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Synopsis

 

Being crew is walking between two worlds.
One world is normal: Prom. Parties. College.
Those are the concerns they worry about.

In our world, we deal with other situations.
Cops. Drugs. Brawling.
That’s a typical day for us.

But what if it wasn’t?

What if there came a day when you stopped?
When you considered letting your enemies win?
When you didn’t fight back?
When you chose a different path?

First I lost my family. Then I got the Wolf Crew.
I couldn’t lose them too.

But what happens when Cross, Zellman, and Jordan keep going…
…and I don’t?

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**Unedited Excerpt**

 

“Stuff it, Taz.”

Relief.

I grasped tighter to the railing just as Cross was heading down. I looked up now, more relief flooding me because his eyes were firmly locked on his sister’s and his jaw was clenched. That strong and squarelike jaw, one that I ached to kiss and touch and run my hands over. His hair was a little lighter than normal but cut short, and if possible, he’d been hitting the weights harder over the last two months than normal.

Jordan and Zellman liked to lift weights but was a past-time for them. It wasn’t a religious thing. Not for Cross. There was a fresh set of weights at Jordan’s shed and Cross went there for a couple hours a day now. The results were staggering. Still, at six-one, he remained lean, but he was much more defined than ever. His stomach was a washboard of abs, and if he turned to the side with his shirt off, I could see nearly every cut of his muscles.

He’d been on a mission and besides lifting weights, training with Race (who was a boxer), his other outlet was me.

He turned those tawny hazel eyes on me, and I was zapped, just by that mere look. I could tell he needed a release. I was feeling my own rising up again, just fueled earlier by being cornered by Sweets and then having Taz following me inside. If Jordan and Z didn’t come to find us, Cross and I would be taking off on our own. Just a matter of time.

“Cross,” Taz was starting, flicking the tear away. Her voice suddenly firmed back up. Shocker. She angled her body so she was half blocking him now as he came down the stairs, a bag over his shoulder. She had a hand on the other railing. “You need to talk to Mom–”

He stopped in front of her, staring down at her. “I don’t, actually.”

“Cross–”

His words clipped out, “Don’t.”

Taz’s entire body seemed to deflate.

“Hey, Cross!”

God. Really?

Monica had come in, along with Sunday Barnes. No Sweets, but one of their other girls were with them. Lila, I think. Monica’s the one who had said hello, but Lila was the one gazing at Cross like he had a halo over his head.

If only she knew what he’d almost done right after winter break.

Though, thinking about it, maybe no. The halo would’ve been replaced with the whole bad boy image, but who I was I really kidding? Cross had that already. He was in Wolf Crew. We were not saints, not at all.

Lila migrated closer, tipping her head back to smile at him. She was four feet from me. She was in some dangerous waters here.

She almost purred at him, for real. “I didn’t know you were here, Cross.”

He didn’t respond, just knowing, just waiting.

I moved in because he knew me so well.

“Hi.” I blocked her view of him. Lila was five two. All I had to do was stand right in front of her and she couldn’t see past me.

She blinked a few times, her eyes enlarging. “Oh. Hey, Bren.” Surprise was in her voice. “I didn’t realize you were here. I thought it was just Taz…” Her voice trailed off, her eyes flicking past my shoulders. Then, dipping her head down, swallowing tightly, she rushed out, “Are you guys going to the bonfire event tonight? For District Weekend.”

District Weekend. I’d forgotten, and shit.

That meant Prom was the following weekend.

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