• authorcmowens

(2015) A Sterling Shore Valentine's Day Special!

Valentine Special ( Rye and Brin)

RYE

Brin settles into the back row of the cinema. Damn, it’s packed in here. Sitting down beside her, I take in the fact that I’m drowning in an estrogen pool. What the hell kind of movie are we watching? She bought the tickets ahead of time, and she somehow always managed to escape telling me what the movie is.

“Seriously?” I groan, scowling over at Brin as she takes a sip of her soda. “This is a chick flick, isn’t it?”

“It’s Valentine’s Day, Mr. Clanton. That means it’s my choice,” she says, grinning over at me in a way that doesn’t put me at ease. Even chick flicks usually have more guys than this shit. Wait… What did she call me?

“Did you just call me Mr. Clanton?”

She shrugs, but I see a ghost of a smile playing on her lips before she can banish it.

“Maybe. Do you have a problem with that, Mr. Clanton?"

Apparently there’s a joke in there somewhere, but it’s lost on me. I start to question it, when I notice I’m a bit of a spectacle.

Why are all the women in here looking at me? Why are they smiling? Why the hell is this thing sold out? And why are the few men in here cowering in their seats and hiding their faces with the sides of their hands?

I should have at least paid attention to the sign hanging over the door that displayed what movie we’re seeing. I could be researching it right now to find out what I’m in for.

Looking up, I notice a group of women several rows down who are giving me a look that makes me feel a little dirty. I must look damn good tonight.

Very confidently, I wrap my arm around Brin’s shoulders just as the previews start. A woman settles into the seat beside me, and she gawks at me while licking her lips.

Okay… I’m getting a little freaked out right now.

Brin leans her head against me, and I smile down at her before kissing her hair. I can endure another chick flick. It’s rare she demands to choose a movie.

As the previews scroll on, I find myself leaning over and kissing long trails down her neck. She angles her head, giving me more access, and her hand slithers down to my thigh.

A throat-clearing from behind us reminds me that this is a packed room, and Brin snickers as I sigh and start behaving. Apparently the movie has started. Definitely a chick flick.

As some chick meets some dude in some big, flashy office, I toss a few pieces of popcorn into my mouth, but immediately I’m spitting it all out, coughing and hacking as my mouth catches on fire. I’m forced to bend over and remove my arm from Brin as I fan my mouth.

I’m so going to kick her ass.

Brin snickers softly as I struggle to grab my soda, and I take a harsh sip… then spit it the hell back out. What the fucking hell is that? Is that… vinegar?

“Something wrong, Mr. Clanton?” she whispers.

I turn to scowl at her, but her eyes only flicker with more humor.

“Stop calling me that,” I snap while snagging her drink—which fortunately isn’t vinegar.

“Shhh!” several women scold all at once, and Brin smothers a laugh as I slide down in my seat, chastened. They’re taking this movie a little too seriously.

“How did you get vinegar into my cup? And how did you spice the hell out of my popcorn?” I whisper against Brin’s ear.

“You have your connections in the rich and fabulous world, and I have mine in the working-class world.” Glaring at her profile, I whisper, “I’m so getting you back for th—”

“Shh!!” the devil women all around me hiss in unison.

Rolling my eyes, I feign interest in the movie as the dude opens the door to a very red room. Same ol’ same—what the hell? What’s all that shit on the walls? And what are those things on the ceiling? Holy… fucking… shit… Oh, damn. Is that a torture room or is that… Uh-oh. I just figured out what movie we’re watching.

“Damn you,” I growl, only to end up getting shushed by numerous pissed women all around once again. “I told you I didn’t want to watch this!” I add in a yelled whisper.

Brin covers her laughter by coughing, and I slink down farther in my seat. I should have known something was up when she swore she only wanted to see a movie on Valentine’s Day. I’ve never done anything on this day, because this is the first real relationship I’ve ever had. I assumed I was getting off easy.

Wrong. So fucking wrong.

The second the… sounds start, I have to tug at my collar. I’m not sure how much of this I can endure. This is so not the kind of thing I want to watch in public.

This is the sort of movie I would—what the hell is that thing? Balls for what? Wearing them where? Ah, fuck.

