Home > Driven (Driven #1)(12)

Driven (Driven #1)(12)
Author: K. Bromberg

I promise. You’ll never know your limits until you push yourself to them.

If you refuse to give me availability, I may have to take matters in my own hands. Maybe someone taking control is exactly what you want? What you need?


“Egotistical asshole,” I mutter as I switch off my computer, refusing to respond. Like he knows what I want or need. But despite my anger, his words reverberate through me more than they should.


My phone rings as I drive to The House. I’m in a foul mood for some reason and I can only blame it on Donavan and his damn emails. Damn him for filling me with wants and need and desire again. I glance at the screen on my phone and groan out loud.

It’s Haddie, my best friend and roommate. I’ve successfully avoided her and one of her notorious inquisitions since the event on Saturday night. Luckily she’d had plans that kept her out of the house because one round of her questions and she would’ve known something had happened.

“Hey, Had!”

“Ry! Where’ve you been? You’re avoiding me!” she reprimands.

Geesh, five words into the conversation, and she’s already starting in one me. “No, I’m not. We’ve just both been busy with—”

“Bullshit,” she argues, “I talked to Dane and know the story! Why didn’t you wake me up and tell me when you got home?”

I blanch wondering what Dane had told her, and then I realize that she is probably talking about the auction. “Because nothing happened but absolute humiliation. It was awful.”

“Oh, it couldn’t have been that bad!” she says sarcastically. “At least you got a hot date out of it. Who is he?”

I roll my eyes at her as I turn my car into the driveway of The House. “Some guy—”

“Well, obviously. I’m glad it wasn’t some girl because that would put a whole different spin on this.” She laughs at her joke, and I can’t help but smile at my dear friend. “So spill it, sister!”

“Really, Haddie, there’s nothing to tell.” I can her hear guffaw on the other side of the connection. “Oh, will you look at that? I just pulled up to The House. I gotta go.”

“Likely story, Ry. Don’t worry, I’ll get the scoop out of you when you get home tomorrow from work.” I cringe at the Haddie Montgomery promise to dig deeper. She never forgets.

“Look, I don’t know the guy,” I relent, hoping if I give her some information she’ll be satisfied and not pry any further. “Teddy introduced me to him before I was pulled into being a contestant. His name is Donavan something, and he’s the son of one of the chairpersons. That’s all I know.” I cringe at my blatant omission to my best friend.

I hear her hum of approval on the end of the line and know the exact expression that is on her flawless face. Her button nose is scrunched up in disbelief while her heart-shaped lips purse as she tries to figure out if I’m telling the truth. “I really am at work now, Had. I have to go. Love ya, bye.” I say, our usual parting words.

“Love ya, bye.”


There is chaos in The House as usual when I walk in the door. I step over six book bags that lay haphazardly in the entryway. I can hear Top 40 music coming from one bedroom and the beginning of an argument coming from another as I pass the hallway on my way to the core of the house.

I hear the pop of a baseball mitt coming through the open windows at the rear of the house, and I know that Kyle and Ricky are in the midst of their usual bout of catch. Any minute, one of them will be complaining that the other one has horrible aim. They’ll argue and then move to the next activity, playing with their Bakugan or competing at baseball on the Wii.

I walk into the great room to hear Scooter giggling as he sits next to my fellow counselor, Jackson, on the couch, arguing the merits of Spiderman versus Batman.

The great room is a common area of the house, combining the kitchen with a large open living area. Large windows open up to the backyard where I can see the boys playing catch. The room has couches on one end that form a U-shape around a small media center while the other end houses a big wooden table, currently covered with what appears to be incomplete homework. The earth-tone furniture is neither new nor shabby but rather gently worn and well used.

“Hey, guys,” I say as I place my bag on the kitchen island, appraising the state of dinner that appears to be in two large crock-pots on the counter.

I hear various versions of “Hi, Rylee” from the occupants of The House.

Jackson looks up from the couch, his brown eyes full of humor over his debate with eight-year-old Scooter, and smiles. “We were just taking a break from homework. They’ll have it finished before dinner is ready.”

I lift the lid off a crock-pot and stir what appears to be pot roast and vegetables inside. My stomach grumbles, reminding me that I’d worked through lunch today at the corporate office. “Smells good,” I say, smacking Shane’s hand as he reaches to pinch a piece of the freshly baked loaves of bread that sit on cookie sheets on top of the stove. “Hand’s off. That’s for dinner. Go get a piece of fruit if you’re hungry.”

He rolls his eyes at me as only a fifteen-year-old boy can. “Hey, can’t blame a guy for trying,” he counters, his prepubescent voice cracking, as he skirts around me, brushing his shaggy blonde hair off his forehead.

“You need a haircut, bud.” He shrugs at me, his lopsided grin stealing my heart as it does regularly. “Did you finish your paper yet so I can review it?”

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