“No.” The excitement of what was going on behind me died when I looked into Priscilla’s eyes, or maybe it was just cheapened. “Question.”

  “If I answer, will you go away?”



  “Do you like wine?”

  “I’m underage, Jaymeson. Eighteen, remember?”

  Hell yeah, I remembered. It was why Alec and Demetri basically threatened me within an inch of my life yesterday when they saw me stare at her for longer than three seconds.

  “Please,” I snorted. “You’re eighteen, not a saint. Do. You. Like. Wine? It’s a simple question.”

  Priscilla shifted uncomfortably, alternating between standing on one foot and then the other. Her heels were either starting to bother her, or she was one of those girls who had quirky nervous ticks that made a guy want to make her nervous just so he could discover every last one.


  “Good.” I smiled, feeling happier in that moment than I’d felt in days. “Stay here and I’ll be right back.”

  Priscilla didn’t say anything.

  I sighed. “Please?”

  “Fine.” She huffed, looking down at her shifty feet.

  I ran over to the bar, handed the bartender a fifty, grabbed two paper cups and a corkscrew, I was back all within three minutes. Giant grin in place, ready to have a good time.

  “Let’s go.” I pushed open the door and let her pass.

  “Where we going?”

  “To the beach.” I laughed. “Where else?”

  “Hmm.” She fell into step beside me, but nearly fell over. Maybe I’d only pour her half a glass. Those shoes were like her Everest. “If you’re trying to seduce me it won’t work.”

  “First…” I handed her the wine and cups then made her stop so I could kneel down and grab her heels. “I wouldn’t have to try — it would happen. I’m like magic.”

  “Magic?” She laughed.



  “Your foot.” I pointed. “I’m not down here for the hell of it. The way I see it is if I keep letting you walk around like that you’re going to get a sprained ankle. Plus, we’re almost on the beach anyways, so lift.”

  Priscilla raised her right foot, then her left. I slipped off the Vince Camato heels, my damn hands shaking like I was Prince Charming or some other shitty fairy tale character. Right, pretty sure I was more demon or dragon in her book.

  “I can carry them,” Priscilla said.

  “Nah, you carry the wine. I’ll carry the shoes. Makes me look like more of a gentleman that way.”

  “Ah, so it is part of your seduction technique.”

  “Carrying shoes?” I laughed. “Nope. Remember, I’m magic? Clothes basically melt off in my presence.”

  “Right along with the skanks’ makeup, huh?”


  I laughed even though it kinda sucked that she was partially right. I usually didn’t even know what the chick looked like until later on when the makeup was wiped off from all the kissing and foreplay, and usually by then I was done with her. Damn.

  “Over there.” I pointed to a spot closer to the ocean.

  We both sat down. I dropped her shoes and pulled the corkscrew from my pocket. “So Priscilla…” I let her name dance around in my head a bit before I continued. “Where were you headed before I rescued you?”

  “Trapped and coerced.” Her eyes narrowed. “And I was going home. Curfew.”

  “Naughty girl. Are you breaking your curfew to be out with me then?”

  “Nope.” Her smile made me feel funny. I looked away. “I’ve never been late. My parents won’t care. They trust me, and if they’re worried, they’ll text.”


  “I’ve never given them a reason not to be.”

  “Do you want to?” I smirked.

  “Want to?”

  “Give them a reason not to trust you? Because if you do, I’m all for it.”

  “No thanks.”

  I couldn’t be sure, but it looked like she was blushing. She cleared her throat and grabbed the cups while I popped the cork.

  I poured the red liquid into both paper cups and stuffed the wine bottle snugly into the sand.

  “A toast?” I lifted my cup to hers.

  “Oh yeah?” Her cup touched mine. “To what?”

  “Being eighteen and breaking the law?”

