Before y’all ask WHEN? Let me just say I have A LOT lined up that still needs to be written before I can even START on the 2nd generation seriies. But I keep getting ideas for little teaser scenes. Mind you I still don’t know if these scenes will actually be IN the books or I’ll just refer back to them in a “Read a bonus BEFORE they got it together scene here” Like for example I’m getting an idea for a scene about another couple for my #2ndGen series that takes place when they’re kids. Most likely won’t make their actual book but will be fun to read/write non the less. 😉
My two idiot best friends spend more time busting each other’s balls than they do trying to get the ball in the basket. At the moment Adrian’s all over JC again about being a reacher.
“Seriously, dude .” He shakes his head as he tosses JC the ball. “Celia’s way out of your league. The girl’s been dating college guys since the eleventh grade. She just uses chumps like you when she needs her car washed.”
I roll my eyes refusing to get too sucked into the inane debate. “Hey . . . “JC catches the ball with the expected big ass grin versus the frown any other guy might’ve responded with. “If it means she’s blowing or I even get a hand job for a car wash, I’ll take it any day of the week.”
Adrian laughs as JC swooshes one into the basket. “This guy.” He shakes his head pointing his thumb in JC’s direction. “You seriously think you’re gonna get more than a pat on the head and some fluttering lashes?”
Basketball isn’t my game. Which explains why I’m sitting out again and just watching these guys go at it in my driveways half court. I zone out as they continue the debate when my sisters car pulls into the driveway. She’s with her friends as usual but my heart skips a few beats when I see her climb out of the back seat. I didn’t even know she was back in town, but fuck me, she’s even more beautiful than I remember—more womanly. It’s breathtaking, but at the same time it sucks. She likely has her sights set on the older college guys she’s been meeting. At the very least guys her age.
She glances in my direction as our eyes meet. I fight the urge to stand up straighter and puff my chest up so she can see I’m not little Romeo anymore. Amanda’s kid brother has grown into his own too. I’m an almost twenty-one-year-old man. It’s subtle by I catch the way her eyes widen as she realizes who she’s looking at now. The ball bouncing off my arm jerks me right out of my stupor. “What’s with . . . whoa!” Adrian catches the ball but doesn’t keep bouncing as he too gets caught up on Amanda and her friends.
My sister waves in our direction. I lift my chin in response. JC waves back but Adrian does a stupid salute then points at her. “Amanda,” he says then adds under his breath. “Looking hot as fuck as always.”
I give him a good shove knocking the ball out of his clutch and he stumbles sideways. The girls giggle as they continue to stand just outside my sister’s car and chat. “Hey, man.” Adrian picks up the ball and tosses it at me hard. “Way to make me look dumb in front of the chicks.”
“You were doing fine looking dumb all on your own.” I toss the ball up at the basket and JC laughs when it doesn’t even touch it.
I ignore JC and turn back to Adrian with a purpose. “And that’s my sister you’re talking about, asshole. I hear that shit again and it’ll be more than just the ball I’ll be knocking off you.”
“Knock his teeth out,” JC says laughing again. “They’re all fucked up anyway.”
“Whatever. I get my braces on next week,” Adrian says licking his teeth then turns to me. “Okay maybe not Manda but what about them other hot things?”
“What grown man gets braces?” JC laughs as he shoots the ball at the basket.
“What are you talking about grown man? I’m nineteen, ass.”
Since the distraction of the girls arriving ends their one on one, I catch the ball that bounces off the backboard, but don’t bother answering Adrian’s question. In fact I do my best to change the subject altogether and try to shake off how rattled seeing her has me. “You work tomorrow?” I ask JC.
We discuss hitting the beach the next day as Adrian continues to moan and gasp every time he looks in Amanda and her friend’s direction. I know I should be used to Adrian’s horny reaction when it comes good looking girls but I wish to God the Amanda and her friends would just go inside already.
Without addressing any of Adrian’s stupid comments I keep the beach talk up even if all I can think about is her now. But I fail miserably at not glancing her way every few minutes.
“Who’s the white chick?” Adrian asks and I freeze just before throwing the ball up at the hoop again.
“She looks familiar,” JC says blatantly looking at her. “But I’m sure I’d remember any friend of Manda’s that looked like that. Damn!”
I throw the ball watching silently as it actually goes into the basket, because I refuse enlighten them about anything when it comes to her. So I don’t correct them and let them in on the fact that she’s not white. That she’s as Hispanic as they and I are. That she’s just light skinned and as her hair got lighter over the years she started highlighting to the point it looks almost all blonde now. That she thinks it’s the only way I can tell her and her sister apart but she couldn’t be further from the truth.
I’ve known the difference the moment they walked in the room even when most people didn’t for as long as I can remember. And I sure as fuck ain’t telling them how many years I’ve been daydreaming about the impossibility of her and I. The ball hits me once again jolting me out of my daze.
“What’s with you, man?”Adrian’s stares at me funny so I look away, going after the ball that bounced off me. “Oh shit.” He goes on with an exaggerated gasp. “Talk about being a reacher. You got a thing for blondie?”
“Shut up,” I say under my breath.
“Isn’t she Mandy’s age?” JC asks as his obvious ass openly gawks her way again.
My response to them is to ignore, shoot the ball and make it again, then I run after the ball in silence. I am not getting into this with these two loud mouth idiots. Least of all not now with her just a few yards away.
