Excerpt: Going Up The Country
An Oberon/LA Love Lessons Crossover Novella
There's no way that woman belongs on a farm, surrounded by sheep and goats and good ol' boys who clearly don't have enough sense to even appreciate how lucky they are just to be able to breathe the same air as she does. With hair like a mermaid and eyes like the sea, she ought to be spending her days out on the bay, perched on a rock amidst crashing waves, daring men to risk drowning themselves for the chance to kiss her. Even her name's a dead giveaway. Arielle. You think it's coincidence that it's almost the same as Disney's fishtailed princess? Think again.
I bet she even tastes like the sea—not that I'm likely ever to find out the way things are going. Because, somehow, ever since her sister married my brother, she's come up with the dumb idea that we're family now, so we can't date.
Really? After kissing me stupid on the Ferris wheel? Blowing my mind, and possibly other parts of my anatomy, in the back of the Fun House? After we went skinny dipping together? Yeah, there's no closing that barn door anymore. That sucker's been ripped right off its hinges.
And don't you think for a moment that this is entitlement talking—’cause that ain’t it. She doesn’t owe me a goddamn thing. She has every right to change her mind, to turn me down, to tell me to take a long hike off a high cliff, or however the hell it goes. But I don't think that’s what’s happening here. I think she wants this as much as I do. She’s just spooked. She got scared by how fast everything flared up between us, how hot we both got, how badly it looked like we could both get burned.
I can't even fault her for feeling that way. Hell, I'm scared too! No way was I looking to get involved. Not with anyone, but especially not with some small-town girl with waaay too much family. The way I feel about her—this shit is crazy, son! It should be me who’s running for the hills, who’s getting out now, while I still have half a chance.
Because, the thing is, we really don't have much in common. We've each made lives for ourselves—really good lives, for the most part—and we didn't leave a whole lot of room in them for anyone else. The smart thing to do would be to slam on the brakes. To cool our jets. To call it quits before either of us gets hurt. I get that. I do. But I guess I’ve never been all that smart. And...I just can't stop thinking about her.
That's why I'll be going up the country this Thanksgiving. Hoping I can make her see some sense. Because, the thing is, as terrifying as it sounds, I do want us to be family. Just not in the way she's thinking.