Cataline Mercier Wintour had spent her whole life training to be an Olympic athlete, but when a tragic accident lands her and her party-oriented sister, Carson, across the country back in their old childhood home in Cape May, New Jersey. Cat can't help but give up on her dreams, but when she unexpectedly runs into striking, young, Frenchman Archer Corbett Henri Demonte and his group of strange friends her entire world is flipped upside down. Old secrets from the past start to unravel and when Cat becomes entrusted with the secrets of Archer and his friends things start to become a little complicated...


3. Chapter 3

    Saying that waking up the next morning was difficult was a complete understatement. While, I wasn’t as hungover as Carson probably was I was more than exhausted. The events from last night by the ocean played over and over again in my head, something about that still didn’t feel right. My shoulder throbbed, reminding me I probably needed to stay out of it after almost getting run over. I pulled myself out of my bed and pulled on the first t-shirt and pair of jeans that I saw, that were clean. I wrapped my shoulder and quietly walked downstairs. I left a note on the table saying I had gone out to grab breakfast and would be back this afternoon and headed out the door.

    I walked down to Cafe Atlantic and quietly sat down at my corner table, pulling out my book. I had recently started The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet and was completely immersed in the world of 15th century Verona, Italy. It wasn’t long before my beautyful silence was interrupted by boisterous laughing as a group of boys walked into the café. I rolled my eyes as I looked up from my book, glaring at them. Who did they think they were, interrupting everyone’s nice peaceful quiet? It was so rude, so inconsiderate, and arrogant.

    “Ugh!” I growled out loud. The laughing stopped and the boys turned to me. I ducked behind my book to hide the fact that I was most definitely blushing from embarrassment. I heard footsteps walking away, but my heart stopped when I heard the chair across from me scrape against the floor as someone pulled it out. I looked up meekly from my book, still hiding the majority of my face. The boy sitting across from me, staring, was the one at the front of the “pack” and he was absolutely gorgeous. I had to blink a few times to make sure I wasn’t imagining him.

    “Problem, love?” He quipped his accent was French, but his English was impeccable, then I remembered why I was annoyed.

    “Actually yes, what makes you so special that you and your friends can just come in and disrupt everyone’s peace and quiet?” I snapped quietly.

    “If you haven’t noticed, everyone else is talking and laughing. It’s really just you being quiet.” He smirked.

    I scoffed as I grabbed my book and walked away, leaving the café. I jumped as a hand grabbed my shoulder.

    “Forget something?” It was the boy who was sitting across from me and he was holding my bookbag on the end of his finger. I growled and reached to snatch it from him. I watched as he backed away, letting the bag and its contents fall to the ground, spilling all over the sidewalk.

    “You’ve gotta be kidding me?!” I shouted as I bent down to the ground and shoved my lipgloss, wallet, keys, phone, and numerous novels back into my bag. He picked one up and stared at the cover.

    “Romeo and Juliet? Seriously? You managed to pick the single most cliche play ever written by Shakespeare and a tragedy, you must be messed up to enjoy this.” He scoffed rolling his eyes. I exhaled sharply as I stood up and snatched the book from him, walking away. I knew it was too good to be true. No one was that attractive and a decent person, it just didn’t happen.

    The next few days I went crazy. I continued to see the boy from the Café everywhere I went, or at least I thought I did. Every time it wasn’t him. The boy I was looking at was simply a waiter, or a attendant at a bookstore, or just someone passing me by on the street, but never him. I don’t even know why I cared so much. He was a condescending, arrogant, jerk, and I didn’t even know his name. I gave up and decided to go back to the Café and I’m not going to lie part of me was hoping he would be there.

    I walked in the door, greeting the staff as my eyes scanned the room for him, to my disappointment he wasn’t there. I sighed quietly to myself and settled into my table, pulling out my book again, since I didn’t get a chance to finish the last time I was here. I was so lost in my book I didn’t even notice when a pair of dainty hands were placed palm down on the table in front of me.

    “Hi.” A voice said warmly. I jumped. Not because I was scared, but just because I wasn’t expecting it. I looked up and saw a young red-head girl standing in front of me. She couldn’t have been much older than me. Her cherry red hair flowed down her bare shoulders as she flashed me a dazzlingly white smile, her emerald green eyes sparkling in the sunlight. She was stunning.

