Authors: Delisa Lynn
An Embracing Series, Book One
Copyright © 2015 by Delisa Lynn. All rights reserved.
First Print Edition: April 2015
Limitless Publishing, LLC
Kailua, HI 96734
Formatting: Limitless Publishing
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to locales, events, business establishments, or actual persons—living or dead—is entirely coincidental.
This book is dedicated to my best friend Nikki,
whom is now
angel in heaven.
I miss you so much girl.
Sending you butterfly kisses.
Table of Contents
Four Years Earlier
Looking through the foggy window, I wipe away the single tear that slips down the curve of my nose. I watch as the flowers become smaller and the grave is no longer visible. I turn around and face the road ahead of me.
Clearing my throat, I ask with a sigh, “Uncle Gill, will it get any easier?”
“I can’t answer that for you, kid. It will be a long road, but Aunt Nancy and I will help you every step of the way,” he says, looking at me through the rearview mirror.
I’m going to miss my mom so much. I don’t want to move in with these people. Why does God keep doing this? First, my father and now my mother. My life has crumbled in the last year. Everything and everyone I know is just a memory; I’ll never hear my mother’s laugh or see her smile again. My parents loved me and gave me a wonderful life. I’ve been spoiled, that’s for sure.
After driving for what seems like an eternity, we pull into the driveway of
home. That’s it, it’s
. Not mine. It’s a nice house and it’s fairly large. I take a few deep breaths before exiting the car. I know I’m going to come face-to-face with my cousin once I’m in the house.
Sure enough, as soon as I walk through the front door, I see Addison. She walks toward me with hurt in her eyes and wraps her arms around me.
“Hi, Liam, sorry about your mom,” she says. She and her twin, Ashton, are the same age as I am. She has always been so nice. “This is my best friend, Lila Carls.”
I focus my attention on the angel in front of me. I stare at her at a loss for words, swallowing the knot that’s in my throat.
My words come out in a low pitch. “Nice too meet you, Lila,” I say as I shake her hand. She has long, curly blonde hair, baby blue eyes, and the prettiest smile I’ve ever seen.
She blushes and squeezes my hand. “You as well. Will you be attending Saber with us?” she asks, and I see a hint of redness spread across her cheeks.
“Yes, I’ll be a freshman. What about you?” I ask, realizing how cheesy I sound.
“Awesome, you’ll like it here.” She smiles. “I’m a freshman too. Will you be joining the football team?”
“Nah, I don’t think so,” I say. Her smile fades. “Well, not this year anyway. Maybe next year.”
“Awesome,” she replies meekly.
I stare at her and think to myself
someday I’ll marry that beautiful girl; she just doesn’t know it yet
. I follow Addison and Lila as they show me to my room. It’s the room next to Ashton’s. He comes out of his room and hugs me.
They all leave me in my room. I put my stuff in the closet, lie on the bed, and stare at the ceiling. This is the start of my new life, a life without either of my parents.
I feel like I’ve been partying every weekend. I’m not getting much studying done and I'm always tired. I have about twenty more minutes left before lunch, and then, after lunch, I'll have to take the chem test that will determine my grade for chemistry class for the rest of the year. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. Nervous would be an understatement.
Staring at the pink ink that covers my notebook, I hear the bell.
Hell, that wasn’t twenty minutes.
I quickly grab my books and sling my purse over my shoulder. While walking down the hall, I hear my best friend’s big mouth; she talks so loud and sometimes too damn much, so of course I would notice her voice from the other end of the hall.
“Lila Rae Carls,” she says in a singsong voice as she approaches me. “What are you doing for lunch, girlie?”
“I think I’m just going to grab a quick snack and head to the library. This test is going to be the death of me,” I snort.
“Don’t you study enough, woman? We’re graduating in a couple weeks; you can quit studying!” Liam jokes as he nudges me.
“Whatever,” I say, rolling my eyes at him. “I have to keep these grades up for NYU. It’s only going to get harder.”
“You've been working your tushie off and deserve a break, so we’re going to a party this weekend. You need a new outfit. Mall trip, here we come!” Addison says. “I need a new outfit too.”
“Ha, you picking mine out?” I ask, knowing she'll jump at the opportunity. “And since when
you need a new outfit.”
“Damn straight I am! Every guy in the room will have their eyes locked on you.” She laughs. “Please, I haven’t been shopping in weeks. Daddy gave me a limit this year.”
“Um, yeah…I don’t think Ashton will like that too much,” I say as I wrinkle my nose at the thought of other guys staring at me. I have a boyfriend and I know he wouldn’t be too thrilled with other guys eyeing me.
Liam clears his throat. “I’ll catch you all later. I’m going to grab lunch.” He winks as he brushes past me.
“Anyway, the mall tonight. I’ll meet you after sixth period, cool?” Addie asks as she hugs me.
Eric, my brother, shakes his head. “That’s all you two do is shop.”
“Okay, I’ll see you then,” I say, then I stick my tongue out at Eric.
Addie and I have been best friends for years. Our other best friend, Nikki, moved to Ohio the summer before our freshman year. The three of us grew up together and Addie and I were devastated when she moved. When Nikki's father left her mother, Nikki and her mother needed to be closer to family.
