Home > The Trouble With You (Rixon Raiders #1)

The Trouble With You (Rixon Raiders #1)
Author: L A Cotton

Rixon Raiders



The Trouble With You

The Game You Play

The Harder You Fall



To anyone struggling to balance what you think you should be doing with what you want to do…



We only get one life.



Live it.






“Son of a bitch.” I slammed my dresser drawer shut and stomped into the bathroom adjoining my room. The one I grudgingly shared with my step-brother.

“Jason!” I yelled, rooting through the laundry hamper, clothes flying everywhere. My breath came in short, sharp bursts. “Jason, I swear to God, I’m going to—”

“Problem, sweetheart?” Mom’s head appeared around the door. She caught a flying tee and balled it up, looking at me like I’d lost my freaking mind.

“Jason stole all my bras.”

“Hailee Raine, I’m sure he did no such thing.” Her expression slipped, her filler-smooth forehead cracking as much as it could. “Are you sure they aren’t just all in there?” She motioned to the hamper; the one I was still rummaging through like a crazy person.

My brow rose as I ground out, “He took them. I’ll kill him.”

“Sweetheart.” She let out weary sigh. “Can you and Jason please try to get along this year? It’s senior year, you’re practically adults. These silly little pranks you two play on—”

“Denise, have you seen my wallet?”

“I think you had it by the coffeemaker,” Mom shouted down to her new husband, my step-dad, Kent. “I’d better go help him and then I need to scoot, or I’ll be late for the gym, but, baby?” She paused, peering back into the bathroom. “Please try, for me.”

“Sure thing, Mom, see you later,” I said through gritted teeth, the lie rolling off my tongue easily. She smiled, wishing me a good first day before disappearing down the hall.

I’d learned a long time ago not to expect Mom to intervene in one of mine and Jason’s wars. But it didn’t matter; I hadn’t needed her to fight my battles for a long time.

“Jason,” I yelled, storming into his bedroom. I didn’t even bother knocking, walking straight inside. Lucky for me, he was just pulling on his jeans. Although it wouldn’t have been the first time I’d seen him butt naked.

“Good morning to you too,” he said drolly, running a hand through his bed hair.

“Where are they?”

“They?” His brows crinkled but his mask of innocence wasn’t fooling me.

“My bras, jackass. I know you took them.”

“If I wanted to steal bras, I could think of more creative ways.” His eyes danced with amusement and I narrowed my gaze, cutting him with a hard look.

“It’s the first day of school. I need a bra.” No way could I survive a whole day without one. I wasn’t one of those girls with a washboard stomach and flat chest. I had curves, more than I cared for at times; especially in gym class when Mr. Tinney made us play dodgeball or volleyball.

“Give me one back,” I said. “And we’ll forget this whole thing ever happened.”

“I have no idea what you’re—”

“You want war?” I hissed feeling a ripple of irritation spread through me. “Fine, but don’t expect me to go easy on you.”

“Ooh, I’m running scared. What are you going to do? Cut me with those?” Jason smirked, dropping his eyes to my chest, where my nipples had hardened with the cool air. I threw my hands around myself, anger bubbling beneath my veins.

Hate was a strong word, but it was the only noun to accurately describe what I felt for my step-brother. He chuckled, throwing random items into his backpack. I was surprised he was even bothering. Senior year was basically a formality for the Rixon Raiders. They would spend more time on the football field this semester than sitting in class. Because their performance on the field was far more important than any test score, obviously.

Rolling my eyes, I bit out, “This is really how you want to play it?” I gave him one more chance to concede, but I should have known he wouldn’t. Jason Ford might have been my step-brother, but he was still an asshole of epic proportions.

“Like I said, Hailee Raine…” He looked so smug, knowing how much I hated when my mom called me that. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“Fine, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.” I flipped him off before stomping out of there, his smug laughter rolling off my shoulders.

When I finally padded downstairs fifteen minutes later, Kent frowned at me, or rather, my outfit. “Don’t ask,” I said, in no mood for one of his lame attempts at a joke.

“Wasn’t going to say a thing,” he replied around a half-smile, as I grabbed the Pop-Tart box from the cabinet and shoved one in the toaster.

“Those things will rot your teeth.”

“Does this face look like it cares?”

“Let’s be honest.” Jason breezed into the room. “No one’s going to be looking at your face today.”

“Fuck you,” I mouthed.

“I heard that,” Kent grumbled earning me a snicker from Jason.

They were as bad as each other. Like father, like son. Jason had his dad’s good looks: unruly brown hair, ice blue eyes framed by long lashes, and a smile that could charm even the most prudish girl to drop her panties. But it was more than that. Jason came from a long line of football players. Rumor around town was Kent had been headed straight to the NFL before a senior-year injury ended his successful college career with the Penn Quakers. It must have been a bitter pill to swallow, but now Jason was set to follow in his footsteps. And the whole town couldn’t be prouder. Someone pass me the bucket.

The toaster popped, and I pulled off a piece of paper towel, using it as a glove to retrieve the Pop-Tart. “That’s me, bye,” I said. “Try not to break a leg.” I winked at Jason before leaving the house.

My best friend Felicity—or Flick as I tended to call her—was already waiting for me at the end of the driveway in her sunflower yellow Beetle. “That’s an interesting look you have going on there.” She smothered a laugh as I climbed inside.

“Ugh, don’t.” I shoved my glasses onto my head to keep my hair from my face as I bit into the Pop-Tart, letting the sugary overload tamp down some of my anger. “Jason stole all my bras.”

I’d had to improvise and wear a bikini top. It had a little padding, but it was obvious to anyone who knew me I didn’t have my usual support. With the weather still warm though, it wasn’t like I could wear anything other than a t-shirt. Not unless I wanted to spend the day sweating and unsupported.

Flick snickered as she drove off. “You’d really think he has more important things to do with his life given it’s senior year.”

“Oh no, Jason still has more than enough time to make my life hell. But don’t worry.” I flashed her a secretive smile. “I’m plotting his demise as we speak.”

She grimaced. “Not that I haven’t enjoyed you putting him in his place a time or two over the last few years, but don’t you think you should maybe... back off? He was bad last year but this year he’ll be...” She shuddered, not finishing her thought.

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