Authors: Amy Sparling
She shakes her head and stands up, dropping my hand. “What do you want to do tonight? Or are you busy?”
“I’m doing whatever you’re doing,” I say with a smile that doesn’t make anything better. She’s still shutting me out and I still hate it. “We should go get you a cell phone.”
She snorts. “I can’t afford it. Plus, you have to be like eighteen to sign the contract, I think.”
“You don’t need a contract. They have prepaid phones and stuff. We should get you one because I’ve been dying to text you. I’ll pay for it.”
“What would you text me? We’re always together.”
“Not always,” I say, feeling some of the flirty vibes come back in between us. “When I’m in bed at night all alone, I wish I could text you.”
“Ah, so you want dirty pictures,” she says, glaring at me. “Can’t you just use the internet like every other guy?”
I open my mouth, looking offended. “Totally not what I meant. I just want to talk to you. We should get you a phone. It can be camera-less if you want.”
She rolls her eyes. “I’ll think about it.”
“Let’s go now,” I say, tugging on her hand.
“I don’t really want to go anywhere now.” She frowns. “I’m worried about my mom and I’m super worried about work. Tomorrow is my first day on the job without Becca.”
I steal a kiss on her forehead before I speak. “Well you’re in luck because I’m off work tomorrow so I’ll just hang out with you.”
“That actually makes me more nervous.”
“Psh,” I say, poking her in the stomach. “I’m awesome.”
“Keep telling yourself that.”
God, I want to kiss her so bad. I swallow and try to play it cool since she’s obviously not in the mood. “Hey, I have an idea. After work tomorrow, some of my friends are hanging out at the lake. We should go.”
“Another one of those lake parties where you drive girls home crying?” She says, lifting a skeptical eyebrow at me.
“They’re not normally like that,” I say. “My friend D’andre wants to meet you so I told him we might stop by.”
“I don’t know,” she says, looking down. She steps forward and grabs my pockets, slipping her thumbs under the waistband of my shorts. “I’ll think about it.”
But I don’t really hear what she says because her thumbs draw a line across my skin and my body is on fire with the need to touch her. Her hands slide up my chest and I grab her, lifting her off her feet as we kiss and for now, all of my worries don’t matter. Because for now, she’s mine.
There’s no dress code for working at the Track. Becca had told me to dress comfortably and I guess that makes sense, for a place whose official business name is The Track. I guess I shouldn’t have expected some lame uniform or anything.
I throw on my cut off shorts, the only pair of shorts I have, and a white tank top with little sequin sparkles along the collar. Becca had given me the tank top the other day, claiming that it was too small on her. I think she’s just trying to secretly give me stuff in ways that won’t make me feel like a charity case. I appreciate it though, even though it
make me feel like a charity case. At least I can wear something cute on my first day of work. And who am I kidding? The only person I want to impress is Jett Adams.
I don’t even know what I truly think about the boy. Just that I’m crazy about him, about this place, this atypical summer vacation. It’s so much better than anything I’ve ever experienced. Better than stargazing at the Grand Canyon with Dawn. Better than that time my fifth grade teacher invited me over for Thanksgiving dinner because my mom was stuck working and I got to eat not only one plate of food, but two, along with a huge slice of pumpkin pie.
Jett makes me feel alive. I am fully aware that this is temporary. Maybe that’s why I like it so much. He is so hot and so nice. He holds open doors and he kisses like some kind of sex god. Sometimes I think he really likes me,
, likes me. The kind of like that middle school girls obsess over. But then I have to bring myself back to reality and remember that Jett is a player. He is sexy and perfect and I am just the flavor of the month.
But who cares? I’m along for the ride and I love every second I’m with him. When I’m in Jett’s arms I play this game with myself. I pretend I’m his girlfriend and that the guest bedroom is my own room and that Becca and Park are my parents. I feel a
guilty about that part, but it’s not like Dawn will ever find out about the fantasies in my head.
Every day I spent with Jett erases a hundred bad memories of my shitty life. And I know it’s all as temporary as my room at Becca’s house, but I hold onto it anyway. I’m embracing each day, every second of happiness. Because one day it’ll be gone and all I’ll have left is the memories.
I pull my hair back into a ponytail and then stare at myself in the vanity mirror in my room. “You’re going to be fine,” I say, willing the nerves to dissipate.
