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Authors: Jennifer Snyder

Control You

BOOK: Control You
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CONTROL YOU

A COLDCREEK NOVEL

 

 

 

 

by

JENNIFER SNYDER

 

 

CONTROL YOU

A COLDCREEK NOVEL

Copyright 2014 by Jennifer Snyder

Cover design created by Once Upon A Time Covers

Cover model photography by Kelsey Keeton (
KKeetonDesigns.com
)

Cover models: Mark Weaver and Kerrigan Arnold

Editing by H. Danielle Crabtree

Formatted by
IRONHORSE Formatting

 

Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the above author of this book.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.

 

 

 

 

 

DEDICATION

 

To those who enjoy tattooed bad boys with soft centers.

 

 

Table of Contents

 

PROLOGUE

CHAPTER ONE

CHAPTER TWO

CHAPTER THREE

CHAPTER FOUR

CHAPTER FIVE

CHAPTER SIX

CHAPTER SEVEN

CHAPTER EIGHT

CHAPTER NINE

CHAPTER TEN

CHAPTER ELEVEN

CHAPTER TWELVE

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN

CHAPTER NINETEEN

CHAPTER TWENTY

CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE

CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO

CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE

CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR

CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE

CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX

CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN

CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT

CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE

CHAPTER THIRTY

CHAPTER THIRTY-ONE

CHAPTER THIRTY-TWO

CHAPTER THIRTY-THREE

CHAPTER THIRTY-FOUR

CHAPTER THIRTY-FIVE

CHAPTER THIRTY- SIX

CHAPTER THIRTY-SEVEN

CHAPTER THIRTY-EIGHT

CHAPTER THIRTY-NINE

CHAPTER FORTY

EPILOGUE

The Hazards of a One Night Stand - Excerpt

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Other Books Also by Jennifer Snyder

 

 

PROLOGUE

 

In life, there are monsters that scar our souls and warp our fragile minds. Sometimes these monsters come in the shape of those we love, of those whom we felt loved us, and even in the past shadows of ourselves.

Regardless of which form they come in, there is one thing that ties them all together...their power to own our emotions. It is within this power that they run the risk of being able to control you.

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

PAIGE

 

If eyes are the windows to one’s soul, then what do mine say about me? Because right now, I was sure they’d say I was bored at the very least. I shifted my gaze from the tiny flecks of silver in the countertop of Craig’s parents’ massive kitchen, wondering why I’d agreed to come to this party. When he’d said it would be a few of his country friends, I’d had no idea he meant country club friends.

“So, Paige, what is it you’re majoring in?” asked the girl with skin too pale to wear the white dress she had on.

I realized she was only attempting to start a conversation with me, but I wasn’t in the mood to talk with anyone. Not anyone new at least. I just wanted to go home so I could relax in front of the TV with my roommate, Blaire, and stress about brunch tomorrow with my parents.

“Oh, um…” I took a tiny sip of my wine, stalling until I could figure out how to word my major just right.

One of her perfectly sculpted eyebrows shot up. She knew I was stalling, and that I was most likely embarrassed by my lack of a true major. “Craig mentioned something about you being into accounting.”

Accounting? Really? Why would he lie like that? I glanced to where Craig stood. He was at the entrance to the main room, holding a Heineken and laughing at something his friend had said. My eyes shifted back to the she-devil in front of me. She had the best eyebrows I’d seen on anyone in real life and absolutely no fashion sense. “No, I’m not studying accounting.”

She flashed me a smug, knowing smile, as I expected she would, and drew her eyebrows together. “That’s funny. I distinctly remember him saying you were going for an accounting degree.” Her perfectly manicured nail tapped at her bottom lip, reminding me how, coming to this party, I’d been so nervous I’d chipped off all the pale pink I’d put on hours before. God, even my fingernails looked like crap when compared to hers.

“No, I’m actually undecided. All I took last year were general ed classes. I’m finishing them this year, and then who knows.” I shrugged, attempting to appear carefree, which was the last thing I felt, and gave her a small smile.

“Oh. Well, from what Craig has mentioned about your family, you have the luxury to remain undecided for years to come—just like the rest of us.” She chuckled and waved her delicate hand.

My stomach rolled. People like her made me sick. While it was true that I came from money, it wasn’t something I boasted about or even something I thought of. It didn’t define me. If she hadn’t been the girlfriend of one of Craig’s closest friends, and I hadn’t been so worried about how Craig would react, I’d tell her that her current attitude suited her about as much as the dress she wore and storm off.

Biting my tongue, I flashed another minute smile at her and took a sip of my white wine. I hated white wine. Red wine was the best. Craig knew this about me, but apparently, my tastes didn’t outweigh those of his female friends tonight.

“This is true,” I muttered.

