Home > Wicked Saint (Sinners and Saints #1)

Wicked Saint (Sinners and Saints #1)
Author: Veronica Eden







The minute I pull into the upscale, gated community of Silver Lake Forest Estates, my muscles seize.

Forging ahead is the only option. I focus on the GPS directions from my mounted phone. The cheery cartoon map is at odds with the anxiety slithering in my gut. I have zero interest in going, but here I am.

The sour taste of beer is still fresh when I think of the last party I went to.

It’s funny how weird details like that linger when all you want to do is forget the whole thing.

Shoving the mounting dread aside, I grip my steering wheel and remind myself that this time isn’t like before. I’m not joining in.

Get in, get out. That’s the plan.

I’ll get through this as fast as possible.

My body hasn’t gotten the memo, stomach flipping in protest as I pass a sign for a pool and two tennis courts.

Despite not wanting to be on this errand, I have no choice. Mom had to guilt trip me into venturing into the fray to bring Alec home. Damn her wily, motherly ways of applying pressure to all my weak points.

If I didn’t pick Alec up, I could kiss my use of our shared Honda CR-V goodbye and forfeit the keys to Alec’s control. I don’t give up control over anything anymore.

Just the thought of being at the mercy of someone else’s decisions, even my family’s, makes my fingers tighten on the wheel.

I can only guess what awaits me at Lucas Saint’s house. The local golden boy is throwing a big bash tonight to kick off senior year. No one would shut up about it as I tried to navigate the halls of my new school.

A girl in my math class didn’t clock my leave me alone vibe and told me his huge birthday parties always marked the start of the school year.

Catch me running as fast as possible in the opposite direction.

At least, until I was voluntold to go pick up my twin brother.

Siblings are such a blessing.

I love being a taxi service, said no one ever.

The corner of my mouth lifts in a humorless half-smile.

Unlike me, it thrilled Alec to dive into the social scene. I guess it was his way of soothing the fits he pitched over moving away from our hometown. As soon as we started senior year at our new school, he tried out for the football team and made varsity for his agility.

He has no trouble fitting in with the crowd while I prefer to keep my head down and watch from afar.

The closer I drive to the party at the far point of the private lake, the tighter my stomach twists.

This neighborhood is way fancier than Ridgeview’s east valley, where my family moved to in July. I drive by a rock climbing gym, for fuck’s sake. What kind of rich people nonsense is this?

I roll my eyes as I turn onto the winding road that cuts back and forth along the incline. Silver Lake Forest Estates sits up on the mountain that divides the town of Ridgeview. Each house I pass is more extra than the last. The ones that boast lakefront property take the cake, with docks and boathouses large enough to count as a modest house.

This side of town is unfamiliar to me. I’ve only spent time getting my bearings and learning my way around my new house, where the middle and upper middle-class families are apparently peasants compared to the people living it up here on the west ridge.

A private security truck with the gated community’s logo comes around the bend and heads in the direction I came from.

“Your destination is ahead on the left,” the automated voice of the GPS tells me.

My stomach feels like the crunch of gravel beneath the tires as I pull up to the party, parking amongst Range Rovers and BMWs. The silver CR-V sticks out like a sore thumb.

The last place I want to be right now is some spoiled rich brat’s party. This is not my scene at all. It hasn’t been for over a year, not since I was sixteen.

Taking a second to give my quivering insides time to settle, I rub my belly and take in the luxury lakeside house. It looms high into the trees with a huge deck jutting from one side and a wraparound front porch. Kids from school swarm the property like rabid ants, clutching red plastic cups that slosh over while they dance and shriek over the music blasting.

God, I hate parties.

They only bring up bad memories and bile in the back of my throat.

My stomach gives another unimpressed roil.

“Let’s get this over with,” I mumble to myself.

As soon as I climb out of the car, I sidestep to avoid two streaks of dark hair and bare, bouncing boobs that dart past me in the inky dusk falling over the mountains.

I don’t even bother snapping at them to watch it. Things are better for me if I don’t engage.

The streaking girls are followed by two impatient meatheads from the football team. The girls giggle as they strip out of their matching cutoff shorts halfway down the long dock and the guys peel off their practice jerseys.

A muted scoff escapes me as the four of them dive into the lake, the girls’ squeals echoing.

They aren’t the only people in the water. Several other classmates splash around and huddle close.

Today’s one of those cool early fall days in Colorado, not exactly ideal for skinny dipping.

A round of cheers from the deck draws my attention. I roll my lips between my teeth and try to push down the memories sinking their claws into me. I don’t want to be here, but I need to pick up Alec.

Shoving my hands into the pockets of my jean jacket, I trudge up the stairs to the deck, keeping my eyes peeled for my brother. The sharp, skunky tang of weed cuts through the wood smoke of the fire burning in the outdoor stone fireplace.

I weave through the people milling around the deck. It’s tough to look for someone and keep your head down at the same time.

Somebody tries to hand me a beer and I swerve away hard, balling my fists in my pockets while my nostrils flare.

I’m so busy getting the hell away from whoever tried to ply me with a drink that I plow right into the girl from my math class.


Her soda—and whatever it’s mixed with—splashes over the rim of her cup. I blank on her name and strain to remember the roll call Mrs. Ellis took this morning in math. Alana?

“Oh, new girl! Hey,” Maybe-Alana repeats, her voice changing to a friendlier tone. She licks the excess soda dripping from her finger and hooks her arm with mine before I have a chance to move on. “You made it after all. Come on, let’s go wish Lucas a happy birthday.”

I dig my heels in. “Uh, I’m actually just here to get my brother.”

“You have a brother?” Maybe-Alana ignores my disinterest and waves enthusiastically to one of the cheerleaders. “I think I saw Lucas inside. Let’s check.”

“Elena! Where you going, girl?” A bulky guy in a Silver Lake High School Coyotes football hoodie calls to us. “I thought you were my beer pong partner next?”

Elena. Shit. I’m glad I didn’t call her by the wrong name aloud.

She flips off the football player and sends him a cheeky grin over her shoulder. “Later! We’re on a mission.”

We wade through the haze of cigarette, weed, and vape smoke blanketing the deck.

Elena’s sleek black curls bounce as she leads me inside through a folding glass door. Except, it can’t really be called a door when it’s three panels wide and folds to open an entire wall of the kitchen.

“Damn,” I mutter.

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