Several summers later
IT WASN'T UNTIL HANNAHturned seventeen that she realized that there was something far worse than being seen as a "kid" by Drew Montgomery. It was being seen as his friend, "just a friend."
With each summer that passed between them, she looked forward to spending more time with him, holding out for that first kiss. It had yet to come, though.
Despite the fact that they ventured into the ocean together most mornings, built bonfires that burned all night, and laughed for hours on end whenever they were alone, they never became anything more. On the days when the tourists were few, she'd taught him how to perfect his rock aim, and he'd even helped her with her resort chores. And even though she still harbored an undying crush and wanted to taste his lips more than anything, the two of them were friends. Just friends.
This summer, though, something had changed between Drew and her. It wasn't fun being around him anymore, and their days weren't as full of laughter as they once were. He was silent and moody, and when he wasn't silent, he was short with her. She wasn't sure if he was so different because he was in college now, or if the widespread rumor of this being his last summer at Majestic Dunes was bothering him somehow. Either way, he wasn't even treating her like a "friend" anymore; it was more like she was a burden.
Like she was a pain in the ass.
She'd put up with his attitude for the first few weeks of the season, but now that Labor Day was fast approaching, she knew it was time to hash things out.
"Let's have a bonfire on the beach tonight, Drew," she said, as they fished in the surf. "Just you and me before you have to leave. Maybe we can talk, too?"
Drew cast his lure and sighed. "Whatever."
Seriously? What is his problem?She glanced at the tub of shrimp that they were using as bait and bent down to scoop up a handful.
"I thought you liked bonfires," she said. "You always liked them before."
"Things change," he bit out.
Jerk.She threw the shrimp at him, smacking him in the side of the face.
"What the hell?" He turned to her, his green eyes blazing.
"Sorry." She shrugged. "It slipped."
He grabbed the clump of shrimp that had landed on his shoulder and tossed it into the waves. "It slipped? Yeah, right. Maybe we should cut this fishing trip short."
"Maybe we should, since you can't take a joke." She tipped her chin in the air, wishing in vain that she were several inches taller. Drew was so tall now, that he towered over his own dad. That had to make him about six two to her five two.
"Maybe I don't find you funny anymore," he growled.
She threw her rod down and fisted her hands on her hips. "What the hell is wrong with you, Drew Montgomery? You've been an asshole ever since you got here."
"What?" His eyes widened. "Did you just call me an asshole?"
"Yeah, I said asshole. Asshole," she muttered, glaring at him.
He dropped his fishing rod and took a step toward her, his face dark.
She took a step back, holding up her hands. "Okay, so maybe 'asshole' was harsh."
Saying nothing, he took another step toward her.
Hannah stepped back again. "Seriously, Drew. You've been a jerk."
"First asshole, now jerk. Wow, Hannah, your vocabulary grew about as much as you have."
This time, she didn't take a step back. She marched right up to Drew and shoved a finger in his muscular chest. "At least I didn't grow up to be so ornery."
He grabbed her wrist. "I'm not ornery."
"You're worse than my grandmother's cat. At least he has a reason."
His mouth quirked. "And that would be?"
"She had him neutered."
Drew threw his head back and laughed.
"It's not that funny."
He grew serious. "I've been a real pain this summer, huh?"
"Yeah, you have. I want the old Drew back," she said.
"Does that mean I get the old Hannah?"
She blew out a breath. "I'm the same."