Publication date: April 30th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Life’s the shit!
Chicks squeal over how wild and yummy I am, play their silly games trying to tie me down. But I’m free as a bird, doing what makes life life: kicking extreme-sport-ass!
I base jump, snowboard, bungee jump. I do anything for the rush.
Then, Ingela blows into town for college—a cool Swedish blast of trouble. Foulmouthed and runway-gorgeous, the girl seeps in like poison and melts the freaking brain.
To Ingela I am what chicks were to me: pastime, leisure, entertainment, pleasure. She’s killing me, and I’m digging it. There’s a new rush in town! Yeah, I hunt down my highs, and now the chase is on. I’ll catch her soon enough, just, what’s the deal with her ex?
With Ingela, sex is a dance. A slow tango where skin flows over skin. It is slick readiness, a quiet welcome. It’s smooth, warm, right, and all wrong.
On and off. On and off. Again, she’s wrecked with grief. It’s a reminder of how I destroy her, how crushed relationships shouldn’t be revived.
We’ve done this for years, now, but clearly we’re in for more.
Sex is a dance with her. A slow tango where skin flows over skin. It is slick readiness, a quiet welcome. It’s smooth, warm, right, and all wrong.
There’s no move she makes I don’t preempt. When it’s new, I follow. When I’m different, she forms to me. She was the ground I walked on. The air I worshipped. The first years together she was my everything.
With Ingela, sex is love. It is guilt over not giving her what she’s worthy of.
This girl. She deserves so much. And I?
I don’t have it all.
The way she looks at me. It’s knives sharpened and twisting in my gut because the extent of her love is beyond my capacity. I tell her again, for the seventh time in five years, what the answer always must be:
“Ingela, I can’t. You are the best person I know. You deserve someone with the chops to love you hard and forever. I’m not that man.”
Again, I’ve reduced her to this; her body, the one I just took to the skies in ecstasy, wracks with grief. This is why tonight is the last time we break up. I hate myself. I have to accept that I can’t make her happy.
It’s time I quit chickening out, quit running back to her over a bleak fling and whenever I need solace. To me, she’s comfort and familiarity. I’ll never stop loving Inga.
But to her, I’m still everything.
The chase is over. Right here, right now, this is it. Even if it only lasts thirty seconds, the rush of what I’m about to do floods me and makes me feel. It’s so intense, every muscle in my body goes rigid with anticipation.
The air is sharp and early-morning raw. I stare out from my post on an overhang off Firam Peak. Let my eyes judge the steep drop into the ravine on the backside of the mountain. Jagged granite walls form unpredictable patterns that crash to the bottom the way I will soon, and a light dusting of snow contrasts starkly with the somber stone.
I shake my arms. Not to relieve the tension but to make sure I’m nimble and ready. I didn’t invite my friends, Dan and Marek, along today. I’d be better off with someone else around, of course, but nothing compares to the thrill I experience as I step forward alone. I’m on the edge now, in every sense of the word.
I draw in a breath of icy oxygen. Crack my fingers inside my gloves and adjust the strap on my helmet. I’m ready.
It’s so easy to plunge off the cliff. All I do is heave up on my toes and extend my arms. A light bend at the knees and I’m off, flying.
Ah, yes. I fly.
The wind howls around me. I’m fast—I’ve jumped a dozen times into this ravine so the speed doesn’t surprise me. When we started base jumping, Dan and I would heave ourselves as far out as we could to stay clear of the rock walls during the free-fall. With the velocity you take on, the smallest miscalculation will throw you against the ragged stone, toss you around, and beat you about like a rag doll. It’d be hard to survive.
It gets boring, though, to be careful every time. Which is why, at this point, to get that rush—the woozy bliss inundating my brain for hours afterward—I simply tip off the edge.
The wingsuit I wear is advanced technology. I stretch my arms out to the side, the fabric spanning open at my sides. A familiar sting of disappointment sings through me as I realize I’ll never fly without the squirrel suit. I can’t even begin to imagine the drug it would be to base jump with no security equipment. Straight to death, of course. I chuckle to myself at the thought.
I’m reaching the white ravine floor too quickly. Fuck, I’m lightning fast. The parachute on my back is a click away, but I postpone it, postpone it--
I’m on top of the world!
I’m so fucking alive while I plunge to what could be my last moment on Earth. I curl my body into a somersault and shout my rush out in an echo against the surrounding rock.
My cell just buzzed. It’s four in the morning on a weekday. On an instinctual level, I know who it is. I’m not one to give myself breaks; not once, not once, do I not answer when he calls, so I sit up, adrenaline diluting my blood and telling me to go-go-go.
“Stop missing me, asshole,” I say into the receiver.
Brooding, emotional, feel-sorry-for-himself, wishy-washy, sexy nightmare Bo. He’s the epitome of inconsiderate. I’ve been studying in the US for over two years now, but my ex keeps calling me from home. Not giving a damn about the time difference, he calls right when the hell he needs me.
