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My Scorned Best Friend by Piper Rayne


My Scorned Best Friend

by Piper Rayne

Self-Published

Book 7 in The Greene Family series


Xavier and Clara kissing in a tree…


When your best friend growing up is a girl, that’s the song your classmates taunt you with over and over again. But it was never like that… until now.


It’s always been Clara and me. She’s the only one who truly knows me. After I was drafted into the NFL and ended up the starting quarterback for the San Francisco Kingsmen, I begged her to come with me. But she had her own life and responsibilities back in our small Alaskan town, so I didn’t fault her for staying.


We remained the best of friends despite the distance. I’d hang with her in Alaska during the off season, and she’d visit me in California while I was playing. Then, one night the lines blurred for the briefest of moments and set in motion a series of events that changed everything.


I’m not proud of the decisions I made after that fateful night, and I plan on making amends, because I need Clara back in my life. But not as my best friend—as my everything.

Genre:

 

This was the book I was waiting for!

For several books, we've been teased that something happened between Xavier and Clara to estrange them, and it's been slowly killing me to wait for their story! After all, I am a sucker for the friends to lovers, especially if they are childhood best friends.

The wait was worth it!

The subtle level of tension before they come together is perfect. You feel the estrangement between them, and the pain it causes them both. You feel the love they have for one another, even before it turns romantic. The romance felt unforced, and natural, which is what I'm looking for in these types of books. I want to be transported into their world, their relationship, and Xavier and Clara did that for me.

An interesting choice by the authors was addressing Xavier's behavior in the other books. I went into this book thinking that him acting like an arrogant dick was going to be explained. I thought it was a tactic to push Clara away after he found out she had feelings for him. But Piper Rayne did something I wasn't expecting, which makes it all the more interesting. Having Xavier admit that he let fame get to his head, and that was him ... being an arrogant dick. It took Hank's diagnosis to give him the kick in the ass he needed.


I haven't been feeling the last couple of books in this series, so I am glad that Xavier and Clara's story lived up to my expectations. It's sweet. It's sexy. It's great.




Xavier: “You want to kiss me?”

I shrug.

Clara: “Just for experimental reasons. Not kiss you because I like you or anything.”

Xavier: “Well yeah, of course not. I’m just surprised.”

He contemplated for a moment because that’s what Xavier did, but we were on a time crunch. My mom would be there any moment, and if we didn’t kiss soon, then both of our first kisses would be tomorrow night at the party. I should have brought this up three days ago.

Clara: “It’s really okay if you don’t want to.”

Xavier: “I didn’t say that.”

He ran his hand down the back of his head and stared at his legs for a moment.

Xavier: “I just don’t want anything to change between us. Promise it won’t.”

He locked his gaze with mine and I saw real fear there. I pushed his shoulder.

Clara: “Oh yeah, okay, Prince Charming. You think I’m gonna fall madly in love with you from one kiss?”

One side of his lips tipped up.

Xavier: “That’s me, your knight in shining armor.”

Clara: “Forget it.”

I crossed my arms.

Xavier: “God, you’re so stubborn.”

He inched forward.

Xavier: “Turn toward me.”

Clara: “Don’t be bossy.”

Xavier: “I’m not being bossy, but…”

He glanced at the clock, and I knew as well as he did that we were close to our time being up. I turned toward him, and we stared at one another for a beat. My heart raced when he leaned in closer, his eyes closed, and when he was about to place his lips on mine, I laughed.

Xavier: “Clara,”

he pleaded with annoyance laced through his tone. I straightened my back and wiggled a bit.

Clara: “Sorry. Sorry. Okay, let’s go again.”

Xavier rolled his eyes.

Xavier: “Boy, does that sound appealing.” Clara: “You honestly can’t use your imagination? Come on.”

She picked up another book and read an excerpt that flushed my cheeks, but still, I was more uncomfortable than I was aroused.

Clara: “Nothing?”

Xavier: “Give me porn over this any day.”

Clara: “That’s just lazy.” Clara: “Do you know how unrealistic porn is? I read this article about how boys watch porn since it’s so accessible now, then they think that’s what women want—to be strangled or slapped on the ass or told they’re a dirty slut. I mean sure, some women do like that, but I don’t think a young girl exploring her first sexual encounter is ready for that kind of thing. That’s more something you lean into once you’ve had some sexual experience and you know what you like, what you want to explore, what makes you feel fulfilled and gratified. Talk about throwing someone in the deep end of the pool who can’t swim.”

I laughed.

Xavier: “I think you’re being a little dramatic.”

Clara: “I’m not. I swear. You should check in with Rylan before he hits those years. You don’t want him experiencing his first time and thinking he needs to shove a cucumber up the poor girl’s ass or something.” I follow my dad down past the reception area, where he grabs a Dum Dum as if he’s a little kid who just got a reward for getting his shots. Holding up the Dum Dum after unwrapping it, he shakes his head.

Hank: “I put poison in my body, and this is what I get? I’m a grown man. They can’t spring for Blow Pops with the amount of money I’m paying them?”

