Authors: Becca Ann,Tessa Marie
Beach Side Beds and Sandy Paths
Book 2 in Beds Series
Becca Ann and Tessa Marie
All rights reserved.
Printed in the United States of America.
No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval systems, without prior written permission of the author except where permitted by law.
Copyright April 2014
Cover Photo by
courtesy of Shutterstock
The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious.
Any similarity to real persons, living or dead is coincidental
and not intended by the author.
Becca Ann’s dedication:
Dedicated to anyone who has a hard time with their siblings.
Tessa Marie’s dedication:
Dedicated to anyone who has ever been insecure about their relationship.
I’m whipped and I don’t care. Because if being whipped means I get to spend every day after school with Lexie, then I’ll carry her bright pink purse that’s filled to the brim with nail polish on my dick if she asks. Luckily, I only have to carry it from the packed school hallway to her car—on my arm, not my junk.
“Are you sure you want to study at my house?” she pouts as we hop in. She always lets me drive, not sure why. Probably ’cause she knows I like to. “We went there yesterday.”
“I know.” I smirk, tickling the pads of her fingers as she wraps them around mine. “But Pop-pop is still sick.”
Even as I say it, my ears go up in flames and the heat beats through my face.
“You’re such a big
fat liar.” Lex squeezes my hand and leans her head on my shoulder. “I’m going to get you to tell me one of these days.”
“Tell you what?” I ask, trying to pull off innocent, which has never worked for me.
“What you’ve been hiding from me. And why you’re being so weird.”
I chuckle, letting go of her hand so I can wrap my arm around her shoulders. “I can’t keep a secret from you if my life depended on it.”
“Well, you can,” she says, running a hand over my knee. “But it’s much better for the both of us when you don’t. You know, we could’ve avoided the entire Sean thing, and the…ahem…drinking thing, if you would’ve just plucked up your balls and told me how you felt in the first place.”
She’s got that two-dimpled smil
e on. Damn, I know she’s right. I should have told her how I felt years ago. But even though it took me so long, it didn’t change the fact that the last four months since the trip have been nothing but perfection. Best friend and girlfriend in one package.
“Patience, you goof.”
I tickle her side and she socks me in the upper thigh, making me jerk the wheel. “I’ll tell you eventually. I just don’t want to talk about it right now, ’kay?”
Her lip juts out
, and I refuse to let her pull the puppy-dog face she uses against me all the damn time. If I knew exactly how to tell her about what’s been going on at my place, I would have already.
We pull up to her house—or I should say basement apartment—and she lets out a huge sigh. I know she doesn’t want to be here,
but recovering alcoholic is probably a better alternative than who’s planted their ass in Pop-pop and Grams’ guest room.
I grab her purse and her backpa
ck, and she leads me inside straight to her room. Lex’s mom’s not home yet, but her AA meeting ends in about an hour, so if she’s having a good day, she’ll be here soon.
Plopping down on the bed, she pulls out her Physics book while I take out History. She’s already taking notes, pencil flying acros
s the paper. I’m still sitting here waiting to crack open the binding.
One hour is all I have, if I’m lucky. And I don’t want to spend it studying.
My hand reaches for hers, stopping her midsentence in her notes. I give her that smile I know she knows is the one that says, “kiss me now, or I’ll make you.”
“Ry…” she grumbles. “We have finals
“Uh huh,” I say, kissing the inside of her wrist.
“So, you know I have to study.”
.” I work my way up her arm, pausing at the crook of her elbow.
“Then stop being so
distracting!” She whips from my grasp and shields her face with her hair.
As if that’ll stop me.
“I’m not doing anything.” I chuckle as I smooth her long brown hair back to kiss behind her ear.
She growls when my lips touch her skin, and I’m smiling, knowing I’m pissing her off and driving her crazy all at once.
Throwing her pencil in her book, she turns her face to mine, big, golden brown eyes giving me the “you’re in trouble, but not really” look.
Then as I wrap my arm around her waist, pulling her down to the pillows, she lets out a defeated sigh.
“I hate you sometimes.”
I grin. “I love you, too.”
My lips press to hers for the first of what I know will be a million kisses. Once we start, we usually don’t stop for a while. I hear the books get kicked to the floor as her leg hitches up around my hip. Lex’s mouth and her body are so addicting. How can she not expect me to want her every moment I’m with her?
