Home > Torn (All Torn Up #1)(16)

Torn (All Torn Up #1)(16)
Author: Carian Cole

"Kenzi!" Rayne yells as soon as she sees me come out of the house and onto the back deck.

Grabbing a soda first, I make my way across the yard, past small groups of chatting people to where she's standing with a guy I've never met but looks vaguely familiar. Rayne is gorgeous as ever, her long hair recently dyed black with purple and blonde highlights and the start of a light golden tan touching her skin. Her winged eyeliner is perfect and on point, enhancing her feline green eyes.

"I want you to meet Sailor," she says, smiling from ear to ear. "He's a local guitarist. This is Asher's daughter, Kenzi."

"Nice to meet you," he says. "I've been friends with your dad for a while. He's an amazing mentor."

"Hi...and thank you. He's pretty great." Sailor is too cute for words with wavy brown hair that touches his shoulders, eyes the color of the sea, and an adorable smile that reminds me of a five-year-old boy who got caught doing something naughty. He looks like 1992 Eddie Vedder.

"Are you a musician, too?" he inquires.

I shake my head with a laugh. Everyone asks me that once they realize who I am. "No...sadly that talent seems to have skipped me in this family."

"She models," Rayne adds. "And she does this amazing calligraphy. She wrote the words tattooed on my back in calligraphy for me, and my artist copied it. And she wrote the lettering for the title on my brother’s last CD."

Sailor makes an impressed face and his smile widens, showing off his perfect white teeth. "Wow. I didn't think anyone wrote in calligraphy anymore."

My smile agrees with him. "Exactly. It's kinda useless, I guess. I just like the way it looks. I love paper and ink."

He tilts his head, his eyes squinting just a bit and I think both Rayne and I drool a little. "I think it's incredibly cool. Not useless at all. I'm sure there's a lot of people who would want that. I love the tattoo idea. I may just hit you up on that myself."

"That would be awesome." I wonder if he and Rayne are dating or if she called me over here in an attempt to set us up. I can't say I mind if that's her plan, especially after the disaster with Jason.

My question is answered by Rayne's attention zoning in elsewhere. "Tristan is here. I haven't seen him in a while," she gestures over to a group of people across the yard, where Tristan is hanging out with Tor. "Is he single now?"

Hmm. So she's hawking on Tor's brother. "I'm not sure," I reply. "I see him at the shop all the time but I've never seen him with a girl."

Rayne continues to stare, her green eyes sparkly with interest. "He's hot as hell just like the rest of that clan. Find out for me, Kenzi. Tor will tell you anything."

"Okay...I guess I could ask him."

Sailor laughs. "Why don't you just go talk to him? Don't make her do your dirty work."

Rayne playfully smacks him on the arm. "You be quiet. I'm too shy to just walk up to him."

"You've known him forever. It's not like he's a stranger." I remind her.

"I know...but I haven't seen him in about two years. He probably won't even remember me."

Sailor and I exchange a glance and smile. There's no way Tristan won't recognize her. She's not the kind of girl who’s easily forgettable, even though she's oblivious to it.

Rayne grabs Sailor's hand, diverting his attention from me. "Let's go get some food. My brother makes a mean burger. You want to come, Kenzi?"

"No, I'm good," I reply. "Nice meeting you, Sailor."

"You, too. I'm sure I'll be seeing you around."

I nod hopefully as Rayne drags him up to the patio where my dad is manning the grill. After the stress of dealing with rumors about prom night all week at school, I still have no appetite for food. My stomach has been in knots from the whispers and judgmental glances.

I cross the yard and sit on a bench overlooking a stone water fountain my dad had installed last summer after I told him I love the sound of water. It's right below my bedroom window and being able to hear it when my windows are open is incredibly soothing. My father has always tried to create a calm, quiet, almost zen-like atmosphere for us, which is odd considering he's in a loud rock band and immersed in noise of some sort most of the time.

"I hope you wore that because you remembered."

His voice startles me, and at first I can barely see him leaning against a tree about five feet away.


He nods his head up and shifts his eyes to my head. "The hat."

Oh yeah. My hand reaches up to touch the black beanie covering my head. I did remember, actually, that he said he wanted it, but I was expecting him to forget all about that conversation. Apparently, he didn't. My heart twinges.

"Come over here, Angel." His voice is transformed by the dusky night; familiar but tinged with a deeper, gravelly tone that makes my legs wobbly as I stand and walk over to him.

"What are you doing over here in the trees?"