It doesn’t really work.
Becca left last night, taking a plane to Louisiana and leaving me with a list of responsibilities at the track. It’s my first official day of work and I’m getting paid to hang out in the front office and help customers all day. It’s a real job and I don’t even know what I’ll do with the money I earn. I was going to save it and try for a motel on my own, but now that I’m having so much fun with Jett, I really don’t want to leave.
I’ve been making sure to be an excellent houseguest for the Parks since I’ve been staying there. I keep my room spotless and I do the dishes and laundry even though Becca says it’s not necessary. The other day I found her duster and dusted the whole house. Anything I can do to keep myself from being a burden, I do it.
When I can’t prolong going to work anymore, I leave my room and head outside. Park is already at work and had asked me to lock the door behind myself, so I do.
My nerves reach epic proportions by the time I make it to the track and I tell myself to freaking chill. I can handle this job, but it’s the fear of disappointing Becca that makes me so worried.
I walk inside and a familiar smile greets me front behind the front desk. “Good morning, beautiful.”
Jett leans in on his elbows. “Ready for work?”
Happiness spreads from the top of my head to the bottom of my toes. I can’t even remember what being nervous felt like now. “What are you doing here?” I say, turning to the left to flip on all of the lights. They turn off half of the lights when they close at night. That’s one of the first parts of my job, and I remembered to do it, so yay.
“I told you I’d be here to hang out with you,” Jett says, bending down and disappearing below the desk.
“Yeah but it’s six in the morning. You didn’t have to get here this early.” I walk over behind the desk and Jett sits back up, a brown paper bag and two Starbucks coffees in his hand. “I didn’t want to miss out on one second of being with you,” he says, leaning forward for a kiss.
My lips fits so perfectly on his and the kisses we share are starting to feel a lot like home. “Why do you do this?” I say, pulling out the barstool next to him and sitting down. “Why do you have to be so romantic like that?”
“Uh, because I’m crazy about you,” he says, reaching into the bag. He takes out two blueberry muffins and hands one to me.
I hold the muffin under my nose and breathe in the delicious sugary smell. “I’m gonna miss this when it’s over,” I say softly, turning to look at Jett.
He’s looking at me like he’s just as enamored as I am, but that can’t be true. There’s no way he likes me as much as I like him.
“Who says it has to be over?” he says, nudging me with his shoulder. “In case you haven’t noticed, I’m trying really hard to win you over.”
I roll my eyes. “Is that code for
trying to get you to sleep with me
He flinches. “No. Why do you always jump to that conclusion?”
“Because you’re a guy.”
He exhales loudly and shakes his head. “I need to turn on the computer,” I say, taking a bite of my muffin before moving around him to get to the computer. I can tell he’s a little annoyed with me, but I’d rather not dive into the conversation of our pretend relationship, or fling, or whatever this is. I know he’s just trying to be nice. But I don’t need false hope from a gorgeous guy. Hell, the way things are going, I’ll probably sleep with him just for the fun of it. It’s not like a guy like Jett would ever want something meaningful with me anyway.
I flip on the computer and rest my hand on the mouse, waiting for it to start up.
A few seconds of silence pass and then Jett is behind me, his strong chest touching my back. “We need to talk,” he whispers into my hear. I tense.
“About what? I’m busy.”
“No, you’re not. You’re stalling and trying to avoid me.”
His hands cover my arms and slide down to my hands. He turns me around and then steps closer, backing me literally into a corner of the front desk. “Look at me,” he says, like it’s an order.
I look up and he doesn’t say anything. He just takes me in his arms and kisses me hard, deepening the kiss the moment I relent and kiss him back. I hold onto this chest while he pulls me against his strong body, his mouth caressing mine with the energy of someone who can’t get enough. His lips pull away and I lean up on my toes, so drunk on his kiss that I want more. “I’m sick of you pushing me away,” he whispers, his lips just barely on top of mine. “You can’t keep doing it. I’m crazy about you.”
“I don’t believe that,” I whisper back, every fiber of my body needing to be close to him. This is so wrong, so destined to end up in heartache, but fuck it, I don’t care. “I know you like me,” I say, taking in a ragged breath. “I also know this won’t last forever. You’re famous around here. You’ll move on and I’ll always just be the loser without a real home.”
“Don’t say that,” Jett says, closing his eyes.
