Authors: Tammy Falkner
Tags: #romance, #short story, #young adult, #contemporary, #teen, #new adult, #calmly carefully completely, #smart sexy and secretive, #tall tatted and tempting
Just Jelly Beans and
By Tammy Falkner
For my readers, because they make this job
Copyright © 2013 by Tammy Falkner
Just Jelly Beans and Jealousy
The Reed Brothers
Night Shift Publishing
Cover design by Tammy Falkner
Cover photo © Hongqi Zhang (aka Michael
Zhang) | Dreamstime.com
All rights reserved. No part of this
book may be 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 the written
permission of the author, except where permitted by law.
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, events, or locales is entirely
I hope you enjoy this short story. I had a lot of fun writing it
and thought you might like a glimpse at Logan, Emily and the Reed
brothers in “real life.” After Logan and Emily’s books ended, their
lives went on, but we don’t get to see every page. Here are a few
pages from their future, and we meet Sean and Lacey in this
Don’t worry – if you haven’t met Logan and
Emily yet, you won’t be lost! And I have included sample chapters
from every book available in the Reed Brothers series at the end of
this short story for your enjoyment.
I hope you enjoy it, and wish you a joyful
Just Jelly Beans and Jealousy
By Tammy Falkner
“I don’t think this is a good idea,” I
protest, watching my best friend in the world as she paints her
face. I think she’s even more beautiful when she doesn’t wear
makeup at all. But even I’ll admit that this Lacey is smoking hot.
Her legs are a mile long, and her dress dips deep enough that the
round swells of her breasts are taunting me. Look at me, Sean, you
stupid fucker. You can’t touch them. Nanny, nanny, boo, boo.
“It’s not like I’m offering up my virginity
to the highest bidder,” she protests, blinking her eyes as she
applies heavy coats of mascara to her lashes. The brush slides
slowly down the miniscule strands of hair, and she sits back, bats
her lashes, and looks at me over her shoulder in the mirror. She
sticks her tongue out.
“You might as well be offering up your
virginity,” I grumble. Some college-age, hormone-ridden asshole
will guess the number of jelly beans in her jar, and the lucky
bastard will get to kiss her. He’ll get to kiss my girl. Well, she
doesn’t know she’s mine, but she has been for as long as I can
remember. I can’t recall a time when Lacey wasn’t in my life. And
the thought of some dickwad putting his mouth on her has my heart
tripping in my chest like it’s going run away without me.
Lacey begins to paint her pretty, full,
perfectly kissable lips with a horridly sexy shade of bright red.
She smacks her lips together and makes a kissy face toward the
mirror. I can’t watch anymore. I just can’t. I fall back across the
bed in her dorm room and throw my arm across my eyes, groaning to
It’s not fair that she can undo me with a
simple kiss at a mirror when she doesn’t even see me as a real,
live, flesh-and-blood man. She still sees me as the boy who grew up
next door to her. She seems to forget that I’m the one who held her
hair back as she threw up her first few shots of tequila. She
forgets that I’m the one who carried her luggage up three fucking
flights of stairs when I moved her into her dorm room. I’m the one
who hugged her when Dusty Forbes dumped her at the homecoming
dance. I’m the one who left my own date—who was a sure thing, by
the way—standing alone by the wall while I retrieved Lacey from the
ladies’ room and stroked her hair until she could breathe.
She forgets that I saw her naked. All right,
so she wasn’t completely naked, but it was close enough. Whoever
designed bikinis with those little triangles that cover the naughty
bits should be given a fucking medal. Or buried six feet under. I’m
not sure which.
The bed dips as she sits down on it, and she
lifts my arm from over my eyes. She’s so fucking beautiful with her
strawberry-blond hair hanging down over her shoulders. It looks
like she’s been rolling around in bed with someone, but I know she
hasn’t because I watched her work for an hour to get it to look
Her hip touches mine, and she leans across
me, bracing herself on her forearm. She looks down at me but
doesn’t say anything. I go hard immediately. I’m glad she’s looking
at my face and not at my crotch because she would get the shock of
a lifetime if she glanced down right now. But she doesn’t think of
me like that. She said so. She said, loudly and clearly, that she
wouldn’t go there with me. She didn’t want to lose her best friend
if things didn’t work out. She needs me, she says, as more than an
ex-boyfriend. She needs me to be her best friend. So I am.
But good God, I want her.
“What?” I grouse.
“Stop pouting,” she says quietly. She pushes
up off her propped arm and lays that hand on my chest, her elbow
digging into my belly as she looks at me.
“Stop trying to impale me.” I grunt and
adjust her elbow. But I don’t want her to move. I like having her
this close. If this is all I can get, I’ll take it. I set my hand
on her naked knee and draw swirls on it with my thumb.
She shakes her head, her face soft. Her green
eyes blink at me as her gaze skitters around my face. “It’s just a
kiss,” she says softly. “Why are you all torn up about a kiss?”
She’s studying me way too closely. “I’m not
torn up,” I protest.
“You’ve been moping ever since I told you
about the fundraiser, Sean,” she says. “What’s your problem? It’s
for charity, for God’s sake.” She lays her free hand on her chest.
“My kiss is going to feed victims of domestic violence. I’m doing
my part for a better community.”
I look down at her mouth. God, I could just
slide my fingers into her hair, pull her to me, and kiss her right
here and now. But I won’t. Because she doesn’t want me. “I can’t
believe you’re going kiss some stranger,” I bite out. “Don’t do
“I’ve kissed men before, Sean,” she reminds
me. I wish she would keep that shit to herself.
“What if it’s some big, goofy guy with really
bad breath?” I ask.
