This is a story about firsts—love, hate and agony.
Olivia Taylor’s life turned upside down when she found out her mother was moving into her boyfriend’s home. The glitch? The boyfriend had a son named Greyson—the guy she loathed more than anything.
Greyson Edwards was your typical arrogant self-entitled jerk. He loved to taunt and tease Olivia. But the more time they got to spend together, the more complicated things became.
Will these two stubborn folks ever figure things out?
Will they let themselves feel what was truly boiling underneath the angst and unveil the passion that’s only a mere kiss away?
Can’t wait to see you in a couple of days! How are things holding up with Liam? I’m sure you two lovebirds will work it out just fine. He can always come and visit you, you know.
Spend as much time as you can with your dad. You won’t see him for another year sweetie. Try not to be too hard on him. He loves you dearly.
By the way, remember that guy I mentioned I met a week after you left? Well, I want you to be the first to know, but I’m engaged!!! What a nice surprise right? I’ll tell you all about it when you get here.
P.S. And no, I haven’t lost my mind, hun. I’m in love :)
I love you,
When mom mentioned “surprise”, I never had thought I’d get the surprise of a lifetime.
As expected, mom was at the airport waiting on me with a huge grin on her face. I spent my entire summer in Sydney with my father. He moved out there after he and mom got divorced two years ago. Bizarre really cause I left my summer to spend winter. It wasn’t all that bad after I started dating Liam Hollingsworth, who was a freshman in University of Sydney. We promised to try and work things out, but as much as I liked him, I knew long distance relationships were hard work. So we decided to see how it’d be for a while, basically measuring the difficulty ahead of us—or if it is even worth trying.
So I was unofficially single, if that makes sense at all.
Mom didn’t unfold her secret until we were all alone. This whole bomb landed on me the second we got onto the freeway.
“Okay, I don’t want to keep you waiting ‘cause I know you might be dying to know who the man is, but don’t freak, okay?” My mom glanced at me sideways, before looking out to the road head with a large beaming smile playing across her face.
Well, if her smiles were always this huge, then I didn’t care if she married a preacher—okay, maybe a little—but seriously, watching her now, seeing how happy she was, made me realize how lonely she might’ve been for the last two years. It was drastic for her to get engaged with someone so quickly, but if it was what she wanted, then who am I to come in between her prince charming? Well, here’s hoping that he was one after all. Hell—I have yet to meet him.
“Seriously, who is your mystery man? You’re killing me smalls.” Pulling out my lip strawberry salve, I popped the tin open before I glided my pinky and applied some to my lips.
“It’s Brett Edwards,” she said with a pained—crossing on sour—face.
I dropped my lip salve along with my jaws. “You’re kidding, right?” Please, please, please, tell me that you are. I was praying to the gods—or who ever was listening to help me salvage my senior year in high school.
Mom exhaled a long sigh. A big indicator that she was darn serious. “This was why I never mentioned it to you because I was afraid of this—that you might change your mind and never come back here, Liv.”
She was imagining the extremes. Come on, really? It was no big deal. Sure, I was a grown up. I could deal with this. “But Brett, mom? Really?” That did not come out right. Personally, I had no problems with Brett…but his only child on the other hand… Greyson…Ugh. Kill me now.
He was your typical asshole. Thinking about him was a waste of energy. Enough said.
Mom reached out and gave my arm a tight squeeze. “He’s amazing, Liv. He treats me like a queen. Not only that, but he makes me feel wonderful. I did promise you that I wouldn’t marry again until I’ve found my Mr. Darcy. Well, I believe with my whole heart that he is, Liv. He loves me—well, he’s been in love with me for decades—that’s why he never got married.”
That got my attention. Pride and Prejudice was our all time favorite film. For her to mention Mr. Darcy, it was major deal. “What do you mean? How long have you known him?”
“Since high school and then college, but he left to live in Chicago after we graduated. But as you know, I was dating your dad since I was seventeen—so he never stood a chance.”
My mom’s story was disheartening but at the same time, inspiring. I suppose, if mom and Brett would be happily married and in love, my feelings about Greyson had nothing against true love.
“I also forgot to mention it to you hun, but we’ll be moving in with them. Greyson lives in the pool house—so you’re in the clear. I promise.” My mom rushed to add in about that teeny bitty information.
Inhale, exhale, Olivia. The world wasn’t ending. This was my chance to give mom her happiness, so I dare not ruin this for her. Living with the Edwards—of course! Brett and mom were now married. “I need a moment to digest this tidal crap of information, mom.”
“I’m so sorry to do this to you, Liv. I wanted to warn you, but I was scared you might not come back home.”
“You’re being silly. Of course I’d come back, but I would’ve appreciated a little adjusting time, you know? This is a lot to take in, mom. The crazy major upheaval kind but if you’re happy then I’m happy. That’s all I want.”
My mom looked misty eyed before she gave me a grateful smile. “Thank you, sweetie.” She sniffed, wiping the sides of her eyes. “This means a lot to me. I expected screaming or even an attempt of it, so thank you for not putting me through that. You’re the best daughter a mom could wish for.”
