Music washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.
~ Berthold Auerbach
May 18th 2013
As I sit on the patio overlooking the shoreline of Malibu below, I try to take my therapist’s advice and reflect back on the times in my life that I was happy…truly happy. Closing my eyes I inhale and exhale the salt air, trying to find my happy place. As soon as I close them and let my body relax, I’m immediately greeted by the dark enchanting blue eyes of the most gorgeous man ever.
It’s overwhelming, the emotions that course through my body as I take in his dimple smile, and try to remember the sound of his voice. Sadness slowly seeps into my bones as I struggle to remember the deep timbre of his laughter and the sound of his voice when he would whisper I love you into my ear as I drifted off to sleep in his arms.
Cane is…correction was the love of my life. Even after all of this time I still struggle with acceptance. How does one accept the fact that she has to live the rest of her life without her soulmate? I fear that once I finally accept he’s truly gone I’ll sink deeper into the sea of sorrow I’ve been trying so desperately not to drown in.
The day he died, I wanted to be dead too. A life without Cane is something I never wanted to experience. Now that I’ve hit rock bottom, I’m stuck here at this God forsaken Rehab Center in Malibu, where other rich and famous people, like me, come to try to heal and overcome addiction. If it was up to me I wouldn’t even be here right now, but my record label has insisted I get clean or they’ll cancel my U.S. tour. I’d much rather do a few lines of coke to numb my mind and dive into my music. It’s the only way I’ve gotten through these last few years. They don’t get it, no one does. I struggle on a daily basis just trying to get through the day without the man I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with.
So here I sit, laying on a patio lounge taking in the warm California sun, and playing a game of remembers when with myself. My therapist says I need to learn to reflect on my life with Cane. The good and the bad and find a way to heal and move on. It’s easier said than done. It’s been almost eight fucking years and the pain is still as piercing as it was the day I buried him. Right now the desire to get high or fuck the first person who walks by me is almost overwhelming.
Squeezing my eyes shut tighter, I count back from one hundred slowly. I try to push back the voices in my head that are screaming at me to walk my ass out of here, go back to Miami and tell everyone to fuck off. I need to do this. My dream was to travel the world performing and seeing my name topping the charts. I promised Cane I’d never give up that dream; I’d fight until I had achieved it for the both of us. He loved me so deeply that my dreams were his dreams too. He wanted to see me achieve them as much, if not more, than I did.
So here I sit, in fucking rehab, willing myself to get clean. So I can give my fans and my label what they want and deserve: a drug free Brittan, who is committed to this new tour and new album.
Focusing on the sounds of the seagulls flying above me, and the roar of the Pacific Ocean as it crashes fiercely against the shore below, I begin my journey back into my past. My eyes start to well up with tears and a ghost of a smile dances across my lips. I slowly let my mind begin to replay the most memorable moments I have with Cane and the moments that changed the course of our lives forever…
July 4th 2000
The beaches of Miami are jammed packed with people. Everyone’s coming with their lawn chairs, trying to find the perfect spot to watch the fireworks show. With my best friend Roxie by my side, we trudge through the cool sand; lawn chairs in one hand, and our rocket popsicles in the other. We find the perfect spot by the shore. A place where we can dip our feet in the warm Atlantic water and watch the show without a million heads bobbing in front of us.
The first set of fireworks explodes; illuminating the sky in bright colors of blues, silvers, and reds. It’s breathtaking…my favorite thing about 4th of July has to be the fireworks. Different patterns and color combinations lit up the sky for over an hour; providing a magnificent show that I never wanted to end. The grand finale begins with hundreds of fireworks bursting into the sky at once, leaving me in a state of amazement. I glace towards my right, noticing the hottest guy walking towards me.
He smiles down at me and I instantly melt. “Crap, looks like I missed them? At least I made it in time for the finale.” He says to the two guys standing next to him. They all plop down in the sand beside my chair. In all of my fifteen years, I’ve never felt butterflies like I’m feeling right now.
Elbowing Roxie, I signal my eyes towards the group of boys that just sat beside us. At first she’s annoyed because I’m bugging her while she’s trying to watch the fireworks. Once she gazes in my direction and follows my line of sight across to the hotties sitting on the sand beside me, her mood quickly changes.
Flashing an impish grin at Roxie, I turn back towards the hottest guy I’ve ever laid eyes on. “You made it just in time; the finale is the best part.” I say a little louder than I wanted.
The loud detonation from the fireworks make it impossible to have a normal conversation.
“I couldn’t agree more, the finale is my favorite, too.” Giving me a wink he extends his hand towards me. “I’m Cane.”
I hesitantly reach my hand out taking his into mine. The contact sends my heart racing and I’m instantly covered with goose bumps. I manage to squeak out, “Hi, I’m Brittan.”
June 29th 2001
After a long school year the summer break is finally here; everyone is bursting at the seams with excitement. Me on the other hand, I can’t help but be depressed.
After this summer, everything is going to change. Cane is leaving in the middle of August to get settled at his dorm at The University of Miami. I’ll be going back to school to start my sophomore year. I’m happy he’s staying in Miami for school, but now we’re going to be at two different stages in our lives. I can’t help but fear the worst.
I relish being able to hang out with Roxie, Cane and all of our friends every day in the courtyard for lunch. It’s going to be so weird not having him there with us. I loved having him there to walk me to class, slip silly notes into my locker…just him being there.
It’s unbelievable to think that before last 4th of July we had never met. We both attended the same high school, but never once had our paths crossed. Until that beautiful summer’s night…ever since that moment we’ve been inseparable. I know being just sixteen, people call it puppy love, but I think it’s more than that. What we feel for each other is the real thing. I just hope our love for each other is strong enough to withstand my insecurities and fears.
