Please enjoy this next excerpt from Coast to Coast by Lisa Royea.
It's a little intro to Emerson's cousin Jessica and her on again/off again boyfriend Lucas Brady:
“Alright, alright. Let’s get you back to the house so you can unpack and we can start our fabulous summer at the beach, which by the way, we need to get some California sun on your skin immediately. You look absolutely horrid. I think I’d die trying to deal with those dark, drab Massachusetts winters. First matter at hand is a good sun-soaking session on the beach. Then, maybe I can see if I can get you an emergency appointment with Mya at the salon. You need some major help before the party tonight.”
“Party? Jess, really? I’m exhausted. I’ve had a crazy busy week of finals and papers. I just wanna relax for a bit.Besides, Logan and I kind of had a big blowout.The last thing I feel like is a party.”
“Oh Lord.” She rolled her eyes at me. “You and Logan are at it again? What’s new? Forget it Emerson, a good beach party is just what you need to let it all go.Let’s meet us some really hot guys and just have FUN.”
“How do you do it Jess? Don’t you think we’re a little old to be hanging out at beach parties trolling for guys? Besides, what about Brady?”She shrugged her shoulders and cocked her head.
“You know how we are.”
Right.Lucas Brady and my cousin had been on again off again for years.He was a Marine currently at Camp Pendleton, just a ways south of the beach house in San Clemente.Jessica was head over heels in love with him, but she liked to pretend otherwise.I think he loved her too.The two of them were so dang stubborn neither one would admit their true feelings, even though anyone within a five mile radius could clearly see they were in love.Instead, they’d hook up for a while until one of them was feeling a little “in over their head” and they’d call it quits. I know she was six years older than me, but sometimes I wanted to tell her to grow up.
“Jessica, when are you guys gonna quit all this nonsense and just admit you’re in love.Get married already, have a whole shit load of babies, and just live out your happily ever after?You’re not getting any younger.Aren’t you at least a little anxious?”
“Deanna? Is that you? Christ Emerson, you couldn’t sound any more like my Mom if you tried. Let it be. I’ve got a good job and I pay all my own bills. I’m a responsible adult that just likes to have a little fun when I’m allowed to. As far as Luke and I, just don’t even go there, you know our issue. You want me to start grilling you about Logan?” I hung my head down and shook it slowly. “Yeah, I didn’t think so. So let’s just back off the subject of boys for the moment and have a little fun. We have the whole summer to analyze each other’s love lives.” She put her arm around my shoulder and headed me out of the hanger towards her car.