Authors: Dawn Stanton
Waiting for Us
Copyright 2015 by Dawn Stanton
ALL RIGHT RESERVED
Cover design by Letitia Hasser RBA/Designs
Edited by Laura from Edits for You
This book is a work of fiction. Any similarity to real events, people, or places is entirely coincidental. All rights reserved. This book may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without the permission of the author, except in the case of brief quotations used for review. If you have not purchased this book from Amazon or received a copy from the author, you are reading a pirated book.
The author acknowledges the trademarked status of products referred to in this book and acknowledges that trademarks have been used without permission.
This book contains mature content, including graphic sex. Please do not continue reading if you are under the age of 18 or if this type of content is disturbing to you.
This book is dedicated to my dear, late grandmother. She sparked my love of reading when she bought Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews for me and that was the beginning of my lifelong love affair with books. She passed away two years ago and there isn’t a day that goes by that she isn’t in my thoughts. Gram, you are missed, but never forgotten.
The warmth of the early morning sun on my face and the heat of a firm, male form pressed along my back, are the first things I notice as I slowly stir from a deep and satisfying sleep. It takes me a moment to fully grasp where I am and who I’m in bed with. His warm lips nuzzle the back of my neck and move over to nibble on the bottom of my ear. I smile to myself,
I’d recognize those lips anywhere.
I arch my back, rubbing against him like a cat purring for attention.
“This is the best morning I’ve ever had,” he whispers in my ear. I’m overcome with emotion and my throat tightens as I try to speak.
He needs to hear that I feel the same.
As I roll onto my back and look up at his handsome face, I am once again overwhelmed by the happiness I see reflected in his eyes. He opens his mouth and I place my finger over his lips, interrupting him with a gentle kiss from my fingertip. It takes me a moment to regain my voice.
“Let me say something first.” He’s always the one who puts himself out there and for once I want him to know what I’m feeling. “I love this, waking up in your arms. I can’t think of a better way to begin my day. I want to be with you, kiss you, make love with you and wake up with you, always.” The words have barely escaped my lips before he has me wrapped in his arms. As he holds me tight, I think of all the time it took us to get to this point and what a journey it’s been…
I've never seen such an example of physical perfection as the one I'm staring at right now. He just strutted into our kitchen with my older brother Jake as if he's been here hundreds of times before. He has black Wayfarers pushed up holding his brown, wavy, chin-length hair back and a canvas messenger bag slung across his broad chest. His plum colored Hawaiian shirt combined with jeans and brown leather flip flops gives off a bit of a hippy vibe. I'm not sure how I'm noticing anything aside from his gorgeous face...wow, that face. His cheekbones are chiseled and the strong angles of his jawline frame his plump and impossibly soft looking lips. Even though I'm only twelve years old, when he smiles at me, I feel a physical reaction, like hundreds of tiny butterflies fluttering crazily in my stomach.
"Hailey, this is my buddy and roommate at school, Cory." As Jake introduces us, he politely shakes my hand with a nice firm grip. I’m almost incapable of speech when I glance into his whiskey-colored eyes for the first time. It takes me an extra beat before I finally manage to squeak out an awkward "Hi," as I feel my face heat with a bright red flush of embarrassment.
"It's nice to meet you, Hailey. Aren't you adorable," he says winking at me. At this point, I begin slinking lower and lower down the ladder back chair I'm sitting on while doing my homework and wanting to disappear under the kitchen table. I glue my eyes to my math textbook as if it's the most interesting thing I've ever read.
"So Munchkin, where's Mom?" I roll my eyes at his hideous nickname for me before glancing up at Jake.
"She's gone grocery shopping. She should be home soon."
"Okay Munchkin, Cory will be staying with us for the Thanksgiving break. I'm gonna go show him to his room."
"Mhmm," I mumble keeping my focus on my book as they leave the room.
Oh my God! He’s staying for a week. How am I going to make it through all that time when I can barely speak around him?
Dinner tonight is excruciatingly painful for me. Cory is sitting directly across from me so unless I stare solely at my plate of food it's pretty much impossible not to notice him. A couple of times I've glanced up and actually made eye contact with him and it's caused chills to run up my spine.
Oh God, he looks even better now than he did two hours ago.
His chocolate-colored hair falls to his strong jawline in a perfect chaotic mess of waves and loose curls. Every once in a while he runs his fingers through its thickness and pushes it back off his face. The way each shiny strand returns to its place is mesmerizing.
I try to pay attention to the conversation going on around me, but I'm too focused on watching the way Cory's large hands cut up his roast beef and the graceful way they lift his water glass to his full lips. When I'm able to pay attention and not be distracted by his good looks, I learn that he is from New Hampshire and an only child of divorced parents. He has plans to remain in Boston after he and Jake graduate from Beacon University in two more years.
The rest of the week passes without me making a complete fool of myself and I don't see Cory again until the next summer when I’m thirteen.
Every year as school lets out in June we go to our summer cottage on Cape Cod. We stay there until it’s time to go back to school at the end of August. This ten weeks of every summer is magical for me and what I live for.
Our house is the quintessential two story, New England beach cottage with its cedar shingle siding and views of the Atlantic Ocean. We are the last house on a dead-end street so we are right next to the beach. At night, I love to listen to the waves crashing roughly against the shoreline. It's the best lullaby I’ve ever heard.
My best friend Marcus and his mom live in the house across the street from ours. We have known each other all our lives and for the summer months each year, we are inseparable. We’re from different towns, about forty-five minutes apart, so we only get to hang out together during our beach time.
Marcus is coming today.
