#Selfie (Hashtag #4)


by Cambria Hebert

Chapter One

Braeden

Ass was everywhere.

Round ass, perky ass, ass you wanted to grab, and ass you wanted to smack.

I guess you could say I was an ass man.

And there was definitely no better place to partake in the view than on a beach where the ladies liked to strut their stuff in tiny bikinis.

There were some ladies that probably needed more coverage than a teeny bikini, but I still looked. Ass was ass. I wasn’t about to discriminate.

Besides, confidence was sexy, too.

Even with all the eye candy on display, my eyes kept wandering back to one particular booty. Every time it happened, my teeth clenched and I mentally told myself I was a fucking moron and I’d better get my head on right before I did something I would regret.

To help distract myself from the ass that just wouldn’t quit and my wandering eyes that didn’t want to listen to my brain, I drank beer.

It’s not like I had to be anywhere other than right where I was.

The sand. The surf. The sun and my family. Nothing else I needed.

Except maybe the ass I kept eyeing to grow warts and a tail so I’d quit looking.

Yeah, I said I didn’t discriminate, but even a guy like me had standards.

“You okay, man?” Romeo asked from my left. We were chilling in some beach chairs in the sand.

I glanced his way. “Do I not look okay to you?”

He smirked. “You’re looking a little buzzed.”

“All hail Corona!” I said and held up my bottle.

Romeo laughed. Down by the water, Rimmel shrieked, and we both watched as she ran from the surf as it crashed against the shore.

“How’s she doing after everything?” I asked, still watching her. Missy and Ivy were in the water with Trent, who was trying to teach them how to surf.

I gave the guy credit. He had way more patience than me. Rim wasn’t surfing or swimming. In fact, she hadn’t even gotten her toes wet. Not that I could blame her for the aversion she had to water.

“She’s hanging in,” Romeo answered and took a sip of his beer. “This week’s been good for her. No drama.”

The reason we were all even here enjoying this fine Florida beach for spring break was because Romeo wanted to give Rimmel something besides all the drama they’d been plagued with since they got together.

I mean, seriously. The two could fill an entire season of some old lady’s favorite soap opera with all the shit they’d been through.

“Hey, man. If I haven’t said it, thanks for inviting me. And for paying for our sweet-ass house on the sand.” I jerked my thumb over my shoulder toward the beach house Romeo rented for the week.

He shrugged. “We’re family.” He pulled his eyes away from Rim and glanced at me. I could feel his stare even through his shades. “Which is why I know something is up. There a reason you’re already buzzed and it’s just past lunchtime?”

“Should I start calling you Mom?” I asked but averted my gaze.

“You know I could give two shits if you want to drink. Hell, I got a beer in my hand. It’s spring break. But I know you. What’s up?”

I muttered a curse under my breath. “It’s nothing.”

“I could call Rimmel over here to badger it out of you,” he threatened.

I groaned. She would too. Good God, she’d be like a damn dog with a bone. I had a weak spot for my little sis. She’d drag it out of me.

I couldn’t let that happen.

Shit would hit the fan.

“Fuck no.” I groaned. “Look, I got some stuff on my mind is all. Nothing I care to say out loud. I’ll handle it.”

Romeo was silent a moment. “I can respect that,” he said. “You know I got your back, right? Just say the word.”

“Yeah, I know.” And I did. Romeo wasn’t just my best friend. It was like he said. We were family.

Rimmel came walking up the sand, and I could almost hear Rome’s pulse spike in reaction. I didn’t even need to look to know he was taking in the way she looked in her bathing suit—which was not a bikini, thank God. Sisters and bikinis did not mix.

Setting his beer in the sand, Romeo held out his arm. Rimmel climbed into his lap and threw her feet over the side. Sand from her toes fell all over my arm.

“You need more sunscreen,” she told me.

I grunted. “I’m working on my tan.”

“If you get any tanner, people will mistake you for an Indian,” she joked.

“Find any good shells?” Romeo asked, drawing her attention away from my tan.

“No, the tide’s coming in. I need to get up early tomorrow. The best ones are found in the morning. If someone would let me out of bed.”

Romeo grinned. “I’ll let you up early tomorrow, if you go to bed early tonight. You do need your rest.”

“We both know you ain’t letting that girl get any rest,” I quipped.

Rimmel laughed and nudged me with her sandy feet. “How about it, B? Want to hunt for shells with me in the morning?”

“I love ya, but hells no. I ain’t getting up that early. I’m working on a hangover.” I held up my beer.

“Beer’s gross.” She pulled a face.

“Better than Smurf Balls,” I countered.

Romeo held out his fist and we pounded it out.

“I’ll go seashell hunting with you tomorrow, baby,” Romeo said.

Behind my sunglasses, I rolled my eyes. Rome was totally whipped. I’d never seen him like this before with anyone. Rimmel totally changed him, and if I were honest, she sort of changed me, too. Not that I was whipped, but I wasn’t totally appalled by the fact Rome was, and that was something. If anything, sometimes I felt a pang of jealousy for the easy way the pair seemed to connect. I’d never had that kind of relationship with a woman before.

Not that I wanted one.

Trent came jogging up and snatched his towel off a nearby chair. After he’d rubbed it over his wet hair, it stuck out everywhere. Reaching into the cooler, he grabbed a beer.

“How’s surfing going?” Rimmel asked.

“Those women would have a better chance at getting eaten by a shark than actually standing up on that board in this century,” he muttered, but then he grinned. “It’s pretty damn entertaining.”

“How’s it going with Missy?” Rimmel asked slyly.

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