Sequel: Good Enough
Status: Finished: The sequel is up! Read this, then go read that! (That's how sequels work) <3

Strong Enough

Here's to Us

“Get up slut-face, we’re going to the beach in an hour.” Mia’s voice interrupted my dreams and my warm covers were ripped away from me.

“I don’t believe in the beach. Also, I’ve decided to become a hermit.” I rolled to the side, groping for the sheets, but giving up and attempting to go back to sleep anyway.

“Come on, it’s our last day here. Tommy said you loved the beach. And I know for a fact your bikinis are your favorite part of your wardrobe. So get your ass up.” She slapped my butt, making me snap up.

“Bitch, you better watch yourself.” I glared at the back of her head as she flipped me off.

Knowing I couldn’t argue with Mia about leaving the house, I lazily pulled myself into the bathroom and took a quick shower before pulling on my bright green bikini, sliding some jean shorts and a loose white t-shirt over the top.

Walking down to the kitchen, I was met with familiar male voices. Mia was standing around the kitchen island talking to Tommy and Rylan. The three were dressed and ready for the beach. In my still half-awake state, I noticed Bryden wasn’t standing around with them.

“It’s Jack-Jack! How you been girl?” Rylan wrapped an arm around my shoulders in an awkward hug as I grabbed an apple from the fruit basket.

“I was great until someone woke me up.” I sent Mia a pointed frown.

“I wasn’t going to let you be lazy in bed all day. You promised me a day at the beach. I’m helping you keep your promise.”

“And you couldn’t wait until after noon to help me keep my promise?”

“It’s 11 right now. I let you sleep until 10. That’s a normal time to get up. Stop complaining. Let’s just go.”

I rolled my eyes as they grabbed towels and coolers and snacks and things before we headed out to Tommy’s jeep. Everything was packed in, including the four of us, and we made the half hour drive to the beach.

Blankets were laid out, sunscreen applied and we sat around for a bit talking about random things. There ended up being a lot of stories about me thrown around.

“You burned down the Chemistry lab?” Mia looked at me amazed.

“No. I just lit a lab table on fire. It wasn’t even that big of a deal. The fire extinguisher took care of it. And it wasn’t on purpose.”

“Mr. King’s eyebrows never looked the same though.” Rylan poked me as we all remembered our Chemistry teacher. He never did get his entire right eyebrow to grow back. I think he started penciling it in after a while.

“I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. You’re clumsy as shit.”

“My center of gravity is off, sue me.” I threw a seashell I’d been playing with at a nearby seagull. Don’t worry, I didn’t hurt it. Just freaked it out.

“Hey, where’s Bryden?” Fucking Mia and her big mouth.

“He’s working. He won’t be around until later. But I told him we’d save him some food though, so Tommy, don’t eat everything.”

“I promise nothing. If he doesn’t get here when he said he would, he doesn’t eat.” I rolled me eyes as Rylan punched his shoulder.

“Ok, I’m ready to get in the water.” Mia stood up, adjusted her blue bikini and offered me her hand. I was going to refuse, but her face told me I didn’t have a choice, so I took it and joined her. When I noticed Tommy and Rylan looking at each other, I got very worried.

“If you touch me, I’ll kill you both.” I held out my hands, backing up away from them slowly before taking off running. Of course, someone caught me pretty easily. I was hoisted over a shoulder and carried over the sandy beach toward the water.

“Rylan, be nice. Remember how I helped you ask Caroline to prom? Yeah, I’m the nicest person ever.”

He only laughed and walked until I noticed the sand becoming wet, the sound of waves very close now. Fuck, he was gonna throw me in.

“Put me down!” I heard Mia shrieking somewhere passed Rylan.

“If you say so.” A scream preceded a splash. Poor girl didn’t realize what she was saying. Of course, she deserved it for waking me up this morning.

“You suck.” Mia must have found the surface.

“Rylan, I’ll give you a back massage. I’ll bake you a cake—”

“If I throw you in, so sweet of you.”

“No, Ry—“ I tried to stop him, but my body found the water and I was soaking wet. When I popped back up and wiped the water from my face, he was smiling, rather smugly, in front of me.

“By the way, my favorite is vanilla with raspberry filling and chocolate frosting.”

“You piece of shit.” I jumped at him, pushing him down into the water.
We spent the next hour splashing each other, and messing around in the ocean. We laughed pretty hard at Mia when she freaked out about seaweed brushing her legs. Poor little inland girl.

After a while, we ended up back on our blankets, laying out enjoying the warm sunshine. I did miss this part of California. The beach was one of my favorite places, and there was definitely not a beach in Vegas. I mean, pools are great, but there’s nothing to beat the smell of the salt water and she feel of sand between your toes.

Tommy put on some music, I wasn’t paying enough attention to remember what song or who was singing. I was starting to miss this part of my old life. I brought the best part of Vegas with me and combined it with the best part of Southern California. My friends seemed to fit together so well. And I definitely noticed how close Mia and Tommy were sitting and how they’d whisper to each other once in a while. Why did I keep letting my Vegas girls be swooned by the men in my life. First Leeana, now Mia? Damn.

We made sandwiches for lunch around 1:30 and sat around drinking and enjoying the sunshine and freedom. I didn’t realize just how tense I was when Bryden was around—not just emotionally, but physically. In his absence, I found myself relaxing so much more. Most likely I was just being crazy. I knew that. But that didn’t make it any easier being around Bryden. I could probably act like my normal Vegas, party-girl self and he would have no idea how much his presence affected me.

But it was like a switch was flipped as soon as he was around. I went from the confident model to an insecure, nervous wreck. I was never this girl. Even when I was shy as a child I was never nervous, just quiet. How could a guy I hadn’t seen in so long still have so much effect on me?

Throughout the day, my mind would periodically wonder back to Bryden, but I did my best to enjoy the time with my friends without my ex-boyfriend around messing with my head. Unfortunately, I knew he was going to show up around 6, and I still hadn’t mastered freezing time. I didn’t know how this would work out after the blow-up yesterday at the ranch.
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So it's kind of a filler chapter, but I think it's pretty fun still. It's possible I'll get the next chapter out tonight, we'll see.
I love you all, leave me some love!