It just occurred to me that I never posted the first chapter of All of You (Summer Haven #1). I know you all can preview the first chapter on Amazon or Barnes & Noble, but I just figured I would post it so you can read it here, too, if you haven't already. Enjoy!
“He’s cute,” Teagan whispered to me, pointing her chin in the direction of a guy who stood a few feet in front of us. His longish blonde hair, deeply sun-kissed skin, and muscular body that he’d obviously spent hours working on at the gym just screamed Baywatch.
I wrinkled my nose. “I’m not into blonde guys.” And long hair was one of my top three turn-offs, along with having no sense of humor and God-like complexes. Of course, my list was longer than just those three things—longer than I cared to admit.
“Me either. One blonde is more than enough in a relationship,” our friend, Matt, said as he exaggeratedly ran a hand over his own short sandy blonde hair.
“Guys, I meant for me.” She stared after him longingly as he passed by our table—the same table we always sat at when we went to O’Neill’s, our favorite bar near our university’s campus. The table was just feet away from the bar, so it gave us the perfect view for guy-watching, which was exactly what we were doing at that moment.
Well, it was what Teagan and Matt were doing, at least. I was mostly just sittingthere, watching as the two of them guy-watched.
As a guy with dark hair and a thin build approached the bar, my best friend downed the rest of her drink, smoothed out her dark brown hair, and then turned to me. “I’m going to go in for the kill on this one. Wish me luck.”
“You’ve got this,” I replied with a grin. I watched as she walked over to the guy and began to work her flirting magic on him—and then a wave of jealousy swept over me. Everything, from the way she strutted over to him so determinedly to the way she let her hand linger on his shoulder exuded confidence.
Why couldn’t I do that? Heck, if I even wore heels as high as the ones she had on, I’d just look like a total klutz.
The guy, though… personally, I thought she could do better than him.
“This one’s almost as bad as the last one,” I whispered to Matt.
“Really? I have to go with Teagan on this one. He’s hot.”
It wasn’t that the guy was ugly; he was just a little too skinny for my taste.
Okay, I knew I probably sounded like a picky bitch, but that’s because I
was. There was a reason for my pickiness, though. Someone had already caught my eye—a guy who I knew I didn’t even have a chance with—and I was having a hard time letting go of the feelings I had for him. Other guys just didn’t even begin to compare in my mind.
A few moments later, the bartender set two drinks down in front of Teagan and the skinny guy.
I gaped at them. Really? She had already somehow gotten him to buy her a drink? She just might have set a new record for herself.
Matt pouted as he watched her from across the room. “Looks like we’ve lost her for the rest of the night.”
I nodded in agreement. “Yeah.”
I watched as the two of them continued to chat for a few moments. But then, an unreadable expression crossed her face. The guy picked up both drinks and walked away from the bar, leaving her standing there by herself.
“Ouch,” Matt said to me.
“I know,” I replied, wondering what had happened.
Teagan shot an uncomfortable glance in my direction as the bartender made her a drink. I knew she was trying to talk to me with her eyes, but I just didn’t understand what message she wanted to convey.
Once she had her drink in hand, she came back to our table and plopped down next to me. “Well, I guess my gay-dar was a little off on that one.”
“Really?” Matt’s eyes lit up a little. “In that case, I’ll be back.” He shot a grin over his shoulder at us. “Watch how it’s done, ladies.”
“Hey!” Teagan called after him. When he turned around, she said, “Girl code rule number one: you don’t go after someone who your best friend liked first!”
“That rule doesn’t apply when the object of your best friend’s affection is swingingfor the other team,” he replied with a wink as he turned back around and headed over to the guy.
Teagan laughed. “Let’s watch the pro, then.”
But I wasn’t watching him anymore…I was too busy staring at who had just walked into the bar. My stomach did little flips and turns as I drank him in. His dark brown hair was ruffled, and he was wearing a tight black t-shirt that showed off his tan, muscular arms. God, he was so freaking hot. . . .
Almost every single girl’s eyes in the bar drifted in his direction as he walked in—the same way they always did any time he walked into a room—but it was like he didn’t even notice. He had to have known just how good-looking he was and how much all of the ladies wanted him, but he didn’t seem to let it affect him.
Following my gaze to the front of the bar, Teagan whispered, “I didn’t know they were planning to come out tonight.”
“Me neither.” I took a hard swallow of my drink, trying not to pay attention to the arm that was wrapped around his waist. There was nothing quite like unrequited love and the sting that I felt every time I saw Logan Daniels with one of his flings of the week or, in this case, of the past couple of months.
