First Love's Second Chance

First Love's Second Chance

Status: Finished

Genre: Romance

Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Romance

Summary

Two best friends. One Christmas. No one could predict the heartbreak and tragedy that was to tear their friendship apart. Jenna Rivera is a successful, business management graduate and London-based entrepreneur. But it wasn’t always that way; she was born in a small town near the sea and filled her childhood with surfing and fishing in rock pools. Stuck in a city that overwhelms her, in a relationship that is more convenient than passionate, her heart is still where she left it, broken, many years ago. Deacon Reid lives in the small seaside town he grew up in, and inherited his father’s property development company after his death. While managing a million pound company and avoiding everything his life was before his father died, he tries to replace the girl who ran away and ruined him for anyone else, so long ago. Five and a half years after their lives were irreversibly changed, Jenna and Deacon meet again at the house that holds so many memories for them both. Everything that was good about each other disappears, replaced by feelings more intense and powerful than either ever thought possible. In the process of healing, grieving and learning to love again, they consume each other; and their entwined lives turn into an affair of lust, love and jealousy. Can they put everything at risk and take the plunge again, knowing they could be heading for a heartbreak that neither of them recovered from before?

Summary

Two best friends. One Christmas.
No one could predict the heartbreak and tragedy that was to tear their friendship apart.

Jenna Rivera is a successful, business management graduate and London-based entrepreneur. But it wasn’t always that way; she was born in a small town near the sea and filled her childhood with surfing and fishing in rock pools. Stuck in a city that overwhelms her, in a relationship that is more convenient than passionate, her heart is still where she left it, broken, many years ago.

Deacon Reid lives in the small seaside town he grew up in, and inherited his father’s property development company after his death. While managing a million pound company and avoiding everything his life was before his father died, he tries to replace the girl who ran away and ruined him for anyone else, so long ago.

Five and a half years after their lives were irreversibly changed, Jenna and Deacon meet again at the house that holds so many memories for them both. Everything that was good about each other disappears, replaced by feelings more intense and powerful than either ever thought possible.

In the process of healing, grieving and learning to love again, they consume each other; and their entwined lives turn into an affair of lust, love and jealousy.

Can they put everything at risk and take the plunge again, knowing they could be heading for a heartbreak that neither of them recovered from before?

Chapter1 (v.1) - Prologue

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: July 12, 2013

Reads: 380

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: July 12, 2013

A A A

A A A

Christmas 2007

“Here you go, Dad.”

“Ah, gracias, querido.”

I hand my dad a glass of whiskey, and sit next to him on the sofa, leaning my head on his shoulder. It’s Christmas night, and we’re settled down in front of the TV. I stare out at the harbour covered in a thick layer of snow, and the ocean in the near distance, the waves crashing against the beach, lit by the moon and a few street lights. It feels good to be home. After a tough term at university, I caught the train home with my brother Jonas and childhood best friend, Deacon in time to spend the holidays with my parents.

I tear my gaze away from the tranquillity of outside and look at the family I miss so much. My sister, Jade is cuddled up with her  husband Steve and they’re both resting their hands on her swollen stomach. She’s due to give birth to their baby in February but she looks like she’s just about ready to pop. My mum is snuggled up under a blanket in her armchair by the window, sleeping after the mammoth Christmas dinner she had prepared for us all today.

“Hey, Jen.” Jonas calls as he comes in the room from sneaking a cigarette outside, “I’m going to The Duck if you wanna come? The whole gang’s gonna be there.”

I contemplate staying in and drinking some more Baileys in front of the open fire and watching whatever panel show Dad has put on. But I know I won’t.

“Sure.” I hand Dad my drink, knowing full well he’ll drink it, and head out to the front door to wrap myself up. Winter’s are harsh near the sea, the breeze is bitter and the moisture from the sea settles on the ground in a sheet of ice.

I pull a jumper over my head, then my hat and coat, pulling the zip right up. Jonas hands me my new scarf and glove set. We all got one from Great-Aunt Olivia; lovely garments, but not something two uni-students and a mother-to-be would put on their Christmas list. I’m grateful none the less and snuggle into the scarf as Jonas opens the front door. The cold hits me like a tonne of frozen bricks and I catch my breath. Stick with the Baileys and comedy, Jenna.

“You alright, sis?” Jonas calls, waiting for me at the end of the path.

I nod, unable to speak past my lips freezing up and the involuntary shivers wracking my body. I take the deepest breath I can, grab on to the door handle and step on to the floor outside. I catch up with Jonas as we walk along the harbour to The Duck on the Harbour.

 

The pub is empty apart from the couple in the corner we’re on our way to meet. Coming from a town as small as Folquay, everyone knows everyone and my siblings and I were lucky to find the Reid’s. There were five of us, although with Jade being married and pregnant, she isn’t interested in hanging out any more. So now there are four of us, who all grew up together: Deacon who’s a few months older than me, and Bradley who is a few years older than me and the same age as Jonas.

