This is a crossover novella featuring characters from both the Seaside and Ruin series*
Lead singer of AD2 Demetri Daniels only wants one thing...
To marry the love of his life and make the day perfect for her.
But perfect isn't exactly happening, not with his sister-in-law going into labor, or with rabid fans discovering their wedding location, or birds suddenly attacking the rehearsal dinner.
It doesn't help matters that his bride to be is starstruck as
singer Ashton Hyde makes a drop in appearance to start recording his new album.
Nothing is going right.
And it's about to get worse.
Something flashed by my window.
Awesome, the night before I’m going to get married a freaking bird was going to break into my room and kill me.
Well, I’d had a good run with her.
Something else flew by.
Holy shit, why were seagulls out this late?
Didn’t they have a curfew? Like all spawns of Satan?
I wasn’t making it up. Something else flew by and then landed on the windowsill.
Slowly, as to not scare it into attacking me, I turned on my side.
A freaking bat.
Great. Another animal to add to my hate list.
“Shoo!” I waved my hand at it.
It stayed put.
Seaside had bats. Who knew? Or maybe this one had flown all the way up from South America just to haunt me. No really. If it could happen, it would happen to me.
“Yo,” I called. “You need to go.”
The bat stayed.
I needed a gun.
Or a giant-ass Tonka trunk to throw at it.
“Seriously…” I held my hands in front of my face. “…this is the moneymaker, all I got. Well, that and the voice. You ruin this, you disappoint women everywhere.”
The bat was unfazed. Maybe it was friendly? Like Dracula from Sesame Street?
I reached forward.
It lurched back just far enough for me to pull the window shut.
“Sucker!” I pointed at it and stuck my tongue out just as it took a dive toward the window.
Cursing, I fell backward on my ass.
My door jerked open. “Hey, you okay in here? I could have sworn I heard yelling… and why… are you on the floor?” Jaymeson cocked his head to the side.
“Why are you at my house?”
Jaymeson shrugged. “I live next door in that giant-ass beach house during filming, remember?”
“Which still doesn’t explain why you’re in my bedroom.”
“I watch you while you sleep then eat chocolate over your quiet body and take Polaroids to stash under my pillow. Why else would I be here? We’re out of popcorn.”
“Oh good, because that first explanation sounded way too detailed to be a lie.” I pushed up to my feet. “Now go home.”
“The girls are hanging out… watching movies. By the way, why are you in bed so early? It’s ten.”
“Easy. I’m so sexually frustrated and keyed-up. I figured a Nyquil-induced state would be the only thing to keep me from breaking down Lyss’s door across the hall.”
“No, seriously. She said she trusts you so much she’s leaving it open all night long…” Jaymeson did a little jig in front of me. “…all night long. All night.”
“Go be British elsewhere.”
“Not your mate.”
“Okay, now you’re just being annoying and saying words that people don’t even use in real life anymore.”
“Not true.” Jaymeson thrust his hand into the air. “One time—“
“Go home, Jaymeson.”
“I have an idea, though.” He shrugged. “Let’s have a bro night while the girls watch movies.”
“I’m sexually frustrated, and you want to sit next to me?”
“The man has a point.” He huffed. “Well then, good luck with...” He pointed at my body. “…that. And if all else fails, cold showers, friend.”
“Want me to sing you a lullaby with my accent? Does it for Pris every time. Then again, it’s not hard to—“
Chuckling, he lifted his hands into the air and backed up. “Fine. See you on the other side.”
The door slammed.
And I was left more wide awake than I was before.
I was just getting ready to jump back into bed when my door slammed open and Alyssa launched her tiny body in my direction like a lion attacking a zebra.
Her mouth was on mine.
Her tongue, touching my tongue.
Her breasts pressed against my naked chest.
And sadly, pushed her away.
“Say it again… I dare you,” I whispered against her lips.
“You ate three fish meant for seals today.”
I kissed her again. “I also sang One Direction. Give me my prize, woman.”
“Prizes come tomorrow night.”
“Can they come tonight too?” I joked.
She smacked me on the shoulder. “Goodnight, Dem!”
“Goodnight, love of my life, sexiest woman on the planet. Oh, and PS, Jaymeson offered to sing me a lullaby. He was going to fix the problem, and here you go…” I pointed down in exasperation. “…and stir things up again.”
She tilted her head, a seductive smile curving around those lush lips. “Mad because I’m good with my hands?”
“How good?” I croaked, not so sure I wanted to hear the answer, considering I was ready to explode on the spot.
Her voice dripped with sex. “Wanna see?”
I nodded, mouth dry. Hell yes.
With a saucy grin, she waved them in front of her face and winked.
“Cute. It’s like sign language for the lion to come out and play. Do it again. See if I don’t chase you down the hall and claim any prize I can get my hands on. Go ahead. Run antelope, run!”
“Ha.” She threw her head back and laughed. “I’ll see you in the morning… Just think. This is the last night you have to sleep all by your lonesome.”
“There was a bat!” I said in desperation.
Lyss’s eyes narrowed as she peeked under the covers. “In your bed?”
“No!” I coughed, swatting her hand away. “At the window. It taunted me, said… mean things.”
“The bat talked to you.”
“No, well…” I scratched my head. “…tt communicated with its eyes.” Yeah, that so wasn’t helping my case.
“And it said… ‘I’m going to kill you in your sleep’?”
Awesome. I could have really done without the cheesy Count Dracula voice.
She crossed her arms. “Dem, was there really a bat?”
“YES!” I went over to the window. “It was right here.”
She squinted and walked over. “Wow, look at that bat-filled sky. It’s just… insane.”
“I’m not lying.”
“Cute excuse, a bat. Didn’t see that one coming.” She laughed. “Love you.”
The door closed.
With a curse, I glanced back at the window, only to see the bat sitting there again, freaking glaring at me like some demon-possessed creature. Swear, it’s eyes were even red.
“I’ll get you,” I vowed.
Really, that should have been my cue right there. Seeing a bat was like seeing a black cat, right? Because the next day… though I was convinced was going to go as planned…
Rachel Van Dyken is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today Bestselling author of regency and contemporary romances. When she's not writing you can find her drinking coffee at Starbucks and plotting her next book while watching The Bachelor.
She keeps her home in Idaho with her Husband and their snoring Boxer, Sir Winston Churchill. She loves to hear from readers! You can follow her writing journey at www.rachelvandykenauthor.com