Chasing Olivia by Micalea Smeltzer
1. Lost at Sea-Zedd feat. Ryan Tedder
2. Gotta Be Tonight-Lifehouse
3. Highway Don't Care-Tim McGraw
4. Long Hot Summer-Keith Urban
5. Never Gonna Let You Go-Tony Lucca
6. Home-Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeroes
7. Light Me Up-Hunter Hayes
8. Best I Ever Had-Gavin Degraw
9. Mirrors-Boyce Avenue feat. Fifth Harmony
10. Wake Me Up-Avicii
11. Just a Dream-Nelly
12. Live for the Night-Krewella
13. Neon Lights-Demi Lovato
14. Burn-Ellie Goulding
15. Skin-Zola Jesus
16. Here with Me-Robot Koch feat. Susie Suh
17. Hear Ya Say-Tony Lucca
18. In the Air-Morgan Page
19. Made in the USA-Demi Lovato
21. Battle Scars-Lupe Fiasco & Guy Sebastian
22. Burning Bridges (Acoustic)-One Republic
23. Something I Need-One Republic
24. We Own the Night-The Wanted
25. First Time-Jonas Brothers
27. Pieces-Andrew Belle
28. Mirrors (Radio Edit)-Justin Timberlake
29. Fall Down-will.i.am feat. Miley Cyrus
30. Safe and Sound-Capital Cities
31. Let Her Go-Passenger
32. Who's Gonna Save Us-Gavin DeGraw
34. Marry Me-Jason Derulo
35. God Gave Me You-Blake Shelton
36. Carry Me-Morgan Page
37. Turning Page-Sleeping at Last
38. Blown Away-Carrie Underwood
39. Over the Rainbow-Jason Castro
40. I Believe-Timeflies
41. Aw Naw-Chris Young
42. Compass-Lady Antebellum
43. Love Don't Die-The Fray
44. Story of My Life-One Direction
45. All I Need-AWOLNATION
46. American Girl-Bonnie McKee
47. Cruise-Florida Georgia Line
48. Starry Eyed-Ellie Goulding
49. The Last Time-Taylor Swift feat. Gary Lightbody
50. Who Would've Known-Lee DeWyze
Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCNMGKb6xPQ
With a groan, I sat up. What the heck was going on? It had to be the middle of the night.
I climbed from the bed to investigate the strange sound. I couldn’t decide if it was someone knocking on the apartment door or something else. The noise was strange…
Once I was out of the bedroom, it was easy to deduce that the noise was, indeed, someone at the door. But they definitely weren’t knocking on it with their fist. It sounded more like they were using their whole body…or head…
Scared to go to the door—because let’s face it, I wasn’t exactly the strongest person on the planet—I went to wake up Trace.
“Trace,” I pushed his shoulder, trying to rouse him from sleep. “Trace,” I shook him a bit harder.
“Huh?” His eyes cracked open a bit, just a thin slit of green showing through.
“There’s someone at the door,” I hissed.
“What time is it?” He rubbed his eyes, yawning.
“Two,” I muttered, looking at the clock beside the bed. “I don’t know who it is and I’m scared to open the door,” I admitted reluctantly, playing with the ends of my hair.
He sat up and rolled out of bed, pulling on a pair of jeans, which he left unbuttoned. “I’ll check it out,” he assured me, kissing the end of my nose.
I tiptoed behind him and out of the bedroom. He undid the deadbolt and slowly opened the door.
Whoever was standing there fell into his arms.
“Avery?” I gasped, taking in the vibrant red hair.
“Mhmmmmitsme,” she slurred drunkenly.
Since she seemed to have lost the ability to move her legs, Trace picked her up, and gently laid her down on the couch.
I grabbed a bottle of water before kneeling beside her. She was completely wasted and the dress she’d worn to Nick and Nora’s wedding was ruined. It was covered in grass and mud stains, as was her body.
My eyes widened, zeroing in on something wrapped around her neck. I gasped when I realized what it was.
“Avery! Why is your underwear around your neck?” I bit my lip to hold back laughter. I mean, it wasn’t every day your best friend showed up at your place drunk with underwear around her neck.
“Huh?” She looked at me with bleary eyes and fingered the silky string of fabric around her neck. “Must have taken em’ off.”
