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The Coincidence of Callie & Kayden, Page 23

Jessica Sorensen

Page 23


  “I bought it off one of the Carnies. ” He unscrews the cap and sniffs the inside of the bottle, pulling a thoughtful face. “Alright, who’s ready to get this party started?’

  Seth’s gaze skims over the three of us. “What kind of party are we talking about? Because honestly, I was trying to work something back at the ticket booth, but got a little distracted by the bear. ”

  “Really,” I ask excitedly and he nods with pressing eyes.

  I want to hug him, but I’ll save it for later when he can give me the details. Seth hasn’t dated anyone since Braiden and I hope he’s ready to finally move on.

  Luke takes a swig from the bottle and his shoulders twitch as he swallows it. “I want to do a challenge. ”

  “No challenges tonight,” Kayden grimaces, but there’s a hint of amusement in his voice. “We have practice early in the morning and challenges always end in pain. ”

  My head snaps toward him. “Pain?”

  “Good God,” Seth says with a dramatic sigh. “Please explain what this challenge thing is. ”

  “It’s a long story. ” Kayden waves us off with his hand and faces Luke. “Just know that you don’t want to do it. ”

  “You’re just pissed off because you lost last time,” Luke says in a taunting tone. “Besides, I bet Callie would totally be into it. She seems tough for a tiny girl. ”

  “Hey,” I start to protest as Luke takes another mouthful. “I’m not that tiny. ”

  Kayden pinches my side and I flinch. “Actually, you are really tiny, but it’s cute. ”

  I cross my arms over my chest and inhale quietly, uncertain how to respond.

  “Relax, Callie,” Kayden says, looking a little remorseful. “Now, if you want to do the challenge we can, but don’t say I didn’t warn you. ”

  I’ve never been much of a curious person. I just did what I had to and stuck to myself, at least since my twelfth birthday, but curiosity sparkles inside me.

  “I am kind of curious to see what your challenges are,” I say and Kayden seems extremely pleased, the corners of his lips quirking as he struggles not to smile, even though he’d just been protesting it.

  Luke takes another mouthful of tequila and wipes his lips with his arm as he passes the bottle to Kayden. “Usually we set up an obstacle course, like running and jumping and shit. ” He gestures his hand at the net above us. “But we got a prebuilt one right here. ”

  “So what? You just race?” I ask as Kayden hands Seth the bottle, moving his arm around my back. “And what does the winner get?”

  Seth tips his head back and takes a long, loud gulp. “Damn that’s good. ”

  “The satisfaction of winning. ” Kayden exchanges a look with Luke.

  Luke stares up at the top. “I say first one to the top and back is the winner. ”

  “I say that this time the winner owes the other one a favor. ” Kayden steps around me and steers me to the side by the shoulders. “Like letting the other one borrow their truck whenever they want. ”

  “That’s fine,” Luke retorts. “Just as long as when I win, I get to ride that motorcycle, that hasn’t left your garage, when we go home for Thanksgiving. ”

  “That’s my brother’s,” Kayden states with a noticeable rise in the pitch of his voice.

  “You drove it once before,” Luke protests.

  “And I got in deep shit for doing so. ” His breathing is ragged and tension swirls in the air.

  He lets out a breath as Luke takes another drink with a challenge in his eyes. I’ve heard the term “too much testosterone,” but never witnessed it until now.

  “Fine, you got a deal. ” Kayden jerks the bottle from Luke’s hand and throws his head back, pouring in a mouth full of tequila. “But I’m not letting you win. ”

  “Yeah, we’ll see. ” Luke steals the bottle back and wraps his lips around the top, knocking back a shot.

  “You know what?” Seth shuffles toward the exit, staring at his phone. “I think I’m going to go find the person I was talking to. ”

  “No way. ” Kayden steps toward him. “You got to stay down here and call the winner. ”

  Seth waves his hand at him, brushing him off. “Nah, Callie can do it. ”

  Kayden shakes his head. “Callie’s in the challenge, remember?”

  I cringe, wondering what I’ve gotten myself into. “Maybe I should just stay here. ”

  Kayden lowers his face toward mine and strands of his brown hair tickle my forehead. “I thought you were going to prove to us you weren’t little?”

  I glance up at the nets and ropes with doubt. “How am I supposed to do that? I see no possible way of me winning anything against you two. ”

  He positions his fist in front of his chest with a wicked glint in his emerald eyes. “With your awesome kick boxing skills. ”

  Luke snorts a laugh as he spills some tequila onto the ground. “What?”

  Kayden lowers his fist, biting on his lip, with a look in his eyes that’s very overpowering. “What do you say? Can you handle it?”

  I nod, even though I don’t think I can. “Alright, so I just try to beat you guys to the top?”

  Kayden rubs his jawline. “Absolutely. ”

  I follow them to the bottom step as they line up with their hands out to the side of them and their feet positioned to run. I feel short and small standing between them.

  Seth stands near the curtains, checking the clock on his screen. “Do you want me to just say go?”