  With a laugh she threw her head back, exposing her neck to the moonlight and making my gut clench again. Her wavy black hair fell across her chest and suddenly I forgot to breath. I also forgot she was eighteen for five whole seconds. Mentally hitting myself, I cleared my throat and looked away. It was going to be one hell of a night if I couldn’t get any relief soon.

  “To breaking the law,” came her soft whisper. I chanced looking at her and nearly choked as I brought the cup to my lips. Why did she have to be so pretty? Because that’s exactly what she was. I reserved the word hot only for girls who were walking sex, but Priscilla was so much more than that.

  She was pure beauty.

  And it radiated from her like a perfume. I leaned in, the ocean cracking in the silence.

  She licked her lips and met me halfway.

  Holy shit, the guys were going to murder me. But I wanted her. One taste. That was it. Just one and then my curiosity would be satisfied.

  I set my wine cup in the sand next to me and cupped her face before she had a chance to say no. Her breathing picked up — the anticipation was killing me inside. What would it be like? Most women attacked me first.

  And that’s when I realized.

  I’d never kissed a girl before.

  They’d always kissed me. They assaulted me, they attacked me. I never made the effort because I never had to.

  Suddenly nervous as hell, I shuddered as her breath blew across my lips in such a sweet exhale that I was lost.

  My mouth touched hers.

  Her lower lip trembled. I took it between my teeth, gently sucking, and then coaxing.

  Her mouth was closed, but her lips tasted like candy. Something inside my body shifted or maybe it snapped. I wanted to open her mouth with my tongue, but it seemed like I shouldn’t be taking what she wasn’t ready to offer, so I continued playing with her lips, licking the sides of her mouth, and feeling more turned on in those few seconds than I’d felt in a lifetime of being with women.

  The ring of a cell phone interrupted our moment.

  Priscilla jerked back and answered with a shaky, “Hello?”

  I cursed myself and took a quick sip of wine. What the hell was I doing? What the hell was I thinking! Damn it! She was eight-freaking-teen!

  “Sure dad! Okay, um, I’ll be right there.”

  I heard her end the conversation and waited for her to slap me, or yell or tell me I was a whore.

  Instead, I felt a hand touch mine.


  I looked up, her eyes were shining with excitement and maybe just a bit of wonder. And they were looking at me, as if I’d hung the bloody moon and told her I named it after her.

  I knew where the story would end. My lack of self control would end up with her losing her virginity and me breaking her heart into a million pieces, she’d want a relationship, and I’d want out.

  “So—” She laughed nervously.

  “You should go,” I said sternly. “Don’t want Daddy getting worried.”

  She flinched.

  I wanted to drown myself in the ocean.


  “—look, you were right.” I smirked. “I guess my magic just doesn’t work on you. I’d planned on having you stripped and screwed by now. Instead, all clothes still intact. Count yourself lucky.”

  Her eyes suddenly became glassy as if tears were trying to pour forth, but she was holding them back. I tried to reach for her, but my body was at odds with my mind. My mind said to leave it — my body demanded I fix it.

a bastard.”

  “Don’t I know it.” I smiled tightly and lifted my wine cup. “Cheers.”

  With a jolt, she jumped to her feet and grabbed her heels. “Rot in hell, Jaymeson.”

  “Already am,” I said under my breath. “Already am.”

  Chapter Twenty-Three


  I loved watching her sleep. I knew Nat was most likely exhausted from the night’s activity. Hell, I’d need an entire day to recuperate — but sadly, time wasn’t exactly ticking by in our favor.

  I checked my watch. I needed to wake her up soon. Our flight was leaving later that day, and I knew Nat wasn’t the most cheerful of morning people. Plus, I kind of wanted to take her out to breakfast, stare at her, kiss her, take the morning slow. She sighed heavily in her sleep.

  Grinning, I went over to the hotel door and pulled it open, expecting to find USA Today nestled on the ground — not a half-drunk, A-list actor who looked like he’d just been run over by a semi truck.

  “Jaymeson?” I whispered. “What the hell are you doing?”

