Authors: Nikki Godwin
Tags: #Music, #saturn, #teen romance, #boyband, #boy band, #saturn series, #spaceships around saturn
by Nikki Godwin
Copyright © 2015 Nikki Godwin.
All rights reserved.
First edition: April 27
This ebook is licensed for your personal
enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to
other people. If you would like to share this book with another
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This book is a work of fiction. Names,
characters, places, and incidents either are products of the
author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to
actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or
locales is entirely coincidental.
For the ones who’ve been told to quit, to give up, or
to find another dream.
Don’t listen to them.
I didn’t – and that’s why you have this book.
Thank you for lending so much of your magic
to this story.
Right now, I should be wrapped up in a fluffy
white blanket on a huge bed at Holiday Inn in Los Angeles. My
entire being would sink into the mattress, letting the bed engulf
me in soft, luxurious sheets and a perfect night’s sleep. The city
would be alive outside of my window, splashing colors of spring
break across the night. It’s supposed to be the eve of our big
adventure, the official spring break bucket list.
But instead of soaking up the moonlight and
hoping to catch a glimpse of at least one A-List celebrity, I’m
standing in the lobby of a hotel at three o’clock in the morning,
in some boring surf town that no one has ever heard of, wishing the
ice machine would start spitting out some cubes.
The Pepsi machine hums close by, and the
light in the snack machine flickers over a row of Doritos and
M&Ms like an awful junk food horror flick. I watch it dim out
and spark on, dim out and spark on, imagining the Doritos fighting
against the Ruffles to see which could work its way down the
vending machine and through the dispenser first. You know you’ve
been awake for far too long when you’re envisioning potato chip
wars in your mind.
I blink a few times, wishing I’d washed this
mascara off earlier. It cakes my eyelashes and clumps them
together, like little pieces of Oreo flakes dancing around my
eyelids. I ram the bucket harder against the machine, and a few ice
cubes jump around inside. I wish they’d had an old school ice
machine with the metal scoop. I could’ve dug an arctic grave to
throw Erin into and gotten out of Crescent Cove while I had a
chance. If she hadn’t been jumping around like a complete moron,
she wouldn’t be in need of ice right now, and I could be
the only one who took my
side and abandoned Operation Bucket List in LA.
Ice shoots out of the machine quickly now,
like it needed a few minutes to wake up at this time of the night.
It’s eerily quiet in the lobby until a group of guys come through
the entrance, laughing a bit too loudly for this hour.
I glimpse over my shoulder. A pretty boy
blonde, a tattooed brunette, a Cuban muscle man, and a shorter
brunette wearing possibly the tightest skinny jeans I’ve ever seen
on a guy enter the lobby. I bet they’re here on spring break. It
already looks like they’re having more fun than I am. I turn my
back to them and hurry to the elevator with a full ice bucket.
Erin was excited, I remind myself. She rarely
gets to go anywhere because of her strict parents. It’s spring
break. We’re graduating in two months. This is her first taste of
freedom. I sigh. This is pointless. She’s an idiot for jumping on
the hotel bed in the first place. What are we – six? She was bound
to land incorrectly, and she was destined to sprain her ankle. But
at least she “christened room 322” as she put it.
The elevator door dings and opens. I step in,
hit button three, and watch the silvery door slide shut, but an arm
pops in and the door slides back. The tattooed brunette smiles and
steps inside. He punches the button for the top floor – the
expensive penthouse level – and leans against the wall, holding a
gallon jug of strawberry milk. He’s probably one of those dumb rich
kids maxing out his dad’s credit card. But he’s holding pink milk
which makes him slightly less cooler than me.
I don’t mean to crack up, but the laugh
escapes before I can catch it and pull it back in.
“Something funny?” he asks. His eyes squint
at me, but his voice is carefree, not harsh or condescending like I
imagined it’d be.
I shake my head. “I’m sorry,” I say. “I was
thinking I looked dumb carrying a bucket of ice at three A.M., but
the guy in the elevator has pink milk.”
Maybe he’ll think I’m sleep-deprived or
completely drunk and goofy. Why else would I be carrying an ice
bucket around a hotel in the middle of the night?
He eyes me, like he’s pondering his epic
reaction. The more I look at him, the more I think he’s sober and
I’ve completely mistaken him for a drunken college boy.
“Don’t hate on the milk,” he says, hugging
the jug to his chest. A burst of shooting stars are inked into his
arm. “It’s what makes my party worth going to more than yours.”
He doesn’t have to convince me of that.
Erin’s sprained ankle, a busted spring break plan, and this sleepy
little town certainly don’t add up to a party.
“Oh, I’m sure,” I tell him. “Believe me – I’m
definitely not heading back to a party. My friend twisted her
ankle…or sprained it. Who the hell even knows? Hence the ice. Some
spring break, right?”
He shrugs. “Eh, I’m here on vacation,” he
says. “If you’re up for a party later, come on up. I’m in 413. I’ll
be here all week. Don’t worry. We don’t bite.”
The elevator stops on my floor, but he blocks
my way before I can step into the hall.
“I’m Noah, by the way,” he says.
“Marisol,” I say. I’m glad I left this flaky
mascara on now. All those rules about how you never know who you’ll
meet are legit. I’m relieved I didn’t go to the lobby makeup-less
in pajamas. Definitely not the first impression I’d want to
“Well, now you
to come up and
hang out with me,” he says. “Marisol is the kind of name that
sounds like fun.”
