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The foundation series bo.., p.18
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       The Foundation Series Box Set, p.18

           Kira Adams
 

  “Boone!” Jace shouted, then re-enacted the same scene from earlier.

  “Well, that was rude,” Elijah stepped out beside me. “You must be Peyton.”

  I nodded, clicking my eyes back to Jace and Boone who were still too wrapped up in one another, oblivious to the world around them.

  “It’s like you guys haven’t seen each other in years,” I said softly, still admiring the two.

  “It feels that way,” Elijah responded, glancing at me then back at his two friends. “We used to hang out every day before…” he trailed off and I didn’t even need to guess where he was going with it.

  I looked down, instant guilt overtaking me; flushing my cheeks. Elijah didn’t miss a beat. “You have nothing to be ashamed of—to feel sorry for.”

  I looked over at him, his green eyes burning into me. “He told you?” I wasn’t sure whether to be angry or intrigued.

  “Jace and I tell each other everything. He’s my brother.”

  I was still turned towards Elijah when Jace appeared beside me, his arm slipping comfortably behind my back. It was as if we were two puzzle pieces that fit perfectly together. His touch brought goose bumps all over my skin. “I’m an ass,” he whispered so only I could hear.

  “Yes you are.” I nudged him playfully.

  “Eli, Boone, this is my girlfriend, Peyton.” I smiled to myself again when he used the word I had grown to love.

  Boone had joined us on the porch, shaking my hand. “I’ve heard a lot about you Peyton.”

  “Good or bad?” I looked up into his brown eyes for the answer.

  “Only time will tell,” he responded. He was going to be harder to win over than Elijah. Good thing I was up for the challenge. “Peyton, this is my girlfriend, Lana.” I was surprised I had missed her before, all 5’3 of her. She was cute and petite with short brown hair and kind eyes.

  “Nice to meet you.” I threw out my hand politely.

  “Thank God there’s another female on this trip! We need something to combat all this testosterone.” She joked and I instantly liked her. Yep, we could be friends.

  “There’s a couple more people I want to introduce you to,” Jace whispered into my ear. “Excuse us?” He addressed his friends questioning stares.

  “Sure, hit us up later.” I heard Elijah call out. “Pleasure to meet you Peyton.”

  “You too,” I replied as we proceeded to the third yurt in the row.

  “Who am I going to meet now?” I asked eagerly before we reached the door.

  “Someone, or rather two people who will mean just as much to you as they do me—if not more.” That had my mind racing; my heart rapidly beating against my chest.

  I didn’t need introductions this time around; I recognized the pair quickly.

  “Kayleigh, what are you doing here?” I asked, still walking up to hug her.

  She glanced at Bentley who was planted beside her, grinning wildly. “Come on, did you expect Mom and Dad to let you spend a couple of nights all alone with Jace?”

  “I’m a senior!” I gasped, but wasn’t mad in the slightest. Kayleigh and I had become close over the course of the year. She had been there for me more than anyone else in the world—she was my guardian angel.

  “We’ll see you a bit later,” Bentley chuckled as he closed the door in my face.

  I looked up at Jace puzzled. “Kayleigh means a lot to you. Probably more than anyone else you know. You really look up to her. I see it in your eyes. She’s your family—she’s my family now.”

  I stared up into his cobalt eyes. “You’re everything I could have ever wished for. Everything I ever dreamed of.”

  I saw sadness flash across Jace’s eyes then, utterly confusing me. “What is it?”

  Jace had walked down the porch to the gravel road. I followed him, slowly. “How many years did you fantasize about my brother before you realized there was literally a Jekyll and Hyde inside of him?”

  I knew no matter what the answer, he was bound to be hurt.

  Truth was I went to school with Jax my entire life, loving him from afar—he didn’t even acknowledge my existence until junior year—when it all changed for me.

  “It doesn’t matter.” I paused, looking up into his eyes. “I was drawn to you for different reasons.”

  “And what were those?” His voice was dripping with intrigue.

  “Your gentleness, your attentiveness, and this mysterious magnetic pull I feel to you, constantly—as if we are connected mind, body, and soul…yeah, that about sums it up.” I giggled, pulling him in close.

  His eyes were suddenly dark and serious. “Peyton, there’s something I need to tell you…”

  My heart dipped into my stomach. The famous words that had shattered so many dreams, ripped away so many hopes had just come out of Jace’s mouth—you could say I was a bit hysterical on the inside.

  “What is it?” My voice sounded small, unattached.

  The longer Jace made me wait in agony, the longer my mind was racing with what if’s and negative outcomes.

  “We didn’t meet in the hall like you thought…” he trailed off, walking a few feet away from me. His back was to me and his head angled down.

