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Sinners of Hawthorne University
Bonus Scene


“Gray! Yo, man! How was your summer?”

A voice catches my attention from down the hall, and I look up to see Seth Broswick lift his chin in my direction.

My sister died three months ago. How the fuck do you think I’m doing?

I swallow the words before they can make it past my lips. Everybody on campus knows about Beth’s death, but even though the semester hasn’t even started yet, they all seem to have gotten the memo not to mention it or bring it up. I can probably thank my two best friends for that.

They know how fucked up I am about it.

They were there for the nights when I was so piss drunk I couldn’t even walk, for the time I put my fist through a wall, for the days when I could barely speak as grief ate away at me like poison.

It’s still eating away at me, but I’ve gotten better at shoving it aside. At functioning with a fucking hole in my heart.

“It was fine.”

The lie slips easily from my lips, and I shrug at Seth as a door to my left opens and a bunch of people spill out into the hall. I don’t really feel like having a conversation with him beyond the few words we just exchanged, so I follow the flow of bodies toward the door and out into the warm afternoon air.

Classes won’t start until Monday, but I had to stop in and meet with one of my professors for a minute. Now that that’s out of the way, I’ve got nothing I have to do for the rest of the weekend, which is fine by me.

As I step away from the building, I see Declan and Elias talking to some chick several yards away. I change course, heading in their direction, and I’m about to open my mouth to call out a greeting when the girl they’re flirting with turns around.

Messy blonde hair dyed with streaks of blue glints in the sunlight, and her blue-gray eyes widen slightly.

My footsteps stutter as my whole body reacts to the sight of her.

I fucking know this girl.


It’s the girl I fucked at that dive bar the day of Beth’s funeral. The one I swear I can still feel wrapped around me sometimes, the one whose moans still play in my ears when I’m staring up at the ceiling trying to find sleep in the dead of night.

She’s here.

Holy fuck, is she a new student at Hawthorne?

Something I haven’t felt in months expands inside my chest, and although I don’t take the time to examine it closely, I think it might be excitement. My footsteps slowed for a second when I first caught sight of her, but now my pace picks up, my long strides carrying me closer to her as my gaze devours her.

Fuck, she’s gorgeous.

She’s as beautiful as she was that night. Hell, more so, with the bright California sun giving her features a soft glow and a hungry look overtaking her expression.

She remembers me too.

I can see it in her eyes.

My cock twitches, the barely-familiar feeling of excitement in my chest growing stronger.

I have a sudden vivid memory of following her out of the bar, of wrapping my arms around her waist before guiding her into the depths of the alley and pressing her up against the wall.

I hadn’t planned on doing that. I’d stepped out of the bar intending to go back home, but when I saw her walking away down the street, something had snapped inside me.

I’d been filled with a desperation not to let her go—not to let the first good thing I’d felt in longer than I cared to think about disappear like that.

Our second fuck had been just as good as the first.

But it still wasn’t enough.

I come to a stop just a couple feet away from her, close enough that I can see the way her pupils dilate as she stares at me.


Her name falls from my lips as a low murmur, and her mouth drops open slightly in response, as if she’s physically affected by the sound.

Good. I hope she fucking is. Because I want to say it again and again, and I want to hear her scream my name so loud she goes hoarse.

“Ah. Well, we didn’t get her name.” Elias’s voice cuts into my thoughts. He clears his throat. “She’s the new scholarship student. The second one.”

For a second, my brain doesn’t register his words. I’m too busy staring at Sophie, lost in the soft blue-gray of her irises. But then the meaning of what Elias just said sinks in, and I realize in a rush why his voice sounds so odd and strained.

The new scholarship student.

The second one.

This girl is here on Beth’s scholarship. This girl is taking Beth’s place.

A wave of grief slams into me like a fucking truck, nearly knocking the wind out of me. My entire body goes rigid as emotions I’ve spent all summer carefully shoving down and pushing aside come roaring through me like a tidal wave. Pain fills me, dwarfing whatever that strange feeling of excitement was and flooding my limbs with lead, overtaking my entire body.


Beth is gone.

And Sophie is here in her place.

And for a split second, I was excited about that.

Guilt rises up to the join the grief choking my throat, and I feel my features change. I feel my lips curl, feel my eyes go hard, and then I hear myself laugh.

It’s a hollow sound, forced and empty—just as fucking empty as I feel.

A few students who are passing by stop, drawn by the overly loud sound of my laugh. My gaze flicks to them and then back to Sophie. A little line has appeared between her brows, shock reflecting in her eyes as she stares at me.

Somehow, the expression on her face only feeds the monster growing inside me.

