Read Chapter 1 "If Wishes Came True" from the NIGHTTIDES Anthology

 


Read Chapter 1 from Lisa Suzanne's novella "If Wishes Came True" below!


If Wishes Came True

by Lisa Suzanne

© 2014 Lisa Suzanne

 

Chapter 1

How many times have I thrown a coin into a fountain wishing for something to come true? I wished for that stuffed animal I saw at the store as a child. I wished for that boy in math class to kiss me as a teenager. I wished for my student loans to be paid off as an adult, mentally throwing in that penny when every single cent mattered.

Sometimes my wishes were more serious; the health of a sick family member or world peace or finding a solution to the problems plaguing mankind.

But on this particular night as I tossed a penny into the fountain, I had only one wish on my mind.

“What’re you wishing for, Emily?” Charlotte asked.

“I can’t tell you or it won’t come true.” I glanced over at her with a mock condescending smirk.

She rolled her eyes. “Superstitious until the end.”

“It’s a character trait of gingers.” I flipped my long, red hair over my shoulder to prove my point.

Charlotte giggled as we both tossed our pennies in the fountain at the mall. It was a silly tradition, but we had been going to this same mall for as far back as I could remember, and every single time we passed the fountain, we made a wish.

And on that particular night as I shopped with my best friend for our upcoming vacation, I wished that I would be able to mend the heart that Brett shattered.

When he told me that he didn’t want to get married, I stupidly believed that I would be able to change him.

Lesson learned.

Men didn’t change, and it was stupid to hope that someday Brett would love me enough to marry me. Instead, he decided to leave.

I thought we were happy. I thought we had a future, and I assumed that someday he’d change his mind.

He did, in fact, change his mind.

He decided that he didn’t want me anymore and that Sydney, his leggy blonde secretary with enormous breasts (and surely an overused vagina), was more “his type.”

I had been warned. Everyone said that Brett had been cheating on me, but when you’re the one in the thick of things and people are badmouthing the person you love, it’s easy to be blind to the truth.

A week after our trip to the mall, I ended up on a summer beach vacation with my best friend for a week. Charlotte’s family owned a timeshare and the two of us planned to stay in a condo right on the beach for a week, completely free of charge. Charlotte wanted to get away, and she knew that I needed to get away, so she invited me. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse.

We flew from our hot and humid Chicago summer out to California, rented a car, and drove from LAX down to the much smaller tourist trap where we’d be staying. We dropped off our bags in our two-bedroom condo and walked down the stairs right out onto the beach.

The moment I breathed in the salty, balmy sea air, everything was a little better. Something about the constancy of the waves comforted and calmed me.

My heart had shattered into a million pieces, but perhaps a few pieces started fastening back together.

I walked along the beach after lathering sunscreen on my pale skin. I left Charlotte on one of the lounge chairs we’d claimed, and I found myself alone and lost in a torrent of emotion.

It had only been two months. I read somewhere that for every year you dated a person, it took two months to recover after the break-up. We’d dated for over four years, so by that math, I had another six months to go.

Fuck that.

I would not wallow in this misery much longer. I hoped that this vacation was my answer.

“You know what I really need?” I had asked as we drove down the highway from the airport to our condo.

“I can think of a few things, Em.”

I glared over at her. “I’m ignoring that comment. I really need some steamy sex.”

She nodded, her blonde ponytail bouncing. “Yes, getting laid would definitely solve your problems.” I detected more than a hint of sarcasm in her tone.

Certainly a quick and hot affair with a sexy stranger would help me out of the miserable despair I was immersed in. What better place to do that than 1700 miles from home?

As I walked along the surf, I glanced up the beach, finding mostly families. Was it really so much to ask?

I wanted a husband and children and a beautiful home and a dog. I was only twenty-six, but I wasn’t getting any younger. When Brett and I broke up, everyone said that I had my entire future ahead of me. Be that as it may, it didn’t change the fact that I was now twenty-six and single. It wasn’t like I would meet some guy and have his babies nine months later. Relationships took time to build, but I wanted my happy ending now.

