Raising the Crown

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 13 (v.1) - Love at First Song.

Submitted: September 06, 2019

Reads: 58

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Submitted: September 06, 2019

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“Hello? Can you hear me? Hello!”

My eyes opened and when I looked up, I could see a raven-haired girl around my age in a bikini as she stood over my body, and had her left hand on her left hip with a look of impatience on her face.

“Who are you?” I asked.
“I’m Camila Juric, one of the owners of this beach, but the better question is who are
you, and why are you sunbathing on my rocks? This is private property. I could have you arrested for trespassing.”

My God, she was incredibly hot! I sat upright and casually looked at her from her feet to her head. Luckily, I had my sunglasses on, so she couldn’t see me eye-googling her. She had the toned body and perfect hourglass shape of a model, and her dark tresses came down just below her bosom, but they lay on the sides, as if she wanted me to see her figure.

“I’m sorry,” I apologized as I lowered my sunglasses down on my nose for a few moments to lock my eyes with her own, dare I say, gorgeous hazelnut peepers. “I just wanted to lay out and catch some sun away from the crowds. Please don’t call the cops, unless . . . of course . . . you want to cuff me yourself. Then by all means, please feel free to do so.”

Camila looked at me for a moment, squinted, and then I saw a smirk had slowly crept up on her face. Before I knew it, she laughed the most adorable laugh, and I knew she caught on to my lame pick-up line. When I put my sunglasses back up to my eyes, I studied her bathing suit discreetly, and saw that it was made to look like the American flag, which meant she was proud to be an American.

“You know, if that was supposed to be a pick-up line, you certainly need some practice,” she replied as she now brought both her arms up to her chest and crossed them into a fold, and then she shifted all her weight onto her right leg.

I brought my knees up to my chest and rested my arms on top, but kept my eyes on hers.

“Well . . . it was really supposed to be more of an ice breaker to tone down the seriousness of my intrusion on your property. Can you please forgive me for trespassing? I promise I’m not going to vandalize the place, or have a party, and I won’t leave any trash. I’m just your average teenaged boy who needs to get away from his parents and the crowds once in a while to relax.”

Camila was quiet for a few moments, and then she smiled, and removed her arms from her chest.

“I forgive you . . . if you give me your name,” she said.

Now look who was flirting! It made me smile, but I couldn’t let her know yet that I already really liked her. That being said, I played it cool and casual.

“I’m Giovanni Palladino, named after my dad, but I go by my middle name, Vincenzo, or Vince for short.”

Camila was quiet again, but this time her smile disappeared, and I could tell something was wrong.

“Do . . . I have something on my face?” I asked as I playfully touched my face, but secretly hoped she’d give me the honest answer.
“No,” she answered. “There’s nothing wrong with your face, except maybe it might be too handsome for its own good.”

Did she just call me handsome? I laughed in nervousness as I turned my attention towards the water out ahead. Don’t be a nerd, Palladino. Girls like cool guys. Be cool.

“You’re the only one outside my family who seems to think so,” I replied quietly.

Damn it, Palladino, what did I just say? Don’t . . . be . . . a nerd!

“Well, you just wait, Vince. The ladies will be all over you before long,” Camila stated as she now moved to sit down next to me on my right. “Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’ve heard New Yorkers down here enough to pick up on their accents. Is that where you’re from?”
“You’re right on the nose with that one,” I said with a casual smile as I met her gaze again. “Yes, I was born and raised in Brooklyn. What about you?”

“I was raised here, but I was born elsewhere, though I’m not really supposed to tell,” Camila said as she mimicked my sitting style, but in reverse.
“Are you an illegal?” I asked quietly as I leaned in close to her.

Honestly, I was joking, and by her accent, I knew she was American.

“No, I’m not an illegal, but if I told you where I’m from, I might have to kill you.”

I couldn’t help but laugh out loud to that one. I could tell by the playful smirk on her face that she was only playing around. Just go with the flow, Palladino. I nodded in acknowledgment before I parted my lips.

“I see how it is,” I told her nonchalantly. “But you know what? That’s okay. I like a lady with a little mystery to her.”

Camila giggled, but then she crossed her legs, and positioned her body to more directly face mine.

“So tell me, Vince, how old are you?” she asked. “And how long are you here for?”
“I’m fifteen, and I’m here for two weeks. I’m here partially on business with my parents, but mostly here on vacation.”
“Oh, that’s cool. I’m fifteen as well.”