Nervously, I cast a glance around the room, and the woman on the other side of me winks when our eyes meet. I swallow hard and shift uncomfortably. This damn movie is making me feel inferior, and my once overly-inflated sexual confidence becomes more fractured by the second.

Time moves like freaking molasses, and I’m forced to listen to the multiple oohs and ahs of the women who seem to think this dude is a god. All I’m learning is that I really have to step up my game. Hell, all the guy has to do is look at the girl and she turns into a puddle.

By the end of the movie that has forever altered my way of thinking, the idea of me being a sex icon has been shattered. I feel sorry for any other guy who has to endure this hell.

“You okay?” Brin asks sweetly, even though she’s shaking with silent laughter.

“Yeah. We need to stop by the hardware store on the way home.”

Her eyebrows cock up, and she tilts her head. “Why?”

I take her hand and put her in front of me, blocking anyone from seeing something I’d rather wasn’t on display.

“Cable ties.”

She doubles over as her laughter spills out, and I urge her forward. She thinks I’m kidding. As soon as we reach the outside, I see Kode and Tria walking toward us. He’s dressed in a flashy suit with a silver tie dangling, and I snort derisively.

“You too?” Brin asks her, and Tria nods before she grins over at an unsuspecting Kode.

He shrugs, and doesn’t bother to make eye contact with me. “You’re all dressed up,” Brin points out, biting back a smile.

“We went out to dinner first. For some reason, Tria insisted we go to the movies tonight,” he sighs, obviously not in the mood for a movie. He’s apparently as clueless about what he’s watching as I was. Good.

He puts his arms around Tria before nuzzling her head. “Can we just go home? I have something else planned, and I don’t want an audience.”

Too much information. Way too much.

Tria shakes her head. “Nope. Rye seems to have enjoyed the movie, so I think you will, too.”

I cough when my laughter sneaks out. It’s only fair that he has to suffer through it since I had to. I shouldn’t be the only one whose sexual pride has been broken and burned to ash. So I offer the best answer I can.

“Nice tie, Mr. Sterling,” I say with a smirk.

Tria and Brin look at each other for a long moment, and then they both erupt with riotous laughter. It takes all my strength not to laugh just as hard, but Kode looks lost.

“We have to go buy cable ties,” Brin chirps, causing Tria to cough on air and turn bright red. “See you both later.”

She pulls my hand, and we leave Kode to his sealed fate, while Tria’s delayed laughter coats the air.

“Cable ties? And what the hell is wrong with my tie?” Kode asks, but I don’t bother turning around to answer. He’ll learn soon enough.

The second we’re in my Range Rover, Brin slides over the console and tugs me down to her, crushing her lips against mine. That helps resurrect my lost manhood.

“Take me home, Mr. Clanton,” she says, grinning against my lips.

“What about the cable ties?” I ask halfheartedly, eliciting a small snicker from her.

“We don’t need them. I have handcuffs.”

Her tongue slips between my lips when I groan, and I pull her onto my lap, grinding myself against her the second she’s straddling me. Valentine’s Day may be my new favorite holiday.



A Sterling Shore Valentine's Day continued...

KODE STERLING

“What’s this movie about?” I ask, sorting through a few last emails on my phone as Tria leans against me. Obviously it’s not a movie that appeals to the male populace, considering I’m one of just a few in here.

“You really don’t have a clue what’s going on in the real world, do you?” Tria muses.

I shut my phone off and toss my arm around her shoulders, leaning over to kiss the top of her head. I had much, much better plans for after dinner. Then she announced that she had tickets to a movie already. Of all the damn people to run into, Rye Clanton was walking out as we got here, making some snarky remark about my tie.

We don’t all go out in our T-shirts all the time. Jackass.

“I wouldn’t consider movies ‘the real world,’” I reply dryly.

Okay, so maybe I’m pouting, but I really want to be at home right now—alone. Instead, I’m in a crowded movie theater with way too many women.

“If I have to suffer through a movie, I fully expect to make out like teenagers in the back row.”

She laughs as though I’m joking. I’m not. My intentions are to sneak out a fourth of the way into the movie once I’ve gotten her worked up enough to go along with it.

My smile curls up as I plot, but my excitement is quickly doused when I see two familiar faces.

