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Fractions of seconds can do lots of damage. One decision can ruin lives. A blink can be tragic. And loving a Hollister…can hurt like hell.
I would know.
They say the average person can hold their breath under water for two full minutes when pushed to the extremes. Will Hollister has been holding his for years. The oldest of two elite swimming brothers, Will was always a dominant force in the water. But in life, he preferred to let his younger
brother Evan be the one to shine.
Evan got the girl, and Will…he got to bury all of the secrets. A brother’s burden, the weight of it all nearly left him to drown.
The daughter of two Olympians, my path was set the day my fingertips first touched water. My future was as crystal clear as the lane I dominated in the pool—swim hard, win big, love a Hollister.
My life with Evan burned bright. He gave me arms to come home to, and a smile that fooled the world into believing everything was perfect. But it was Will who pushed me. Will…who really knew me.
And when all of the pieces fell, it was Will who started to pick them up.
In the end, the only thing that matters are those few precious seconds—and what we decide to do while we still have them in our grasp.
I wait while he types, bringing my knees up and cupping my phone in my
hands, like I want to keep his messages a secret for only me. When my
phone buzzes with his call instead, I feel my cheeks grow warm, and I
scrunch my legs in tighter as I bring the phone to my ear.
“Hey,” I say.
“How’d you know it was me?” he chuckles.
“I already gave you a special ring,” I lie. “A Fat Elvis song.”
“Wow, Fat Elvis. I don’t even warrant skinny, movie-star Elvis,” he says.
“Fat Elvis is better,” I say, stretching my legs out and crossing my
ankles as he laughs.
“I think we need to explore this more,” he says.
“There really is no debate. His music meant more when he was older. More
emotion,” I reply.
“You mean more drugs,” he fires back.
“Better clothes.” That response makes him laugh hard, and I love the way I
hear it coming from his chest, like it’s deep—genuine.
“I liken myself to more of a Jail House Rock kinda guy, is all,” he says,
“Hmmm,” I hum, lowering myself so my head is propped against the door, and
I’m now lying on the floor, as close to him as I can be without leaving my
“What, you don’t think I have moves? These hips—they swivel, darlin’,” he
says with a slight twang.
“That they do,” I respond, pulling a few strands of my hair in front of my
face, hiding from the flirtatious words I just said. Will chuckles more,
but after a second or two, it’s nothing but the sound of his room on one
end meeting the sounds in mine.
“Your lip ticks up, like Elvis,” he says, breaking the silence just as I
feel my blush crawling down my neck and onto my chest.
I punch out a laugh and roll to my side.
“Does not!” I say, feeling my face, my mouth higher on one side. Son of a
“It does,” he laughs lightly. “Always has.”
I wait for the quiet to settle in again. I wait to be braver with him.
“Just how many things have you noticed about me, Will Hollister?” The
second my question is done, my words are replaced by the rapid pounding of
my pulse, but my face—it’s still smiling. So hard it hurts.
“Let’s see,” he says, and I hear him settling into his bed, his voice
muffling as his phone presses against his face. “I noticed that you can’t
stand having your hair pulled up in anything. When we swim, you pull your
cap off the second we’re done.”
“Well that’s sexy,” I say, covering my face and mentally kicking myself
for letting that one slip out.
“Oh, you wanted sexy things…” he says, and I open my mouth to say no, but
shut it quickly, curious over exactly what he’ll say next. “I have lots of
those, too, besides the Elvis-lip thing, which yes, Maddy, is so fuckin’
“Oh,” I blush, my thumbnail quickly moving between my teeth.
“Let’s see, first, there’s the way your legs curve along your quads, the
muscle that’s there giving them this edge. The athlete part of me likes
how hard you had to train to make it that way,” he says.
“What does the…” I pause, taking a quick breath, “man side of you think?”
I ask, now so red that even my arms look flushed.
“Oh, the man side…” he growls low, a rumble from his chest. “That part of
me likes the ride my hand takes when it starts just above your knee, then
glides slowly up your leg to your panties, my fingertips tracing that
lacey band that runs along the inside of your thigh and up over your hip.”
“And then there’s the way your neck curves into your shoulder, the way
your hair tickles your skin and makes you get goosebumps—just like it does
when I kiss you there,” he says, and my body shivers at the memory of his
mouth against me.
“Your eyes do this thing, just before you race, where they haze and close
in on their prey. I always imagined what it would be like for you to look
at me like that,” he says.
“Haven’t I?” I ask, waiting a breath while he considers what I’m asking.
“Looked at you that way,” I fill in. “When we…”
“Maddy, I was so focused on every other part of your body that day, I
don’t remember what your eyes looked like,” he laughs.
“Well maybe next time you will,” I say.
“Next time.” I can hear his grin in his words.
“Yeah,” I breathe. “Next time.”
The quiet comes again, filled only by the sound of his breathing, his
breath a long draw that sounds as a warning in my ear. I chew at my nail,
“Maddy,” he says, finally.
“Yes?” I sit up and crawl to my knees.
I hear his door open across the hall, and I stand, pressing my palm and
forehead against mine.
“Let me in.”
☆¨* GIVEAWAY *¨☆
Ginger Scott is an Amazon-bestselling and Goodreads Choice Award-nominated author of several young and new adult romances, including Waiting on the Sidelines, Going Long, Blindness, How We Deal With Gravity, This Is Falling, You and Everything After, The Girl I Was Before, Wild Reckless, Wicked Restless, In Your Dreams and The Hard Count.
A sucker for a good romance, Ginger’s other passion is sports, and she often blends the two in her stories. (She’s also a sucker for a hot quarterback, catcher, pitcher, point guard…the list goes on.) Ginger has been writing and editing for newspapers, magazines and blogs for more than 15 years. She has told the stories of Olympians, politicians, actors, scientists, cowboys, criminals and towns. For more on her and her work, visit her website at http://www.littlemisswrite.com.
When she’s not writing, the odds are high that she’s somewhere near a baseball diamond, either watching her son field pop flies like Bryce Harper or cheering on her favorite baseball team, the Arizona Diamondbacks. Ginger lives in Arizona and is married to her college sweetheart whom she met at ASU (fork ’em, Devils).