Capture, p.32
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       Capture, p.32

         Part #1 of Seaside Pictures series by Rachel Van Dyken

  Ice cream was a good idea. Then again, most of Zane's ideas were good. I had a weird suspicion he didn't really have many friends. I rarely saw him texting anyone, and when I asked about his family, he locked up like a vault. It was weird, someone that famous not really having anyone. I had to wonder if the reason he hated staying alone was because he was lonely.

  Maybe that was why I felt comfortable around him, or as comfortable as a girl could get around a mega-hot celebrity. He was so easy to be around that I forgot how famous he was, which nearly caused an early onset heart attack at the ice cream store, one of the employees started crying and actually handed over her bra.

  Without breaking stride, Zane took it, signed his name on the strap, handed it back, and gave the girl a twenty-dollar tip, all the while remembering my order and getting extra marshmallows on his.

  "You ever going to tell me?" I asked, nudging him in the side. He towered over me so it was more like I'd elbowed his hip.

  Zane licked his vanilla ice cream as if he was making love to the spoon. "About?"

  "The marshmallow thing," I answered, tossing my cup into the trash and wiping my sticky hands on the last of the napkins.

  "Oh." Zane nodded eagerly.

  I waited.

  "Not a chance in hell." He flashed a grin and stopped walking, his gaze traveling to the outdoor patio of the Crab Shack.

  Jo-Jo was sitting under the umbrella twirling a drink in her hands, while Lincoln looked ready to jump over the little wrought iron fence and make a run for it.

  "He doesn't like her. At all." Zane laughed.

  "I know." I giggled. "But he deserves it."

  "That?" Zane pointed with his spoon. "No man deserves."

  Lincoln threw his hands into the air, tossed a few bills onto the table, then left Jo-Jo pouting in the corner. Swearing, he nearly collided with another customer.

  "Lincoln!" Zane yelled.

  "Traitor," I muttered under my breath.

  Lincoln swung his gaze in our direction, and his face turned an angry red. "Hey." His eyes raked my body in before he finally managed to give Zane a tiny nod.

  "Ouch." Zane rubbed his stomach. "Wow, must have eaten too much ice cream. Can you take Dani home?"

  I didn't have time to kill Zane, because as soon as the words were out of his mouth, he was already walking backward toward… not where our car was parked.

  "Sure." Lincoln's hoarse voice pulled at something in my chest, our eyes locked, and Zane was completely forgotten.

  "See ya," Zane called.

  Dark circles lined Lincoln's eyes. He looked rough. "You wanna…" He squinted at the sunset. "… you want to go for a walk?"

  I nodded.

  We walked in silence for a while, side by side, not touching, but his body heat was an intensely tangible thing, reaching out and searing me with his nearness. Why couldn't I like a guy like Zane?

  Instead, I was cursed to like Lincoln.

  "Okay, here's how this is going to work." Lincoln said once we reached the edge of the boardwalk, where the sand met the cement. "I'm going to give you three seconds to run. Then I'm taking off my shoes and going after you."

  "Um, what? Why?" My heart skipped a beat.

  He turned his grey gaze on me. "It's a metaphor." His voice lowered. "I want to chase you, Dani."

  I sucked in a breath.

  "I want to capture you."

  "Is this a catch-and-release thing?" I tried to tease, but my voice had turned all breathy, and the taunt fell short.

  It didn't matter because he ignored me. "One."

  I hurriedly flipped off my sandals and started running as I heard him yell two… then three.

  I didn't make it far.

  Until he was lifting me into the air and walking me away from the people and toward the sunset and… the ocean.

  Once the water reached his feet, he set me down and tilted my chin toward his face, his fingers brushing against my lips. "Caught."

  "Yeah," I whispered as cool water rushed over my ankles, "I guess I am."


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