Chapter 1

 

EPOV

 

Parrot Bay, a small alcove on the coast of Georgia, was a popular place to go for spring break and the previous fall it had been hit hard by Hurricane Penny. It was a gamble coming here but for years I’d been planning on it and I wasn’t going to let a little hurricane damage change my plans. So I’m here now with a few of my buddies. Bobby, Trey and I have been friends since we were kids. We grew up on the same street in a Shreveport subdivision. Trey and I both scored football scholarships and I’m playing at Mississippi while he’s at LSU. Bobby’s going to Tennessee State and somehow the planets aligned so we have spring break at the same time. It’s like the Haley’s Comet of spring breaks as far as timing goes.

 

“Goddamn it, Bobby, pull your pants up before your pasty ass scares all the chicks away!” Trey yells. We’re staying at a little house right on the beach.

 

“I’m pissing, I don’t want to make a mess,” Bobby yells back.

 

“We have a bathroom for that you idiot,” Trey says, as if that’s going to entice Bobby into not marking his territory like the mutt he is.

 

“Burnham, no one wants to see your ginger balls!” I call out.

 

“Maybe you shouldn’t have used the bathroom first, Northman! That smell is bad enough to peel paint off the walls!”

 

“When you gotta deuce, you gotta deuce,” I shrug and jog up the stairs to my bedroom.

 

The house has three bedrooms and since Trey is the one with a girlfriend we let him take the master bedroom for the en suite. I called the bedroom with the balcony and Bobby’s on the main floor. The rooms are decent but the best thing is the view. It’s amazing.

 

Once we’re settled in, we decide to drive into town to shop for provisions. You know, beer, chips, beer, frozen pizza, beer… I get behind the wheel of my old Jeep Wrangler with its soft top taken off. Bobby, the idiot he is, is blowing kisses and flirting with the girls we pass on our way into town.

 

“I told you we should have had him neutered,” Trey says.

 

“You’re an ass, Trey,” Bobby tells him and then looks right back out the window.

 

“Are you two going to fight the whole time we’re here?” I ask. I just want to be prepared.

 

“Nah, I’ll be busy as soon as I find a few ladies,” Bobby says, completely serious…

 

“And get them completely shitfaced,” Trey finishes for him.

 

“I’m not that kind of guy. Plus, the ladies love gingers.”

 

“Oh really?” Trey chuckles.

 

“Yep, I get plenty of girls.” We’ve never actually seen Bobby with a girl.

 

“Can everyone else see them too or…” I trail off and make a right turn.

 

“Just because I don’t want you two dicks to scare them off, doesn’t mean I don’t have all the women I can handle.”

 

“Oh you mean like the time you told Holly my case of herpes rarely flared up?” I remind him and Trey laughs.

 

“I saved your ass that day,” he says, “Holly would’ve never let you off her short leash. She would’ve tried to trap you. Her ex told me she played the pregnancy card to keep him, but she was never even pregnant.”

 

“And she told me her ex put his dick in anything with a pulse, including his male anthropology professor,” I reply.

 

“To each his own,” Bobby shrugs.

 

“Sounds like your kind of guy,” Trey smirks.

 

“Shut up, Trey. I do not like dudes.” I’m willing to bet he comes out of the closet within the next year.

 

I love Bobby and I don’t care if he’s gay. He’s a good guy and a good friend when he’s not being an annoying little bitch. Just this afternoon he screamed like a girl over a spider in the kitchen.

 

I slow down when we get to a section of town that’s still rebuilding thanks to Penny. She was a bad ass bitch. There’s a crew of people framing new houses and I slow down even more when a blonde with nice tits and a great ass turns toward the Jeep. She’s wearing a tool belt and she’s got a hammer in her hand so I assume she’s part of the crew.

 

“Eric!” Trey’s voice cuts into my consciousness and I slam on the brakes in just enough time to stop us from rear ending a school bus.

 

“Fuck,” I grumble as the adrenaline starts pumping.

 

I look to the left again and the blonde is staring at me with an amused smile on her face. An equally hot redhead approaches her and I lose Blondie’s attention.

 

“Fuckface, you can go now,” Trey says a minute later.

 

My eyes are glued to Blondie’s ass.

 

“Yeah, I’m going,” I whisper and reluctantly let my foot off the brake.

 

We reach the store without further incident and each grab a cart so we can pick out our own provisions. Bobby goes straight to the liquor section while Trey and I head for the meat and deli counter. Even though it’s the off-season I try to eat healthy and work out at least three times a week.

