Logan Martelli wasn't just a bad boy. He was the bad boy. He did want he wanted, when he wanted and didn't care who he hurt. Everyone in River Valley knew who he was, but all he wanted to do was leave town and start over again.
Maddie Wright was the sweet, nice girl that nobody ever noticed. The only problem with that was that she wasn't as nice and sweet as everyone thought, and she couldn't wait for the day that everyone found out the truth.
Both Logan and Maddie decide to take destiny into their own hands, and one crazy night puts them on a collision course that changes both of their lives forever.
Crazy Beautiful Love
J. S. Cooper
As I walked through the front door, it felt like I had been away for years, even though it had only been a few hours. I surveyed the mess in the house, and laughed to myself at the sight. I could only imagine the shock on Maddie’s face if I had brought her here.
“Logan, what did you get?” My dad’s gruff voice called out to me, and I saw him sitting on the large, scruffy brown leather couch, with a beer in his hand.
“Good for resale.” He nodded and took a swig of beer. “We got worried, why were you gone so long?”
“There was some drama on the pier, I had to wait it out.”
“No one saw you, though?” He looked up through small eyes. “I don’t need the police coming to harass me tonight.”
“No one saw.”
“Good.” He frowned as he drank the last of his beer and threw the can into the corner. “Go and get me another beer from the fridge.”
“Okay.” I walked to the kitchen quietly, not bothering to ask if he was sure he wanted another. I no longer cared how drunk and obnoxious he got; he wasn’t ever going to change.
“Hey.” I nodded at Vincent who was sitting at the table with a stack of books in front of him. “Wassup.”
“Trying to figure out these equations.” He sighed, and slammed the book shut and jumped up. “Where have you been?”
“At the pier. It took longer than I thought it would.” I opened the fridge and grabbed a Bud Light. “Want one?” I lifted the can up to Vincent.
“Nah.” He stared at me. “You should have told me, I would have come.”
“I work best alone.” I shrugged.
“You need a lookout, you know that.” He sighed.
“You got an exam tomorrow.” I walked to the kitchen. “You need to focus.”
“It doesn’t matter, I’ll fail anyway.”
“Hold on.” I put my hand up, walked to the living room, threw the beer to my dad, who was staring at The Simpsons on TV and mumbling, and then I walked back to the kitchen. I looked around and resisted the urge to start shouting about the mess. The sink was full of dirty dishes, and there was food all over the counters and on the floor. “Where’s Jared?”
“Dunno.” Vincent sat back down and opened his book. I sat down at the table with him and studied his serious face. I wanted to tell him about my night, not about the thrill of stealing the car, he knew what that was like already. I wanted to tell him about Maddie, and how she had lit my heart on fire, and how we had made sweet, hard, passionate love in the grass, and how I had thought I was going to explode from the sensations. I wanted to tell him how sweet the sound of Maddie screaming out my name had been. But I kept my mouth shut.
“You okay, Logan?” Vincent looked at me in concern, his blue eyes worried. He ran a hand through his spiky black hair and he leaned towards me. “Did something happen tonight?”
“No. Nothing happened.” I faked a smile and hit him in the arm. “You don’t know who I am? I’m Logan Martelli, the cops can’t keep up with me.”
“Ha ha, I almost forgot you’re Logan Martelli.” He smiled and me and then sighed.
“What’s wrong, Vincent?”
“I just don’t think I can do this.” He nodded at the books on the table. “I’m too stupid to understand this crap.”
“You’re not too stupid for anything.” I gave him a stern look. “Let’s have a look.” I opened his book and saw the page on quadratic equations. “I can help you with this, I was pretty good in math.”
“You were good in everything.” He laughed and sat back. “Genius of the family.”
“Well, you’re the college boy, so I expect you’re just as much of a genius as me.”
“I don’t know if I’d say I’m a college boy. More like a hopeful community college man.”
“Community college is still college, you’ll still get a degree. And then you can go on to a four-year university.”
“I don’t know about all that.”
“You’ll do fine. Now go take a 5 minute break, let me look over the problems, and I’ll help you, okay?”
“Okay, thanks, Logan.” He jumped up. “You’re the best.”
“Yeah, yeah.” I rolled my eyes and watched as he ran up the stairs. I sat back in my chair and closed my eyes for a second. I was worried that Vincent was going to drop out of community college, and that everything would be for nothing. At 22, Vincent was one of the oldest freshmen students at River Valley Community College, but I was so proud of him. Even though I had been pushing him for a long time to get a college education, he had ignored me. It was only when he got busted for smoking pot on the beach with some of his friends that he decided to enroll. Thanks to the judge, it was community college or jail. I hadn’t told anyone, but I was glad Vincent had been caught that night. I didn’t want a life of crime for him and Jared. I wanted them to go to school and get out of River Valley. They didn’t need this life.
“Okay, back. You ready to teach me, Einstein?” Vincent ran back into the kitchen. “And I think Jared’s back. I just heard a car door slam and then a car backing out.”
“He got a ride?” I looked towards the front door, slightly annoyed.
“I guess.” Vincent nodded and bit his lip.
“Okay.” I knew there was no point badgering Vincent about Jared. If there was one thing that was true about the Martelli brothers was that we weren’t snitches.
“What’s up, bitches?” Jared sauntered into the house and threw his fingers up in the air. I could tell that he was drunk right away, and I was pissed.
“Where have you been, Jared?”
“Out.” He walked into the kitchen with bloodshot eyes.
“Yeah, and?” He glared at me, his green eyes daring me to say something. I stared into the eyes that were an exact replica of mine, and I counted to ten.
“I told you I don’t want you hanging out with Joey.”
“You what?” Jared laughed. “I’m 21, bitch, and you’re not my mom or dad.”
“You know he’s bad news.”
“We’re all bad news, that’s the beauty in it.” Jared stumbled to the fridge. “Any food?”
“He’s real bad news, Jared.” I walked over to him. “We don’t get involved in that stuff.”
“I know, I know.” He sighed and turned around to me. “There’s nothing to eat.”
“What do you want?” I looked around the kitchen and realized that there was no space to make anything, even if I wanted to. “Let’s just order a pizza.”
“You sure?” Jared’s eyes lit up and I pulled him towards me. He was my little brother but he was still taller than me, with his 6 feet and 4 inches. I patted him on the back and let him go.
“Yeah, go and call them.”
“You the best, bro.”
“Oh, I’m your bro now, and not a bitch?”
“You’re still a bitch.” He laughed. “What up, Vincent?”
“Just trying to get ready for this exam tomorrow.”
“Tell Logan to go and take it for you.” He wiggled his eyebrows and we all laughed as we sat down at the table. I looked at my brothers and felt at ease; these were the guys I would give my life for. Even though, I was only 3 years older than Vincent and 4 years older than Jared, I felt a huge responsibility over them. In fact, I often treated them like they were my sons. Ever since our mom died twelve years ago, we had been essentially alone. Dad had only been good for a few things: teaching us how to steal, how to drink, and how to not give a fuck about anyone else.
“Shh, Jared, Vincent can do this. And so can you.” I looked at him pointedly, and he gave me such a glazed look, that I knew he wasn’t going to remember this conversation in the morning.
“Vincent’s going to become a lawyer so he can keep us out of jail.” Jared laughed. “We only need one college boy in the family, Logan.”
“Whoa, hold on. I’m a far way from law school.” Vincent’s voice was gruff, though I could see the hope in his eyes. Vincent’s dream had always been to go to law school. He had this idea that if he got into the system, he could change it . I didn’t really want him to go become a lawyer, I felt it would distance him from me. But I wanted the best for him. His dreams were important to me, more than my own worries and concerns.
“You’ll make it, Vinny. And Jared, you get your ass working on that college application.”
“Shit, Logan, I’ve got 2 months until the deadline.” Jared rolled his eyes at me, and it took everything in me not to deck him.
“That’s what you said last year and you missed it.”
“How was the pier tonight?” Jared changed the subject, and I turned away from him with a shrug.
“Okay, I got a Corolla.”
“I noticed, sweet ride.” Jared laughed.
“Stay away,” I warned him.
“You taking it to Marty?” he questioned me.