Though, I do feel a
bit guilty, because I’m not in the best of places mentally at the moment. She’s the only one who makes me feel better. She always has been. And kissing her like this makes all the shit go away. I don’t want it to seem like I’m using her to escape, even though it may be a little true.
I kiss her like this because I love her. That is
the way true.
from my lips, and I travel down her neck. Her chest is flushed and moving up and down with each hitched breath she lets out, and I can’t control what my hands do when she turns me on like this.
When I undo the button
on her jeans, she snaps her fingers around my wrist.
“Sorry,” I pant in her face. Because I am. Damn, I gotta cool it.
She gives me that gorgeous two-dimpled smile. “It’s not that.” Her laugh shakes her body as she loosens her grip on my wrist. “I thought I heard someone knocking.”
I sit straight up, ready to bolt under the bed. “Did you?”
She laughs again, yanking me down next to her. “No. I think it was my heart or something.”
“Oh.” Because that’s the genius wor
d that pops out. I should say, “Or mine” or something equally as good as that, but she shuts my mouth with more kisses.
I know the
moment was ruined, but I can’t help it. I want to touch and feel more of her, be a part of her, and I’m turned on so much I don’t think I really know what I’m doing. So I head right back for her pants.
The zipper goes d
own and her hand rests on my forearm, not stopping me. And her lips are working miracles on mine.
When my hand goes under her panties, her breath catches and her fingers grasp my arm, but they don’t push me away, they pull me closer.
I’ve been with Lex for four months. Our relationship stumbled from best friends to lovers so fast I’m not sure if we knew how to handle the transition. There seemed to be rules to follow, steps to take even though we know each other inside out. But for a while, it was “Am I okay to touch you here?” or “Hell! I’m kissing my best friend!” and we never got into all the physical stuff besides kissing—okay, heavy kissing—and holding hands, and yeah, I’ve grabbed those stunning boobs of hers probably more times than I’ve attended Auto Shop this year.
is new for us.
“Ryan,” she breathes against my lips. I can’t even kiss her because my own breathing is too hard and fast to close my mouth for a second. She says my name again
, and I tuck against the crook of her neck, placing kisses when I can, but concentrating more on her. How she’s breathing, how she’s moving against my hand, how hot her body feels against mine. How
it feels against mine.
We fit together. I’ve always known that—hoped for it—and having her like this seems like a major step. One I wasn’t sure we were ready to take, but I took it anyway.
That prick of guilt pops in my head again, about using her, but I shove it away as she breathes my name again.
Does she know how beautiful she is right now? How damn sexy?
This time, there is a knock on the door.
“Lex? You home?”
She shoves me off, my hand sliding out from her pants, and I land with a thud. With practiced skill, I roll into my spot under the bed—the one that has lines of clothes, shoes, and boxes in the shape of my body.
“Uh, yeah, Mom!” Lex shouts, and I hear the zipper go up and see her hand dip down for her Physics book. “Come in!”
Her door creaks as Ms. Boggs steps in. The smell of alcohol—the cleaning kind—filters through, even in my hiding spot under the bed.
“Just wanted to let you know, I’m picking up a late shift.”
“You sure you’re okay with that?” Lex’s voice sounds heavy still, but if her mom notices, she doesn’t say anything.
“Yes. My sponsor thought it’d be a good idea to keep busy.”
“Um, yes. Roger.”
It’s quiet for a little bit, and I get shakier every breath I take. Lex and her mom are both in relationships the other doesn’t approve of. It hasn’t exactly been said her mom has a thing for her sponsor, but by the way she says Roger’s name, I’m gonna agree with Lex on this one.
“Okay, well, don’t stay up.”
The door closes just as Lex says, “I never do.”
I pop my head out from under the bed, just as Lex pops he
rs out from on top. We both quirk a smile at each other.
“You better ge
t running. I can drive you home.”
“Nah, walking’s healthy.” And she can’t see who’s at my house.
She pouts. “Okay.” Then she puts her hands on either side of my head and does a kissing push up.
wish I could stay here forever…as lame as that sounds it’s true. I don’t want to go home. It’d be Lex and me and no one else. No finals, no recovering alcoholic mother, no shit.
I wish we were back up at that
ski lodge, and I had told her how I felt on day one. Not day six.
She pulls away, and I pack up my stuff.
Before I climb out the window, I pull her in to give her another kiss.
“Hey,” she whispers at my back once I’m crouched on the ground outside her room
. “Thank you for the distraction. I liked it.” She puts on her big smile, and her cheeks flush.
