Authors: Becca Ann,Tessa Marie
KING SIZED BEDS AND HAPPY TRAILS
Becca Ann’s dedication:
Dedicated to anyone who’s been stuck in the friend-zone
Tessa Marie’s dedication:
Dedicated to anyone who’s ever been scared to follow their heart
All rights reserved.
Printed in the United States of America.
No part of this book may be used or reproduced in any form or by any means electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval systems, without prior written permission of the author except where permitted by law.
Copyright February 2014
courtesy of Shutterstock
The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious.
Any similarity to real persons, living or dead is coincidental
and not intended by the author.
Mrs. Sean Dixon.
I draw a big fat X through it.
After watching Sandy Mc-Slut-ster shove her tongue down Sean’s throat, all my fantasies went up in flames just like the anger inside of me. That conceited, good-for-nothing bitch knew exactly what she was doing. Her heart is darker than my
She stopped right in front of me while I sat waiting for
my ride, and yanked Sean’s face to her overly made up one, then practically inhaled it. I bet she heard the rumors that Sean planned on asking me to the winter formal.
God forbid she let her arch enemy
get the one thing she desired most. It’s not fair though. I’ve waited, watching him from a distance for the past two years, analyzed every single gesture he’s made and every word he’s ever said to me.
Unfortunately being the daughter of the town drunk doesn’t exactly scream, “Look at me! Aren’t I sexy?”
I slam my notebook shut just as Ryan snatches it out of my hands. “Hey, give that back!” I jump up from the bench outside school and bounce up and down. It’s no use. My best friend’s arm is too far out of my reach. Even though I’m 5’7, Ryan towers over me.
He should know better than to mess wit
h me. I’m the one girl who knows more about him than anyone else. So I take advantage and go right for his weak spot, tickling the place where his arm bends at his elbow.
Muscles tighten and his shirt stretches tight against his bicep
. A loud laugh erupts from his mouth, hand falling to his side. “Cheater!” he yells, and I grab my notebook from his hands.
“Winner,” I correct him and cock a smile.
He shakes his head, dirty blond hair short yet messy sways with his movements. Dark eyes lower to mine, eyebrow arched. “If you say so.” His arm reaches out, trying to get the notebook back, but I’m too quick. I turn away, but he’s faster this time. I’m swept into his arms, and the world spins around me.
There’s no use fighting it. I hold on and enjoy the ride. When he comes to a stop and places me back on the ground
, both of us unsteady on our feet, he smiles his big Ryan smile.
toward his car. “You ready? Nate and Kaylee are already in the car. He has a deck of cards though, so he can keep her occupied with magic tricks for the next two days.” Through the window I see the top of Nate’s fedora, his head bent down over Kaylee who is cuddled into his side.
I glance at my wrist as if I’m wearing a watch. “I’ve only been waiting for like twenty minutes.” I scrunch my nose and give him my best
“mean” face even though Ryan tells me it makes me look constipated.
He rubs the back of his neck. “Sorry I got held up in Auto Shop. We were removing an engine from a 1972 Dodge Dart.”
I stare down at my black nails—no chips—and back at Ryan. “And if I knew what that was I might be impressed.”
His mouth drops open, long arms fly up. “Have I taught you nothing? I’m embarrassed you’re my best friend.”
Of course I know what a Dodge Dart is. I know more about cars than I’ve ever wanted to know. But Ry loves them, so when he talks for hours on end about classics versus modern and fuel injection versus carburetion, I listen.
“Now you know how I’ve felt for the past ten years.”
His eyes widen, forehead creases, and I bend my legs, ready to run. “Oh really!” he says and leaps at me with his tickle fingers. I take off toward the car, laughing so hard I have to stop to hold my sides.
I glance up
, and there in all her slutty glory is Sandy sliding into Sean’s car. The vision of Sean’s face sears my heart. How could I be so stupid? I’m a nobody, and he’s charming and mega hot, but I believed in fairytales, and he was my Prince Charming. Should have listened to Mom all those years ago when she told me fairytales were child’s play.
Ryan stops walking. “What’s wrong?” Already dark eyes darken more as concern etches at the corners
, tension pulling tight.