“Obviously,” I snorted. “What were you doing?”
“I’m pretty sure it involved beer and sex in a field…by the way, don’t ever try that,” she warned Trace and me, pointing at us with a shaky finger, “it really itches.”
With a shake of my head I padded out of the bedroom and into the kitchen, determined to make Trace a delicious breakfast. While I could cook well, Trace usually made all our meals because he loved it. The man was perfect…except for his dancing.
I pulled out the carton of eggs and set about making scrambled eggs.
By the time Trace came out of the bedroom, the eggs were ready and I’d fried bacon.
“I’ve been thinking,” he started, leaning against the doorway to the bedroom, his hair sticking up adorably in every direction.
“About what?” I asked, placing our plates on the bar-top that overlooked the kitchen.
“I—we—need to get away.”
“We do?” I raised a brow.
“Yeah,” he rubbed a hand over his stubbled jaw before stifling a yawn. Rumpled and straight out of bed, he was still the sexiest man I’d ever seen…it probably helped that he was shirtless and my mouth was watering at the sight of his bare chest. Seriously, how did guys get that V? It was a woman’s undoing. It made smart girls do stupid things…I would know. “It’s been a long time since we’ve been anywhere. You’ve graduated and I know Marcy wouldn’t care if you took off for a bit,” he shrugged. “Pete understands and Gramps…well…he’ll have to get over it.”
“Where would we even go?” I questioned.
He smiled. “Nowhere. Everywhere. It doesn’t matter.” He strode across the room until he was in front of me. He grabbed me by both arms and bent his tall frame so he could look me in the eye. “We’ve both been going through the motions for so long, Olivia. We need to get our spark back.”
“Our spark back?” I looked at him like he was crazy.
“Our spark for life. I miss all those crazy adventures we had when we were crossing things off your list. The spontaneity, the craziness, I miss that.”
“I miss it too,” I admitted.
While the past two years had been great, I understood what he meant. We’d become like an old married couple, content to stay in and do nothing. But when we’d been crossing things off my Live List, we’d had so much fun, and had so many crazy adventures.
Yeah…I wanted more adventures.
“But what would we do?” I asked him.
He surprised me by grabbing my cheeks and smacking his lips against mine. I’m pretty sure he slobbered on me too. Ugh, that was Trace for you.
His green eyes were full of excitement. “Let’s go on a road trip.”
“A road trip?” I repeated, mulling over the idea.
He nodded giddily, dancing on the balls of his feet. “Yeah, we could head north. Maybe visit the lake house in Maine.”
“This is crazy,” I shook my head. “We both have jobs, Trace, and what about Ace?” I pointed to the dog currently sprawled on the floor licking his paw.
“I already told you, they won’t mind if we take off. As for Ace, Trent will take care of him. The freak has a ferret, I’m pretty sure he can handle a dog. Please, Olivia,” he begged, even jutting out his lower lip. He wasn’t fighting fair.
I decided not to think about it. Sometimes, thinking got you in trouble, and you needed to jump in feet first and think about the consequences later.
“Let’s do it.”
“Well,” he stood, grabbing his guitar case, “I better get ready.”
“You already signed up to sing, didn’t you?” I questioned. “Before we even got here?”
He nodded. “I always have an agenda, babe,” he kissed my cheek before heading for the stage area. He bent to speak with someone, whom I assumed was a manager at the bar, and then he was escorted behind the stage.
I really hoped he didn’t do something to humiliate me. But knowing Trace, the lengths to which he’d go to embarrass me were endless.
I turned in my barstool, so I could see the stage better.
Somebody’s arm brushed mine and I jerked in response.
“Sorry,” they said, and their voice was way too close for comfort. I turned my head sharply and found a guy about my age sitting in Trace’s vacant chair. He had curly blonde hair and pale blue eyes clouded over from alcohol.
“Can I help you?” I questioned, giving the guy the benefit of the doubt.
“I just saw you sittin’ here and thought you looked lonely,” he slurred with a grin, leaning much too close to me. Somebody needed to teach this guy the rules of personal space because he was all up in my bubble, and if it popped, I could not be held accountable for my actions.