I smirk. “Me too.”
Hitching my backpack on my shoulder, I take off across her yard and get to the street without anyone seeing.
Each step feels like a giant knife digging deeper in my gut the closer I get to my house.
I’m floating. My mind still on my bed, reliving every body shivering touch. The way Ryan pressed against me, his lips skimming my neck as his hand—
I shake the thoughts from my mind, but can’t rid myself of the tingles coursing through my veins. With a deep, steadying breath I open my bedroom door.
Not like I don’t already know who it is. Ever since Mom decided to get sober
, she’s been trying to make up for the seventeen years she was in oblivion. She doesn’t seem to understand you can’t cram seventeen years into two months. It just doesn’t work that way.
Though, I have to admit her meddling into my life is a thousand times better than
me holding her hair while she pukes her guts up. I thought when she quit drinking those days would be behind us. But the withdrawal symptoms seem to have the same effect on her as drinking a bottle of vodka.
Every time she gets sick, I remind myself that it’s seventeen years of poison coming out. It doesn’t always make it any easier though.
Watching her suffer is harder than I thought. When she was drunk, she did it to herself. I had no pity. None. But this? This is so much different.
. She’s not just getting sober for herself. She’s doing it for me too.
“Yeah, Mom?” I look down at my
You Callin’ Me a Lyre?’
nail polish and open the door. I don’t even glance up. I step out of the way and she storms in, scanning the area like a trained SWAT professional.
“Ryan isn’t in here. Is he?”
I look up from my nails and roll my eyes. “No, Mom.”
“Are you sure?” She walks over to the closet and flings my shirts out of the way. I suppress a giggle as she follows the wall up as if Ryan is Spiderman and
he’s hanging from the ceiling. “It’s too quiet in here.”
“I’m sorry did you want me to crank up the music and start banging on pots and pans?”
She points her finger at me, but not in a threatening manner. “Don’t be smart with me. I’m serious. You’re not lying, are you?”
“No, Mom. I’m not. Ryan is not here. You can check under my bed if it would make you feel better.” Crap why did I say that? Now what happens when he really is under there?
She turns to the bed then stops.
“Besides, Mom, who cares if he
is? He used to always come over. What’s so different now?”
“Now he’s a
n eighteen year old boy with raging hormones.”
“Not much different from when he was s
“He’s your boyfriend now. Big difference.”
If my eyes could flip into the back of my head they would. “If you say so.”
“Damn it, Alexis! I don’t want you knocked up at seventeen.”
Air punches its way down my throat till it hits my gut. Did she really just say that?
“Oh God, please tell me you’re using protection.”
I go to speak, but all that comes out are short, squeaky sounds.
“I can’t deal with this right now, Alexis. My body hurts, these damn shakes are making it impossible to do much of anything
, and now I find out my seventeen-year-old daughter is having unprotected sex with her boyfriend and I’m going to be a grandmother. I’m thirty-seven. Do I look like a grandmother?”
Whoa! What is going on here? She just impregnated me.
“Virgin.” I finally push around the lump in my throat.
“Excuse me?” Mom asks,
resting her shaking hands on her hips.
“I’m not having sex with Ryan. I haven’t. Ever. With anyone.”
“Oh thank God.” She sits down on my bed, high heeled feet dangling, as she falls back and slaps the back of her hand over her forehead. “Don’t do that to me.”
I plop down beside her and pat her knee.
“That was all you.”
“I suppose it was. I’m a little neurotic without the alcohol.”
I lean back until we’re shoulder to shoulder. “No. You’re better.”
I grip her hand and turn my head towards her. “Absolutely.”
She squeezes my hand and we lay there
for a moment. A part of me never wants to get up. Most girls have a million memories of spending time with their mom, but for me, I have none. Every day since she chose her life over the bottle it’s been a second chance for us.
For the first time
ever I have a mom. She may be overbearing, jumps to conclusions and asks too many questions, but given the alternative, I’ll take this version any day.
“Let me paint your nails,” I say, looking at the chips in her polish.
“Roger should be here soon to bring me to work.”
I pick up my phone and check the time. “We have thirty minutes. More than enough time. Please?”
Mom pushes a blond strand of hair back into her dark bob. I wonder if she’ll ever go back to her natural color.
“I don’t know.”
“What do you need to know? You just have to sit there and I’ll do the rest.” I jump up and open my nightstand drawer. It takes a few tries to get it fully open since a few polish bottles get stuck at the top.
