Dangerously Damaged (Addicted To You, Book One)
Author:Covington, Lucy

Adam yanked me further down the street.

 

“Hey!” the boy yelled after us. “What’s your name?”

 

And even though I knew I shouldn’t reply, I yelled it back at him.

 

 

 

 

 

JUSTIN

 

 

I watched her go with a smile on my face. Lindsay Cramer. She’d yelled her name to me as clear as day.

 

She even looked back once over her shoulder before turning the corner and disappearing out of sight.

 

“Lindsay. Lindsay Cramer.” I let the words tumble out of my mouth, and it was almost like I was reciting a spell. Something magic.

 

Sighing, I accepted the fact that she was gone. There was a strange emptiness in my stomach, almost like I was hungry—but I knew that wasn’t it at all. Grabbing a cheeseburger wasn’t going to make this feeling go away.

 

I started walking toward the T station, replaying the conversation with Lindsay in my head as I went.

 

She’s just some girl. Just a random. Why are you getting all in your head about her?

 

This wasn’t my first time at the rodeo. Usually I could tell when I had them on the hook. And I could have sworn I had Lindsay on the line, too. She was looking at me in that certain way, and her smile, the way she made eye contact and then couldn’t quite hold it for long…even thinking back on it, I was more and more certain she’d been curious about me.

 

Curious. Well, I was curious about her too, but now she was gone. Why couldn’t she have been alone, without that annoying dude trying to cock block me? I pictured his dumb face. He was the typical, spoiled, stuck up Cambridge boy. Thought he was better than me, probably thought he was better than ninety-nine percent of the people he met.

 

Just because he came from money and had options, somehow in his mind that meant he was entitled to everything he saw. Including a girl like Lindsay.

 

She’s special and she doesn’t even know it.

 

Meanwhile, that dude she was with thought that he could have her the same way he probably got to have a BMW for his seventeenth birthday.

 

I grit my teeth and my heart sped up. Thinking stuff like that made me angry, made me want to get in the gym and work somebody over.

 

Touching my stitches, I winced, and then remembered that I wouldn’t be able to do any full-contact sparring until it healed. Damn.

 

I hopped on the T and headed back to the South End. My mood had gone sour.

 

Being crushed in a moving tin can with people all around me, pressing against me, jostling for position—it felt claustrophobic.

 

I could smell what the guy next to me had for lunch, and I could even tell that he hadn’t showered in a few days or bothered to wear deodorant.

 

The Cambridge University types didn’t have to deal with this stuff. They didn’t bother with public transportation. They took cabs, or they drove, in a city where owning a car and affording parking was a luxury. They didn’t know what it was like to grow up having to work shit jobs, getting up at five a.m. to cut a rich person’s lawn so that they don’t have to bother with it themselves.

 

Maybe some day I’d be cutting Lindsay and what’s his name’s lawn.

 

Now I had a sour taste in my mouth and I wanted to change it, fast.

 

Once off the T, I made my way to O’Doyle’s. Big Timmy was out front reading a magazine. He looked up when he saw me approaching. We shook hands.

 

“Yo J.B. What happened?” he said, gesturing to my face.

 

“What do you think happened?”

 

“Looks like you got caught with a punch.”

 

“I don’t get caught,” I told him.

 

“Well, someone opened you up.” Big Timmy smiled.

 

“Keep smiling and I might open you up.” I grinned back at him.

 

“You need a beer.”

 

“Do I ever.” I slapped him on the shoulder and went inside.

 

The bar was almost empty, just a few drunks nursing drinks and watching the Red Sox on TV.

 

I took a seat in the middle of the bar, away from everyone. Taryn was bartending, and she immediately brought me over a Guinness. “Hey, what are you doing in here? I thought you’d be training.”

 

I pointed at the cut above my eye. “Something came up.”

 

“Awwww, that stinks. It looks painful.”

 

“Now that you mention it, that shit does kind of sting. Thanks for reminding me.”

 

“What are friends for?”

 

I waited for the foam on the beer to go down a little bit. “I forgot. What are they for?”

 

“Don’t be an ass.” She leaned forward, giving me an obvious flash of cleavage.

 

“Speaking of friends, Gilbert was in here earlier.”

 

“Now I really do need a drink.” I picked up the glass and downed some of the Guinness. It tasted cool and good.

 

“He asked me to tell you he stopped in.”

 

“Was he okay?”

 

Taryn stood up straight again. “What do you think?”

 

“I try not to think about him.”

 

“Well, maybe you should. He’s in a bad place right now.”

 

“Did he say where he was going?”