“Hey,” Raya says, surprised when she sees Tria.

Kade Colton comes to sit down beside me as Raya goes to sit down beside Tria. The girls chat while Kade looks around at the PMS central we’re in.

“What the hell did we get dragged into?” he asks, leaning back in the seat.

“Hell if I know,” I grumble. “Why are you in Sterling Shore?”

He shrugs while scanning the room, probably looking for a clue as to why we’re two of five men in here. “Raya had a meeting with my mother and the wedding planner. Then she told me she had tickets to some movie. Not the way I wanted to spend my night.”

At least we agree on that.

“Nice tie, Mr. Sterling,” Raya says with a secretive grin, and Tria immediately starts laughing.

“That’s twice someone has said that,” I say, confused now. “What the hell? And why is everyone calling me Mr. Sterling?”

The girls continue laughing, apparently not concerned with answering my damn questions, so I turn a questioning look on Kade. He shrugs, offering no insight into the odd behavior.

“No clue. Raya has been calling me Mr. Colton all damn day, and she just laughs when I ask why. I gave up.”

Weird.

The lights dim, and every woman in the room becomes transfixed on the screen the second the previews end and the movie starts. It’s no surprise that it’s a chick flick.

The dude is apparently rich and successful, but he doesn’t have shit on me. If they wanted to write a movie about a young, rich, sexy-as-fuck guy, all they had to do was call me up. If all these women are drooling over the idea of this guy, they’d piss themselves over me.

So the dude can drive a helicopter. Big whoop. I can always take pilot lessons. I look better in my suits. It’d be a little awkward to start making out with Tria, now that Kade is on my other side. Speaking of awkward…

The second a room full of kinky secrets is opened up, my tie suddenly feels like it’s strangling me. Okay… So maybe I judged too soon. This dude and I have a lot less in common than I initially thought. But just because he’s… apparently a sex symbol to all of these women, that doesn’t mean that I’m still not better.


Right? I mean, I know how to make a girl’s toes curl without… all that stuff, so that means I’m better.

Great. Now I’m competing with a fictional character. How did I get so low so damn quickly? Stupid emasculating chick flick.

Oh damn. What’s that thing supposed to… Ah, hell. Really? How do you… But why would you… Ohhh…

Kade clears his throat, shifting uncomfortably, and he gets up to slide down the row. “Yeah… so not sitting by you for this shit,” he mumbles to me.

We all play musical chairs so that he can take a seat by Raya and get the hell away from me. Thank God for that, because this is uncomfortable enough without having him at my side.

“What the hell is this?” I hiss at Tria, but then I get shushed by my girl all the women around us!

She winks at me, and Raya stifles a laugh when Kade demands the same thing. At least he gets shushed, too. This is in theaters? Whoa… Did he just say that? Ohhhh, so that’s why everyone is fascinated with my tie.

Tria winds my tie around her hand suggestively, her lips curving into a taunting grin, but she stares straight ahead as I struggle not to haul her the hell out of here and prove to her that I’m much better than him.


Because I am, dammit.

“You owe me big for this,” I growl in her ear, but all I get is a soft chuckle in response.

By the end of the movie, I’m not sure whether to be pale or blush like a damn girl. Every illusion I had of being the sexiest man alive has just been kicked around, stomped on, and put on the shelf of misfit, broken toys—no pun intended.

Kade looks about as devastated as I feel. One thing is for sure, Tria is going to spend all night rebuilding my confidence. And possibly all day tomorrow, too. I need intense bedroom therapy right now.

When we make it outside, Raya and Kade walk off—well, he drags her away. Apparently he needs his confidence to be rebuilt as well.

Sluggishly, I make my way to the car, opening the door for Tria. She gets on her toes to kiss my lips, and I glare down at her. “You’ve lost all rights to ever pick a movie again,” I mumble.

“You can always punis—” “Hey,” Raya interrupts, walking over. “Kade’s car won’t start, and Rye sent a text saying he’ll come help us fix it if I go pick a lock for him. Care to give us a ride to his house?”

Rye Fucking Clanton. I have a whole new reason to hate that dick now. He could have warned me. At least I get the inside jokes now.

