Luke Jacobs is such an asshole.
I thought those words again and again in my head as drove down the empty, winding roads of Chimes Arkansas in my horribly dented red contour. I puckered my lips, leaning forward in the seat to bracingly rub my hand on the side of the car. My poor baby. I didn't mean to hurt you.
And I hadn't meant to, I really hadn't! Who would? Who would deliberatly ram their car into some hick's house? It's not like I had tried to fall asleep at the wheel. It just happened. I sighed, propping my elbow on the windowsill of the car and cupping a side of my face in my palm. That was the second time I'd fallen asleep while driving. That was why my father could not, under any circumstances, find out. He would take the car away if he did. He'd been furious when he'd found out I'd crashed into a tree. He was so mad, and that was just a tree. Think of what he'd do if he found I'd crashed into a house.
That was the reason why I was going through with this 'working' crap. Anger provided a warmth in my stomach as I turned the car into the gas station. As I pumped gas, I went over what I'd overheard back at the ranch in my head.
Luke Jacobs-that jerk-had paid two ten year olds to sabatoge me. To run me right off the ranch.
How rude was that!?
He had given them each ten bucks to be deliberatly cruel to me. What a brilliant lesson to teach little kids. Little kids who obviously needed help already, as they each had mohawks that were colored as brightly as skittles.
I grinded my teeth together as I shook the last of the gas into the car. What had I ever done to Luke Jacobs? Besides crash my car into his uncle's house, of course. But that didn't really affect him. Unless his uncle was going to be mad at him, but why would he be? It was my fault.
I supressed a yawn as I paid for the gas and resumed my drive to the ranch. God, it sucked having to wake up at the crack of frickin' dawn to go waste my time. Why couldn't I just pay them? I had more than enough money. Enough that my father wouldn't even notice the money gone. But no, the idiot ranch hands had to decide only manual labor could fix the ruined house. Jerks.
I arrived at the ranch an hour early. That's right, an hour. I was making sure to be an hour early every day so Luke couldn't complain, and Matt couldn't look peeved again. Speaking of Matt...he spared me a glance as he walked in front of my parked car, his muscles bulging as he carried a small bale of hay. I felt a small shiver travel up from the base of my spine. That Matt guy gave me the creeps. He just seemed so...unstable. Like the smallest thing could set him off. Which was why I was working so hard not to be that smallest thing.
I strided towards the chicken coop without bothering to find Luke. He could find me himself. The disgusting smell of animal and animal crap invaded my nose as I entered after grabbing the baskets that waitied for me outside of it. Ugh. Just ugh. It figured that Luke would make me do this first thing in the morning, so that I'd smell like crap for the rest of the day. Seriously, who was the idiot who first looked at a chicken and thought, hmm, I'm gonna go collect the hard white ball that falls out of its butt, and then I'm gonna eat it? Yuck.
I avoided touching the chickens as much as possible as I gathered the eggs. I mean, they did feel nice and soft, but who knows how many diseases are clinging onto those feathers?
As I was walking back to the house with them, I saw an interesting sight. The mohawk twins were hiding at the side of the house, just barely visible. They seemed to be arguing about something. Maybe even fighting. The one with the green hair was slapping the red haired one's wrist, apparantly trying to grab the string from him. As they continued in the relatively silent struggle, the string lifted, shimmered. Comprehension dawned. They were going to try and trip me so I'd fall on my face and break all the eggs. Carefully, I stepped over the string. They were so busy arguing they didn't even notice. I smirked a little as I entered the house.
Then gasped. A bucket of water had been perched precariously on the top of the doorway. When I'd opened the door, it tipped over, and a cascade of freezing water splashed over me. My mouth was hanging open in shock as I stood there, dripping wet and freezing my butt off. I'd worn jean shorts again today. They would stay wet forever! And my tank top was from Victoria's Secret!
I whirled, anger flaring. The twins were nowhere to be found. A dozen cuss words ran through my mind as I stomped into the kitchen. I bit my tongue so I wouldn't shriek them, and I distracted myself with a towel to dry off with so I wouldn't hunt down the twins and beat them with the baseball bat I always kept in the trunk of my car.
I heard a chuckle behind me. I spun around to find Luke leaning against the wall, his arms folded across his chest and a broad, lazily-satisfied grin on his face. The fury almost hurt my stomach.
"What the hell are you looking at?" I snapped.
He snickered. "You're wet."
I felt my cheeks burn in embaressment. I turned my back to him, picking up the towel from the ground and wringing my hair in it. When I faced him again, his eyes snapped up to mine. Which told me he'd been looking right at my ass. My expression hardened. "Perv," I said, throwing the towel at his face and then returning my attention to the eggs.
He caught it and tossed it on the kitchen table. "Excuse me?"
I turned around and barely resisted the urge to take a step back. He was in my personal space. My eyes were level with his chest. I had to tilt my head back just to keep eye contact with him. But I refused to step back. Instead, I gave him my best sneer. "Normally I would tell you to stop playing dumb. But with you, I don't think it's playing."
He scowled. "At least I didn't get a bucket poured on my head."
I matched his scowl. His dark brown eyes narrowed as mine did. For a moment, we glared, sizing one another up.
Damn it, I hated how he was so cute. He wasn't cute in an obvious way, like the muscleheads I see running down by the beach all the time back home. But he was cute in a...well, a cute way. He had the cute boy dimples, the one-sided smile. His hair was a rich brown and barely fell into those warm eyes. He had a strong, angled jawline, and then those lean muscles, that tall athletic build...if I didn't hate him so much, I would've lapped him up like cream by now.
"So screw you, Princess."
"You would, " I countered.
Little pink patches appeared on his cheeks. "Yeah, after I kill myself."
I smirked. "Perv, " I repeated. And with that, I turned and walked out of the kitchen, leaving the eggs for him to sort.