Against all odds, p.1
Against All Odds
(The Infinite Love Series #4)
By: Kira Adams
Copyright © 2015 Krista Pakseresht. All rights reserved.
The Infinite Love Series
Learning to Live
Against All Odds
Cover designed by Cover Me Designs
Table of Contents
One: From the First Moment I Laid Eyes on You
Two: I Never Knew What I Was Missing Until I Met You
Three: You Know It’s Love When Barfing Is Involved
Four: Finding My Passion Again
Five: I Like Spending Time With You Even If We Don’t Speak
Six: Rash Decisions Are Not Always Bad Decisions
Seven: I Love You Because You Watch Chick Flicks With Me
Eight: Renewing the Passion
Nine: He’s an Ex for a Reason
Ten: Coming to Terms with the End
Eleven: I Never Got a Chance to Say I Love You
Twelve: In the Blink of an Eye
Thirteen: Hope in the Darkness
Fourteen: I’ll do Anything to Have You Back
Fifteen: Learning to Exist Without You
Sixteen: Reasons Why I Love You
Seventeen: Small Strides Back To One Another
Eighteen: I Love You Despite Everything
Nineteen: Finding Our Way Back to One Another
Twenty – Make Me the Happiest Woman in the World
No one could have predicted it. That's life I suppose. Full of unexpected turns and surprises. There were so many times I contemplated walking away; contemplated how much simpler my life would become...but it wasn't that easy; he wasn't easy to walk away from...
No one could have prepared me for that day. Had I known, I still believe the outcome would have remained the same. I know it was difficult on her, it would have been difficult on anyone. But she stayed strong for me. I honestly believe she saved me--she saved my life.
People are terrible drivers in general…but Berkley is overridden with unsafe drivers and road rage bastards. A car nearly clips me on my bicycle and I’m positive it’s simply because they are in a hurry.
“What the hell, man?” I curse loudly under my helmet as I swerve around in an attempt to not biff it.
My guilt is eating away at me little by little. Leaving without saying goodbye is definitely not our MO. But I’m more disappointed that we went to bed angry with one another—something we swore we’d never do. It’s all my fault. She was trying very hard to sort everything out before I simply closed my eyes and began tuning her out.
As much as I don’t want her to go to dinner with Bane…maybe she is right. Maybe closure is just what she needs. I shouldn’t have been so quick to judge her decision. If one of my exes showed up and asked me for the chance to explain and apologize, I can’t deny the fact that, at the very least, I’d be curious enough to hear them out.
I’m thinking about what I can do to make it up to Austyn when a taxi comes out of nowhere. I don’t even have time to react before my bike is under the wheels of the taxi and I am mid-air.
It’s only a few seconds, but I close my eyes, praying for her. That she is going to be okay without me. I am coming to terms with my death.
And then my whole body comes to terms with the concrete, and everything goes black…
One – From the First Moment I Laid Eyes on You
We lock eyes from across the room and I quickly blush, breaking the stare. His green eyes have me entranced for a moment too long there.
I feel an arm snaking around my neck and my nose scrunches up in fake disgust. “Better quit that, or people will think we are together!” I playfully push my cousin Lee away from me.
“What? You don’t find this attractive?” He looks offended, but only slightly.
I can’t help but smile. “You’re disgusting, you know that?” I turn my attention back on the mysterious cutie across the room, hoping he didn’t catch Lee’s dumb move from a few seconds ago.
I can’t be too upset with Lee, he’s the reason we are on this adventure to begin with. He’s always been the big brother I never had; providing for me whenever necessary. He was able to get me out of college for a week, so I am forever grateful.
I’ve never been to the Bahamas before. I’ve never really been out of the state of California, so the trip has me all sorts of anxious. I can’t wait to break out our stash of alcohol we so swiftly snuck into our cabin, but all in good time. Lee and I are on the observation deck as the ship pushes off.
“Don’t look now, but I think someone has the hots for you,” Lee whispers into my ear.
I can’t help looking around wildly, hoping it is the cutie from earlier. “Where?”
“Don’t make it obvious or anything.” Lee chuckles to himself.
