Read Fall: A Seaside Novel (The Seaside Series) Online

Authors: Rachel Van Dyken

Tags: #seaside, #rock star, #contemporary romance, #new adult

Fall: A Seaside Novel (The Seaside Series) (7 page)

BOOK: Fall: A Seaside Novel (The Seaside Series)
10.5Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

It was impossible not to stare.

Believe me, I’d tried.

But he was beautiful. At around six-foot-three, he was the perfect mix of height and muscle. His skin was bronzed but not too much, and he had the clearest green eyes I’d ever seen in my entire life. His hair was usually on the longer side, constantly pushed behind his ears, but he’d cut it since I’d last seen him. It was still long, but one side of his head was shaved, revealing a tattoo on his neck and a piercing in his ear that I hadn’t noticed before. His wavy dark hair fell over part of his face, shading it so that he looked even sexier.

He was just a guy — just another human being.

Just like me.

I pep talked myself for another few minutes then opened the door and waltzed into the kitchen.

The minute I saw him, I froze.

Scratch that.

He was nothing like me.

A pink apron that said, “Naked Chef,” was tied around his waist and he was humming.

Holy crap! Jamie Jaymeson was in the kitchen, cooking me breakfast and humming. My mouth dropped open as he swayed his hips and then hummed something that sounded suspiciously like an AD2 song.

“Oh.” He turned around as he flipped a pancake into the air. “You’re here.”

“Pancakes?” I pointed at the stove. “How the heck did you find pancakes?”

“I’m an explorer at heart.” He grinned. “I rummaged through cupboards, looking high and low, and when I was just about to give up… brilliance struck.”

“Oh, yeah?”

“Yeah.” He shrugged. “I went next door to my stocked pantry and pulled out what I needed.”

“Smart.”

“Is that a compliment?”

“Probably to someone like you.” I smiled sweetly.

He winked. “Thanks, love.”

I froze.

Love?
That’s what Jamie Hudson called me.

“What?” Jaymeson flipped the pancake into the air again. “Don’t tell me you have a gluten allergy.”

“No.” I shook my head. “It wasn’t that. You know what? Never mind.” I reached for my phone and sent a quick message to Jamie.

Me:
All is well, found some clothes. You around?

As soon as the message sent. Jaymeson dropped the skillet onto the stove making the loudest
bang
of all time.

“Sorry.” He cursed and grabbed a plate. “It slipped.”

“It’s okay.”

His face reddened a bit as he scooped up a pancake and put it on one of the plates then shoved some syrup in my direction. “Be right back.”

He left me alone with the most amazing looking golden pancakes. My mouth started watering as I poured the syrup over the yummy goodness. How did he even know how to cook? Didn’t people do that for him?

My Facebook alert went off.

Jamie Hudson:
Sorry, I was surfing.

Me:
Rough life.

Jamie Hudson:
Catch you on the next wave…

I smiled and set the phone onto the counter.

“Something amusing?” Jaymeson said interrupting my girlish moment.

“Nothing you would understand.” I forked a large bite of pancake and stuffed it into my mouth.

He leaned his muscled arms against the counter and tilted his head. “Try me.”

“It’s nothing,” I said, mouth full.

He grinned.

Holy crap, that grin alone made me feel hot all over.

“Stop smiling,” I snapped.

Jaymeson’s smile only widened. “So, tell me about him.”

“How do you know it’s a him?” I took another bite of pancake and chewed. Holy pancakes, what the crap did he put in those? Legal addictants? They were so good!

“The smile.” He sighed and piled five pancakes onto his own plate. “That smile screams crush.”

“I’m eighteen. I don’t crush.”

“Age reminder, nice.” He winced.

“And how old are you again?” I twirled my fork into the air. “Twenty-three going on forty?”

“Eat your damn pancakes.” He hit my fork with his and dug in like he hadn’t eaten in ten years.

“Uh, hungry?”

“Starved.” He barely took a breath as he devoured three pancakes in less than a few minutes.

I finished my last pancake only to get another one tossed onto my plate.

I glared.

“What?” He shrugged. “You’re too skinny. And I know skinny. I live in the skinny capital of the world. You need to get fatter.”

“Tell me…” I stabbed the pancake imagining it was his face. “Does that line work on every girl?”

“Sweetheart, the girls I screw think laxatives are one of the five food groups.”

“Gross.”

He snorted and stuffed another pancake into his mouth.

“Eat,” he said between bites.

