Read Loving Charley Online

Authors: Casey Peeler

Tags: #romance, #dating, #college life, #new adult, #southern literatrure, #mature young adult, #teen and young adult, #pretty little liars, #teen romantic fiction, #teen 16 plus

Loving Charley (17 page)

BOOK: Loving Charley
5.83Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

A low growl escapes his
voice like he is fighting an inner battle. “Char-coal, I can’t. I
have to stay home and help my parents this weekend. I know it’s the
last weekend before everything, but I owe it to them, especially
since I don’t know what will happen after Thursday. Dad has me
going to a sale this weekend with him, and then making sure
everything is in line to get ready to plant over the next couple of
weeks. I’m so sorry.”

My heart sinks a little,
but I also know that he’s speaking the truth. He has a major role
on the farm, and if he does have to do time, he can’t leave his dad
high and dry.

“I understand. I don’t like
it, but I understand,” I say with sadness in my voice.

“Believe me. If I had a
choice between selling cattle or lying next to you tonight… the
cows win hands down.” He tries to say it seriously.

“Cash Porter Montgomery,
no, you just didn’t!”

He bursts out laughing.
“You’re right. I’d choose you hands down no matter the other

“Even if it was Carrie

“Damn straight, I’d choose
you over her. Because for me, she’s not perfect, and you
perfect for

My heart melts once again
for Cash Money. We talk for a few minutes before I let him get back
to work, and I promise to have a good time this weekend.

As I walk upstairs,
Caroline and Georgia are standing in the hallway. They are propped
against the wall with their arms crossed like they are ready to
pounce on somebody.

“Um, are y’all okay?” I

“Hell no, we aren’t! What’s
going on with Joe?” Caroline quizzes.

“What do you mean? He’s
going to see Piper,” I say nonchalantly.

Georgia pushes herself off
the wall, thinks, and then speaks, “You better tell me
he’s going.
Something’s up… I can feel it.”

“Come on. I need some Fun
Dip and a Choice Cherry Gold,” I say as I walk back into my

“Oh, shit. This ain’t
good!” Georgia states as they follow me into the room, grabbing
their own Fun Dip and drink.

“Spill it!” Caroline

“Okay, I didn’t want y’all
to worry, but someone’s messin’ with Piper. Joe and I have put the
pieces together, and he pretty much is going to let the guy know it
this weekend. Nothing major, but I didn’t want to go because it can
cause issues next week.”

“Nothin’ major, my ass! I
can’t believe you think Georgia and I would buy this bullshit,”
Caroline says loudly.

At this point, I know I
can’t hide anything from these two. Out of everyone, they are the
most like me. “Fine. It’s a guy named Blanton Marks. I don’t know
him, but he grew up with Trent. He’s been makin’ moves on Piper and
her friends for a while, but this past weekend, he totally freaked
her out. We’ve been trying to keep her from worrying, but Joe and I
knew something wasn’t right. Between my knowledge of Grassy Pond
and Joe being there Senior Week, we were able to figure it out. I
guess you’d say he and Joe are acquaintances. He’s hoping to tell
him the game’s over. I’m just praying that he doesn’t get himself
in trouble. He can’t afford for that to happen.”

“What do you mean he can’t
afford to get in trouble?” Caroline questions.

“That’s a story for another
day. Just know that Joe’s had it rough growing up. He’s the perfect
image of what a pretty boy would be like, but life’s not always
been nice to him. He’s lucky Southern gave him a shot. Not to
mention, he has one kick-ass grandma who believed in him when
everyone else tossed him to the side.”

Georgia and Caroline’s eyes
float back between each other’s. “Y’all, it’s okay. This weekend is
going to be epic, and after next week, I’ll have my life

“Char, you do know that it
could get continued, or they might actually have to take it to
trial, right?” Georgia says, stating what I’ve been

I don’t want to think about
that. I just want to have my life back, and I want Thursday to be
that day. I have to testify in court, lay all my business out for
everyone to hear, and after that point, if I have to do it again, I
will, but I will be free regardless of whether the decision has
been made.

“I know, Caroline, but
once I say this out loud, for me, I
be free. When I told the
police, it was hard, but after I did, it felt like an elephant was
lifted off me.”

“I gotcha. So, what are we
going to do to make this weekend one we don’t forget?”

We sit there a minute
racking our brains before Caroline jumps up and gets beyond
excited. “I’ve got an idea! Y’all know how much fun Hank’s is on
Saturday, right? What if we create our own club here

“You do realize we could
all get kicked out for something like that, don’t you?” I

“Y’all know as well as I do
that Mr. Wannabe Cop isn’t going to do anything. Now, our RA could
be another story, but y’all know she’s got some nerd in her life
now and hasn’t been around as much,” Caroline informs

“She’s got a point,
Charley. We can totally get away with it, and you know the guys’ RA
downstairs couldn’t care less.”

Knowing that this will be a
night to remember, I agree. “Sounds like a plan to me. Let’s tell
the rest of the Kluft girls. We have less than eight hours to turn
this place into a club.”

We go to Tori’s room and
tell them our idea. They are game, so we make our to-do list while
Tori calls their beer guy. We decide how we are going to decorate
and then rummage through our rooms to see what we can find. Each of
us brings the items into the hall. When we look around, we don’t
have much of anything except a disco ball, three sets of sheer
purple curtains, a cooler, leftover Christmas party decorations,
and that’s about it.

“You guys, I think we’re
going to have to do better than this! We need to go to shopping or
at least to the dollar store,” Anna states the obvious.

“We can roll with this,”
Tori says. “I’m thinkin’ use what we have and then make a

We plan out where we will
hang the curtains, old decorations, and whatever else we can find.
Then, we cut off the lights and turn on the disco ball.
Pretty impressive to say the

Georgia starts to laugh. “It looks
like someone threw up purple in here!”

