Authors: Shane Morgan
“I didn’t mean now.”
,” I stretch
Reign looks straight into my eyes. I so want to
disentangle that mind of hers. When her gaze drifts down to my chest and
lingers there, I suddenly remember that I’m shirtless, not to mention I’m only
wearing my boxers.
“Shit…” I snatch up my jeans and hurry back into
them. “Sorry, wasn’t thinking.” As I pull my shirt over my head and collect
myself, I notice she’s eyeing the sand shyly. Her face is dimly lit by the moon
but I can see the redness of her cheeks.
“Um, we should head back and check on Claudia,”
she says, turning to start down the beach.
“Yeah,” I say, falling in stride beside her.
“Oh, are we still on for that tour Sunday?” I’m looking forward to it, being in
her presence makes me…happy.
She nods. “Sure, Claudia’s coming with us.”
No! What the hell!
“Oh,” I mutter, suppressing my distress.
We keep walking in silence until I find myself
asking, “So, how long have you and Nate been together?”
The look on her face is distant, like me
bringing him up makes her consider something.
“Wow, barely before finishing high school, huh?”
If I went to the same school as Reign, I never would’ve waited that long to get
She parts her lips to say more, but then a raspy
voice shouts her name from the steps at the side of the house. It’s Nate.
That’s just great.
He stomps toward us, almost tripping over his
own feet. Man, he’s buzzed.
“Been looking for ya, babe,” he says, pulling
her over to his side. He glances from Reign to me and asks, “What’s going on?”
I don’t like the brashness in his tone.
“Nothing,” Reign intervenes. “I went for a walk
and Micah was out here, too. We were just heading back.”
He squints then studies my face carefully.
“Aren’t you that new waiter at Cap…ahem,” he breaks to compose himself, “at
Glancing around the beach, he flicks back to me,
saying in a laugh, “Dude, why are you even at this party? You don’t know any of
That attitude again.
“I came with Claudia,” I reply flatly. “And I
know Reign…I mean,” I start to retract my statement as his eyebrows shoot up.
“She said it was cool if I came.”
Nate snorts, “Whatever.” He directs his
attention to Reign. “Let’s go back to the party, babe. You’re sleeping over,
right? Ryan’s cool with it.”
My throat tightens. It irks me hearing him say
that. I know it’s her boyfriend but every fiber of me is begging her to say no.
She peers over at me for a beat then looks down on the sand, seeming
“I can’t,” she says lowly, shutting him down. “I
have to make sure Claudia gets home okay.”
Oh shit! I almost break out with a happy dance.
His face stiffens, and he flashes me a look of
All Nate can say is, “Okay. Let’s go find her
and…get you girls home then.”
Placing his arm over her shoulder, he tows her towards
the house. I follow behind, making sure to keep some distance between me and
When we get back to the house, most of the kids
from earlier have left, or are scattered about the place. I spot Claudia near
the pool, drinking and dancing by herself to the soundless music in her head,
because the DJ has already packed up his equipment and getting ready to take
Reign treads over to her and touches her elbow.
“Claudia, give me your keys. I’ll drive.”
She laughs and throws her arms around Reign,
. “…you say.”
I move forward to help. Nate beats me to it,
taking Claudia away from Reign to carry her down the steps towards her jeep out
front. Reign picks up her bag and rifles around for the keys.
I saunter behind her down the stoned path and
sidetrack towards the gate to walk home when she hurries over to the jeep. Nate
settles Claudia on the backseat. Reign hops in around the wheel. The engine
purrs to life.
Nate closes the backdoor and strolls up to her door.
He leans in the window and kisses Reign on the cheek. “Drive safe, babe, and
text me when you get home. I’ll just hang out here for the night.”
out the windshield. Our eyes meet. Why am I still standing at here?
I make to leave when Reign calls out to me.
“Micah, get in. I’ll drive you home.”
Glancing back, I see Nate screw up his face at
me, unhappy with that offer.
“Don’t you have a car?” he sneers.
“He doesn’t,” Reign tells him. “That’s why I’m
offering him a ride. Nate, we invited him along so I want to take him home.”
He looks at her with a vexed expression. She
keeps her eyes on me though, waiting for me to come inside the jeep. Nate
twists and stares me down as I move away from the gate and pace over to the
jeep, climbing inside.
It feels good, watching him seethe. I guess he
really is the jealous type. And he should be. I might just steal his girlfriend
away after all.
Acting territorial again, Nate sticks his head
inside the window and kisses her softly on the lips. “Bye babe. See you on
Sunday?” There’s a sneaky spark in his eyes, as if he’s reminding her of
whatever they have planned.