Later that night, a blast of hot air rushed out at me as I entered Coyote Joe’s, a bar located close to our condo that served as a nightclub after sunset. I didn’t care for clubs, but Char convinced me to dress in sparkles while she curled my hair. I compromised by wearing a sequined tank top with a pair of shorts.

I glanced around the overcrowded club. “We’re too fucking old for this,” I yelled at Char. She responded by making a beeline for the bar, and I was powerless to stop her.

The eyes of several men landed on me, but as I glanced around, I suddenly felt inadequate. I tended to be fairly sure of myself, but some of the girls shimmying on the dance floor had to have been barely legal. I couldn’t compete with that.

I placed my order and checked out the hot bartender while I waited for my drink. “Yours or mine?” I asked, nodding toward the bartender.

“Yours or Mine” was a little game we started back in college whenever we spotted a hot guy.

She shrugged. “You should probably know that I’ve been coming here for years, and I’ve hooked up with him more than once.”

“Go for it,” I laughed. In a small tourist town like this, the hot bartender could have his pick of whoever he wanted to go home with, and apparently my best friend was his type.

She didn’t move after we paid for our drinks, and then I saw her start her routine. She leaned over, putting her tits on display, and started chatting up the bartender.

Frankly, that shocked me. Between the packed dance floor and the line of patrons waiting at the bar, surely he didn’t have time for Char. But I saw the gleam in his eye as he ogled my gorgeous best friend, and I figured we’d have company that night in our condo.

So even though I had a broken heart in desperate need of mending, Char would be the one to get some action.

Life was so unfair sometimes.

I was bored watching Char flirt with Joe, the bartender who actually owned Coyote Joe’s, as he made drinks for other patrons nearly an hour later. The bar rested on the second story over a string of souvenir shops, and I had noticed a balcony when I walked in earlier. I walked through the thick crowd of sweaty twenty-somethings to get a breath of fresh air.

As I made my way onto the patio, I sucked in a deep breath only to start coughing. I realized that escaping to the patio for fresh air may have been a mistake; it seemed to be the hot spot for smokers feeding their addictions.

I heard a male voice next to me. “The air’s not very fresh out here.”

I assumed he wasn’t talking to me, but I turned toward the voice and was momentarily floored.

He was talking to me.

And he was perhaps the most attractive man I’d ever seen in my life.

Thick, dark hair and intense eyes stared back at me. He was tall, dressed in jeans and a black shirt, a shadow of a beard outlining his jaw.

This could be him! I thought. A sexy stranger for a steamy love affair.

Right. Like a guy who looked like that would ever want anything to do with me.

“Smoker’s paradise,” I muttered. He chuckled, a deep, throaty sound that awakened those dormant tingles in my belly that I hadn’t felt since Brett and I first started dating.

“Something like that,” he said. “But I don’t smoke.”

“Neither do I. You come out here for a breath of fresh air, too?”

“Yeah. Honestly, I don’t even know what I’m doing here. This isn’t my scene.”

“Can I tell you a secret?” I asked, wondering where this sudden burst of confidence came from in the presence of such an attractive man.

He nodded, and I leaned in toward him. “This isn’t my scene, either.”

He rewarded my flirtation with a laugh, and I couldn’t help but laugh along with him.

“What if we went inside and you danced with me just to spite this scene?” he asked.

Seriously? This sexy stranger wanted to hold my body against his?

Deal.

I shrugged as if it wasn’t a big deal to me, but I felt everything inside of me shudder with excitement.

“Summer” by Calvin Harris blasted from the speakers as he led me inside. We found a tiny vacant spot on the dance floor and he grabbed my hips. I wasn’t a great dancer, but he made me feel like one. He could move, and if it was any indication of what he was like in the bedroom…

Okay, I just met this guy. I was jumping the gun a bit.

