Catching cassidy, p.1
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       Catching Cassidy, p.1

           Melissa Foster
 
Catching Cassidy


  HARBORSIDE NIGHTS

  Book One

  "Catching Cassidy was laugh out loud funny, heartwarming, sexy, and hands down one of my favorite reads so far this year!"

  —#1 NYT Bestselling Author of The Bet,

  Rachel Van Dyken

  Melissa Foster

  This is a work of fiction. The events and characters described herein are imaginary and are not intended to refer to specific places or living persons. The opinions expressed in this manuscript are solely the opinions of the author and do not represent the opinions or thoughts of the publisher. The author has represented and warranted full ownership and/or legal right to publish all the materials in this book.

  CATCHING CASSIDY

  All Rights Reserved.

  Copyright © 2015 Melissa Foster

  V1.0

  This book may not be reproduced, transmitted, or stored in whole or in part by any means, including graphic, electronic, or mechanical, without the express written consent of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

  Cover Design: Elizabeth Mackey

  WORLD LITERARY PRESS

  PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

  A Note to Readers

  When I met the characters of Harborside Nights, I couldn’t wait to write their stories and bring them to you. This group of friends has known one another for years as “summer” friends, and they’ve come together after college to build their lives. They’re sexy, hot, and evocatively real, and you’ll read about all of their experiences—the heart-wrenching moments, the celebrations, and everything in between. I hope you fall in love with this group of friends, too.

  Catching Cassidy is the first book in the Harborside Nights series. If you enjoy this series, you might enjoy my sizzling-hot contemporary romance series, Love in Bloom, featuring the Snow Sisters, The Bradens, The Remingtons, and the Seaside Summers group of friends. While each of my series books may be read as stand-alone novels, for even more enjoyment, you may want to read them in series order.

  Harborside Nights is dedicated to my mother

  For raising me to be open-minded

  PRAISE FOR MELISSA FOSTER

  "Catching Cassidy was laugh out loud funny, heartwarming, sexy, and hands down one of my favorite reads so far this year!"

  —#1 NYT Bestselling Author of The Bet,

  Rachel Van Dyken

  “Contemporary romance at its hottest. Each Braden sibling left me craving the next. Sensual, sexy, and satisfying, the Braden series is a captivating blend of the dance between lust, love, and life.”

  —Bestselling author Keri Nola, LMHC

  (on The Bradens)

  “[LOVERS AT HEART] Foster’s tale of stubborn yet persistent love takes us on a heartbreaking and soul-searing journey.”

  —Reader’s Favorite

  “Steamy love scenes, emotionally charged drama, and a family-driven story make this the perfect story for any romance reader.”

  —Midwest Book Review (on SISTERS IN BLOOM)

  “HAVE NO SHAME is a powerful testimony to love and the progressive, logical evolution of social consciousness, with an outcome that readers will find engrossing, unexpected, and ultimately eye-opening.”

  —Midwest Book Review

  “Smart, uplifting, and beautifully layered.I couldn’t put it down!”

  —National bestselling author Jane Porter

  (on SISTERS IN LOVE)

  “TRACES OF KARA is psychological suspense at its best, weaving a tight-knit plot, unrelenting action, and tense moments that don’t let up and ending in a fiery, unpredictable revelation.”

  —Midwest Book Review

  “[MEGAN’S WAY] A wonderful, warm, and thought-provoking story...a deep and moving book that speaks to men as well as women, and I urge you all to put it on your reading list.”

  —Mensa Bulletin

  “[CHASING AMANDA] Secrets make this tale outstanding.”

  —Hagerstown magazine

  “COME BACK TO ME is a hauntingly beautiful love story set against the backdrop of betrayal in a broken world.”

