Escaping Me by Elizabeth Lee
All she wanted to do was forget. Forget the memory of walking in on her boyfriend in the middle of, well, another girl. Forget how she had her entire life planned out. And, forget about being perfect all the time. Unfortunately, she was Whitney Vandaveer and despite the fact that she moved to the middle of nowhere—she couldn't.
He always knew he would never be more than nothing. No job, no money, no future. Cole Pritchett had accepted the fact that he would always be the screw up and he was okay with it. Until he met her.
Here's the thing they quickly found out—sometimes we all need a little help escaping who we think we are.
Except:I nod at Zeke when he offers to grab me another drink and pull one last drag off the cigarette I stepped outside to enjoy... by myself. Zeke isn’t the only one who interrupted my smoke. She has no idea I've been out here the whole time, watching as she breathes in the night air. Despite the fact that she's had her back to me the whole time, I knew it was her the second she lifted her hair up and the moonlight shimmered off the latte-colored waves. I watched as she let it fall down and cover the smooth skin of her back that was revealed by the pathetic excuse for a shirt she is wearing. Don't get me wrong, I love the way she looks in it, but the idea of every other guy in the place staring at her makes my blood boil. My eyes already soaked up her bare back and settle on the jean-covered curves of her ass. There is no denying that her body is unreal. She is a runner after all. Albeit, not a very smart one, but still... She works out. I have to summon every image of bass fishing, football, and dirt bikes I can just to keep my mind from wondering what it would be like to press my lips to the skin where her neck meets her shoulder. I am thankful that Zeke barged in before I acted on the impulse to let her know I was standing behind her. At least that's what I thought before I watched her turn around with a questioning look—a look that lets me know her mother mentioned my name.
“Pritchett? As in Cole Pritchett?” The way her voice carries my name across the air is incredible. It is sweet and smoky. I probably could listen to her talk all day and that is really saying something. Most guys have selective hearing when it comes to women, but each syllable that passes between her pouty pink lips commands my attention. She steps toward me before I can sneak back through the door and follow Zeke back to our barstools.
“Nice to see you standing on your own two feet, Whitney,” I answer and throw her for a loop. I watch as she tugs her bottom lip between her teeth. Her eyes are trying to peer under the black ball cap I have pulled down over my brow.
She extends her hand. “It's nice to meet you, Cole.” My hand flies to hers on its own free will and my fingers curl around her soft, warm hand. “I'm Whitney Vandaveer, but I guess you already know that.”
“I do,” I breathe as I raise up the bill of my cap with my free hand and let our eyes fall to one another’s. It is a partial lie because I didn't know her last name. Not that it really matters—the outcome of me and her would be the same whether I knew her full name or not. It feels nice holding on to a part of her that is conscious though, and I can tell by the way her breath hitched there is good possibility that if I pull her to me and press my lips on hers, she'll willfully kiss me back.
“So, I guess I owe you a thank you?” She regains her composure and offers me a smile. I watch her eyes go wide and feel my usual fuck-the-world resolve start to fade. It becomes obvious to me that I am giving off a vibe that says I’m interested in her. I wish in that moment that I had never wondered what color her eyes are. They are blue. The kind of blue that reminds me of lying outside and looking up at the sky on a summer day when I was still too young to know what kind of man I was going to be. Back when I thought I could be anything I wanted—like a fireman or astronaut. This girl is like a pipe dream and, to me, all that means is me being with her is impossible. I need to snuff out the tiny spark I can feel between us before it sets into a full roaring blaze. I am trying to keep my nose clean and stay under the radar, and I can tell she is the kind of girl you get in fights over. The kind of girl that causes you to lose your ability to think straight. The kind of girl that deserves way better than I can ever give her. If she can drive me crazy with her back to me, imagine what would happen if I ever let myself wrap my arms around her. Kiss her. Or bring her to a point where my name rolls off her lips in ecstasy.
Elizabeth Lee Bio:
When I'm not writing or playing the part of wife and mother, you can find me dancing back-up for Beyonce, singing back-up for Miranda, or sunning myself on the beach with a drink in hand. Here's the thing about being born and raised in a small town—you have a very vivid imagination! Now, I channel it all to create stories where the girl always ends up with the right guy, first kisses are magical, and a happy ending is just that!
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