As much as I didn’t want to admit it, the truth was that I was hopelessly,
foolishly, head over heels in love with him. He gave me butterflies like no one
ever had before, and my heart felt like it was going to beat out of my chest any time his eyes lingered on mine. It had been that way for years. And while my feelings for him probably wouldn’t have seemed like such a terrible thing
(except maybe to all of the other girls who went to our college and were also in love with him), it was bad.
Logan and I had grown up together, so I knew better than anyone what he was really like. I knew that he barely got by in his college classes because he went to class hung-over half the time and the rest of the time he was too hung-over to go out at all. Even worse, I knew how many girls he’d slept with since we were in high school—a number that was much too high for me to even try
But none of that seemed to bother me the way it should have. I didn’t care howserious (or should I say how un-serious?) he was about his life or, well, anything. I didn’t even care how much he’d sucked at the few relationships that he’d actually bothered to commit himself to over the years (a number that was much, much lower than the number of hookups he’d had, of course). Regardless of what—or who—he did, Logan had a hold on me like no one ever had before.
His relationships had never lasted long, and I usually took comfort in knowing that he always moved on to the next one fairly quick. That usually made it somewhat easier for me. As much as it sucked to see him with so many different girls, I always felt relieved to know that he usually went through them quicker than he did underwear. Usually, he wasn’t emotionally attached to them at all; it was just about sex and nothing more.
This girl, Valerie, was different though. I could feel it every time I looked at
them…and that bothered me. They'd been together for two whole months, which was his longest relationship so far, and it didn’t seem like it was going to falter any time soon.
Logan scanned the room, and his eyes locked on mine when he noticed me and Teagan sitting at our table. My heart froze in the back of my chest and the butterflies in my stomach swarmed, the same way they always did whenever he looked at me.
I was convinced that he would come over to say ‘hi’, but he didn’t. Instead, he
and Valerie headed over to order drinks, which only made me wonder if they were going to pretend that we weren’t there and sit at a table by themselves the whole night. It wasn’t like we’d made plans to hang out with the two of them.
Teagan, Matt, and I always spent our Saturday nights at O’Neill’s and we’d
always extended an open invitation to Logan, regardless of who he was dating—or screwing—but he usually let us know if he was planning to show up. He hadn’t mentioned coming out that night.
Maybe he wanted to just spend time with Valerie and not the rest of us. I don’t know why the thought made me feel sort of (okay, actually, more than a little) bitter. She was his girlfriend, after all. It was expected that the two of them would spend time alone together sometimes. It was part of being in a relationship. I couldn’t let myself be jealous over that.
“Here’s a tip: if you see a guy buying two drinks, it’s because he’s giving one to another guy,” Matt said with a sigh as he sat back down next to me. “Or girl,” he added.
I tore my eyes away from Logan to focus my attention back on my friends.
“A boyfriend, huh? Guess I’m not the only one who struck out,” Teagan told him amusedly. I had a feeling that she must have realized that the other drink had been for someone else. I wasn’t sure why Matt hadn’t put two and two together before heading over to approach him.
“Yes, but see, I only struck out once. You’ll be on your fourth attempt if you try to talk to another guy tonight,” Matt teased her back.
“Thank you for reminding me about how completely single I’m going to be for our trip to the beach this week,” she replied, shooting a pout in his direction.
We were going to be spending the next week with Logan at his family’s beach house in Summer Haven, North Carolina. I had to admit that I was a little more than excited to get away for the next week. My classes had been grueling this semester. Even though I loved Literature, I’d completely regretted my major this semester. Thankfully, graduation was in two weeks. There was only so much more Shakespeare and Chaucer I could have taken without going mad.
Anyway, my best friend was upset that she hadn’t met a guy who she could bring to the beach with us this week. I think that was half of her motivation for trying to pick up so many guys tonight.
“We’re all single,” I reminded her. Truthfully, I wasn’t really sure how I felt about being single myself. I didn’t mind that I’d be single for the next week, since I was looking forward to spending it with my friends, but most of the time, I wished that I had someone in my life. I thought that, with time, I’d get over Logan, meet a new guy, and we’d all become the best of friends. I still hoped that would happen, but so far, my own track-record when it came to relationships was almost up to par with Logan’s. I hadn’t dated nearly as many people as him, but I’d never really gotten serious with any of the ones I had dated. The idea of being serious with anyone scared the crap out of me, for some reason.
I thought I could do it with Logan, though. He was the only one I’d ever been able to picture myself with for the long haul.
“Not all of us,” Teagan replied with an eye roll. “You, at least, have Logan.”
“Are you forgetting that he has a girlfriend?” I asked her.
Teagan whispered, “You know better than anyone how long his relationships usually last. Plus he’s going to be away from Val for the entire week, so who knows what will happen? It gives you the chance to finally tell him how you feel about him.”
“If you want Logan and Hannah’s whole friendship to crash and burn, that’s
great advice, Teag,” Matt said, shaking his head sadly.