I fumble for the light. Turn it on. Squint and clutch my phone tighter. “Hej,” I puff out next since he doesn’t respond right away.
“Hej, Inga,” he breathes back. Voice silky, like the damn singer-guitarist he is, he says what I knew he would as if he didn’t hear my initial greeting. “I miss you.”
“You’re horrible, Bo.”
“Come on, Inga—this is hard.”
I know what he means by hard. “Is it?” I ask, sitting up straighter. “Is it, now? Then, why did you break up with me for the fifteenth time in, like, what…”
I don’t want to repeat the number of years out loud. Bo and I were an item on and off between the ages of sixteen and twenty-one. All I care about right now is him shutting the hell up. Whenever I’m almost over him, he’s there again. Black-velvety soft voice in my ear, making adrenaline, my worst enemy, course through my body until I tremble.
The man on the phone drove me to the brink a while back. There’s a reason why I’m here and not in Gothenburg where I’d be subject to his erratic moods on a daily basis.
For the millionth time, I wish I didn’t remember the good parts. Me, starting out as the sixteen-year-old groupie of his local band. The parties, the fun. The endless nights in our own little world in the dump he rented with two fellow bandmates. I swallow a lump in my throat. It was supposed to be us always. Not just for a few years. And he wasn’t supposed to be… the way he is.
“Inga, did you hear what I said?” Bo whispers now, like he cares that I should be asleep at this hour.
“I call you, and you don’t even listen?”
“Doing my best,” I say. By the displeased huff he makes, I can tell he understands; I’m doing my best at not listening to him.
“I’m accepting a scholarship to a one-year guitar clinic in Los Angeles.”
Even sitting, my knees go weak. Deepsilver, the gorgeous little college town I’ve set new roots in here on the East Coast, must be only hours from Los Angeles by plane. The pull is on my heartstrings already—I’m too close to where Bo will be.
“Why?” I ask. “They can’t teach you anything here that you can’t learn in Gothenburg, I’m sure. And the band—are they replacing you?”
He puffs a snicker. “Naw. I don’t think so.” Bo is aware that he’s the chick magnet of the bunch and the reason they’ve been doing decent as a college band since they moved to the big city.
“I might check in with some labels while I’m in L.A. The band is with me on this. Probably heading over too, if I can scrounge up some gigs for us. Maybe we’ll tour the East Coast. How about that, Inga? We’ll pop by your little town.”
“Uh-huh, whatever.” I hurt. I try not to admit it to myself, but I miss him so much. The need to have him with me under my covers sucker-punches me. No one. No one is like Bo in bed. I feel the ghost of his hands on my skin as he lets out a quiet laugh on the other end.
“You’re so silly, Ingela. Just give it up already. I’ll take a couple of days in Deepsilver on my way there, okay? I’ll treat you well.”
I blush. There’s a reason to his sexy chuckle, to his sudden promise. As soon as I’m the slightest bit turned on, my breathing stops cooperating. Five years of on-and-off dating has Bo tuned in to the smallest changes in me the way he is to his guitar. So yes, he’s completely aware of his effect on me.
“Fuck you,” I mumble.
“Do you swear as much in English as you do in Swedish?” he purrs like he’s describing dirty pleasures.
“None of your—”
“Yeah, that. Bye, dick.”
Sex, for instance. Damn straight, sex is a major high. I curve a hand around Inga’s waist, kneading, and she lets out a happy sigh. Some tumbles are more exciting than others, of course. Some chicks are more fiery than others.
I look down Inga’s supermodel body. She’s skinny, muscular in a feminine way and almost as tall as me. Small, firm breasts. I know they’re firm because I’ve felt her up more than once. I want to feel them right now, actually. I wonder if she’d consider me as a fuck buddy if I worked up the nerve to ask? The thought of that high I crave so badly tenses my jaw.
I inch my hand up across her belly, covering my move from an audience with the other arm. Ingela squirms to get more comfortable in my lap. She lifts her elbow enough for me to sneak up even higher under her shirt.
I’m easy. Just the thought of this little indiscretion makes my adrenal gland squirt its drug into my blood. Is her bra too tight? Will she allow me to cup her boob right here between our friends?
I kiss her temple. A small grin plays on her sleepy mouth. To me, Ingela’s the ultimate girl. Ever since she first cussed me out with a big smile on her face, since she gave me a bite mark on my upper thigh in a make-believe bar brawl, I’ve been in deep. For a girl, she’s fucking up there.
Not that I love her. No, people I simply enjoy being with. I don’t love them. Well, obviously Mom—my big bro, Patrick, the hotshot pilot. But that’s it. At thirteen, I realized that the only thing I’ve ever really loved is the sensation of being one hundred percent alive. In the everyday grind—school, work, colleagues, friends—you merely trot along. There’s no gallop, no living to the max.
No mental, wicked, ace living.
I grin wide.
“What’s that face for?” BB girl Beth squints my way. She’s got a thing for me, probably because I’ve never fucked her and she’s curious. I’ve had several of her colleagues. BB girls are easier lays than Smother girls.