  “What are you trying to say Jace?” I couldn’t get a handle on my voice as it cracked from nervousness.

  “The day you took the pills…”

  What in the hell…?

  “Jace, you better spit it out soon before I die from a heart attack!” I ordered, my mouth dry as ever.

  “It was the first day I moved to town. I was walking, exploring my new town when I ran into Kayleigh—she thought I was my brother and invited me over. I was bored, so I played along. Plus, Kayleigh’s not bad on the eyes…I wasn’t feeling the greatest and was just looking for a release.

  “Please don’t say what I think you are going to say…” My eyes were filling up with tears. My sister won in everything in life…I was always second fiddle. The knowledge that Jace had been interested in her before even meeting me was tearing me up.

  “Peyton, I saw you that day. Yes I was with her without the greatest intentions—but you were all I saw.”

  “Well, it’d be a little hard to miss someone overdosing.” My voice was dripping with sarcasm.

  “I pleaded with you to come back—I promised you things would be different if you just stayed with us long enough to call 911 and have an ambulance dispatched. The moment you squeezed my hand, I knew…it was my mission.”

  “I’m not a mission.” It seemed silly, but it was all I could think of as a comeback.

  “No, you’re just the girl I’m head over heels, madly in love with. I was stupid before. I let my peers influence my decisions and I never went after what I wanted—what my heart wanted.” He kissed me quickly then. “You changed my life Peyton Lane…and for the better. I have a permanent smile on my face, and you know damn well it’s because of you.”

  I couldn’t help but blush. Don’t things like this only happen in the cheesiest of love stories?

  The problem was that I still felt conflicted about him liking my sister—falling for me out of pity.

  “I’m willing to do whatever it takes to prove to you that there is no one else out there for me. You want me to shout it amongst the rooftops? Fine…” He ripped away from me then and bellowed loudly for all the woods to hear, “I love Peyton Lane!”

  “Stop it!” I hissed, throwing my hand up to his lips to silence him.

  “What? It’s true…and I want the whole world to know!” He was grinning madly.

  “Are you drunk?” I giggled, knowing full well he wasn’t.

  “The only thing I’m drunk on is you.” I had to hand it to him—he was good.

  Twenty: Hold Up, Where are Your Pants?

  My Heart Speaks (Only What’s Real)

  I don’t know when things started to change

  Our casual ways became kisses and flings

  I don’t know what to do anymore

  My lust has filled
my hearts core

  My mind tells me I can’t feel this way

  Spinnin’, heart racin’, so much change

  I’m telling you I can’t change how I feel

  My hearts speakin’ only what’s real

  “Did I do well?” Jace asked me as we entered our yurt.

  “You did wonderful…” I trailed off deep in thought.

  “Something is missing though, isn’t it?” Jace asked, taking my hands in his and squeezing them gently. “I thought you might say that…”

  My eyebrows shot up in surprise. “You didn’t…”

  He nodded his head animatedly, grinning widely. “I did.”

  It was like Jace and I had a language of our own, as if we were on the same wavelength.

  “They’ll be here in the morning.” It was as if he had said the magic words. I threw my arms around his neck and pulled him into me. Jace knew me so well…I wondered when he had the time.

  Knowing that Brooklyn and Madison would be joining us made me all sorts of excited.

  “You’re too good to be true,” I whispered before closing the distance between our mouths.

  He ran his fingers through my hair, pulling it away from my face. His other arm was around my waist, pulling me into him.

  My heart began racing almost instantly. I was a virgin. I had close to no experiences. My first kiss had been less than a year before. Staying in a room alone with Jace scared the shit outta me.

  Jace could sense my shift in nervousness and he pulled away from the kiss breathlessly. “What is it?”

  “Jace, you know I love you and love spending time with you—but I’m not ready for this and I don’t think I can trust myself with you.”

  Jace’s face fell and I worried I had hurt his feelings. “You don’t trust me?”

  “No, I do, it’s just…” I stammered, searching for the right words.

  “It’s okay.” He backed off. “Let’s go hang out for a bit and if you still feel the same way later, I’ll see if Bentley would mind swapping.” I didn’t deserve him.

  We played Catch Phrase among a camp fire and I saw happiness in Jace’s eyes I had only hoped for a chance to see.

  We spiced things up with alcohol—losers having to drink—and unfortunately for me, my partners Elijah, Jace, and Bentley weren’t the greatest guessers. We were losing and quite buzzed.

  Kayleigh, Boone, and Lana dominated game after game until we finally called it quits hours later and shots deep.

  The alcohol was flowing through my body, making it feel hot and numb all at the same time. I had a tingling sensation running its course down my arms.

  I was giggling as an aftermath of our competitive game as well as the alcohol in my system. I glanced over at Jace who appeared to be holding his liquor quite well.