“I just mean now is the best time, rather than later. I personally don’t think him and Val are going to last very long. Logan’s been in, what, six relationships in the past four months or something? I don’t think that boy could keep a girlfriend even if he tried. But you never know, maybe she’ll be ‘the one’,” she said pointedly, using finger quotes for emphasis, “if you don’t say something. You need to tell him how you feel now…before it’s too late.”
I couldn’t tell Logan. I hadn’t even wanted to tell Teagan and Matt how I felt
about him, but I also hadn’t needed to say anything. They’d figured it out all
on their own, not long after we’d all met during our first year of college.
After that, there was no point in trying to deny it.
“Matt’s right,” I told Teagan. “I’m not going to jeopardize my whole friendship with Logan when I already know he doesn’t feel the same way about me.” I didn’t want to be having this conversation at all anymore.
“Well, I wouldn’t go as far as to say that,” Matt disagreed. “I do think he cares about you. But I can’t help it. I’m a hopeless romantic and wrecking someone’s relationship is the opposite of that. I might not exactly love Valgina, but that doesn’t mean I want you to wreck things for the two of them, either.”
I rolled my eyes, resisting the urge to kick him under the table. I hated when he used his nickname for Val. I always worried that he was going to slip and use it in front of her one of these days. It made me even more nervous when he used it when we were in the same room as her.
“Anyway, I have a much better suggestion for you,” Matt continued. “Make him completely fall for you. Hint that you like him, but don’t actually tell him how you feel and don’t be the first one to make a move. If he feels the same way as you do, then he’ll take the bait. And if not, then you don’t have to worry about being the one to ruin their relationship and, most likely, your friendship.”
No one needed to worry about any of that happening. Sure, I’d always thought about what it’d be like to tell him how I really felt. I’d rehearsed what I would say to him over and over again in my head so many times, but it didn’t matter how much I practiced. I knew there was no perfect way for me to say it. How did you tell your best friend that you were madly in love with him? You didn’t.
Or, at least, I didn’t.
I doubted that admitting to my feelings would have even made a difference, anyway. Even if Valerie wasn’t in the picture, Logan still had plenty of other girls who threw themselves at him, and I highly doubted that he would have ever chosen me over any of them. I was his best friend. If he was going to be with someone, hewould find someone new and exciting—someone he didn’t know inside and out the way he knew me.
But Valerie was in the picture. And the worst part of all? I actually sort of liked her, which, of course, sucked for me for two reasons. The first reason was pretty obvious; I wasn’t sure if I’d ever get over the jealousy I felt every
time Logan looked at her with those sexy blue eyes of his or the knowledge that she actually seemed to make him happy—or happier than any other girl he’d ever dated had seemed to make him, at least. The other reason it sucked was because if she was dating anyone else I knew, we probably would have been better friends, and I felt guilty as hell for writing her off just because she was dating him.
“Like your way is so much better?” Teagan asked Matt with a scoff. “It’s the exact same thing!”
“It’s not the same thing, Teag. The difference is that we need to let him decide who he wants to be with on his own, without the outside influence of a confession,” Matt explained. “If he decides he wants to be with Hannah on his own, his relationship with Val was already destined to fail. It’s different from completely interfering. Imagine what bad relationship karma she could get from that.”
“Yeah, the last thing I need is bad relationship karma.” Glancing back over at the bar, I noticed that Logan’s gaze had drifted over in my direction. He seemed to be deep in conversation with Valerie, but he kept stealing glances over at me every once in a while. Surprisingly, she didn’t seem to notice him looking at me, though—or, if she did, she didn’t say anything.
“Honey, you couldn’t be any more obvious right now,” Matt whispered into my ear. Knowing that he was probably right, I forced myself to look away from Logan. To Teagan, he said, “I feel sort of guilty about even discussing this, you know. Val has been a pretty decent friend to us.”
She snorted. “I’m surprised you’re calling her our friend.”
Matt rolled his eyes and took a sip of his drink. “Okay, okay. I’ll admit it. I
really can’t stand her most of the time.”
“Plus, you do realize that as soon as he finds a new girlfriend, she’ll be out of the picture, right?” Teagan asked. “It’s not like we’ll keep hanging out with her after they break up.”
He glanced over at me with a mischievous grin. “Hey, maybe you should
tell him you’re in love with him, Han.”
I was about to tell him to shut up when I felt a pair of arms come around my
shoulders in a loose hug and a few strands of auburn hair fell onto my
“Tell who you’re in love with him?” Valerie asked.
I felt my face and my whole body turn a nervous shade of red, and I knew that my eyes had gone as wide as a deer in headlights. It would have been my luck for Logan’s girlfriend to overhear us talking about how in love I was with