Where I Belong (Alabama Summer)

Where I Belong

J. Daniels

 

Copyright@2014 J. Daniels. All Rights Reserved

This book is a work of fiction.  Names, characters,
places, events, and other elements portrayed herein are either the product of
the author’s imagination or used fictitiously.  Any resemblance to real
persons or events is coincidental.

No part of this book may be reproduced, storied in a
retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means, electronic,
mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior permission of
the author.

Cover design © Arijana Karčić, Cover It! Designs

 

To Beav and Lolli. The best groupies a girl could ask for.
I heart you both.

This is for you.

Prologue

 

Benjamin Kelly was the bane of my existence.

His teasing was relentless, always making sure to point out
each and every one of my insecurities whenever I was around him. And because I
was best friends with his sister Tessa, I was around him all the time.

“You have food stuck in your braces. That’s so disgusting.
Maybe you should just stop eating since you’re so fat anyway.”

“Gross. What is that on your face? It looks like a second
head.”

“God, can you even see anything out of those glasses, nerd?
How many times are you going to run into things?”

“Mia Corelli is the ugliest girl I’ve ever seen. Oh sorry,
Mia. I didn’t see you sitting right next to me.”

I hated him with a fury. I was convinced that his sole
purpose in life was to break me down to nothing. And he succeeded on more than
one occasion. I never cried in front of him though. I never gave him that
satisfaction. I just stood there and took it, saving my tears for when I was
alone. Tessa was always standing up for me, throwing every insult she could
think of at him. And I was grateful for that, because I didn’t have it in me to
give him what he deserved. My bank of comebacks were pathetic compared to
Tessa’s. So I’d just sit back and let her handle it.

“You’re just jealous that Mia’s teeth are going to be
straighter than yours, loser. Why don’t you go get that giant gap fixed before
someone kicks a field goal through it?”

“What’s that on
your
face, Ben? God, it’s hideous.
Oh, never mind. There’s nothing on your face. That’s just how you look.”

“At least Mia isn’t stupid like you, Ben. If you make it out
of eighth grade, it’ll be a miracle.”

“Ben Kelly has the smallest penis in the world. He has to
hold it with a pair of tweezers when he pees.”

Her comebacks would shut him up temporarily, but when he
found his voice again, it was frequently used to take a shot at me. I was his
sister’s nerdy, awkward best friend who became his favorite punching bag for
five grueling years. I grew some thick skin and became used to the torment, but
my insecurities were always there. He’d never let me forget about them. He was
the spawn of Satan, the biggest jerk on the planet, and I’d hate him for the
rest of my life.

Benjamin Kelly was the worst thing to come out of Alabama.
And if I never saw him again, that would be fine with me.

Chapter One

 

“I don’t have to go. If this is too much on you, I can stay
here. It really isn’t a big deal, Aunt Mae.” Closing the door to my mother’s
bedroom, I walk down the hallway into the kitchen behind my aunt. “Really. I
mean it. Just because she’s doing okay right now doesn’t mean it’s a good idea
for me to leave the state.”

My aunt places her hand on my shoulder, squeezing it gently.
“You need a break from all of this, sweetie. You’ve been taking care of her
twenty-four hours a day for the past nine months. Everyone needs to take some
time for themselves.” She tilts her head, her expression softening with a
smile. “She wants you to have fun, Mia. Go enjoy your summer and leave all of
this to me.”

Sighing, I shake my head, not fully committed to the idea of
leaving. “What if she gets really sick and I’m not here? What if she needs me?”
The thought of my mother calling out for me while I’m four hours away is enough
to cancel this whole trip. She loves my aunt, but I’m the one that’s been here.
I’m the one that’s been doing everything for her since she fell ill. She’s used
to me, not Mae. I know the look she gets when she’s really feeling bad, but
won’t admit it. I know how to get her to eat when she refuses. Me. I don’t need
a break, let alone an entire summer off from taking care of my own mother.

“If
anything
happens, even the slightest change in
her condition, I’ll call you.” Her hand cups my face, her thumb stroking the
skin of my cheek. “Promise me you won’t let all your worrying prevent you from
having an amazing summer with Tessa.”

“I just don’t know if this is the best time. She hasn’t had
her strength back for that long.”

Aunt Mae issues me a look indicating that she’s not letting
me back out of this. “This is the perfect time. And like I said before, she
wants
you to go. If you try and stay home now, I’m afraid you won’t only be getting
an earful from me.”

I smile and nod in agreement. My mom does enjoy laying into
me when I deserve it. She’s stern but sweet at the same time, always following
up a punishment with a hug. “Alright, I’ll go. But you need to promise you’ll
call me if there’s any change. Even the slightest.”

“I promise.” She drops her hand and steps around the counter,
digging into the pile of dishes that’ve accumulated in the sink.