 

Trey’s girlfriend Pam calls, so he stays behind while I move on to the produce. I’m looking at apples when someone bumps into me. I turn my head to see the blonde from the construction site with a look of embarrassment on her face.

 

“Sorry, I wasn’t paying attention,” she says with a sweet smile.

 

“It’s okay,” I reply. “I don’t break easily.”

 

I move over to make room for her.

 

“That’s good,” she nods and goes to start picking out oranges.

 

I grab a couple of apples and then move around her, making sure I ‘accidentally’ bump her, to grab bananas.

 

“Oops. Clumsy,” I explain. I’m anything but clumsy.

 

“Somehow I don’t believe that,” she smiles.

 

“It’s true. Pretty girls make my coordination go right out the window,” I tell her. I don’t give a single fuck if it’s cheesy.

 

“You’re sweet, but I’m not that kind of girl, Mister,” she says, the smile is still on her face, but it’s obvious she means business.

 

“No, you’re definitely a pretty girl,” I smile back at her. She’s got a great smile and she’s even prettier up close.

 

“Let me guess, you’re here for spring break. You plan on ‘hooking up’ with a bunch of girls while you and your buddies spend every waking hour as drunk as possible?” she says, “I’m not the girl that girl.”

 

“You got it two-thirds right. I’m here for spring break and I am here with friends, but the hook ups aren’t mandatory. Mostly I want to hang out on the beach and relax,” I tell her. It’s true. If I find a girl I want to hook up with, so be it, but I’m not here to get laid. If I wanted that I would have gone to Mexico instead.

 

“Good to know,” she nods and tries to step around me.

 

I step in her path; hold out my hand and say, “My name is Eric.”

 

“You’re persistent, Eric,” she smiles. My name sounds really nice on her lips.

 

“Do you have a name or should I just call you Pretty Girl?”

 

“How’s this, Eric, if I see you again while we’re both in town I promise to tell you my name.”

 

“If we see each other again I’m asking you out,” I tell her. “But it’s a deal, Pretty Girl. I’ll be seeing you,” I promise. I’ll find her. I already know where to look.

 

“Looking forward to it, Eric,” she winks and when she walks around me, I move out of the way to let her go.

 

I have no shame and watch her ass as she walks away from me. I’ll be seeing her again… soon.

 

SPOV

 

Eric is a handsome guy, but I wasn’t kidding when I said I’m not that kind of girl. I called him out on what I think he’s looking for, and although he denied it, I’m not sure I believe him.

 

I’m here on a trip to help rebuild the area after Hurricane Penny. I’ve been studying at Berkeley for the last year in pre-law. A few other students in some of my classes set up this trip with Habitat for Humanity so we could do something useful instead of being the typical spring breakers, like Eric.

 

Don’t get me wrong, Eric was fun to look at, but he’s barking up the wrong tree. I’ve saved myself this long, and he doesn’t seem like he’d be content with just a date or two. Doesn’t matter anyway. I doubt I’ll ever see him again.

 

❤❤❤❤

 

I’m getting ready to go to a bonfire on the beach. Jessica found out about it last minute and told me we have to go. We may be here to help, but we’re still young and this is our spring break. I end up in a thin black tank top, a pair of shorts and some sandals. I leave my hair down with a few soft curls and I go out into the living area of the home we’re staying in.

 

“You ready?” I ask Jess when I find her in the kitchen.

 

“Almost,” she grins and opens a bottle of whipped cream flavored vodka. “We’re taking shot before we go.”

 

“If I must,” I sigh dramatically. I don’t drink often, but when I do Jessica is the best person to drink with. She keeps me in line if I get too drunk.

 

She pours each of us a generous shot in juice glasses and hands one to me. Jess holds hers up and says, “To finding hunky Viking-looking hotties you can climb like a tree.”

 

I arch an eyebrow and bump her glass with mine before taking my shot. When I set the glass down I ask, “Why are those the hotties we’re looking for?” She basically just described Eric.

 

“Because you haven’t looked at any man except for Channing Tatum since that scumbag, weasel dick ran off with his floozy and it’s time you have some fun that isn’t battery operated,” Jessica says.

 

Jessica doesn’t know I’m a virgin, and I thank my lucky stars I didn’t give it up to Bill ‘Cheating Asshole’ Compton.

