If you’ve read Rae of Sunshine here’s another scene from Cade’s POV. I promised the mouth-to-mouth scene if Rae made it into the top 25 overall in the kindle store and it did! So this is my treat to you guys.
I hope you all have a Merry Christmas! (And Trace + Olivia fans, don’t forget there’s a bonus Christmas short story on their Extras page from last year.)
If you have not read Rae of Sunshine yet, then you should wait to read this.
Cade’s POV The mouth to mouth scene
Xander said something, but I didn’t hear him.
My hand tightened around the bottle of beer I held as my eyes zeroed in on the girl walking into the pool area with my sister Thea. That dark hair and those super long legs could only belong to one person. The girl that had been haunting my thoughts since I accidently knocked into her. I knew it had to be Rae, and I willed her to turn my way so that I could be one-hundred percent certain.
She didn’t turn to look at me, but she did look away from Thea, and it was definitely Rae.
A question plagued me, though, how the hell did she know my sister?
That one thought alone made my stomach twist.
From the way she’d dismissed me so easily when I met her, I thought she was different from other girls—and didn’t know, or care, who I was. But maybe I was wrong. Maybe I had misjudged her and she was using my sister to get to me.
But surely, if that were the case, she’d be looking around for me…right?
Instead, her eyes flitted around and she seemed nervous. She didn’t even wear a swimsuit.
“Dude, are you even listening to me?” Xander asked, knocking his hand against my shoulder.
“No,” I replied. Why lie? “I’ll be right back,” I mumbled. My eyes followed Rae and my sister as they found a place to sit on some of the empty lounge chairs.
I saw them talking, and Rae looked down as if she was irritated, or maybe just upset.
I didn’t even know her, but for some reason the thought of her being upset bothered me. She already looked so sad. I wanted to see her smile more.
Thea spotted me and started waving enthusiastically.
“Cade! Come over here and meet my friend!”
I fought my smile when Rae’s body stiffened. She recognized my name, but she didn’t look over at me. Not yet.
“Hi,” I chuckled at the irony of the situation, “I’m Cade Montgomery.”
She winced and slowly looked up at me. She was definitely surprised, so that was good. It meant she wasn’t using my sister.
“Cade.” She ground out my name between her teeth. Her eyes seethed with anger.
“Rae,” I replied, grinning as my eyes raked over her body.
I heard my sister’s mouth pop open. “You two know each other?”
I started to explain the situation to Thea when Rae’s head whipped in her direction and she spat, “If being tackled to the ground by this ogre counts as knowing each other then the answer is yes.”
I pressed my lips together, trying not to laugh.
Thea’s brows furrowed together as she looked up at me with a confused expression. “You tackled her? I’m confused. Ohhh, is ‘tackled’ a code word for sex? I’m not good at reading between the lines.”
Once again, Rae beat me in explaining. “He tackled me. As in the normal sense of the word tackled.” She looked appalled at the thought of us together. I should’ve probably been offended, but it only made me like her more.
“Why’d you do that?” Thea glared at me like I must’ve planned to tackle her roommate.
“It was an accident,” I ran my fingers through my hair. “I can see that you’ve recovered just fine.” I gave Rae a measured look.
She rolled her eyes and I couldn’t resist my smile. “So, how’ve you been, Rae?”
She glared at me and stretched out on the lounge chair. “I’ve been just dandy, and right now I’m in need of a nap.”
I stared at her, grinning.
I suppressed a laugh when she opened one eye.
“Stop staring at me,” she groaned, her voice laced with venom. “I can’t sleep with you watching me.”
I laughed. She was amusing—definitely a lot more interesting than most girls.
I lifted my arms, bringing attention to the chaos of the pool party. “How can anyone sleep with all this noise?” Before she could reply I crouched down and whispered, “You can’t avoid me, Rae.” I stared into her eyes, trying to get her to see that I cared. Yeah, it was stupid, since we’d only just met, but I truly did care. Only a stupid person wouldn’t see that she was hurting.
“I’m not trying to.” She stared right back.
I smiled at her words. She wasn’t fooling me. In a low voice full of promise I said, “See you in the morning.”
I left quickly before she could make a smartass comment—because I knew she would.
Most people would probably think she was a bitch, because she could be rather rude, but I saw past that. Beneath her tough exterior she was hurt, and I was going to find out why.
A little while later Xander made his way over to where Rae and Thea sat.
He must’ve thought I was stupid if he didn’t think I noticed how he looked at my little sister. I didn’t like it, not at all. But even I had to admit that Xander would be a good choice for her. Where Thea was a wild and spontaneous, Xander was quiet and grounded. He was probably one of the only guys on the planet that could calm the raging storm that was my sister. That didn’t mean I was going to encourage a relationship, though.
