Just Stay by Michelle Abbott
Publication date: May 17th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
The last place Pia wants to be is on a family vacation in a sleepy Cornish village. She’s anticipating two weeks of mind-numbing boredom. Then she meets Trey, a local boy. He’s absolutely gorgeous. The trouble is — he knows it. He’s arrogant and egotistical, and Pia intends to avoid him at all costs.
But Trey is not the kind of guy who gives up easily. When he sets his sights on Pia, her resistance is futile.
It’s just a holiday romance, some light-hearted fun, right? But one of them is about to discover that still waters do, indeed, run deep. When what lurks beneath the surface finally erupts, the consequences may prove to be catastrophic.
For age 17+ due to sexual content and strong language.
He stops outside a single storey, whitewashed cottage, and pulls a set of keys out of his jeans pocket. I notice there’s an old blue car parked in the driveway, I guess we’re driving to another town to eat. He’s probably stopping off to pick up his car keys. That’s good, I’d rather go somewhere more lively. He’s standing in the doorway, smiling at me. He gestures for me to go in. “I’ll wait out here for
you,” I tell him.“Why would you want to stand out there all night?”“I’m only waiting here while you get your car keys,” I say, frowning at him.He leans against the door frame and folds his arms across his chest. “Pia, I asked you to have dinner with me, I didn’t say I was taking you OUT to dinner.”I gape at him, my mouth open. What an asshole. I got dressed up for nothing. I starved myself all day for this, which is my own stupid fault, I should have known better. I take a deep breath. “I see.So what delights do I have to look forward to? A frozen microwave meal? Or maybe you’re going to treat me to a take-out.”
He grins, and my hand itches to slap it off his face.
“Do you think I’d give you a frozen ready meal? You might be surprised,” he says.
I snort. “I’m already surprised. I’m surprised I agreed to this date. I’m surprised that I’m even surprised, that you aren’t bothering to take me out.”
He busts up laughing, a deep, throaty laugh, that makes his shoulders shake. His laugh is infectious and his whole face lights up, it’s attractive and it annoys the heck out of me that I think so. He finally stops laughing and gazes at me, his eyes sparkling. “You’re adorable.” He grabs my hand and pulls me inside. My heel catches on the door frame; I lurch forward, and slam into his chest.
I can feel his heartbeat beneath my palms, he smells of spices. I shiver as he strokes his fingertips down my bare arms. This is so embarrassing, I’m sure my face is the colour of a tomato. Why did I wear these stupid heels? “I’m sorry, I tripped,” I mutter, as I finally pluck up the courage to look up at him.
He cocks his head to the side and smirks. “As much as I enjoy you throwing yourself at me, Precious, you might want to wait until after dinner.” Arrgh. I shove him away and step backwards, giving him my most furious glare. As he brushes past me to close the door, he glances down at my feet. “How do you even walk in those things?” His gaze slowly travels up my body, and my skin heats up, as if his eyes were lasers. His hand reaches for me; I hold my breath and stiffen, unsure of where his touch will land. He ruffles my hair. “You’re still tiny, even when you’re wearing stepladders, aren’t you, Pee Aitch.”
I frown at him. “Pee aitch?”
He nods his head. “Yeah, Pia Hamilton, that’s your name, right?” My mouth forms a thin line. “What’s your surname?”
His eyes shine. “Baker.” I fold my arms across my chest. “Trey Baker.”
He smiles. “Yeah, that’s right.” I raise an eyebrow. “Tee Bee, as in, tuberculosis, a nasty disease that you want to get rid of.”
He nibbles at his lip, and then he chuckles. “It’s no use trying to charm me with sweet talk, Precious.”
He kicks off his flip flops, leaving them on the hallway floor, then he glances down at my feet again.
“Take those things off, before you break your neck.”
I’m glad the movie is over; I couldn’t focus with Pia being so near, but not being able to touch her. Pia covers her mouth, and yawns. “Thanks for an awesome evening, Trey. I’m going to bed. I’m exhausted.”
I follow her to my bedroom, and turn on my bedside lamp. She’s standing by my bed; twirling her braid around her finger.
“Let me know if you need anything.” Like me.
Fay comes in, and sits down on my bed. “Can I sit here and talk to you while you go to sleep, Pia? I’m not tired yet,” she says.
Pia nods, so I reluctantly grab a spare blanket and pillow from the top of my closet.
“Sweet dreams,” I say, as I head to the lounge to make up my bed on the sofa. It’s comfortable enough, but I can’t sleep knowing that Pia is in the next room. I want to snuggle up with her. I can’t get her out of my head. It’s like she’s bewitched me or something. I’ve never felt this way about a girl before. I throw the blanket off, sit up and rub my hand through my hair. I heard Fay go into the spare room a little while ago; maybe I can go join Pia. I stop outside my bedroom door, and listen but I can’t hear anything. I’m about to turn the door handle but I stop myself. If she’s asleep it could freak her out if she wakes up and finds me in there. I force myself to go back to the lounge. Luckily I got my ipod out of my room before she went to sleep. I scroll through my song list until I find ‘New tattoo.’ I smile; this song describes how I feel about Pia right now. Feeling thirsty I head to the kitchen to get a glass of water. As I fill the glass I hear movement behind me. I turn, and see Pia. Her hair is loose and messy, and falling around her shoulders. She’s wearing one of my t-shirts, and my gaze falls down to the hem which ends just above her knees. Damn, she looks hot, and she’s so fucking tiny.
“Erm…I’m thirsty, I came to get some water,” she says.
I grin at her. “Me too. Can’t you sleep?”
