The following is part 12 of an extended sneak peek of:
The Keatyn Chronicles: Book 4
by Jillian Dodd
The perfect ending.
Pressley and Embry have finally stopped giggling, talking about cute boys, how they want to come here next year, how much fun they had tonight, and are asleep. I can’t sleep. Aiden was right. I had fun going to the sing-a-long movie with Katie, Maggie, and Peyton. I had fun watching Maggie and Jake flirt. I had fun telling Pressley and Embry all about Eastbrooke, and I had fun watching Riley drag his furry rug into the auditorium for him and Ariela to sit on.
I had fun.
But, yet, I didn’t.
I had thought that when Aiden convinced me to go with my friends it was because he wanted me there without Dawson. I thought he would sit with me. That he might swoop in for the kill.
But he didn’t.
Instead, he spent the night surrounded by cheerleaders. One of whom was Chelsea, the girl who wanted to have fun with him tonight. That’s probably why he barely spoke to me. Why he hasn’t texted me. He’s out having fun with her.
Part of me is insanely jealous.
The other part of me thinks she can have him.
It makes me miss Dawson.
Me: My sheets smell like you.
Dawson: My sheets always smell like you. I miss you already.
Me: It feels like we broke up.
Dawson: We already did that. We’re starting over, remember?
Me: Do you ever wish you had a crystal ball, so you could look in it and see who you are supposed to end up with? It would make life so much easier.
Dawson: But think of the things you would miss along the way.
Me: You don’t picture us married someday, sitting together on the beach, four adorable dark hair boys playing in the sand and a dog named Whitney?
Dawson: Love the dog’s name But I have to finish high school then have four years of college to enjoy. Who knows what will happen.
Me: Where do you want to go to college?
Dawson: Definitely Columbia with Cam. Close enough for you to visit me for some fun <3
I sigh and don’t bother to reply.
What is it with boys thinking you will just have sex with no commitment?
I roll my eyes at myself.
Probably because you’ve given them sex with no commitment, Keatyn.
What does Grandpa always say? There’s no reason to buy the cow if you’re getting the milk for free.
I want to be the cow that someone buys.
No, scratch that. I don’t want to be a cow.
Of any kind.
I just want a boy to want me.
But that’s bad. Because I don’t need a boy.
I have me.
I don’t even have a clue what to do. Aiden can be so sweet, but so frustrating. He talks about being friends, but then contradicts himself when he talks about forever.
It dawns on me that Keats-quoting Aiden is not all that different from Brooklyn.
Maybe I’m just attracted to boys who don’t want to commit.
I slowly push my covers back, slide my feet into a pair of slippers, carefully step over the girls, shut the door quietly, and go into the stairwell.
I think it’s time I talk to my root.
I pull up his number as a million truths go through my head. Truths that I haven’t wanted to face. Because that would mean taking some of the blame.
I blamed him for everything that went wrong. Got mad because I didn’t think he loved all of me, but yet I forced him to do things that weren’t him. And when he got upset about it, I acted like it was his fault. I wanted to change him when I should have just loved him. And I did love all of him. I loved the way he made me feel. Our summer of love was the best time of my life. Things were so easy with him. I was so incredibly happy.
It wasn’t until we got to the city and I pushed him out of his comfort zone that we started to fight. That he started to push back. I slide the waistband of my shorts down and stare at my tattoo. I can picture him, walking out of the water, his blue eyes shining as bright as the ocean, an easy smile on his face, his beautiful bronzed skin, his shaggy hair.
He knows exactly who he is. I was the confused one.
He tried to help me. Always made me feel good about myself. Encouraged me to show the world the girl he loved.
The girl I want to be.
I get brave and press his number.
He answers on the fourth ring. “Keats! Hey, how are you?” He sounds like we are old friends. Not people who fought the last time they talked.
“Uh, okay. How are you? You find your balance yet?”
“No. I haven’t. I’ve been wanting to call you.”
“But you haven’t.”
“I don’t want to hurt you anymore.”
“I get now why you needed me to forgive you.”
“Yeah, you figured out it was the root of your problem. I just figured out it might be the root of my problem here as well.”
“What’s your problem there?”
“I met a guy.”
“I’m not sure I want to hear about this.”
“I’m not sure I wanted to watch you make out with a girl and then stand outside a cabana while you screwed her either.”
“Look, before we go any further, I need to explain and I owe you an apology.”
“An apology? Really?”
“Yes, Keats. I owe you an apology. I was hurt. You’d been to school for barely a week and you already had a new guy? Did I mean nothing to you? The girl in the cabana was my childish way of deciphering if you cared. I figured if you got pissed and hurt, then I’d know you still loved me. Do you still love me, Keats?”
I want to say yes. I want to be swept away by emotion. I want to fly straight to wherever he is and have an amazing reunion. Write an amazing ending to our love story.