I shook my head. “Nah, not this one.” I kept my voice monotone, and jumped up to grab a beer. Marty was an old friend of my dad’s, he ran a mechanic shop in River Valley and always took the cars we gave him. He either used them for parts or sold them through an auto dealer magazine. However, recently he had been paying less and less, and acting shadier and shadier. I think it was because he didn’t like dealing with me. He was used to my dad, who just took the money and shut up. By the end of the night, Marty would have most of the money back, either in his belly as free beer or as winnings from poker night, with my dad and some of their friends. I didn’t participate in either of those activities and Marty wasn’t too happy about it. So now, he offered less and less. In fact, the last time I had taken him a car, he had given me a veiled warning, take the cash offered or the car may make its way to a police parking lot in the middle of the night, and he’d hate to see them catch the thief due to fingerprints. I took the money instead of socking him in the jaw, because he had his two henchmen next to him. But I knew after that, I couldn’t take another car to him.
“Where you going to take it?” Jared questioned me.
“I’ll have to see.” My voice was rough and strained. “Anyways, I gotta help Vinny now. You go wait on the pizza and we’ll talk later.”
“Shit, I better go outside and wait before dad goes crazy at the pizza guy for ringing the doorbell again.”
“Yeah.” I nodded in agreement. “Do that.” I watched as Jared walked out of the kitchen, down the hallway, and out the front door, and I let out a deep breath.
“What’s up, Logan?” Vinny’s voice sounded worried.
I looked up at him with a weak smile. I had forgotten he was still in the room with us. “Nothing.”
“Something going on with Marty?”
“Yeah, but it’ll be okay.”
“He’s shady as fuck, isn’t he?” Vincent sighed and I saw that his fists were clenched. “You let me deal with him, or all of us can. You, me, Jared, we should go down there and show him that the Martelli brothers don’t play.”
“We can’t go down there and intimidate him, Vincent.” I shook my head, trying to talk reason into him, even though his idea sounded good to me.
“I wasn’t talking about intimidating.” Vincent smiled a wicked smile. “I’m talking about using him as a punching bag, and not stopping until he cries like a bitch.”
“We’re not going to do that, Vinny.”
“Watch your mouth.” I laughed. “You can’t afford to get caught for anything anyway, you know what the judge said.”
“Yeah,” he sighed. “What are we going to do?”
“I don’t know.”
“We got enough money for rent next month?” I could hear the concern in his voice and I was angry. Angry that we were in this position, angry that I hadn’t been able to do anything to make our lives better.
“We got enough,” I lied, not wanting him to worry. I knew what he would do if he knew I was worried, and the last thing I wanted was for him to go to jail.
“But not much more, huh?” He sat back, still worried but less stressed. “You think you’ll be able to sell the Toyota?”
“Yeah.” I nodded.
“We could always ask Joey?” Vincent’s voice trailed off, as I glared at him.
“We don’t do business with Joey.”
“It can’t hurt to do it this once.”
“No.” I shook my head vehemently. “We don’t deal with the likes of him.”
“He’s not that bad.”
“I’m not going to discuss it again. I’ve told you and Jared already. We don’t mess with Joey and his boys.”
“You wanna go over this math now, or what?” I opened the book back up, and as far as I was concerned, the subject was closed.
I heard Vinny and Jared snoring as I walked to the bathroom. The TV was still blaring downstairs, it sounded as if my dad were watching Jerry Springer. I checked my watch and realized it was 4 a.m. It was more likely that he had fallen asleep on the couch with the TV on. I ran down the stairs so I could turn it off, but saw that he was sitting on the couch wide-eyed and staring, as if in a trance.
“Dad?” I walked into the room hesitantly. “You okay?”
“Just getting ready for the day.” He looked up at me, but I couldn’t tell if his eyes were really focused.
“You want me to help you up to your room?”
“I was just watching TV.” He blinked at me and rubbed his eyes. “There was a lady that looked like your mom.”
“Yeah, same blond hair.” He stared at me. “You’re the only one who looks like her.”
“I know, people always wonder if I’m really Vinny and Jared’s brother,” I joked about their dark hair and features. They took after my dad.
“She had such long blonde hair,” he continued. “She was the love of my life.”
“And you were hers.” I gave him a wide smile, I knew the routine by now. We’d had this conversation hundreds of times since she had died.
“I failed her.” He shook his head. “She should still be here.”
“They fucking killed her.”
“I know.” I sighed and rubbed my eyes, wanting to go back to sleep.
“Have you ever been in love, son?” His words sounded coherent and lucid and I looked up and saw the very real question in his eyes.
“No.” I shook my head. Love was for fools. I was many things, but I wasn’t a fool.
“I never wanted to fall in love,” he laughed. “It just kinda hit me, like a deer in the night. Your mother was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen, and I just couldn’t stop thinking about her.”
“And she couldn’t stop thinking about you.”
“No.” He shook his head. “She couldn’t. She loved me when she shouldn’t have. But she couldn’t help herself.”
“Yeah, some women are crazy.” I shook my head, and an image of Maddie crossed my mind. “Some women are mad.” I laughed at my joke, and looked up to see my father staring at me curiously.
“You’ve met someone?” He leaned forward and a beer can fell to the ground. I watched in dismay as the liquid seeped into the already-dirty, tattered, and stained brown carpet.
“No.” I shook my head vehemently.
“You’ve met someone.” He laughed and sat back, his beer belly showing as his T-shirt rode up. “Who is she?”
“No one,” I answered quickly with my heart beating fast. I was scared that he would figure it out. That somehow he would be able to read my mind and know.
“Must be someone special.”
“She’s not special,” I retorted and then realized my mistake. “There’s no one.”
He peered up at me and gave me a sweet smile, a smile that almost reminded me of the man he had been when I was a child. The man my mother had fallen in love with had been a fun, handsome, wonderful man. And then the smile turned into a bitter look and he pointed at me. “You better not fuck around and let this chick take your mind off of what’s important.”
“There is no chick.” I stepped back, not wanting to get into it tonight.
“I told you, women ain’t shit. You got a family to take care of. Me and your brothers need you.”
“Go and get me another beer.”
“Who you talking to like that?” He made to get up, and as I stared at his slovenly body, a shudder of distaste ran through me. How I hated this man who was supposed to be my father. It didn’t matter that there were moments of sorrow, and sympathy, and that there were glimpses of the man he used to be. All he was now was a sorry old drunk. I just wanted to walk out the door and never come back. How I hated this place, this town, this house, my life. But it was all I knew. And all I could do, or try to do, was help Vincent and Jared achieve their dreams so they weren’t stuck in this shithole forever, like I was.
“I’m going out.” I looked at my father, who had fallen back against the couch, and I walked to the kitchen quickly and grabbed the keys to the Corolla. It wasn’t smart for me to take this car. It had likely been reported as stolen already, and the police would be sure to be on the lookout. I got all the way to the car before I stopped myself. I couldn’t take the Corolla. I would have to borrow Vincent’s Mustang. I knew he would be pissed, and I knew I just didn’t care. I ran back in, grabbed his keys, and headed back out and started the engine.
This 1977 red Mustang was Vincent’s pride and joy, he had restored it himself and paid for all the parts with money he had made delivering pizza in high school. Most people couldn’t believe it when Vincent got the job. They assumed he would just follow my footsteps and be a thief, but I had made him get the job. If he wanted a legitimate car, he had to buy it with legitimate money. The cops were all over us as it was, there was no way he could drive a few weeks in his own car without having a money trail.
I started the engine and listened to it purr, before quickly reversing off of the overgrown grass that made up our front yard. I revved the engine and peeled off down the road, rolling the windows down so I could feel the cold fresh air on my face. I didn’t know where I was going and it didn’t even matter. I just needed to be out of the house before I did something I would regret.
It had been a long night, and I felt anxious and angry. I hadn’t felt this bad since my mom had died. I was so unsure and screwed up. And it wasn’t because of my dad. It was because of Maddie: stupid, beautiful, wild and crazy Maddie. I didn’t want to think about her, but the memory of her begging me to take her kept playing in my mind like some broken record. The feel of her skin next to mine, so soft and supple, aching for my touch, aroused my thoughts, and an image of her vivid blue-purple eyes flashed in my mind. My God, she was beautiful. Perhaps, one of the most beautiful women I had ever met. And definitely, the most unique. She was definitely a woman who was there to be admired and taken notice of, and she knew it. She was under my skin, she was in my skin, and I wanted to rip her out of me. I’d only known her one day – not even a day. One night. One night and already she was causing confusion in my life. And she was the enemy.
