Two years earlier...
I never would have imagined myself waiting in Nate Cerbo’s driveway, casually sitting on the hood of my car, phone in one hand, baseball bat in the other. Then again, I never imagined my boyfriend of three years cheating on me and stealing from my family’s business.
I clenched my jaw and shoved my phone back into my pocket. Any minute now, Nate would be returning home from his date with that pig Sarah Schultz. In an hour, Nate is supposed to pick me up for our date—dinner and a movie. And had I not been informed of his infidelity by my dear cousin Ryan, I would still be going out with him tonight.
But not anymore. I’m here for a different reason now.
I glanced down at the bat in my hand and could still hear my father’s angry voice echoing throughout the house as he paced back and forth in my bedroom while I laid there, half asleep and barely registering anything he was saying.
“After all the shit I did for this kid! Fed him, paid him far more than he fuckin’ deserved,trustedhim…he had the audacity, the nerve, to steal from me. From me! Michael goddamn Ragno. Who does he think he is, that little shit?” my father shook his fist angrily. “Quinn, you better deal wit him before I do, ‘cause I don’t think you want your Daddy going away for a while.”
So now, here I am, waiting to deliver punishment.
I peered through my bangs as Nate’s headlights illuminated the driveway, and blinded me, as he pulled in. The car stopped about a foot away from me, and he killed the engine. Nate got out of the car with a confused look on his face.
“Hey, baby, what are you doing here? I was going to come get you in a little while,” he moved in for a kiss, but I stopped him with the end of the bat.
“Don’t even, Cerbo,” I said.
“What?” he asked, raising a dark eyebrow.
“Sorry, Nate, I just don’t like being kissed by people who reek of skank,” I pushed him farther back. “Or that steal from my family.”
“Quinn, I’ve got no idea what you’re talking about. Seriously? Why are you acting like this?”
I smiled. “You know I used to play softball right?” Nate nodded slowly. “My dad says I’ve got a strong arm…stronger than he would have expected for a girl my size. Anyway, six grand, huh?”
“What are you talking about?” he narrowed his eyes at me.
“Oh, you still don’t know?” I asked. “Well, maybe this’ll jog that memory of yours.”
I swung the bat down as hard as I could and smashed the left headlight on Nate’s car. He lurched forward to grab at the bat, but I quickly pulled back and wagged my finger at him.
“Mm-mm,” I sounded, still shaking my finger.
“What’s the matter with you? Psychotic bitch!” Nate screamed, his face red with rage.
“So, did that help you remember?”
“Remember what?” he shouted.
“Oh, you’re still going on about this whole ‘I don’t remember’ bullshit? It’s getting kind of old,” I frowned. “How about we talk about something else then? Say, your date with Sarah?”
His eyes widened. The bright green orbs looked like they were about to pop out of his head. “I didn’t go on a date with her, Quinn, I don’t even talk to her outside of school.”
“Right,” I nodded. “So that’s why everyone’s been telling me that they’ve seen you out more with her than with me. Okay.”
“Quinn,” he frowned. “I don’t know why you’re accusing me of all this stuff. I’d never hurt you. Or your family.”
“That’s what I thought, too, until I found this stuff out. So, if you really don’t want to hurt me, don’t lie to me. Have you been sneaking around with her?”
Nate stayed quiet for a minute until he sighed and nodded his head, confirming that the rumors were true. Angry as I was, I couldn’t help but laugh.
“What’s so funny?”
I chuckled. “You cheat on me with that trailer trash whore?” I asked him incredulously. “Christ, I thought you had better standards than that. I mean, shit, you couldn’t do better? Especially if you were going to cheat! I live in a fucking mansion, Cerbo, and I’m not even sure that bitch has indoor plumbing.”
Nate glowered at me. “Don’t be like that, Quinn. It’s not right. Calm down.”
The one phrase that always managed to set me off no matter who says it. No one tells Quinn Ragno to calm the fuck down.
My eye twitched. “You’re going to tell me to calm down after I find out that you’ve been cheating on me? And stealing money?” I moved closer to him, gripping the bat tightly in my hand. “How long did you think you were going to keep this shit up and not get away with it? Huh? How fucking long, Nate Cerbo, did you think you were going to play me and my fucking family like fools?” I shouted.
He threw his hands up defensively. “Quinn, I’m so fucking sorry. I’ll make it up to you, I promise.”
“No,” I shook my head. “You won’t be making anything up to me, but my father. You have one month to earn that fucking money back, or else it won’t be me that pays a visit to you and your family next time. Do you understand?” I asked, pointing the bat in his face. He nodded his head feverishly. “Good. Oh, and one more thing.”
I stepped away from him and brought the bat down hard on his windshield, cracking the glass. A stream of curses left his lips as I walked back to my car and tossed the bat in the back seat before I climbed into the driver’s seat and turned the car on. I leaned out of the window.
“Hey, would you be a sweetheart and move your car so I can back out?” I asked him nicely and grinned.