After a while I made my way over to them once more. Jace had joined them and frankly I didn’t feel like chatting with my teammates any longer. If I had to listen to Eric talk about one of his many conquests for a second longer I might punch him.
I saw Rae’s back stiffen at my approach, and I smiled at that. It looked I affected her as much as she did me. Good to know.
Instead of grabbing a chair from a nearby table I sat down on the lounger Rae occupied. She promptly pulled her legs up to her chest like my presence alone had electrocuted her.
I smiled knowingly and she looked away.
I engaged in conversation with Thea and Xander, while Rae stayed quiet lost in her thoughts.
When Rae moved to sit sideways like me I moved a bit closer to her. Her eyes burned on the little bit of space between us, like she was daring me to close the distance just so she could yell at me.
Finally, I couldn’t take another moment of her silence and asked, “So, Rae, what brings you to Huntley University?”
She looked at me like I was the dumbest person on the planet and replied, “Uh…I wanted a degree and college seemed like the most logical place to achieve that.”
“You’re a sassy little thing, aren’t you?” I grinned, suppressing a laugh. She stared at me like I’d grown three heads. “It was a compliment,” I shrugged.
“If that’s what you call a compliment then you’re really shitty at them.”
Across from us Xander snorted and I leveled him with a glare. He quickly turned his laugh into a cough.
“Excuse me,” Rae said, standing up and gliding past us. She seemed flustered.
I stared after her, wondering if I’d done something to upset her.
A guy passed her, not paying attention since he was talking to his friends, and bumped her.
She let out a small scream, flailing her arms to regain her balance and fell straight into the pool.
“Oh my God!” Thea screamed, both of us jumping to our feet. Her eyes met mine, full of panic. “Cade! She can’t swim!”
It only took me a second to compute her words.
“Shit,” I cursed, throwing off my shirt.
I dove straight into the water after her. She wasn’t even trying to swim and her body was sinking to the bottom of the pool. The other idiots in the water were completely oblivious.
Since she wasn’t moving I worried she’d hit her head or something.
I got closer to her and reached out, wrapping an arm around her body. I brought her to my chest and pushed my feet against the bottom of the pool, surging us upwards. We broke the surface and she didn’t gasp for air. Her head hung limply, her body immobile.
Jace and Xander waited by the edge of the pool and reached down to grab her. They hauled her out of the water and jumped out.
“She’s not breathing,” Thea cried, and Xander reached out, wrapping his arms around her in comfort.
A crowd was gathering now, realizing that something serious had happened.
I dismissed them from my mind, focusing on giving her mouth-to-mouth. It’d been years since I’d taken the class in high school, but right about now I was really hoping it came back to me—sort of like how you never really forgot how to ride a bike.
I went through the motions, breathing into her mouth and pumping her chest, while praying silently for her to be okay.
It seemed like an hour had gone by, but I knew it was really only like a minute or two, when she sat up and water spurted out of her mouth.
I breathed a sigh of relief.
Her chest rose and fell harshly as she struggled to get enough air, but she was breathing and that’s what mattered.
I put a hand to her shoulder and asked, “Are you okay?”
She turned to look at me, but it was like she didn’t quite realize what had happened.
“Are you okay?” I repeated.
She nodded slowly, still looking confused. Her eyes scanned the water dripping from my hair onto my face. “D-did y-you? Did you jump in after me?”
She looked so surprised that I’d come to her rescue.
“Thea said you couldn’t swim,” I shrugged, “so of course I jumped in after you. A bit too late though. You’d already sucked down a lot of water. I had to give you mouth to mouth.”
Her eyes widened and her mouth parted in shock as she shivered. She ducked her head, seeming embarrassed by the situation.
I guessed maybe it was a little embarrassing, and didn’t help that people had gathered around us staring.
“Back up everyone,” I glared, daring the people surrounding us to argue with me, “you’re crowding her.”
Rae gave me a relieved smile when they left.
Grabbing the back of her neck, I asked her again, “Are you okay?”
This time my words seemed to get through to her.
“Yeah, I’m okay.” She nodded.
I reached out and helped her to stand. Her legs wobbled and she leaned on me for support. “I have some spare clothes in my Jeep,” I told her, leading her towards the parking lot, “I don’t expect you to stay, but I don’t want you going back to your dorm soaking.” Her clothes were plastered to her skin and she couldn’t stop shivering. I didn’t think she even realized that she was shivering.
Once we reached my Jeep I grabbed my gym bag from the back, producing a clean shirt. “I have some shorts in there if you want those too.”
“This is fine.” She reached for the shirt, never meeting my eyes.