But holy shit. Everything about him screamed sexy, and everything inside of me was screaming in complete and utter lust.

His hips pushed into mine, and I felt his fingers lace through my own. I didn’t know anything about this guy except that I wanted him. I wanted to throw my inhibitions out the window and enjoy some vacation raunchiness with the man in front of me.

The man whose name I still didn’t know.

We danced through a few songs until we were both breathless, and I wasn’t totally sure if I was breathless because of the dancing or because of the way that his body rubbed against mine.

“Need a break?” he asked. I nodded. “Come with me,” he said, and I followed him out to the balcony and over to a staircase.

He led me down the stairs and away from the club.

“I really shouldn’t go too far,” I said, suddenly nervous to be walking away from my friend with a complete stranger. “My friend will wonder where I went.”

“The friend you were escaping by getting a breather on the balcony?”

He had a point, and something made me trust him. My instincts about people tended to be dead on, a trait that came in handy in my public relations career. “I'm Emily Foster.”

“Ben Parker.”

“What’s a guy like you doing at a bar like that, Ben Parker?”

“Same thing a girl like you was doing there, Emily Foster.”

I loved the way the deep timbre of his voice formed my name.

“Scouting the crowd for hot guys?”

He chuckled. “I was going to say that I went for a drink.”

I shrugged unapologetically.

“Well?”

I glanced over at Ben. “Well what?”

“Did you find any hot guys?”

I liked where he was headed with this. “Just one.”

“That’s interesting.”

“Oh?”

“Because I only found one hot girl.”

My face heated at his words.

“Yeah, but she left just before I went out to the balcony for fresh air.”

“Oh.” My ego deflated almost instantaneously.

Caught up in my own head, I didn’t realized that he had stopped walking. I stopped, too, and turned back to look at Ben.

“Emily, I’m fucking with you. You’re the only hot girl I saw all night.”

I giggled even though I found it hard to believe that he had taken an interest in me. “I was seriously offended for a minute there.”

He chuckled and we both stood gazing at one another for a minute.

He took a step toward me and we resumed our walk. “So how long are you here?” he asked.

“For the next week. You?”

He shrugged. “Not sure.”

I glanced over at him, wondering what that meant.

“I’ve got some business in Los Angeles. I don’t like staying in LA, though, so I stay down here.”

“Why?”

“Better chance of running into hot tourists.”

“How can you tell I’m a tourist?” I challenged.

“It’s written all over you. You’re wearing shorts. No one in LA wears shorts to a bar at night. You’ve got that sparkle behind your eyes that proves that you don’t live by the beach. And you just admitted to me that you’re only here for the week.”

“You’ve got me all figured out.”

“Nah. Just seen it before.”

“You spend a lot of time hanging out at bars picking up tourists?” I asked.

He chuckled. “No. I spend a lot of time traveling.”

We walked in comfortable silence for a few minutes, the sidewalk becoming gritty as we neared the beach. I hadn’t even realized we’d been walking that way until my toes hit the cool sand.

“So what do you do that allows you to spend so much time traveling, Ben?”

“I’m in business development.”

“What does that mean?”

“It means a lot of different things, but right now I’m scouting locations, mostly.”

“For what?”

“Bars.”

I reached down to remove my sandals. I left them on the sidewalk, assuming we’d come back the same way. Ben mirrored my actions, leaving his socks and shoes next to mine. Seeing our shoes next to each other sent a thrill of excitement up my spine.

“So is that what you were doing at Joe’s?”

He shook his head. “It’s the only place around here to get a decent drink. Tell me what you do.”

“I’m in public relations.”

“Do you like it?” He took my hand in his, taking the intimacy passing between us up a notch. A current ran from my fingertips, through my hand, and up my arm, connecting directly to my heart.

“I love it. Do you like what you do?”

A moment of silence passed between us. “Yeah, I do,” he finally said.

“That’s not very convincing.”

“I travel. A lot. When I was in my twenties, I loved it.”