I cut another piece of pancake.

“Is he hotter than me?” Jaymeson asked.

I dropped my fork.

“So that’s a no.” He gave me a smug smile.

“You have syrup on your face.” I pointed to his cheek.

“I know.” He scowled and rubbed his face. “And you lie.”

Shrugging, I answered, “Could have sworn I saw some.”

“So, he’s ugly?” Jaymeson cleared his throat.

“Why are we talking right now?”

His grin seriously had the power to melt the clothes right off my body. “Aw, love, would you rather be doing something else?”

“Stop being creepy,” I said breathlessly.

“Is that why your pulse picked up?” He leaned in. “Because I’m creepy.”

“Fear,” I blurted. “Fear makes a person’s heart race.”

“I don’t doubt you’re afraid.” He bit down hard onto his pancake and chewed, his tongue licking his full lips so slow it was almost hypnotic. “I’m just trying to figure out if you’re afraid of me or yourself.”

“Myself?”

Ignoring me, he checked his watch and cursed. “We gotta go.”

“We? Since when did we become a
we
?”

“Since I rescued your naked ass this morning.”

“I was not naked—”

“You looked like death.”

I blushed and looked down, nothing like having
People
’s Sexiest Man Alive two years running telling you that you looked like death.

“Hey.” Suddenly he was in front of me; his fingertips grazed my chin, forcing me to look into his smoldering eyes. “I didn’t mean you looked like death as in you’re not beautiful. I meant you looked like you had a rough night. Trust me, you could get run over by a dump truck and I’d still think you were the most gorgeous thing I’d ever seen.”

I jerked away from his touch. “We should, uh, go.” I needed a reality check…
fast.
The church was waiting and so was my burnt house.

“Yeah.” He cursed. “We should.”

Chapter Eleven

 

Jaymeson

 

I told Pris to give me ten minutes. I ran back to my house and brushed my teeth, grabbed my keys, wallet, phone, and sunglasses then briefly contemplated running my face through the glass window.

What the hell was wrong with me? I’d come on to her! I’d basically hit on her! After she survived a freaking house fire! Groaning, I banged my head against the door a few times, maybe the pain would make my lust die down.

But she had been beautiful.

And in my experience, there was nothing worse than an insecure girl and the last thing I wanted was to be the reason for her to feel anything less than what she was. She was gorgeous and she needed to know it.

It hadn’t been a line.

I wasn’t trying to peel her clothes from her body while I said it — which should be evidence enough that it was true.

“Shit.” I hit the door one last time with my hand, then opened it and ran out front.

Priscilla was leaning against the railing staring at my car like it was a spaceship. “Is that yours?”

“If I say yes will you condemn me to hell for spending six figures on a car?” I asked, unlocking the doors. Hopefully it would start after it had been sitting for two months. Demetri had let me park it at their condo which was convenient since the beach house I was renting was next door.

She laughed. She actually laughed. Holy shit, she thought I was hilarious. I swear I felt wings sprout from my body — I was flying.

Holy. Hell.

I was a loser.

“I like cars.” She said it so softly, so quietly, I almost didn’t catch it.

“Pardon?”

She rolled her eyes. “Stop making me repeat myself for your own benefit. I like cars, okay?”

“Quiz time.” I opened my own door and let her in. “Engine type. You have five seconds. Go.”

“Five point two liter V-10 engine with five hundred twenty-five horsepower and three hundred ninety-one pound feet of torque. With an engine based on a Lamborghini, I’m surprised you haven’t wrecked it already.”

And I just had an orgasm.

No joke. Document the moment because Jamie Jaymeson just got off without getting naked or having sex.

“Lucky guess,” I croaked, my body demanding I shut the damn car off and pull the innocent little princess into my lap.

“What?” She laughed. “You surprised?”

“Something like that.” I closed my eyes.

“Dude!” She smacked my arm. “The road?”

“Oh right, what am I thinking?” Insert awkward laugh here as I tell parts of my anatomy to behave. It’s been too damn long. That’s the only reason I was even contemplating touching her.

I moved my arm so it was resting on the middle console and nudged her slightly.

Brilliant. I’d lost my bloody mind and officially turned into a fourteen-year-old with his first girlfriend all in the span of five minutes. I just wanted to touch her skin, even if it meant that it was by way of my elbow grazing her forearm, that was how desperate my body was.

I cleared my throat.

It was my body.

Nothing else was engaged.

Not possible.