It was as if the car were telling me where to go, I felt like Kit in Knight Rider as I drove towards Manor Road. I knew the way well, as I had taken the exact route so many times. I pulled up to the street about 20 minutes later and parked in the same spot my dad had every time he drove us here.
I stared at the house for what seemed like the millionth time. It was so big, and as a child, I had always wondered what people did with houses so big. Did they sleep in a different room every night? It was so different to what I was accustomed to. So grand and alluring. I wondered what it would be like to live in a place like that. To make enough money to afford a house that rivaled any Beverly Hills mansion. I sat back in the seat with the engine off, and just stared. I thought about all the other times I had been there, and the vitriol my dad had spewed about the mayor and his family. The vitriol that had been the foundation of my hate for Maddie and her family. Only, as I sat there, I found it hard to hate her.
“That’s what these worms do,” I berated myself. “These parasites try and pretend to be someone else and then they fuck you over.” I was mad at myself, I was mad that I was wondering and concerned about how Maddie was feeling. I didn’t want to care about how she was feeling. She deserved everything that she got. She was a spoiled bitch. Who tried to find some guy she didn’t know and then sleep with him? She was crazy. She’s not that crazy and she’s not a bitch, another voice whined inside my head. I jumped out of the car, confused and angry at myself.
I grabbed some gravel from the side of the road and ran up to the house, throwing it at the front door. My aim was off and I heard the sound of windows cracking as the small rocks slammed into them. I saw a light come on, and I stood there defiantly. I wasn’t scared and I didn’t care what happened. It was time for me to face the mayor. I needed to let him have it, and I didn’t care if I was arrested in the process.
Thank you for reading the 4th teaser from Crazy Beautiful Love. I hope you enjoyed it! Don’t forget the full book will be out on August 26th!! Are you excited? What did you think of the teaser? Leave me a comment and let me know!!
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This teaser is unedited and is only part of chapter 3!!
Maddie didn’t say anything as I drove her back to her house. I was glad for the silence. I ignored her and the pounding in my head and concentrated on the street signs. My heart was also pounding but I convinced myself that was due to my fear of the police catching up with me and not due to what had just happened in the field.
“You can just drop me off at the bus stop.” Maddie’s voice was low and pained and I kept driving without saying anything. “Are you going to tell me what I did wrong?” She paused and then continued after a minute. “Or was this just a bit of fun for you?”
“What do you think?” I kept my eyes straight ahead, wanting her to feel hurt.
“So this was just a roll in the hay? Or should I say a roll in the grass?”
“You can call it whatever you want.”
“You’re an asshole.”
“Then don’t be so easy next time.” I regretted the words as soon as they slipped off of my tongue. I heard her gasp and I knew I had hurt her. But I didn’t want to let her know that I actually respected her for going after what she wanted. I liked that she wasn’t the type of girl to play games. Unfortunately, I knew I couldn’t tell her that.
“You were easy too,” her voice was accusing. “But let me guess, because I’m a girl, it’s an issue. I’m a slut because I slept with you right away, but you’re a saint, right? The criminal saint.”
“I didn’t call you a slut and I never said I was a saint.” I shook my head and peeked at her. My heart trembled when I saw the confusion and hurt on her face. I felt horrible, but a part of me was happy that she was hurt. She deserved it for what her father had done. I hated her because I hated her whole family. I just wished I hadn’t gotten involved with her in the first place.
“Well, in case you didn’t know, you’re not a saint. I should call the police and tell them you stole this car.”
“Yeah, you do that, wannabe cop car stealer.” I rolled my eyes, though my stomach was a bundle of nerves. What if she said that I tried to steal the cop car, then stole this car and kidnapped her or something? Girls were crazy, and I didn’t know her from Adam. I cursed under my breath as I felt my sweaty palms on the steering wheel. I had well and truly fucked this up. And then Maddie started laughing, and I looked over at her in surprise.
She grinned at me as she wiped tears from her eyes. “I guess I’m the pot calling the kettle black, aren’t I?”
“Huh?” I frowned at her, confused at her sudden change.
“Me threatening to call the cops on you.” She shook her head. “I wonder if I should tell them about my own attempted theft before or after I rat you out?”
“I guess that’s the dilemma.” I smiled at her reluctantly. Maddie really was different from any girl I had ever met.
“Are you going to tell me why you’re taking me home?” she said softly.
I shook my head. “No.”
“I like you, Logan Martelli.” Her voice was sweet and she sighed before she continued. “You’re a sexy, wonderful mystery.”
“I’m not a mystery. You know who I am. Everyone in River Valley does.” I paused and looked at her quickly. “Though, you didn’t go to school here, did you?”
“No, my parents sent me to boarding school in Boston.” She made a face. “They didn’t think that the schools in River Valley would prepare me to go to the best colleges.”
“Ironic that the Mayor thinks that the schools here are crap.” I tried to hide the bitterness in my voice.
“Yeah,” Maddie’s voice was soft. “It says a lot.”
“So why did you steal a car, Miss Wright? You’ve got more than enough money to buy a ton of cop cars if you so desired.”
“I’m not going to say.” She shook her head, and I frowned at the sound of her voice. It was a mix between humor and sadness.
“Wait, so now you actually know why?” I slowed down and stopped at the red light, and then looked over at her hard. “I thought you didn’t really know.”
“You’re going to think I’m crazy if I tell you.”
“Oh?” I closed my eyes briefly in worry. Had this been some sort of sting operation? Shit, my dad would go crazy if I got busted, and especially because of Maddie Wright. I could just imagine how angry he would be, and Vincent and Jared would be worried and scared.
“So, I’m not going to tell you,” she continued childishly, and I squared my jaw and stared at her intently.
“What the fuck is going on, Maddie? I’m not one of your college beaus you can twirl around your little finger. You mess with me and I will make sure it’s repaid. Do you hear me? Your parents warned you about the Martelli Brothers, I’m sure. And they did that for good reason. You do not know what I’m capable of.” My voice was low and harsh as I said the words I thought would scare her most. A part of me was sad that I had to play this role, especially with her. For some reason, I didn’t want Maddie to believe the rumors about my family. I didn’t want her to think I was capable of doing really bad things. But it was a bit late for that; she had met me on the night I had stolen a car. She would never believe I was a good guy inside; I didn’t even know if I was a good guy inside.
“What are you talking about, Logan?” Maddie’s eyes flashed with anger instead of the fright I had expected to see. “And the light just turned green, so you can go.”
“I’ll go when I goddamn please,” I hissed, slightly unsure of myself. She wasn’t reacting in the way I had expected.
“Logan, you’ve been watching too many John Wayne and Clint Eastwood movies.” Maddie laughed and leaned back in her seat. “Or maybe The Godfather and Goodfellas? Did you watch a movie marathon recently?”
“What are you talking about?” I blinked at her in confusion, heart thudding again.
“That little talk just now, about me not messing with you.” She laughed. “I’ve only known you a few hours, but I know you wouldn’t hurt me.”
“Are you stupid, Maddie?” I sighed as I pressed my foot on the gas. How could she trust me so easily? Didn’t she know that there were real bad men around who could do her harm? “You do not know me, no matter what you think.”
“I trust my gut instincts.” She smiled at me sweetly. “You’re not a bad guy.”
“What sort of guy am I then?” I held my breath, waiting for her answer.
“You’re the guy I’m going to marry.”
I burst out laughing at her words and shook my head. She really was a Loony Tunes character.
“I think you’ve had too much time on your hands this summer.”
“Have you ever seen The Notebook, or Love Actually?”
“Well, have you ever seen any romance movies?”
“Well, when people are meant to be together, they just know.”
“Maddie, I have no interest in getting married, and if I did, it would not be to you.” I let the words linger in the air, and felt her flinch at my words.
“I hope you don’t think…”
“Look, Maddie,” I cut her off and pulled over at the end of her street. “This isn’t a romance movie or book, or whatever. There is no happily ever after for us, I don’t know what game you’re playing. I’m sorry I slept with you. That wasn’t fair to you. But listen to me carefully, we are nothing. I don’t know you, and I don’t care about you.”
My eyes blazed into hers and I could see tears welling in them. I broke away from her gaze and looked at the tree-lined street of mansions. I stared at her house, with the colonial columns and the porch swing, and my blood boiled. There was no reason for me to feel sorry for Maddie; she had everything she could ever want. She was just some silly college girl, caught up in some fantasy of getting with a bad boy. I knew her type.