“And now?”

“I still love it, but it gets old. Sometimes I want a home base. A dog. That kind of thing.”

“A little lady waiting at home?”

“Something like that.” He chuckled.

“And you can’t have that?”

“It’s not that I can’t, necessarily. It just isn’t cost-effective to pay a mortgage when I’m hardly ever home.” It was interesting insight into where his priorities were.

“Then change it.”

“You make it sound simple.”

“It is simple, Ben. If you don’t like something, you change it.”

He was quiet as he rolled my words around in his mind.

“How old are you?” I wondered aloud.

“Thirty-four. Where are you from?”

“Chicago.”

“Chicago?” His mouth twisted the word like it was dirty.

“What’s wrong with Chicago?” I had to defend my home city.

“The weather, the traffic, the pollution. The shitty sports teams. Want me to go on?”

“Hey! I love Chicago!”

“Well that makes one of us.”

“Well where do you call home, Ben?”

“Right now? Here. I’m originally from Florida. I lived in New York for a few years, and I have a friend there who stores my furniture.”

“Do you have someone waiting for you back in Florida or New York?” I asked, hedging. I wanted more information. I wanted to know every little detail about him, because somehow this had turned from a conversation with a stranger to an intensely intimate exchange.

He sighed. “My job doesn’t give me much time for a relationship. Do you have someone at home?”

I shook my head. “I did up until about two months ago.”

“May I ask what happened?”

“We wanted different things. I wanted forever. He wanted his secretary.”

“I’m sorry,” he said, and he stopped walking. He turned toward me. “Is that still what you want?”

“Forever?”

He nodded, staring beyond me at some fixed point in the darkness over the water.

“Someday. With the right man. Clearly that wasn’t Brett. Don’t you? Doesn’t everybody?”

He shrugged, and his eyes met mine again. “I’m happy with the way things are.”

The tranquil sound of the waves washing onto the shore behind me, the moonlight lighting up his eyes, and the sand beneath my feet set a completely romantic mood despite our conversation about the different things we wanted.

He leaned down and pressed his lips to mine. Everything about the moment felt natural. I should have been completely offended that a total stranger kissed me just after I’d met him, but instead, tingles of desire lit up in my chest.

I wanted far more than his lips against mine.

He pulled back before our kiss got too intense, but it didn’t stop the throb that shot through my spine, landing just north of my vagina and creating a burning ache. I’d missed that sensation since I ended things with Brett. I’d been so busy focusing on my heartache and pain that I hadn’t really spent any time focusing on what it was like to want somebody.

Pure lust.

That’s what filtered through my blood as I gazed at the very mysterious stranger who had just kissed me.

But while my desire worked overtime, my stupid logic won out.

“I should get back to my friend,” I said softly.

He looked beyond my shoulder again, out toward the water, and then he locked eyes with me and nodded. “I’ll walk you back.”

Disappointment became my dominant emotion as we put our shoes back on and walked back toward the club. He moved out of hand-holding distance, like my pronouncement that I needed to return to my friend related to the way he kissed me. And even as I thought it, I realized that of course that had to have been how it came across… as a rejection.

That assumption couldn’t have been further from the truth. In reality, all I wanted was for him to kiss me again.

But my heart was still broken because of Brett. I wasn’t ready to hop into bed with a stranger.

Or was I?

It could be exactly what I needed.

Ben traveled for work. It’s not like anything serious would come from it.

A summer vacation fling could be the very thing that would pull me from my Brett funk and give me what I needed to move on. I needed something that would help me to see life beyond the sadness. Something to give me hope that I’d be able to find my happy ending someday. Something to show me I had more to look forward to than the sadness that had been a cloud over me for too long.

I was so lost in thought that I didn’t even realize that we had arrived back at the bar.

I had so much I wanted to say to the very sexy Ben, but he was still virtually a complete stranger.

How would I even begin to tell him my thoughts? “Hey, wanna come over and fuck me until I can’t walk straight for three days?”

