picturesque island of Martha's Vineyard, there are two kinds of residents.
Locals and Stays.
Local boy, Lane McCarthy, plans on spending his summer working at the country
club to save money for college in the fall, while summer stay, Ashley Whitmore,
and her elite group of friends are only there to play.
As the summer heat goes up on the island, so does the ante, when both Lane and
Ashley must decide what they’re willing to wager in order to follow their
dreams… and their hearts.
With stakes as high as the surf, and hopes as high as the midday sun, will they
risk everything and go all in?
as he crosses the private section of the beach, staying close to the water’s
edge but avoiding the moving tide.
out over the noise of the party and the waves, but he doesn’t seem to hear me,
so I call his name again, this time louder. “Hey, Lane.” He glances up and
scans the party, squinting before finally seeing me. A smile flashes across his
face. I smile back as I approach him, my flip flops kicking up sand behind me.
drink, mostly untouched, sloshes and spills over the lip of the cup when I stop
in front of him.
you’re having fun.” He nods at my drink and then up at the party.
got here. I’m glad you came.” I feel my cheeks heat up, and I’m relieved it’s
dark enough that he can’t see. “I think Andrew’s around here somewhere.” I look
over my shoulder to point Lane in the right direction.
I think I’ll steer clear of your kind
of parties,” he says, shoving his hands in the pockets of his cargo shorts.
mean my kind of parties?”
mind.” He kicks at the sand and looks uncomfortable.
my mouth with my hand. “Did you get in trouble last night when the cops showed
your boyfriend,” he says with a sneer that makes me take a step back.
what his deal is, but he’s a serious dick.” Lane’s jaw is tight, and there’s
not a hint of joking in his tone.
wide eyed. Why would he think Gregory is my boyfriend? I have a flash of Greg
and I at lunch together looking very much like a couple and then again at the
bluffs when he gave me his coat, something a boyfriend would do. Oh.
definitely not my boyfriend,” I say
seriously. “He’s my ex, if you can even call it that. We dated for like a
second, but it was never very serious.” Why am I telling him all this? Stop
rambling, Ashley. I dig my toes into the sand. “But you’re right about one
thing. He is a dick.” I give Lane a playful grin and watch the light from the
bonfire bounce off his features as his jaw loosens and a tentative smile
spreads across his face.
I hear Gregory’s voice, and when I glance over my shoulder, he’s stumbling our
direction, obviously drunk and completely uninvited.
devil.” I roll my eyes and that makes Lane smile bigger.
staff is over there,” Gregory slurs, pointing to the tent where the cater
waiters are busy putting out more hors d'oeuvres. Lane ignores his snide
remark, never taking his eyes off of me.
seeing you again, but I gotta go,” Lane says, and I’m immediately disappointed
that he’s leaving.
I look down at my feet and try to garner enough nerve to ask him not to go. “Stay,”
I say so softly it comes out as more of a whisper when I look back up at him.
his shoulder across the small peninsula to the lighthouse then back at me. “I’m
sorry, I can’t…I…I have to work.” He looks genuinely disappointed, and I wonder
if he knows I am too. “But hopefully I’ll see you around, okay?” He gives me a
smile that makes my knees go weak before taking off down the beach. In the
faint light coming off of the fire, I see him glance back at me before he cuts
across the sandy peninsula and disappears into the shadows of tall sea grass.
to clear my mind before I steal one last glance over my shoulder at her as I
walk away, but it’s on a loop, and it’s all I can think. He’s not her
again, this time to snap myself out of it. There’s no way a girl like that
would go for a guy like me anyway. Would she? I shut my eyes and replay the way
she looked at me through her long dark lashes, softly asking me to stay,
causing my stomach to knot.
boyfriend,” I say out loud at the door of the lighthouse. I pull my keys from
my pocket as the sounds of the party float through the otherwise quiet night,
and I feel a stupid grin spread across my face despite the rude remarks I just
got from that ass-hat Gregory. Seriously, when will the ‘help’ jokes get old?
hurting me,” a girl yelps from down the beach. I spin around and from the light
coming off the bonfire I can see Gregory’s hand is wrapped around Ashley’s arm,
and she’s wincing in pain.
thought, I drop my keys to the ground and take off running, reaching them in
seconds. “Let her go,” I yell. My fists ball tight, ready to make him if I have
business, loser,” Gregory snarls back as he jerks Ashley by the arm eliciting
says, struggling against his grip, fear on her face.
and grab Gregory’s arm, yanking him away from her with a force that surprises
even me. “I said Let. Her. Go.”
the ground when Gregory releases his hold, rubbing her arm in pain. I kneel
down and brush the hair from her face, searching for any other signs of injury
as adrenaline pounds in my veins.
promise,” she says, our eyes locked with one another. “Thank you.”
the damsel in distress,” Gregory says in a patronizing tone, looking down his
nose at me. Convinced Ashley’s alright; I jump up and face him. He’s poised and
ready for a fight, and that makes two of us. “You do know the peasant doesn’t
get the girl, right? The prince does.”
laugh that comes out of me. “Are you serious right now?” Who does this guy
think he is? “Dude, when a girl’s screaming to be let go, it’s a pretty good
indicator that she doesn’t want you, prince or not.”
snickering from behind me before I see that a small crowd has gathered around
and is watching us intently. I’m surprised they haven’t all started chanting
‘fight’ by the way they look on like we’re simply the entertainment for the
with you. She’s nothing but an uptight frigid tease anyway. Good luck getting
into her pants,” Gregory says, wearing an arrogant smirk, his arms crossed
leisurely across his chest like he’s just landed a fatal blow.
out exactly how a real blow feels. To the face.
teenager when Doc Martens, Pearl Jam and flannel were the norm and Dylan loved
Kelly forever. (Beverly Hills 90210 shout out)
She still lives just outside Seattle, now with her husband and cat, and loves
When she’s not writing about cute boys, first kisses and the magic and wonder
of being seventeen, she’s watching The CW. And she sleeps in. Late.