I push through the
pile, looking for the perfect color. A pink catches my eye and I grab it, but when I see the name, ‘
Chicago Champagne Toast’
I throw it back in the drawer. I don’t care if it’s just nail polish, I don’t want any alcohol related things near Mom.
After a week of sobriety she fell off the wagon. And not just fell. Oh
no she went head first, taking everything down with her. I couldn’t blame her. The withdrawal symptoms were horrendous. Six and a half days was all she had in her.
of drunken oblivion later after waking up in the neighbors rose bush, she called Roger. I don’t know what was said between the two of them. All I know is that he showed up like a bald angel, and after checking her wounds I had tended to, he took her out of our basement apartment. When she came back she was determined to try again.
That was two weeks ago. The withdrawals while better are still wreaking havoc on her. This time though she hasn’t broke down. Four months ago I’d find her every night sitting on the couch, staring at a bottle of vodka. That’s how I know this time is different. And why we need to celebrate her progress even if it is just with nail polish.
My eyes land on the
‘Color So Hot It Berns’
Perfect! Nothing says strong woman like a good red.
I grab my English text book, some nail polish remover and a cotton ball out of the drawer then scoot onto the bed, and place the book on my lap, “Put your hands here.” I tap the book.
Mom fidgets with her hands first, but I wave my fingers at her in a come here gesture and she places her nails in the ready position.
“I can’t remember the last time I did your nails,” I say.
“I remember the last time I did yours”
I look up at her with a curious eye. “I don’t remember you ever doing my nails.”
“It was your fourth birthday. You were so obsessed with being a princess.”
I take Mom’s hand and start taking off the chipped polish.
Her fingers tremble slightly, but I don’t bring any attention to it. “I remember that. I didn’t want to cut my hair in case I ever got stuck in a castle and needed it to let a prince up so he could rescue me.”
Mom laughs. “Yes. You wouldn’t even let me trim it. That year I bought you a pink dress and a tiara and I painted your nails to match. You had these plastic heels tha
t you wore around the house.”
“With the light blue plastic bows and
the hot pink gem stones?”
Mom’s face lights up. “You
ber the shoes. I don’t remember anything else.”
“We built a c
astle out of the couch cushions and watched Beauty and the Beast.”
“I love that movie.”
“I know. You watched it all day every day. I could probably still cite it word for word.”
I shake the nail polish bottle.
“I wish I could remember. The only things I remember are…”
“The bad stuff.”
I nod. A silence falls over us and I start painting her thumbnail. Guilt creeping in and out of my mind. For the life of me I can’t remember a single good memory. I don’t think she’s making any of this up, but why can’t I remember it? Why can’t I have something to lessen all the pain she put me through? Anything? A little piece of a happy moment in time.
But every time I th
ink of my childhood all I can think of is crying from hunger while she was passed out on the couch, getting yelled at for wetting the bed, or hiding in the cabinet while she was on a drunken tear.
I push the painful memories away
and try to focus on the Now. There’s no use living in the past. It is the past for a reason. Been there done that and time for something new. This…painting Mom’s nails, was new.
I moved to her ring finger and I don’t know if it’s the awkward silence or her withdrawal symptoms, but her hand begins to shake uncontrollably and I accidentally streak paint across her skin.
“Sorry,” I say and grab for the cotton ball.
The shaking elevates and Mom rips her hand away from mine, knocking the polish across my book and my comforter.
“Shit!” she yells then mumbles, “Sorry.” Her body tenses as she crosses her arms and hides her hands. Tears fill her brown eyes and I jump up from my bed.
“Don’t cry,” I say and walk towards her, but she backs away.
“No,” she says and shakes her head. “We can’t even have a nice time without me messing it up.” She turns away and runs to the door, but I’m quick—all those times I’ve raced Ryan coming in handy—and I jump in front of her.
“You didn’t mess anything up.”
Mom waves her hand to my bed. “Look at your book and your comforter.”
I always liked that splatter look. Reminds me of that retro splatter paint blanket you had.”
“That wasn’t retro. It was from the 90’s.”
“Exactly! That thing was ancient!”
“Yes, ancient. But I always did love it. I might even toss a few more colors on mine. Want to help?”
I smile. “I learned from the best.” I pick up my
‘Did You ‘ear About Van Gogh’
and hold it out to her. “What do you say?”
“Let’s do this!”
She paints the first squiggle across my comforter and then I join her. We continue painting until Roger picks her up.