Skylar (The Love Family Series Book 1)

BOOK: Skylar (The Love Family Series Book 1)
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SKYLAR

 

 

 

Kate Allenton

Copyright © 2015 Kate Allenton

All rights reserved.

 

The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement (including infringement without monetary gain) is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.

Please purchase only authorize electronic editions and do not participate in, or encourage, the electronic piracy of Copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, character, places, and incidents are the products of the author’s imagination or use fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locals or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

All rights reserved. Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work, in whole or in part, in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means now known or hereafter invented, is forbidden without the written permission of the publisher.

 

Published by Coastal Escape Publishing

 

 

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Chapter 1

 

“I’m not crazy,” Skylar Love whispered to her best friend, Olivia Parks, while they strolled arm in arm down Main Street.

Their Sunday morning shopping ritual of treasure hunting, for great pieces to add to their little boutique, was something they both enjoyed. A few tourists trickled in and out of the island’s souvenir shops. The strong summer breeze whipped through her brown hair, being held out of her face by sunglasses perched on top her head. The early morning sun promised a beautiful beach day for the vacationers. And beautiful beach day for vacationers meant empty shops and easier shopping for Sky and Olivia.

“Of course you’re not,” Olivia teased. “I’m sure you find it normal to blow off Luke
Freakin’
Tanner. He’s the hottest, most eligible bachelor to ever come out of our town.”

Luke
Freakin’
Tanner was more than the hottest, most eligible bachelor. He was her first crush, and the only man whose presence made butterflies in her stomach do the limbo and dance the rumba. It sucked that his reason for asking her out had been a sham.

“It’s a pity date, Olivia. Luke only asked as a favor to my brothers.” Skylar shrugged off her disappointment. “He’s in town this week visiting his mom. He’ll be gone by next week.”

“Sky, that’s not pity I see in his eyes when he looks at you.” Olivia sidestepped a young boy skateboarding on the sidewalk as they passed a shop they’d scavenged the weekend prior.

“He’s probably horny and out to get laid,” she teased. Not that she’d mind. A hot guy like him was probably used to being satisfied in work and play.

Olivia’s eyes sparkled with mischief. “So, what if he is? You’re not getting sex anywhere else. But if you take him for a test drive, I want all the juicy details.”

“Now you’re the one who’s crazy.”

Skylar had grown up with Luke. She’d watched as he built his fortune, amassing millions, and she’d seen the rail-thin models clinging on his arm in the tabloids. Luke was more than a great catch. He was a good guy, which was precisely why she’d said no. Falling for him was easy. She already had years ago. Offering her heart on a silver platter for him to crush was destined for disaster.
Nope, I’m not going there.

“For some reason, my stupid brothers have it stuck in their heads that my breakup with Ryan destroyed me.” Skylar rolled her eyes at the idea. “We both know I was the one who dumped his sorry ass.”

“He rebounded fast. He’s been spotted around town with Candy.”

“She’s after his money and clueless that he’s broke. When she figures out he can’t afford a manicure for her claws, she’ll dump him too.”

“It’s a shame. He used to be a good guy, until he started drinking. If my brothers found out that he tried to hit me…” Skylar whistled and shook her head.  

“Ryan is a cheater and a drunk. He made his bed and deserves whatever he gets.” Olivia bumped Sky’s shoulder. “I’m sure your brothers mean well by trying to help you move on.” 

Skylar walked into the thrift shop and let go of Olivia’s arm as she strolled through the tight aisles, leaving the ugly memories behind her. She placed a smile on her face, letting any thoughts of Ryan drift away. He wasn’t ruining her day. Not anymore.

Tendrils and streams of different colored energy guided her toward the back of the store where she knew she’d find her next purchase. She’d been born with the gift of seeing energy in the air, similar to auras, but instead of them creating a circle, they were lines of color in her vision. As a child, she’d sit out on her tire swing and watch as the energies entwined with each other, giving her a spectacular show of lights and colors that only she could see. It wasn’t until she’d started kindergarten that she realized others didn’t see the same thing. 

Skylar slowed beside Olivia, stopping in front of a rack, where Olivia was sifting through the hangers to get a better look. There was one thin, golden stream of light among the dull brown energy strands. “Besides, what do I have in common with Luke? I see ribbons of colors and half the town thinks I’m crazy.”

