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Authors: H. M. Ward

Riptide

RIPTIDE

The Secret Life of Trystan Scott

Vol. 3

 

 

 

YAParanormalRomance
.com

 

 

 

 

 

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

 

Copyright © 2012 by
H.M. Ward

All rights reserved.

 

No part of this book may be reproduc
ed, scanned, or distributed in
any printed or electronic form.

 

Laree Bailey Press

First Edition:
Nov
2012

 

 

 

RIPTIDE

The Secret Life of Trystan Scott

Vol. 3

 

H.M. Ward

 

 

 

Laree Bailey Press

~
2
~

 

 

 

 

rip-ti
de
: a strong current of swiftly moving water that flows away from the safety of the shore.

 

 

 

CHAPTER
1

 

~TRYSTAN~

 

Trystan’s
fingers skimmed Mari’s cheek and then
tangled in her soft curls.
They stood at the foot of the stage, surrounded by empty seats. That kiss was still burned onto his lips. He couldn’t step away from Mari.
His eyes locked with
hers
, never bl
inking, never straying from her intense
gaze. The moment felt so fragile that Trystan was afraid to breathe. Everything he ever wanted was stan
ding in front of him, looking up
in shock.

Mari’s body shivered in his arms when he told her th
at she was the reason he wrote that song. Swallowing hard, Trystan
breathed, “The girl who brought me to my knees, was you.” Ta
king a breath to steady his
voice,
Trystan lowered his gaze and looked back up at her. “That song meant everything to me. It was as close as I thought I’d get to you. I’ve made too many mistakes
, too many times
. And
then,
like an idiot, I flaunted them
in
front of you.” A smile lifted the corners of his lips as he allowed a curl to fall from his fingers. “Mari, I don’t know what made you do it. I realize that you wanted someone for one night, but that isn’t what I’m looking fo
r anymore
.” His lips curved like he was trying to form a word that wouldn’t come.

Mari shivered, unable to hold her body still. When she finally spoke, he could
barely
hear her, “You love me?”

It was a question that he wanted to answer every hour of every day, but when she asked, when her lips parted and those words tumbled out, Trystan felt a pang of panic
pierce
his middle.
She wanted a plaything. S
he does
n’t want you that way
, he thought. It felt like fingers were pressing into his throat and cutting off the air. The way Mari looked at him—it was too much.

There was a slight tremor building in his hands. To hide it, Trystan slipped his fingers off her face and into his pockets. Looking at her through
the
pieces of dark hair
that hung over
Trystan’s
eyes
, he said softly, “It’s more than that. God, Mari.” He sucked in air, and ran his fingers through his hair. “
There’s so much to say, and I have no idea how to say it. I wrote it down
,
because otherwise all those words, all those feelings, stayed trapped inside of me, in here,” his fist banged on his chest as he lifted his gaze a
nd met hers. Stepping toward Mari
, he confessed, “I love you. Everything I am, everything I hope to be
,
is better when I’m with you. I don’t know...” Trystan was breathing hard, like he’d been running from something terrifying.

Mari watched him, her beautiful brown eyes impossibly wide
,
with her lips parted in shock. As he stumbled over his words, lacking the normal Trystan Scott confidence, Mari stepped toward him and took his hand in hers. Brow pinching together, she looked u
p at him, asking, “Why are you trembling
?”

Trystan worked his jaw, freeing the thought that was stuck in his throat, “Love destroys,
I believe that—but
I’m hopelessly in love with you.” His head tilted to the side as he said it, his blue eyes so soft and
vulnerable
. “What am I—” he started to ask, but she cut him off.

Heart pounding wildly, he couldn’t stand it. In that moment, Mari didn’t say much. She just stood there shell shocked after he said he loved her, but Trystan had to tell her. She had to know. There was no way he could let her think
,
after all this time
,
that he was in love with s
omeone else. But when he said he loved her
, she didn’t say it back. The
center of his chest felt ho
llow, like a carved out pumpkin. He couldn’t breathe. His mind was telling Trystan to make a joke and run—do what he always did—but he couldn’t, not now, not with Mari.

The corner
of Mari’s mouth curved up
. She held his hands tighter and pulled them to her chest, “Do you feel that? My heart
’s
pounding in my chest like it’s going to explode. You do that to me. You make me crazy. You make me better. You make everything better. You’re the
brightest part
of my day and you always have been. I don’t want a fling
,
Scott,” he recoiled when she said his last name, but Mari pulled him closer,
not releasing his hands,
“I asked you that
question last night,
because I couldn’t stand see
ing you every day and sitting next to the guy that stole my heart, and act like everything’s okay. When Tucker said you were enlisting—” she let out a rush of air, eyes wide, locked on his face,
and
continued, “I couldn’t lose you. Not without even trying. How could you think I didn’t love you?