"Watching you. You say you like being around everyone on bonfire night, but you always end up sitting off by yourself."

"So do you."

He smiles. "Guilty as charged."

What we don't say is we usually end up sitting alone together, one of us eventually going to the other.

"I came to get the hat you owe me for all the stuff of mine you've taken. Hand it over," he says playfully.

"It doesn't work that way. You have to take it yourself."

"Fair enough." He steps towards me and when he takes the knit beanie off my head, a halo of staticy hair surrounds my face. His signature snarly but sexy grin takes over his face as he pulls my hat over his dark messy hair, which I've just noticed is not in a ponytail tonight and I want to believe he left it loose for me.

"How do I look?"

He looks less like the man I've known my entire life and more like a dangerous stranger with eyes and a smile that could melt a glacier in two seconds flat.

"It looks good on you."

Cocking his head, he frowns like he doesn't believe me. "You hesitated before you answered. What was your first thought? Spit it out."

"That you look hot as fucking hell." The words tumble out of my mouth before I can stop them, and we stand there as he takes them in and I try to wish them back. Oops.

He coughs into his fist. "Well. I wasn't expecting that."

Me, either.

I swallow hard over the anxiety that's suddenly bubbling up inside me.

"You were right, though," I say nervously. "You can definitely rock a purple heart."

"I told you I could," His hands capture my head and smooth down my fly away hair. "I made your hair all messy."

"Is Tristan single?" I blurt out, attempting to distract myself from how his fingers feel in my hair, strong and electrifying.

"Tristan? Why would you want to know that?"

"Rayne was asking. She saw him with you earlier."

He shoves his hands into his front pockets. "I think he is...but I thought she came here with Drifter."

"Sailor." I correct. "And she did but I think she was trying to set us up. They must just be friends."

I notice him biting the inside of his cheek as he contemplates this. "Your dad doesn't want you to date musicians."

Here we go again. "Jason turned out to be an epic asshole, so maybe a musician would be better after all."

He rocks on his heels. "Maybe. You won't get that picture perfect little life you said you wanted with a musician. With the kids and the dogs and the dinners."

"Jesus, Tor. I'm talking about dating, not marriage. I just want to have some fun like everyone else. He's really cute."

"Just be careful. He's older than you, probably has lots of experience...I don't want you to get hurt again."

I shake my head and step away from him, heading back to my bench. "Why do you always have to switch back into uncle mode?"

"What's wrong with that?" he asks, following me. "I worry about you."

Why is everyone always worried about me? Do they think I'm going to spontaneously combust someday?

"Well, don't. I just want you to be my friend."

"Aren't I?"

"Yeah...mostly. I think."

He touches my arm and I turn to face him. "I'm always your friend, Kenzi. Not mostly. Always."

I've wondered about that a lot lately, especially since he mentioned us not seeing each other as much once I graduate, like his work with me was done. That's been slowly eating at me, planting seeds of doubt.

"Are you?" I ask. "Or do you just hang out with me and give me things to do as a favor to my parents?"

"Why are you being so moody? You've never doubted me before."

"I don't know," I admit. "I guess I'm just nervous about graduating and things changing. And I've had a shit week with the kids at school calling me a slutty prude."

"Slutty prude?" He repeats. "How is that even a thing?"

I throw my hands up. "I have no idea! Leave it to me to create some new form of loser. It's been total hell."

"Let's sit," he leads me to the bench and I fall into it with a big sigh of frustration. "I know it's hard growing up, Kenz. Change can suck, but it can be good, too. You've had a rough couple years."

"That's an understatement."

"And fuck those idiots at your school. They don't know you."

"I guess..."

"I just want you to be happy." He says it like it should be so simple.

"I'm trying to be. Life just keeps getting in my way."

We watch the water splash in the fountain for a few minutes, and then he digs into his front jeans pocket.

"Here," he holds his hand out to me and drops a penny into my hand. "We can make wishes here in your fountain," he says.

Most Popular
» Nothing But Trouble (Malibu University #1)
» Kill Switch (Devil's Night #3)
» Hold Me Today (Put A Ring On It #1)
» Spinning Silver
» Birthday Girl
» A Nordic King (Royal Romance #3)
» The Wild Heir (Royal Romance #2)
» The Swedish Prince (Royal Romance #1)
» Nothing Personal (Karina Halle)
» My Life in Shambles
» The Warrior Queen (The Hundredth Queen #4)
» The Rogue Queen (The Hundredth Queen #3)
romance.readsbookonline.com Copyright 2016 - 2024