“Hey!” Bradley shouts as we enter the pub “Gang’s all here!”

I shiver as the warmth of the fire by the bar hits me, and wave to Sue, the landlady. I make a beeline for it, but before I can get close enough to thaw out my face, Bradley jumps up and wraps me in his arms. He’s warm, and drunk, and I hug him back, realising how much I’ve missed him in the six months since we all met up last.

“Check you out.” He holds me at arm’s length and examines me, “Look at baby Jenna, all grown up.”

I roll my eyes and walk towards the table, taking my coat off on the way. Deacon slips out of the booth and pulls me into him, squeezing tightly. I sag into his tall, lean body and accept the warmth he’s sharing with me.

“Hey, buddy.” He says, letting go and putting his hands on my cheeks, “I know you don’t like the cold. It’s not this bad in London. At least the buildings block the wind.”

I agree and shiver again, warm and relaxed. I slide in the booth and Deacon follows. Jonas and Bradley head to the bar, and I suddenly realise I’ve forgotten my purse. Hell, who am I kidding, they never let me pay for anything, I hadn’t needed to remember my purse. One drink and I’ll go home.

“So, you enjoying being back, Red?”

‘Brad’ was easy to say growing up, ‘Deacon’ not so much. So I settled for calling him Red, and it stuck.

“I don’t know. I was enjoying the city. There’s no night life here. Just open fires, fishermen and beer.”

He stretches, putting his arm on the back of the seat behind me.

“I love coming back. It’s relaxing.”

“Mm hmm.” He smiles, and strokes the back of my hair, like he always does. It sends shivers down my spine, and I’m frozen in one spot, afraid to move in case he stops.

“So, I got beers and vodka.” Jonas interrupts, carrying trays of beer and vodka shots.

He puts the tray down.

“I don’t like pints, J.”

He laughs, “Which is why, little sis, I got you two halves. You can keep up and keep your femininity.”

“What femininity?” Brad asks, sitting opposite me, “I remember when baby Jen used to run rings around us with a football.”

This is what I love. Being at home, with the people I’ve known my whole life. I love uni, studying business management so I can open up my own cake business when I graduate. Deacon is in most of my classes, and we’re pretty much inseparable, but nothing beats coming back home.

“Okay, vodka first.” Deacon announces and I watch his lips as the words roll off his tongue. I quickly grab the plastic shot cup of vodka and we all slam them at the same time. I make quick work of my beer, preparing to go home.

“Oh no you don’t.” Brad challenges as I stand and prepare to wrap myself back up “You so grown up? Prove it.”

 

“I need to go home.” I slur “I have to bake a cake for mum in the morning.”

It’s late. Really late, and the landlady is waiting to shut up shop. But as late as it is, and being in the down season, she’s happy so sit behind the bar watching the TV and take in as much money as she can get.

“I got a trick to show you, Jen” Bradley scrapes the barrel to get me to stay, “I can pin a glass of water on a wall.”

“Fuck off.” I moan, earning disapproving looks from Jonas and Bradley.

Deacon is used to my expanded vocabulary since discovering what life outside Folquay, or Grandpa’s house in Spain is like.

 “Come on, I’m twenty years old, get over it. Show us the trick then smart arse.”

“Sue,” Bradley calls to the landlady, “A glass of water and a drawing pin please.”

She slides it to our end of the bar, with a pin and Bradley places the glass on the wall next to me. I squint, analysing how he’s going to make this trick work. How can you pin a glass?

He fiddles with the pin, as he presses it to the wall, but it slips from his fingers, landing by his feet.

“Shit.” He whispers, “Jen, get that please. I’ve got the glass in position.”

Jonas and Deacon are watching intently. Obviously he hasn’t shown them yet either. I lean down from the booth and pick up the pin. At exactly the same time that Bradley pulls the glass from the wall and I’m hit with half a pint of cold water.

“You arsehole!” I shout, holding back a laugh for being stupid enough to fall for it.

Jonas and Bradley erupt into a fit of drunken laughter while I shake as much water from me as possible.

“If I die from pneumonia, I’m gonna haunt you.”

He lifts his hands in defence, laughing so hard tears stream from his eyes. Deacon’s face is dead straight, and I’m grateful he’s on my side, although I can see the funny side of the trick. Had it been summer. Or at least not snowing.

“I think it’s time to head home.” Jonas calms down and looks at his watch.

“You guys go.” I roll my eyes at how insensitive men can be “I’m gonna sit by the fire until I dry off.”

Jonas and Bradley prepare to leave, knowing Deacon will stay with me.

“Make sure she gets home, Deac.”

He ignores them, seeming more pissed off with their trick than I am. But he leans over and puts his coat on the floor in front of the fire for me to sit on. I sit as close as I can to dry my hair off.