I took a left at the stop sign. Ready to bring up any subject in order to kill the tense silence, I opened my mouth as her phone went off.

She answered it on the first ring.

“Uh huh… No, no, I got a ride.” Silence. “Oh, that’s sweet.” She sighed.

Are you freaking kidding me? She sighed? It wasn’t a normal sigh either. It was a girl sigh, the type girls get when they tilt their heads to the side and give you screw-me eyes.

She giggled.

I was going to rain a shit-storm on whoever was on the other end of that line.

“Thanks. That’s nice of you. Yeah, we’ll be there in a few minutes. Aw, you didn’t have to do that.”

Murder. I was going to murder him, slowly, painfully, with my hands around his neck and I’d smile. Yup, I’d smile, and I’d go to prison still smiling as he kept his grimy hands off of what was mine.

Mine?

I slammed on the brakes.

“Holy crap!” Pris screamed. “No, no, sorry… Yeah, I’m okay. My driver must have gone temporarily blind.”

So now I was the driver.

I’d been demoted from breakfast maker to driver.

Might as well put a stamp across my forehead that said
bitch.

“Yup, we’re pulling up now.”

She hung up the phone as I turned into her driveway. The only reason I knew where she lived was because I’d gone to her house the day I left for LA to apologize, only to find out that she wasn’t home.

In all her excitement to see whomever the hell she’d been talking to, she hadn’t even given me directions. How’s that for being stalkerish?

“Who was that?” I asked when she pressed end, still smiling.

“Oh.” She looked at me and blushed. I almost kissed her then. I almost reached across the seat, jerked her head toward mine and burned the memory of my lips onto hers. But a knock came at the window.

A tall, muscular guy stood on the outside, opening her car door like he was freaking Prince Charming. “Pris, did things work out last night?”

I got out of the car and glared. I didn’t care if the guy was the next pope or Mother Theresa’s long lost cousin. He was on my shit list. Because he’d made Pris smile. And I’d done nothing but irritate her all morning. Oh yeah, and hit on her. Wow, negative points for Jaymeson. Nice.

“Hey.” The jackass held out his hand. “I’m Smith.”

“Jaymeson,” I said tightly, my eyes narrowing as he squeezed my hand a little harder than necessary. I wasn’t ever the type of guy to be violent, but I swear to all that is holy if I’d had a gun, I would have pulled it, no hesitation. The guy just screamed player.

Players knew players. I could spot them a mile away; it was like looking in a mirror that didn’t have the same reflection, just the same mannerisms. And this guy? Yeah, a million bucks said he wanted a quick screw and nothing more.

“How’s the house?” Priscilla asked, clearing her throat.

“Pretty bad.” The Smith guy winced. “We’re lucky the neighbors called when they did. They saw smoke coming out of the basement windows and got worried when the smoke alarms didn’t go off.”

Priscilla’s face went white as a ghost.

I reached out to her but was intercepted by a cold shoulder from Smith as he gripped her hand and squeezed. “Hey, it’s okay, I hope you don’t mind but I’ve already gone through the house and grabbed your purse and keys. You should probably call your parents so they can get hold of the insurance company.”

Priscilla nodded, but I could tell something was off. Her eyes pooled with tears. “Um, how much damage do you think it did? Money-wise?”

Smith whistled. “If I was ballparking it? I don’t know, sweetheart.”

I clenched my fists.

“The electrical needs to be totally redone, the basement has gone to hell, and everything needs to be cleaned from smoke damage. I’d say at least ten grand, and that’s low-balling it.”

Her lower lip trembled. “Okay.”

I watched the exchange with interest, my eyes scanning Priscilla’s face for more clues into why she was freaking out. It had to be the money. My guess? They didn’t have insurance.

“No worries!” Smith smiled. “Insurance will take care of everything.”

“You’re right.” Her smile was forced. “I’ll try not to worry.”

“Great.” He licked his lips and looked between me and Pris. “So can I give you a ride or—”

“I’ve got it,” I interrupted, stepping up to her side. “I’m renting the place right next door to where she’s staying. Plus, I’m kind of responsible for her.”

BOOK: Fall: A Seaside Novel (The Seaside Series)
10.5Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

The Commissar by Sven Hassel
A Secret Proposal by Bowman, Valerie
Conflagration by Mick Farren
A Nice Fling is Hard to Find by Mlynowski, Sarah
Mary Gillgannon by The Leopard
Blood Lust by Zoe Winters
Lord Apache by Robert J. Steelman