I wrap both arms around my ice bucket and
smile. He steps aside, still holding the elevator door back, and
lets me through. His green eyes sparkle in the hallway light.
“413,” he repeats. “I’m not kidding. My
friends are cool. You seem cool. No big deal, okay?” He steps back
and releases the door, strawberry milk still resting in his other
I try to cleanse my face of this stupid grin
before I walk back into the ankle-twisting chaos of room 322. The
last thing I need is Erin hobbling around on the penthouse floor
searching for the green-eyed brunette with tattoos and strawberry
“Oh, thank God,” Erin says when I swipe my
card and walk into the hotel room. She stretches her arm toward me,
reaching for the ice bucket. I hand it over gladly.
“That looks painful,” I say, sitting on the
end of her bed.
Her ankle is purple and swollen. She wraps a
few ice cubes in a towel and presses it to her skin. She won’t even
be able to walk tomorrow.
“It’ll be okay. Once the swelling goes down,
it’ll just bruise. I don’t think I did too much damage,” she says.
“What took so long? I was going to call you, but you left your
phone on your bed.”
“Broken ice machine,” I lie. “It had to dial
into Antarctica and request ice cubes, so I had to wait.”
Her face twists as she applies more ice to
her ankle. I’m not sure if it’s from the cold or the pain. She
better not have seriously injured herself. I can’t stay here
Crescent Nowhere Cove, California, by myself. There’s no freaking
“I guess this is life outside of LA,” she
says, pulling thoughts right out of my brain.
I wish we were in LA right now. I wish we
were with our friends, preparing to cross items off our spring
break bucket list. This week was a disaster before it even began,
and now the only friend I have with me is injured.
“Get some rest,” I tell her. “We’ll see how
you’re feeling in the morning.”
“I’ll be okay, I swear,” she says, rolling up
the leg of her pink pajama pants. She studies her ankle, like she’s
trying to convince herself more than me. “We’ll get started on the
list tomorrow, even if I have to wrap my leg. We’re completing this
mission, with or without them.”
As much as I admire her determination and
pity, I don’t see this spring break panning out as I always dreamed
it would. All I can hope is that Hilary’s week in LA is equally as
miserable as mine. I’m above engaging in drama, but I’m not above
I move over to my side of the room and
settle into the hotel bed. It’s not The Hilton, by any means, but
it’s better than a roach motel. I plug my phone into the charger
and leave it on the nightstand next to me. Once I flip off the
lamp, I stare at the ceiling in the dark and wonder what’s going on
upstairs in room 413.
Erin whimpers like a puppy when her foot hits
the floor this morning. She inhales sharply and then looks at me
and smiles. She’s in pain. Maybe we should’ve gone to the emergency
room last night, just to be on the safe side. Her ankle doesn’t
look any better today. If anything, it looks worse.
I get ready for the day while Erin showers. I
debate going down to the lobby to see if anyone from 413 may be
lurking around, but I doubt they’re even awake yet. Once I’m
dressed, I dig through my bag for the folded piece of pink paper
from Hilary’s notebook. That cute little purple owl decorates the
corner of the page. I sort of want to stab it right now.
It’s stupid, really. All of it. Maybe I
should’ve been the bigger person or spoken up sooner or just not
let it go as far as it did, but our friendship is broken over
things that won’t even matter a year from now. This was the last
big thing we’d get to do before graduation – before college and
jobs and real life set in.
Every desire to be the bigger person fades
away, though, when I think of Hilary and our other friends posing
for pictures next to stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and
strolling down Sunset Boulevard. They probably already have a jump
start on the bucket list, crossing off adventures that I came up
I stare down at the pink paper even though I
already know exactly what the list says.
Meet a pro athlete
Get a tattoo
Meet a celebrity
Get into a VIP section
Crash a party
See a local band play live
Buy a charm bracelet
Eat an insect
Jump off a pier
Ride in a limousine
Disturb the peace
Go thrift shopping
Buy a scarf
Watch a sporting event
Message in a bottle
Crazy color in your hair
Dress like a star
Visit a far, far away place
A sigh heaves from my body as I scan the
random things that were added. Get wings? Chicken wings, maybe? Who
even added that one? Shooting stars is another one that makes no
sense. That was Erin’s idea, though.
“It could be seeing actual
shooting stars, or maybe taking a picture of a celebrity – you
know, movie stars, or maybe we’ll witness a rapper getting shot in
a drive by. Get it, shooting stars?”
When Erin eventually stumbles out of the
bathroom, mostly dressed and ready for the day, I can’t help
noticing the limp in her step.
“How are you feeling?” I ask, tucking the
list into the pocket of my jeans.
“Oh, I’m fine,” she says, wincing with each
step. “It’s a little sore, but that’s expected. I should be fine in
another day. By the end of the week, it’ll be like it never
She sits on her bed and applies her mascara.
She throws back two Tylenol, washes them down with a swig of water,
and looks up with a smile.
“So, what’s the plan?” she asks. “We’re
crossing off the list if it kills us.”
I decide we should take it easy today.
There’s no way she can jump off a pier or crash a party with a
jacked up ankle. Then again, I don’t know where we’ll find a party
to crash or a celebrity to meet.
I grab my bag, sling it over my shoulder, and
make the decision to cross off the easiest items first. If I mark
off a few, I’ll feel like we’ve accomplished something, and the
rest of the list will be less daunting. At least, that’s what I