California Dreamin’ Read online Saffron A. Kent

Categories Genre: Contemporary, Erotic, New Adult, Romance Tags Authors:

Total pages in book: 51
Estimated words: 50489 (not accurate)
Estimated Reading Time in minutes: 252(@200wpm)___ 202(@250wpm)___ 168(@300wpm)

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California Dreamin'

Author/Writer of Book/Novel:

Saffron A. Kent

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Everyone thinks Dean Collins is too old for Fallon Blackwood. Her parents, her friends, even Dean himself.
In fact, he wants her to date guys her own age. But Fallon doesn’t care about that.
All she cares about is that she can’t take his eyes off Dean, her neighbor, her best friend, the guy who taught her to ride a bike and to climb trees.
All she cares about is that sometimes Dean can’t take his eyes off her, either. And that sometimes he looks at her like he wants to kiss her.
So it doesn’t matter that he’s thirty-two and she’s eighteen.
All that matters is that they belong with each other, and she needs to convince him of that.
Good thing they’re taking a cross-country road trip together, right?
California to New York; three thousand miles and a love story in the making…
*Featuring Simon Blackwood and Graham Edwards from ‘The Heartstone Series.’
**This is a STANDALONE NOVELLA. It was released as a part of Mixtape Anthology. Since then, it has been revised and expanded and re-titled.
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Saffron A. Kent

Fifteen years ago, I asked a boy to marry me.

I was three and he was seventeen. Apparently, that’s a big age difference. I didn’t know that at the time. I didn’t know he was older or what it meant even if he was.

All I knew was this boy gave me the best piggyback rides and brought me candies all the time. He played with me, read me stories, taught me to climb trees and ride my bike. He was always the one to wipe away my tears.

When I told him I was going to marry him, he laughed. Then he kissed my forehead and told me I’d feel differently when I grew up. I told him I wouldn’t. And I think we bet on it—I don’t remember that part well.

In fact, I shouldn’t remember any of it; I was three for God’s sake. But somehow, I do.

I remember everything about him. I remember growing up with him by my side. I remember him living a few streets over and coming to dinner at our house most nights with his sister. I remember my dad and my mom loving him as their own son. I remember my mom saying she’d never seen a friendship like this, like ours. A boy of seventeen being best friends with a three-year-old girl.

Most of all, I remember him always making me happy. Or at the very least, making my sadness not so sad. Because not being sad has always been very difficult for me.

But I’m not going to think about it right now. I’m not going to think about how hard things are or how different I am from everyone else. Because he’s here.

Dean Collins.

My best friend and the love of my life.

From the top of the stairs that lead up to my college dorm, I notice him standing across the cement pathway.

He’s waiting for me.

Over our last phone call, we’d agreed to meet here at 9 AM sharp and he’s early. Like always. Dean loves to be early. He loves to go the extra mile. He’s very much like my dad in that way. Always working, always trying to prove himself.

Anyway, I’m never early but today I am.

Because I’m excited. I’ve been excited about this morning for days now. When I’d get to see him and talk to him and maybe even touch him.

Dean hasn’t seen me yet. His head is bent over his cellphone and his fingers are flying on the keypad, and I imagine him typing up high-level, lawyerly things. He is one of the best prosecutors in L.A. That means he never has time to see me. All we ever do is talk on the phone, and that’s it.

I’ve been in California for about four months now and this is the first time I’m seeing him. Well, the first time after he picked me up at the airport on the day of my arrival to start my freshman year, helped me set things up in my dorm and left with a lukewarm goodbye.

But finally, he’s here.

So again, I’m not gonna think about how much it hurts knowing that my best friend, the man I’m in love with, doesn’t have time for me.

I’m simply going to be happy.

“Dean!” I call out his name, grinning.

His head snaps up from his phone and his eyes settle on me. Dark and gorgeous, just like his hair.

I begin panting, pulling huge amounts of air into my lungs that suddenly feel starved under his gaze. Dean takes me in, his eyes boring into mine, then sliding over my face so thoroughly, slowly and rapidly, both at the same time. Like he needs to make sure that I’m really here.

A few moments later, his lips pull up at the sides and the lines bracketing his mouth deepen. My breath hitches as his smile comes into view. The smile that I see in my dreams.

He doesn’t stop there, though. He opens his arms, his thick, corded arms, and I feel a jolt in my chest. An onslaught of memories that fill every corner of my body, leaving space for nothing else but him.

I’ll wait for you, Tiny. Right outside the school gates, he’d tell me, when I threw tantrums about going to school. Mingling with people, studying, lessons. All these things that might come naturally to other people have always been hard for me. Dean was the only one who could get me to go.

I’d ask him, teary-eyed, Promise?


Will you also hug me? Like, really tight? Like, when I get sad and I don’t know why.

He’d smile and his eyes would go all liquid and soft. Yeah, I will. I’ll hug you for as long as you want.

He always kept his promise. He’d wait for me just outside the school gates, and as soon as he saw me, he’d kneel on the ground and open his arms for me so I had a place to run to.