Monday, June 10, 2013

A Summer to Remember

"Life is really strange. Two events have shaped mine although I am only twentyfour, a successful entrepreneur and owner of my own gallery, Maison des Artistries, in Tribeca. One happened when I was ten: I realized I was in love with my brother's best friend, Paul. The other event happened while I attended Vassar College during my last semester." Jerrica Peterson doesn't believe in fairytale relationships but she does believe in friendship and she has three best friends who will stick by her through thick and thin. Jerrica and her best friends: Talia, Autumn and Savannah bond over a summer of heartbreaks and discoveries, love and scandal, and three unforgettable vacations to Southampton, Martha's Vineyard and Miami Beach. Every moment they spend together will enrich their lives and make it a summer they will never forget and one they will always remember.

The Beach Bar wasn’t merely a place in Westhampton where a bunch of wealthy kids got together and had too much to drink. Unfortunately, it was also home to the locals as well and that meant extra talent to be spotted. I didn’t see anything wrong with having a one night stand with a “townie” as we called them. As long as he had condoms and wasn’t named Guido, we were good to go.
I admit I went overboard trying to convince myself that I didn’t care when Ashley would show up to fawn all over Paul because an hour after we’d arrived, she still hadn’t made it yet.
I had several Absolut shots—in a variety of mango, vanilla and raspberry—before I ordered a Cosmopolitan and began to drink like it was my last night on earth.
Talia, ever worried about me, dragged me to the dance floor and as “Who’s that Chick?” by David Guetta featuring Rihanna began to play, I allowed my body to sway rhythmically and the music transported me far away from my current situation.
Out there on the dance floor, I forgot about my problems and my body took over. I knew men were watching, staring at me with open lust and attraction but I didn’t care about that. All I wanted was to feel good and forget about Paul, not temporarily but permanently.
Funny how life always decided to throw a monkey wrench in my carefully cultivated plan because I hadn’t been dancing for more than ten minutes when I heard a laugh so familiar, my heart felt like it stopped beating.
I stopped dancing but before I could step off the dance floor, Savannah and Autumn had joined Talia to help with damage control.
Come on, let’s get some air. You’re flushed and you’ve been dancing for a while.”
What are you talking about?” I inquired as all three shots of vodka seemed to hit me at once along with the Cosmopolitan I downed like it was water. “I just started and the night is still young.”
I’d almost forgotten about that deep, sexual voice and that laugh until it assaulted me again and this time, it claimed all of my senses.
I could smell his cologne: Ed Hardy’s Born Wild, a fragrance I’d picked up as a joke because this described his bad boy attitude though he was just as privileged as I was and liked to act all tough.
I could hear his voice as he spoke to another young woman, his latest victim of lust and the receiver of all the love and sex he used to provide so willingly to me.
The taste of his body was on my tongue now. So beautiful, creamy and lush followed by a slight fruity aftertaste.
I could feel the lean hardness of his body because like Paul and Jude, he’d also been a swimmer and had their exact body type. A diver, his physique was perfect and I loved the soft skin yet the roughness of his face when he hadn’t shaved and the way his facial hair would tickle my neck and my jaw ever so gently.
The sound of his voice, so perfectly masculine but there was an underlying sweetness and the way he could ease me out of a bad mood by just whispering softly into my ear.
What the hell was Kevin doing here?
Just my luck…what the hell is he doing here at the same place we’re at and why haven’t we left already?”
Talia gave Savannah a warning look before she scurried off to try to find Paul and Jude.
Honey, we had no idea!” Autumn exclaimed as she grabbed me by the shoulders and stared at me with frightened gray-green eyes. “Last time I heard, he was accompanying his parents on a trip to the south of France. He’s not even supposed to be in the States!”
That was definitely a problem about our small circles and who we chose to date and hung out with because there was no escaping Kevin. He worked for the same investment firm as my brother though Jude had no idea what had gone down at Vassar or Kevin’s balls still wouldn’t be attached to his body.
I’d told all three of my friends about the one incident but they didn’t know the fallout of said incident, no one knew except Talia.
I began to hyperventilate before Talia tried to pull me away from the scene but something inside me rebelled. I twisted away from her and marched straight up to Kevin and his group of friends.
My ex looked me over in an appraising manner, his golden-hazel eyes stared me up and down like I was just another piece of flesh and his dark brown hair was coiffed perfectly, longer in the back for a more preppy look. He was immaculately dressed and his left arm was slid around a platinum blonde with a glass of champagne in her hand. She looked me up and down with icy blue eyes before she glanced at Kevin.
Who’s this, babe?”
That sealed the deal. Her strong Australian accent mixed with her tanned skin, perfect body and the proximity to my ex-boyfriend had me seeing red. Who the hell did this Aussie bitch think she was? Obviously she was my replacement but I was determined to not go down without a fight.
I grabbed her by her long blonde hair and twisted it around my fingers in anger. “This cheap skank is who you left me for? After everything that happened to us—to me—this is what I get in return for…all that wasted time?”
Fuck off, Jerrica, and if you want to keep everything in tact, you’ll let Jenna go.”
Suddenly, the whole situation was interrupted by my brother who peeled me off of Jenna and my hand was clutched so tight, I didn’t realize I was holding strands of her fake blonde hair until I looked down at my right hand. I let them go as if they were diseased before I laughed in Kevin’s face.
You’re not even worth it. I wish I never met you and I wish you hadn’t changed my life to the point where nothing will ever be the same again…all because of you!” I screamed in sheer frustration and bitterness. “You ruined me for every man after you and if I was smart, I would have cut off your testicles and turned you into a goddamn eunuch! You deserve it you self-serving asshole!”
It was Paul who grabbed me by the waist and led me away as I collapsed in tears that began to flow whether I wanted them to or not. My heart beat like a piston in my chest and I cried gut-wrenching sobs that wouldn’t and couldn’t be silenced.
Talia walked over and tried to intercept me from Paul. “I can take over. I know what she went through and right now, she needs a friend.”

Author Bio
Elle Chardou is a world traveler and author of several different series.
Ms. Chardou is the author of The Ties That Bind Trilogy, The Atonement Series, The Hart Family Saga, The Vamp Saga, The Supernaturals, Undertow, and Beginnings: Book I (The Plague) series.
She is currently working on A Summer to Remember from the brand new Seasons of Love & Lust series, Only Love (The Atonement Series) and Queen of the Immortals from The Vamp Saga series.
Ms. Chardou has lived abroad in Stockholm (Sweden), Manchester (England), Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area and Portland. She currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada.
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