525 Cherry Blossom Ln. (Cherry Falls #21) by Jordan Marie


Prologue





Jodie





One Month Ago

I stretch out my body, a smile on my face. I breathe in and the smell of sex—really dirty sex—Linc’s cologne and salty sea air wrap around me, making me feel even more beautiful than Linc did last night.

Me.

Plain old, Jodie Jones.

I slept with the hottest guy in Cherry Falls, the one all the girls talk about, go crazy about, and literally walk around almost naked trying to capture his attention and I slept with him. It was me he whispered to late at night as he played my body as if it was a violin and he the conductor. It was me that he pulled in close and whispered in my ear how special I was.

Me.

I’m twenty-six, and nothing in all of my twenty-six years could have prepared me for the likes of Lincoln Locke. Of course, I’m not really experienced to know, but I think Lincoln Locke may be a sex god sent from another planet solely for the purpose of rocking my world.

And he did… more than a few times last night.

The thought puts a goofy smile on my face, but for the first time in my life I’m okay with being goofy. Faith, my best friend, is always telling me I need to let loose, warning me that I’m too tightly wound. She’s right, I guess. I do play it safe. I can’t even tell you why. I’ve just always been that way.

Maybe it’s something my parents instilled in me. They don’t like coloring outside of the lines and that’s how I’ve always lived.

Until last night.

I didn’t expect to wake up alone, but maybe Linc had to go into the Reef early. I know Daphne has had trouble finding extra staff. The urge to stay in Linc’s bed and wait for him to come home is strong.

I don’t have to work today. Still, if I don’t check in with my mom, she’ll start thinking aliens have abducted me or something. Mom may look normal on the outside, but she can go from zero to panic at the drop of a hat.

I work as a dispatcher at the police department in Cherry Falls. It’s a decent job, and I like the structure in it. I work Monday through Friday and I’ve been there long enough that I’m on dayshift now, which I like. Those midnight hours are for the birds.

I decide to shower and get dressed. It would feel weird staying in Linc’s apartment when he’s not here. Maybe I could go by the Reef and casually order a drink from the bar. I can be casual, right? I mean, Linc is the one that told me he wanted more time with me.

“One night is not going to be enough, Jodie girl. I want more.”

Just the memory is enough to make me flush all over. I start to get out of bed, when I hear the doorknob rattle. I watch as it turns and smile. Apparently, Linc wasn’t kidding. My body heats as I think about having him back in bed with me.

This is not me. I’m not this kind of girl. I’m a good girl. I don’t do hookups or climb in bed with a man after really just talking to him for the first time. I can’t even explain why I did last night. There’s just some kind of magnetic pull with Linc that makes me want more.

“Hi—” the word dies on my tongue. A lot dies in that moment.

“Oh, sorry. Linc told me to come by and get my bikini I left here the other night. I guess you’re why he was busy last night.”

My eyes go round, this sick feeling hits my stomach. Bella Carver. She’s new in Cherry Falls, a transplant from out west. She has curves for days, sun-kissed blonde hair with perfect lips and boobs that make my B-cup look sad as hell. She’s every picture of beauty that I wished I could have been in high school, and she was probably the head cheerleader and popular as hell wherever she attended.

My complete opposite.

“I…uh…” Crap. Shock and this sick feeling that hits you in your gut when a light from heaven shines down and plants the word mistake in bright letters across your forehead are making it impossible to form words.

“Lucky girl. Linc is amazing in bed. He wore me out Thursday night,” she giggles as if it’s perfectly normal to tell me that. “Oh, you’re blushing. I didn’t mean to embarrass you. Linc didn’t mention you were here when he gave me the key to his apartment, or I would have been more delicate.”

“I…I was just about to leave,” I tell her, and she nods.

“It’s probably for the best if you want him to call again. Linc doesn’t exactly do clingy. Oh there it is!” she cries, as if she hadn’t just released a bomb on my world. She runs over to the couch and finds her bright yellow bikini.