"Rise and shine cute titties!"
Kelly's voice sounds like nails against the chalkboard and I groan as I push myself deeper into my pillows. I can hear her laugh as she opens the blinds, letting enormous amounts of unwanted sunlight into my bedroom.
"Whatdoyawant?" I slur.
I still feel the 'beer' effects from the previous night banging against my temples. Kelly pounces onto my bed and hands me two tiny red pills and a glass of ice-cold water.
"Meds for the headache and water for the dehydration," she chirps in explanation.
My aching body slowly rises from the covers and I readily gulp down her medicinal offering. My eyes adjust to the light and I can't help but glance over at Hunter's side of the bedroom. His sheets are rumpled around his empty bed.
"He's gone," Kelly says matter-of-factly.
"Who is?" I ask trying to play dumb.
"Don't even play stupid with me Jessie. I know you all too well. I can already tell you're crushin' big time on Hunter."
My eyes widen at her accusation and she giggles, pointing a finger in my direction.
"You should see your face right now, Jessie! Priceless!"
I kick my legs out of bed and move towards my dresser to pick out an outfit to wear for the day.
"Everyone's at the beach," Kelly says and tosses me a plastic bag.
"A new bikini I bought you. Put it on and meet me downstairs in five. I told the guys we'd be down there like - a half hour ago."
"Uh, yea? Hunter, Rex and Elliot?"
I take a nervous gulp as I pull out the skimpy contents from within the plastic bag. The tiny black bikini stares back at me, mocking my modesty.
Oh hell no. What - was this made for a baby or something?
Kelly registers my look of horror and rolls her eyes. I survey the light green bikini showing through Kelly's white sundress and envy how confident she is in her own skin.
"Just put it on Jessie. You'll be fine. And on our way to the beach you can fill me in on all the juicy details about what happened last night between you and Elliot!"
"Yea, about that," I say making my way towards the bathroom. "Uhm, is there a reason Elliot's still here?"
Kelly gives me an annoyed look and flips her black hair away from her shoulders.
"Well first of all, he was too drunk to drive home last night. Second of all, he wants to spend time with his cousin before he takes off. But thirdly and most importantly Jess, he wants to spend more time with you. Duh."
The beach is surprisingly sparse for it being only one o'clock on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon. The sound of the waves lapping against the shore purrs in my ears and relaxes my senses. Rex is already in the water, surf board beneath his feet and riding in on a fairly big wave. He rides it almost all the way into shore before teetering to the side and falling off his board. His muscular body makes a massive splash and ocean water erupts around him.
"Nice ride baby!" Kelly shouts and then jogs over to meet him.
I set down my towel and beach bag, grabbing my sun glasses and shoving them onto my face. I want to keep my clothes on but it's so damn hot I can't take it any longer. Feeling incredibly self-conscious, I tug down my denim shorts and kick them towards my bag. I pull my tank top over my head and throw it to the ground as well.
"You're putting every other girl on this beach to shame, ya know," a familiar voice says from behind me.
I whip my head to the side and my cheeks flush a deep scarlet as the seductive and very shirtless Hunter approaches me. His eyes burn into mine and I watch as he looks down the length of my body. I nervously bite my lip and cross my arms across my chest.
"You should stop doing that," Hunter says with a slow grin. "Puts thoughts into a guy's head."
"W-what do you mean?"
Hunter points a finger towards my mouth, his eyes glowing with what I can only hope to be desire.
"Biting your lip. You do it a lot I've noticed," Hunter says as beads of ocean water drip down the tips of his hair and onto his muscular stomach.
"Oh yea. That. Uhm, well it's a bad habit I suppose…."
Hunter lowers his body onto the warm sand, not caring when it sticks to his delectable skin. He checks me out a second time and shakes his head. He mutters something under his breath but I can't quite make it out.
But wow. He is so friggin' beautiful.
"So about tonight," Hunter says turning his focus to the water, "You want me to sleep on the upstairs couch or something?"
I frown at the question and decide to take a seat next to him. I pull my suntan lotion out of my bag and squirt some into my hands before rubbing it on my arms and legs.
"Why would I want that?" I ask.
Hunter's gaze moves toward me again, his eyes lingering as I moisten my skin with coconut-smelling sun tan lotion. I feel a quiver deep within my stomach and my heart beat begins to throb under his heated stare. I dated Kevin for almost two years and not once did he look at me with such intense focus.
"I assume you'll want some 'alone time' with my cousin after your big date tonight. And that's cool with me. I just need to know when to be gone and when to come back."
Why do I feel so disappointed that he could care less about my date with Elliot?
I squirt another handful of lotion onto my palm and squirm in my seat as I try to reach the middle portion of my back. Hunter chuckles as I struggle and scoots his body closer to mine.
"Need some help?"
"Er, no that's alright. I've got it."