I haven't seen him in ten months and though we constantly text and talk on our phones, it's not the same. I love spending time with my bestie. He is so much fun to just chill with. It's like having another brother, only better because we are the same age. I love Jake, but he's eight years older than me so we don't exactly share common interests- except for Cory.
I'm definitely interested in him.
I know, I know it's hopeless. He doesn't know I exist and by the time I'm an adult he will probably already have a wife and kids.
My phone vibrates next to me; on the picnic table I’m eating my lunch at.
I quickly swallow the last few bites of my grilled cheese and wash it down with some water, before walking over to Marcus' house. As I sit on his front steps, I'm practically bouncing up and down in anticipation of seeing him. I hear their SUV before I physically see them pulling in their driveway. The vehicle is barely stopped before he is jumping out of the front passenger door, a huge smile on his face. We meet halfway and throw our arms around each other. He picks me up and spins me around, making me squeal and giggle like a little girl. He puts me down and we look each other over. He has grown a lot since last summer, looking like a teen now and no longer a child. Neither of us speaks, we just stand there grinning like fools until his mom walks over to us.
"Hailey Morse, look at you...all grown up and so pretty."
"Hi, Mrs. O’Connor. It's great to see you."
"Get over here and give me a hug," his mom says holding her arms open in welcome.
I step in and give her a squeeze. I catch the familiar scent of her floral perfume and I smile because Marcus and I have two and a half months to spend together.
The summer passes like most others for us. We go to the beach every day we can and we stay outside until it's too dark to continue whatever game we’re playing. We both love to surf when the tide permits and we both have skimboards and boogie boards too. I'm pretty good at surfing but nowhere near as good as Marcus. Sometimes I sit out some of the best waves just so I can watch him. He looks like a professional surfer, smoothly cutting in and out of the water.
Being friends with Marcus is so easy and drama free. I wish we went to the same school. I love my friends back home, but the friendship he and I share is different. We tell each other all our deep, dark secrets knowing that the other would take them to the grave. Speaking of secrets, he knows about my ridiculous crush on Cory Marshall. He teases me about it a little but not enough to anger me. He knows when to draw the line.
When I woke up this morning, my mom told me that Cory was coming to visit Jake for a few days. This news made me nauseous and excited at the same time. I haven't seen him in eight months. I wonder if he will think I look older?
Cory arrived around lunch time, but I didn't see him because Marcus and I were at the beach surfing. The waves were so epic we decided to stay and eat lunch later. By the time we got back to my house Jake and Cory had already gone off somewhere and Marcus' mother invited me to go out to dinner with them. She took us to The Shoreline, a favorite restaurant of mine. It has gorgeous views of the ocean and you can eat out on the deck, which is where we end up sitting tonight. When we get back from the restaurant, I’m disappointed to find that Jake and Cory have gone out for the night.
The next morning brings drizzly rain showers and I'm stuck indoors. Marcus keeps texting me to come over, but I'm feeling too cozy sitting in the most comfortable chair on our three season front porch. I'm rereading my favorite series for the hundredth time and if I can't be on the beach, there's no place I'd rather be.
I'm absorbed in an intense part of my book when someone sits down in the chair next to mine. At first I assume it's Marcus so I don't even look up.
He knows better than to
interrupt me when I'm reading.
I catch the woodsy scent of men's cologne and realize it's not him because he doesn't wear cologne. I look up to see Cory smiling at me.
"Hey, Hailey. How are you?"
"Hey," I reply barely glancing at him.
I'm such a conversationalist.
"How's your summer been so far?"
"Good." I mutter, still looking at my book.
"Dude,” my brother Jake yells from the other room. "We need to go. We have to meet the girls in twenty minutes."
Cory gets up from the wicker chair rather gracefully for a tall guy and takes hold of my chin with his thumb and index finger.
"See you later Hailey," he says with a grin and a wink. I look at him, but I am totally dumbstruck and unable to form a single coherent thought, all because he touched me.
The next day Marcus and I are at the beach when Jake and Cory show up with two slutty looking blondes. They are both wearing teeny, tiny bikinis that can barely contain their ginormous boobs. I look down at my less than impressive chest and sigh with resignation. Marcus sensing the depressing direction my thoughts have turned grabs my hand and pulls me toward our surfboards.
We spend the next hour riding the waves and it's the perfect distraction to keep my mind off Cory. I really wish I wasn't crushing on him so hard. I know it's tragically hopeless, but as the saying goes - "the heart wants what the heart wants." Unfortunately for me, my heart is fucking stupid.
That night my parents decide to have a cookout at our house. Marcus and his mother come over and they bring her famous double fudge brownies
. Jake and Cory show up with
They actually look so much alike I can't really tell them apart. Maybe Jake and Cory can't either and they are interchangeable.
The dinner conversation is filled with "likes" and giggles due to
, as they will forever be referred to from this moment on.
This is truly stimulating stuff...
- "This steak is like, so tender. I like, don't usually eat much, like, red meat." Giggle, giggle.
- "I know, like, my dad always ruins it when he, like, cooks it." Giggle, giggle.
I can't help but roll my eyes which I have been doing an exorbitant amount during this meal. When I was little, my mom tried to stop my eye rolling addiction by telling me my eyes would get stuck up in my head, but it didn't work. I am an eye rollaholic and proud of it. I find it extremely satisfying to give an overly dramatic eye roll. You can convey so much emotion without having to say a single word.
Marcus kicks my foot under the table and when I look at him, he is smirking. I kick him back and bite my lip to help hold in a giggle. We look at each other and burst out laughing. I'm talking hysterical, eye tearing, gut-busting laughter.
"What on earth are you guys going on about?" My mom asks with a raised eyebrow and a smile.
"They're like, so cute," says
"We're like, adorable," I say batting my eyelashes before Marcus and I lose it all over again.