From Spectacularly Broken (R-rated excerpt)
Dinner was twice the fun of every other meal at Oak Hill Manor thus far because it came with the addition of near-constant hostile stares between Cai and me. Jarett and Nicky made tentative conversation while Lexa appeared to be doing her best to sink into herself and collapse like a black hole. It got me feeling a bit guilty because we obviously scared her, but it also got me wondering why she was here. Probably therapy for that no-speaking thing she had going on.
I was curious to find out what would happen if I refused to do the punishment kitchen duty, which was bound to happen if someone tried to get me to touch dirty dishes again. But luckily, orange group was already working on that mess, so Angie put us to work scrubbing the stove and counters instead.
“I want some gloves,” I demanded. They were sitting by Cai’s shoulder, so he turned and flung the box. It came at me like a pitched baseball. I barely managed to get my forearm up and block the box from smashing into my face, letting out an undignified yelp in the process.
“Jerk,” I snarled when I had myself under control again.
Cai rolled his eyes. “Seriously?”
“You’re as much of a douche bag as your cousin.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” I snapped.
“That you’re a douche bag, mostly.”
“Oh, shut the hell up.”
I attacked the counter with protective latex gloves and a scrubby sponge. It was a good way of venting my anger and frustration at this stupid punishment and at Cai, so I put a hell of a lot more elbow grease into it than strictly necessary. Next to me, Cai appeared to be doing the same with the stove. We were both too preoccupied to continue sniping, but there was an undeniable, crackling tension in the air.
It didn’t dissipate when orange group finished their dishes and left the two of us alone. Angie had set us a detailed list of prep work to complete for the morning, so after our grueling scrubbing task, we had to set out plates and silverware and measure out breakfast ingredients. Doing that had us inevitably scurrying all over the kitchen, and several times we very nearly crashed into each other, which didn’t do a lot to make things less tense.
Eventually I tipped over the baking powder. It was a complete accident—I wasn’t stupid enough to deliberately prolong the kitchen torture—but Cai reacted as though I’d just tried to cut off his finger.
“Fucking jackass,” he snapped and tried to clean his sleeve with angry hand motions. “What the fuck?”
“Get over it,” I advised him, which was apparently the wrong thing to say, because it caused him to react by grabbing two fistfuls of my T-shirt and tossing me into a wall. It hurt. And I was not about to let him get away with it.
“Fuck off!” I spat. He’d moved far enough away for me to get a running start and slam my body into his, sending him crashing into a drying rack full of pots and pans. A bunch of them clattered to the floor in a cacophony of ringing metal. I tried to pull away, but he had an iron grip on my arm and unveiled hatred in his dark eyes.
In my defense, I’d been in withdrawal from all sorts of things for a couple of days now. I was so desperate for a high that I was shaking, I was craving touch, and for some unfathomable reason, Cai’s arrogant-jerk shtick totally did it for me.
I kissed him.
I spent about half a second coming to the obvious realization that I was about to get my ass kicked, but then Cai’s strong fingers came up to clutch my skull, and he kissed me back with harsh, demanding flicks of his tongue and a throaty moan so sensual that I got hard instantly. His lip ring bit into my skin. He tasted of cigarettes and the iced tea they served with dinner—a combination that, right at that moment, I found completely intoxicating. I fisted one hand in his hair and took savage satisfaction in messing up his styling even as he pushed closer, the bulge in his jeans rock hard against my own, both of us rubbing, thrusting, clumsy and desperate for each other.
Cai pressed against me, and my ass collided with something—a table…no, a counter. We were in a kitchen. Right. I pulled back and opened my mouth to point that out, but Cai used the opportunity to grab my shirt and drag me along into the pantry. He kicked the door shut, I slammed him against it, and we were lost in another dizzying kiss.