She always gave me too much credit, but she was my mom right? They always tend to do this even if their kids were horrendous. “Thank me after a week and I haven’t scratched Greyson’s eyes out.”
“He’s a good kid, Liv. Just give him a chance. Trust me.”
Yep, that’s what my mother said.
But not a chance in Hell I’d trust that douche. All he did was make snide remarks whenever he was around my vicinity.
This belief was reinstated that very same night after Brett and mom chatted up with me a couple hours after dinner; talking about Liam, my undecided college plan, my goal and so forth. As mom assured me earlier, Brett was a good man—a man who thought the world of my mother. It was icky and amazing at the same time when they were next to each other.
I was jet-lagged and the last thing I needed was to unpack in a new bedroom that I didn’t have any attachment to. My childhood home was sold after my parents got divorced, so mom and I moved in into a leased townhome.
She did all of the moving while I was gone, so all of our things were in Brett’s home.
It was going to take a lot of time getting used to, but I was willing to try for my mom. Besides, this was my senior year—my last year in high school—no man was going to ruin it for me. Even if he’s name was Greyson Edwards.
It was a warm night and I wanted to have a quick dip in the pool. It was almost midnight, so instead of diving head first, I had to resort in using the steps, careful not to disturb anyone.
My thoughts were occupied of emailing Liam or not as I approached the azure pool that was lightly illuminated. A soft moan escaped when I my body bathed in the cool refreshing water. I was smiling, floating as I stared at the twinkling stars when I heard the first thump thump sound.
“Harder, Grey!” a woman’s voice demanded, coming from the pool house. Then the loud sound went erratic—jackhammer loud. “Shit!” the woman screamed.
What the hell! Could they get any louder?
Greyson was having sex. He didn’t care if anyone was around to hear it. He just did his own business just because he could. He was a total douchebag.
The last leg—the finale—was even worse. I thought the woman was being cut open and gutted out. I was cringing and gasping as she rode out her orgasm. I stared at the lightly lit pool house, wondering if she was all-okay.
Five minutes later, I was still struck, appalled and in deep shock.
I watched, paralyzed, as Greyson and his latest girlfriend emerge from the door. He was escorting her out while the she kept her hand glued to his ass.
The second they disappeared; I swam back to shallow water and out the pool. Deep in thought, I squeezed the water out of my hair, sighing. I was walking towards the table where I left my towel when he spoke behind me. "Were we loud? Sorry. I didn't know we had an audience. If I did, I would've made a better show of it."
Funny, he didn’t sound a bit sorry at all. “Don’t bother.” I gritted out, loathing his cockiness.
He laughed like he was being tickled.
Fucker. I rolled my eyes and continued on ignoring him.
But even with my indifference, the idiot remained.
“So, how was Australia? I heard that you’ve slept your way around all summer long. I’m curious; do you prefer American or Aussie dicks? Or are they all the same? A dick is a dick, right?” I heard him snort, which angered me some more.
“Yes, they’re all juicy, Grey.”
“Mine is oozing, Liv. Keep that in mind, will ya? Might come handy to you if you need to get some workout done.”
I spun around and glared at his grinning face. “Dream on, Greyson.”
“Always, Liv.” He started to walk backwards, still facing me as he tapped his chest a few times. “Sweet dreams, pooh.”
Pooh. Winnie the Pooh was my favorite… back in third grade. I didn’t need another reason to stay and banter with him. I left the pool area in a flash, needing to erase that mocking laugh that irritated me to no end.
That night, my dreams weren’t sweet. In fact, they were nightmares of Winnie the Pooh.
The terror of the douchebaggery had begun.
I hated Winnie the Pooh with a passion because of one person. Olivia.
She looked so angelic… like a beauty that's never gets old. Every guy in school wanted her. I did too, but I’d rather get hit by a fifteen-wheeler than admit that. Fuck that.
When it came to her, I got all hot and cold. Literally. My body’s reaction to her added more to my contempt when it concerned her.
I knew she was beautiful. Hell, sometimes I got so awestruck that I forgot why I hated her to begin with. I remembered gasping when I first saw her in our third grade class.
She knew how she affected men, and she used that to her benefit. She toyed with men. Paraded them in front of me. The only thing I could be grateful for was that none of my guy friends took the chance on asking her out, nor did she seek them out, knowing how’d I react.
Everyone that went to school knew—about our extreme dislike to each other.
My first crush.
My first kiss.
My first love.
My first heartbreak.
Things fell apart during fourth grade and it hasn’t stopped since. I remembered the hate started when I received her letter. It was how she broke up with me.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
When I flush the toilet, I think of you.
To this day, I hated roses—or anything red or blue. The letter was of course burned with a match light in my backyard. Everything I felt for her then went to ashes.
It started little at first. A little teasing here and there, or a snide remark whenever she passed by, then it got to spitting showdowns. Summers without her here were pretty quiet.
Now my disruption was back. Living in my own home. Wonder what kind of gimmick she’d ploy to rile me up.
I didn’t have to do anything, not really.
I knew for a fact that having me breathe the same air as her, already made her furious.
All I had to do was keep my smug, cocky, sexy smile in place and it surefire to drive her crazy.