  He groaned and opened his eyes. “Shit, what time is it?” Jaymeson moved to a sitting position and leaned his head against his hands. “I think I died last night.”

  I kicked him.

  “Ow! What the hell was that for?”

  “I didn’t want to bend down and pinch you, so I thought a kick was the next best thing.” I shrugged. “Oh, and just in case you missed it, you’re alive.”

  “Got that, thanks,” he muttered.

  “So?” I leaned against the doorframe. “Care to explain why you’re camping outside my hotel room door? You’re lucky as hell we booked the penthouse and put security in the lobby to keep reporters and fans from getting to this floor.”

  “Stop shouting!” he whispered, moaning again.


  “Fine!” he snapped, and wobbled to his feet, trying to push past me. So not how I wanted the day after my wedding to go. Visions of waking up Nat slowly fell from my thoughts as Jaymeson stumbled past me and into the living room of the suite, finally toppling over and onto the couch with a gruff “Shit.”

  “Five minutes then I’m calling security to escort you to a spare room.”

  “And the worst friend in the world award goes to…” Jaymeson laughed and punched the couch with his fist.

  “What’d you do?”

  “I slept with her,” he whispered.


  “Forgot her name.”

  “And how exactly is that any different than any other day, night, morning in your miserable existence?”

  Jaymeson rubbed his hands together and refused to look at me. “She saw.”

  “Who saw?”

  “She did.”

  “Who the hell is she?”

  “Priscilla, pastor’s virginal daughter who wants to tar and feather me.”

  “Your point?” He was talking in circles. Jaymeson was known for sleeping with anything and everything. I still couldn’t figure out why he was being such a pansy about living exactly how he’d been living for the past five years of his life.

  “Her eyes,” he whispered. “They were — disappointed.” Was it my imagination or did the guy look legitimately upset?

  “Look.” I took a seat across from him. “I’m not trying to be insensitive, but why do you care? Why does she matter? And not to make you feel worse, but how the hell did she see you—” I waved my hand in the air. “—Whoring?”

  Jaymeson shrugged. “Look, you don’t need details. All you need to know is that I came back from the airport — met up with some friends—”

  “And when you say friends, you mean—”

  “Single ladies,” Jaymeson half-growled. “People were still partying at the reception on the beach, so I made it known to a few of them that I was looking for—”

  “An STD?”

  “You’re really funny, you know that?” Jaymeson glared. “And no, I made it known I was looking for someone to have a good time with. A really pretty blonde made an offer I couldn’t refuse.”

  I opened my mouth to comment, but Jaymeson sent me another glare. “I could do without your commentary, seriously.”

  I shrugged innocently.

  “Anyways, I’d had an earlier run in with Priscilla, and the idea of going back into the hotel after all of that made me kind of irritated so we took a bottle of champagne, went searching for a fun cave and…” His voice died off.

  “Looked for sea life?”

  “Right.” He snorted. “All types of sea life.”

  After a few minutes of silence I said, “That it?”

  “Sort of…” Jaymeson’s eyes darted wildly around the room before settling back on me. “Priscilla kinda stumbled upon us, and it’s possible I may have made her an offer to um… join.”

  “You’re an ass.”

  “I know!”

  “And an idiot.”


  “I hope she slapped you.”

  Jaymeson turned his head to the left. I saw faint red marks that looked an awful lot like a handprint. The girl must have been pissed.

  “And that’s when she gave you the eyes, I assume?” I leaned back in the chair and folded my arms.


  “Tell me you ran after her. Tell me you apologized. Tell me you did something heroic.”

  “That’s just it.” Jaymeson snorted and looked down at his hands. “I’m not the hero, Alec. I’m the guy you wanna have a good time with. I just play the hero, but in reality — I’m the bad guy. I’m not the one you end up with or the one you take home to your parents. I’m the one you giggle about during bachelorette parties, or the wild fling girls think they want on summer vacation. Being the hero? I only know how to act like it — living it is a completely different scenario — one I’m not willing to attempt.”


