“Fine.” She places another kiss on my head before she’s heading for the door.
A handsome older man in a suit holds it open for her and then pauses for a long moment as she walks past him. He openly stares after her until a younger version of the man is in front of him.
The guy is more casual in jeans and a T-shirt. They share a few words before the suit is back out the door. I have no doubt he’s chasing after my mom. My mother, Anna Binx, is a bright blue flame, and men flock to her like moths. I shake my head at the poor sap and pack up my things in my bag. I want to check out the small bookstore I saw a few blocks down.
After tossing my empty cup in the trash and cleaning my table, I turn around too quickly.
“Oh!” I gasp when I run right into someone. The pastry he has on a small plate is pressed into the front of his shirt. “I’m so sorry.”
I put my hands over my mouth and then realize it’s the guy that was with the man in the suit. This close, I can tell he’s younger than I originally thought. He might even be around my age or a few years older. His large size threw me off with the distance, but this close, I can see so much more.
“Shit,” he grumbles, sounding pissed. I can’t blame him. Blue and yellow icing is smeared across his white shirt.
“I really am sorry. I’ll buy you another,” I offer.
Why does this always happen to me? And of course it’s with some super-hot guy. My mom is always graceful and never misses a beat. Yet I’m always stepping right into something and making a mess.
“Don’t bother.” He lifts his gaze from his shirt to meet my eyes.
His dark green eyes widen, and his lips part. No words come out, and I stand there staring at the specks of gold that mix in with the green. I’ve never seen eyes like his before, and I’m somehow embarrassed that I can’t stop looking at them.
“Sorry,” I blurt out again before I’m rushing out of the coffee shop and onto the street.
“Wait!” he shouts after me, but I keep going. Quickly I make my escape into the bookstore, praying that I never run into him again.
In a town like Craven Cove, that’s going to be next to impossible.
It’s the start of the first day of school, and I’m already over it. The faculty is having an afternoon pep rally to welcome the students and also introduce the rowing team. I’ve been on crew the past four years, and this year we’ve got a chance at making nationals. My scholarship was announced over the summer, but it’s contingent on academics and graduation.
As everyone piles into the gymnasium, I stand with my team in the hallway as we get ready to make our entrance. Craven Cove High is the only high school on the island, so every kid my age goes here. There’s even a few kids that take the ferry over so they can compete on our rowing team. We’re the best in the state, and this year I know we’ll come away with the title.
“Yo, Crew,” Jackson calls, and I turn to nod at him.
I guess having the last name Crew and being on the rowing team is ironic, but the joke is a few years old now. Everyone calls me by my last name, and it doesn’t bother me anymore.
Jackson comes over by my side and crosses his arms over his chest. Last year we were both center seats because we’re the strongest on the team. This year I’ve been promoted to coxswain, so I’m at the front calling the shots.
“This is dumb,” he says and rolls his eyes.
Laughing, I shake my head and lean up against the doorframe. “Just a few months and we’ll be out of here.”
“Any hot new freshmen worth checking out?” He looks hopeful, and I roll my eyes again.
“I’ve got my eyes on the prize.”
Now it’s his turn to snort. “You know what, Crew? You’re going to take your V-card all the way to college and not know what to do with it.” He looks at me like I’m some kind of puzzle he can’t solve.
“I’m sure I’ll figure it out.” I smirk at him, and he shakes his head.
“Hey, is your dad still doing his annual party this weekend?”
Every year my dad puts on this big elaborate party for all the families of the kids on the rowing team. He invites all the local businesses and their families to bully them into donating money to our school.
My dad could easily write a check to cover all of the expenses for years to come, but he told me the community needs to be involved so they take pride in the school. He does an auction of donated items, and this year he said he’s going to do a bachelor auction too. I have no idea why, because the man hasn’t been with a woman since before I was born.
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