I’ll be staying with Tessa at her parents’ house for the
summer while she looks after it. I have a ton of memories at that house,
considering the fact that I practically lived there for five years. I’d always
go to Tessa’s house after school, staying there until my mom would pick me up
on her way home. Tessa was like the sister I never had, and when my grandmother
got sick and we had to move to Fulton, Georgia the summer before ninth grade, I
cried for weeks. We kept in touch over the years, and now I’ll be spending the
entire summer with her just like we used to. And as long as her pain in the ass
brother stayed as far away from me as possible, it was going to be the best
summer of my life.

Benjamin Kelly. World’s biggest dickhead.

I head back to my bedroom, needing to finish up my last bit
of packing. Tessa is expecting me tomorrow afternoon sometime, but I’m not
waiting until then to get into Alabama. There is something I want to do before
I start my summer break. Something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time. If
I’m really going to enjoy myself this summer, I need to let go of all my
inhibitions. This will not be the summer of hang-ups or shyness. I’m not the
same girl that left Ruxton nine years ago. That girl has been gone for a long
time. The braces came off first, followed by the weight and the glasses which
were exchanged for contacts. My hair is no longer a wild mess of curls now that
I’ve learned how to manage it. My skin cleared up in tenth grade, and that
wasn’t the only big change to my appearance that year. My breasts came in
overnight it seemed, and they are definitely my best asset if I do say so
myself. And with the help of the volleyball team I joined in high school, my
body got tight and stayed that way. The new Mia Corelli is going to let loose
and experience everything an Alabama summer had to offer. But in order to do
that, I need to handle something first. And that thing is going to be handled
tonight.

I grab my phone, falling back onto my pillow after pushing
my suitcases to the floor.

Me: All packed up!
I’ll call you when I’m on the road tomorrow.

Tessa: OMFG I’m so
excited! Your ass is mine for the summer! I have so much planned for us
already. :)

Me: Yay! I can’t
wait to get there and relax by the pool for three months.

Tessa: That’s not
all we’re doing. We’re finding you a play thing for the summer. I’ll surround
you with penises if I have to.

Jesus, Tessa.

Me: Well there’s an
image. Speaking of dicks, any chance your brother will be out of the country
for the summer?

Tessa: Don’t worry
about Ben. I don’t even see him that much so you won’t have to either. And
besides, he’s already been warned. If he bothers you, I get to kick him in the
nuts.

Me: Only after I get
the first shot at him. :)

Tessa: There’s my
girl. This summer is going to be amazeballs!!! See ya tomorrow!

Me: See ya!

**

I don’t even know the name of the bar I’m currently sitting
in. But I doubt it matters. It was the first one I spotted when I got off the
Ruxton exit and it looked promising enough. A bar seems like the perfect venue
for what I am about to do, or at least attempt to do. I don’t want to face
another summer as a virgin. Especially when my best friend isn’t shy about her
sexual conquests. If I am going to keep up with her this summer, I have to
ditch my virginity, and fast. Tessa has no idea that I still hold my v-card,
and I really don’t want to show up tomorrow waving it around like some sort of
abstinence banner. So, with the help of my most non-virginal outfit, I’m going
to be giving away that card to one of the lucky men in this bar tonight.

 

“Here ya go, sweetheart,” the bartender says, placing a
bright purple drink in front of me. “From the guy with the black shirt at the
end of the bar.”

I wrap my fingers around the glass and glance down the
length of the bar, meeting the eyes of the man that bought me the drink. He’s
hot. Really hot. Insanely hot. The kind of hot that makes you think,
there’s
no way in hell this guy is looking at me.
With short dark hair and eyes
that are bright enough to see in the dim lighting. I send him a smile before
looking away to take a sip of my drink. It tastes delicious, like raspberry and
coconut. I take another sip and glance back down the bar, but the man is no
longer there. A surge of disappointment floods my system.

“Crap. Where’d he go?” I utter under my breath as my eyes
search the crowded bar. Who buys a girl a drink and then leaves before cashing
in on the thank you? Didn’t he see the giant florescent arrow pointing to me,
flashing
this chick wants to get laid by you
?
Damn it.
That
hottie was definite v-card material.

“Where’d who go, baby?”

Whipping my head around, I meet the eyes of my sexy little
drink buyer as he claims the stool next to me. Gasping softly, I allow myself a
moment to take in the hotness that is now brushing up against my arm. His
bright gray eyes are hooded by dark eyebrows, and my attention is drawn down to
his lips as they curl up into a smile. Those. Lips.
Holy hell.
Full and
way the hell inviting, if I had the nerve I’d jump all over them. I look back
up into his eyes with a grin. “Oh, um, you actually. I wanted to thank you for
my drink. It’s really good. What is it?”

“Purple passion. No, purple hurricane?” His eyebrows furrow
as he thinks it over. I smile around my straw, taking another sip. “I don’t
know. Some purple girly drink. You looked really thirsty from where I was
standing so I thought I’d help you out.”

I arch my eyebrow. “Oh? And how long have you been watching
me to make that observation?”

He chuckles, one of the sweetest laughs I’ve ever heard,
before replying, “Long enough to see that you’re also here by yourself, which
surprises me.”

