#Selfie (Hashtag Series Book 4)(5)By: Cambria Hebert
Another shrill scream pierced the night.
Without another thought, I tore across the deck and raced down the set of private stairs that led to the beach. The sand was a lot cooler without the sun’s rays to heat it, and my bare feet sank in even as I darted off in the direction from which the scream had come.
Down here, I saw the shape of a woman darting through the dark across the sand. I knew the second she saw me because she angled her body toward mine and quickened her pace.
“What—” My question was cut off when she leapt at me.
The crazy bitch literally threw herself on me, practically climbing up my body and winding her legs around my waist.
“Whoa,” I said, even as my arms locked around her. “What’s wrong?”
“Braeden, thank God you’re here!”
My head snapped up at the familiar voice. I caught a flash of blond hair billowing out around her before she ducked her head into the crook of my neck.
“Ivy,” I growled. What the hell was she trying to pull? God, this chick was a piece of work. I grabbed her around the waist to pull her off me, but she made a sound and tightened her arms and legs.
It was then I felt the slight tremble in her arms.
Okay, maybe this wasn’t an act. Maybe something had happened.
“Hey?” I murmured. Without thinking, I rubbed her back gently. “What’s going on?”
Her voice was muffled against my skin. All I heard was, “—attacked me.”
My entire body went rigid. Someone fucking attacked her? Oh, hells no. Ivy and I might not like each other much, but she was Rimmel’s best friend. And beyond that, we’d all been hanging out for months now.
Ivy wasn’t all bad. She sure as hell didn’t deserve to be attacked.
“Who?” I demanded, scanning the beach for some guy who was about to get his ass beat.
“It hurts,” she whined.
My glare snapped back to her and she stared up at me with wide eyes. Something in me shifted. “What hurts?” I asked softly.
“My toe.” I swear her lower lip jutted out in a pout.
I shook my head. “Did you just say your toe hurts?”
“Haven’t you been listening?” she demanded. “Some angry crab attacked me!”
A crab attacked her? This girl was off the fucking chain.
“You mean to tell me you’re clinging to me for dear life because a crab pinched your toe?”
“I think it’s bleeding,” she replied seriously. “It was a really big, angry crab.”
I laughed and the wind carried the sound down the beach. I hoped the crab heard. “It probably took one look at you and attacked.”
“It’s not funny!” she snapped.
It sure as hell was funny. I palmed her waist, enjoying—a little too much—the way it dipped in on each side, like it was built just for my hands, and tried to pry her off me again.
Shrieking, she grappled to hang on.
“Now what?” I sighed.
“I’m not putting my feet down there again.”
“You mean down there on the ground where people walk?” I asked dryly.
“It’s dark. There might be more crabs.”
“Well, we are on the beach,” I reasoned.
She reached up and pulled my hair.
“Ow!” I yelled.
“Stop making fun of me!” she demanded. “It hurt and I refuse to walk.”
“And you think I’m going to carry you?” I scoffed.
This chick had a serious wakeup call coming.
“Please?” Her fingers, which were still in my hair, reached out and smoothed where she just pulled. Chills scattered down my bare arms. The wind out here was getting cold.
“Fine,” I muttered. It would be easier to cart her curvy ass back up to the house than to stand here and argue with her about walking. Besides, the second I put her down, she’d probably start screaming again.
Ain’t nobody got time for that.
She sighed like the fact she didn’t have to walk was a great relief and leaned forward to wrap her arms around my neck. Her chin rested on my shoulder, and she wiggled her ass a little closer, tightening her legs around me.
I didn’t like Ivy.
But I was a guy.
She was pressed all along my bare chest and her legs were wrapped around my waist.