The Boy I Hate
Publication date: August 12th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Romance
Samantha Smiles and Renee Montgomery have been best friends for over a decade. They’ve shared laughs, secrets, and a mutual hatred for one person: Tristan Montgomery, Renee’s older brother. He was the guy every girl wanted, and every guy wanted to be, and it wasn’t uncommon they’d befriend his little sister just to get closer to him. Which was exactly how Samantha became Renee’s saving grace. She was the only girl Renee could trust not to fall in love with her older brother.
Until the one night Samantha spent with him alone, leaving her questioning everything she’d ever known about the blond headed heart-throb.
Years later, Renee asks Samantha to be her maid of honor. With no other option, Samantha is forced to drive cross-country with the focus of their teenage ire.
He was her first kiss.
Her only secret.
Can Samantha survive the trip cross-country with the reckless Tristan Montgomery? The guy who did what he wanted, whenever he wanted, without worry for tomorrow? Or will she discover a different side of him. One that’s sweet, funny, and maybe a little bit vulnerable. And fall completely and helplessly in love for the first time in her adult life with the one man who could cause her to lose her best friend forever?
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It took only a moment for her to recover, to realize she’d actually won the argument, and to hurry after him. How had she won so easily? Why did Tristan Montgomery keep surprising her at every turn? She wasn’t sure of the answer; all she knew was that her teeth were already chattering and she had left her warm jacket back in the car. “Where are we? How close are we to the next town?”
“Iowa,” he answered. But that was all he said. Because he didn’t know how far they were to the next town. He didn’t know anything at all.
Samantha took her phone from her pocket, and held it up to illuminate their path. “Has this ever happened to you before?” she asked.
“Are you sure we’re not out of gas?”
“How do you know?”
“Tristan, how do you know?” A chill ran up her spine, though it wasn’t from the cold this time. It was because of him. He raked his fingers through his hair, giving away his stress, and that made her even more nervous. He was the guy who let everything roll off his shoulders. Who didn’t give a shit. But now—
“Because I know my car,” he finally said.
“Oh God,” she whispered. Only to herself, but that didn’t matter.
He stopped dead in his tracks. Turned around, and looked her dead in the eye. “Do you have a problem?”
She clenched her jaw, telling herself to be quiet, but she couldn’t. “Yeah. Actually, I do.” She lifted her chin, higher than she felt confident, and took a step toward him. “I’m supposed to be at my best friend’s bachelorette party in two days. Two. And you’re giving me the cold shoulder and saying things like, ‘I know my car.’ ”
He laughed under his breath and pressed his thumb and forefinger into his eye sockets. “What do you want me to say, Samantha? What?”
“I don’t know! I want you to give me a real fucking answer!”
He snapped! Picked up a rock, and threw it into the dark forest—so hard that the sound echoed through the secluded night. He took a breath, as though frustrated and out of control, as though he was trying to compose himself enough to face her.
He finally turned around, his jaw tight and clenched, but so much emotion was etched on his face that her eyes immediately went blurry with regret. It was as though a thick blanket smothered the Tristan she’d known all her life. His confidence, his smile, his easy nature. “It’s my fault, is that what you want me to say? That it’s my fucking fault?”
Tears rushed to her nose and throat. She couldn’t bear to see him this way. “No,” she said. “No, that isn’t it at all.”
He gripped his forehead and turned around again. “I should have never agreed to this. I should have said no.”
She froze, her heart thumping. “Agreed to what?” she asked, standing still.
He turned around, squeezed his eyes shut as if not realizing the words had come from his mouth. “Nothing.”
“No.” She wrapped her arms around her belly, not letting it go. “What did you agree to, Tristan?”
He remained silent, giving her all the answer she needed. She looked down to her feet, tears stinging the backs of her eyes. “Renee talked you into this, didn’t she? You don’t want to be here any more than I do.”
But she shook her head, stopping him.
“Look—I’m frustrated, too.” He moved toward her. “But we’re in this together.”
Emotion quickly gathered in her chest, and she clenched her arms at her side. “I know.”
“I didn’t mean to scare you.”
She nodded, her chin quivering.
But scared wasn’t the feeling that was cutting her like a knife. It was something else. Something heartbreakingly difficult for her to admit to. Because hearing that he didn’t want to be there sent a chill over her entire body.
He came closer still and draped his heavy jacket around her shoulders. “I’m sorry, Samantha.” He tightened the jacket around her shivering body, fastening it at the bottom before zipping it up to her chin. But he didn’t move away. He stayed there a second too long, his thumb by her chin, causing all the air to expel from her lungs.
She looked up to his throat, only inches from her lips. She wanted to kiss it, to wrap her arms around his large body and have him hold her. To hold him. It was so cold she could see her breath. So cold their breaths mingled together, and for some reason, she stepped closer.
She wasn’t sure if it was his warmth that drew her in. The heat that radiated from his muscles and bones. Or if it was the pain in his eyes. It seemed to say a thousand words all on its own. That he was sorry, that he was scared, too. But it wasn’t an average “I’m sorry.” It was a sorry from a man who carried the world on his shoulders—who took the blame for everything, even when it wasn’t his fault. Her mind screamed to move away. To not get too close to the man who had shattered her heart after only one night, to get away before it was too late, but she couldn’t. She craved to be close to him, even though she knew it would bring nothing but pain to too many people.
He placed his hand on her hip, wrapping his fingers around her lower back and exerting pressure. As though he needed her just as much as she needed him. As though he’d given up on resisting her and the gravity that pulled them together.
She lifted her chin, knowing it was wrong, but knowing she couldn’t stop it. Whatever was between them was stronger than her will. Stronger than her conscious. But as their lips touched for the briefest moment, a set of dull headlights began to shine in the distance. As though a higher being had rushed in to save her from herself.
Tristan turned around, clearing his throat as if he himself had been caught in the same spell. He took his phone out of his pocket and waved it overhead. “Hey!” he yelled. “Hey! Over here!”
A moment later, down the long flat road, came a beat up old van with a million stickers on the windows. The door opened, and a woman with a large pregnant belly hopped down to the road. She rested her hands on her lower back, exaggerating the ripe, swollen shape, and shined a bright flashlight over their faces, blinding them.
“Now what in the devil’s name are you two doin’ all the way out here?”
Taylor is mom of three young (or not so young) children she loves more than life. She runs them around endlessly, hoping she looks presentable enough to be out in public, and day dreams about fictional characters. Maybe she’s crazy, or maybe she craves the barbie games she played as a little girl a little too much, but that’s where her stories are born. It’s where they blossom, and grow, and eventually breath life on the page of her stories.
She’d love to hear from you. (Or I’d love to hear from you. I wrote this in 3rd person to sound cooler)
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