 

Instead of telling her my little secret I say, “But Channing Tatum is a dreamboat…” I trail off before I cackle. “We’ll see what happens. I doubt Southern Georgia has many climbable Vikings.”

 

“You only need one,” she winks and shoots her shot.

 

She knows.

 

“Who invited us to this bonfire again?”

 

“Uhhh… Amelia,” she says.

 

I arch an eyebrow and say, “Amelia, huh?” She knows I don’t believe her, but I’ll go along with it. I don’t know how Eric found me through her, but I’ll bite. Anyone who is that persistent deserves a chance.

 

“Yep, Amelia. Now let’s go before something shiny gets your attention,” she says and grabs the keys off the counter.

 

I follow Jess to the pickup we’re renting for the trip and I keep the window down as we drive out to the beach. I love the cool, salty air and the gulf breeze. It’s relaxing.

 

We pull up to the beach fifteen minutes later and I smile when I see the fire burning in the distance. Jess follows the path down to the beach so we can park near the fire. She backs in and we hop out after I kick my shoes off. We go around back and she lets down the tailgate while I hop up and pull the cooler down to the end of the truck bed. We have two more bottles of vodka, and a case of beer. I can see the keg on the other side of the bonfire, and there’s already a line of folks waiting their turn.

 

“Where is Amelia?” I ask Jessica as I take my place on the tailgate with a fresh beer. Amelia makes herself known, so I imagine I would’ve heard her by now.

 

“She’s meeting up with some guy staying in one of these beach houses. Bobby something or other,” Jessica shrugs. “She’s trying to talk me into having a fling while I’m here, but I can’t do that to Hoyt.”

 

“That’s ’cause you’re a sweet, loyal girl. Amelia would be considered a hooker if she got paid for what she does.” I’m not Amelia’s biggest fan. She’s nice enough, but our lifestyles are very, very different.

 

“When she finds the right checkbook she’ll settle down.”

 

Jessica reaches into the truck and turns the radio on. She grins when Miranda Lambert filters through the speakers and she climbs up on the truck bed to get a beer and dance.

 

“Come on, Sook, dance with me,” she says.

 

“I need another shot before I start dancing,” I tell her.

 

“So take one and get your ass up here.”

 

I grin and I get up to grab one of the bottles of vodka. I’m bent over pouring the shot when I hear a masculine throat clear.

 

“Fancy meeting you here, Pretty Girl,” Eric says.

 

I stand up and take my shot before I turn to look at him with the same smile I used earlier today. I can flirt with him; I don’t have to sleep with him. Plus, I promised I’d give him a shot if he found me again. Although I don’t suspect this is finding since Jessica planted me here.

 

“Hello, Eric,” I say and grab a beer to offer to him.

 

“Thanks,” he takes the beer. He looks at Jessica and adds, “Thank you for your assistance.”

 

I glare at Jessica for a moment before I move down to take a seat on the tailgate again. I pat the spot next to me, offering Eric a seat.

 

“I’m gonna go for a walk,” Jess says as she jumps down. “You kids play nice.”

 

Eric takes the seat next to me and says, “Don’t be mad at your friend. I bribed her.”

 

“What did you bribe her with?”

 

“Ice cream sandwiches,” he chuckles.

 

“She’s always been a whore for ice cream,” I say. I reach out my hand and say, “Sookie. It’s nice to formally meet you, Eric.”

 

He shakes my hand and says, “Likewise, Sookie.” He’s got an adorable southern accent.

 

“I can’t believe I made enough of an impression for you to hunt me down,” I say in disbelief. I’m plain Jane, blond, blue eyes. I’m overweight compared to the kind of girls I’m sure Eric normally gets. I’m tempted to ask him if he lost a bet, but he seems genuinely interested.

 

“I almost crashed Bubba while I was staring at you. I figured I at least needed to know your name.” He twists the cap off his beer and takes a swig.

 

“That was you,” I giggle. I saw the Jeep almost hit a school bus, but I didn’t get a good look at the driver before Jess took my attention away. I certainly didn’t think it was because he was looking at me of all people.

 

“I told you my coordination goes out the window,” he smirks.

 

“You’re a charmer,” I smile and when I rest my hand on the edge of the tailgate my pinky brushes his thigh.

 

“I’m honest,” he replies and takes another drink.

 

“So… you said you were going to ask me out…” I trail off. The vodka is starting to hit me and Eric is getting prettier.

 

“I am,” he nods. “Repeatedly, if necessary.”

 

“Are you going to ask so I have a chance to say yes?”