I elbow him in the chest when he least expects it, causing him to back up in surrender. “I’m just being a good wing man.”
“Seriously.” Again my eyes scan the room madly. “Which one was it?”
That dumb ass is smiling back, knowing he has the upper hand as always.
“You’re an ass—you know that right?” He always finds a way to piss me off. I begin to walk away when I feel him grab my arm to stop me.
“He’s going to be too intimidated with me standing here with you. I’m going to go back to the room, and why don’t you invite him back—we can drink and get to know him in a laid back atmosphere.”
“Which one?” I ask for what I hope to be the last time.
“Skater boy,” he spits out before turning around and heading to our cabin.
I sneak a glance across the deck one more time. The stranger’s eyes are fixated on me. My heart begins racing as I slowly make my way across the observation deck towards the hippie looking male. To my surprise, he sees me approaching and begins to make his way towards me; we end up meeting in the middle.
He has longer shaggy blond hair and the most piercing green eyes. I find myself searching for my words.
“Hey, how’s it going?” he finally breaks the uncomfortable silence, smiling, his eyes twinkling as he does so.
“Hi.” I smile politely. “I’m Austyn.”
“Avery,” he replies, his eyes intently on mine. “So—the Bahamas…” he fills in the awkward silence. “Ever been before?”
I shake my head as if to say no. “You?”
“This is my third time,” he answers like it is such a normal thing.
I’m only nineteen and therefore still young, but this angers me somehow.
“Listen, you want to grab a drink?” Avery asks, unaware I am not of legal age.
“Actually yeah.” I nod. “I snuck some aboard with me—want to come back to my room?” I am positive he saw Lee earlier. He would have had to have been blind to miss him.
“Even better.” He claps his hands together and we begin walking back in unison.
* * *
It’s a strange feeling being watched, yet one I have become accustomed to. One I lust for. His green eyes can pierce through me like no one else’s. My senses are heightened; he is winning the game as always.
I’m supposed to be
“I know you’re awake,” I hear him whisper through my tightly squeezed eyes.
My lips curl up into an uncontrollable smile, my eyes slowly opening. “I’m supposed to be mad at you.”
Then it comes, that damn charming smile. The one that breaks me every time. “Do you even remember why you were angry with me in the first place?”
Of course I do, but when I open my mouth to speak all I can manage to do is stumble over my words.
“That’s what I thought.” He chuckles.
Even though Avery chooses to grow his hair out and sometimes experiments with his facial hair, he is still a very handsome guy. Rugged and wild.
I feel his warm breath on the back of my neck, the crook of my shoulder, sending chills down my spine. His arms wrap around my waist from behind, pulling me into him. I feel him bury his face into my short hair, inhaling me.
“You know I hate going to bed mad,” he says softly.
I turn so we are now face to face, running my fingers down the side of his cheek lightly. “I’m sorry. I promise I won’t do it again.”
He smirks. “Good.” And then he lowers his lips to mine slowly and eagerly.
We’ve been dating for over six years, and while I am ready for commitment, it appears Avery has more important things on his mind. Not that he doesn’t love me, I don’t doubt that for a second—just that he isn’t quite ready to grow up yet.
Avery was the first person to make me feel important; to make me feel safe. I want the happily ever after with him—the white picket fence, the house, the children, and the pets. I want it all. Although, for as far back as I can remember that was all I wanted in my very core.
Before Avery, I didn’t know my worth. I let guys walk all over me because it’s what I thought I deserved. A normal relationship to me was riddled with unhealthy jealousy and cheating. By the time Avery found me, I was a shell of myself. I knew the girl I used to be and I fought against the current to get back there; Avery helped me succeed. He saw the beauty in my core even when I didn’t anymore.
“Hey, where did you go just now?” Avery asks softly, stroking my hair.
I kiss him then, fast and strong, taking him by surprise. He melts into me as he pulls me in deeper, closer. The passion is something I look forward to.
His hands find the elastic waistband of my sweatpants within seconds, one of them makes its way under and beneath my sheer undies.
Let’s just say he has mad skills.
