After fighting at school Hale is shipped off to his grandad's horse farm for the summer. He's miserable and angry, but his grandad's CNA, Bo, makes life a bit more interesting for him, especially when he finds out that Bo is a werewolf and Hale is the last to know his secret.
I sighed as loudly as I could when my stepdad pulled up in front of the old farmhouse my grandfather lived in. Two hundred acres of nothingness all around me and this was where I was supposed to spend my summer? No freaking thank you. It sucked from every single angle.
"Don't give your grandfather any trouble," my stepdad, Marcus, warned me. "He's a nice guy."
I rolled my eyes. "You should have sent me off to Mars or something. At least there would be more to do there. And I know he's a nice guy. Grandad has always been nice. Much nicer than you."
My stepdad glared at me and grabbed my backpack out of the back seat to toss to me. "Well if you hadn't screwed up so hard last school year and gotten yourself suspended at the end of the year maybe, you'd be looking at colleges right now instead of staying on an old horse farm for three months as punishment. You’ve got to be more responsible, you’ve got to learn that the world isn’t going to be so easy on you. You’re an adult now, so start acting like it instead of like the obnoxious brat you are."
I was halfway out of the car before my stepdad had even finished talking. "Yeah, well, maybe I won't be here when you come back to get me. Then you can go off with your new girlfriend and forget all about my mom! I bet she'd really like that!" I slammed the car door and stormed up to my grandad's house. I had half expected my stepdad to come charging out of the car and yell at me right there on the porch, but he didn't. Because his missing wife's kid was clearly not worth his time or effort. Instead, my stepdad peeled out of the driveway, gravel flying in his wake.
I knocked angrily on my grandad's front door, then crossed my arms over my chest to glare at the peeling red paint. It hadn't done anything to offend me or anyone else, but I absolutely hated it. Just like I hated everything else about tiny Carr, Colorado. It was barely even on a map and was practically in Wyoming, it was so far north of my home in Denver. I had hated the drive up there, hated my stepdad's horrible country music, which he'd played the whole way up, and I especially hated that while my friends were going to parties and clubs, I was stuck on a horse farm. There was absolutely nothing to do there. It was like a death sentence for my social life.
I banged on the door this time, and when my grandad didn't answer, I grabbed the spare key from under the one rock next to the front steps, as if that wasn't obvious at all, and I let myself into the house.
"Grandad?" I called out into the silence of the house. "It's Hale. My stepdad called you last night and said he'd be leaving me with you for the summer. Any of that ring a bell?"
There was a stairway in front of me. Rickety and old, with the carpet nailed down and torn off in some places. The landing was above that, and the first door on the right, which I remembered was my grandfather's bedroom, opened a second later.
Only the guy that came out wasn't my grandfather. This was a cute black guy wearing green scrubs like a doctor would. He smiled at me and leaned on the banister that looked as if it would fall over under even the slightest bit of pressure. I was surprised he didn't fall forward right then and there and break his leg or something on the first floor in front of me. "Hey. I'm Bo Matthews, your grandfather's CNA. Mind keeping it down for a few more minutes? He's taking his pills right now and it's hard enough to get him to agree to it when he's in a good mood. Whatever's going on with you two, he's most definitely not in the best of moods right now."
I had been staring at him, because no guy that pretty should exist in real life, but now I was glaring. "Me? I didn't do anything. It's all my damn stepdad's fault and—"
But Bo just shook his head. "And I'm going back to work. Just try to be quiet for a little bit. Please." He went back into the bedroom and left me standing there by the front door.
I stormed up to the spare bedroom, which was across from my granddad's, and slammed my bag down on the floor beside the old twin bed. In the bedroom across the hall, I could hear Bo and my grandfather talking in low voices.
Five minutes there, and already I wanted to be back home. I could be at a party or something. It was a bit early for the clubs, but I could be getting french fries with my best friends. Or I could be fooling around with them. We were like that sometimes.
But I knew I was stuck there for the next three months, so I decided to try to suck it up. It wouldn't make any difference if I didn't anyway. It wasn't like my stepdad was going to be coming back to get me anytime soon. I didn't even expect him to call me.
Bo came out of my grandfather's room and over to mine. "We're all done with his pills now, if you wanted to go say hi to him."
"Why?" I snapped at him.
But Bo just shrugged. "Because maybe you don't want to be a jerk? Anyway, not my business. I'll be downstairs making up his weekly meals for him if you want to come down."
I rolled my eyes, but once he went downstairs a few minutes later I did go across the hall and into my grandfather's room.