    “Um hi.” I said, confused. I had no idea who this girl was or why she was talking to me.

    “So, I’m sorry to be so forward, but my friend over there thinks you’re really cute and wanted me to ask for your number.” She said meekly. I could tell she was embarrassed about having to ask a random girl for her phone number. I looked over to the friend she had been pointing too and I immediately recognized him. He had walked in here with the boy who had been plaguing my thoughts for the last week. He was gorgeous, in a word. His tan skinned muscles rippled as he laughed, combing a hand through his black curls.

    “It’s fine. Do you have a pen?” I asked, laughing slightly.

    “Yes! It’s over in my purse, here come with me.” She said, practically ripping me out of my chair and pulling me across the cafe to where she and her friends were sitting.

    It didn’t even register at first when my feet left the ground and my body hit the glass covered floor. I looked up and saw a car had driven through the glass window where I had been sitting, my book pinned under the tire. I lifted my hand to my head, my fingers coming back red as I realized had it not been for the girl I would’ve been toast.




    After Gran heard about the accident I was on bed rest for days. I had her and Carson attending to my every need, despite the fact I had told them multiple times I was perfectly okay. But to be honest, I wasn’t sure if I was. I kept replaying the car crash in my head knowing I should be dead right now. The stitches in my head throbbed as well as the pain in my shoulder from the night at the river that I had intentionally forgotten to tell my sister and grandparents about. My mind was reeling with a million thoughts. Who was the boy from the cafe? Was it simply a coincidence that that girl had pulled me out of my seat just as the car crashed through the window? What kind of things were going on here? My thoughts were interrupted as a knock sounded on my door. It was Carson.

    “Hey, little sis. How ya feeling?” She asked softly sitting down on the edge of my bed.


“I’m fine, Carson. I’ve been saying that since it happened.” I sighed, giving the exact same reply.

    “Cat, you may not be in any physical pain, but there’s definitely something wrong. Is it mom and dad?” She asked, cocking her head. I shook my head no, for once my parents weren’t the sole issue of my emotions.

    “I miss them, but that's not what’s been going on...I just keep replaying the crash in my head, it was crazy, Car. I should be dead, right now.” I breathed as I fiddled with my sheets, not looking up at her.

    “But you’re not and that’s the important part. Maybe you should go out and clear your head, sitting in bed all day probably isn’t good for you. Go swimming.”

    I smiled slightly. My sister knew me so well, plus the thought of being immersed in water made me ecstatic. I nodded as I jumped off my bed, steadying myself when i became dizzy from standing up too quickly. Carson laughed as she clapped me on the shoulder lightly before turning and leaving.

    Swimming was always mind numbing to me, when I was in the water it felt as though my mind and spirit had completely left my body, it was amazing. Treading water to me was the equivalent of flying, it left me at an all time high for hours at a time. However, swimming in a pool wasn’t nearly as good as swimming in the ocean, but after the accident I haven’t been able to step foot on a beach, let alone the ocean. I think a part of me knew I’d be okay, but there was still a part of me that was very much terrified that something terrible would happen and that was what prevented me from even going near the ocean.

    I closed my eyes as I sunk under the water, sitting at the bottom of the pool. I let my thoughts wander away from the car crash and the boat accident and my parents and the physical pain I was feeling throughout my body. I tossed everything bad out the window and just sat in silence. It was in the silence and solidarity of the pool that the boy’s face, the one from the cafe, appeared in my head. His smile and laugh made me desperately wish I knew his name. There was something I couldn’t shake about him. He had been incredibly rude and inconsiderate, but he had brought me bag, and then proceeded to drop it, but he had still brought it to me. I replayed that moment in my head, maybe he was just trying to be nice, I hadn’t exactly been the most gracious person towards him, maybe I was actually the one at fault. The thoughts disappeared from my mind as I came up for air. I could hold my breath for seven minutes, at most, but what I saw took my breath away. There he was, standing on the other side of my pool and he looked heart-stopping.

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