  —Bestselling author Sue Harrison

  Table of Contents

  Chapter One

  Chapter Two

  Chapter Three

  Chapter Four

  Chapter Five

  Chapter Six

  Chapter Seven

  Chapter Eight

  Chapter Nine

  Chapter Ten

  Chapter Eleven

  Chapter Twelve

  Chapter Thirteen

  Chapter Fourteen

  Chapter Fifteen

  Chapter Sixteen

  Chapter Seventeen

  Chapter Eighteen

  Chapter Nineteen

  Chapter Twenty

  Chapter Twenty-One

  Chapter Twenty-Two

  Chapter Twenty-Three

  Chapter Twenty-Four

  Chapter Twenty-Five

  Chapter Twenty-Six

  Chapter Twenty-Seven

  Chapter Twenty-Eight

  Chapter Twenty-Nine

  Chapter Thirty

  Discovering Delilah Excerpt - Chapter One

  Sisters in Love Excerpt - Chapter One

  More Books by Melissa

  Acknowledgments

  Chapter One

  ~Wyatt~

  “HEY, ARMY! GET the hell over here!” my buddy Carter Young yells from the corner, where he’s filling his plastic cup with beer. Some girl’s running her fingers through his blond hair with a fuck-me look in her eyes.

  I push from the couch and look at my watch, wondering where the hell Cassidy is. It’s Saturday night at eight o’clock, and my buddy Carter’s graduation party is in full swing. I can hardly believe I’m finally out of college. Four years felt like forever when I was going to classes, playing football, and trying to keep my head above water with my grades so my parents would stay off my ass. Looking back, even now, on the day we graduated, it seems like four years went by really fast. Strange how that happens.

  Carter widens his glassy blue eyes and hollers again. “Army! Come on, man. It’s our last party. Get your ass over here and toast with me.”

  I’ve known Carter since we were freshmen, when we were eyeing the same girl in one of our classes. I can’t even remember which class it was, but I remember what he said to me on the way out the door that morning. I’ll flip you for her. The son of a bitch won the coin toss, and we’ve been each other’s wingmen ever since. Carter calls me Army because he says Wyatt Armstrong is a pussy name. Girls hear Army and they’re all over me. Well, except Cassidy. She calls me Wyatt, always has. I pick up a plastic cup and hold it under the nozzle, then check my watch again while he pumps the keg. Come on, Cass. Get here already.

  “To freedom!” He crashes his cup into mine, and our beers splash everywhere before we tip our heads back and drain them. “Dude, stop looking at your phone. I’ve watched you pine over Cassidy for four years. She’ll get here when she gets here.”

  “Pine, my ass. She’s just a friend and you know it. I swear, if that fucker screws Cassidy over again and she misses this party, I’m going to kick the shit out of him.” My best friend, Cassidy Lowell, has been dating a douche bag for two years. Kyle Warner. Even his name is douchey. He graduated a year ago and works at a furniture store. Loser.

  “Dude, fess up. You’ve banged her, right?” Carter flashes one of his come-on-dude-you-can-trust-me smiles.

  “No, man. I told you. You don’t bone a girl you’ve known since you were five.” Cassidy’s too good of a friend to sleep with. I’ve known her since we were kids, when she moved into my neighborhood in Connecticut. Her sucky parents are never home, so over the years she’s stayed a
t our house probably more than her own. Hell, the truth is, we’ve slept together many times. The key word being slept, as in not fooled around.

  “That’s fucked up.” Carter stumbles backward and bumps into a hot blonde. “Hey, babe. Lemme ask you something,” he says with his face so close to hers he might as well kiss her. He lifts his cup and points his index finger at me. Carter’s blond hair is a shade lighter than the girl’s. He played football for two years, until he blew out his knee. But he’s still ripped, and the way the girl’s eyeing him, she loves it.

  He wraps his arm around her neck and I check my watch again. Goddamn it, Cassidy. I know Kyle’s screwing her over again. He’s always forgetting to pick her up or showing up late, but Cass is a girl, and they can be really stupid when it comes to guys. She forgives him and forgets, until the next time he treats her like she doesn’t matter. I’d like to punch his lights out, but Cass gets pissed when I tell her that.

  “If you were him”—Carter points to me again—“and you had a hot best friend, would you do her?”

  The blonde smiles as she drags her eyes down my body. Yeah, I’m ripped, too. What twenty-two-year-old guy who likes getting laid isn’t?