I continue to struggle for a moment until finally Hunter swipes up the lotion and pours a generous amount into his hands. He moves his body even closer and in seconds I feel his cool, strong hands pressing against my bare back.
Goose bumps raise all across my body and that quiver in my stomach deepens to a dull throb. His touch is strong and smooth, his fingers gliding across the length of my back and up my neck. I lick my lips and try to force out the naughty thoughts that are teasing my mind. Hunter is gorgeous but he's my roommate. I can't possibly start anything with him.
Plus, I heard from a few girls last night that Hunter is a well-known heart breaker. And I refuse to get mixed up with one of those again. I just wish he wasn't so hard to resist.
I almost cry out in protest when Hunter's hands leave my skin. I watch him out of the corner of my eye. His face remains as passive as ever and my shoulders sag in distress. This guy is just too hard to read. One minute I think he wants me and the next I feel nonexistant.
"Alright, you're good," Hunter says and tosses the bottle of lotion back into my bag. He leans his body onto his elbows and yawns. "Shit, I'm tired."
"Me too," I murmur. "So… speaking of Elliot - where is he? Kelly told me he'd be here?"
I can't ignore the way Hunter's lips purse into a slight scowl before quickly returning back to normal. I try to stifle the hope that his glare is from jealousy, but the thought has my sub-conscious leaping with joy. Hunter nods his head to the left, indicating a food cart just a couple hundred feet away.
"He's getting some drinks and food for everybody."
"Awesome - I'm starving. What's he getting?"
"Just hot dogs and chips I think." Hunter then lowers his gaze and a devious grin spreads across his seductive pink lips. "You do like hot dogs, don't you Jessie?"
Oh God. Awkward.
I bite my lip again and when Hunter sees the action, his hungry gaze intensifies.
"What'd I tell you about biting that lip of yours?"
"T-that it puts thoughts into a guy's head?" I ask, repeating his prior words.
My eyes remain locked with Hunter's as he licks his lips and moves an inch closer to me.
"Precisely," Hunter says with a low growl. "And Jessie, you should know - once I get 'a thought' inside my head, it's hard for me to let it go…."
My stomach erupts with butterflies as I take in the double meaning of Hunter's sexual comment. But before I have time to respond, both Hunter and I turn our heads as we hear Elliot's muffled footsteps approaching us. His arms are loaded with food and drinks, and Hunter is on his feet in an instant, rushing to his cousin's side to help him carry it all over.
My mouth waters when my eyes connect with Elliot's bare chest and stomach. Is everyone in Hunter's family this good-looking?
Elliot sees me looking at him and throws me a playful wink. My eyes scuttle over to Hunter, and I gulp uneasily when I realize that both guys are staring at me, both sets of their eyes never leaving my face. My stomach squirms as they approach and a bead of sweat trickles down the small of my back.
"Hot damn, Jess," Elliot says as he and Hunter spread out the food. "After seeing you last night, I didn't think you could get any hotter. But here you are, proving me wrong."
Blood rushes to my cheeks and all I can do is smile in response to his compliment. Kelly and Rex don't wait long to join us. Rex throws his surf board against the sand, flopping to his side before devouring a hot dog in seconds flat.
"Slow down baby," Kelly scolds him. "The food isn't going anywhere."
Rex just sighs and grabs for another one. Elliot sets a cold drink, a bag of chips and a hot dog in front of me but when I look at it, all I can think about are Hunter's sexual comments from before. Was he just messing with me? Or maybe…does he want me?
"Aren't you gonna' eat Jessie?" Kelly asks me through a bite of hot dog.
"Yea. I'm just - I dunno. I think I'm just really hot. I'm gonna go cool off in the water for a minute and then I'll come back and join you guys."
"Ok," Kelly says, but I can see the question burning in her eyes.
Elliot stands when I do and he extends his hand to me.
"Mind if I join you?"
I smile and accept his outstretched hand, doing my best to keep my eyes on his face. His flat abs and lean build really are too tempting for words.
"Not at all," I manage to say.
Elliot leads me down to the shore, the foamy waves lapping over our feet at exactly the same time. I walk in a few steps deeper and then - to my surprise, Elliot scoops me up into his arms and tosses me into the water.
I fight my way to the surface and gasp for breath. My eyes narrow on Elliot as he laughs at my recovery. I do my best to splash away his grin. He splashes me back. A happy laughter emits from my throat and I can't fight the smile now creeping onto my face.
Elliot's gorgeous eyes lock with mine, and in that instant, a spark of excitement ignites between us. My heart quickens at the thought of our date tonight and I don't even try to suppress my enthusiasm. But then my eyes glance back to the shore and I see Hunter's sexy body leaning back in the sand, enjoying his lunch as he talks amongst my best friends.
A different kind of spark burns within me and my mind becomes muddled as I try to decipher between the two. Clearly I feel something for both Hunter and Elliot. But it's not possible to have feelings for two guys at once.
Or is it?