Home > Caught Up in Her (Caught Up In Love 0.5)

Caught Up in Her (Caught Up In Love 0.5)
Author: Lauren Blakely

Chapter One

Five Years Ago

I’m not going to say it was love at first sight when I met her. I don’t believe in that. I don’t think anyone should. Because love isn’t about falling for someone’s looks. Though she had that. Believe me, she had that. She was beautiful in every single way, from her dark, wavy hair to her gorgeous brown eyes, to the soft curves of her body. But that’s not why I fell so hard for her that summer.

She took my breath away for reasons that had nothing to do with her looks. It was the coffee, the movies, the conversations, the popcorn, the walks through the small town, the nights on the beach with the waves rolling in, the way I could hold her hand and feel as if the world had simply melted away and we were all that was left. So, there was no love-at-first-sight. That would come later, and if it happened first it would take away all the reasons that stayed with me for the next five years.

But when I stepped out of the car that fateful day and set eyes on Kat Harper, it was more like possibility at first sight.

I saw possibilities unfolding, unfurling before me, and I felt the start of something. I knew it from the way my heart thrummed against my chest, and my mind whirred with thoughts of the next two weeks at her house.

Only, it wasn’t going to be just the two of us.

More like the three of us.

Kat and me. And her brother Nate.

Yeah, that was kind of the problem. You’re not supposed to fall for your best friend’s little sister.

But really, I had no choice.

* * *

Bruce Springsteen rattled through the stereo system of Nate’s car as we turned onto the exit ramp, listening to The Boss as the sun beat down hard through the windshield. “Man, we need to enjoy these last few weeks of freedom,” Nate said. He’d been my roommate throughout most of college at NYU and then during the MBA program. “The Boss would want us to.”

“You act like we’re in chains. We just have jobs. You know. A J-O-B. That thing you have to get when you finish business school,” I joked.

“You do. I don’t.”

“You have one more interview. You’re going to get the gig,” I said since he’d been talking to a tech company and was this close to landing a coveted junior position.

“If I get another interview. And I know I’m lucky to even be in the running. But, c’mon, this is the last time we’re really free,” he pointed out as he slowed at the light.

“Hate to break it to you, but if you were thinking about having two weeks to party, we should have gone to Mexico or something. Not your parents’ house to run their store.”

Nate laughed. “Okay fine. You got me on that.”

“Sounds like they could use a break though,” I said, as he turned down the street.

Nate glanced at me, hands on the wheel, a serious look in his eyes. “Yeah, they definitely can. I appreciate you helping my sister and me out. My mom hasn’t had any time off since the car accident,” he said. His mom had endured multiple surgeries and physical therapy after a car crash two years ago, Nate had told me. She was finally doing better, and to celebrate her recovery, she and her husband were taking a few weeks off at a lake house in Maine. They ran a little gift shop in the tourist town so our role as newly minted MBA-ers was to make sure the operations at their shop, Mystic Landing, ran smoothly. “It’s least I can do seeing as how they paid for college and all with that store,” Nat said. “And Mystic Landing will be the bank for Kat to go to NYU too.”

Nate had told me plenty about her in the years I’d known him. Well, to the degree that any guy talks about his sister – I knew she loved movies, was whip smart, and liked to make jewelry.

“She’s following in our footsteps going to the same school,” I said.

“You can warn her about all the professors and classes she needs to avoid.”

“That’s what I want to do. Spend the next two weeks telling your sister what to do and not do in college,” I said dryly.

“Just keep your paws off her,” he joked. “That’s all I ask.”

I held up my hands in surrender. “I’ve got no plans whatsoever to hit on your sister, but you should know the same applies to you and you need to stay away from Jess.”

Nate scoffed. “Your sister is what? Fifteen? And a freshman in high school in California?”

I nodded. My parents lived in sunny Los Angeles, having moved there from the frozen tundra of Buffalo with my younger sister after I left for college. “Yup. But I’m already issuing the official sister warning,” I said, and I think we were both joking, but not joking at the same time.

“From the shit my dad told me about Kat he was having to beat boys off with a stick her last year of high school,” Nate said, shaking his head, maybe in frustration, maybe in some perverse sort of admiration.

I wanted to say I’m not surprised. Hell, I’d seen Kat’s picture on Facebook and on his phone. But I’d never given her a second thought. But when we pulled into the driveway and cut the engine, about the only thing I could think about was her.

She flung open the door to the house, and my heart stopped in my throat.

No. Fucking. Way.

It was not okay for Nate to have a sister this beautiful.

There should be rules against this.

Sisters like her should be forbidden.

Her pictures didn’t do her justice. Nothing could do her justice. She was the kind of pretty that would erase every other woman in the world.

   
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