I shake my head. “It’s true but I don’t really care, okay? So just chill and stop trying to make things better for me. This is a fling and it’s fun and I like it, so just chill out and let’s have fun, okay?”
My voice had risen a little louder than I realized, and Jett’s expression goes from worried to cold. He takes a step back and shakes his head. “I don’t think you listen to anything I say, Keanna.”
“That’s because I don’t believe in any of it.”
A muscle in his jaw twitches. “What will it take to make you trust me?”
I snort out a laugh. “Jett, please stop. We were having fun. Let’s just have fun.”
“Dammit, Keanna,” he says, his jaw tightening as he runs his hands through his hair, messing it all up. He turns around and holds the back of his head in his hands, staring off in the distance. Then he spins back toward me and shoves me against the desk again, caressing my neck, my ear, my lips with his. I groan at the feel of his hips pressing into mine and he grabs my face in his hands, kissing me hard and then so soft I barely feel it. He pulls back, staring into my eyes for a long moment. “I’ll prove it to you,” he says, his resolve apparent in his features. “I’ll prove it and you’ll be sorry.”
“I’ll be sorry?” I say, trying not to laugh while also catching my breath from that hot make out session.
He grins. “Yep. You’ll be sorry because by then you’ll be totally in love with me.” He puts a finger on my belly and drags it down until it hooks under the waistband of my jeans, he pulls my hips against his and whispers into my ear, “And there won’t be anything you can do about it.”
Damn, that’s hot.
I swallow and try to stand up a little straighter, try to get my head back in the game. And that’s when my elbow hits something warm and I knock over the coffee on the desk. It tips over, spilling scalding hot coffee out of the hole in the lid.
“Shit.” I flinch and flail, but the damage is done. This pretty white tank top is covered in dark brown, the liquid seeping up the shirt and ruining the whole thing.
“It’s okay,” Jett says, turning down the hallway. I hear a door open at the end of the hall and I grab a roll of paper towels to wipe up the mess. Most of the coffee ended up on me, so at least the computer and the papers on the desk are okay.
Jett returns with a black T-shirt with some dirt bike logo on it. “Here, wear this. It’s a small so it might fit you.”
I take the shirt and frown at it. “Where’d it come from?”
“My locker. It’s a couple years old. Doesn’t really fit me anymore, but it’s clean so you can wear it.”
There goes my cute tank top look for the day. “Thanks,” I say, and I duck into the women’s restroom to change. There’s a drawer and a couch in here, and I dig around the drawers and find a new pack of hair ties. I use one to tie up the bottom of the shirt in the back and I roll up the sleeves to make it a little more girly. The moment I pull the shirt over my head I am thanking fate for making me spill the coffee. This shirt smells like heaven. I might never give it back.
The morning goes well and working here ends up being pretty fun. So far all of the customers who came in have been coming here a lot so their info was in the computer and all I had to do was check them in. Becca taught me the procedure for signing up a new riding client but I haven’t had to use it yet.
Jett hangs out with me just like he promised, and he knows everyone who comes in so it takes a lot of the pressure off me.
Mrs. Adams—I mean Bayleigh—calls the office phone around noon and asks what kind of pizza we want. She says it like that, using the word’s
what kind of pizza do you guys want
as if she knows Jett planned on being here all day. It makes my head spin but I manage to have a normal conversation with her.
Half an hour later, she shows up wearing short shorts and a tank top with a checkered flag made of rhinestones on the front. I can tell why all the guys around here call her a MILF. She’s pretty hot for a mom.
Bayleigh smiles and sets down the pizza box in her hands. “Half cheese, half pep. There’s still drinks in the fridge, right?”
“Yeah, thanks Mom,” Jett says, opening the pizza box and grabbing a slice.
“Thanks so much for lunch,” I say, standing tall and trying to look like someone she should like. I mean, she always acts like she likes me, but I want her to
“You’re totally welcome, Keanna,” she says. She pulls her massive purse off her shoulder and sets it on the counter, digging around for a black plastic bag. There’s red Verizon logo check mark on it.
“Okay, so this is the newest model of the phone Jett has,” she says, taking out a phone. Then she pulls out a pink phone case and pops it out of the plastic box. “I got pink, is that okay? If you hate it, we can exchange it but they didn’t really have many cute options.”