  She nods. “Oh, yeah, and I’m sure your BFF is dying for it. I know I would be.”

  She steps closer to me as I pull out my phone and text Cassidy.

  Where are you?

  The blonde nuzzles against my neck and presses her tits to my chest as Cassidy’s response comes through. Blondie has no idea that there’s no competition between the girl who wants to get laid and the one being stood up by an asshole.

  He’s late.

  “No shit,” I grumble, then text her back. I’ll come get you.

  The blonde pushes the phone down to my side and presses her lips to mine. I’m right there with her, sucking the beer from her tongue as she grinds her hips against mine, getting me hard as a rock.

  My phone vibrates again. I tear my lips away and read Cassidy’s text.

  He’ll get pissed.

  No shit he’ll get pissed. The douche hates me, as he should, because when you treat my best friend like shit, you’re in my sights, and when it comes to Cassidy, my trigger finger is itchy. I text her back. I’ll send Delilah. Delilah’s my twin sister. She’s standing by the back door with her fake boyfriend, Frank, looking bored to tears. Our parents are so conservative they’ve freaked her out about coming out, so she pretends to be straight, and Frank is her beard. I told her a hundred times that college is the time to let it all out and explore. Experiment. But she’s convinced they’ll somehow get wind of whatever she does, so she’s never taken the chance. There’s no arguing with Delilah when she’s set her mind on something, and it pisses me off that our parents have this hold over her. Like it’s any of their business who she wants to be with. I know they would never accept the lifestyle she wants. Delilah’s decision to hide her sexual preferences may not be what I think is best for her, but I’ll support her no matter what. The truth is, sometimes parents suck.

  Blondie pushes the phone down again and kisses my neck as the phone vibrates.

  “Are you going to keep texting?” she snaps.

  “Yeah. Are you going to keep sucking my neck like a vampire?” I don’t have time for this shit. Girls are a dime a dozen, but Cassidy’s been screwed over for too long, and I’m getting more pissed by the second.

  I read her text. Thinking…

  What the fuck? Thinking? I grab the blonde’s arm and turn her toward Carter. She wraps her arms around his neck. No one ever said college girls were discriminatory.

  “Carter, take care of her, would ya?”

  Two sheets to the wind, Carter sways as he asks, “Where you goin’?”

  “Picking up Cass. I’ll catch you later. Make sure you get a ride home. I don’t want to read about your ass splattered all over the road.” See, Dad? I do listen. I shove my hand in my pocket and whip out my keys. Cassidy can’t miss this graduation party. This is supposed to be our big celebration, the end to four years of studying and all the bullshit that goes along with it. We made it. We graduated! We even made it through the boring ceremony. She’s earned it. My parents made me and Delilah go to the ceremony. I didn’t want to walk the stage, but they paid for college, so...They made a big deal out of graduation and even invited Uncle Tim, my father’s best friend, who handles the bookkeeping for the Taproom, the bar my parents own in Harborside, Massachusetts. Even though he’s not a blood relative, we’ve always called him Uncle Tim. I guess it’s fitting that he’d be at our graduation. He’s known us since we were born, and he went to our high school graduations. And if that wasn’t bad enough, they brought Aunt Lara and made her suffer through it, too.

  After the ceremony my father reiterated the same twenty-minute diatribe about driving drunk that he’s given us a million times before, only this time it was complete with statistics about the number of kids who die after graduation parties. Give me a break. I was so relieved when they finally left to drive back to Connecticut an hour ago. I’ve got all night to celebrate with no driving in sight until tomorrow. My shit’s already packed, and tomorrow morning, after I nurse a hangover for a few hours, Delilah and I will head home safe and sound.

  I text Cassidy again. Stay put. We’re coming to get you.

  ~Cassidy~

  I’M SO MAD by the time Wyatt picks me up, I can barely see straight. I slide into the backseat and growl. Yes, growl.

  “Thanks, you guys,” I manage. I reach for my seat belt, trying to avoid Wyatt’s gorgeous green eyes, which are currently filled with venom. He hates Kyle, and right this very second, I don’t blame him.

  “What’s his excuse this time?” Wyatt asks as I click my seat belt into place.