Skylar gestured to the entire store as if Olivia could see what she’d meant.

“You know I can’t see them,” Olivia mumbled and kept looking through the rack. “And news flash, he’s used to crazy. He is your brother’s best friend. It’s not like your gift is news to him.”

Skylar shifted the dull brown strands out of the way, pushing them to the side until the one golden strand remained. She followed the golden path from above the rack down to the hanger containing the perfect shirt. She pulled out the hanger and handed the vibrant purple silk blouse to her best friend. “This one.”

“Oh, Sky, it’s perfect.” Olivia held the blouse higher toward the iridescent light, twirling the hanger between her fingers. The sparkle in her eyes matched her happiness because of the beautiful material. “You know, this is why I love shopping with you.”

Sky nudged Olivia’s arm. “And here I thought it was because you loved my personality, or even better, the after-shopping invite to Sunday lunch at my mom’s house where you get to ogle my good-looking brothers.”

Olivia grinned. “Eye candy sweetens the pot.”

“Eww.” Skylar moved farther into the store, coming to a stop in front of the jewelry counter. She squatted in front, her gaze roaming over all the prizes she’d be taking home.

“Can I help you find something, Skylar?” Maggie Montgomery, the owner of the thrift shop, asked from behind the counter.

“Can I get a closer look?” She gestured to the case. 

Maggie opened the case, stepping out of Sky’s way. “Have at it.”

Skylar lifted her eyebrows in quick successions like a child that found a new favorite toy. Olivia grinned. Stepping around the case, Skylar made haste using her fingers to move the silver tendrils of energy out of the way until the gold ones remained. She followed the strands to their origins, lifting the intricate jewelry pieces out and placing them on the counter. The last box she pulled contained a pair of cufflinks. She grinned at the perfect pieces. An early birthday present for her brother’s best friend. Hell, she’d grown up with Luke. He’d pulled her ponytail when she was young. He’d teased her when she’d come home with braces. Luke reminded her of a stray animal, always coming back for more after being fed. He was like family that never left. A date might be out of the question, but they were still friends.

She eased the box out with the cuff links, treating them as a treasure. They were antique. Beneath the dark blue stone, shimmers of color sparkled. They were unique and exquisite, just like Luke.

“Sky.”

Skylar glanced up to find Olivia strumming her nails on the case.

“Did you hear a word I said?”

Skylar stood with the last box in her hand. “Nope, sorry.”

“You zoned out.” She tapped the face of her watch. “We need to hurry, or your mom will stick us with dish duty.”

Skylar moved out from around the counter, letting Maggie retake her place. “I’ll take all of these, please.”

“Excellent choices, Skylar. These pieces came in yesterday.”

A couple hundred dollars and five minutes later, they were back in her car and heading to her mother’s house.

“Are all your brothers showing up today?” Olivia twirled her hair when asking.

“I don’t know.” Skylar gave her a sideway glance. “If my mother has her way, they will.”

Ten minutes later, Skylar parked behind her brother’s big SUV among the other cars lining the road. “Your flirting choices are limited today.” Skylar chuckled. “Only Flynn and Reed are here. Declan must be running late.”

Olivia’s smile dipped, and her shoulders deflated. What kind of best friend would Skylar be if she didn’t know which brother Olivia was crushing on? They stepped out of the car.

“Have ya’ll heard from Landon?” Olivia asked in a voice laced with concern.

“Not yet. Last we heard he was working on a super-secret mission.”

Skylar worried about Landon. Out of her four brothers, Declan was the oldest and most pigheaded; Flynn was the jock; Reed was the nerd, and her baby brother, Landon, was, most times, the prankster out of the bunch. Each often barreled headfirst into danger, but Landon’s quiet demeanor, when he’d been home last, had sent up red flags. The light in his eyes had unexplainably dimmed.

“I’m sure he’s fine.” Olivia linked their arms to pull Skylar from her thoughts.

Skylar’s stomach rumbled as they walked up the sidewalk, getting closer to the smell of a Boston butt being cooked on the smoker in the backyard. The white smoke drifted above the house, perfuming and teasing the neighborhood with the delicious smells. She grinned and met Olivia’s gaze.