Cane landed a full scholarship for basketball; it‘s been his lifelong dream to play for the Miami Hurricanes. I am beyond happy because this is a huge accomplishment for him.
Only thing is I’m totally freaking out!
He’ll be surrounded by tons of beautiful women, who are all at the same place in their lives as him. I’m afraid he’ll grow bored with me and want to be with someone the same age as him. Every time he sees me having my little pity party, Cane swears to me that he loves me and going away to college won’t change that. He’s promised me a gazillion times that no other woman can ever hold a candle to me.
I feel awful for doubting him and having these fears. Cane has been nothing but amazing to me over the past eleven months. I blame it on all the TV shows and Lifetime movies I watch. Seeing the ever so loving boyfriend go away to college, then the girlfriend he leaves behind and soon forgets about. Temptation is constantly thrown at him.
I’ve been to enough frat parties over the last year with Cane, to know exactly how those women behave. They don’t care if the guy has a girlfriend. If they want you, they’ll do whatever it takes to entice and lead you into their bed.
“You going to jump in? Or lay and bake in the sun all day?” Cane’s voice snaps me back to reality.
We’re all hanging out at his house for a BBQ. His dad is cooking hot dogs and hamburgers for everyone. I lift my head, just in time to see Cane do a cannon ball into the pool off the diving board; the waves from Cane jumping in causes Roxie’s float to tip over landing her in the water. I can’t help but laugh, seeing her yell at Cane for being an inconsiderate douche.
Matt and Dalton run along the side of the pool; jumping in at the same time beside Roxie, soaking her further. Deciding to push my fears into the back of my mind for now, I climb off of the lounge chair. Breaking into a full sprint, I run and do a cannon ball into the pool. Popping up laughing, I swipe my hands across the water splashing all the guys.
“Stop picking on Roxie, you know she prefers to float and not swim.” I give her a sly grin and wink.
Roxie finally losing her pout, climbs onto Matt’s back, wraps one arm around this neck and splashes him with the other, as her long blonde locks fall around his face. I can’t stop smiling; I wish we could freeze time and stay in this moment forever: Carefree, not a worry in the world.
As I’m watching Matt and Roxie wrestle in the water, I feel hands wrap around my ankles and pull me under. Spinning under the water, I open my eyes. I’m instantly lost in Cane’s gorgeous blue eyes. Swimming towards me he plants a short sweet kiss on my lips before pulling me against his chest; ascending us both from under the water.
Shaking his head he whips his shaggy, dirty blonde hair side to side, beads of water splatter all over me. “Bout time you got your hot ass into the pool. I was about two seconds away from grabbing you, and tossing you in.” He says playfully while brushing my wet hair off of my face with the pad of his thumb.
“Well I’m glad I beat you to it.” Before I could say anything else, he lifted me in the air and tossed me across the pool. Letting out a small scream I splash back into the water.
Rising up to the surface, I swim towards the edge of the pool and climb up the ladder; I head towards the diving board, with nothing but payback on my agenda.
With a smile on my face, I sprint down the board bouncing once and doing a cannonball. I land beside everyone, soaking them. Pushing off the bottom of the pool, I pop up out of the water and open my mouth to fill it with the pool water and playfully spit a stream at Cane.
“Damn it Brittan, now I’m soaked again!” Roxie says, glaring at me and pursing her lips together. “You’re lucky I love you, or I would beat your ass right now!”
“Oh come on Roxie, you know you can’t beat me up. Remember I took karate for like a month.” I tease with a small smirk. Trying to keep a straight face, I raise my arms up and swiftly bring them down again, karate chopping the water. But Roxie’s laughter is contagious and before I know it we’re both laughing uncontrollably.
“Calm down Karate Kid, we don’t want you to hurt yourself!” Dalton says, pushing my shoulder playfully; dunking me under the water.
Kicking my feet to stay afloat at the surface, I slap his arm. “Shut up, before I beat your ass Dalton.”
“Hey, hey I believe you baby; you could kick anyone’s ass.” Cane winks, and wraps his arms around me as he pulls me against his chest. He’s tall enough, at 6’0 exactly, to stand and have the water stop at his pecs. I stare at him, trying to look serious, but it doesn‘t work. I can’t help but smile back at him when he flashes that killer, all teeth showing grin, at me.
“Thank you, at least someone believes me.” I let out a stream of giggles as Cane tickles my side. He places hot kisses on my cool neck, igniting a fire inside of me. We finally had sex for the first time a few months ago. Ever since taking that next step; connecting body and soul, all I want to do is pounce on him.
It was my first time, but not Cane’s. I was a nervous wreck, thinking I would do it all wrong and look like an idiot. He was so sweet and gentle, making me feel like the most beautiful girl on the entire planet. Now one of my favorite pass times is making love to him.
My erotic daydream is cut short, when Matt splashes water in our faces. “Knock off the smooch fest, let’s play some water basketball!”
Roxie, not wanting to get flipped off her float again, climbed out of the pool to lie on the lounger. We set up the floating nets, one at each end of the pool and split into two teams. Cane and I on one team, and Matt and Dalton on the other.
We spend the next hour chasing each other around the pool, trying to make baskets. The guys, of course, had to cheat and continuously tried to ‘pants’ each other.
In the end, we still won by one point.
After exiting the pool, we all headed up to the deck to eat at the patio set. Filling my plate with chips, corn on the cob, and a perfectly burnt hot dog, I sit on Cane’s lap. While I eat, he lovingly traces my spine with the tips of his fingers; sending shivers up my spine, covering my body in goose bumps.
He makes me feel loved just by the littlest things he does.
Add to you TBR lists on goodreads- https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17885167-tempt-my-heart
Lavish Publishing, LLC