  “You’re a cute drunk,” he whispered in my ear.

  “I’m not drunk,” I retorted.

  “Right.” Jace rolled his eyes before downing his own glass.

  Vodka had been the alcohol of the night and I knew the crazy it brought out of me. Thankfully, I had Kayleigh and Bentley looking out for me…although they had seemed to have disappeared mysteriously, I assumed for some alone time. They didn’t get much of it nowadays because of having to babysit and chaperone me everywhere.

  Elijah had also excused himself earlier due to not feeling well. All that was left was Jace, Boone, Lana, and me.

  Boone and Jace were in a deep conversation so I focused my attention on the questions Lana was asking me.

  “How long have you guys been together?” She was searching for the answer in my eyes.

  “Just a few weeks,” I replied, gulping lightly.

  “I’m surprised,” Lana said then.

  “About?”

  “Jace is very selective with who he introduces us to. You must be something special.”

  I blushed slightly, wondering if Olivia had made the cut.

  “Who was the last girl he introduced you to?” I found myself asking.

  “Well, besides Olivia who we already knew…no one.”

  I stared back into her brown eyes with shock. “No one?”

  She shook her head no. “Like I said, something special.”

  I glanced back at Jace and Boone, taking in the way the moonlight danced off his face, and how his blue eyes sparkled in the light.

  “How did you two meet?” Lana asked, still taking in my appearance.

  “He saved my life. Will you excuse me?” I stood up suddenly, wanting nothing more than to be near him.

  He looked startled when I approached. “I’m tired, I’m going to bed. You want to come?”

  His stare looked conflicted. “Actually, I’m going to stay out here a bit longer, is that okay?”

  “Of course,” I replied, hoping he wouldn’t think I was mad at him. I was drunk, horny, and tired; a lethal combination.

  “I’ll see you in a bit,” he stated and then kissed me on my forehead.

  “Night,” Boone called after me as I began the short walk to our yurt.

  I was thankful for the alone time. I hadn’t realized how wasted I was. It became apparent as I stumbled back to the yurt.

  When I made it inside, my three jackets began to suffocate me, and I nearly ripped them off. I had no patience for changing into my sleepwear, so I simply stepped out of my skinny jeans and was left in my hoodie and underwear.

  I giggled at the sight of all my clothes strewn about and then climbed into bed. It felt like a blink of an eye when the body heat next to me became apparent, as well as the ruffling of covers.

  How long have I been passed out for? My body was frozen, my heart in my throat. I felt his warm breath on the back of my neck, making all my hairs stand on end.

  “Peyton, are you awake?” I heard him whisper through the darkness.

  My breathing became still. I was attempting to fake being asleep. If I didn’t, I was going to pounce on him and I wasn’t sure I would be able to stop myself.

  When I didn’t answer, I felt an arm snake around my body and pull me in tighter to him.

  “Hold up, where are your pants?” Jace’s hands had slid over the band of my lace panties a couple of times.

  I couldn’t help but giggle, I guess alcohol was still in my system.

  Upon hearing my laugh, he instantly began grabbing at my sides, tickling me.

  “You were faking it?” Jace asked, turning me towards him, a shocked expression on his face.

  “I just didn’t want to be tempted. When I feel so tingly inside and you look so yummy…” Yep, definitely still drunk…

  Jace chuckled softly. “You’re adorable.” He ran his fingers lightly through my hair. “You know you didn’t have to drink so much.”

  “I know,” I sighed softly. “I get nervous.”

  “Tell me something I don’t know.” Jace kissed my forehead then. “I would never do anything to hurt you—you know that right?”

  I nodded.

  “And I would never pressure you to do anything you weren’t ready for…” he paused until I nodded again. “It took me so long to find you, fight for you, and win you over…if I lose you it would all be for not—understand?”

  I nodded again, remaining silent.

  “Now, let’s get some sleep. We have a long, eventful day tomorrow.” He began to pull away a bit when I squeezed his fingers to stop him.

  I turned around so we were finally face to face. I traced my fingers over his nose, his cheeks, taking time to savor every inch of him. When my finger ran over his lips—he pressed them to it and then to the palm of my hand.

  He lowered his lips to mine again and again, only this time we were rolling around on the bed.

  His hands were exploring my legs, my hips, my thighs. Mine were under his t-shirt, wrapped up in his small chest hair.

  Our breathing had intensified, and we were all but moaning with pleasure from the kisses, the closeness. That was until I yelled out the only safe word I could think of in the heated
moment, “Mercy!”

  Twenty One: I Looked Different; I Felt Different; Hell, I was Different.

  Guys Before

  I knew you were the one since the first day our eyes met. I was just looking for a little bit of fun, who would’ve known that’s what I’d get?

 
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