Liam is Ashton and Addison’s cousin. He moved in with the Ellis’s four years ago when his mother died. He lost both parents within a year to cancer. I remember the day he moved in with the Ellis’s. He was so nervous and sad, and he looked like he had never seen a girl before; he just kept staring at me.
I had the biggest crush on him for the longest time and he ignored me, so I don't know why Addison swears he's in love with me.
Addie is all about fashion and parties; I’m not into either. Give me a pair of jeans, a T-shirt, flip-flops, and a good book and that is my Friday night. I’m not looking forward to this party, but as always, my friend gets her way. She wouldn’t have it any other way. We’re going to be so lost when we go off to college. I’m going to miss her like crazy.
“Lila, these pants will look so cute on you, especially with this tank top,” she raves. I have to admit, she’s a fashion goddess.
“I love them!” I say, hanging on to the pants as we walk through her favorite store.
She smiles. “Now, shoe time!”
She knows I hate shoe shopping. When I do wear dress shoes, they're flats, but if Addie's picking them out, I’ll be in a pair of high heels for sure.
“Let’s go to the shoe store before I change my mind. I'm meeting Ashton later, so I need to hurry.”
“When are you going to dump my loser brother? You know you’ll find your prince charming at NYU.” She winks.
“Ads, I happen to care about that loser brother of yours. I really like Ashton,” I say. She isn’t thrilled about our relationship.
She scrunches her nose and says, “Well, I think you deserve better. He may be my brother, but you are my best friend. I know you can do better.”
I giggle. “Aww Ads, you hate your brother.”
“No, I love my brother. He is, well…he’s Ashton, and I want better for my best friend, as I've told you before,” she retorts.
“Come on lady, I need a pretzel,” I say, changing the subject. I know that once I get her on a roll, she'll start talking about how big of a whore her brother is and won’t stop. Let me rephrase that…how big of a whore he
to be. He's all mine now.
On my way from one class to the next, I catch up with Ashton in the hall. He’s wearing a pair of light blue jeans with a black T-shirt that shows off his muscles and tattoos. He's one of the hottest guys in this school. Yeah, I’m a pretty lucky girl.
“Hey, babe, you coming to the party tonight?” I ask as I lean in and give him a kiss.
He smacks me on my ass. “Of course I am. Are you going? I hope I get to spend some alone time with you.” He winks, pulls me in closer and kisses me again.
I giggle and say, “Well, maybe if you’re nice, we can spend some time together.”
He deepens our kiss. Ashton and I have been dating for a few months. We haven’t had sex and that’s all he keeps asking about. I know he's ready, but I'm not. I also know he's been with other girls and girls have always flocked to him. I was lucky when he asked me out. If you look at the two of us, we are two opposites—like Paula Abdul’s song “Opposites Attract.”
“Come on, don’t be shy. You know I love you. I promise you will not be sorry you did it. You’ll actually be thanking me.” He laughs.
“Really, Ashton? We're at school! I could never do that here,” I say as I push his arms away. I roll my eyes. “And love has nothing to do with it.”
“Fine, I’ll see you tonight!” he says, kissing me one last time. I laugh; it's kind of cute how he always begs and has a sad look in his eyes.
I’ve always had a crush on him, and we were really good friends before dating. I’m not sure how things will go when I leave for New York University. He’s going to California University, so he’ll be here while I’m miles away.
While walking to class, I bump into Liam. I smack right into his lean, hard chest. I look up into his eyes…the way he’s staring into mine, it’s like I can feel his soul when he looks at me. I can’t say anything; I feel like the cat has my tongue.
“Well hello, beautiful.” He smiles. “You seem to be in a hurry. You good?”
“Liam, I’m so sorry; I wasn’t paying attention to where I was walking. I’m such a damn klutz,” I say meekly. “Yeah, I’m good.”
Why does he always look at me like that? I can feel my cheeks burning with embarrassment.
“No problem. Are you okay? You look a little upset,” he asks, his hand still holding my elbow.
“Nope, I’m fine. Thanks for the concern,” I say as I start to walk away.
“Anytime, you need anything, just let me know,” he says, flashing me his dimples.
“Thanks, I’ll keep that in mind.”
Damn it. I hope he didn’t hear the conversation with Ashton.
Shit, I knew I was going to run into her. I hope she doesn’t think I’m creepy. I know she can see the way I look at her; sometimes she literally takes my breath away. I’ve tried the last couple of years to keep her away from him. It hasn’t worked. He’s all wrong for her. He was just fucking begging her for sex. Who the hell does that?
We’re at school, but he could care less. That’s all that’s on his damn mind, fucking pussy. She just can’t see it and thinks she is his only one. She had better wake the fuck up. Ashton Ellis has more than one girl; since she isn’t putting out, he's finding it in other places. I need to figure out a way to make Lila see it.
I hope it isn’t too late for me when she realizes he’s nothing more than a fucking dog. I’ve watched and listened to him brag about all these girls for months. He’s so damn blind; he has it all right there with her. He's just too stupid to see it, I guess.
I go back to class, thinking about the beautiful girl that makes my heart skip a beat. I’ve dreamed about her since the day I met her. She consumes my thoughts and every daydream I’ve had. I’ve dated other girls, but none of them are as smart, funny or pretty as she is. She is the one that I want. There has to be a way I can make her mine; until then, I have to sit on the sidelines and make sure he isn’t treating her any worse than he already is.