Oh, thank God she volunteered that information, because I hated asking a girl her age. My mother always told me it was rude to ask, and I wanted to avoid getting slapped or ignored, but of course I always want to know what a girl’s age was. I don’t like them younger than me, because they’re too immature, but I don’t like them that much older than me either. Camila was my age, which was just perfect for me, and she seemed so mature . . . and cool . . . and just so damn beautiful! I have got to get her digits before the day was over.

“So what business do you have here with your parents?” she asked.

Should I tell her? Hm . . . she did own this private property, or really it was her family that owned it, which meant she came from money. I don’t think I’d have to worry about her trying to get into my pockets. Besides, she already likes me for me. She’s cool, Palladino, you can tell her.

“I’m here for a casting call and an audition for a musical,” I answered as I looked out upon the waters.
“You don’t sound too thrilled about it,” Camila replied. “Is that why you needed a break from your parents and the crowds?”

Damn . . . she was good! She wasn’t just hearing my answer, my words, but she was also hearing my tone, and the emotions behind my statement. She was actually listening to me. She was either extremely detail-oriented, or she actually cared about what I had to say. Either way, her efforts to listen to me were much appreciated, and made me feel more comfortable in sharing with her how I felt.

“Pretty much. My mother is constantly watching over my shoulder, always pushing me towards the limelight, and constantly has me practicing my acting and singing skills. It’s honestly getting on my last nerve, because I just want to be a normal teenager, you know?”

Okay, Palladino, stop. Girls don’t like guys who complain. So just stop whining.

“You know . . . I actually do know exactly how you feel. I’ve known that pressure all too well. My life has never been ordinary and will never be simple. I try though. I really try to hold on to any tiny bit of normalcy that I can get, but I wake up all too soon every single time I try to hold onto it.”

Damn. I could really sense she knew exactly what I meant, and the way she described how she felt was exactly how I felt too. She’s a keeper, Palladino.

“Well . . . here’s to a few moments of normalcy for us right here and right now,” I told her, and then I gestured with my head towards the laguna. “Want to take a dip?”
“I’d love to, but before we jump, I have to ask . . . how long can you hold your breath underwater?”

That was a good question. I thought on this for a few moments. I never really counted, to be honest.

“Um . . . I’d say probably close to a minute. Why do you ask?”

And now a sinister smirk had spread across her face.

“Good enough. 30 seconds is all you really need. I should go back to the house real quick to grab an extra pair of goggles for you. Will you wait here for me for a few minutes?”
“Of course,” I replied. “But I can also swim without goggles.”
“Oh, we’ll be going down under,” Camila stated as she now stood up. “It’s important to protect your corneas from sea water.”

Corneas? Did she really just say that? Why did I get this sudden feeling that she was a . . . dare I say it . . . nerd?

“Um, corneas?” I asked her as I also stood up. “You mean my eyes?”
“Yes, exactly,” Camila replied, but then she laughed. “I’m sorry. Sometimes I talk too much like a geek, but then again, I’ve already graduated high school.”

Holy shit. I guess it was okay for me to be a nerd around her after all!

“It’s okay,” I replied with a chuckle. “I like it, you being a nerd. I’m not anywhere near graduation yet, but I am a year ahead with homeschooling, so I’m a little bit of a nerd too, but I’m never more nerdy than when I’m talking about Fantasy and Science Fiction. In fact, if my mother would let me, I’d walk around permanently with elvish ears.”

Camila’s head went backwards in a hearty laugh as she placed her left hand on my right arm. I really did love her laugh and seeing her smile the way she did. When she looked into my eyes again, she spoke up.

“Oh, my God! I love it! Let’s be elves together!”
“Okay!” was my response with my own laugh. “Works for me!”
“Okay, good, I’ll be right back.”
“Take your time,” I said as I watched her walk down this flat rock and then jump off when she reached the sand.

She was perfect even in her walk until she disappeared behind another set of rocks farther down the beach. I went to the edge of this flat rock that extended past the sandy part of the beach, and when I looked down into the waters, I could tell this part was deep. What did she have in mind that was down under? I sat at the edge of the rock and just watched the waters. It was probably a good ten minutes before she finally returned.

“Okay, I’m back!” she announced.

She was totally out of breath, which meant she must have ran back here from her house as quickly as she could.

“Are you okay?” I asked as she handed me her second pair of goggles, and she nodded in reply, and I also took note of the fact that she had returned with a flashlight.
“Yes,” she then said out loud after a minute. “My bike is out of commission, and my dad won’t be able to fix it until he comes home, so I had to walk back to the house.”
“But you ran back here,” I stated.
“Only because I don’t want to miss another second of hanging out with the coolest dude I’ve ever met. By the way, I have a little surprise for you after we’ve reached my secret spot down under.”
“Really? Can’t wait!”

