Home > Pride (The Elite Seven #2)(7)

Pride (The Elite Seven #2)(7)
Author: J.D. Hollyfield

“Well, don’t you make a handsome college student,” she purrs, closing the door and walking in front of me. Her clothes, as always, are form-fitting, her hair pulled back in a tight ponytail. She looks back to inspect me, and it turns my stomach. Deleting the space that separates us, she brings her hands to my shirt and brushes them down my chest with open palms. “Still working out I see. And I’m loving the new additions,” she says, inspecting my arms. Not caring if I snap her wrists, I grab for her hands and remove them from my skin. “Always so feisty. You should learn to enjoy this. Us. Because if I want something from you, something as simple as your cock, Mason, I’ll get it. Understood?” She doesn’t wait for my response. Pushing away from me, she heads to her desk, sits, and digs in her drawer. “Oh, don’t look so grouchy. You’re about to get an opportunity of a lifetime. Sit.”

Doing as she says, I throw myself into the seat across from her. “I want to see my sister,” I bark out.

“And you will. Business first, pleasure later.” Shuffling through her desk drawer, she retrieves a manila envelope. “Ah, here we are. Mason, are you familiar with the seven deadly sins?”

I take some time to understand her question. “Like the church shit? Evil versus good?”

“So smart, my pet.” She laughs, and my skin pebbles with disgust. “The seven deadly sins. Lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride. Sins that live inside us all. The excessive desire to want more. The desired evil that’s rooted in us all. Every single human being in this world fights the urge to indulge in what God considered a sin. To lie, to steal, to deface. Given the chance, anyone would shame another to rise above. Strip one of their innocence. Harm someone just to boast they have the power to do so.”

She’s starting to confuse me. “Where the fuck you going with this?”

“Patience. Way before your time, and mine, a secret elite society was formed. The Elite Seven. It was created by guided influential leaders, ones who would go on and flourish in molding our country into something magnificent. Every four years, seven new members are hand chosen for The Elite. But they aren’t just hand-picked, they’re put to the test—given a task of sin to prove themselves. Once proven, they’re initiated for life. They want for nothing. They suffer for nothing. Sins become them, and they become the being of their life.”

“And what does this have to do with me?” I ask, uncertain I want to know the answer.

“To be a part of The Elite of course. The leader. The alpha of the seven.”

“Yeah, well I want nothing to do with ruining someone’s life.”

“Oh, but that’s not for you to decide anymore, is it? You gave that right to me the second you agreed to my terms. You will do as I say, or the liveliness of your sister will suffer.”

The power she has over me kills me.

She tosses a sheet of paper at me, and I catch it. I vaguely glimpse at the other names and titles, until I get to mine. “Pride?”

“Of course. Don’t you find your sin fitting? You have no regard for others. You’ll lead an army. Six, to be exact, and single-handedly assign each sinner a task. You will, with no care for the people they hurt, deface, suffer, make sure each task is completed or they’ll be banished from the society. Their lives mean nothing to you.”

“But they do. I’m not a fucking monster.”

“Aren’t you, though? Agreeing to bow down to the devil herself and do her bidding? What does that truly make you, Mason?”

The father of all sins.

My understanding makes her smile. “You get it. The anti-Christ as some would define it. If you agree with me or not, I picked you because you carry the same corrupt sense of values. Just as I, you cannot be fooled by the vices of others. You should see this as a good thing. From someone who has nothing, you’ll be seen as someone who has it all.” She shrugs her head. “Arrogant. Probably conceited. Not liked amongst the rest being the alpha, but that’s what makes you Pride. You don’t care.”

This is all too much for me. Run a club? Ruin lives? Taking the sheet of names, I toss it back onto her desk and stand. She doesn’t react to my defiance. Simply stands on her heels and walks around her desk, encroaching my personal space. She reaches for the hem of my shirt and her fingers disappear under my shirt. My body stiffens as her fingers latch onto the button of my jeans, then work it undone. “This wouldn’t be so bad for you if you’d loosen up a little. You and I…we can have a little fun with this.” I want to break each finger that touches me, but I refrain, thinking of Evelyn. “That’s a good boy. See? A little playtime between us may turn out to be enjoyable for us both.” She pulls my zipper down and reaches into my briefs to cup my soft cock. A sudden knock on the door and the sound of Chastity’s voice saves me and she retracts, taking a quick step away.

