Capture, p.31
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       Capture, p.31

         Part #1 of Seaside Pictures series by Rachel Van Dyken


  "Whoa, slow down there." Zane slid my can of Coke Zero away and sat on my lap. How the hell had he found me on my balcony, and why did he always insist on invading my personal space? Ugh, first thing tomorrow, I was buying him a pack of shirts.

  "Uffff." I pushed at his back. "Why are you so heavy?"

  "I work on my fitness," he teased. "Also, not moving until you tell me why there's two empty cans in the trash and a third sitting here like you're trying to get drunk off caffeine, Splenda, and caramel coloring."

  "Am I boring?" I asked, genuinely curious if that was what my life had come to — from life of the party to the party-ending sad girl.

  "All the time," he said seriously. "But I like torture, so I hang out with you anyway."

  "You have no friends," I pointed out.

  He opened his mouth.

  "And the marshmallow bunnies don't count. We already discussed this."

  He grinned shamelessly. "You're no fun."

  "See!" I yelled.

  Rolling his eyes, Zane grabbed my hands and kissed them. "I've known you, what? Three days?"

  "Feels like years," I grumbled, reaching for my can.

  He swatted my hand out of the way and stood.

  "What?" I stared at his tall form.

  "You miss Lincoln, right?"

  "No," I lied, my cheeks heating.

  "Up you go, Pinocchio." He hefted me to my feet. "Night on the town. We're crashing whatever date-from-hell Lincoln's on, and I'm going to steal the girl."

  "Jo-Jo?" I burst out laughing. "You don't want to do that, believe me."

  "I've had dates with worse." Zane ran his hands through his dark hair. "Trust me, Linc may be fresh meat, but I'm newer meat. Ergo, I steal the girl, and leave you time with the guy."

  "So he can what?" I whispered. "Reject me again?"

  "The girl has a point." Zane tapped his chin. "Or we could grab ice cream downtown, do a strategic walk-by of the restaurant, then go to bed early like winners."

  I nodded my head and laughed. "I especially like the winning part."

  "So why the long face?" Zane shrugged.

  "Maybe we should just get it over with. We'd be good together, right?"

  "I think I'm missing a key part of this conversation." Zane opened the door that led back into the house from the upstairs balcony. "Fill me in while you find your shoes?"

  "Sex." I nodded seriously. "We're both virgins, or well, technically you are, I'm not but that's not the point! My first time was horrible."

  "Say that louder." Zane shushed me with his hand. "Seriously."

  "Maybe it would be easier. Just get it over with."

  "Nope." Zane shook his head. "Are you even hearing yourself? I should never be the guy you get it over with… with."


  "And you're better than that. I would never have sex with you. You're welcome for that."

  "Shouldn't I be insulted?"

  "Nope." He sighed, tossing my sandals at my face. "If there's anything I've learned it's this. You savor life. You don't jump into it and wish for it to be over, because you never know how much time you're going to be given. You should never get anything over with — no matter how scary it may be."

  I grumbled and pulled on my sandals. "Fine."

  "Geez, remind me never to give you life advice."

  "Sorry." I grimaced. "Bad mood… too much soda…"

  He held out his hand again. "Which is why we're evening it out with sugar!"

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