  He was silent, and then stood and made his way to the door, but not before quietly saying, “I don’t think I could handle it.”

  “What’s it?”

  Jaymeson turned and gave me a sad smile. “Giving a part of my soul to another human in hopes that they’ll accept every piece of what makes me who I am.”

  “No risk, no reward,” I said.

  “I’d rather go without the reward — than risk breaking.”

  With that, he walked out of the room. I wasn’t an expert in all things Jaymeson but something was wrong with him. He was never serious about relationships or girls. I’d always thought it had everything to do with him being immature and too attractive for his own good. God knows that accent didn’t help matters.

  But as I had watched his face contort in pain — and the absolute look of defeat in his eyes as he spoke — I realized he had a story. I’d just been too shitty of a friend to realize it needed to be told.

  Ready for more Seaside?

  Fall: A Seaside Novel, Jaymeson’s story, releases Spring 2014

  Chapter One


  Four weeks Previous

  “You’re a man-whore.”

  Not what I expected my manager and long time friend to say to me after I not only starred in three blockbuster hits last year, but successfully pulled off the longest summer of my life in Seaside, Oregon with boy band AD2.

  I know what you’re thinking, boy band AD2? OH. MY. GOSH. Seriously, shrieks aren’t my thing, so if you’re going to go all apeshit on me, I’m out. Like seriously out. To be fair, I’m incredibly done with both of them. I couldn’t care less that Demetri Daniels, seriously stop screaming, is my half brother, or that they made my life a freaking hell of a mess this last summer.

  I don’t freaking care if the world is ending and the only place that’s safe is Seaside, Oregon. I’m not going. No chance in hell.

  Wait. Back up. Did my manager just call me a man-whore?

  “Pardon?” I tossed my cell in my hand and laughed as another text alert went off. Seriously. The girls loved me. Really, it
wasn’t their fault I have an accent. Blame England.


  I hit ignore and stuffed the phone back into my pocket.

  “As I was saying…” Brett cleared his throat. “You’re turning into a—”

  “—whore, got it.” My phone went off again. I held up my hand. “Hold that thought, Brett.” My phone blinked another message. Candy again? Nope this was from Brit. Ah, Brit. A man could get lost in those giant—

  “—Jaymeson!” Brett snatched the phone from my hand and slammed it against the mahoghany desk. “People want to like you. They really do. It’s just…”

  My phone beeped underneath Brett’s hand. His face turned an interesting shade of purple, and he picked up my phone and threw it into the rubbish can. Seriously? That was my fifth iPhone in three weeks!

  “What the hell!” I lunged for my phone, but he moved to stand in front of the can and glared. Uh oh. His nostrils were flaring. That only happened when he was royally pissed. Last time they flared, I spent the better part of my day getting lectured on why it isn’t socially acceptable to wear leather pants to a funeral. Shit, call it a culture barrier. I mean, the guy that died was a rocker. I thought I was being respectful. Then again, it was probably the Megadeath shirt I wore along with the leather pants that sealed the deal for me.

  Maybe I should go back to England on an extended holiday. Anything to get rid of Brett.

  So what? People thought I was a man-whore? At least I wasn’t some drug addicted mad man running up and down Sunset Boulevard with my trousers falling around my ankles. I mean, really, there were worse things in life.

  “We done?” I asked coolly.

  “Not by a long shot.” Brett’s nostrils flared as he pointed his finger in my direction. “You’ve gotta get your shit together, Jaymeson. I’m not kidding this time.”

  “My shit is just fine. Thank you,” I retorted with a mocking glare.

  He cursed and ran his fingers through his hair.

  I stood and stretched. “Look, I’m the least of your worries. You’ve got celebrities shooting up heroin and snorting cocaine and slapping tattoos on their asses that have misspelled words. Compare me to them and I’m…” I exhaled. “Mother Theresa!”

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