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Authors: Joy Tremay

Passion Never Dies

BOOK: Passion Never Dies
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Passion Never Dies

 

By Joy Tremay

Copyright
2012 by M. Joy Cumba

All
rights reserved.

First Edition 2014

Edited by Sigrid Macdonald

Cover Art by Fiona Jayde Media

No part of this e-book may be copied, sold, reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the author.

This
is a work
of
fiction. Names, characters, businesses, locations, organizations, places, actual events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or are used in a way that is purely fictional or in a fictitious manner. All characters in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

For John,

My husband and best friend

Thanks for your love and support.

And for mom,

I love you.

Table of Contents

PROLOGUE

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Epilogue

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

PROLOGUE

Diana Mulroney didn’t know what to expect when she arrived at the beach that night. Her best friend, Natalie, had wanted to celebrate the last summer before they both went off to separate colleges. Diana was excited just to be out of the house and attend a bonfire beach party. It was nothing short of a miracle that the timing of her father’s out-of-town meeting had coincided with the party. Her mother had allowed her to go out because her father was away on business: otherwise her strict father would never have allowed her to attend.

“Come on, Diana!” yelled Natalie as she waited for her on the beach.

“I’m coming!” Diana yelled back as she reached for her beach blanket in the back of Natalie’s old, dark brown Honda. Flinging back her long, brown hair, she closed the trunk of the car and walked toward Natalie.

“Oh my God, look at all those cute guys,” gushed Natalie as she stared at the crowd of teenagers gathered around the bonfire a few feet away.

Diana smiled as Natalie’s excitement infected her. It had been a while since she had had any kind of fun. This past year she had studied so hard to make it into a good college that her social life had been almost non-existent.

As she and Natalie walked toward the bonfire, she caught the eye of one very tall, bare-chested, blond-haired young man who stared back at her. He was a little older looking than the rest of the crowd. Swallowing nervously, Diana tore her eyes away from him and followed Natalie to the group of teenagers gathered around the bonfire.

“Hi, I’m Lana,” said a pretty, petite blonde in a bright pink, polka-dot bikini. “I’m the organizer for this Senior Night event. We’re expecting a huge crowd tonight. Thanks for coming.”

“Hi, I’m Natalie and this is my friend Diana,” introduced Natalie.

“We’ve got kids from Long Beach to San Diego joining us, so feel free to mingle,” said Lana smiling as she proceeded to call over more high school kids to the beach.

Diana couldn’t stop her eyes from wandering toward the blond-haired young man again. He stood a few feet away, but she could feel his stare and it made her very self conscious. Her heart beat faster, but she refused to be intimidated by his intense perusal.

“Great bonfire,” said Natalie as she placed her beach bag down on the sand.

Diana tore her gaze away and glanced at the roaring fire before her. She knew she needed to stop staring at that guy, but something about him took her breath away.

Hip hop music played in the background, drowning out the noise of the surf. Diana spread her beach blanket on the ground and sat down. A soda can appeared in her vision and she looked up in surprise at the object of her thoughts.

“Would you like something to drink?” the blond man asked in a deep voice that set Diana’s heart pounding again.

“Thanks,” Diana answered as nonchalantly as she could. She took the can from his hands and lifted the tab.

“May I join you?”

Blinking in surprise, Diana nodded and watched him as he bent to sit next to her on the blanket.

“My name’s James, but my friends call me Jake,” he said in a deep voice.

“I’m Diana,” she answered, looking into his light green eyes.

He had a face and body that could give any girl butterflies and her stomach was doing flip-flops at the sight of him. His windswept hair reached his chiseled jaw line and his bare chest displayed a six-pack that made Diana salivate. She could barely restrain herself from gazing at his muscled torso.

“My little sister Lana is the party host here,” Jake said. “I’m her driver since she lost her license a few months ago.”

“She lost her license?”

Jake nodded.

“Lana was a bit careless and drove over a median, causing a small accident. Nobody was hurt, thank God, but now I’m her designated driver.”

“You’re a nice brother,” Diana said smiling. He had just earned some brownie points.

“I didn’t have a choice,” Jake grimaced. “My parents want me to tag her for the rest of the summer until she’s safely off to college.”

Jake smiled at her, causing her mouth to go completely dry.

“Are you still in high school?” he asked.

“No,” Diana laughed nervously, suddenly grateful that she had just graduated. “I’ll be going to college in the fall.”

“That’s good,” Jake nodded. “I miss college.”

Diana looked at him and wondered how old he was.

“It’s been two years since I graduated and let me tell you something - your college years are the best years of your life.”

“What are you doing now?” Diana asked curiously, quickly calculating his age in her mind. He must be around twenty-three, five years older than her.

“Working in the corporate world,” he answered wryly.

“Not your cup of tea?”

“Not really, but my dad wants me to be part of the family business.” Jake paused before stating, “You must be eighteen if you’re about to enter college.”

Diana nodded in affirmation, hoping that he wouldn’t consider her too young to find interesting. She saw his eyes wander over her features and long, brown hair which draped down her arm. She was glad she was wearing her favorite tank top, a deep purple which brought out the golden lights in her deep brown eyes. She didn’t have much experience talking to men she was attracted to. Most of the boys in her school had pegged her for being a bookworm and borderline nerdy.