“Yeah, it looks like either My Little
Pony or a Care Bear took over.” Tori cackles.

“Yeah, Club Purple! The
place to dance like no one’s watching and leave everything to the
imagination!” Anna says a little too seductively.

“Ohmygosh, y’all, that is
freakin’ hilarious!” I say with a laugh.

With time to spare, we turn
off the disco light and order pizza while we get ready. We all send
texts to everybody we know. Tonight is going to be a blast. I have
a group of great friends that make their own fun, and I wouldn’t
change my world right now if my life depended on it!

With the sun starting to
set, I call Cash. By now, he should be in from working or at least
I hope so.
I remember that he’s gone with his dad to the sale. He might
be gone all night. I send him a quick text and finish getting
ready. I can’t wait to see him Thursday, even if it’s not under the
best circumstances. Any moment I spend with him is better than
nothing at all. When he replies, a smile spreads across my face,
but it doesn’t last long because I hear a light knock at my

“Come in,” I say as I turn
around and stand in shock when the door opens. Cash Money is
standing before me with a bouquet of wild flowers. “I…I…” is all I
can utter.

He takes a step closer as
he hands me the flowers. The smell of fresh-cut flowers mixed with
his recently showered scent is enough to drive me crazy. Taking the
flowers from him, I manage to speak, “They’re beautiful, but I
thought you had to stay home.”

He gives me a smirk as he
answers, “Let’s just say I have to be back really early tomorrow,
but the thought of seeing you for even just a minute was better
than none at all.”

Throwing my arms around his
neck, I say, “I love you, Cash Money. I love you with all my
heart!” Happy tears begin to fall.

His lips press against
mine, and he replies between kisses, “I. Love. You.

“Ohmygosh! I just can’t
believe you’re here!” I squeal.

“Well, believe it! I’m
gonna hold you tonight just like you needed, but I have to be back
home by six a.m.”

“Cash! That means you’ll
have to leave by four-thirty!”

“I know, but
are worth

“Damn right, we are,” I say
as I devour his lips one more time before being interrupted by
Caroline who doesn’t even bother to knock.

“Oh, shit! Um…sorry, y’all!
Hey, Cash! Um…” She turns and closes the door. The mood is now
ruined, but the night is not. This is going to be a fabulous Friday
night. I’ve got the love of my life, Club Purple, and the Kluft
girls. Now, if only my best friend and the love of her life are
safe, my night will be complete.

Chapter 24

Tori turns up the stereo as the music begins to
pump through the hallway. Cash and I have yet to venture out of my
room, but I’m about to starve. I’m pretty certain all the pizza is
gone, or if not, it’s some nasty supreme!
Surprisingly, they have saved
me a few slices of pepperoni that Cash and I share.

“It’s not a famous
PB&J, but it will have to do,” I say playfully.

As the nighttime hour
begins to roll around, so do the people. Anyone that is everyone on
campus is here. Tori and Caroline use their rooms to hide the
booze. Just as things are starting to crank up, Mr. Wannabe Cop
strolls through.

“Ladies, I’m afraid I’m
going to have to shut it down,” he says.

Anna turns on her charm as
she approaches him. “Oh, Officer, please don’t ruin our fun! We’ve
worked so hard on Club Purple!” She then gives him a pouty lip. We
all look at each other and almost burst at the seams.

He falls right into her
hand. “Well, I guess I can let it slide for now, but by midnight, I
want the music off.”

“Yes, sir,” she replies and
bats her eyelashes.

He strolls through the
room and stops directly in front of Tori’s room with the door wide
damn open.
“Whose room is this?” he demands.

Tori starts to speak, but Anna comes
to her rescue. “Mine. Oops. Guess we should hide that

“I believe that you should.
I will, however, let this slide if I can get one of those to have
as soon as I’m off duty.” He points toward the beer.

“Sure! But you know you can
drink it on duty, and we won’t tell a soul,” she whispers with a

He takes the beer, slides
it into his pocket, winks at Anna, and makes his way out of the

“Y’all are
!” Cash states with
his arms crossed.

“No, she is bad,” Caroline
says, “but it sure is nice to have her around!”

“Hey, is that all I’m good
for?” Anna asks with her hands on her hips.

“No, you’re good for
getting free beer, too!” Tori exclaims.

“I always get what I want!”
she says as she sways down the hallway toward a baseball player
that has her name written all over him. He doesn’t know what he’s
about to get himself into.

Club Purple is a night full
of music, laughter, fun, drinking, and forgetting about what the
future holds. By eleven o’clock, we can’t even move down the
hallway. Couples are bumpin’ and grindin’ to the music, people are
making out against the walls, and the Kluft girls know that we have
pulled off the dorm party of the year.

Cash and I never leave each
other’s side; we dance, laugh, and make out like every other couple
in the hallway. The fact that I know he has to leave soon makes me
sad, and he must read it on my face.

“Char-coal, don’t be sad. Be glad that
we are here in this moment.”

“Oh, I am, but I don’t want
it to end,” I say as my hands slide up his washboard

“Me either. Just think.
This time next week I can spend as much time with you as

“Now, how am I gonna finish
the semester with you as a distraction?” I ask.

“Oh, so now I’m the
distraction? I thought it was the opposite way around.” That’s when
the stereo begins to slow, and we hear our song. We stop, look
toward my friends, and then look back to each other. We forget that
there are others around us, and we dance like no one is watching.
Before the song ends, we are brought back to the reality that we
aren’t alone when some jackass yells for us to get a room, and
that’s exactly what we do. We make our way to my room and close the
door. Now, I have Cash Money all to myself for the next couple of
hours, and I plan on using that to my advantage.

BOOK: Loving Charley
5.83Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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