Right.

So instead I said nothing, my brain as twisted up in knots as my stomach.

“Well, I guess I will see you around,” he said.

I sighed. “Why did this get awkward?”

“Because I kissed you and you asked me to take you back to your friend. Look, I don’t have the time to waste on someone who isn’t interested.”

“That’s the thing, Ben. I am interested. Very.”

“In what?” he asked, his voice sharp.

“In you.”

He shook his head. “You’re not interested in me. You don’t even know me.”

“Don’t pretend like you have any idea what’s going on in my head.”

“Here’s what I know, Emily. You recently broke up with someone. You want forever, which is something I am not open to giving you. I can tell you like what you see when you look at me, but you have no idea what’s going on inside of me.”

I shrugged. “You’ve made your judgments about me. Clearly this isn’t going to be worth the trouble.”

I turned and headed toward the stairs that would bring me back up to the balcony, back to Charlotte.

I didn’t get very far before I was suddenly whirled around.

“I don’t like it when people walk away from me.”

His voice was firm, and I responded with a coldness I didn’t even know I was capable of.

“I don’t like it when people act like they know what I’m thinking when they have no idea.”

“God, you’re sexy,” he said, and before I had a chance to respond, his mouth crashed down over mine.

While our kiss on the beach and been romantic and borderline sweet, this was vicious. Angry.

Fucking hot as hell.

His tongue met mine as butterflies thrashed from my belly to my chest and back again. Tingles zipped down my spine as his hand came up to cup my cheek aggressively. Everything about this kiss screamed heat and intensity, making me want to tear off my clothes right there on the sidewalk for this man I’d known less than a full hour.

He pulled back abruptly. Both of us panted for a moment before he spoke. “I have a proposition for you.”

I raised my eyebrows in response, trying to maintain some semblance of dignity while the tingles in my body turned into lust rockets that were about to land squarely on the man in front of me. Then we’d both be in trouble.

“You’re here one week, right?” he asked.

I nodded, afraid to speak.

“One week. You and me. Nights only because I work all day.”

“Are you asking me what I think you’re asking me?”

My heart raced at the idea of the two of us together, and he pulled me closer to him. I didn’t want to resist because his words, his raspy voice, and his offer intrigued me. Despite my desire to have a vacation fling, I didn’t know this guy at all.

I pushed him away, placing my hand on his chest. A hard cut of muscle met my palm.

He stumbled back from the force I didn’t mean to exert, and I lunged forward awkwardly. As I moved to regain my balance, his very erect cock brushed against my fingertips. I gasped, well aware of the effects our kiss had on him based on what I felt.

And I was definitely as turned on as him.

A soft gasp escaped his lips as the intimacy of our stolen moment on the sidewalk contradicted with the violent kiss we had shared.

The words he spoke next were words that would stay with me for the rest of my life.

They were words that would comfort me, turn me on, cheer me up.

They were words I would never forget. Ever.

The rasp in his voice deepened as his words purred softly through my body.

“I spotted you the moment you walked into the club tonight, Emily. Your beautiful red hair, your green eyes that lit up the entire bar. All I could think about all night is what it would be like to take you to bed. And if you say yes to what I’m asking, I can promise you a week you’ll never forget.”

He wasn’t lying. I already had some concept of what he had hidden under his jeans, and certainly he would deliver nothing but pleasure. Add that to the way he kissed me, and we had a pretty easy equation to solve.

But I had literally just met this guy.

“I’m here on vacation with my friend, Ben. And I don’t know you.”

“Don’t pretend like you don’t want this. I see it in the way you look at me. I felt it in our kiss, and don’t even get me started on the little moan that came out of your mouth when you felt how hard my cock is for you.”

I gasped involuntarily at his words. I hadn’t even noticed I’d moaned.

This wouldn’t be about emotions and love.

This would be about sex. Pure and simple. And maybe I needed a good banging to get Brett the fuck out of my head.