For a second I forg
et about Sandy’s blatant display of affection. Ryan does that to me. He’s the only one that can make me forget about my shitty life. I turn away, afraid I’ll cry. A gentle hand rests on my shoulder. “Lex…” His voice drifts into my ears like a familiar song. Slowly he turns me until I’m looking into the soft brown eyes of the boy who always catches me when I fall.
The concern is still there, but the tension is gone, replaced by the need to make whatever is bothering me go away.
A tear slips down my cheek.
“Don’t cry,” he says and swipes his long finger under my eye.
I go to talk, but words won’t come. A sheet of glass forms in my eyes, and when he takes me in his arms, the glass shatters. Tears stream down my cheeks, leaving wet pools on his white shirt.
“Okay, I’m not embarrassed you’re my best friend,” he says and laughter erupts from my mouth causing me to snort. “Now that was hot!”
I wipe at the tears. “Is there something wrong with me? Am I defective?”
His forehead crinkles in confusion, but when
Ryan glances over my shoulder and sees Sean leaning into the passenger window of his car kissing Sandy, the skin tightens.
“Not him again?
Lex, he’s a douche.”
“You’re just saying that.”
“No, I’m not. In gym he blew a fit because he got a grass stain on his pants. That is a douche.”
“Sean’s perfect. And I’m… I’m just the girl with a town drunk for a mother.”
“You need to stop.”
“Beating yourself up over something you can’t control. Your mom doesn’t define who you are. You do. And if you ask me, you’re pretty kickass.” He places his hand under my chin, pulling it up until I look into his eyes. “Now screw Sean. Screw Sandy Nelson and screw your mom. Let’s go have a Ryan/Lexie fun day. What do you say?”
Ryan throws his arm over my shoulder and guides me to his car. Through the window I see Nate with his fedora off, hand inside, probably about to pull out a dozen or so silk scarves. Kaylee is fixated on his every move, big green eyes wide with anticipation, blond pigtails resting on her shoulders. She’s only seen this trick a gazillion times
, and she’ll probably watch it a million more. As Nate always says, she’s the bunny to his hat.
I get in the front seat and as soon as the
door shuts, Kaylee’s arms wrap around my neck. “Bestie!” she screeches, even though I hate that word. I’m a slug and bestie is the salt. Just hearing it makes me shrivel up and cringe. But it’s Kaylee—the girl who has never judged me—so I always let it slide.
“What are you pulling out of your hat today?” Feeling kind of guilty I interrupted Nate’s trick
, I turn my attention to him, Kaylee still hanging on my shoulders.
Kaylee releases me and leans over to kiss Nate on the cheek. “As you were.” She waves her hand and then focuses back on his every move.
redden, his teeth slide over his bottom lip and the trick is as good as over. His hand wraps around Kaylee’s waist, and he pulls her close, but not before a giggle escapes her mouth.
tosses his arm over my seat and turns his eyes my way. “Do you want me to walk Brewster with you tomorrow?”
Of course I do. I can’t handle that sixty pound, squirrel loving dog on my own.
Besides, I know what he’s doing. He’s trying to take my mind off of Sean. It’s sweet, but it won’t work.
I shrug. “If you want.”
“Since Mrs. Nelson only gave you the job because of my ridiculously good looks, I think I’d owe it to her to be there.”
If my eyes could do a one-eighty they would.
Granted, Ryan was the reason I got the job, but it had nothing to do with his looks. “She won’t even be home.”
“Well, in that case…” His dark eyes shoot up, forehead crinkles in his I’m-thinking-face. “Yes.”
It was a good try, but my mind is stuck on a rerun of the Sean and Sandy show. I turn back in my seat and rest my head against the window. I don’t want to talk. I just want to go home and cry my eyes out over a boy who was never even mine. Ryan knows. I can tell by the way he keeps glancing at me.
He squeezes my knee and puts on the radio. His way of telling me,
I have the car ride to get over it.
We pull up to Skippy Lee’s, burger joint/arcade/only hangout in a fifty mile radius. Kaylee jumps out of the car pulling Nate behind her.
“I want a chocolate shake,” she says over her shoulder. “What do you want?”
