Home > 525 Cherry Blossom Ln. (Cherry Falls #21)

525 Cherry Blossom Ln. (Cherry Falls #21)
Author: Jordan Marie


Prologue

 

 

Jodie

 

 

One Month Ago

I stretch out my body, a smile on my face. I breathe in and the smell of sex—really dirty sex—Linc’s cologne and salty sea air wrap around me, making me feel even more beautiful than Linc did last night.

Me.

Plain old, Jodie Jones.

I slept with the hottest guy in Cherry Falls, the one all the girls talk about, go crazy about, and literally walk around almost naked trying to capture his attention and I slept with him. It was me he whispered to late at night as he played my body as if it was a violin and he the conductor. It was me that he pulled in close and whispered in my ear how special I was.

Me.

I’m twenty-six, and nothing in all of my twenty-six years could have prepared me for the likes of Lincoln Locke. Of course, I’m not really experienced to know, but I think Lincoln Locke may be a sex god sent from another planet solely for the purpose of rocking my world.

And he did… more than a few times last night.

The thought puts a goofy smile on my face, but for the first time in my life I’m okay with being goofy. Faith, my best friend, is always telling me I need to let loose, warning me that I’m too tightly wound. She’s right, I guess. I do play it safe. I can’t even tell you why. I’ve just always been that way.

Maybe it’s something my parents instilled in me. They don’t like coloring outside of the lines and that’s how I’ve always lived.

Until last night.

I didn’t expect to wake up alone, but maybe Linc had to go into the Reef early. I know Daphne has had trouble finding extra staff. The urge to stay in Linc’s bed and wait for him to come home is strong.

I don’t have to work today. Still, if I don’t check in with my mom, she’ll start thinking aliens have abducted me or something. Mom may look normal on the outside, but she can go from zero to panic at the drop of a hat.

I work as a dispatcher at the police department in Cherry Falls. It’s a decent job, and I like the structure in it. I work Monday through Friday and I’ve been there long enough that I’m on dayshift now, which I like. Those midnight hours are for the birds.

I decide to shower and get dressed. It would feel weird staying in Linc’s apartment when he’s not here. Maybe I could go by the Reef and casually order a drink from the bar. I can be casual, right? I mean, Linc is the one that told me he wanted more time with me.

“One night is not going to be enough, Jodie girl. I want more.”

Just the memory is enough to make me flush all over. I start to get out of bed, when I hear the doorknob rattle. I watch as it turns and smile. Apparently, Linc wasn’t kidding. My body heats as I think about having him back in bed with me.

This is not me. I’m not this kind of girl. I’m a good girl. I don’t do hookups or climb in bed with a man after really just talking to him for the first time. I can’t even explain why I did last night. There’s just some kind of magnetic pull with Linc that makes me want more.

“Hi—” the word dies on my tongue. A lot dies in that moment.

“Oh, sorry. Linc told me to come by and get my bikini I left here the other night. I guess you’re why he was busy last night.”

My eyes go round, this sick feeling hits my stomach. Bella Carver. She’s new in Cherry Falls, a transplant from out west. She has curves for days, sun-kissed blonde hair with perfect lips and boobs that make my B-cup look sad as hell. She’s every picture of beauty that I wished I could have been in high school, and she was probably the head cheerleader and popular as hell wherever she attended.

My complete opposite.

“I…uh…” Crap. Shock and this sick feeling that hits you in your gut when a light from heaven shines down and plants the word mistake in bright letters across your forehead are making it impossible to form words.

“Lucky girl. Linc is amazing in bed. He wore me out Thursday night,” she giggles as if it’s perfectly normal to tell me that. “Oh, you’re blushing. I didn’t mean to embarrass you. Linc didn’t mention you were here when he gave me the key to his apartment, or I would have been more delicate.”

“I…I was just about to leave,” I tell her, and she nods.

“It’s probably for the best if you want him to call again. Linc doesn’t exactly do clingy. Oh there it is!” she cries, as if she hadn’t just released a bomb on my world. She runs over to the couch and finds her bright yellow bikini.

Bright yellow.

Why in the fuck didn’t I find that last night?

“There it is,” I mutter, disgusted with myself.

“I’m just going to slip this on. Linc is going to give me some surfing pointers on his break,” she says.

I just bet he is. I don’t say anything but slowly my humiliation is turning to anger. That only gets worse when Bella undresses in front of me, showing me exactly the kind of women Linc sleeps with.

The exact opposite of me.

I must have hit him on a night when his stable was busy, or he was just bored with perfection. Bella has lived in a tanning bed—or she sunbathes nude regularly. The latter is probably far more likely. Her breasts are completely perky, but then she’s probably only nineteen. I mean, I’m not old, and mine are reasonably perky. Of course, I’m only a B-cup. Bella is at least a C or maybe a D. I may have to invest in eye bleach when I notice that she’s completely hair free everywhere—and I mean everywhere.

Once she gets her bikini on, she tosses the cut-offs and tank on the floor—making it clear that she’ll be back—then slips her sandals back on.

“See ya’ later,” she tosses over her shoulder.

I’m lying naked in Linc’s bed, the covers pulled up to my neck and feeling like I need to throw up.

 

 

1

 

 

Jodie

 

 

Present Day

 

“I hear the sirens,” the woman says through my headset.

“Good. You should be fine now,” I respond, satisfied I’ve done my job.

“Thank you,” she says, but she’s distracted because I can already hear the paramedics coming inside. I click off the phone and smile up at Sheriff Larson who just walked up to my desk.

“Thanks for working a double shift, Jodie. You really helped get us out of a jam.”

“No problem, Sheriff. I hope Clara will be okay.”

“She’ll be okay. Her bursitis is just kicking in. We’re hosting a job fair next week. I’m hoping we can fill a few positions with that. We may need you to work overtime a few more days, though.”

“It’s cool. I’ll just postpone my cruise around the world until next month,” I laugh.

“Funny,” he laughs, walking away. I secure the stuff in my desk and wave to Wanda in the cubicle across from me.

Standing up, I rub the back of my neck, trying to work out the kink that has formed from almost sixteen hours of being on the phone. I grab my purse and head outside. It’s dark. The streetlights are bright, though, and I make it to my car without issue. Cherry Falls is a relatively safe place to live that feels like a small town, and that’s despite being a thriving beach town that is centrally located to mountains and popular urban areas.

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