“See you,” Reign says lowly before driving off
the property and out the gates.
CLAUDIA KEEPS moaning on the backseat and giggling
to herself. None of what she’s saying makes sense and it’s hard for us to not
laugh. Micah has a nice laugh by the way. Is it wrong for me to notice?
“So, where you taking me on Sunday?” he asks,
starting a conversation to drown out Claudia’s mumbling.
“Uh, we can check out some historical sites and
such,” I reply.
“Sounds boring,” he jokes. “Remember, I’m
looking for excitement.”
“It’ll be exciting,” I counter, looking over at
him for a fraction of a second before I bring my eyes back on the road.
“Nah, I don’t think you’re fun. You didn’t even
want to get in the water tonight when I was trying to be spontaneous.”
Micah’s only kidding but he has no idea how
afraid I am. I’d love to have the courage to just jump in the ocean, but every
time I so much as go near the edge I see Mary’s face. She’s waiting for me.
“Hey,” he breaks me out of my thoughts. “I was
joking. Don’t think so hard, you might have a breakdown,” he teases.
“I’m not,” I force a laugh.
There’s an unsettling silence between us before
Micah goes to say something again, only Claudia cackles loudly and we both yelp
Peering over to the backseat to check on her, he
straightens and whistles, “Wow, she’s had quite a few.”
I flip on my right indicator as we approach his
street. “She’s usually not like this. It only happens once in a while.” I feel
I have to make Claudia look good to Micah, since she wants to go out with him.
Still, there’s a strange feeling in my stomach when I think about the two of
them dating. Like, I don’t want it to happen.
“Whatever the case,” he says, “It’s good she has
a friend that looks out for her.”
“Thanks, I try.”
I glance over for a beat to smile at him, and
then turn my head back to the road as I pull up to his house.
“Well, here you are.”
Micah unbuckles his seatbelt but doesn’t get out
right away, as if he has something on his mind. He parts his lips, still
nothing comes out.
“Is there…something you want to say to me?” I
press, curious about his thoughts.
Finally he meets my gaze, only to say, “See you
“Oh, yeah, see you.”
“One…more…c’mon…” Claudia rambles, her
words punctuated by burps. Micah looks over at her again and shakes his head.
“She’s gonna have a wicked headache tomorrow.”
“Indeed, she will.”
He climbs out of the jeep and shuts the door,
waving at me as he makes his way to his house and steps inside. I drive off
I FLY OUT OF BED before sunrise. Then go for a
run around the area and end up at the cliff walk overlooking the beach. My
heart almost jumped out of my chest when I see Reign.
Slowing down, I take in her physique as she
bends over to stretch her back and hamstrings. Her workout tights show off her
round butt. I lick my lips and fantasize about cupping those cheeks in my
hands, feeling out their firmness.
As she straightens and stretches from side to
side, I jog up to her.
“Morning,” she replies, turning around with her
face scrunched up in curiosity. “I didn’t know you knew about this place.”
I shrug. “Not till now. I usually push myself to
the limit so I figure I’d go the extra mile, hence, how I ended up here.”
“Cool.” She bobs her head, an impressed smile
playing at her lips. “Well, I’m just getting started. Not too tired to run to
the end of the cliff walk with me?”
“Sure.” As if I’d refuse.
We jog the rest of the way, not saying a word. I
do my best to squash the gasps and the fact that I’m almost out of breath. It’s
hard to do that when I’m having a difficult time keeping my eyes off her body,
especially the way her butt bounces with every trek.
It’s like she’s in slow motion, as I watch her
chest rise and fall, and the sexy way her lips part and releases steady breaths.
I wish we could run together every morning.
Reign looks over at me for a second and smiles.
“You seem to be keeping up all right, after covering so much already.”
If only she knew.
The killer about it is that I have to run the
same distance back. Great! Then again, I guess it’s worth it because I get to
spend a little time with Reign.
A couple minutes later we finally reach the end.
I hunch over, unable to contain the exhaustion any longer.
I feel like a pussy, struggling to breathe.
opens the fanny pack around her waist and takes out a bottle of water. “Here,
I take it quickly, stand up straight, and gulp
down the water. It quenches my thirst a little but I don’t drain the bottle, in
case it’s her only one.
Putting the cap on, I hand it back to her. She
takes a sip then hands it back to me. I delay taking the bottle because, wasn’t
that an indirect kiss and aren’t I going to taste her lips now?
My heart thumps as she says, “Drink some more.”