PLAYBOY'S BABY (Billionaire Bad Boy Romance) - Mia Carson Page 0,1

usual. I gave him my ticket, and he put a stub on my seat. I sat down and pulled out my headphones. I had stocked my iPhone with plenty of songs for this occasion. My loud metal music blared, waking up some guy who was sleeping in the corner. He looked startled and angry.

“What the hell?” he muttered, glaring at me.

“Sorry,” I said with a small, embarrassed grin. I turned my music down, searched through my phone for Eddy’s contact information, and shot him a quick text.

Sasha: Hey. Just got on the train.

Bro: I’m meeting you at Penn Station at 2 pm, right?

Sasha: Yes. I’ll see you then.

Bro: I’m so glad you’re coming home to help out with Mom and Dad’s anniversary party. It’s all they can talk about. I hope we don’t fuck it up.

Sasha: Nonsense. Besides, I’ll teach you everything you need to know about party planning. I am a certified teacher now, which has made me organized and worldly, and all that jazz.

Bro: Smarty-pants. I’ll see you soon.

Eddy had always called me smarty-pants, and he hadn’t changed much, either. He was still a friendly, gentle giant. Going home reminded me of other things, as well—things I wanted to forget. People I wanted to forget, rather. Like Shane. My thoughts drifted as I fell slowly into an uncomfortable sleep, dreaming of the past.

SASHA

2003

I had come home from school for the day, looking forward to seeing my mom and dad, but I’d forgotten they were working that night. My older brother, Eddy, was playing video games with some kid I’d never seen before. I could tell he had the slightly grown look of a teenager, which twelve-year-old me found very intimidating. Eddy took a sip of his soda pop, plopping his game controller in his lap. He greeted me with a small nod.

“Where are Mom and Dad?” I whined.

“They’re out. We’re watching you, so you better not run away or do anything stupid,” Eddy explained.

“Great. I’m going upstairs to do homework.”

“Like a good nerd,” Eddy jeered, cackling.

The boy sitting next to my brother cursed at the screen. One of his video game characters had just died. I stuck my tongue out at my brother, who turned around to play. The boy he was with stood up, clearly frustrated. He turned around, facing me. When I saw his face, I nearly fell over. He was the cutest boy I had ever seen. His dark hair was spiky, and he had UFO pants on. He raised a thick eyebrow, looking at me with his beautiful, clear blue eyes.

“What?” he spat.

“Who are you?” I asked in a bratty voice.

“I’m Shane. I just moved in to the apartment next door, and I’m hungry, so buzz off,” he grumbled.

He meandered to the kitchen to get some snacks. I couldn’t ignore the blushing heat that consumed me, so I turned on my heel and ran up the stairs to my room. I locked the door and plopped on my bed. Under my pillow was the pink, password-protected diary my parents had given me for Christmas. I keyed in the nifty little passcode and opened it. My pink fuzzy pen with feathers on the tip was still on my nightstand from last night’s writing session. I wrote when I felt scared or any other emotion that was strong and raw, too much to deal with. It was no different now.

Dear Diary,

You’re never going to believe what happened.

I just came home from school and found my brother playing video games with the cutest guy ever. But he’s also mean. Very mean! I have to call Kelsey and tell her what happened. Talk later. G2G. Bye.

-Sasha Meade

I closed my diary and tucked it away under my pillow again. A blush crept across my face as I thought of the boy… Shane. How could someone be so dreamy? I heard him and my brother yelling at the TV. One thing was for sure, he was the worst nanny ever. I hated when my parents had my brother watch me.

SASHA

2016

“Not sure how you can sleep with that music blaring,” my companion said drily, looking less angry now that I’d turned the music down. “But we’re here.”

“Thanks,” I mumbled sleepily, slightly embarrassed. I could fall asleep standing up at metal concerts as well as in the car when my friends blasted their music. I found this kind of music calming and soothing. I could lose myself in it.

I got up and stretched, hearing the familiar bustle of Penn Station above us.