I pull my zipper back up just as her door opens, and Chastity peeks her head in. “Hey. Sorry. I left my phone on your desk.”

Turning, Lillian spots the pink, glittered phone and hands it to her. “Better hurry. Class is about to start,” she chirps. I snatch my backpack off the ground and head toward the door. “Hey, Mason?” she calls for me, and I force myself to turn around. “Make sure to read the homework I sent you for our session, okay?”

“Yeah, whatever,” I reply before getting the fuck away from her.

What the fuck have I signed up for?

My biology professor pushes up his bifocals, holding up a stack of papers. “This is just a simple test to see what you remember from high school. Consider it a recap.” He walks to the end of each row and disperses small stacks, having the students take one and hand them down the line. I take one and look around, seeing if anyone else is dreading this shit, but people begin scribbling down answers as soon as they get their paper. I take a deep breath and crack my stiff neck. My pencil is tightly gripped between my fingers as I begin to read the first question. Then the second. When I get down to the bottom of the page, I realize I don’t know a single answer.

A sound breaks the silence of the room, and a few classmates lift their heads my way. Without realizing it, I’ve snapped my pencil in half. The number of eyes staring at me weigh too heavily on my anxiety and I get up. I toss the blank test onto the professor’s desk and leave. The anger swirling inside me is a deadly potion of hate and resentment. She did this to me on purpose. Lillian. She created my schedule knowing this shit would be too hard for me. I wasn’t a strong student even when I was in high school, and she robbed me of the last two years of a proper education.

I take the stairs down two at a time and burst through to exit the doors of the science building when my phone starts buzzing in my pocket. I reach back and stop at the bottom to read the screen. My breath catches, threatening to knock me flat on my ass at the message.

Cunt Griffin: Bayler Dorm. Room 313. Consider this a gift. Play nice or I’ll take your toys away from you.

I’m changing routes before even finishing the text and book it toward the campus dorms. Knocking into people as I storm through the quad, I’m out of breath by the time I make it to the building. I reach for the door, but it’s locked. I take my fist and bang for someone to open and get lucky when another student exits. I slide in just as the door closes and head to the staircase. Avoiding the check-in, I take the stairs to the third floor and pound on the door. A girl sees me, and instead of turning me away, her eyes light up as she opens the door.

“Hey there,” she purrs in a flirtatious tone. “You know, I could get in a lot of trouble letting you in, but you’re cute so—”

“Evelyn Blackwell. I’m here to see her,” I spit out, catching my breath.

Her face falls, mistaking my relationship to her. “Oh…down the hall.” I waste no time stepping to the side and racing down, looking at each room number. “I’m in three-oh-one if you get bored of that,” she yells as I stop at room three-thirteen. I lift my hand and bang twice. Without waiting for a response, I turn the knob. My heart is racing, and a wave of sickness sweeps through me. I’ve been waiting for this moment since the night Lillian tore us apart. The door shoots open, and my eyes land on her standing by the window, her back to me.

“Evie?” I’ve always promised to be strong for her, but seeing her, after all this time apart, it becomes too much. Her name falls from my lips on a coarse whisper. She turns, a tender look on her face. My breath catches at how much older she looks. Her hair, the color of whiskey rests just below her shoulders, her similar gray eyes illuminating the same sadness I see in my own. She’s too thin. Her heathered shirt hangs over her slim shoulders, her collarbone protruding. When our eyes meet, it takes a mere flicker of recognition for it to register.

“Mason?” she whispers in disbelief. “Oh god, Mason?” Her face explodes with emotion, tears welling in her eyes as she runs into my arms. I lift her up and hold her tightly to my chest, fighting my own tears.

“It’s me, little sister,” I murmur, no longer able to stop my own tears from falling. I’m so overcome with emotion, I don’t know what to say. I’ve dreamed about this day—when I got to reunite with her and tell her how fucking sorry I am. How I tried. But right now, nothing seems justifiable. No words can make her understand how crushed I’ve been since that night. “I’m here now,” I whisper in her hair, smelling the sweet scent of flowers and soap. Just like when she was a kid. My heart cracks, and I lose it. I start to cry, holding her tighter. I’m a fucking bastard brother for not fighting harder. “I’m so fucking sorry,” I choke out. Her arms wrap around my neck, and I feel the wetness of her own tears on my skin.

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