Trystan listened to her speak. His mind was trying to pull out of the conversation before his heart was blasted to bits
and splattered across
the auditorium walls. M
ari could destroy him. One word
and his life would never be the same, but as she spoke he couldn’t help but smile.

When she asked that question, Trystan finally met her gaze. “You love me?” he asked.

Mari nodded, smiling up at him, “I lo
ve you, Trystan Scott, e
very bit of you;
past, present, and future.” A grin twisted her
pink
lips. Mari looked at him out of the corner of her eye, “Besides, it’s not like I can turn it off. If that were possible, we wouldn’t have had that kiss.”

Trystan laughed softly. The sound filled his chest, making him feel whole. Leaning toward Mari, he used every drop of boyish charm he had, “I really liked that kiss.”

Mari’s cheeks flushed as she smiled, and
she quickly tried
to
look at the floor, b
ut Trystan didn’t let her. Instead
,
he reached for her face and tilted her chin up. Smiling, he took in every inch of her red face and instantly wanted to cover her in kisses, “And I sup
pose you didn’t like it as much?

Mari smiled broader. “You’ll just hav
e to do it again and find out…
s
ee for yourself.” She looked up at him through her lashes, her cheeks growing hotter in his hands.


Is that so?”
Trystan asked, a soft smile spreading across
his lips.

She nodded, “Very much
, I’m afraid.”
Mari
glanced up at Trystan. He pulled her closer and lowered his face, inching slowly toward hers. Mari’s head tilted to the side and he was kissing her again. Her arms wrapped around his chest and
she
held on tight. Trystan’s palms
stroked
her
cheek as he pulled her
lips to his
.
She tasted like strawberries and sunshine. He couldn’t get eno
ugh, he’d never get enough of Mari.

The bell rang and shocked them apart. Trystan stepped b
ack, his gaze filled with mirth and his
lips twisted into a perfectly boyish smile. He crossed his ankles, and bounced on the balls of his feet for a second, drinking her in like this was a dream. “I have more things I’d like to discuss with you, beautiful kiss ninja, but I have to get to class. I can’t miss another or I won’t graduate, because believe me—if that weren’t the case—I’d stay here with you.”

Mari looked at him, still
beaming
, “Go on,
I understand.” Trystan nodded at her, and grabbed his books. He was half way up the aisle when she blurted out, “Wait! Trystan,”

When he stopped and turned
back
, he saw concern on her face. “What’s the matter?
Awh, screw it.
I can stay.” He threw his books o
n a chair and walked back down the aisle
. Mar
i met him half
way
and laughed.

Grabbing his books,
Mari
shoved them into his hands, and said, “No
,
you can’t. Besides, I just wanted to ask you if we can keep this a secret
,
for now. I’m not really supposed to date. If my Dad finds out, well, I just don’t want to deal with it…”

Trystan fought back the urge to reach out and run his fingers through
her soft curls again—t
o be that close to Mari, and to be able to touch her…

Trystan felt like he could fly. There was nothing that could bring him down.
Leaning toward her, he touched his forehead to hers lightly,
“My lips are sealed. I won’t tell a soul.” He smiled at her
again, beaming with excitement. Pulling away from her was
torture
. He shouldn’t have gotten so close again. Tearing
himself
away from
Mari
was the last thing he wanted to do, but Trystan couldn’t miss another class.

As it was, he was o
n thin ice. Tucker saved his ass earlier and he knew it. Who would have thought that today would go this way? Trystan didn’t. Grinning at her, he sucked in a deep breath
,
letting it fill his chest before turning away.

“Better get going,” he said, his voice a little too high, almost like he was laughing. When did it become so hard to hide how he felt around Mari?

 

 

 

CHAPTER
2

 

~MARI~

 


Yeah, you better go.” My voice was soft. It was everything I could do to keep it from shaking.
Trystan Scott loves
me
. He said it. He wrote a freaking song about it. A song that went viral.
A song everyone knew
. My heart lurched in my chest as he pulled away from me and turned to walk up the aisle.

He looked over his shoulder at me, those brilliant blue eyes gleaming.
“The view’s good coming and going, I hear.”

At that point, the smile on
my face increased
to mega
-
wattage. I glanced down at the floor and ba
ck up at him, feeling the blush
spread
ing
across my face. Looking up at him from under my lashes, I nodded once and said, “
Only you would say that.”