“Fine. I want it. I want you,” I blurted.

“Look, I want to give you time to think about it. I’ll leave you alone tonight, and when you find that you can’t stop thinking about me, come back here tomorrow night. I’ll be waiting.”

I rolled my eyes. I wasn’t a spineless twit who would fall for his lines, even though the gleam in his eye alone almost convinced me. “When I find that I can’t stop thinking about you? What about you?”

“Believe me when I say that you are all I’ll be thinking about tomorrow.”

My lips tipped up in a smile. “I believe you.”

He lowered his head and brushed my lips with his. “Think about it,” he whispered, and then he turned and walked down the sidewalk. I watched him until he turned a corner, never looking back.

Of course I wanted him. Of course I wanted a week I’d never forget.

But the moment he was out of my sight and no longer overwhelming my personal space, reality hit me hard. He was a complete stranger. What if he was a rapist, or a serial killer, or a psycho?

Or what if he was everything I needed to move forward in my life? What if he could help me expedite the healing process from my break-up?

What if he was the rebound guy that would lead me to the next love of my life?

I climbed the stairs and found myself walking back toward the bar. Char’s tits continued to spill over her shirt as she flirted with Joe.

“Where have you been?” she slurred in my direction over the music when I sat in the empty seat beside her. Joe shook a martini for another patron as we chatted.

“I checked out the balcony and then I took a walk.”

“Are you okay?”

I shrugged. What a great question.

I needed to talk to my best friend. I needed to sleep on it. I didn’t know what the fuck I needed. I needed a drink.

“Can we go?”

She glanced at me and then back at Joe. She leaned forward when Joe came by and handed him some money. He waved her off and said something to her, but I couldn’t hear over the music.

We left the way we’d come in, and I didn’t see any trace of Ben anywhere. I wondered where he went and what he was doing.

I wondered if his thoughts centered on me the same way that mine did on him.

It had only been a few minutes since we parted, but I was obsessing. I needed to talk to Char about it.

Her phone jingled with a text. She read it immediately, her face lighting up.

“Joe?” I asked. She nodded. “What’s it say?”

“He wants to see me after work tonight!” She was actually squealing.

“What are you thinking?”

“He’s hot and I’m single.”

I giggled. “How long have you known him?”

“A few years. We met one summer and had some nice talks, kissed a little, but nothing beyond that. When I came back the next summer, we slept together.”

“How have I never heard about this guy?”

“He’s my little summer secret. So where did you go earlier? And why did you want to leave so fast?”

“I went out to the balcony.”

“And?”

“And I met a guy out there.”

“A guy?”

“A hot guy who gave me a proposition.”

"Um… what?”

“He’s here on business. He wants to bang me for the rest of the week. Nights only.”

“Oh my God, Em! This is the dream! We both get hot sex all week with sexy men!”

That’s the dream?” I’m pretty sure my friend was drunk. I thought the dream was to escape the hot and humid Midwest for the beach, the sun, and some girl time with my BFF.

She grinned. “Sure. Why not? Tell me more about this hot guy.”

“I don’t know much more. His name is Ben. He’s in business development and he’s here for work. And if his kiss is any indication of the way he fucks, I’m in for a real treat.”

“So are you going to say yes to his proposition?”

“I’m not sure. I need to talk it out.”

“I say go for it.”

“Like you’re going for it with Joe?”

She nodded. “Joe is my yearly summer fling.”

“Would’ve been nice to know that before you brought me here.”

Charlotte hadn’t been much help. She wanted to hook up with Joe, so of course she’d push me toward my own summer fling. Then she wouldn’t have to watch me be miserable for the week. I didn’t blame her; I’d have felt the same way if our situation was reversed.

As I lay in bed restlessly, I stared up at my ceiling wondering how someone I hadn’t even known only a few hours earlier had managed to completely take over every thought in my mind.
 

To read the rest of this novella along with nine other sexy summer stories, pick up the NIGHTTIDES Anthology!





 

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