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Senior Year Bucket List
✔ romantic comedy
✔ second chance
✔ best friend's brother
✔ past and present
Cover reveal - June 24th
Release date - July 29th
Smug. Irritating. Pain in the …
After high school, I was content with the idea of never seeing him again. But as his sister Merilyn’s best friend, it was bound to happen eventually. I just didn’t expect it to be at her wake, where, following a foolish, naive, and completely ridiculous incident, I’m prepared to return to my perfectly routine life and wash my hands of him forever. Again.
Unfortunately, Merilyn had other plans.
Even though she traveled the world, her final request is for Caleb and me to recreate our senior year bucket list and take her ashes along for one last adventure. All the foolish, naive, and, you guessed it, completely ridiculous memories return in an instant. He tormented me, teased me, kissed me like no one ever had, made me fall for him, and broke me like no one else ever would.
Reliving it all might end with a crash worse than the first. Or maybe not. Maybe the fall would never end.
I hung back by The Beast, barely listening to Jacob talk to me while watching Celia walk around with her camera, taking shots of the trees and the cliffs. It wasn’t long before she decided to shed her outer layers, revealing a yellow bikini as bright as her skin. She was a fucking sexy daisy. When I hissed audibly, unable to control my reaction to seeing the dips in her waist, the curve of her ass, and the swell of her breasts, she turned toward me as if she knew.
“Damn, Tarsier, whoever’s in space right now is yelling to turn off the light,” I joked to cover my slip.
Jacob laughed beside me and other chuckles joined in, including Mer, who added, “You are in serious need of the sun, hun.”
She rolled her eyes at me then turned to Mer. “I can’t disagree with that. That’s why I’m here.”
“Oh, no you aren’t.” I pushed away from the truck and walked over to the group, standing beside their row of towels and bodies. “You’re here for the bucket list, not to lay out or compete with the sun for the title of who blinds the most eyes. I’m ready to see you jump.”
Celia scowled at me while the others began to chant. “Jump. Jump. Jump.”
“Me first,” Mer said, standing in a hurry and stripping off her clothes.
Jacob was fast to follow her, kicking out of his shoes and wrenching off his shirt, leaving a trail behind him as he went.
There was chatter from the others about it being too cold yet and blah, blah, blah. I wasn’t listening. I was in a stare down with Celia, who finally caved and turned to follow where Mer had gone to the bottom edge of the cliff where the climb started. I kicked off my gear too, stripping down to my boxer briefs since I hadn’t worn or brought my boardshorts.
“You just couldn’t let me relax, could you?” Celia said as she navigated the narrow path that began to increase in height, skirting around the base boulders jutting out from the cliff face.
I quickened my pace until I was right behind her, watching every one of her careful steps. She still had her camera slung around her neck and had pulled her mass of long hair up into one of those loose and messy buns at the crest of her head, pieces escaping from it and around the edges of her face in wild and sexy sort of frame. She glanced back at me when I hadn’t replied.
“What can I say? I live to mix up your perfectly sorted crayons.”
She released a breath that was part huff part chuckle, sounding aggravated yet mildly amused. “Of course you do.” Her footsteps slowed as she shimmied around a large boulder, gripping the limestone as if her feet weren’t on the ground.
“Are you afraid?” I asked, honestly curious.
“To jump? No,” she admitted.
“Then why are you on edge about it?”
“The jump and the fall isn’t what scares me. That part is fun. But when the high ends … there’s a crash at the bottom. If it never ended, it wouldn’t be an issue. But everything has to end, right?”
“Wow, Tarsier, that’s some deep shit right there.”
“Where are you Celia?” Mer’s voice shouted from above. Her lifted arms and face came into view after we moved around and twist in the cliff’s tiny pathway. “There you are! C’mon!”
When Celia didn’t say anything else, I asked, “So that’s why you stay in the lines a lot, huh? It’s comfortable there, no crash to worry about?”
“I guess,” she replied, breathing a little heavily as she peeked out over the cliff.
I jumped ahead of her, climbing around a few bushes and over one last boulder onto the flat of Eagle’s Nest where Jacob and Mer stood at the edge, waving out to the others who had stayed below. Looking down at Celia, watching her focus as she tilted her camera up the last bit of way to take a picture of Mer was like being hit with something profound. And no, it wasn’t just her beauty—though she looked more beautiful, more sexy, than I’d ever seen her look—but something more I realized. I didn’t just want her, I craved more of her and the calmness she seemed to bring me just from being close.
She turned, and I reached out a hand to help her with the final step up. Her eyes narrowed in question, wondering what I might do, but then she reached out her own, slipping her soft palm into mine, letting me take hold. With my feet planted, I pulled her up as she took a step, her body coming flush to mine. I didn’t back off. I needed a moment with her close. And she didn’t object like I thought she might. She merely tipped those eyes up to me and parted her lips--
“Yes! I can’t wait anymore,” Mer said with a laugh, jumping over to us, tugging Celia away. “I’m going first. Take my picture?”