My mouth opens again, and when I speak, I’m surprised at how normal I sound. How careless and casual.

“Right.” I draw the word out. “The second scholarship student. Bit of a waste if you ask me. Kinda like tossing money into a dumpster and lighting it on fucking fire.”

“Excuse me?” She narrows her eyes.

“You heard me.” More words form on my lips, the pain in me lashing out, determined to take her down with me. “One charity case is already a stretch for the school. Two though? What’s the fucking point? You take some messed up druggie or coke slut off the street, polish her up, give her a piece of paper that says ‘you did good sweetie,’ and then what? She’s still a fucked up mess. Still a pathetic loser.” The monster inside me chuckles. “There’s not a degree in the world that can change that.”   

“What the fuck is your problem with me?” Her hands clench at her sides. “What the hell difference does it make to you if I’m here on a scholarship or not? You don’t even know me. You don’t know a goddamn thing about me.”

She’s even more fucking stunning when she’s pissed off, her eyes flashing with anger and her body tense like she’s ready for a fight.

But all I can see is Beth.

Beth, who should be here right now.

Beth, the only person I always listened to.

Beth, my conscience.

Beth, my best friend.

My eyes burn, and I clench my jaw as I force back tears before they can form. Every bit of sadness in me turns to fury, and I just want this beautiful blonde girl with the blue-streaked hair gone.

I want her gone and Beth back.

I want to undo this all, to pull the veil back and reveal that this whole thing was just an illusion, some fucked up trick or practical joke. That Beth isn’t dead, that she’s here on campus like she should be. With me, ready to start our second year.

Two strides bring me closer to Sophie, and although she takes a step back, I don’t stop until our chests are nearly touching.

Her proximity fucks with my head, reminding me of what it felt like to have her arms wrapped around me, her legs clamped around my hips, her pussy enveloping me. She smells like jasmine and honey, and I remember that scent. I want to breathe it in like a drug, to bury my face in the crook over her neck and never fucking move again.

Instead, my words are a dark burn as I speak again, poisoning the air between us.

“I know enough, Sparrow. You shouldn’t have come here. You don’t deserve to be here. And if you’re smart, you’ll turn around and fucking leave.”

Her eyes flare a little wider, her head jerking back slightly as she stares at me in shock. Declan and Elias respond to my words too, stepping away from her and coming to stand on either side of me. Backing me up, just like they’ve done for as long as I’ve known them. Just like I’d do for them.

They may not understand my actions, or even agree with them, but they’re still standing by me.

And probably trying to make sure I don’t self-destruct while I’m at it.

The thing is, though, I kind of want to self-destruct.

It’s been a while since I seriously considered joining Beth, wherever she is—letting a razor or a gun or a rope take away the gnawing pain inside me. But the monster of grief inside me demands something. Some sacrifice. Some destruction.

And this will have to do.

“So… our new scholarship classmate.” I speak louder, letting the slowly gathering crowd around us hear my words as I glance around at their interested faces. “You want a fun fact about our little freshman inductee? Sparrow and I know each other.” A cruel smirk tugs at my lips, and I glance at Sophie, who’s glaring at me like she wants to fucking kill me. “Biblically. Intimately. Though I gotta say, I wouldn’t waste your time on her if you think she’s gonna be a decent charity case lay. She’s not very… entertaining.”

I don’t know why I said that.

Is it because I don’t want anyone else to touch her? Or because it’s so far from the truth that it feels safe somehow? A lie so big it doesn’t even count as a lie anymore.

“Sorry.” For the first time since I stepped into her space, Sophie speaks. Her voice is unnaturally loud, raised for the crowd’s benefit just like mine was, and there’s a hard edge to it. “It was probably so lousy because I spent most of the time trying to figure out if you were actually inside me or if you were just dry humping me like a two-inch virgin.”

My eyebrows shoot up a little, shock resonating through me as I wonder if she actually believed what I just said. I’m struck with the sudden urge to grab her and kiss her until both of our mouths are bruised and bloody, to fuck her right here in the goddamn quad until we collapse in a boneless, sated, numb heap.

A few of the gathered students laugh at Sophie’s words, and Cliff’s annoying-as-fuck bray cuts over the other sounds. Of course that fucking asshole would laugh the loudest.

I’m silent for a moment as her words hang in the air.

I can’t decide what to do.

I can’t decide if I want to kiss Sophie or destroy her.

But before I have a chance to do or say anything, she straightens her spine and steps away from me. There’s something rigid and carefully controlled about her movements as she pushes her way through the crowd and stalks off.

I watch her go, rubbing at the burning ache in my chest with the heel of my hand.

Behind me, Elias lets out a low whistle.

“Well, fuck.”

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