  Kayden nods, without taking his eyes off the tunnel in front of us. “Yep, whenever. We’re ready to go. ”

  Seth glances at his clock again and then sighs. “On your mark, get set, go!”

  I skitter to the side as Luke shoves Kayden and then runs down the tunnel. Kayden recovers and dodges back onto the steps, sprinting down and disappearing into the darkness. I glance at Seth and he gestures for me to get my butt moving.

  I walk quickly, ducking my head, and listening to the sounds of their footsteps that are already above me. Huddling over, I exit out of the tunnel and onto a wooden stairway. I step up, getting a little uneasy at how dark it is, but when I approach the next level the glow from the rides flow inside.

  I hear the sound of Kayden’s voice as he shouts something and I pick up my pace toward a bridge. It has netted sides and a rope for a railing. There are boards that pave the way to the other side and the floor sways underneath my feet as I step onto it. It’s gone quiet and my adrenaline soars.

  “Okay, why did I agree to this?” I mutter to myself. Then answer my own question. “Because Kayden looked at you with those sexy eyes. ” I step forward with my palms flat against the net to secure my balance.

  “Callie,” Kayden suddenly whispers. “What are you doing?”

  I glance over my shoulder and then grab onto the rope as the bridge rocks underneath my feet. “Where are you?”

  “I’m over here. ” His voice sounds close.

  I squint through the darkness and then jump back. He’s right on the other side of the net, watching me, which means he probably heard me talking to myself and calling him sexy.

  “How long have you been standing there?” My voice sounds high.

  He lets out a low laugh and it sends a shiver through my body that coils into my stomach, bursting heat downward. The sensation knocks me off balance and my cheeks heat.

  “You think I have sexy eyes. ” His fingers thread the net as he stares at me through the dark from the other side.

  “You heard that?” My head falls forward to conceal my mortification.

  “Callie. ” His voice is deep and husky. I’ve never had a guy use that kind of a voice on me.

  I raise my chin up and encounter his intense gaze. “I’m sorry. I thought I was alone. ” I shift my weight and the unsteadiness of the ground hurls me forward. I reach for the wall, lacing my fingers through the net and my knuckles brush his. Our faces are inches away. I can feel his
breath and the heat from his body. If I leaned forward slightly, our lips would touch.

  “Stay there,” he says in a low whisper and removes his fingers from the net.

  I watch the outline of him move through the dark as he walks down the side and turns the corner so he’s standing at the end. The floor ripples under his steps and he holds onto the railing, heading straight for me.

  I have no idea what he’s going to do when he reaches me, but the intensity in the air and the way his long limbs move with determination, make me think it’s going to be something I’ve never experienced before.

  I rotate my body to face him and lace my fingers through the holes of the net, with my back to the wall, and my arms bent up beside my head. It’s dark enough that I can only see the outline of his face, but every once in a while the moving lights from outside shimmer in his eyes.

  We’re breathing wildly, our chests heaving as he halts in front of me.

  “I have a confession to make. ” He places a hand at the side of my head and grabs onto the net. “This was a set up. ”

  I lick my lips nervously. “What was?”

  “The whole challenge thing. I did it to get you up here alone. ” His other hand grips the net so my head is confined between his arms. My heart dances inside my chest as he whispers, “I’m really sorry. ”

  He leans in, shutting his eyes, and for a second I contemplate running. I keep my eyes open until the very last second, and then suck in a breath as his lips touch mine. My knees buckle as his tongue delves deep inside my mouth and I clutch onto the net to keep from falling down.

  Without question or hesitation, I untangle my fingers from the holes, and slide my hands up his chest, wrapping them around his neck. His hot breath is mixed with passion and tequila and his chest crushes against mine. A gasp escapes from my lips as his searing hot palms move down my back. He thrusts his tongue deeper into my mouth and grabs at my hips, drawing me closer as the floor sways under our feet.

  It’s my first real kiss; one that wasn’t taken away from me and held inside someone else’s hand. I thought I’d be more terrified, but if anything the nerves flying through my body are driven by the thrill of his tongue inside my mouth.

  His hands slide from my hips to the perimeter of my butt. I flinch, starting to panic, but he intensifies the kiss, his tongue moving faster and with more determination. His fingers tangle through my hair, pulling my head back, so he can search my mouth more thoroughly, and I get lost in the moment. His fingers glide underneath my thighs, and grip tightly at my legs as he tugs me up and presses my back against the net wall. He urges my legs around his waist and I cross my ankles around his back, latching onto him.

  My bottom lip quivers as I feel his hardness between my legs. It’s mind blowing. And scary as hell.


  She’s more inexperienced than I thought. Her hands are shaking as she knots her fingers through my hair and her bottom lip trembles as I massage it with my tongue. I’ve totally gone A-wall with my plan to stay away from her, but that decision was made the second Luke suggested the stupid challenge plan we used to do to trick girls into going under the bleachers to make out with us.