I hope this goes well.

“Awesome. Now you must do what I do when I dive, okay?” I nodded in acknowledgment and continued to listen. “You will have to make sure you’re about five feet under, and that’s where you’ll see an opening in the rocks to your left. It’s very important that you follow me in and come up at the same spot that I do once I’m inside the rocks, okay? There’s a narrow hollow pocket there where we can come up for a little bit of air before reaching our spot that’s just a little further.”

Why didn’t I like the sound of this narrow hollow pocket she mentioned?

“Are you claustrophobic?” she asked.

Abso-freakin’-lutely!

“No, but this sounds dangerous,” I had to say. “Are you sure we should be doing this?”
“I do this a lot. In fact, I’ve been doing this since I was five.”
Really? “I’ve not run into an issue yet. As long as you keep your eyes and focus on me, you’ll be fine. I promise. Do you trust me?”

I looked deeply into her eyes and, even though her grin seemed as if she had some mischief up her sleeve, I somehow knew I could trust her.

“Yes,” I told her.
“Great,” she replied as she smiled, and now placed her goggles over her eyes, which meant she was ready to swim, so I put my goggles on as well. “Now wait three seconds after I’m in the water. Then make your dive, okay?”

I couldn’t help but feel nervous to her statement, but if she’s done this for the last ten years, I guess she’s doing something right in her swimming. I nodded in acknowledgment, and then watched as she dived so gracefully into the water with arms and head first, and no fear whatsoever. This was officially the wildest thing I did up to this point, but . . . one . . . two and . . . here I go! Holy shit! This water was freezing! Focus, Palladino, she’s flashing the light at you. Swim, you little daredevil! Before I knew it, we were both inside the narrow hollow pocket Camila mentioned earlier, and our heads came up out of the water, and I had a small panic attack.

“Breathe, Vince,” she said as she held my face to keep me calm. “You’re okay.”

I wasn’t usually an underwater swimmer. Sometimes I did swim underwater, but I’ve never swum underwater in anything but a pool, so to do this inside rocks was . . . terrifying, because . . . well . . . what if we got trapped?! And then she grabbed my face and kissed me, briefly in the form of a peck, but a kiss was still a kiss.

“Giovanni,” she said sternly when she pulled her lips from mine, which drew my attention completely onto her. “There we go. See? You’re doing fine.”

The calmness in her face helped a lot.

“I’m sorry,” I stated quietly. “I must seem like an idiot-”
“You’re not an idiot,” she replied. “But you
might be a little crazy for following a psycho chick inside a mysterious underwater hole in the rocks. I mean . . . seriously.”

“You’re not a psycho, and it may be mysterious to me, but this place is known very well to you, so I trust you,” I stated. “By the way, I like that you called me by my first name.”
“Well, it’s a strong name, and it suits you well,” she explained, which made me feel a lot better and she completely diminished my anxiety.
“How are we able to breathe in here?” I asked her as I looked around.

When she said this hollow pocket was narrow, she wasn’t kidding. It was hard to maneuver in this tight spot, and our bodies were actually in close proximity, so that meant neither of us could investigate and find out how this hollow pocket of air was possible.

“I have no clue, to be honest, but I’m guessing there’s some air coming from somewhere on the other side of this little rocky point. I’ve been a little too afraid to try and crawl through, so I just take it for what it is. You ready to reach our spot?”

I loved how she already called it ‘our spot,’ and we haven’t even reached it yet.

“Not quite,” I said. “But I will be if you kiss me again.”

Lame. I know. It did make her smile though. I placed both of my hands on her waist, and gently pulled her body closer, and hoped this would be okay with her. When she only leaned her face in closer to mine, I knew that was her way of saying it was okay to keep my hands where they were. Then her lips were once more connected with mine, and I enjoyed this as much as I could, but it only lasted about 10 seconds.

“If you want more, you’ll just have to follow me,” she said nonchalantly with a giggle and a smirk that followed. “C’mon.”

And then she disappeared into the water, but I quickly did the same, so that I could keep her within my line of sight. Before I knew it, we had reached ‘our spot’ and then I knew there was nothing to be afraid of. When I came up for more air, I could see that this was a huge space with a flat pathway that led to another area, which meant this was an underwater cave system of sorts. She was already on the dry, rocky surface and had her flashlight shut off, because she had a larger flashlight near the entryway that lit the room up, which was super cool.