Since reaching puberty, not many boys had even flirted with her with one or two exceptions. Especially, this past year, her senior year, she had mostly spent her weekends in the library while her friends had gone out and dated. She regretted not having spent more time socializing, but she had wanted to get into a good college and had been determined to focus on her studies her senior year. She was grateful to Natalie, who had been successful in getting her out of the house several times when her father allowed her to.

“Come on, you two,” said Lana, approaching them with a burned hot dog dangling precariously at the end of a stick she was holding. “We’re scorching dinner here. Help us out.”

“That’s my sister,” smiled Jake. “You can ignore her.”

Diana could see the resemblance between the attractive siblings. She got up and dusted sand off her beige shorts while Jake watched her carefully.

“If she’s the hostess, I don’t want to be rude,” she said.

Jake stood up and she was taken aback by his height. He was well over six feet tall and towered over her five feet seven inches easily. He grinned down at her, his green eyes teasing.

“Then let’s go eat some burnt hot dogs,” he said and held out his hand.

Diana looked at his hand in surprise, but she took it without hesitation.

He smiled down at her and led her toward the bonfire.

~

“Who’s the stud?” asked Natalie as she sat next to Diana on the beach blanket.

Diana glanced at Jake, who was laughing with a group of teenagers. She looked away and stared into the bonfire.

“His name’s Jake and he’s Lana’s brother,” she answered. She wondered why Jake hadn’t approached her.

After they had grabbed some hot dogs, Jake had been drawn into a conversation by a pretty brunette in a red bikini leaving Diana no recourse but to wander away.

“He’s hot,” Natalie said, dipping her hand into a bag of potato chips.

Diana nodded, feeling the flames of the bonfire warm her cheeks. Not only was he hot but she had felt intensely drawn to him and was now feeling a bit put out that he no longer seemed interested in her.

“He already graduated from college,” Diana said, poking at the fire with a long stick.

Natalie smiled. “An older man? Good going, Diana.”

“He barely talked to me.”

Natalie shook her head and said teasingly, “I saw him with you earlier and he seemed really interested.”

Diana looked over her shoulder at Jake, who was now laughing at two girls wearing skimpy bikinis.

“Well, he’s not now,” she said softly and looked away.

Diana knew it was ridiculous, but she couldn’t help feeling inexplicably hurt by his inattention. She had never had such an instant and intense crush on a guy before and it was bringing up uncomfortable feelings. She, the girl who had buried her nose in books since kindergarten, all of a sudden felt an overwhelming urge to throw herself at a complete stranger. How bizarre.

“Oh, come on, there’s plenty of fish in the sea,” Natalie said, nudging her out of her reverie. “Why don’t you flirt it up with that guy over there?”

Diana followed Natalie’s gaze toward a guy in a bright orange, Hawaiian shirt and black swimming trunks. He was gleefully downing a beer with several other high school boys.

“Um, no thanks,” Diana said as she watched the boy try to balance a beer can on his forehead. “I think I’ll pass.”

“Pass on what?” asked a deep voice that made Diana’s pulse leap.

Both girls looked up as Jake stood over them, grinning. Natalie scrambled up and smiled at Diana.

“I think I’ll get another hot dog. See you guys later,” she said, winking at Diana before she hastily retreated.

“Something I said?” Jake asked, raising his eyebrow.

Diana stood up and looked into his sensuous, green eyes. She felt breathless all of a sudden as excitement coursed through her body at his presence.

“No, we were just joking around,” she said, wiping her suddenly sweaty palms down the sides of her shorts.

“Having fun?” he asked lightly, his eyes intent on hers.

I was, until you left me
. Diana nodded nonchalantly, grateful that he couldn’t hear her thoughts.

“You?” she answered, wondering if he had found those girls in bikinis more attractive than her. She immediately scolded herself for even caring.

“Not bad.” He hesitated briefly. “Care to join me on a stroll along the beach?”

Diana’s eyes widened in surprise at the invitation.

“Sure,” she said, excited but nervous at the same time.

Jake held out his hand and she took it eagerly.

“Careful where you step. There could be glass on the sand,” he said.

Diana was warmed by his concern as he led her farther away from the crowd. She heard several wolf whistles as they walked away from the bonfire.

“They think that we’re going to make out,” Jake said, amusement in his voice.

“Are we?” asked Diana before she could stop herself. She was glad that it was dark so he couldn’t see her blush with embarrassment.

“That depends,” he said quietly.

“On what?” she asked curiously. She glanced at him, but his face was in the shadows.

“Wait and see,” he said mysteriously.

Diana tried to control her emotions at his words. She knew she was stepping into dangerous territory especially for a girl like her. Eighteen and never been kissed and now in the company of a young man she was overwhelmingly attracted to.

They continued to walk along the beach, hand in hand. Jake’s large hand enveloped her much smaller one, but she felt safe with him. He stopped at a large pile of boulders and stepped closer to her. Diana looked up at him and felt the ocean breeze cooling her suddenly heated body.

“You’re very pretty, Diana,” Jake said softly as he took a few strands of her silky hair and rubbed them against his fingers.

“You’re not too bad looking yourself, Jake,” Diana said, swallowing a lump in her throat.

“I’m normally not attracted to younger girls, but there’s something about you,” he said as his green eyes stared intently into hers.

“My winsome good looks? Or maybe my sparkling personality?” Diana asked archly, trying to pretend that she wasn’t completely blown away by his interest.

Jake bent his head.

“Both,” he said as his lips reached down to hers. He leaned down and placed a soft kiss on her lips.

BOOK: Passion Never Dies
5.66Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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