“That’s how you feel?” Her voice was strong, and I was surprised that she wasn’t crying already. I guess she inherited her backbone from her piece of scum father.
“Yes.” I looked back at her and stared at her slightly trembling lips. They looked so pink and luscious, and I could almost feel them on mine; soft, moist, and sweet. I wanted to pull her towards me and hold her tight. I wanted to kiss her again. Shit, I wanted to take her in the backseat of the car. All I would have to do is throw the baby seat out.
“Well, I guess that’s it then.” She opened the door. “It was nice to meet you.”
“I wish I could say the same.” I turned away from her harshly. Let her hate me. I needed her to hate me. I couldn’t afford for the lines to be blurred. I was already feeling shitty, and I just needed to get away from her.
“I stole the cop car because I wanted to meet you,” she whispered before she slammed the door.
“Wait, what?” I sat there in shock. “What the fuck is she talking about?” I cursed at myself as I opened the car door and jumped out. “What do you mean?” I called after her, as I hurried to keep up with her. She was walking fast and I ran to stop her.
“Wait.” I grabbed her arm and stopped her. “What do you mean you stole a cop car to meet me?”
She turned around slowly and my heart froze as I saw the tears streaming down her face. She looked up at me, and her cheeks were blotchy. I pulled her towards me subconsciously and held her in my arms. She rested her head on my shoulder and I stroked her hair and buried my face in her black locks. I felt her body pressed mine, and I ignored the stirrings of lust that grew in me.
“Why do you hate me?” She looked up at me with wide eyes, her irises cloudy and unsure. “I don’t get why you’re trying to hurt me.”
“I don’t even know you, Maddie. We just met. I’m not trying to hurt you.”
“You’re not a cruel guy.” She shook her head. “You changed after we had sex.” She sighed. “I guess it’s my fault.”
“I didn’t change because we had sex.” I shook my head and rubbed her lower back, pulling her closer to me. “We’re two people who shouldn’t have…”
“Shhh.” Her eyebrows crept together. “I don’t want to hear anything about being from opposite sides of the track or whatever. We’re both adults here. Yeah, I know you’re a criminal, a petty criminal. But I also know you’re a smart guy. I know what you do to help others.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I looked away from her. How did she know so much about me? I thought I had hidden my tracks a lot more carefully.
“It doesn’t really matter now.” She pulled away from me. “You’re just a guy, and I’m just a girl. I know you like to go to the pier to steal cars at night. And you know that I like to watch romance movies.”
“I see.” I frowned. If the fact that I liked to steal cop cars at the pier was well known, then I had to choose another spot.
“I wanted to see what it felt like to be a car thief.” She shook her head and frowned. “I wanted to be in your head.”
“Why?” I looked at her in confusion.
“I don’t know. I didn’t think it through properly. I figured maybe you would wonder who the new thief in your territory was, and maybe you’d come find me.”
“Now, who’s watching too many movies?” I laughed and ran my hands through my hair. “I can’t say I really understand, but I guess I get it.”
“I just wanted to…” She shook her head. “Oh, what does it matter? I’m too tired to explain.”
“I want to know.”
“Are you going to take me out tomorrow night on a date?”
“Are you planning on ever seeing me again?”
I looked at her and at that moment, I wished that I could give her a different answer. “No, no I’m not,” I replied honestly, I didn’t tell her that I wished that circumstances were different. It didn’t matter what I wished, they weren’t now and would never be.
“So it doesn’t matter then. I was just a stupid rich girl.” She let out a quick self-deprecating laugh.
“You’re not stupid.” I shook my head, wishing I knew what I could say to make her feel better. My intent had been to hurt her, but now, seeing her crushed and disappointed face, it didn’t feel as good as I had always hoped it would.
“Whatever, it was nice finally meeting you, Logan Martelli.” She gave me a quick kiss on the cheek and pulled away from me. She walked slowly up to her house and I stood there in impenetrable silence as I watched her walking away from me. I saw her at the front door, and then walked back to the car. I sat in the driver’s seat and stared at the house, unseeing. I didn’t even have to have my eyes open to picture every detail of that house and lawn. I’d been here so many times, sitting in a car, staring and listening to stories. I’d hated this street and this house for more than half my life. I’d hated the family that lived in that house for as long as I could remember. Even though I’d seen the Mayor and his wife before, I’d never seen Maddie. We didn’t even know she was called Maddie, we knew her as Maddison. I had hated Maddison Wright and her family with every bone in my body, and now I sat in my car with a ball of confused emotions. Because I didn’t hate Maddie, not even a little bit. I didn’t hate Maddie at all. But there was nothing I could do to ever let Maddie know that.
I will post the rest of Chapter 3 as the next teaser!!
Are you excited for Crazy Beautiful Love? Leave a comment and let me know!
There is mature content in the teaser below!!
This is an unedited excerpt and the final draft may have changes!
Crazy Beautiful Love- Teaser #2
J. S. Cooper
“I can take you back home if you want.” I looked at Maddie as we walked across the grass. “It won’t be comfortable.”
“I see a blanket in your hand. It’ll be fine.” She pointed at me, with a small smile. “Do you bring a lot of girls here then?”
“No, and I got the blanket from the backseat.” I shook my head and turned away from her. The truth was, I had never brought another girl here. It was my special place, the place I came to when I wanted to think, and be away from my brothers and my dad.
“The stars look so close.” She whispered in hushed tones. “I didn’t think the sky could look any prettier than it does down by the pier, but it is gorgeous here.”
“I think we’re closer to the sky.” I nodded in agreement.
“Really?” She looked surprised. “I didn’t think the altitude was any higher here.”
“I don’t know if that’s a fact, scientifically or anything,” I increased my pace. “I just think we’re closer.”
“You may be right,” she reached out and linked her arm through mine. “It’s pretty here. Where are we going?”
“There’s an old shack further down this path.” I pointed in front of us and she giggled.
“Oh, it looks grand.”
“You can see it?” I frowned, it was extremely dark and while the stars and moon illuminated the field we were walking through, it wasn’t so bright that I could see the shack.
“No silly.” She leaned her head into my arm and I tensed up. “I was joking.”
“I’m glad you decided not to take me home.”
“I figured you may as well continue your night of crime and debauchery.” I tried to make a joke, but my voice sounded too serious.
“We’re a regular Bonnie and Clyde, aren’t we?”
“No, no, we’re not. I had nothing to do with you and the cop car.”
“I’m joking, Logan.” Her voice was suddenly serious. “I’m sorry if you think I forced you to bring me here tonight. You can take me home, if you’re scared I’m going to get you in trouble.”
The irony of the situation hit me once again. She was worried she was going to get me in trouble? “Let’s not talk about our crimes of the evening.” I said lightly.
“Sounds good to me.” She stumbled and I grabbed a hold of her to make sure she didn’t fall. My hands slid around her waist, and I brought her in close to me to steady her. She looked up at me in thanks, and I was overcome with an emotion that I was unfamiliar with.
“Be careful.” I spoke gruffly as I let go of her. “I don’t want you to get a twisted ankle.”
“I’ll be okay.” She spoke lightly and ran ahead slightly. I felt slightly disappointed that she was no longer holding on to my arm. I missed the feel of her hand on my body.
“Where are you running to?”
“But, you don’t know where it is.”
“I’m sure you’ll tell me when to stop.” She started running faster, and I watched as her long legs sprinted in front of me, and her hair flew behind her. Her strides were long and she had perfect form as she ran; I realized that she must have run track at some point in her life.
“Hold on,” I ran behind her and tried to catch up with her. She paused for a second and looked back at me. I saw the same twinkle in her eye that I had seen earlier that evening.
“Catch me, if you can.” She laughed and went running again. She increased her pace and I doubled up my efforts to catch her. It took about a minute of running for me to finally catch up with her, and I grabbed a hold of her waist and we both went crashing down to the ground, as I couldn’t stop my momentum.
“Ow,” she laughed into my face as we rolled around in the grass. “That hurt.”
“Sure, it did.” I laughed into her face, panting. “You can sure run fast.”
“Thank God! The police would have caught me if I wasn’t as fast as a rocket.”
“As fast as a rocket, huh?”
“That’s what my dad says.” She smiled into my face, and she rolled over on top of me. “You really do look like James Dean.”
