Not Looking For Love: Episode 1
Blurb: Sometimes, what you want is not really what you need.
Gail is only twenty-two years old and her mom is dying. Not just dying, she will be dead in a few days, if the doctors are to be trusted, and Gail is certain she herself won't survive that. After a run in with Scott, the hot gardener from next door, Gail begins to see him as the perfect distraction from her unbearable life. It's not love Gail wants. She just wants to feel good with someone who makes her forget, if only for a little while, and Scott fits that description perfectly.
Scott just got back into town and he's still trying to get his life back together. He already has more problems and regrets than he can ever hope to live with, and the last thing he needs is to get tangled up with a rich girl who is clearly a little unsettled, if not downright insane. But the fact that Gail is very attractive and keeps throwing herself at him makes it impossible to keep sending her away. Which he should, for Gail's sake more than his own.
Not Looking For Love: Episode 1
Chapter 1 Excerpt:
I crawl through the hole in the fence that separates my garden from Kate's. It's a tight fit, now that I'm no longer five years old. Chairs and towels, empty glasses and discarded clothes are still strewn across the lawn, but, thankfully, no one is around. Likely, the cold dawn chased the last of the party away. I glance up at the house to make sure no one is watching. All the windows are dark. A light reflects in the first floor windows, and I drop into a crouch reflexively, but it's just a passing car.
I find my dress near the pool where I took it off to take a dip. Right before Brandon tossed me in. I just left it lying there when I ran home. Everyone must think I'm completely mental now. I hope Brandon does too. Why won't he just take a hint? Brandon is Kate's brother, and since she's like a sister to me, he's like a brother to me. I can't be dating my brother. Besides he's the love 'em and leave 'em type, and all he can give me is a broken heart. Like he did with his last five girlfriends. As if my heart could take any more breaking.
I look around, tossing things aside, not caring where they land, hoping to find the bracelet. It's not anywhere. The sun's not up yet, but birds are chirping something awful all around me, and the sky is more white than grey now. Dawn is my favorite time of day. I love watching the colors of the sky change from inky black to grey to lilac blue and finally yellow, the new day being born, bringing new hope. Today, I just wish the sun would come up.
If the bracelet is not in the grass, it might be in the pool. The thought of going back in the water makes me shiver, but my desperation to get the bracelet back right away is stronger.
I ease myself off the side of the pool in roughly the spot where I went in before, feet first, trying not to make any sound that could wake Kate's family. It's like slow torture to do it that way, and my whole body cramps up, but the last thing I need is to cause a panic. I could just go back home and come back once the sun is up, but I can't. I need that bracelet, or else I won't sleep.
The cold water grips my body like a vice and I take shallow breaths until the worst of the pain passes. The lights in the pool are off already, they're connected to the porch lights, and someone thoughtfully turned them all off after the party ended. Too thoughtfully. I could really use those lights right now.
After a final deep breath, I submerge my head, fighting the overwhelming urge to gasp as the cold water goes straight to my brain, which is what it feels like. I can almost see the steam coming off, but at least my heart is no longer pounding. I let myself float on the surface, scanning the floor of the pool. Lucky really, that Kate's pool is saltwater. I can float, eliminating the need to tread water to keep myself on the surface.
Shadows play upon the mosaic floor of the pool, all blues, whites, yellows, and pinks. I turn slightly to adjust my angle of view. No silver gleams against the tiles anywhere. I only come up for air once my lungs start burning and dip my face back in immediately. Grey is giving way to white in the sky now, so the visibility should soon improve. I'm enjoying the silence, the serenity of floating in the water, with my long hair plastered down my ears, blocking out the chirping birds.
The eerie silence is almost like diving, only without the crushing weight of the water pressing against me. But I can't see my bracelet anywhere, and no doubt the servants will be out cleaning up soon. I adjust my angle again and am just about to come up for more air when something grabs my waist and flips me over in the water.
I scream and flail, gulp water instead of air, with visions of a shark attacking vivid in my mind. Beating and kicking, I paddle hard to get out of the water, my hair obscuring my vision.
Whatever grabbed me is no longer touching me, but I kick back to the side of the pool frantically anyway, still coughing, still seeing nothing. My knuckles collide with the wall of the pool, but I ignore the pain, scraping my knees as I struggle out of the water. My arms are shaking so badly I can't lift myself up to get out of the pool
"Calm the fuck down!" a man yells behind me. "You'll hurt yourself. It's alright."
He places his hands on my hips and lifts me from the water.
I'm panting now, but at least I'm not swallowing water anymore. I brush my hair from my eyes and stand up, though my legs are shaking so hard I'll probably just topple back down even if I succeed.
The guy is still in the water, eyeing me like I'm insane. "Are you alright?"
I nod as I finally manage to stand.
He hoists himself from the water in one fluid motion. His white t-shirt is plastered against his chest, and his grey pants hug his legs tightly. He's all muscle, from his biceps, to his shoulders, chest, and stomach that ripples in a neat six-pack. And not those chiseled for-show muscles that otherwise thin guys have. He's bulky, twice as wide as any guy I know. Even his legs. No wonder he had no problem tossing me out of the pool.
"Are you alright?" he asks again, standing right in front of me now.
I quickly look up into his face, hoping he didn't notice me checking him out before. He can't be much older than me, I see now. His short blond hair looks black near his scalp, but stands up in light colored spikes all over his head. His eyes are either blue or grey—the kind of eyes that change color according to the light. And deep. I could stare at his eyes all day long just to see what I could see.
Lena Bourne is a young writer, but she has seen her fair share of the world, of love and loss, and all that happens in between. Now she’s here telling the stories you might otherwise have missed, which are made up, of course, but could very well be real and true. Not Looking For Love is her first serial, a steamy New Adult romance, which will be released in five installments over the next few months.
Lena Bourne – Edgy Romance Writer