Beautifully Broken (Addicted To You, Book Two)
Author:Covington, Lucy

“Look at you, all eager and beaming,” Professor Klaxton said. His fingers slid into his mug and plucked out another jellybean. “All of you were top students at your high school. Which is why it will come as a shock when I tell you that thirty percent of you will fail this class. There will be no make-up assignments. No extra credit.” He sucked the jellybean into his mouth and then steepled his fingers together. “Now, we will go over the syllabus so that there is no confusion about my expectations for this class. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s confusion.”

 

 

The boy next to Rachel raised his hand.

 

“Yes?”

 

“What is this here on the bottom here, the part about research assistants?”

 

“Ah, I see you are very observant, Mister…?”

 

“Daniels.” The boy was practically beaming.

 

“Mr. Daniels, I will be choosing three research assistants this semester. They will be in charge of helping me, doing my bidding, if you will. If you would like to be considered for one of the positions, you shall write a ten-page essay about why organic chemistry is an important area of study not just for students of science, but for everyone.

 

It will be due at the beginning of next class. No late papers will be accepted.”

 

I couldn’t believe it. Getting to be Dr. Klaxton’s research assistant would be an amazing opportunity.

 

A ten-page paper in two days?

 

Piece of cake.

 

Of course, the topic was a little tricky. Obviously no one outside the science world needed to know organic chemistry. Which led me to believe that Dr. Klaxton was using the assignment to try to see what kind thinkers we were. Like when you went on a job interview and they asked you how many buses were in America. Obviously no one would know the exact number, and they didn’t even care if you were right. – they just wanted to see how you arrived at the answer.

 

But that was okay.

 

I wasn’t afraid.

 

I was going to get one of those research assistant jobs if it was the last thing I did.

 

 

 

 

 

JUSTIN

 

 

My roommate woke me up from what felt like a coma.

 

“JB! Are you awake?”

 

I opened my eyes and stared up at the ceiling. “No. Leave me alone.”

 

“Edwin’s parked outside, he’s honked like ten times, bro.” Wyatt stepped into my room and looked down at me. He was holding his Home Depot apron in one hand. “You must have had a really good time last night,” he laughed.

 

“Fuck, no. Worst night of my life.” I sat up and peered out my window, only to see Edwin’s truck double-parked on the corner of the street. “Well, that’s not true,” I said. “The first part of the night was kind of awesome. It was the second part that sucked.”

 

Edwin honked another couple of times, and so I lifted the window and leaned out.

 

“Give me a minute!” I shouted down. I could barely make him out, but I could have sworn he was shaking his head at me.

 

“You’ll have to tell me all about it sometime,” Wyatt said, “but I’m running out the door myself. Catch you later, JB.”

 

“Yeah.” I waved at him and then groaned. My mouth tasted like I’d spent most of last night licking an ashtray. Which in a way, I supposed was true. Jennifer had been smoking like a chimney and then we’d played tonsil hockey for a couple of hours. It almost made me want to puke.

 

What was I thinking, hooking up with that chick? What the hell was wrong with me?

 

I almost felt like I’d been cheating on Lindsay, which was ridiculous, because we hadn’t even kissed yet or anything. But still, the guilty sensation was strong and I couldn’t shake it.

 

I finally dragged myself downstairs and outside to where Delvin was waiting, and as I slid inside the passenger side of the truck, my friend was smiling at my obvious discomfort. “You look like shit.”

 

“I feel worse than I look.”

 

“I should let you go back and get some rest,” he said. “It’s a light day of work.”

 

I glanced at him hopefully. “Yeah?”

 

“But I’m an asshole. So you’re coming with me.” He started laughing uproariously.

 

“You dick. All we’re going to do is drive around drinking iced coffee and listening to sports radio. And then maybe we’ll do a couple of lawns and go to O’Doyle’s for beers afterwards.”

 

“Yeah, but that’s why I need you, JB. I’m going to be so fucking bored if I work by myself.” Delvin put the truck in gear.

 

We drove off, and I looked longingly back at my apartment building, wishing I could just crawl into bed and try and forget that party last night had ever happened.

 

Meanwhile, Delvin was chattering away in my ear. He was basically a happy guy, simple and never had a bad word to say about anything or anyone. Maybe that’s why we got along so well. I was the opposite of that.

 

But just like Delvin helped to cheer me up sometimes, I helped Delvin out of a few tight spots over the years.

 

Back in high school, Delvin had been picked on sometimes and I’d stood up for him. One guy in particular had bothered Delvin since he was a little kid. The guy lived in Delvin’s neighborhood, but was older than us, so I’d never met him. When Delvin showed up at school one day with a black eye and a fat lip, I decided to go find the bully.