I watch as he motions for the bartender, admiring the way
the muscles in his arm flex as he reaches into his pocket and pulls out his
wallet. “Why does that surprise you? And are you here by yourself or is your
girlfriend in the ladies room?” My tone is teasing, and I see his lip curl up
in the corner as he absorbs my words. This guy better not have a girlfriend.
He’ll be wearing my delicious drink if he does.

He turns his body toward me, reaching his hand out to trail
down my arm. “You’re really fucking hot, that’s why it surprises me. And I
wouldn’t be taking you back to my place if I had a girlfriend.” Old Mia would
be shocked by his forwardness, but new Mia is looking up to the heavens,
thanking God for putting this gorgeous man who doesn’t waste any time on this
planet and in this bar tonight. His finger stops on the top of my hand and he
begins rubbing my skin softly there. “That is, if you
want
to go back to
my place. Or we could do yours. It doesn’t matter to me. I’m game for any place
that’ll put me between your legs.” His grin spreads and two massive dimples
appear in each cheek.
Oh, Good God. That’s adorable.

“You certainly cut right to the chase.”

He shrugs. “I just know what I want, and I’ve been staring
at her for the past twenty minutes.”

I like this guy. And not only because he’s too good looking
for words and blunt as hell. There’s something about his playfulness that’s
drawing me to him. He’s easy to talk to and not making me feel awkward at all.
If anything, I feel hotter than I’ve ever felt, confident even. Tessa would be
proud of this Mia. I cross one leg over the other, gaining his attention when
the hem of my dress slides higher up my thigh. “Getting between my legs
requires changing locations? You don’t seem like the type of guy that shies
away from public sex.”

He definitely doesn’t. He looks like the type of guy that
would take me anytime, anyplace, and not give a shit what the consequences
were. There’s an edginess to him that is definitely hitting all my hot spots.

He smiles before he leans in and brushes his lips against my
ear. “I’m not, but this bar will eventually close, and I don’t plan on stopping
what I’m going to do to you until your body can’t take anymore.”

I shudder at the thought and move my hand to his thigh,
flexing my fingers and feeling his muscles contract against me. Turning my
head, I put my lips right up to his ear and mimic his position. “Will you be
gentle with me? I’ve never done this before,” I whisper. “But God, I want this.
I want you to make me come.” I lean back and meet his bright eyes, noticing the
specks of blue that stand out against the gray. “Do you think you can handle
me?”

I swear I hear a growl rumbling in his throat as his hand
trails back up my arm and grips the back of my neck underneath my hair. It
feels possessive, as if he’s claiming me right here in front of everyone. And I
know it sounds crazy, but I
want
to be owned by this man. I want to give
myself to him completely and a huge part of me doesn’t want gentle. I don’t
care that it might hurt. I want him to take me and I don’t want him to hold
back. He grabs my chin with his other hand and turns my head, bringing our lips
together for the slightest bit of contact. I crave more instantly, whimpering
when his mouth leaves mine. I see his lip twitch in response to my desperation.
He has me and he knows it. “I’m going to fucking consume you,” he says against
my mouth, bringing his other hand around and raking across my bottom lip with
his thumb. I open up and he slips it inside, his eyes watching with a new heat
as I scrape my teeth along his skin and bite down with the smallest amount of
pressure. The muscles in his neck twitch and he slides it out, dragging his now
wet thumb down my neck. “Your place or mine, baby? I’m close to losing my mind
if I don’t get inside you soon.”

I lick my lips, tasting the trace of whiskey that he left on
them from our brief kiss. “Yours. I don’t have a place.”

“Just passing through?” he asks with raised eyebrows. We’re
still sitting so close together, practically on top of each other, and I feel
safe. Protected. Like I could trust him completely.

“Yeah, you could say that.” I finish off the rest of my
drink and stand, indicating that I’m ready to take this where we both want it
to go. I can’t sit in this bar any longer with him touching me and not lose my
mind right along with him. He gets to his feet and my eyes do a double take.
Damn,
he’s gorgeous.
I couldn’t tell from his seated position, but the man has a
torso that goes on for days. Broad and built, he definitely works out and
often, with this type of physique. His narrow waist is fitted perfectly in a
pair of jeans, and his legs are long and muscular. I can only imagine what the
back of him looks like. I grab my clutch and look up, way up into his face. “I
could seriously climb you like an oak tree.”

“Oh yeah? I think I’d like to see that.” His playful
response makes me laugh and I’m quickly being pulled through the crowd and out
the door. The sweet Alabama air blows my hair off my shoulders. “You wanna
follow me or should I bring you back here to get your car? It’s up to you.” He
stops once we reach the middle of the parking lot, my hand still firmly placed
in his. I don’t want to pull it out of his to get in my car. I don’t want to be
away from him for one second, because we’ll only have tonight. That’s how
one-night stands work, or so I’ve heard. It’s not like I know what I’m doing
here. But it
would
make more sense if we drove separately. Besides, if
he’s some psycho, I’ll need a getaway vehicle.

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