 

“Yes, ma’am,” he gives me a smile that makes my ovaries tingle. The last man to have this effect on me was dancing to Pony by Genuine. And Eric is way better looking than Channing Tatum.

 

“I should warn you I’m a little tipsy,” I say. “I start to lose my brain to mouth filter when I drink.”

 

“Hmmm… so then I guess kissing you is out of the question,” he says.

 

“Why is that? You have kissable lips.”

 

“But you’re not that kind of girl,” he reminds me.

 

“Ah…” Well, shoot. I did say that. I don’t generally kiss guys I just met… “It’s spring break and you only live once right?”

 

“If you do it right, once is enough.” Eric leans a little closer to me.

 

“Oh yeah?” I ask as I match his movement so our lips are only a few inches apart.

 

“Absolutely,” he says glancing at my lips.

 

His hand comes up to touch my throat and his lips brush mine softly.

 

“Would you like to show me what I’m missing?” I ask softly against his lips.

 

He doesn’t hesitate to press his lips to mine and his hand moves into my hair to play with it while he kisses me. My hand comes up to rest on his chest as I turn into the kiss. I’m the one that chooses to deepen the kiss when I brush my tongue along the seam of his lips. I moan when his soft, warm tongue meets mine in a slow dance.

 

I pull back a few minutes later to take a deep breath. My eyes slowly open and they meet his.

 

“That is definitely something I’m glad I didn’t miss,” I whisper.

 

“Would you like to experience it again after dinner tomorrow?” he asks.

 

I nod before my lips can move to answer. “I love eating dinner,” I tell him. “And I would very much like to eat it with you.”

 

“Then we’ll eat dinner,” he says.

 

I smile. I want to kiss him some more, but I’m nervous I won’t want to stop. He’s a very good kisser and my poor ovaries are mad at me for holding out on them.

 

“Can I kiss you again?” Well, I guess the girls have spoken.

 

“As much as you want,” he says but then his mouth moves to my neck.

 

My head drops to the side to give him better access. My hands move from his chest up to his neck to hold him to me and I make small moaning sounds as his tongue brushes over my skin. Maybe for Eric I am that type of girl.

 

His mouth slowly works its way back up, past my ear and along my jaw until he reaches my lips and this kiss is even better than the others.

 

“Mmm,” I moan into the kiss and I allow my hand to drop to hold his side. We’re sitting uncomfortably on the tailgate and I don’t know what comes over me, but I shift to straddle his lap. I won’t go any further than making out with him here on the tailgate, but I need to be comfy while I do it. What surprises me is the rod growing down his thigh.

 

Eric sets his beer aside and his other hand finds its way into my hair too. He breaks the kiss and tilts my head to get access to the other side of my neck. His kisses are a little wet and he finds a spot below my ear that makes me shudder.

 

“Wow,” I whimper. My body shakes a little and my hips begin to rock of their own accord. I’ve a virgin, but I’m not completely innocent. That doesn’t mean I’m ready for this. I pull back and look down at his bruised, red lips. “We should stop,” I whisper, even though I want to lie down in the back of the truck and spread my legs for this man.

 

“Yes we should. You’re not that girl and if we don’t, you will be,” he says and presses a soft kiss to my lips.

 

“I’m sorry. I don’t want to lead you on,” I admit, but I don’t leave his lap just yet. I like my spot.

 

His hands slide down my back and start rubbing gently.

 

“You’re not. You’re allowed to stop anytime you want,” he tells me.

 

That’s a lot better than Bill when I stopped him. That’s how I found out he was cheating. He was so frustrated he blurted it out.

 

“Thank you, Eric.” I don’t know if he realizes how far his politeness is going for him.

 

“You don’t need to thank me.” His fingers are flirting with the waist of my shorts, just barely dipping into them to tickle my lower back.

 

I smile and lean in to peck his lips. My hands move up to his chest and I appreciate the muscles I feel under his shirt. I look into his eyes and smile again. His face looks gorgeous in the fire light.

 

“Wanna go for a walk?” Eric offers.

 

“That would be nice.”

 

Eric shocks the hell out of me when he lifts me up and sets me on my feet on the ground before he slides down from the tailgate and holds out his hand to me.

 

I take his offered hand and quietly say, “Lead the way.”

 

Next

Faded Away

3 thoughts on “Chapter 1

  1. Interesting beginning to the story. Like what I have read of he two main characters. They appear to be both level headed & not out to do the extreme spring break.

    Like

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