“This . . . is . . . awesome!” I exclaimed in excitement as I also climbed up onto the surface and sat next to her. “It’s not so bad after all.”
“See? I told you,” she replied as she took off her goggles and set them down on her right. “Thanks for trusting a total stranger.”

I had to chuckle at that one as I took off my own goggles and put them down on my left side.

“You’re not a stranger,” I told her as I brought my left knee up to my chest and leaned my left elbow on it while I simultaneously met her gaze. “I’m comfortable around you. You’re my friend, if you want to be.”
“What if I wanted to be more?” she asked as she intentionally placed her left hand beside my right one that I had on the dry platform.

I couldn’t help but look down at her hand as it touched mine, and then when I looked into her eyes, I suddenly knew why she had an expression of mischief that she had before we dove into the water in the first place.

“Well, that depends,” I answered.
“On . . . ?”

I knew she would say that.

“On how much you really want to invest in a guy who’s only here in town for vacation,” I explained.
“Would you ever come back?” she asked.
“Oh,
hell yeah, on every chance I’d get!” I exclaimed with enthusiasm, but then I calmed down. “I know we’ve only met today, but I’ve never been this comfortable with talking to someone like I feel I can with you. Up on the surface, you actually listened to me. No one ever wants to hear what I want, or need, to say. I can sense that we come from two totally different worlds, but that doesn’t matter, because we understand each other. I feel like with you, those two other worlds that we come from don’t even matter, like we’ve just created our own world. Does that sound odd?”

“No,” she answered quietly as she kept her eyes locked with mine in a soft gaze. “Not at all, and what if I told you I already have my digits and email address on a piece of paper, all ready for me to give to you at the end of the day?”
“Is that supposed to be my surprise?” I asked.

Suddenly she lit up, and then stood up.

“Actually, no, but that reminds me. Hold on.”

I watched as she hurried out of sight for a minute, but then when she came back, I saw she had two sets of elvish ears.

“Oh, my God,” I said with a laugh as I realized just how much of a nerd she really was. “You didn’t!”
“I did,” she replied as she approached, sat down, and handed me a pair. “Consider them a gift, something to remember me by when you go home.”
“Or whenever I’m traveling,” I told her as I took the pair she gave me. “I am
so putting them on right now.”

Camila watched as I put them on my ears, and then she did the same thing with her own pair.

“Now we can truly be elves together,” she said with the dorkiest smile on her face. “You cool with taking pics and vids?”
“Sure, as long as it’s nothing that would be worthy of scandalous writing in tabloids though. My mother would kill me.”
“Oh,
trust me; I come from a . . . well . . . I guess you could say political family that’s well known around all European countries. I cannot afford any scandals for my family. It’s actually why I don’t have social media. Makes it hard for the paparazzi to use my personal, private life against me for their own personal pleasures and monetary gain.”

“Okay, cool, so we’re both on the same page about privacy then,” I replied as Camila got up again and disappeared once more, but she soon returned with her cell phone.
“Oh, for sure!” Camila exclaimed as she sat down next to me, this time right practically against my body. “These adventures are all just between you and me. Besides, I like the idea that if your world is too much for you, or my world is too much for me, we can turn to each other for a little breath of fresh air.”
“Fresh air,” I repeated as I turned my face into hers, and our noses barely touched. “I like that. A breath of fresh air.”

“Yeah?” Camila replied softly. “Are you leaning into me, because you want another kiss?”
“Yeah,” I replied softly as I turned my head to the right.
“Is that because you want to be more than friends?” she continued in curiosity.
“Only if you want to be,” I answered as my lips were just centimeters from hers.
“I think you know I do,” was all she needed to say before my lips found themselves on hers.

I could hear her cell phone’s camera snapping as we kissed, but I didn’t care at all. In fact, I gently brought my left hand up to the right side of her face, and held it there. She was a soft kisser, tender and slow in the movement of her lips, and I could not help but mirror this. I know we kissed a couple times already in the hollow pocket earlier, but as far as I was concerned, this was our first official kiss, because it lasted longer than 10 seconds, and we were both really into it. I had never been kissed by a girl before her, but I was so glad I hadn’t, because now I could call her my first kiss, and what better lady was there than this beautiful one right here . . . on my lap?