I turn just as Adrian glances over at her again and to my horror she’s looking our way. “She’s hot as fuck. I’ll give you that but since when are you into white girls?”
“Shut the fuck up, dude,” I mutter glancing away and pray she can’t hear his dumb ass.
“Oh snap,” he says bringing his hand to his mouth all obnoxious and shit. “Is that—”
He stops just as the ball slips from my hands, flies across the half court and bounces off the side of his head—hard.
“What the hell, man?” He brings his hand to the side of his head. “What’s your problem?”
“My problem is your big mouth,” I say reaching into the small ice chest on the side of the half court and toss him a cold bottle of water. “What part of shut the fuck up can’t you understand?”
Trying my damnedest to refrain from reacting as thrilled as hearing Savannah say my name makes me, I turn and feign surprise. “Oh hey.” I start toward her since she’s walking my way and pray these two idiots don’t follow me. Thankfully they don’t. “I didn’t know you were back.”
“I’ve been back,” she says as she approaches.
I gulp as I reach her because incredibly she’s even more beautiful up close than I remember. It’s been less than a year since she left to study abroad in Spain but it feels way longer.
“Wow you grew,” she says looking up at me with a big smile as she takes me in.
This time the urge to puff my chest out a little wins out but I do so subtly. I’ve been taller than her and her twin for years, despite them being older. But now she seems even smaller—delicately daintier—though this close I can also see she’s filled out well everywhere else.
“You look . . . “My eyes roam over the denim shorts she so nicely fills, down to her evenly tanned legs that in spite of her petite stature are still eye catching as ever. Then my eyes are back up to her face and I catch the timid smirk. “Good. Different,” I add as my heart speeds up when our eyes meet but it’s fleeting as the color of her golden highlights distract me. “Your hair.” I clear my throat.”You went even lighter.”
She shakes her head catching a strand with her hand and pulls it in front of her to look at it. “I haven’t lightened it even once since I left. But I spent a lot of time in the sun when I was in Thailand. My hair just got lighter and lighter on its own.”
That surprises me. “Thailand? I thought you were in Spain.”
“I was for a semester. But then I spent two months in Thailand assisting the veterinarians in an elephant sanctuary. Hands down,” she says as those big brown eyes go even bigger and brighter. “Best experience of my life.”
“So far,” I say so immediately it surprises me as much as I can see it surprises her. “I mean your life’s just getting started right?” I’m backpedaling now because truth is I’m not even sure why I said it, but my uncles have been busting my balls about my knee-jerk reactions just like this one, for years. “I’m sure there’s still many more adventures and other experiences out there that might be even better.”
The moment her curious peering softens into a soft agreeable smile I know exactly why the words flew out to begin with. But there’s something I need to ask now. “You back for good? Or you still going back?”
To my relief she shakes her head. “I got into UCSD’s veterinary program. I finished up my pre-vet courses in Spain. But your right about the adventures just getting started. I’m hoping to save up enough so I can do two weeks in South Africa next spring break.”
She goes on about how some of the students who did the program with in Thailand spoke of doing the South Africa program next year too. Just like old times I get so sucked in each time her dimples make an appearance I’m barely paying attention to everything she’s saying. Until something catches my attention but not in a good way. ” . . . he’s in his third year of veterinary school and already did the program in South Africa once. But he said he’d do it again in a heartbeat because—“
Blinking in response to the interruption, her brows furrow ever so slightly but answers the question. “Dino. Another student I met him in Thailand—”
“Is he your boyfriend?”
“No.” She nods as I swallow hard trying to calm my impulsive reactions to all this. “He was just—”
“You have a boyfriend?”
Slow the fuck down.
She hesitates before answering.”Not really.”
I bite my tongue before spitting out my next question. What the fuck does that mean? Unfortunately or rather fortunately my expression is likely screaming the question because she goes on and elaborates with a roll of her eyes. “I met someone in Spain who coincidentally is from the San Diego area as well. We would’ve flown home together since he finished at the same time I did if I’d flown back to the states and not Thailand. He wasn’t thrilled about us being apart two months so without saying it in so many words basically gave me an ultimatum. Him or Thailand. I chose Thailand.”
Without even looking in a mirror I know my expression must be as foul as my mood’s turned. So I pretend to be annoyed by something else.
“He said that? Him or Thailand?”
She exhales sounding slightly irritated. “No but he said he wasn’t gonna just sit around and wait while his girlfriend was living it up on the other side of the world. Our goodbye in Spain wasn’t exactly a sweet one. We emailed a few times while I was out there but he knows I’ve been home for two days now and he hasn’t contacted me.”
“You gonna contact him?” She starts to shrug and once again the words fly out before I can rethink them. “Why would you even consider it? He sounds like an asshole.”
“Hey hey! Savannah Banana!” Uncle Manny’s voice literally echo’s as he walks toward us up the driveway and Savannah turns to face him. “Look at you all grown up and shit. How the hell are you?”
“Is that Savannah?” My mom asks as she walks out the back door. “Oh my Goodness, look how grown up and pretty you are!”
As my dad pulls up behind Amanda’s car and my two brothers jump out of the car I know any talk about Savannah’s personal life is done. All I can think of now is when—if ever—she’ll be up to discussing her not really boyfriend with me again.