“Is that why you wanted to spend the night with me?” I said, only half joking. A part of me was sad at the thought.
“Nah,” she leaned down, her hair framing her face and brushing against the sides of my cheeks.
“So then why?”
“Because you taste like sin.” She winked at me and pressed her lips against mine softly. I reached up and pulled her head down towards mine and crushed her lips against mine. I rolled her over on to her back and straddled her, pushing my tongue into her mouth as I pinned her arms back, so that she couldn’t move. Her eyes widened at the pressure of me against her I grinned against her lips. She had no idea who she was dealing with. My tongue explored her mouth as she wiggled beneath me and I kissed her harder, sucking on her tongue as she struggled to move her arms. I winked at her, and finally released them and she ran her fingers through my hair and down my back, allowing her fingernails to dig into my skin.
I ran my hand through her hair, and down the side of her face, before moving my tongue from her mouth and licking down her chin to her neck. I allowed my tongue to trail down her neck to her chest and she stilled beneath me as my fingers ran up her stomach and settled on her right breast. I paused, and moved my mouth over to her left breast, and I bit down on her hard nipple through her tank top as my fingers played with her other breast. I could hear her panting beneath me, and she moved underneath me. I ran my fingers down from her breast to her stomach, and then to her thighs. I ran my fingers lightly up her inner thigh, and then stopped and sat up.
I looked down at her, panting in the grass, staring up at me with eyes full of lust, and it took everything I had in me to not rip her jeans off, and take her then and there.
I jumped up, and then reached down and pulled her up to join me.
“What just happened?” She looked at me with dazed and innocent eyes. “Why did you stop?”
“I’m not going to take you in the grass, in the middle of some field.”
“Why not?” She pouted.
“You don’t even know me.” I shook my head. “You’re not very smart are you?”
“I want to have sex with you.”
“Me, or any guy?” I stared at her pointedly. As much as I wanted to take her, I knew that I couldn’t. She didn’t seem like the sort of girl that knew the score. And as much as I didn’t care if she got hurt, I just couldn’t go forward. I didn’t bother asking myself why, I didn’t want to know.
“I’m not a whore you know.” She stared at me, with pleading eyes. “I don’t just go around having one-night stands.”
“So, you want to use me for a one-night stand?”
“No, well, you know.” She blushed and looked down. “You’re different from most guys I’ve dated.”
“You wanted to know what it was like to be with a bad boy?” I ran my hands through my hair. “Time to experiment with a bit of rough?”
“No, no.” She shook her head angrily. “What’s your problem anyways?”
“I don’t have a problem.” I started walking.
“Are you made at me, Logan?”
“No, why would I be mad at you?”
“I don’t know.” She sighed. “You’re not how I imagined, you know?”
“Yeah, you told me earlier.”
“Earlier, I was talking about your looks.” She reached out and stopped me. “Now, I’m talking about personality. You say you’re a bad boy, but a bad boy would have fucked me with no hesitation just now.”
“Is that what you want me to do?” I looked at her through narrow eyes. “Do you want me to bend you over and fuck you and take you home?”
“Yes, no.” She mumbled, and I laughed as I saw the hope, and eagerness in her eyes, followed by the shock. “I mean, yes, I want to sleep with you, but I don’t want you to take my home afterwards.”
“Oh, you’d rather we talk about our dreams and goals after?” I cocked my head to the side and looked at her in consideration. “Shall we talk about our plans for the future after? Maybe about my goal to go to law school, and your goal to become President? Hmm, yes, that sounds like a good idea.”
“You’re a real asshole, you know that.” She glared at me.
“You don’t know me.”
“I know of you.”
“Yeah, you know what everyone in River Valley knows about me.” I shook my head, disappointed.
“You think I believe everything that I hear?” Her eyes shot daggers at me.
“I don’t care.” My voice was hard. “And you should believe it, it’s true.”
“I don’t think it’s true at all, “ she said softly.
“You just hope it’s not true.”
“I want to get to know the real you.”
“Maddie, we barely met tonight. You don’t want to get to know me. You want a hot fuck in a field with the towns bad boy, so you can go and tell all your friends.”
“You think it would be hot if we made love?” She whispered up at me, and moved closer to me.
“I said fucked.” I took a step back. This girl was stubborn and brave. And stupid. “I don’t make love.”
“That’s okay, we don’t need to make love.”
“You’re crazy, you know that right.”
“Tell me you don’t want me.” She grabbed a hold of my hand, and moved even closer to me. “Tell me, you don’t want to feel yourself inside of me.”
“You’ve been watching too many porno’s, Maddie.” I looked at her with a wry smile. “I’ve never heard anyone use those phrases in real life.”
“I don’t watch porno’s.” She leaned up towards me. “But, I do want to feel you inside of me.”
“Shouldn’t I be the one saying that?” I could barely believe my ears. This girl was crazier than I had given her credit for. “I wouldn’t go around saying that to every guy you meet.”
“I don’t want to sleep with every guy that I meet.”
“So why me?” I looked at her, and my heart skipped a beat. I knew I was falling under her spell. And I didn’t want to. I wanted to be anywhere but here, with anyone but her.
“Because you’re Logan Martelli.” She smiled shyly.
“You say that like it’s a good thing.” I rolled my eyes. “Haven’t you heard, good girls like you are meant to stay away from me?”
“I’m not a good girl.” She licked her lips. “I’m a bad girl.”
“Why are you here, Maddie?” I sighed as I stared at her lips. I wasn’t going to be able to resist her much longer.
“I don’t know.” She stepped back, and I was loathe to lose her closeness. “I like you. I’m attracted to you. I want to know the real you.”
“There is no real me. The me you know about is the real me.”
“I’ve always wanted to get to know you better.”
“You don’t even know me.” I rolled my eyes.
“You’re famous in this town.” She pushed me in the chest slightly. “And, you know what, I don’t care what people say about you.”
“It’s true what they say about me.”
“Who cares?” She shrugged nonchalantly.
“What do you do, Maddie?” I changed the subject, not wanting to talk about my reputation any more.
“I’m a college senior, well I’m going to be a senior in the fall.”
“I see.” I nodded and turned away. “Back home for the summer?”
“Yeah.” She sighed. “I wanted to get a job, but my mother wasn’t having it.”
“She doesn’t want you to work?”
“No,” she shook her head. “But let’s not talk about her.”
“What are you studying?”
“No, it’s not.” She laughed. “I know that many people aren’t as inspired by history as I am. What did you study?”
“Yeah,” and then she blushed. “Oh, sorry. I guess you didn’t go to college?”
“No,” I shook my head annoyed. “I barely graduated from high school.” I lied, not wanting her to know that I graduated with a 3.8 GPA, and a number of college credits from dual enrollment classes.
“School’s not all that.”
“Yeah.” We walked in uncomfortable silence. What was she doing with me here? What was I doing with her?
“Do you enjoy stealing cars?”
I looked over at her annoyed, and suspicious. What sort of fool was she? “Is that all you think I do?”
“No,” she looked taken aback. “I was just curious, seeing as how we just met, you know.” Her voice trailed off and I stifled a curse. Since when was she so sensitive?
“Look Maddie, I don’t know you and you don’t know me. Let’s just spend the night staring at the stars, and leave it at that. I’m not down for any deep conversations. I don’t need to be analyzed by some college girl.”
“I think you have a problem with me.” Her words were soft but I could hear the edge in her words. “You’re pretending that you think I have an issue with you, because you’re Logan Martelli. Woo, I’m scared I’m with the big bad Logan Martelli, eldest brother in a family of criminals. I’m so scared. You’re going to steal a car and then have your wicked way with me. Uh oh. Even though, I can’t even get you to make out with me for longer than a few minutes. The issue we have here isn’t what I think of you, which by the way is not much, and that has nothing to do with the rumors about you in town. The issue we have here is that I’m a girl, and I’m rich, and I’m college educated, and I’m forward and you don’t like that. You don’t like that a girl like me is confident to tell you that she wants you. You’re scared that I’m going to emasculate you. You’re scared that I’m going to be a better thief than you. You’re…”
I watched Maddie ramble on incensed and pulled her towards me. “Oh, shut up.” I growled at her before pressing my lips down on hers again. “Just shut up.” I whispered against her mouth, and this time it was she that pushed her tongue into my mouth first. We kissed passionately; as if it was the last kiss that either of us would ever have on earth. I ran my hands down her back and grabbed her ass, and pulled her into me, so that she could feel my arousal against her stomach. I squeezed her asscheeks and enjoyed the feel of her firm butt against my hands. She pushed her breasts against my chest and I felt her hands in my hair. I opened my eyes, and saw her gazing into mine, with a sparkly glint. She was loving every second of our encounter, and it crossed my mind that she had deliberately wound me up, she had wanted me to take control of the situation and just shut her up. All of a sudden, I felt even more aroused and I brought her down to the ground with me. If this was what she wanted, who was I to say no?