“What if it’s some big, brawny guy who smells
like you and kisses like a god?” she asks. She smiles, the corners
of her lips tilting up so prettily. Her fingertips touch my forearm
lightly, and she traces the tattoos that decorate my arm from wrist
to shoulder. Every hair on my body stands up, and I lift my hand
from her knee and thread my fingers with hers so she’ll stop. “If
I’m lucky, he’ll be all tatted up, too.” She looks off into the
distance, her gaze no longer on me.
“Honey, if you want to kiss someone who looks
like me and smells like me, I think I can accommodate you so you
don’t have to kiss some stranger.”
Her eyes shift back to meet mine, and she may
as well have just punched me in the gut. She looks into my eyes and
stares as if she’s looking into my soul. She can look into it
anytime. Shit, I’d give it to her, if she wanted it. But it’s not
me she wants. She’s made that abundantly clear.
“If I ever kissed you, I would never be able
to stop,” I say quietly. My voice sounds like it’s been dragged
down a gravel road and back, and I fucking hate that she can affect
me this way.
“Prove it,” she says, and then she licks her
cherry-red lips. She doesn’t break eye contact.
I move quickly. This is the first time she’s
ever made an offer like this, and my gut tells me that she’s going
to take it back. I cup her neck with my palm and pull her toward
me. My gentle tug brings her flush against my chest, and the weight
of her settles against me and feels so right. Her lips are so close
to mine that her inhale is my exhale. My hand quivers as it holds
her nape, so I work my fingers into the hair at the back of her
head. I hold her still and look into her green eyes.
“Tell me you want me to kiss you and you got
me, honey,” I whisper. She shivers and inches up my chest ever so
slightly, her mouth moving closer to mine. So close. Just a little
closer. I can almost taste her.
“I want you to kiss me,” she whispers.
Suddenly, the door opens, and Lacey jumps up,
separating us in one final, powerful leap. Fuck. I pull the pillow
from behind my head and shove it in my lap, sitting up on the side
of the bed.
Friday, Lacey’s roommate, walks into the
room. Friday stops, her gaze moving from Lacey to me and back.
Lacey’s breaths are heavy, and I can tell
she’s upset about being caught like that. “Great timing, Friday,” I
“Were you guys about to get it on?” Friday
asks, her grin cheeky. She points to Lacey and then at me, and then
goes back and forth. “Look at you two,” she crows. Her gaze
narrows. “What did I miss?” she asks.
Friday works at the tattoo shop I like to go
to. It’s called Reed’s, and I’ve known Logan, one of the artists,
since we started college. He and Friday are pretty tight. “Where’s
Logan?” I ask. We need to change the subject. “Did he come with
She nods and jerks a thumb toward the door.
“They’re right behind me.” Logan’s broad shoulders fill the
doorway. He steps back and his girlfriend, Emily, walks through the
door before him.
“Jesus Christ,” Logan says. Logan’s deaf, but
he lost his hearing when he was thirteen so he has really great
speech. He’s also very intuitive, and he’s really good at reading
situations. “You could cut the tension in here with a knife,” he
says. He looks back and forth between Lacey and me. His eyes land
on me, and I assume he sees me floundering when he cracks a smile.
“Did you cut the cheese, dude?” he asks. “Because she looks like
you did something that tilted her world on its side.”
Lacey arches a brow at me as if she’s tossing
the ball into my court. I can lob it back or I can choose to let it
lie there. “Something like that,” I say, but I’m looking at her and
not at him. I see Emily translate for him in sign language out of
the corner of my eye. “Sorry,” I murmur. Usually I’m more careful
about facing him when I talk, but I wanted to watch Lacey’s face.
Her cheeks are rosy, and she’s shuffling her feet. I want to rewind
and go back to where we were before Friday burst into the room.
“You look really pretty,” Logan says to
“Thank you,” she murmurs.
She’s fucking gorgeous. Pretty doesn’t begin
to describe how wonderful she is. She’s witty and she’s smart and
she’s… She’s not mine.
“I’m going to go do my laundry,” I say. I
need to get the fuck out of here.
“A likely excuse,” Friday says. But the smile
on her face dies when I scowl at her. She’s questioning me without
saying a word, and I can’t answer her.
“I’ll go with you,” Logan says as he gets to
his feet. He leans over and kisses Emily on the forehead, and she
grabs his shirt, fisting her hand in the fabric and pulling him
down so he can kiss her for real. “I’ll be back in a little bit,”
Logan tells her.
She nods, and Logan opens the door so I can
follow him out. My gut tells me not to leave this unfinished.
“Wait,” Lacey calls.
I turn back, filled with hope. Does she want
me to stay? We could kick everyone out and go back to what we were
doing. I could kiss the girl that I want more than anything or
anyone. I could make her mine. I could pour my heart out to her. I
could tell her that I love her and always will. “What?” I ask
“Are you coming to my booth?” she asks. “For
the results of the contest?”
And watch another man kiss her? I don’t think
so. “I have a lot of laundry to do,” I say.
She inhales quickly and blinks even faster.
“Are you going to meet us for dinner after?” she asks, her voice
“Where are you going?” If I go, I’ll have to
see her with her lipstick sucked off her face, and I really don’t
She picks up a sticky pad and writes
something down. I take it from her hand, which is shaking ever so
slightly. “Are you all right?”
She nods, looking everywhere but at me. “I’ll
see you at dinner,” she says.
I shove the note into my pocket, not even
bothering to look at it.
I motion to Logan, and he precedes me out the
door. I follow, closing it behind me softly. I want to slam it, but
I don’t want her to know how I’m feeling.
“What the fuck happened between you two?”
Logan asks as soon as the door closes.