“I owe you an apology too, B. Actually, I owe you a lot of them. I’m sorry I tried to change you. You’ve always known exactly who you are. It’s part of what I love about you. I’m sorry I was so messed up. So confused about who I wanted to be. I know it’s stupid, but labeling our relationship when we got back from Europe was important to me. We’d been fighting and everyone was asking me. The truth is I was proud of you. I wanted to be able to introduce you as my boyfriend. I wanted to tell the world about our amazing summer. I wanted you with me. But then you started saying stuff that made me think you didn’t care.”
“It’s not that I didn’t. It’s that I knew I was leaving. I couldn’t expect you to wait for me, so I was trying to be mature about it all. What I wanted to do was throw you in my backpack and take you with me. If all I had in my life was you, my board, and some waves, I’d always be happy.”
“You didn’t want to come to my birthday party.”
“But I did.”
“And you were a jerk.”
“And you kissed another guy.”
“You kissed a girl in your tent before you noticed me.”
“She kissed me.”
“You didn’t stop her.”
“I didn’t. But I should of stopped you from running away. Instead, I just stood there. I realized how stupid what I did was. How immature. I’m sorry I hurt you, Keats. The last thing I ever want to do is hurt you.”
“I’m sorry too. We both made quite a few mistakes. And I’ve been reacting badly to them.”
“Well, when you left me for camping, I slept with Cush. When you ditched me for the cabana girl, I slept with someone else.”
“You were hurt.”
“Yeah, I was and I’ve been blaming you. But I’m the one responsible for my actions, not you. I should have trusted you. You have to trust the people that you love.”
“I should have had more faith in you too. In our relationship. I thought if I left, we’d fall apart. The thought of that hurt. I’m sorry I pushed you away. And then everything happened so fast. My leaving. Your leaving. Not being able to see each other.”
“I don’t know if I’ll ever get my life back. I don’t know if we’ll ever get another chance or if either one of us would want it if we did. But I know I miss you. You gave me a lot of good advice. You made me look at myself. I sucked. I’m trying to be a better person here. And I’m making friends. I’m more myself than I’ve ever been. But there’s one problem.”
“I’m finally able to be me. I’m everything I wanted to be. But I’m still like a fake Prada bag. I’m lying to everyone. And if they ever find out, they’ll all hate me.”
“Yeah. Not at a tournament. Like, anytime. Anywhere. I’ll miss a tournament. Say I’m sick but at my hotel resting. But I’ll really fly somewhere and meet you. No one will know. Please. I need to hold you in my arms. I need to feel you again. I need to tell you I’m sorry in person. So you know I mean it. I kiss my tattoo every time I go out to surf. It’s sort of my way of feeling like you’re here with me. Like you should be.”
“Vincent got a tattoo like ours. It’s on his wrist in the exact spot as yours.”
“He rubbed it on mine. Got off on it. It was really disgusting.”
“Don’t let him ruin what it means to us. Don’t.”
“I’m trying not to. What does it mean to us? Or, I mean, what does it mean to you, like now?”
“I was looking at it tonight, actually, and thinking it symbolizes hope. Hope that fate will bring us back together. But I just decided I changed my mind about fate. Fate sucks ass. I don’t want to wait. So what do you say? About seeing me? Are you free anytime soon?”
“I tried out for the school play and got a part. We have play practice like every day for the next few weeks until it’s over.”
“Really? You never told me you wanted to act. But you’d be great at it. Remember, I told you that. That was why I felt like you didn’t know who the real you was. Because you could effortlessly play any role. You’d be a great actress if you wanted to be.”
“I’d like to be. But I can’t really do it if Vincent is still in the picture. You know, I see you every day on my wall.”
“And I have the picture of us from Biarritz in my suitcase always. The one of us kissing as the sun rises. Every time I get up early and surf, I think of you. Always. I love you, Keats.”
I feel like I should say it back, but I’m so confused. “Thanks,” I say instead, awkwardly.
“It sounds hollow, I know. That’s why we need to see each other again. I just want to hug you. We don’t even have to do anything else. I miss you, Keats.”
“Do you like the surf tour?”
“Yes. I’m learning a lot about me. I was a jerk to you in Europe. About your clothes. Don’t laugh—actually, go ahead and laugh—I bought nice luggage.”
I do laugh. “Seriously? Why?”
“Because you were right. I get better service that way. And I like it.”
“Maybe there’s hope for you yet.”
“I’m glad we talked things out. We’ll talk soon, okay?”
“Promise me that when this is over, I’ll get another chance.”
“I promise, B,” I say, mostly because I refuse to give up the dream that I’ll get the perfect ending to my script. With the boy who was originally cast in every one of my love stories.
Hope you enjoyed the extended sneak peek!
To pre-order Love Me, click here!!
If you haven’t read The Keatyn Chronicles yet, book one is FREE. Click here to read Stalk Me.
Click here to read book two: Kiss Me. Click here to read book three: Date Me.
a Rafflecopter giveaway