Home > New Jerk in Town (Carolina Kisses, #2)(8)

New Jerk in Town (Carolina Kisses, #2)(8)
Author: Sylvie Stewart

“And who says I can’t discover things and be married at the same time?” Jenna lets out a breathless laugh and grins as she pins me down with her butt on my thighs.

“That’s different. Now get your big, juicy J-Lo butt off me!” I flip us over again while she tries glaring at me, but her laughter makes it weak at best. “See how you like it!” I taunt and make a show of dropping down hard on her thighs, guffawing at her tortured expression.

“What the hell?!” A sharp male voice breaks through our laughter, and my hold on Jenna’s arms drops in a flash.

It’s only then I realize I’ve rolled us practically onto a stranger’s lap—and right into his lunch.

“Oh shit!” I clap a hand over my mouth as Jenna rolls to the side, the bread from this poor guy’s sandwich sticking to her arm, everything powdered in sand. “Oh my God. I’m so sorry.” I turn to the guy and feel my face flush. For probably the first time in my life, I’m stunned into silence.

Jenna jumps to her feet, brushing off sand and holding the droopy piece of bread out in front of her like she’s half expecting him to take it. “We’re sorry. Please, let me buy you another sandwich—whatever you want.”

His mouth is a hard line as he grunts through his teeth. “Forget about it.”

Before we can say another word, he turns and trudges off, leaving his ruined lunch and faded beach towel behind. But I can’t stop watching until he ducks past the boardwalk and out of sight, uneven steps making the journey take a lifetime.

Next to me, Jenna is clearing the lunch trash and folding up the guy’s towel. When she sees me still staring in the direction he’s gone, she tsks at me. “Jill, you know it’s not polite to stare. Come on. Help me with this trash.”

I know it’s not polite, but I can’t help it.

It’s clear Jenna thinks my reason for staring is the series of gauze bandages lining the exposed parts of his right side, starting at his hand and extending up his arm and neck to the shaved skin above his ear. From the labored way he walked, I suspect they even continue down his denim-covered leg, but I’ll never know for sure. The one thing I do know, though, is that this guy with the grim expression and countless wounds might just be the most beautiful boy I’ve ever seen.

I bend to help my sister and try to swallow down the sudden lump that’s lodged itself in my throat.



“Jenna Holloway?”

My heart lurches, and I barely stop myself from searching around in a panic for my sister. Deep breath, Jill. You can do this.

“That’s me!” I call out with a cheerful wave and my best superstar smile. I’m going to totally nail this.

The woman holds out her hand from behind the folding table. “I.D.”

I whip out Jenna’s driver’s license and hand it over with another smile.

She inspects it from behind her glasses and glances up at me a couple times before handing it back along with a clipboard. Yes! It worked! “Go ahead and fill this out, then wait for your name to be called again.” She barely pauses before calling out the next name.

I hug the clipboard to me until I find a concrete pillar to lean against and scrawl my responses to the questions. Name, Birthdate, and Address are easy enough, but I haven’t a clue what to put down for Phone Number so I leave it blank for now. Maybe I can borrow some money from Jenna and get a disposable phone. Acting Experience. I bite my lip and glance at the growing groups of girls around me. They range in age, size, ethnicity, and style, but we all have one thing in common: we’ll do just about anything to get a part on Brothers of Moon Bay.

“Oh my God!” A chorus of excited female voices echoes across the courtyard, with several girls whispering, “It’s Noah!” My heart beats double-time in my chest, and I start to get tunnel vision. I mean, I’ve dreamed about being on this show for the last two years, but the reality of occupying the same space as Noah Chandler and Tyler Lazos is as surreal as it gets.

“Damn, that boy is sex on a stick,” a brunette on the other side of the pillar says to the girl next to her.

“This time tomorrow, we could be sharing a screen with him!” Her friend grabs the brunette’s arm, and they both crane their necks to get a glimpse of the star of the CW’s hit show.

“Wait your turn, bitches,” I mutter under my breath as Noah finally comes into sight. He is indeed sex on a stick with his flashy smile and deceivingly innocent eyes, not to mention the muscle-wrapped body he obviously knows sends girls straight into daytime fantasyland. But I’m not here for him. I’m here to launch my career as Hollywood’s next big thing.

I send a silent thank you out to my parents for agreeing to spend our (sigh) “last summer vacation with our Jenna” as they put it, here in the Wilmington area. Not that it was that hard. The beaches are super charming, and Mom and Dad have already been raving about all the seafood restaurants, shopping, and golfing in the area. I pretended to be drawn to the same big boats and quaint boutiques, but my real reason for coming here was because I knew Brothers of Moon Bay would be filming a two-hour special this summer. And I’m destined to be a star.

Almost as quickly as he strolled into sight, Noah Chandler disappears through the doors of the main building across the courtyard. Sighs and whines can be heard all around, but I refocus on my paperwork.

Acting Experience.

Well, here goes nothing.



“Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God! I got a call-back!” I squeal into the phone three hours later, possibly rupturing my friend Madison’s eardrum.

“Are you serious? Oh my God. What am I talking about? Of course you’re serious! You wouldn’t dare joke about the Brothers! Oh my God, Jill! Promise you’ll take me to L.A. with you after graduation!”

“Duh!” A quick peek over my shoulder confirms that Jenna hasn’t followed me out to the sidewalk. She let me borrow her cell phone to call my bestie, but I don’t want her to know about the audition. I can’t risk her telling our parents. “I wouldn’t go anywhere without you.”

“Awww.” The sound of crunching fills my ear as Madison continues over what sounds like a mouthful of chips, “Now tell me all about it.”

I proceed to share every last detail of my fabulous audition, from the part where I nailed the climactic line of the scene (“Are you sure you don’t want mayo on that?”) to the part where the casting director told me I have a nice complexion. I knew all those hours of exfoliating would be worth it someday!

By the time we hang up, my jaw aches from smiling so hard and my chest is overflowing with excited anticipation. I’ve been asked to report to the set—THE set—tomorrow afternoon for some camera blocking, as they call it in the biz. I’ll just tell everyone I’m going to a local gym—Jenna won’t want to come because she says working out is boring. Which it totally is, but I need to work on my tone if I’m ever going to compete with Hollywood’s elite. I’m totally going to pull this off.

The midday sun is high in the sky, turning the sidewalk into a cooktop and drawing beads of sweat from my scalp. I take a chug from my water bottle—because good hydration is very important for your skin—and decide to run to the corner store a couple blocks down and get a bag of saltwater taffy to share with Jenna. It’ll be sort of like sharing my good news with her, right?

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