“Drew talked me into going to dental school after next year. By then I’ll have a basic degree and enough credits to transfer to one of the schools along the coast I’ve been looking at.” She flipped her strawberry blond hair over her shoulder and met my stare dead-on. I knew she was trying to intimidate me with her well-thought-out college plan, but all I could think was how her choice of dress color did nothing for her. She was beautiful, but needed a dress that matched her sapphire blue eyes, not one that washed her skin tone out more than it naturally was.

“Sounds like you and Drew have everything worked out. The coast is nice; you’ll love it there.” I smiled, tossing the only positive thing that came into my mind at her. “If you’ll excuse me, I need to use the restroom.”

“Go down the main hall. It’s the fourth door on the right,” she called after me, causing me to wonder how many times she’d been inside Craig’s parents’ house and why in the hell she would assume I didn’t know where it was.

“Thanks.” I started toward the main hall, making sure my lips were twisted in a slight smile instead of the frown they would prefer.

I glanced in Craig’s direction as I walked. He locked eyes with me and shot me an odd look, as if he was wondering where I was going. I mouthed
bathroom
and flashed him a large smile. He nodded, but didn’t return my smile. My lips twisted into the frown they’d wanted to form, and I cut down the hallway.

I’d always thought my parents’ house was huge, but this place was enormous. If I walked down the hallway with my arms spread out at my sides, I didn’t think I’d come close to touching the walls on either side of me. Black-and-white framed pictures in various sizes were hung on both walls. Each of them lifeless and fake, like the pictures displayed throughout my parents’ house. I preferred pictures to be candid and not orchestrated. Pictures were meant to capture life as it happened, not help you create a façade for everyone to view when displayed.

After using the restroom, I scrutinized my reflection in the mirror. Running my fingertip along the under part of my eyes, I wiped away any smudged eyeliner and then zeroed in on my eyebrows, wishing I’d brought my purse in so I could use my tweezers to pluck a few stray strands. Crinkling my nose at my reflection, I pulled my cell from my back pocket to send a text to Blaire.

This is so boring. I don’t think I like Craig’s country friends very much. ~ Paige

I leaned against the counter while I waited for her to text back, picking at what was left of the pink nail polish on my thumb. I needed to get a manicure before I met my parents for brunch tomorrow. My chipped nails would be something my mother would be sure to point out.

Why not?

A little sigh of relief escaped me. Thank God, she was available to answer my text. I needed to vent right now.

They’re too much like my parents and all the snobs at their country club I was forced to go to growing up. It’s dry conversation at best. ~ Paige

Well, you know how I feel about Craig. I think he’s dry conversation all the way around.

Pursing my lips together, I let out a deep breath. Shoot. Maybe texting her wasn’t such a good idea.

Blaire Hayes had been my best friend since our freshman year of high school. She was my roommate now. I valued her opinion, but not when it came to Craig. I really liked him. Granted we’d only been seeing each other for a few months, but things were good between us. While he did have his moments of seeming a little overbearing, it was a welcome change from my last boyfriend, who never cared about me at all—considering he’d cheated. Craig was sweet to me, good-looking, goal-oriented, and slightly overprotective, which made me feel safe and cared for. My heart picked up pace as I thought about his list of attributes.

Maybe that’s because these people rub off on him too much. ~ Paige

Could be. Jason and I should double date with you guys. We could even get Lauren and Jimmy to come along. That would be interesting.

I wasn’t sure interesting would be the right word for that date. Jason and Blaire were fine, Craig and Jason would get along well, I was sure—but Jimmy? I was positive there was not one thing Craig would like about him.

Yeah, there’s no way Craig and Jimmy would get along. I’m not even sure Jason and Jimmy would get along. That guy is a hard one to understand. ~ Paige

It took Blaire a minute to respond. My stomach clenched as I realized I’d probably been gone for a while. I didn’t want Craig or anyone else to come looking for me. Seconds ticked away and I debated cramming my phone in my pocket and leaving our conversation at that.

That’s what would make it fun. We both need a little excitement in our lives, right?

Excitement in our lives? I smiled at her text. I wasn’t sure I needed any added excitement in my life, but Blaire definitely did. She’d suffered a miscarriage about three months ago and still seemed a little down about it. She had every right to be. I just didn’t enjoy seeing my best friend depressed. The only time she seemed happy anymore was when her boyfriend, Jason, was around.

We’ll talk about it later. Gotta go. ~ Paige

I shoved my phone into my back pocket without waiting on her to respond this time, grabbed my wineglass, and opened the bathroom door. A solid chest was the first thing I saw. Craig was standing in the doorway, waiting on me. His face was twisted into an unreadable expression as he blocked the doorway with his body.

“Jesus, you scared me,” I said, feeling my heart rise to my throat. I giggled and attempted to squeeze past him, but there wasn’t enough room.

“You’ve been in there for a while. Everything okay?” he asked. His jaw seemed tight and his words a little clipped.

“Yeah, I was just fixing my makeup.” My phone vibrated in my back pocket with Blaire’s response, the sound magnified due to the spacious bathroom and enormous hallway.

BOOK: Control You
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