She shakes her head. I fill a glass with water and hand it to her. She nods towards my ipod which I’ve wedged into the waistband of my sweatpants. “What are you listening to?” I pull my ear buds out and hook her hair behind her ears. Her hair is so soft and silky; I let it run through my fingers before lightly brushing my hand against her cheek. I pop my ear buds into her ears.
She smiles. “I like this; I’ve not heard it before.”
I move closer and rest my hand on the small of her back. “It reminds me of you.”
She starts moving to the music. Although I can’t hear it I know the beat of the song. I slip my hands around her waist, and sway with her. I gaze into her beautiful, brown eyes as my head dips towards hers.
“My kitchen isn’t a brothel.”
My gaze snaps to the kitchen doorway. My mum stands there with her arms folded, glaring at us.
“Why don’t you shag your whores in your bedroom like you usually do?”
Pia tugs the ear buds from her ears, and hands them to me. Her face is red, and her gaze is glued to the floor. “I’m sorry,” she mutters.
Mum walks into the kitchen and fills the kettle with water. Pia speeds towards the kitchen door.
“Pia, wait.” She keeps walking, I can’t blame her. I scowl at my mum. “I can’t believe you said that.
Pia isn’t a whore.”
Mum switches on the kettle and puts a teabag into her mug. “They are all whores. You bring them here, you fuck them, then you leave them.”
I stare down at the floor. She’s right, that’s what I usually do. “Pia’s different. I like her, and you just upset her.”
Mum scoops out her teabag and spoons sugar into her mug. “She wouldn’t have got upset if you’d done as I asked and not invited them to stay. I don’t want your whores running around my home half naked.”
I squeeze my hand into a fist; my nails dig into my palm. I’ve never hit a woman, and I don’t want to start now. “Pia is not a whore,” I say through gritted teeth. “And you didn’t ask me not to invite them, you TOLD me I couldn’t. This is my home too you know.”
Mum makes a huffing noise, picks up her mug and walks away. Fuck. I kick the kitchen cabinet, wince and grab my foot. Dammit, I hope I haven’t broken my toes.
I need to apologise to Pia. I hobble towards my bedroom but stop when I hear Pia’s voice coming from the spare room.“…and I almost had sex with him tonight.”
I press my ear against the door, and listen. I hear Pia speak again.
“That was a mistake and so was coming here.”
I swallow the lump in my throat as I continue to listen.
“I don’t mean anything to him; even his mum knows he has a different girl in his bed every week. I was almost another of his conquests. I was right about him from the beginning, I should have known better.” I hear her sniff. Have I made her cry? “And he was so obviously hitting on that girl at the station. He just left her there, pretended he didn’t even know her.”
I close my eyes and draw in a deep breath. I want to tell her she’s wrong. I want to tell her I can’t stop thinking about her, that I want to be with her. That I haven’t even been with another girl since I met her. But I can’t because I don’t want her to know I’ve been standing out here listening to their conversation.
“So I did interrupt something earlier. We can leave,” I hear Fay say. “We can get a train home tomorrow.”
No. No, please stay. I put my fist against the door, and am about to knock on it when Pia speaks again. “No. We’ve already paid for our return fare. They won’t let us change the date; we’d have to pay for new tickets. It’s only a week, I can deal.”
Deal. She’s going to suffer my company. That’s just great.
“Sleep in here with me tonight,” Fay says to her.
I drag myself away from the door and back to the sofa. I bury my head in my pillow. I have to show her how much she means to me and make it up to her somehow.
Michelle Abbott lives in the UK and hates describing herself in 3rd person.She’s a self-published author who loves to write new adult romance about heroes who begin as the underdog and are protective of their girl.
She’s an avid reader of romance, is addicted to coffee and loves wine and chocolate, so yeah, not the most healthy eating and drinking habits 🙂 She spends way too much time online when she should be writing. She collects teddy bears and occasionally knits a couple of rows on a sweater she started years ago, which she may eventually finish in time to wear for her funeral 🙂
Have you always had a passion for writing?
Yes always. Back when I was a teenager I loved to write poems and I kept a diary. I won a short story competition organized by my school.
What are your biggest inspirations?
I come up with a basic idea for the characters and plot but once I begin writing, my characters are my biggest inspiration. The scenes play out like a movie in my head and I write down what I see and hear.
Do you have a technique in how you choose characters and/or locational settings?
I choose locations that I have some knowledge of. Just Stay is set in a village that I went to for a vacation.
Do you listen to music while you are creating your masterpieces?
No, I have to work in silence or I get distracted. I listen to music prior to writing a scene and I create playlists for my books.
What do you do to stay motivated and avoid writer’s block?
I don’t get writer’s block. There are days I don’t feel like writing. When that happens I force myself to write a couple of sentences and that’s usually all it takes to get me back into the flow.
How has becoming a published author changed your perspective on life and is it everything you expected it to be?
I didn’t realise it would be so hard to get noticed or that marketing would take up so much of my time. That said, I’ve found I enjoy marketing and that skill can be put to use in other areas of my life.
What are your biggest challenges as an author?
Getting noticed. Once people read my books, the majority like them, the problem is getting readers to discover them in the first place.
Do you have any pets?
Not anymore. I used to have a cat.
What hobbies do you have outside of reading and writing?
I spend hours reading and writing, which doesn’t leave much time for other hobbies. I do enjoy travelling and seeing new places.
Where is the most exciting/memorable place you have been in the world?
There are two, the U.S and Greece. I’ve travelled across a large part of the U.S through Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Georgia and Florida. I love the space, people and the food. I also adored Greece, the little white washed cottages, dining out under the stars and the laid back way of life.
Win one ebook copy of each of Michelle Abbotts’s books (Just Stay, In Chains, Locked Together) – all to 1 winner. This giveaway can be opened internationally. Comment on the Blog or Facebook Post. Winner will be selected by Random.org on July 25.