“Oh, Logan.” She moaned against my mouth, as I slipped my hand up her shirt and cupped her breast over her bra. I slipped my fingers into her bra-cup and pinched her nipples, delighting in the sound of her groan at the contact of my skin on hers.
“Sit up,” I commanded her, and pulled off her tanktop as she sat up and stared at me. I then undid her bra and threw it on the ground.
“Take off your shirt as well.” She whispered.
“What?” I stared at her unsmiling.
“Take off your shirt.”
“I’ll take it off when I’m ready.” I gave her a direct warning look. “If we’re going to do this, we’ll do it as, I say.”
“Lay down.” I watched as she lay back on the ground and smiled, before leaning down and taking her naked breast in my mouth. I almost groaned as I tasted her. Her nipple tasted sweet, and I suckled on it as if it were the sweetest confectionary. Maddie shifted underneath me, and I saw her legs spread as if giving me the signal that she were ready for another area to be serviced. All in good time, I thought to myself. I moved my mouth over to her other breast and she cried out and as I nibbled on her now extremely hard nipple. I felt her hands on my back, and I knew she was pulling my teeshirt up. I paused, not ready for her to take my shirt off. I shifted, and grabbed her arms and pinned them back on either side of her head.
“I told you, I’m not ready to take my shirt off.”
“I want to see your chest.”
“Not now.” I growled down at her, wanting her to be slightly scared, wanting her to pause and think for just a moment, wtf am I doing here.
“Okay,” she smiled up at me sweetly. I couldn’t resist her smile, this stupid girl had no idea who she was messing around with. Part of me felt sorry for her, and the other part of me felt sorry for myself. One of us was going to get really hurt. I could already see the heartache, there was no where for anything to go between us. It didn’t matter if we were both drawn to each other like moth’s like a flame. It didn’t matter that we had only met that evening. I knew that she couldn’t resist me, because I couldn’t resist her. There was some magnetic pull drawing us together. I’d known it as soon as our eyes had locked earlier. But I wouldn’t have pursued it or her. Liar, a voice in my head called out, why did you pull over then? You were hoping to see her. You were hoping with every fiber in your being.
“Logan.” She whispered up at me, distracting me from my thoughts.
“Yes.” I blinked down at her, unseeing.
“Kiss me.” She leaned up, and I blinked again, and saw her staring up at me with beautiful, open and shining eyes. Shit, there was an emotion there that I didn’t want to see. “Kiss me.”
I reached down and pulled my shirt off and threw it on the ground. I saw her eyes widen in shock at the huge scar on my abdomen and as she opened her mouth to talk, I reached down to kiss her. I didn’t want to talk about the scar. My chest crushed down on her breasts as we kissed and rolled around, my fingers trailed down her stomach and I crept my fingers down to the top of her jeans, and undid the button. I looked up at her to make sure it was okay and she nodded. I undid the button quickly, and then unzipped her jeans and pulled them off. I stared at her in wonder, she looked like a beautiful angel beckoning to me in only a pair of black lace panties. I ran my fingers in-between her legs and she gasped as I slipped them into her panties. I grinned as I felt her wetness, she was as ready for this as I was. I didn’t hesitate as I felt her hands on my button and I allowed her to unbutton my jeans before I yanked them off and sat there in my boxers.
She reached her hand into the hole in my boxers and grabbed a hold of me cautiously. She grinned as she felt my hardness in her hands, and I smiled at her before her pushing her back down on the ground. I positioned myself in-between her legs, so that she could feel my hardness next to her. She moaned, and we rolled around in the grass, touching and exploring each other’s bodies. Within a few minutes, her panties and my boxers were also off and I looked down at her with a question in my eyes.
“Are you sure?”
“I’ve never been more sure.” She nodded and pulled me down. “Fuck me, Logan.” She whispered in my ear seductively, as she arched her back up to me. I couldn’t take it any longer, and I centered myself at her entrance and pushed myself inside of her. She cried out, as I entered her and I moved slowly at first, but I just couldn’t hold back and I increased my pace, so that I could feel her enclosed tightly around me. She scratched my back and I felt her body shuddering underneath mine as she came.
“Logan,” she screamed over and over again and I felt my body spark with electricity before I burst into her and collapsed next to her, as I slowly withdrew myself from her. I lay flat on my back and she leaned over and rested her head on my chest, her fingers trailing along my chest. I saw her staring at my scar and she ran her fingers down and touched it gingerly. I saw her glance up at me, to make sure it was okay, and I nodded and played with her hair.
“That was wonderful,” she exclaimed breathlessly.
“I’m glad you enjoyed yourself.” I smiled at her, too satiated to say much else.
“We should do it again.”
“Not now.” I laughed. “Unfortunately, I’m not Superman.”
“Maybe tomorrow?” She looked up at me, and my breath caught. I looked away from her causally.
“I’m busy tomorrow.”
“You should stay at home, and out of trouble, Maddie.”
“I don’t want to.”
“You shouldn’t be sleeping with random men the first night you meet them.” I turned to her, and caressed her breast as I told her off. “It’s not safe.”
“You’re safe.” She giggled. “That tickles.”
“Why did you steal that cop car, Maddie? And why did you get in my car?”
“I just wanted to see what it would be like…” Her voice trailed off. “I needed a break.”
“You could have gotten into serious trouble, you could have gotten arrested.”
“It would have been fine,” she shook her head.
“You don’t want a record.” I lectured her, and realized the irony of my words. “You have your whole life ahead of you.”
“If you hate crime so much, why do you steal?” She spoke earnestly, and I looked at this girl, I had only known for a few hours and I laughed. No one had ever seen me for who I was in my whole life. Or asked me such a question.
“Who says I hate crime?”
“It’s obvious,” she looked at me with sad eyes. “So why do you do it?”
“Why does anyone become a criminal?”
“You’re not going to tell me?” She looked hurt.
“I don’t know you, Maddie.” I scowled. “We had sex, that’s it. We didn’t become best friends. I’m not going to divulge all my secrets in some post-coital bliss.”
“Why are you so mean to me?”
“I’m not mean. And why do you care, you’re a young beautiful girl with the world at your feet, what does it matter to you, what I do or say?”
“Logan Martelli, I wish you would get that chip off of your shoulder.”
“I wish you would be smarter about who you get into cars with, and sleep with right away.”
“You weren’t complaining ten minutes ago.” She ran her finger down the side of my face. “And don’t you dare call me a slut or easy.”
“I would never say that.”
“Sure, I know most girls say this but this is the first time that…”
“Oh my God, please do not tell me you’re a virgin.” I cut her off aghast. “Shit.”
“No, Logan.” She laughed hard. “Though, if I was, I would be devastated by your comments. I was about to say, this is my first one-night stand, or the first time I’ve had sex on the first night I met a guy.”
“Really?” I looked at her with a disbelieving gaze. “I’m not calling you a liar, but you were pretty forward for someone whose never done this before.”
“What can I say?” She laughed. “I knew what I wanted.”
“You keep saying that.” She stared at me thoughtfully. “Though, I suppose others would agree. I can see the headlines now, ‘Mayor’s daughter has sex romp with town criminal’.”
“What did you say?” My face paled at her words.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to be rude.” She made a face. “I shouldn’t have called you the town criminal.”
“No, no, not that.” I took a deep breath. “Did you say Mayor’s daughter?”
“Yeah.” She nodded and wrinkled her nose. “I know, I’m frightfully rich, and spoiled, and should know better, but…”
“No, that’s not it. You’re Mayor Wright’s daughter?” I sat up, and pulled away from her.
“Yes, what’s wrong?” She looked worried. “Does it matter?”
“I need to take you home.” I jumped up. “You need to go home, now.” I picked up her clothes and threw them at her. “Get dressed.”
