I had this brilliant idea last year that I was going to write an on-going story for my blog – each Friday I was going to post something until the story was complete. I ended up doing pretty well for a while, but around the middle of the story, I realized I had no idea how it was supposed to end. I kept writing things, but I ended up getting more confused. After five entries, I stopped altogether because I’d finally reached that critical point where it needed an ending.
I can’t believe it’s taken me a year to pick it back up and give the darn thing an ending!
I re-read the whole thing this morning to help me on my way, but I wouldn’t feel right about just posting the ending without refreshing your memory as well (or for those of you who weren’t around a year ago, reading the whole thing for the first time). I figured I would post parts of it every day, starting today, and post the finale on Thursday. So, I’ll probably be over-posting this week, but I hope you won’t be sorry.
The Beach House – Part 1
It was a long drive from Greensboro to St. Augustine, but Jane was in good company, classic rock was blaring through the speakers and all the windows were rolled down. It was the best start to a spring break she could ever remember.
When she had hinted at plans, she never dreamed Brandon would come up with something as fantastic as a beach house, much less a “beach mansion” as he so gleefully stated when he told her about it. His cousin swore it was huge and could hold as many as they wanted to bring, but they were only able to talk Jen and Walter into the drive. Oh well, more space for the four of them to either spread out and act like it was a relationship get-a-way or mingle in common spaces for a party of four.
They’d been on the road most of the day and Jane was getting restless. She’d offered to drive several times, but Brandon seemed set on getting them there. Jen and Walter had spent most of the drive wrapped around each other either making out or sleeping. It was starting to wear on her nerves. At least, that’s what she blamed it on. She couldn’t think of anything else that would explain why she felt so jittery.
She reached for Brandon’s hand, feeling better with the skin-to-skin contact. “Hey Babe, how much longer do you think?”
He squeezed her hand as he tilted his head her way and a slow, lazy smile spread across his face. “I’d say an hour at the most. You excited?”
She smiled back at him. “I am. I’m just ready to get out of the car and let these two sex addicts have some privacy.” Her head jerked in the direction of the back seat.
“I resent that!” Jen managed to pull her face away from Walter’s for the short burst, but was right back into it only seconds later.
Jane rolled her eyes and smiled. “God, you two are ridiculous!”
“Hey,” Walter managed, “you guys were just as bad when you first started dating. Now you’re as boring as my parents!”
They all laughed but it wasn’t long before Walter and Jen were back at it.
Jane turned back to Brandon. “You feeling okay?”
His eyes were back on the road but he glanced at her again with a concerned look. “Yeah, why?”
“I don’t know. I just have this creepy feeling that started a while ago and I can’t shake it.”
“We’re almost there. I think you’re just tired. It’s been a rough few weeks with mid-terms and work. We’ll relax in the hot tub as soon as we get there. You’ll be feeling good in no time, I promise.” He wiggled his eyebrows and raised her hand to his lips.
Smiling, she leaned her head back onto the seat and tried to relax.
Dusk was just spilling across the sky as they made their way up the gravel driveway that led to their oceanfront getaway. When they pulled up in front of the house, they all took one look at it then looked at Brandon.
“This is the mansion?” Walter flipped his blond hair out of his eyes and turned to Jen with a wry look on his face.
She giggled as Brandon said, “It’s not like he gave me a picture guys. He just said a beach mansion. His words, not mine.”
“Well, if this is a mansion, my dorm room must be paradise.” Walter was laughing now and almost doubled over at his own joke.
The house or cottage or whatever the hell it was didn’t look like it would hold the four of them. It sat huddled against the dense trees that hid the ocean and looked as if it had seen many years of humidity and ocean spray. The once-red paint was chipped and fading and the screen door looked like it was barely hanging on.
Jane was about as impressed as they all were, but it had been a long drive and she was beat. She didn’t care if she slept in a shack at this point. She just wanted to lie down in a comfortable bed after a shot or two of vodka and spend a few hours making love before falling asleep to the sound of the ocean.
“Well, it might not be a mansion, but it’s our home for the next week. Might as well make ourselves comfortable.”
She stepped out of the car into the humid night air, took her bag out of the trunk and started walking to the front door. She walked about halfway before turning back to the party still standing by the car.
“You guys coming, or what?”
They all gathered up what they could carry and headed inside, determined to make the best of their mansion-turned-cottage-but-still-on-the-ocean. None of them noticed the dark sedan that slowly crept up the driveway and stopped a few yards away from their car.
Once inside, they made their way through the house, luckily finding two bedrooms that would accommodate each couple. After depositing their luggage in their respective rooms, they made their way to the back of the house and the deck that led onto the beach. They all stood mesmerized by the ocean as its waves danced along the shore in a spectacular greeting.
Brandon was standing behind Jane with his arms around her. As he leaned his face into her long, brunette curls, she jumped up, bumping his nose with her head.
“What is it, Babe?” Brandon asked.
“I don’t know. I thought I saw something over there.” Her hand shook as she pointed off to the side of the house.
Brandon leaned past her, closer to the window, trying to see what she was pointing at. His body tensed against her and his voice came out strained.
“Guys, I don’t think we’re alone.”