* * *
It’s the first day Avery and I have had off together in a long time so we decide to make the most of it. We head out early for the Saturday market. We haven’t had the chance to go often, but it’s one of our favorite things to do together. We love getting fresh fruit and vegetables, bartering, and checking out all of the vendors.
We meet our mutual friends, Tyler and Liv there. They’re a married couple we’ve been spending time with since we began dating. We were even in their wedding party. Tyler and Avery met first when Avery used to play out at open mic nights. They hit it off and the rest is history. Liv is one of the only girls I’ve really gotten along with. Most girls are too catty for my tastes. But we complement each other.
Liv slides her arm through mine and pulls me ahead of the guys. “I have to tell you something…” she whispers as we walk through the market.
I lower my ear to her mouth and whisper back, “what?”
She glances back at the guys to make sure they are lost in their own conversation, which they are…something about Apple loading U2’s entire album onto all their devices and how much of a travesty it is…
My eyes widen at her confession. “Oh my God!” I squeal. The guys don’t even notice. “Does Tyler know yet?”
She shakes her head wildly. “No, and I want you to help me think of a cute way to tell him.”
I’m so excited for my friend that I am grinning like an idiot from ear to ear. But I can’t help feeling a tinge of jealousy. Tyler and Liv seem to have the most perfect relationship. They’re married and now starting a family…something I’ve always wanted. Avery loves me…I don’t doubt that for a second, but anytime I bring up marriage or a family, he shuts down. I get that he isn’t ready…but we’ve been together for over five years. Half a decade. If he isn’t ready now, is he ever going to be?
The guys are trailing behind us still engaged in an entertaining conversation when an idea pops into my head. “Get a bag of buns and then put one into the oven. When he gets home tell him there is something sweet in the oven. Get it? A bun in the oven!”
Liv breaks out into a wide grin. “I knew I could count on you!”
A gust of wind blows past us, ruffling her curly blond hair. “Now you guys need to catch up.”
I shoot a quick glance back at Avery. “Yeah…Avery seems to be on his own time schedule. I don’t know if that will happen.”
Liv takes notice of the sad tone in my voice. “You guys are perfect together, Austyn. And he loves you. Honestly as long as you’re happy, there’s no reason to rush anything. You have your entire life ahead of you.”
I smile back at her. “I just wish he wanted to marry me…”
She wraps her arm around my shoulder, giving it a reassuring squeeze. “Oh, he does. He just doesn’t know it yet.”
I chuckle as I see the guys come up on our sides.
“What are you guys talking about?” Tyler asks, throwing his arm around Liv’s waist and pulling her into him.
“Oh, nothing,” she replies, and we both share a secret smile.
God, I hope she’s right about Avery…
Two – I Never Knew What I Was Missing Until I Met You
My heart is beating irregularly; no one has ever affected me in such a strong way before. The way her copper-colored eyes stare into my very soul is debilitating. I am fumbling over my words, a nervous wreck. It’s a good thing we are not sober, otherwise I might have already lost my chances. This girl is definitely out of my league. Oddly, it didn’t stop me earlier from attempting to lock eyes with her…
I’ve never believed in love at first sight, but she makes me a believer. I know I sound crazy, but the way my stomach is doing summersaults tells me she is the real deal. Just a few moments in her presence make my existence worthwhile.
Wow. Good thing she can’t read my mind. She would be running for the hills by now.
We’ve been talking for close to two hours without reprieve. Her cousin went to bed about an hour ago, and since, we have coupled our earlier joint with alcohol. I’m surprised Lee, her cousin, felt comfortable enough to leave us alone. If my cousin was half as stunning as Austyn, I’d be guarding her with my life.
She is so different than I expected. Normally girls as beautiful as her are full of themselves. In the short time we have spent together, it is obvious she is genuine, caring, and not even an ounce self-centered. I bet she even wakes up looking like perfection. God, she’s put a spell on me…
“What are you thinking about?” she asks, smiling shyly back at me. The idea that I make her nervous as well is exhilarating. She can undoubtedly get any guy she wants…the fact that she is entertaining me, is…surprising. The longer I am around her, I feel like superman; like I can do anything and come out victorious.