I tightened my hold on the garment and dropped it on the seat.
I could see how weak she was and some kind of fierce protectiveness overtook my body.
I reached for her soaked shirt, but she swatted my hands away. “What the hell are you doing?” She shrieked.
“Helping you.” Wasn’t that obvious? “How’d you guys get here?” I asked Thea, who hovered near the gate.
“Rae drove,” she answered.
“Get your stuff and go get her car and bring it over here. I want you guys to go back to the dorm.”
“I don’t want to drive Thea away from the party,” Rae mumbled, looking down at the ground.
I grinned. I had the perfect idea. “I can take you back to your dorm. Thea grab Rae’s bag.”
Once Thea was gone I grabbed Rae’s shirt again. This time she wasn’t prepared. I tugged it off and winced at the sight of the scar on her abdomen. It looked painful and I wondered how she’d gotten it.
“What happened?” I asked. It pained me to know that she’d been hurt.
“Something I don’t want to talk about,” she snapped, and I felt bad for prying. I didn’t like people prying into my private life so I understood where she was coming from. I was still a stranger to her, and she wasn’t sure she could trust me.
“Okay,” I sighed, letting it go. I slipped the shirt over her head. The shirt was much too large for her, but I liked seeing her wear it. I guessed it was the caveman in me.
She looked up and my eyes narrowed, wondering what she was looking at. I clenched my teeth so that I didn’t laugh when I realized she was staring at my chest.
“I don’t have another clean shirt.”
She looked at me doubtfully.
Thea returned then, handing Rae her bag. “I can take you back to the dorms if you want me to,” my sister told her.
“I’m fine,” she assured her, digging in her purse. “I can drive myself.”
I balked. “Nice try.” I snatched her car keys from her hands.
“You,” I pointed at my sister, “can drive her car home when you’re ready to leave. I’m taking Rae back to the dorms.”
I ended up in a staring war with my sister. I could see in her eyes that she thought I was being an asshole. But I didn’t want Rae to go back to her dorm alone. And Thea taking her back wasn’t enough for me. I had to see for myself that she was truly okay.
When Thea finally looked away I realized Rae was gone. I still had her keys, so where had she gone?
And that’s when I saw her walking towards the exit.
I ran after her, a growl rumbling in my chest.
I caught up to her easily and tossed her over my shoulder.
Did she really think I was going to let her walk all the way back to the dorms? This girl was insane.
“Put me down!” She screamed, beating at me and trying to wiggle out of my grasp.
I laughed, and opened the passenger door of my Jeep. I set her inside as gently as possible.
Before she could try and run away again I made sure to get in the car and drive away. I doubted she’d try to take a tumble out of a moving vehicle.
“Who are you?” She snapped angrily.
“I’m Cade,” I grinned. “Did your tumble into the swimming pool cause you to lose your memory?”
“There’s nothing wrong with my memory. I was just assuming you were the President or some member of the royal family with how fucking bossy you are.”
I laughed. “I have never met a girl like you before.”
“I can’t figure you out,” she muttered under her breath.
I could feel her glare burning into me.
It’s obvious you’re a big deal on campus. Guys want to be you and girls want to fuck you, just to say they did. And yet, you’re following me around like some lost little puppy dog. If you’re trying to make up for knocking me down that day, consider yourself forgiven. It was an accident. And I don’t like you running with me. You need to stop that. I like to run by myself.”
“No can do.” I shook my head. Running with Rae was one of the only things I had to look forward to. Even if she didn’t talk to me being in her presence was enough.
“Why?” The one word was sharp as ice.
“Because I like running with you. I like you. Like I said, you’re different. Even now that you know who I am it doesn’t matter to you. It’s refreshing. I’m used to people only wanting to be close to me because of my name or because of where I might be going with football. You. Don’t. Care.” Now I was just rambling.
“You’re right. I don’t. You mean nothing to me.”
I smiled at that.
“You don’t mean that. You like me. Admit it.”
“I don’t know you, how could I like you?”
“Then let me take you out.” The words tumbled out of my mouth, but I meant them. If she’d let me take her out it would be a chance to get to know each other.
“No.” She didn’t even think about it. She just barked out the one word.
“No?” My brows lifted in surprise. “I don’t think anyone’s ever told me no before.” I felt confused by her dislike of me. I thought I was a nice enough guy, but I got the impression that Rae hated everyone and everything—so I shouldn’t have taken it personally, but I did anyway.
“There’s a first time for everything. I’m not interested.”
“You will be,” I replied with a nod. She’d come around. I knew she would. She had to, because there was no way I could possibly feel so intensely about her while she felt nothing. It just wasn’t possible.