My God, she was making herself at home by climbing onto my lap, but her lips never left mine, and her focus had only grown stronger. She was careful in the way she sat down, though I could feel her groin right in front of mine, and I couldn’t help the erection that started. I had never had a girl on me like this before, but I knew I didn’t want to take it any further than this make-out session, so I had to figure out a way to stop this erection. Then she gradually pressed her groin onto mine, and then a soft ‘mmm’ hummed off her lips, which I knew was her way of saying she liked that I was so physically attracted to her. Her knees had hugged my sides, as if she was determined to keep me in this position, which I honestly didn’t mind.

That hum from her lips though. I prayed to God she wouldn’t do that again, because that was sexier than I ever would have thought. Please don’t do that again. Please! Please . . .

She had put the phone down beside us, and brought both arms around my neck, and soon her hands found themselves in my hair. That’s what I was waiting for, her arms around me, and it was my turn to do the same. I removed my hand from her face and then wrapped her all up in my arms. To have someone in my arms, someone who wanted me and liked me for me, was the best feeling in the whole damn world right now. Before I knew it, she had pulled her lips from mine, but she kept her gaze of passion locked with my eyes.

“I . . . kind of have a little song in my heart,” she confessed. “Does that sound stupid?”
“Not at all, because I have one in my heart too. Let’s hear it,” I told her.
“You first?”

I get it. Little Miss Shy. I had to chuckle for a moment, but it was cool. Her shyness and nervousness that displayed across her face was kind of cute. For a moment, I touched her nose with mine and wiggled them, and then I parted my lips.

I have met a brand new friend today / And this might sound like a total cliché / But I know in my heart I’ve got to say / She takes away the grey in my day.

I could see the excitement in her eyes and then she stood up from my lap while her knees now rested on the rocks besides my hips, and then her arms spread out in pure joy.

Today on my rocks I found a beach bum,” she sang as she looked up at the rocky ceiling, but then she brought her hands inward towards her heart, and looked back into my eyes. Did she really just call me a beach bum though? “He was sleeping, but where did he come from?

Then her hands found themselves around my face again.

Oh, I must confess, he’s just so handsome.” And then she came back down into my lap ever so tenderly while her face grew close once more. “I needed to know his name and then some.

This . . . would make an amazing love ballad. I wanted to sing it together. She had a beautiful voice.

Since we’ve met, we’ve stuck together like glue,” I started to sing, but then she chimed in.
Baby, we’re stuck together like glue / And when you looked into my eyes I knew / You were the one I needed to pursue / And I just never want to say-
Adieu,” I finished for her.

I don’t know how I knew she was going to say that, but the fact that I finished her statement for her excited her even more than she already was. Truth be told, it excited me just as much. We were both really into this.

Because we’re stuck together like glue / Stuck together like glue,” I continued.
Stuck together like glu-u-ue!” she followed with her arms spread wide open while her face went backwards in what seemed like an expression of pure joy on her face.

Man, does she have a set of pipes on her! Her voice deserved to be heard and it should never be hidden from the world. I wrapped my arms tighter around her, but gently of course, and brought her body even closer to mine.

Oh, I must confess, I don’t know what to do / My temperature’s risen to 102 / And I wondered if she had a clue / Or did she have these new feelings too?” I sang while she brought her head back and mere inches from mine with that gorgeous smile of hers.

Songwriting came easy to me, as I was a creative type and always writing lyrics when I was alone, but it appears that it came easy to Camila too. I really loved the fact that we did this duet together, and made it up as we go along. She really made me want to never stop singing.

He makes me feel alive inside,” she sang as she grabbed my face once more. “And truth be told I am terrified / ‘Cause I’ve never felt what I’ve felt so electrified!

She turned her face sideways and I knew she wanted another kiss. I turned my head sideways too and brought my lips ever so close.

And when our lips do touch, my feelings are . . . ma-a-agnifi-i-i-i-ied.

She sang that last word so softly, and I knew what this meant. I really liked her, and she really liked me too. Together we had such perfect harmony! She was perfect for me. She was the one.

My heart leapt for joy and fluttered in my throat when she kissed me again, but this time my mind grew hazy, and I knew it was because I was in love. Most people would usually say they fell in love at first sight, but not us though, not me and Cami. We fell in love with each other at first song. From the first moment we sang together, I knew she was the one. It was amazing to discover that our hearts were 100% in sync with one another, and they both played the same melody throughout our veins. It sounds stupid, because we just met each other today, but truth be told, I felt like I’ve known her all my life. When she had tenderly placed her soft lips once more upon my own, I knew right then and there that my heart was tuned to her, and absolutely nothing could ever change that. This girl was it!


© Copyright 2019 Jenah Pierce. All rights reserved.

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