“But, I wanted to spend the night…”
“I don’t care what you want, Maddie, get dressed.”
“What’s wrong, Logan?” She jumped up, and started pulling her clothes on and I turned away from her, with my heart pounding.
“I have to take you home, now.” I felt a headache coming on, and I avoided Maddie’s gaze. I never should have pulled over. I knew it had been a mistake to bring her here. I just hoped it wasn’t going to bite me in the ass. I grabbed my stuff, and ignored the slight pang I felt as I realized the reality of the situation. I could never see, Maddie again. I had only known her for one night, but I already knew that she was going to be someone I’d have a hard time forgetting.
Here is the first unedited teaser from Crazy Beautiful Love! Enjoy!
Crazy Beautiful Love
(The Martelli Brothers)
J. S. Cooper
This is copyrighted material. Please do not reprint or share!
I like to clear my mind at night, so I usually go for a long walk down by the pier. It’s not my favorite spot, but it’s easy to blend into the crowds of people there. I’m unassuming in a crowd; no one looks at me too hard or too suspiciously. At the pier, I’m just another guy. No one’s whispering that I look like one of the Martelli Brothers. No one’s pointing and saying “I think that’s Logan Martelli,” in awe-struck tones as if I were Al Capone or some mafia boss. It’s laughable how many people know me, or of me. I almost feel famous, but not in the good way. That’s the problem with living in a small town like River Valley.
I stared out at the water and studied the moonlit ripples as they flowed and ebbed. There was a certain magic in the water that entranced me. Maybe, it was because the water didn’t lie. What you saw reflected in her silvery murky depths was what you got. Like tonight, the moon glowed in all its ominous glory, and there was nothing hidden. The same thing couldn’t be said of human beings. There were always so many secrets, hidden inside, that weren’t reflected in the seemingly happy and perfect surfaces. I looked around at the couples holding hands, and saw Roger Martin walking with his girlfriend Bella Casey. She was giggling up at him, and he was grinning at her lovingly. Anyone watching them would think that they were deeply in love, only I knew better. Roger was a barely able to keep it together drunk and Bella was in love with my brother, Vincent. She called him, and stalked him so many times that she was lucky that he was a Martelli. Martelli’s didn’t go to the police and file restraining orders; and even if we did, the police would laugh in our faces.
I turned to look at the water again, when I saw a glimpse of someone darting by me. And when I say dart, I mean running like lightening. I watched as the figure looked back quickly, and, I was startled by the intense blue eyes that connected with mine for the briefest second. It wasn’t the stare that shook me but the fact that it was a girl, she winked at me and continued running and I stood there and watched as two policemen rushed past me and ran after her. I wasn’t the only one who noticed the chase that was happening, people everywhere were stopping and gaping, whispering ferociously. Everyone wanted to know what was going on, and I had to admit I was curious as well. Why were the police chasing a girl? She wasn’t anyone I knew, and I knew most of the bad folks in the town.
I saw old man Roberts hobbling up to a couple a few feet away from me, and his face was red and animated. “He tried to steal a cop car,” he gasped out. “He got in the car, and drove off, but he wasn’t smart enough to…”
“Who, who?” The male part of the couple was loud and excited. “Who was it?”
“Well, I don’t know. But I bet it was Logan Martelli.” Old man Roberts voice was loud and I clenched my fist, of course I would get the blame. If it wasn’t me, it would be one of my brothers: Vincent or Jared. I wanted to laugh at the irony. I would love to steal a cop car, for all their harassment against my family, but I’d never been brave enough. Not like this girl, whoever she was. Poor girl. I shook my head, as I walked back up the pier. There was no way she wouldn’t get caught. There was no way she could outrun two guys. Especially, on a night like tonight when the pathways were so packed with people. What a poor choice of locale, didn’t she know you needed to pick a place where you wouldn’t be seen, and where you could have a clean get-away when you stole a car? I laughed to myself as I cut across the pathway and headed to the parking lot. Though, I should thank her, she’d made it easier for me tonight.
I spotted the black Toyota Corolla and walked over to it slowly, and casually, running my hands through my dark blond hair. I couldn’t stop myself from grinning. Tonight’s take was going to be easy. I pulled out my lock pick and glanced around casually to make sure no one was coming. I tried the different keys, almost laughing as the third one opened the door. I loved Toyota’s. Always so easy to break into. I got into the car quickly, and closed the door. I reached over to the glove compartment, and opened it, to see if my luck was going to continue. It was. I felt the spare key in fingers and pulled it out quickly and started the car. I reversed and pulled out of the parking lot, laughing once again at my good luck. Thanks to good ol’ blue eyes, this was the easiest car I had ever stolen. Nobody would be expecting it, not when they thought I was being chased down by the police at that very moment.
I turned on the radio as I pulled into the main road, and listened to the smooth sounds of Kenny G on the saxophone playing through the tinny speakers. I sighed, as the speakers strained as I turned the sound up. That was the problem with these cheap cars, they just didn’t stand up to the more expensive cars.
I never stole expensive cars with better stereo-systems, it wasn’t worth it. Expensive cars were too hard to pass on. People became more paranoid about buying a Mercedes or BMW without papers, but I didn’t mind, I still did well with the Toyotas and Hondas. I cruised down Main Street and thought about the girl who had tried to steal the cop car. I could still picture the look in her eyes, in the quick glance we had exchanged. She had looked excited and scared, and I could sense the exhilaration and adrenaline coursing through her body. It was the same exhilaration I used to feel when I started stealing cars with my dad ten years ago. The fear of getting caught mingled with the excitement of doing something bad was better than any drug; at least it used to be.
I was distracted from driving as I saw something or someone running down the street. I pulled over to the side of the street and started driving slower to see who or what was running. I knew I was being dumb, I couldn’t afford to get caught in this car. I needed to keep going, but something in me had to know. A part of me thought it might be the girl again, but I knew that there was no way it could be the girl from the pier. There was no way she could have run all this way, this quickly. I heard the sirens before I saw the lights and I cursed as I saw the cop cars speeding down the street. I pulled over quickly, turned off the engine and the lights and crouched down in my seat, hoping that they were looking for the girl, and didn’t know about the stolen Toyota as yet. I laughed as I crouched down at the irony. They most probably they were chasing me anyway. Stupid cops!
Knock, knock, knock. The sound sent my heart racing. WTF? I looked over to the passenger side and saw the girl.
“Open the door.” She hissed at me loudly. I stared at her in shock. What was she doing? Was she crazy? She didn’t even know me. I pressed the unlock button and she jumped into the car. “Shit, you took long enough to open the door.”
“What are you doing?” I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. It was definitely the same girl. I would recognize her vivid blue-purple eyes anywhere. She was actually more beautiful than I remembered. She had long black hair and her skin was flushed red. She was wearing tight black jeans and a tight black tank top. Her chest was heaving and I could tell she was out of breath.
“I’m trying to escape the cops, duh.”
“Oh?” I looked at her curiously.
“You were following me?” She turned to me with slanted eyes. “I saw you slow down, pull over and turn off your lights.”
“I don’t even know you. I wasn’t following you.” I shook my head in disgust. “And, why would you get in a car with someone who was following you? Are you dumb?”
“I tried to steal a cop car.” She sighed and leaned back in the seat in shock. “I can’t believe I did that.”
“Why did you do it?”
“I don’t know.” She started laughing hysterically. “I am going to be in deep shit if my parents find out.”
I stared at her, not sure what to say. I swallowed hard as I stared at the naked length of her neck and chest. I turned away, upset with myself for being turned on by this crazy, yet beautiful girl.
“What’s your name?” I asked her finally, not sure how much longer I could stay in this weird situation.
“Maddie.” She opened her eyes and looked at me. “You?”
“Logan.” I bit out, waiting for the inevitable recognition. The widening eyes, that would turn her half-smile to a frown, and the worry that would cross her mind when she realized who she was with.
“Logan?” She smiled. “You don’t look like a Logan.”
“I don’t?” The words tripped out of my mouth in surprise.
“You look like a Brandon or something.” She laughed and then rubbed her eyes. “Don’t mind me, I’m rambling now.”
“Why do I look like a Brandon?” I felt like laughing, this was turning into one of the weirdest nights I had ever had. And Maddie seemed to be living up to her name, she was quite mad, to be sitting here in a car, with me, a guy she didn’t know.
