Authors: Ellen Wolf
Cover and internal design © 2011 by Ellen Wolf
The characters and events described in this work are entirely fictitious or are used fictitiously. Any similarity to real persons, living or deceased, is purely coincidental and not intended by the author.
‘I am so glad you could make it, Jade
’ Laura’s dark eyes sparkled from behind her glasses as she
at her friend standing in the doorway. ‘Come in
‘I wouldn’t miss it for the world.’ Jade
, her calm face betraying nothing of the storm raging inside her slim frame. Would Liam be here? After all
it was his sister’s sixteenth birthday party
and she knew how close the two of them were
specially after their mom’s second divorce and third marriage,
upset once again.
Laura and Liam
struggled to accept yet another stepdad in the long list of substitute
provided over the years. La
with the promise of a brand new
pool in the backyard.
True, Seattle’s weather didn’t really promise temperatures high enough to be able to enjoy it for most of the year, but the sheer thought of being able to do a few laps each and every day of the summer sufficed.
wasn’t such an easy target
ade had heard enough from her best friend to
as to whether
he would show up at all today.
However, nothing was ever set in stone with Liam Latimer, and
so she allowed herself to
thought about him
getting ready for the eveni
ng in the miniscule upstairs bath
room of her family home.
of his dark eyes and winsome smile
of mascara to her lon
g curly lashes and try wearing
rather than her usual
Jade was definitely not a girly
to expand her modes
department. The no
care of any budding attempts
she might have made
to improve what Mother Nature
Her glossy dark brown hair and huge hazel eyes didn’t really need much improving anyway, her natural beauty shining
the rather unbecoming blazer and skirt she wore on
daily basis. With her creamy skin and just a dusting of freckles on her perfect little nose, she turned enough boys
heads to make her realize she wasn’t bad looking.
Not that it mattered
Rowley cared about the opinion of
the rest of the crowd never even
in her infatuated brain. She had
weak spot for
Liam ever since she could remember
Compared to him
everyone else paled into the meaningless background
as she wove her way through the cheerful crowd at Laura’
old heart beat rapidly at the thought of seeing him again.
possessed his almost
like gracefulness, his six
three frame deceptively light as he walked. Female eyes would follow him, appreciating his raven hair
and lazy smile that made women wonder what was going on in
his handsome head.
as she listened to Laura’s careless talk about him moving to California.
e had finished his university degree a year ahead of time
his thesis project had caught the attention of prospective employers
e had been offered a job with one of the leading advertising companies on the
Coast. She could only imagine how pleased
he must be at
the idea of putting thousands of miles between
his stepfather’s elegant mansion
Not that she had ever heard him
Liam didn’t talk about his feelings,
a behavior that
his family to tears. Jade realized that it
line of defense. The turbulent years following his parents
left a mark on his way of thinking and acting, his calm and reserved expression only one of
of the Latimer clan wars.
, she had a plan
each and every step
spent more than one sleepless night imagining his departure. She couldn’t let him leave
noticing her as
one other than
his younger sister’s best friend. He had to realize that she was so much more
and that it would be well worth waiting for her to grow up and follow him, wherever
he might go
to her a year earlier,
she felt his strong hands supporting her as she attempted to master the art of roller-skating. Her
at being totally helpless
, completely different
emotion spread through her exhilarated body. She
a glance at his face then, noticing for the first time just how incredibly good
looking he really was, the warmth of his
around her cold fingers shaking
her to the core.
‘Just don’t look down,’ he ordered in a calm voice
to her flushed face
no reason to be embarrassed, Jade. You
re doing great
, and s
he knew it perfectly well
suddenly shaky knees
her from doing anything more than cling
as if he
. She wanted desperately to impress him
the thought of him seeing her as
awkward teenager suddenly
doing it all by yourself now
from behind, a
nd she realized he had let go of her, her
feet aptly picking up the steady
smooth rhythm on their own.
She moved forward, braver with each stride as she felt her balance finally restored. For a split
she regretted being better at the sport
the excuse to hold his hand
put on a brave face and showed o
f her new
found talent, while her skin positively
awareness of Liam’s nearness.
the long intervals between his
visits from university doing little to extinguish the fire that burned inside her each time they were together. If anything,
she missed him terribly and listened to Laura’s snippets of information with
dying of thirst in the
of a desert. Laura joked about his
girlfriends, completely unaware of her friend’s agony. Supposedly, he was very popular with the girls, a fact that didn’t surprise Jade at all. He was handsome, funny
of the Latimer kids
taught him to be caring and protective
an irresistible package that no woman could resist.