“Only you would pretend you weren’t looking.” Trystan walked backwards up the aisle, one sneaker squeaking as he clutched his books t
ightly to his chest. The way he
looked at me made everything else melt away. I didn’t remember where I was or what I had to do next. The only thing that mattered in that moment was Trystan. He was
like
a beautiful black hole, and he absorbed every piece of me.

I teased,
“I’ll make a note to ogle you more openly next time.”

He held out his arms, his books extended away from his body and balanced on the top of his palm. “Why wait?” Trystan was standing right in front of the door. I could hear kids moving through the halls, heading to their next class. Trystan turned
in a circle
slowly, keeping his gaze on me the whole time.

I laughed. Closing my eyes slowly, I opened my mouth, not knowing what to say. I wanted to look at him. I wanted him to see me do it. I don’t know why, but the moment felt charged. Every spot on my skin was hypersensitive, and when his
eyes passed over me, I
flush
ed
harder. I’ve never blushed so much in my life.

Breathing
raggedly
, I folded my arms over my chest to try and hide it. “Very pretty,” came out
when I finally spoke
.

Trystan’s arms fell to his sides,
and
his books slapped against his le
g. H
e ran back down the aisle to me asking, “Pretty? Seriously?” His brows disappeared under his hairline
,
as his soft lips hung opened waiting for me to respond.

I grabbed his shoulders and twisted him
around, pushing
back up the aisl
e, shoving him toward the door.
“You’re such a drama queen. Get to class already!” Trystan allowed me to push him up the aisle. I could see the laugher in his eyes as he looked over his shoulder at me. When we were standing before the door, he dug in his heels and turned suddenly, which resulted in me smacking into his chest. It would have been sexy if I didn’t have that just-walked-into-a-pole expression on my face.

Trystan
wrapped his arms around me for half a second, and whispered in my ear, “There are so many words to describe you. I plan on telling you all of them later.” He pulled back and kissed my temple before releasing me. His eyes met mine and held. “I can’t believe it.”

“Neither can I,” I replied softly. We stood a step apart, not touching, just gazing at each other. The bell rang again, but he didn’t move. “You’re late.”

“So are you,” there was no more laughter in his voice. Those
radiant
eyes bore into me, cutting past every defense
mechanism
I had. That gaze stripped me,
causing
me
to
feel everything at once, making me
realize
exactly how much Trystan affected me. My heart pounded harder in my chest
,
as a shiver worked its way down my spine.

After a second, I
knew
why he didn’t want to leave. This felt surreal, like everything would vanish like smoke in the wind when he left.
I didn’t want to say it, but it was the only way to vanish the fear.
“Everything will still be the same after class. Go. I don’t want you to get in trouble because of me.”

Reluctantly, Trystan turned and put his hand on the door. He looked back at
me
,
like he was going to say something else, but he turned and pushed through the door instead. I watched the door slowly close, until I couldn’t see Trystan anymore.

When he was gone, I sucked in a sharp breath of air. It felt like I didn’t breathe the entire time he was here. The tension flowed out of my
body, and I threw myself into the nearest
chair. The theater was dark, save for the
safety
lights spilling off the stage.

I sat there, alone, in the darkness wondering what just happened.
Staring at the empty stage, I felt like my life just took a turn. It was one of those moments that mattered, whe
re I could feel it and I knew this incident
was important. This was
n’t
a fling. N
o
, it was more than that. Trystan
loved me. So
mehow, we finally came together
.

Maybe living like a lunatic wasn’t a bad idea. I would have never done anything like that a year ago. Crossing a room and throwing my lips on a guy seemed like something someone else would do, but I did it—and it worked out.
It made my life better, it dramatically changed everything.

I stared at t
he spot where we stood, where Trystan
told me that I was the girl in the Day Jones song. My gaze fell to the floor. A
scrap of white poked out from under the chair. Rising slowly, I walked toward that piece of paper like it was my destiny. Those words were Trystan’s heart poured onto paper. There was no mask, nothing hiding any part of him. That was what drew me to the song in the first place.

Reaching down, I picked up the paper and held it in my hands. The entire song covered the front and back of the page. Trystan’s familiar handwriting
lined
the
margins
, along with codas and breath marks
mingled
amongst the lyrics.

Grasping the page in my hands, I looked down at the last line. Mari. My name was there, written in thick dark lines. Pressing my eyes closed, I shuddered and pressed the page to my heart. I was the girl who brought Trystan Scott to his knees. I was the girl he fell in love with
.

 

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