Home > Spare Me (Summersweet Island #6)

Spare Me (Summersweet Island #6)
Author: Tara Sivec


Other Books in the Summersweet Island Series:



Kiss My Putt (Summersweet Island #1)

Swing and a Mishap (Summersweet Island #2)

Dashing Through the No (Summersweet Island #3)

First and Tension (Summersweet Island #4)

With This Fling (Summersweet Island #5)



Chapter 1




“You’re a nut job.”

“Nice ringtone.”

The comment from the woman standing in line in front of me is followed by a snort, as I pull my ringing phone out of the back pocket of my khakis.

“It’s from Grease 2. You haven’t seen it?”

She keeps her back to me and doesn’t answer, which is probably for the best.

I noticed her as soon as I walked through the door of Giovanni’s Pizza when the end of the long line was punctuated with her butt. A very, very nice butt in a pair of curve-hugging skinny jeans. Which was put on display as she bent over to grab a twenty-dollar bill she’d dropped. With an armful of colorful tattoos peeking out from under the T-shirt she’s wearing, a nose ring, bright-red streaks coloring the ends of her long black hair, and an apparent general disdain for cheerful ringtone music, I noticed her in the way someone at the zoo would notice a polar bear. It sure looks cute and cuddly from behind, but you know if you get close and it turns around, it will rip your face right off.

As soon as she stood back up when I got in line, she spent the next fifteen minutes—while the line didn’t move—muttering under her breath about murdering people if she didn’t eat soon, proving my point. Engaging in any more conversation with her would probably kill me.

Realizing I’m still staring at the woman’s… assets, I quickly cut off “Score Tonight” in the middle of the “let’s bowl and rock-’n-roll” chorus and bring my phone up to my ear.

“What’s up, loser? Long time no talk!”

I try not to groan when I hear my old friend from college on the other end of the line, wishing I wouldn’t have been distracted by a cute butt and looked at my caller ID before I answered. I’m not usually the type of man who does something unkind, like send a call right to voicemail just because I don’t feel like talking to someone, but Tristan Brewster sometimes brings out the worst in me. Remembering that I’m a nice guy, and he is one of my oldest friends, I put a smile on my face and love in my heart.

“Hey, buddy, how’s it going?”

“Never better, man, never better. Hey, sorry about that cheerleader you were dating forever who dumped you for Quinn Bagley.” Tristan chuckles, making me close my eyes and sigh. “Saw it all over the tabloids a while back. I should have called, but you know how it is. God, that must have sucked.”

“She didn’t actually—”

“She sure was a hot piece of ass,” Tristan interrupts. “Tough break. It’s too bad you couldn’t handle her.”

“That’s not how—”

“Anyway, you’re probably wondering about me and why I’m calling.”

I should be used to Tristan’s rudeness and general carelessness about anything that doesn’t directly relate to him. He’s been like this since I met him in college. I was his RA, and he never loved talking about anything more than himself. I don’t even know why I’m still friends with him. Although I use the term “friends” loosely. He only calls me when he needs something. But he can be nice at times, and I’m not going to stop talking to him just because he can be a little self-centered. I know we’re thirty-two years old, but I’m still hoping some of my kindness will rub off on him some day and he’ll change.

“I need a favor.”

I laugh under my breath, knowing today is definitely not the day that anything will be changing with Tristan, as he goes right into the explanation for his call.

“Remember my kid sister, Tinsley? She’s off the fucking rails, and my parents are about ready to lose their minds. She quit her job at our dad’s company, skipped out on her wedding, and left town. I talked to her about twenty minutes ago and finally got her to admit where the hell she is. When she said she was on this little island in the middle of nowhere, I was like, ding-ding-ding, I know someone who lives in that shithole who can talk some sense into her!”

I ignore his comment, just like I ignore it every time Tristan insults where I live. I actually don’t remember his sister that well, and I don’t really know how a stranger could talk sense into anyone. I think I met her once toward the end of junior year when we had a family weekend at school. I only remember it, because out of everyone on my floor, Tristan was the only one whose family never came to visit the three years we’d been there. They never moved him in on the first day, never came and got him on the last, and they never attended any other family weekend before.

I don’t remember how much younger Tinsley was than us, but she was definitely underage and too young for me to even look at twice back then. The only thing I remember is that she was a carbon-copy of her and Tristan’s mom—from the long, straight blonde hair to the fancy designer clothes that looked like they came right off the set of one of my favorite shows, Gossip Girl. They both looked completely out of place in a dorm filled with people wearing basketball shorts, hoodies, and slides with socks.

“I don’t really know how much help I’ll be, but I guess I can try,” I tell him, my eyes going right down to the butt in front of me when the woman puts her hands on her hips, jutting one hip out as she shifts to her other foot in the line that never moves.

“She’s staying at the hotel over there right now, but she’s running out of money fast, since she’s suddenly too good to use her trust fund.” Tristan scoffs, and I’m reminded again just how different our lives are. He grew up with a silver spoon in his mouth, and I grew up with a plastic one from the Dip and Twist. “You can let her crash with you until she gets this out of her system and comes back to Chicago, right? Hopefully just a few weeks, tops.”

“Sure, sure.” I nod distractedly when the woman in front of me reaches back and gathers up all that hair hanging down around her shoulders. She pulls it up above her head and holds it there with one hand, while she fans herself with the other.

This place is packed, and hot as heck with all the pizza ovens running. My own polo shirt is stuck to me like a second skin, but everything gets even warmer in here when I see she has a tattoo on the back of her neck right under her hairline. Small, cursive script that reads Even angels fall.

“You’re the best, man! I told her the only way I’ll keep my mouth shut and not tell our dad where the hell she’s hiding out is if she stays with you so I’ll know she’s safe,” Tristan continues, while I blink out of the daze I was in and realize I think I just agreed to let his little sister stay at my house. “I know you’re still a boy scout who’s so trustworthy and full of virtue I’m surprised you’re not still a virgin, so I don’t have to worry about you trying to hook up with her. Especially after a professional quarterback stole your girl from you. You’ll probably be feeling like shit over that for a few years, huh?”

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