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False Promises

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Jenna was used to waking in the middle of the night to find herself alone. It was just something a person got used to when they married a creative, troubled type. She was even used to waking up alone, only to find her husband downstairs, lounging on the sofa with his best friend in the middle of the night. It was just something a person got used to when their husband had, for lack of a better phrase, another man in his life.

She wasn't surprised when she woke in the middle of the hot, July night to find herself alone in the king-size bed. She wasn't surprised when she wandered downstairs to find Tyler and Josh bent over a laptop on the coffee table, their dark heads close together.

She was curious, though, when Josh pointed to something on the screen and, in response, Tyler clamped a hand over his mouth to stifle a laugh.

Well, that can't mean anything good, she thought.

Jenna slipped up behind the men, bare feet and carpeted floor muffling the sound of her approach. Neither her husband nor his best friend noticed her approach until Jenna read over their shoulders, “‘Annual Assemblage of Glorified?’”

Lightning quick, Josh's hand darted out to slap the laptop shut. He couldn't have looked guiltier if he'd tried.

Gotcha, Jenna thought, amused.

Rounding on who she affectionately thought of as her boys, Jenna fixed them with a stern expression. She planted her hands on her hips and narrowed her eyes.


Tyler gave Jenna a look he probably thought was innocent. It wasn't.

“Hey, babe,” he said sweetly. “What are you doing up?”

A halo glinting over his head wouldn't have swayed her. Her boys were up to something and Jenna was going to find out what.


If anyone was going to crack under pressure, it would be Josh. He was the goody-goody, the teacher’s pet.

He wouldn’t even look at Jenna.

Well. As the old saying went, there was more than one way to skin a cat. When Josh became suddenly preoccupied with the pattern on the ceiling, Jenna reached out to grab his phone off the arm of the sofa.

“Josh!” Tyler complained, but it was too late. Jenna had danced out of reach and was using the pilfered phone to scroll through Twitter.

“Hashtag, TOPISBACK?” She raised her eyes at the boys. “What did you do?”

Scrolling farther, she soon answered her own question. “What’s all this stuff about tomorrow?”

Josh looked to Tyler for help. The other man just shook his head. Josh bit his lip.

“I thought the new stuff wasn’t out until the autumn?”

Tyler cleared his throat. “It’s not.”

Jenna gave him a disapproving look. “Then why are you winding up the fans?”

Neither answered.

She tossed the phone down on the sofa between her boys. “What did I tell you I’d do to you if you kept teasing the Clique?”

“You said-” Josh’s reply ended in an oof as Tyler’s elbow connected with his ribs. “I don’t remember,” he squeaked.

Jenna turned her glare on Tyler, who only shrugged.

“I said,” she reminded them, “that I’d give you both a hiding if you did it again.”

Mumbling about it not being nice to upset their fanbase with false promises of a return, Jenna turned to leave.

“Where are you going, babe?”

Jenna tossed a glare over her shoulder. “I’m going to get my belt.”

“The leopard-print one?” Josh asked with just a little too much interest.

So… that’s their game, Jenna thought. She had to smother a smile. Oh, she’d make sure the boys made it up to their fans – after their punishment.

“You’ll get what you get, and you’ll like it,” Jenna snapped in response.

She didn’t miss the fist bump they shared as she stomped away.