get revenge. Just whatever you do, don’t go back to that moron, Chatsworth.”
“I won’t.” I sighed. “I can’t talk about this anymore. I’ll text you later.”
“Trust me, eat the cake. It will make you feel better. Do that before you do anything else. My friend Angela swears by it.” He laughed bitterly and hung up.
But I didn’t focus on the cake or the bath or the wine. My mind was stuck on the one thing Andy had said that was useful, on repeat.
And I would.
Title: Fling Club
Author: Tara Brown
Release Date: August 14, 2018
For the young, rich, and beautiful, summertime in the Hamptons means one thing: Fling Club. Only this time, Cherry Kennedy won’t be selecting a boy for a fleeting romance. Nope, this season, Cherry is out for revenge. Her target? The Fling Club founder and society darling who slept with Cherry’s now-very-ex-boyfriend. And all Cherry needs is the perfect guy for her plan… Ashley Jardine can’t afford to refuse. He scored almost a full ride to MIT. But that almost still costs a lot. And this is so much money for a little game of revenge and a chance—albeit short—to live the high life. Here, rich girls rule the shore, and everyone has a role to play. Only nothing in the job description warned Ashley that the redhead who’s running the scheme would be so crazy. And cute. Or that he wouldn’t be able to stop thinking about her. Now, everything is going according to plan—until an unexpected attraction raises the stakes. It’s enough to turn the perfect payback into absolute heartbreak.
The international bestselling author of Roommates and the Puck Buddies series, Tara Brown writes in a variety of genres. In addition to her comedic Single Lady Spy series, she has also published popular contemporary and paranormal romances, science fiction, thrillers, and romantic comedies. She especially enjoys writing dark and moody tales, often focusing on strong female characters who are more inclined to vanquish evil than perpetrate it. She shares her home with her husband, two daughters, two cats, an Irish wolfhound, and a Maremma Sheepdog. Find out more about Tara by visiting www.TaraBrownAuthor.com.
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