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Keep (Seaside Pictures Book 2)(7)
Author: Rachel Van Dyken


“Dude, she gave you a fake number?” Demetri slapped him in the chest then bent over and laughed harder. “This day, right here. Hell, I’m going to make a plaque for this stone on the boardwalk, the day Zane Andrews is rejected. Epic.”

Alec bumped fists with Demetri while Maggie gave me a “have you lost your mind,” look.

“You looked…hungry.” My eyes narrowed. “I practically saw ribs through that shining six pack of yours, figured you needed carbs.”

His expression darkened like I’d offended him, which had to be impossible, he knew how good-looking he was! Women everywhere chanted his name in every language known to humanity! His tag line was I’m Saint, wanna be saved?

I almost rolled my eyes.

Almost.

But for the first time since…knowing him, which wasn’t at all a long time, he didn’t have a comeback.

Instead, he shoved a shaky hand in his pocket like he was squeezing something and then took a deep breath. “Can’t a man get chapstick?”

“The man needs to learn how to walk to the store.”

“She’s right.” Demetri nodded. “You know, I’m glad we met you four eyes.” I growled, while he winked as if he was kidding. Goodness, did they all have to be so attractive? “We were just telling Zane this morning that he needed to get out more, and since you clearly live here…” His voice trailed off while Zane shot him a look that had me backing up into the wall again.

“Whoa, there.” Alec grabbed me before I fell backwards. “You’re a walking hazard aren’t you?” His tatted fingers were warm against my bare arms, I tried not to shiver. He was married, so was Demetri, but I’d have to be dead not to notice the way that Alec’s crystal blue eyes blinked down at me.

“Sorry.” I stepped away. “It’s been a long day.”

“A hard day.” Maggie stepped into the circle. “You know since her cat died and all.”

“My cat?” I mouthed.

“Oscar.” Maggie shook her head and wiped a fake tear. “Poor, poor Oscar, hit by that really fast sports car and no cat body to bury.”

The guys looked caught, like they weren’t sure if they should comfort me or change the subject. They were probably wishing they would have taken a different way to wherever they were going.

“I was just trying to figure out a way to cheer her up.”

“By pushing me off the boardwalk?” I said through clenched teeth.

“Silly, Fallon!” Maggie winked. “Oscar loved jumping off the boardwalk with you, remember?” No. No, I didn’t. Because I was allergic to cats.

“Well,” Demetri said, grinning, “you’re in luck. We’re just taking a break from recording because dip shit can’t seem to get anything right.” He pointed to Zane. “We have a two-hour break before we need him back. Just be sure he makes it in one piece, and don’t let him steal your V card, and we’ll be good.”

“She’s not a virgin. But thanks, dude.” Maggie gave him a thumbs-up while I blushed twenty shades of red and covered my face with my hands.

This morning I woke up normal. Boring.

Now? Cat owner and sex addict extraordinaire. I was going to murder my friend.

“Oh good, no worries then.” Demetri saluted us. “Play nice, Zane.”

Zane opened his mouth, probably to argue, but Alec’s expression said it all.

“Look.” Alec sighed. “You need to find some damn inspiration, man. Whatever the hell just went down is clearly a symptom from you holing up inside the house for the last two months.” He sized me up. “Maybe she can be your new muse. God knows you need one, or Jaymeson’s going to kick all our asses.”

Alec and Demetri left.

Maggie coughed into her hand. “Oh sorry, Dad’s texting, gotta run, you know how he gets when I don’t answer!” She waved and then skipped away.

Her dad was basically the most lenient parent I’d ever met. He was probably calling her to make sure she was alive.

That was it.

Literally, his texts said, Are you breathing?

And she replied back with a yes.

And they went on their merry way.

“So, four eyes.” Zane turned the full force of his gorgeous gaze in my direction. “You ready to inspire me?”

“You must be desperate.”

“I’m always desperate for inspiration of the female variety.”

“I’m not one of those girls.”

“The female kind?”

“The stupid kind,” I clarified, forcing a smile. “The ones who would do anything for your attention. You’re hot, but I don’t even know you. For all I know, you could be one of those crazy murderers! You know, the ones that are really good looking, lure girls into their crazy mansions, and then kill them because they’re bored with their lives.”

He blinked then frowned. “Holy shit woman, what kind of TV do you watch?”

“Don’t change the subject.” I shoved my finger into his chest. “I’m just…I’m a lady.” Thanks, Grandma. Thank you very much for ingraining that into my head so fervently every day that I just quoted you to one of the hottest superstars on the planet. Real nice. Good. Great. Fantastic. I’m a lady?

“Yes.” Zane’s lips twitched with a smile before he grabbed my hand and kissed the top of it. “And thus, I shall treat you so.”

“Did you just British accent me?”

“Depends.” He offered a casual shrug. ”Did it work?”

“Stop it!”

“What?”

“No!” I grinned as a laugh escaped. “That’s unfair.”

We walked a few feet before he pulled out his keys and whispered. “Your carriage, fair maiden.”

He was driving a big white truck.

I loved trucks.

Truck meant safe.

A truck told me he was trying to fit in, at least a little bit.

“I’m going to need a list of weaknesses in alphabetical order starting with foods. Go.”

“What?” I couldn’t keep up. “What are we talking about?” Thank God, at least the British accent was gone.

Zane pulled open the door. I was getting kidnapped. Then again, I was willing. Did this stuff really happen?

Apparently it did.

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