  I shrug. “Working late. He has my apartment key. Would you mind if we swing by to pick it up?”

  Delilah turns around, tucks her blond hair behind her ear, and looks at me like she feels sorry for me. Her green eyes are almost as pretty as Wyatt’s, only his are a shade darker, and when I look at him, there’s always mischief playing behind his eyes. Delilah’s are…I don’t know…more innocent, I guess.

  “Why does he have your key?” Delilah asks. “I thought he had his own.” She’s tall and thin and so naturally pretty I’m sure girls want to hate her when they first meet her, but the minute she speaks, you just can’t. She’s too sweet and genuinely caring to hate.

  “He lost it, so I gave him mine. He was supposed to come get me, remember?” It’s a lie, and I hate lying to them. He took my key because he’s crazy jealous. Hopefully, I can just run inside and Kyle won’t ask about how I got there, but I need my key. Kyle thinks if I don’t have my key, I won’t leave the apartment because I won’t be able to get back in. He’s taken my key before, and I usually just roll my eyes at his stupidity. I mean, I get it. His dad cheated on his mom, so he has trust issues, but come on. I’d never cheat. I’ve never cheated on a boyfriend in my life, not that I’ve had many boyfriends to cheat on.

  Ten minutes later Wyatt parks behind the furniture store where Kyle works. “Cass, you sure he’s working? The lights are off.”

  When he says my name, it’s softer, buffered from the tension I see in the bunching of his shoulder muscles.

  “Yeah, they closed at eight, and his car is right there, so he’s probably just clocking out.” I unhook my seat belt and stare at the dark building, glad Wyatt is with me because for some reason, it looks dark and eerie.

  “I’ll go with you.” Wyatt opens his door. “I’ll be right back, Dee.”

  I get out of the car thinking about how much I love when he calls Delilah Dee. They are really close, and given their strict parents, I have no idea how they both turned out so awesome. Their parents love them so much, they do too much for them, whereas I think my parents love me, but I’ve always felt kind of like a third wheel. Wyatt’s parents called and checked on them before practically every test and afterward to check on their grades. It drove Wyatt and Delilah nut
s, and while I get it, it sure did magnify how hands-off my parents are. They make sure I have what I need, but that’s about it. Who wouldn’t feel like an imposition or an afterthought with parents who went to Europe for the summer and missed their only daughter’s college graduation? I guess I’m used to it, so it doesn’t really bother me as much as it did when I was younger. They’re also not openly affectionate toward me, which might be why, after two years, I still haven’t told Kyle that I love him, even though he tells me all the time. Or maybe it’s because I’m not really sure what being in love feels like. I know it’s different from just loving someone, but I’ve never felt the kind of passion I see in movies—or the love I see my parents lavish on each other. It’s like my parents use up their love on each other and there’s not much left for me.

  We walk across the dark lot, and I notice Wyatt doing that thing he does, where he scans the area like he’s Chuck Norris readying for a battle. He’s always done it. Even as a kid. Actually, maybe that’s a throwback from his parents always telling him and Delilah to be careful of…well, of everything under the sun.

  “We should use the delivery door. He always tells me to go to that one.” I knock on the heavy metal door, and we stand there in the dark listening to each other breathe for what feels like half an hour. I knock again and stuff my hands into the pockets of my hoodie.

  “Sure he’s here?” Wyatt asks again.

  I nod toward his car at the other end of the parking lot.

  “Why do you let him get away with this shit?”

  The muscles in Wyatt’s jaw bunch as he clenches his teeth. I know how much he hates Kyle. It’s not like he tries to hide it, but Kyle has redeeming qualities. When he’s with me and it’s just the two of us, he’s affectionate and caring. He can be funny and he’s really smart, which I admire. When we go out together, he’s attentive and fun, even if mildly possessive. I know he loves me. He just gets jealous, especially of Wyatt because we’re so close. Thinking about it makes my stomach hurt. When Kyle sees me with Wyatt, he’ll bitch a blue streak. Not in front of Wyatt, of course, but I’ll hear about it later for sure.

 
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