“You.” Nate pinches her butt then scoops her up, her laugh trailing behind them as they disappear into the crowd.
I want what they have. They’ve been together for eight months, and in high school that’s like five years! I’m just beginning to believe there is no rabbit to my hat. Maybe I’m meant to be the lonely hat left on a train.
“I gave you the car ride here,” Ryan whispers
in my ear.
I squeeze his arm
, and he flexes under my touch. Silly boy. “And I appreciate it.”
Fall is spiraling into winter
, and I don’t have a coat. Don’t even have on long sleeves. Goosebumps cover my arms, and I run my hands up and down my skin to warm them.
I don’t even need to ask. Ryan leans in his car and pulls out his h
oodie. He wraps it around my shoulders and I push my arms through the sleeves. I take a deep breath and smile. “Let’s go have fun.”
“I’ll race you,” he says just as he takes off.
“Not fair!” I run after him. He reaches the door before me, and I jump on his back. “You cheated.” His cologne, juniper and sandalwood, assault my senses, and I secure my arms around his neck.
“Never.” He cocks his Ryan grin at me and opens the door. “Let’s call it a tie.”
We walk in, and I slide off his back. “Only if you get me a bacon cheeseburger.” His nose crinkles, but I pout. Not my fault the boy is a vegetarian. “For me?” I stick my lip out even farther.
“You and that damn lip.” He pushes my lip up with his finger
before he walks away.
I join Kaylee at the far table
, and Ryan joins Nate in line. Kaylee’s big eyes narrow in on me.
“You’re making him get you a bacon cheeseburger again, aren’t you?”
I try to hide my smile, but my lips tug hard, and we both crack up. A few moments later the laughter stops, and Kaylee flips one of her blond braids over her shoulder. “He’d really do anything for you.”
I wave my hand
. “It’s a best friend thing.”
“You’re my best friend
, and there is no way I’d get you a burger if the smell alone sent me upchucking into the bathroom.”
“It’s not like I’m asking him to eat the damn thing.”
“Just saying.” She holds the “ing” part out and flashes her white teeth before giving me a wink then grabbing her shake off Nate’s tray.
Ryan sits down across from me, placing his tray on the table
. The bacon cheeseburger steams, his nose crinkles again, and he pushes the delicious plate of grease toward me. I cock an eyebrow. “Now was that so hard?”
“As a matter of fact it was.”
With reflexes like a cat, I grab a fry off Nate’s plate and throw it at Ryan’s head. He doesn’t even attempt to stop it, and it smacks the bridge of his nose.
“Cute. You done?” He tilts his head in that bring
-it-on gesture. My hand hovers above Nate’s tray. This could get ugly. Hopefully not as ugly as the time I dumped a milkshake on his head. Jerk retaliated by hugging me and wiping his head up and down my cheek and hair. Oh and can’t forget the cherry he stole off of Kaylee’s sundae to place on top of my head.
I don’t take my eyes off Ryan’s as I take another fry.
“Sorry to interrupt, but I do want to eat those.” Nate removes the fry out of my hand and tosses it into his mouth before turning back to Kaylee.
Ryan smiles his usual half smile
, but I don’t hold back. I let mine stretch far across my face. A Ryan/Lexie fun day always cures my bad moods.
The bell above the door rings as another group of people walk in. I take a bite of my bacon cheeseburger, ketchup dripping down my chin
, when my heart plummets to the floor.
Sean and Sandy walk in, hand in hand. So what if this is the only hangout in town, why here? Why now? Just when I forgot about his lips pressed against hers.
I want to look away, but I can’t. My eyes are drawn to their hands and then to their faces. My stomach twists when she laughs that ridiculous laugh of hers at something he says.
Just yesterday in Bio he brushed the hair away from my ear and whispered a joke. I almost didn’t wash the strand. Sean Dixon touched me. It was then I
finally vowed to make him mine. And now…well…he’s taken.
My eyes are glued
on them. Out of the corner of my eye I can see Ryan shake his head and rub the back of his neck. Sandy turns, gaze catching mine. She turns, a cocky grin meant only for me flashes brightly on her face, as she makes her way toward our table.