“I’m not lonely,” I said sternly, glaring at him, “so run along now.” I waved my hand in dismissal, hoping he got the message.
He grabbed my arm, squeezing much to tight. I bit down on my lip, breathing in and out sharply, hoping to avoid a panic attack. I hadn’t done well with strangers touching me after what Aaron did to me.
“There’s no need to play hard to get,” he flipped a stray blonde curl out of his eyes.
“I’m not playing anything,” I tried to yank my arm from his grasp but he was too strong. “Let me go!” I screamed as panic crawled up my throat. Tears burned my eyes. I pulled my arm again and this time I managed to get him to let go, but I went falling from my seat in the process and landed on the ground, smacking the side of my face sharply against the concrete floor.
“Olivia!” I heard Trace yell, his voice echoing around the whole bar as he yelled into the microphone. I’d been so preoccupied with Mr. Touchy Feely that I hadn’t seen him come out on stage.
Before I had a chance to move, Trace’s familiar scent surrounded me, and his large hands were on my body picking me up.
“Olivia,” he whispered, looking me over. “You’re bleeding.”
I reached up and felt around my eye. My fingers came away with a small smearing of blood. “It’s not that bad,” I shrugged.
His jaw was clenched tight and his eyes screamed murder. “You’re hurt.” He shoved me behind him and glared at Mr. Touchy Feely who was still sitting in his former seat.
“I didn’t do anything,” he held his hands up in surrender. “She just fell.”
“She didn’t just fall,” Trace seethed. “You grabbed her arm and you wouldn’t let go. When a girls says no, it means no!” Suddenly, he was reaching out and grabbing the guy by the shirt collar and lifting him out of the chair.
Holy shit, I knew Trace was strong, but this guy was double his size and built like a linebacker.
“Dude, let me go,” Mr. Touchy Feely tried to pry Trace’s hands off of him, but it was pointless. Trace was in a rage and there was no stopping him. “I wasn’t gonna hurt her.”
“I don’t care what your intentions were,” Trace growled, right up in the guy’s face as he shoved him into a wall. “When a girl tells you to let her go, guess what? You let her go!” He shook the guy forcefully.
I hadn’t seen Trace get this angry in a long time…not since Aaron attacked me. Trace was an easygoing guy and it took a lot to get him riled.
“Trace,” I whispered, placing my hand on his taut arm. “I’m okay.”
Slowly, he turned his head towards me, and some of the anger drained out of him. He released the guy, but not before giving him a hard enough shove that he went sprawling to the ground. The guy looked up in disbelief. For a second I thought he might attack Trace but instead he chose to pick himself up and walk away. I guess he wasn’t as dumb as he looked.
“Stay here,” Trace growled, bowing his head as he walked away. The brim of the fedora hid his gaze from me and I chewed my lip nervously.
Within seconds he was back, his guitar case slung over his shoulder. “We’re leaving,” he took my hand and practically dragged me out of the building.
People stared as we passed, the blue lights in the bar making them look strange—almost alien.
We drove back to the motel in silence, his grip so tight on the steering wheel that his knuckles turned white, and his jaw was clenched. I wanted to say something, but I figured silence was better.
He opened the motel door, letting me in first. I sat on the edge of the bed, nervously fiddling with the edge of my tank top. “Trace—”
“I’ll be back,” he said in a steely tone, slamming the door closed behind him as he left. I jumped at the noise.
My bottom lip trembled with the threat of tears, but I wouldn’t cry. I couldn’t.
Frustrated, I tore off my clothes and changed into pajamas.
I climbed under the itchy covers; eyes wide open.
Let him leave.
I didn’t care.
Honestly, I didn’t.
Okay, I did.
And that’s why it hurt.
About the Author:
Micalea Smeltzer is an author from Virginia. Her name is pronounced Muh-call-e-uh. She is permanently glued to her computer, where she constantly writes. She has to listen to music when she writes and has a playlist for every book she’s ever started. When she’s not writing, she can be found reading a book or playing with her three dogs.
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Finding Olivia Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1hOGsGV
Chasing Olivia Amazon US: http://amzn.to/KeokLo
Finding Olivia: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17931161-finding-olivia
Chasing Olivia: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18484048-chasing-olivia