I start to say no, but Tria answers, “Yes,” before I can. My head whips back to glare at her again, but she just smiles sweetly up at me.

Instead of going home and getting rewarded for the torture I’ve just been put through, now I have to go to Rye’s house. Un-fucking-believable.

Kade looks about as happy as I do right now. Why couldn’t Tria have planned a girls’ night for this? She needs to be doing damage control on my ego right now; not volunteering us for a ride.

“What lock does he need picked?” Tria asks curiously as we head toward the subdivision where the tattooed jerk lives.

“He didn’t say,” Raya tells her with a shrug. “The guys never call a locksmith anymore,” she adds.

I can’t say anything. I had her break into my office just last month when I forgot the new code to the digital lock.

We pull up in front of Rye’s house, and Tria gets out. “Where the hell do you think you’re going?” I demand.

“To see Brin,” she answers casually, ignoring the fact that I need some serious TLC right now.

Damn Rye. Damn Kade’s car. Damn ego-deflating movie. Damn kinky madness.

Kade and I avoid eye contact, since we’ve both been traumatized tonight, and we follow the girls in as they enter without knocking.

“Brin?” Tria prompts.

“Oh my God!” Brin squeals. “How many people did you call?”

That has Kade and I making eye contact again, because we’re both confused.

“In here,” Rye calls with a chuckle, guiding us with his voice.

“No!” Brin yelps.

“We need help,” Rye says.

Um… I’m torn about staying back or going on, but curiosity wins. As we enter the bedroom, I notice Maggie first. She’s laughing hard, kneeling on her hands and knees and searching under the bed. Carmen is on her hands and knees as well, both of them scouring the floors for something.

Then I look up just as Tria, Kade, and Raya burst out laughing. Brin is blood red, humiliated, and it’s no question as to why. The sheet is up to her neck, and her arms are suspended over her head, handcuffed to the rails of the big ass bed.

“I hate you,” she growls at Rye.

“I’m sorry. I swear I had the key earlier. I don’t know what happened to it,” he says unapologetically between spurts of laughter.

She glares at him, and I cover my mouth to hide my own smile. Brin can get mean, and I’d rather not endure her wrath. At least Rye is wearing clothes. I’m assuming Brin is naked under that sheet.

A gentleman would go out and offer her privacy. But I’m a dick, and I want to see how this plays out. Apparently Kade shares that sentiment, because he watches the comedy show just like me.

Raya pulls out a lock-pick set from her purse—like any good con’s daughter would have handy—failing in her attempt to calm her laughter as she goes to help Brin.

“We’ve been looking for almost thirty minutes,” Carmen says as she stands up.

“Raya?” Brin asks through a whimper. “Please cover my face up so I can die in peace.”

I can’t hold back my laughter this time.

Raya snickers as she finishes picking the lock, and the telltale snap of the cuffs promises Brin has been released.

“Well I’ll be damned,” Rye says, smirking as he digs into the left front pocket of his jeans. He pulls out two keys on a small ring, and daringly stares at her. “I had them all along. I could have sworn I checked that pocket.”

That has everyone bursting out into fits of laughter, including me. I may hate Rye, but I love their prank war.

“You evil bastard!” she screeches, tugging the sheet against her before leaping up.

“That was for the Cajun popcorn and vinegar soda!” Rye yells as he takes off running, laughing his ass off the whole time.

We part a path for him while shaking our heads. Time to go.

“We’ll catch a ride with them, since Rye has to fix the car,” Raya says through a laugh.

“Want to stay and enjoy the show?” Tria asks me.

“Nope,” I say, making the word pop as I practically drag her outside.

“In a hurry?” she muses, teasing me like she doesn’t know she has a lot of work to do tonight.

I glare at her, and she snickers at me mockingly. “I call the shots for the rest of the night,” I grumble.

“I think I might enjoy that, Mr. Sterling,” she says jokingly. “But no handcuffs.”

I push her against the car, sealing my mouth over hers, and flirting with her tongue when she gasps. As I pull back, I wink at her, finding a piece of my confidence being restored when she seems breathless from just that kiss.

Yeah. I’m still badass.

“That’s fine by me. I have hundreds of ties, and I’ve thought of at least fifty ways to use them.”

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