Robin snorts. “Bet he’s thinking about next weekend. Dude’s got the weekend off and is spending his tip money on stupid shit.”
I laugh at that, and Ingela groans, uncomfortable at my chest rocking against her.
“What’re you doing?” Beth asks. “Something extreme again?” Her eyes go to my broken finger.
I shrug the shoulder Ingela isn’t resting on. “I heal fast. Plus, the ticket’s been paid for since Christmas. I’d go with a broken back.”
Beth sucks in a girly breath, and I smell acting. “Oh, don’t say that—you’re jinxing yourself, Cam. Don’t get hurt out there.”
She’s full of it. I always get myself hurt.
“Don’t go,” Ingela slurs.
“What, darlin’?” I drawl out. Clearly, I’ve heard wrong.
“Don’t. Go.” She doesn’t say it louder, just more pronounced.
“Hmm. You’ll miss me now?” She arches her back the tiniest bit, and it’s the little shift I need to slip a few digits in under her bra. Five seconds later, I’ve cupped that sweet little tit of hers. So soft and warm.
“Perv,” she tells me but doesn’t object to my groping ways.
Troy or Roy is the last one to get off his barstool. Dude’s been on his ass the entire night. It’s three a.m., I’ve grabbed a broom, and I’m sweeping beneath his chair.
“Ingela…” he slurs out, blinking slowly. “You know I like you, right? You must’ve noticed.”
“Uh-huh—you need a cab, honey?” I inquire.
“Naw, I was thinking… do you want to, um, go on a date with me?” He’s so drunk I don’t think he had to work up the courage to ask. Unless you count the months he’s been sitting on that stool without broaching the subject.
“Nope, I don’t,” I say and pat his cheek.
He instantly turns whiny. “Whyyy?” He drags the word out like Lyric does. “You’re such a hottie and shit.”
I try to lift one of his stool legs high enough to pull out the wadded-up napkin stuck underneath it. “Whatevs, and you need to go home. We’re closed.”
“Oh yeah, but you’ll be open again tomorrow anyway. Or hey, today,” the smartass says. Stupid me buys into the conversation.
“I’m off to bed, dude. We all have to sleep at some point.”
As I stand, he snatches my hand in a drunken plea. “Oh, Inga—pretty Inga—say ‘yes’ to a date? You’re my… uh. Number ten.”
Whatever that means. “Nope, don’t want to,” I tell him. “Go home or I’m calling Jason to butt you out of here. See ya later, buddy.”
He whimpers and stands. Wobbles. Then, he narrows his eyes at me. “You Swedes are different, huh? Okay, how about no date, just—I’ll take you straight to bed?”
From his expression, he thinks he’s onto something. Sure, I could be in that mood. Tonight, for instance, as tired as I am, I still don’t feel like going home alone. I’d love to wake up with company—only the concept doesn’t involve overly drunk guys I’ve never felt an inkling of attraction to.
I jump when a strong hand curls around my upper arm. “Troy,” Cam says behind me. “Leave Inga alone. We’ll get you a taxi home, okay?”
Troy’s face slowly morphs to offended as he plops down on the stool again. “Oh, so he can touch you? I’ve seen you two—you let him frenchie you, even. What does he have, huh?”
A single snicker hits my ear from Cameron. “You think she should be fair? If she kisses me, she should kiss you too?”
I grin. That is a funny concept. Fairness in kisses.
The guy huffs, mad. “Don’t get what’s so special about…” He tilts his chin to Cameron but tries to focus on my face as he speaks.
Cam interrupts, though, letting go of me and moving over to Troy. “It’s time, cuddle-bun. We’ll find you someone nice tonight if you’re not too hung over, all right? Inga’s busy.”
“I am?” I say, catching Cam’s gaze as he stacks Troy on his feet and accommodates his arm around his neck to haul him off.
“Ass,” Troy mumbles but doesn’t resist.
“I’m going home with you,” Cam explains to me.
I get butterflies at that. At how sure he sounds when he tells me. He winks over Troy’s lolling head and mouths, Stay put.
Originally from Norway, I moved to the United States twelve years ago. I hold a Master’s degree in languages and taught Spanish at college level before settling in at the Savannah College of Art and Design as an adviser.
I write New Adult fiction, sometimes with a paranormal twist—like in “Shattering Halos,” published by The Wild Rose Press in February 24th 2014 and in “Stargazer,” released November 2014. The first book I’ve self-published was the New Adult Contemporary novel “Pandora Wild Child,” which made me a proud indie author in October 28th 2014.
I specialize in impulsive heroines, bad-boys, and good-boys running amok. Then, there’s the intense love, physical and emotional attraction beyond reason—sensory overload for the reader as well as for the characters. Like in real life, I hope you’re unable to predict what comes next in my stories.
Yes, so I write what I love to read, and depending on the reader, you’ll find my books to be a fast-paced emotional rollercoaster—or disturbing because the struggles of love aren’t your thing. Here’s to hoping you have the same reading vice as me!
Website : http://www.sunnivadee.com/