“Barbeque,” they announced at the same time.

“I hope she made her banana pudding.”

Skylar unlatched the back gate and pulled it open, bypassing the front door into the house. “I’m sure she did, just for you.” 

Her mother’s favorite old time melody filled the backyard, drifting to her ears and bringing back memories of her happy childhood. When Olivia and Skylar rounded the house, Skylar spotted her parents dancing on the patio to the music coming from the radio speakers.

“When I grow up, I hope my husband and I are just as in love as Mary and Martin.”

“Who’s the lucky guy, pipsqueak?” Flynn asked in passing. He spun around and walked backward giving them a big grin and a wink. “Don’t answer that. I hope my name is still in the hat.” He chuckled, spinning back around, not waiting for an answer.

“They tease you because they love you.” Sky passed the pool, heading toward the patio. “They don’t realize that one day you’ll tease back.”

“Today might just be that day.”

“Something smells great,” Sky called out while crossing the yard toward her parents. 

“You sound surprised,” her father joked.

“Absolutely not,” Olivia chimed in and smiled as Martin threw his arm around them both, pulling them in close and kissing their foreheads. The greeting ritual occurred during every lunch or dinner they attended.

“Your father is the best grill master on the entire island; just ask any of the chefs at the hotel.”

Martin released the girls and pulled Skylar’s mom into his arms. Bending her backward he planted a kiss that would make newlyweds blush. No matter how often she’d seen him make that move, Skylar sighed and smiled each time.

“I might be the grill master, but she’s the master of my heart.” He winked.

“Oh, Martin.” Her mom’s eyes shined with love as she swatted Martin with the towel she had in her hands. Their personal energy when separate was beautiful by itself, but when joined, it turned into brilliant pink and white swirls. True love at its finest and the reason Skylar hadn’t tied the knot…yet.

“Where’s everyone?” Declan called from inside the house.

“We’re in the back,” Skylar answered, grabbing a chip from the bowl on the table and popping it into her mouth as she and Olivia sat in the weather-worn wicker chairs.

Declan stepped out on the patio, his dark hair styled with gel giving him the just woke up and rolled out of bed look. He gazed around the yard. Zeroing in on Olivia, he grinned. Her eyes narrowed in response. Well, well, well. Just what had Skylar missed? She leaned into Olivia.

“Something I should know?”

Olivia’s cheeks flushed. Busted. Something had happened, and neither one of them had bothered to share.

Declan patted his dad on the back and hugged his mother. “Luke’s inside finishing up his call. He’ll be out in a second,” Declan explained to his mom while keeping Skylar pegged with his stare. She’d told her entire family that she and Ryan had broken up. She’d just left out the why and the fact that she’d been the one to kick him to the curb. If she had to guess, maybe the guys did think she was depressed.

“Wonderful,” her mom answered. “I made his favorite chocolate cake for his birthday.”

“Maybe it can help mend his broken heart.” Declan raised a brow, still looking in Skylar’s direction in challenge.

“Maybe the cake can be payment for your bribe to date me.”

Her mother’s breath hitched. “Declan Love, tell me you didn’t.”

“Oh, he did, Mom. And you know what…I think you should ground him,” Skylar answered with a grin.

Olivia tossed her head back as her boisterous laughter filled the yard, making everyone else chuckle.

All laughing ceased the minute Luke stepped out on the patio in the process of rolling up his dress shirt sleeves. His royal blue energy swirling around him was lighter than normal, matching his stunning eyes. He lifted a brow sizing up the quieting group. “What’d I miss?”

“Declan’s in trouble.” Olivia linked her fingers together and rested them in her lap.

“I’m not surprised. What did he do?” Luke glanced around the group, waiting for an answer.

“Skylar thinks you asked her out because I forced you to do it,” Declan answered, crossing his arms over his chest and pegging her with a stare.

“He didn’t force me.” Luke’s brows dipped as he looked at Sky. “Quite the opposite. I told him I was going to ask you out, and he sucker-punched me.”

BOOK: Skylar (The Love Family Series Book 1)
9.42Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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