Hold on Tight - Sea Breeze #8 - Abbi Glines Page 0,1

He and his pack of friends ran the school. They owned it.

On our first day of high school, Dustin had left me behind to hang out with the basketball team and the older guys who were more than willing to bring him into the fold. I was the girl who didn’t know many people because of my strict parents. Dewayne, however, found me in the hallway at school that day. He helped me get through it. For my first lunch in the big cafeteria, Dustin had gone to sit with his new friends and not invited me. I was extremely intimidated by the place, so I found a spot by a tree outside to eat my lunch. Alone. Until Dewayne Falco found me and sat down beside me. It was that way for a while. But the more attention he showed me, the more attention Dustin began to show me. Soon I was Dustin’s girl.

“I love you, baby. You’re my girl. I hate that we have to rush and I can’t take you to a bed and surround you with candlelight. That’s what you deserve. It’s what I want for you. But right now we have to sneak around your parents. One day you’ll be free. We won’t have them watching your every move.”

I nodded. He was right. One day I would go to college and my father’s overprotective eyes wouldn’t be trained on me. He would have to let me make my own choices.

“I love you, too,” I told him.

He grinned, then leaned in to kiss me. It was a soft peck. After sex Dustin liked to treat me as if I were a treasure. He never wanted me to doubt that he cherished me. It was these few moments that made the rest of it worth it. Because the truth was, I didn’t like sex. It was uncomfortable and painful, and I didn’t understand why girls liked it so much. From the look on Dustin’s face whenever he got off, I could see that it was fantastic for him. But I never had that feeling. Aside from enjoying seeing him feel pleasure, I dreaded having to do it.

“We have fifteen minutes to get you home,” Dustin said. This was a nightly ritual with us. He would take me home, then run off to a party or to go play basketball. It was painful to imagine him being around other girls, drinking and staying out late. I had told him once that it worried me that he would get tired of my parents’ rules and break up with me. He’d assured me he loved me and only me. Always.


I jerked my head around, startled by his outburst, to see him holding up his used condom. The come that was supposed to be neatly inside was coating the outside of the latex.

“Motherfucking condom broke,” he swore, before slinging it out the window. “That’s the second time this has happened with the box I bought last week. I’m getting a different brand,” he grumbled.

“I didn’t know another one had broken,” I said, trying to remember the time spent in the back of Dustin’s car the past week.

His face paled a moment, and then he shrugged. “I didn’t want to worry you. It pissed me off and I forgot. But that’s twice now. I’ll get us new ones. Don’t worry,” he said with a wink, then tugged his jeans up and fastened them.

“Let’s get you home.” He opened the door and climbed out, before reaching in and taking my hand to help me. Once we were both standing outside, he wrapped his arms around me and inhaled deeply. “I don’t know what I’d do without you, Sienna. I love you so goddamn much. You’re my center. You keep me focused and grounded. I can trust you with anything.”

This was the Dustin I knew. My best friend. The guy across the street I had known all my life. Not the popular jock who drank too much at parties.

I stood on my tiptoes to kiss him, and he still had to lean down so I could reach his lips. Dustin was already two inches taller than his older brother. The Falco boys were tall. But Dewayne had wider shoulders and the kind of muscles that only men had. Dustin was still a boy. But he was my boy.

Still, that didn’t keep me from looking at Dewayne whenever I could get away with it. When Dewayne was outside washing his car, I was up in