“Cos you’re hot.” She giggled and leaned towards me. “I’m not coming onto you or anything. I’m sure plenty of girls come onto you and say that. But I’m not one of those girls. But you’re hot. Like James Dean.”
“He was an actor…”
“I know who he is or was.” I frowned. “I just don’t think I look like James Dean.”
“You’ve got that air about you.” She nodded. “Definitely a James Dean look: dark blond hair, shimmering and hooded green eyes, slight stubble, and you look like trouble.”
“I look like trouble?” I raised an eyebrow at this strange honest girl.
“I know right, it’s ironic.” She laughed. “Here I am, running from the cops, and you’re here sitting in your car, and I’m saying you’re trouble.”
“Ironic is a fitting word.” I nodded and tried not to smile. “Do you need a ride?”
“Yeah.” She sat up and I think the seriousness of the moment finally hit her because her body froze and she looked at me carefully with an extremely worried expression. “Shit. Shit. Shit.” She cussed under her breath, and she stared at me with wide eyes.
“No longer seeming like you made a good decision tonight?” I asked her softly. I knew that she was experiencing the crash. The adrenaline and excitement was fading now and she was starting to feel panicky, and worried.
“I don’t know what I was thinking,” she bit her bottom lip. “I was just walking and I saw the cop car, and something just came over me.” She shook her head. “I’m going to be in deep trouble.”
“Do they know it was you?”
“I don’t know.”
“Why did you do it?” I looked at her curiously. She didn’t look like the sort of girl that would steal a car.
“For fun?” She made a face. “You probably think I’m a horrible person right? I wouldn’t blame you if you decided to call the cops on me.”
“I’m not going to call the cops.” I laughed.
“You have a baby?” She surveyed the car and I looked at her in shock.
“No, no baby.” I shuddered.
“So, why do you have a baby seat in the back?” She frowned and I turned to look in the backseat.
“Oh,” I tapped my fingers against the steering wheel. “About the car.”
“Yeah?” She leaned towards me. Her eyes looked even more purple up close. I could smell her minty breath on my lips, and I had a sudden urge to kiss her. We stared at each other for a few seconds, and I studied her eyelashes. They highlighted her eyes and I wanted to feel them against my cheek, to see if they were as soft as they looked.
I leaned back away from her and gripped the steering wheel. “I don’t own this car.”
“You borrowed it from a friend?” She cocked her head at me, and I shook my head. “You rented it?
“Then what?” She looked puzzled and I watched as realization hit her. “You weren’t following me, were you?” She sat back and looked dazed. “Shit, you pulled over because of the cops? You, you stole this car?” Her voice sounded amazed and loud. I didn’t look at her because I didn’t want to see the reproach in her eyes. I knew what people like her were like, it was okay for them to commit crimes because it was just for fun. But when it came to people like me, it was a big deal. It was a bad thing. A really bad thing.
“That is fucking crazy.” She started laughing and I turned to look at her in shock. Was she insane?
“Did you escape from a mental institute?” I asked her seriously, worried that I had perhaps picked up a real crazy person.
“A mental institute?” Her eyes glittered as she stared at me. “Maybe.” She laughed even harder and gasped out, “Maybe I should be in one, indeed.”
“Why aren’t you jumping out of the car? I’m a bad guy.” I looked at her unsmiling. This wasn’t a joke. Maddie made me uncomfortable, and I didn’t like feeling uncomfortable.
“I thought you were going to give me a ride home?” She buckled up her seatbelt.
“Are you crazy? I just told you I stole this car, you want to stay in here with me?”
“Why wouldn’t I? I just told you I tried to steal a cop car.”
“But that’s different.” I started the engine and sighed. “You did it for a bit of fun.”
“This is your career?” She sounded surprised.
“Yes.” I bit out, and pulled away from the curb. “This is my career.”
“Well, no wonder you’re better than me at stealing cars.”
“Where do you live?” I studied the road ahead of me. I didn’t understand this girl. Why didn’t she have more common sense?
“Are you attracted to me, Logan?” She pressed her fingers against my arm, and I turned to look at her quickly. She was giving me a sultry look, and I almost did a double take. What was going on here?
“Where do you live, Maddie?”
“I don’t want to go home.” She said softly.
“Where do you want to go?”
“To your place.”
“I don’t have my own place.”
“Where do you live?”
“With my dad and two brothers.”
“Do you have your own room?”
“So, let’s go.”
“Do I have to tell you why?” She laughed. “Isn’t it obvious?”
“How old are you, Maddie?”
“Let me take you home.” I gritted my teeth, and ignored the stirrings of lust in my pants. It would not be a good idea to take Maddie home. She was trouble, I could sense it in my bones. They didn’t come any crazier than Maddie. Yes, she was beautiful, and yes, she was fearless, but she was not someone I needed in my life.
“Come on Logan Martelli, take me home.”
My breath caught as she said my whole name and I looked at her with suspicion. Had she known who I was the whole time? “How did you know who I was?”
“Who doesn’t know the Martelli family in River Valley?” She spoke matter-of-factly. “I mean, I only just figured it out a few minutes ago. You don’t look like I pictured.”
“How did you picture me? Like the big bad wolf?”
“Something like that.” She nodded. “You’re younger than I thought, how old are you?”
“24.” I paused. “So, what’s your address so I can take you home?”
“I don’t know if I should give you my address, what if you come back to steal from my house.”
“I would…” My face flushed as I responded to her angrily.
“I’m joking Log,” she touched my arm again. “Can I call you Log?”
“I’m joking. I want to go home with you.” She shifted in her seat and moved even closer to me. “Please.”
“No.” My voice was resolute, and I was saying that no to her and myself.
“You don’t even know me.” I shook my head. “You shouldn’t go home with strange guys.”
“You shouldn’t let strange girls into your car.”
“I can take care of myself.”
“So can I. Please.” Her voice broke. “I don’t want to go home tonight. I don’t want to answer any questions.”
“I can’t take you back to my place.” I shook my head. There was no way I was taking this girl back to my house. Not only would my dad and brothers wonder what was going on, it would go against my own rules. I never brought women back to our place. It was something I had never done. And I wasn’t about to start with her.
“You think I’m pitiful don’t you?” Her voice cracked and I could barely hear her as her face was pressed against the window. “You think I’m just this beautiful girl, with nothing better to do, than just steal cars for fun. And now, I’m practically begging you to be with me, and your disgusted with me. Do you think I’m crazy?”
“I can’t believe you said that.” She turned towards me laughing. “I guess the pity act doesn’t work on you, does it?”
“What do you want, Maddie?” I turned to look at her again. “I’m tired and…”
“Shhh.” She leaned over to me, and kissed my cheek. Her hand reached up to my face, and she twisted my face towards her and I felt her lips press down on mine. Her lips were soft and firm as she kissed me, and I felt a warm surge of electricity run through me. She pulled back after a few seconds, and I sat there immobile. She sat back in her seat and smiled to herself. “I live on Manor Road, you can take me there, or we can go somewhere else. Your choice.”
I stared ahead and didn’t answer her. My mind was spinning with questions. She lived on Manor Road? That meant she was rich, really rich. The sort of rich that made the Forbes richest people in the world list. What was she doing trying to steal a cop car? And what was she doing with the likes of me? And how brazen was she to kiss me? I grinned to myself as I thought about the kiss, I could still taste her on my lips. She was trouble, plain and simple. The only possible outcome to this evening was to take her home. Take her home and never see her again. I’d warn her that a life of crime wasn’t the way to get attention from her rich parents. Obviously, she was crying out for attention. Maybe her daddy worked too many hours, and her mom was too busy servicing the pool boy and getting her hair done. Maddie was lost and crying out for help. I couldn’t do anything to help her. Not a damn thing. She didn’t need to get messed up with a Martelli.
I stared straight ahead and pressed my foot on the gas, ignoring the thumping of my heart, and the heat in my face and pants. Maddie was not the girl for me. I wanted nothing to do with some rich girl who was looking for a joy ride. I could sense the exact moment the grin spread on Maddie’s face. As I passed Manor Road and kept driving, I wondered what I was doing. But I ignored the niggling thoughts in my mind. I’d worry about everything tomorrow. Tonight was special, it was crazy, it was beautiful, it was full of wonder. Tonight, I was going to just be with Maddie, and tomorrow I’d worry about all the other shit.