I press the elevator button and it arrives in no time, then the two of us get in.

Xavier: “I’ll get you a bag of Blow Pops,”

Hank: “I don’t want a bag of Blow Pops, it’s the principle of the thing.” Xavier: “Wish me luck, Mom, I’m going to go fight for her.”

As I walk back down the sidewalk to my truck, I swear I feel as if someone is hugging me. Ben: “Hi, Clary. These women thought they could drink me under the table, but I proved ’em wrong.”

I look at the three very sober women and pick up a shot glass from in front of Ethel. I don’t smell a drop of alcohol in the glass. Ethel smiles tentatively.

Ethel: “My liver enzymes have been high lately.”

Clara: “And the rest of you?”

Midge holds up her hands.

Midge: “What can I say? He’s a champ.”

She winks at Ben, and he makes this sound as if he’s endeared by her.

Clara: “And Dori?”

She shrugs.

Dori: “We couldn’t let him woo you,”

she says, speaking the truth and raising her chin defiantly.

Clara: “You don’t get to choose!”

My voice is too loud, and I have to remind myself everyone in this town is already talking about me and this imaginary love triangle. I don’t need to bring any more attention to myself.

Molly: “Bravo!”

Molly claps from behind the bar. Clara: “I made a mistake. I never should’ve gotten involved with Ben. I tried, but… it wasn’t a good decision.”

Mandi: “Because of Xavier?”

I roll my eyes.

Clara: “If I hear that name one more time, I’m gonna scream.”

We round the corner from the cobblestone streets in the downtown square to the back parking lot.

Ben: “X man!”

Ben screams.

Noah: “Xavier Greene?”

I look up and see Xavier getting out of his truck. Then I proceed to clench my fists and scream at the top of my lungs. Clara: “X, we can’t.”

I was practically panting.

Clara: “Once we do this, there’s no going back. I don’t want to cross the line if it’s not going to mean something, mean a change in our relationship.”

Xavier: “This is going to mean everything.” He leaned forward and inhaled me, his knuckle running over my now-soaked panties, right between my folds.

Xavier: "Is this all for me?”

His gaze never left from between my legs.

Clara: “Yes,”

I whispered. Ben: "If you put away all your doubts, I think you’ll realize you’re missing out on a pretty great life you could be having with her at your side.”

Xavier: “Yeah, but—”

Ben: “Jesus, X, stop with the buts. What would’ve happened if when the scouts called, you said, ‘Well, I don’t know… some players get hurt, some players don’t pan out.’ Or after you got drafted if you said, ‘But what if I never win a ring or what if the media chews me apart?’ Be the same man who made his dream come true and go be the man of her dreams.”

He smiles and winks.

Ben: “Oh, I like that line.” TAP. TAP. Clara backs up and wipes her mouth as if there’s evidence of us. I turn to see Cam standing by my window with his jaw hanging open.

Xavier: “Now or never. Let’s do this,”

I tell her. I climb out of my truck and Cam pats me on the back.

Cam: “Finally. You might be the dumbest fuck I know.” Xavier: “If this family proves anything, it’s that there’s no mine and yours, there’s just ours.” The sound of a key in the lock surprises us and we have no time to bolt apart before the door opens to reveal Nikki.

Nikki: “Oh, sorry. I thought Emelia was still in here sulking. I was gonna try to cheer her up.”

She shuts the door. A few seconds later, Nikki yells down to everyone,

Nikki: “Xavier and Clara sitting in Posey’s room K-I-S-S-I-N-G.”

She laughs. Xavier: “You owe me.”

He kisses my forehead one more time and steps away from me.

Xavier: “No clown outfit for you.” To many in this world, he is Xavier Greene, Kingsmen starting quarterback. The hot football player who got the big contract. The man who’s dated one of the most beautiful women in the world. But to me… He’s the first boy I loved. He’s my first crush. He’s my first kiss. He’s my first dance partner. He’s the one who kept me standing while I watched my mom’s body lowered into the ground. He’s the one who stayed with me for weeks afterward until I could function. He’s the one constant in my life. ... So judge if you will, but what I always find funny is that most of you are just like me. Most of you won’t ever grace the pages of a magazine, or play professional sports, or have a celebrity makeup artist and stylist. But why should one of us not get the chance to be with someone like Xavier? After all, I’ve been his first kiss, his first dance partner, and I held his hand when his mom died too. Our lives are so intertwined not even Mark and his cynical words can unravel them. So yeah, I’m not a model, but I am worthy and I’m comfortable with that because my best friend, boyfriend, and lover looks at me like I’m his entire world. Cade: We’re gonna go,”

Xavier: “Sure thing. Congrats.”

I wave.

Cade: “Congrats for what?”

Cade asks Presley.

Presley: “I was just starting to like you!”

Presley calls.

Cade: “Presley?”

Cade asks as I open the office door. I don’t hear Presley’s response, but he shouts,

Cade: “Shut up! That’s awesome!”

 


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