“Sue, can we have two cocoa’s please. When she’s dry we’ll go.”

“Sure thing, Deac. Glad someone stayed with her. It’s like an ice death-trap out there.” And I can tell by her walking off and holding her behind that she obviously fell on it during her last cigarette break. I laugh and turn back to the fire. Deacon places my cup of hot chocolate and marshmallows on the floor, and sits cross-legged on the floor next to me with his.

“Thanks, Red.”

“That was a shitty trick. Dry off and I’ll walk you home.”

 

“You wanna sit on the sea front for a bit?” Deacon asks as we’re walking home.

“Seriously, Red? It’s like two in the morning.”

“Where’s your sense of adventure?” He teases.

“I think I left it down the road with my frost bitten toes.”

He shakes his head, smiling.

“Come on then. But just for a bit.”

Even in the darkness, I can see his smile, and I copy it. I link my arm in his and we head to the beach - a handy five minute walk in the summer, an agonisingly cold voyage in the early hours of Boxing Day.

“Even in the cold, it’s beautiful out here.” I whisper looking out as the violent waves swirl around each other in their battle to hit the sand.

Deacon snorts, “So London hasn’t got to you at all, living there for the last two years?”

I shrug. It has, but I’m homesick 99% of the time, and love being back, the two or three times a year that I can get here.

I realise Deacon is looking at me, and I look back, confused.

“What?”

“I’m going to do something.” He clears his throat “If you don’t agree with it, forget it ever happened okay?”

I nod. I haven’t got a clue what he’s talking about, but I trust him, so I agree. He presses his hands to my face like he did in the pub, and I’m grateful again for the warmth. I close my eyes to savour the heat, wondering how I’ve got half a sheep knitted around my hands, and they’re still numb as anything, yet his are –

Whoa. Deacon brushes his lips across mine, and I want to open my eyes to see if this is really happening, but I’m stunned and can't do it. He presses his mouth to mine gently, asking for my permission. As cold as my hands are, I pull them out from my coat pocket and wrap my arms around his neck. I’ve never admitted to myself, that I’m attracted to the man who holds my hair back when I’m drunkenly sick everywhere, the man who’s held me when I’ve cried over boys, the man who dried my hair for me when I had a broken wrist a few months back and couldn't do it myself. But now as his lips caress mine, and he licks along my bottom lip asking for my approval to deepen our embrace, I can admit that I’m attracted to my best friend. He smells like his favourite shower gel, and pure masculinity, and I’m melting, scorching hot, sitting by the sea in the snow.

 

An hour later, we’re still by the sea, Deacon’s arm around my shoulder, as I lean into him and link my fingers with his. I don’t know what just happened, we haven’t said anything since we kissed. But something’s changed, and I don’t think our friendship will be the same. But he made the move, it was his idea. Maybe our relationship won’t be the same. Maybe it will be something more, something stronger, deeper. And I’m excited about the thought of it.

“What are you going to do when you graduate?” I ask him, wondering if our ideas for the future have any similarities.

“I’m gonna go travelling for a while, I think. Come back and open up my own place in the city.”

“London city?”

“Yeah. I like it there. I think that’s where my life is.”

I nod, waiting for him to ask me.

“I don’t even need to ask you, do I?”

“Why don’t you?”

“Come on, you're the biggest country bumpkin I know. My bet is you’ll be back here, and you’ll open up a bakery in the town.”

“I don’t want to own a bakery. I want to bake cakes, that’s different. And maybe I want to do that in the city”

He laughs, a loud bellowing laugh that is so un-Deacon. I’m hurt and offended.

“You’re no city girl, Jen.”

There’s a long silence, as I think about why he kissed me if he had no intention of us being anything more. He’d just jeopardised our friendship, for something that meant absolutely nothing to him. Shit.

“I need to go home.” I mutter over the loud banging of the waves.

“What, now?” he sounds shocked, “But we’re having fun.”

“No.” I shake my head slowly. I just want to be home, in my bed that hasn’t changed since I was a kid, and to pretend I don’t feel hurt and used, “You’re having fun. I’m tired, cold and I need my bed.”

I slide off the wall and make my way back up the road to my parent’s house. I can hear Deacon catching up with me, but I don’t slow down. Until I come to an abrupt stop when I slip on some ice and fall to the floor. Deacon is at my side in an instant, helping me up, but I don’t want his hands on me.

“Thanks.” I mumble pulling away, “You can go home now. I can see my house.”

“I always take you to the door.”

He sounds confused and I can't work out how he can't understand what he’s done.

“Just go. I need you to go.”

I walk away from him. I know he’s following me, but I don’t look back, walking straight up my path. I open the door, close it and go straight upstairs. I see from my bedroom window that he waits outside the house, before shoving his hands in his pockets and continuing up the road to his.


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