#Selfie (Hashtag Series Book 4)(4)

By: Cambria Hebert



“They need a few more minutes,” I argued.

He made a rude noise and reached around me to grab the spatula out of my hand. I moved it away before he could.

“Look,” he growled, and reached even farther around me, so much that I could feel the solid wall of his wide chest against my back. Gently, he wrapped his hand around the handle of the utensil, just above where mine was. I told myself the sizzle I felt was because my skin was so close to the open flame.

I started to jerk back, but he tightened his grip and stepped closer.

“You need a lesson,” he murmured.

I was totally surrounded by him.

God, had he always been this big? He towered over me, around me. The way he held his arm, it was almost like it was wrapped around me as well. I was practically encircled by him. I couldn’t go back because he was there. I couldn’t run forward because the hot grill was there. All I could do was stand there.

And feel him.

He moved the edge of the spatula and sliced into the center of one of the burgers. “See? Perfection.”

“I can’t see anything,” I grumped. To be honest, I wasn’t even looking at what he was showing me. I couldn’t concentrate.

I should have just agreed.

His other arm came around me so I was completely enveloped in him. If I leaned my head back, it would rest in that hollow place between his neck and shoulder. I imagined what it would feel like, how safe that would feel.

“Can you see now?” he was saying.

I jerked and looked down. Thank God he couldn’t see my face; surely my cheeks would be red. Using both hands, he showed me the inside of the burger.

He was right. It was done to perfection.

“Fine,” I bit out. “They’re done.”

Laughing, he pulled away. “Of course they are. I’m always right.”

“Whatever,” I muttered and sidestepped so I wasn’t so close to him.

“If you’re so worried about your meat, then you finish cooking them.” I thrust out the platter I’d brought out to put the burgers on.

His amused smirk made me want to hit him in the head with it.

He took it from my hands. “Fine. I will.”

“Fine,” I bit out and then stomped away toward the house.

Inside, Rimmel was standing in the kitchen with a huge container of strawberries in front of her. “Please tell me those are for daiquiris.”

“You get the alcohol; I’ll get the blender,” she said.

I wasn’t going to get so drunk I’d forget anything. But I was going to drink just enough to maybe forget the feeling of Braeden against me.





Chapter Three




Braeden

I wasn’t sure what time it was when I stepped out of the house and onto the deck. It was late, well past midnight, and everyone else had gone to bed hours ago.

I couldn’t sleep. I felt restless and a little bit caged up.

The moon was heavy in the velvet sky, the bright rays glistening off the ocean waves and making the water look like it was dancing with glitter. The sounds of the surf crashing against the shore were loud, so loud they could drown out a man’s thoughts.

I draped my forearms over the railing and gazed out across the beach. It never stopped moving, even while everyone else slept, and for some reason, the constant it represented soothed whatever was going on inside me.

There were more stars in the sky here than I’d seen anywhere else. They filled the night with dots of light, breaking up the otherwise inky darkness.

Tomorrow, we’d all pack up and get on a plane. Sadly, the beach and stars would be replaced with cool spring air and semester finals. Romeo would be leaving for training camp soon, and most everyone else would be leaving for the summer, back to wherever they came from.

Then there would just be me.

And probably Rim.

Next fall when classes started, Rome would be off with the NFL, and college life would go on, but everything was going to be different.

I felt it changing already.

Wind blew off the water, pulling at my shorts and brushing against my skin. It also brought with it a sound other than the calmness of night.

My body went rigid and I pushed off the railing, looking down at the sand.

I saw nothing.

But someone was there.

A scream bounced around with the whipping wind. It sounded close, but was it a trick of the wind?

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