Finally Us (Next Generation #5) - J.M. Walker

I enjoyed throwing parties. Planning them. Organizing the food. Decorating. Inviting people. Whether it be at my place or someone else’s, I loved it all. I even enjoyed cleaning up after. My sister said that I was a party planner in a previous life and should have made a career out of it. Maybe she was right. But it wasn’t my calling. Not in this life anyway.

I danced.

I lived and breathed ballet. At first it was all I could think about. Sliding my feet into those slippers. Standing up on the tips of my toes when it should be humanly impossible and painful as hell. I loved the calluses, the broken skin, and the agony.

When my muscles hurt after a good and long routine, I knew that I had done what my heart set out to do.

But now, so many years later, I loved more than just ballet.

“You are going to be the next best thing that came out of Julliard.” My dad beamed. “I’m so proud of you.”

That would have probably been the case too if I hadn’t blown my knee out. Maybe not the next best thing but definitely good enough to go on tour, have a career, and just do what I loved to do. For a living. Most people couldn’t say they enjoyed their jobs. But I did. Or I would have if I’d never fallen and hurt myself. That had been over six months ago. My knee was still tender at times. Especially when the weather was cold, or it rained. But for the most part, it was fine. I was just feeling down on myself and having a pity party for one.

“Gigi?”

My body tingled as Vincent Junior’s deep voice came from behind me but I continued walking toward my car.

“Hey, Queenie. What’s wrong?”

I hated the sympathy in his voice but what I hated even more was that I craved it just the same. Vince was an addiction I couldn’t kick. I wanted him. God, did I ever want him. He was eighteen now and looked like a damn god. He was five years younger than I was and going off to school. But it didn’t make this need for him dwindle any less.

An idea came to me. Maybe we could have some fun before he left. It was his birthday and all.

“Gigi, talk to me.”

My skin tingled the closer he got to me. My body vibrated, anticipation bubbling inside of me over what he would do or say next.

We had been going back and forth for the last year. We were friends, talked constantly, and texted often, but it had never amounted to anything more than that. Our families were close and although he was only eighteen, he had grown up over the summer. We had always just been friends but now my feelings for him had changed. But I didn’t want to dwell on my little crush on him and just have fun tonight instead. Even if it was just for a little bit.

I had thrown him a birthday party like I had done for the rest of our friends and wanted it to be a memorable night for him. The parties were usually held at my place but because it was Vince, I decided to hold it at a restaurant instead.

“Gigi.”

I looked up then at the rough use of my name.

Vince came toward me, his hands shoved into his pockets. His dark hair was cut short, that strong jaw of his, clenching the longer I didn’t say anything to him. His cheekbones were sharp and his lips full. He was half Italian and half Japanese which made him almost exotic looking. He got his mother’s almond shaped eyes and his dad’s natural tan. While he was beautiful and looked like he walked right off a magazine, it was his dark eyes that held my interest. They pierced into mine, inviting me into the deepest parts of his soul. They held secrets in their murky depths and if I played my cards right, maybe I could find out exactly what those secrets were and how deep they went.

When I reached my car, I went to open the back door when a heavy hand slapped against the top of it.

My body vibrated at feeling Vince this close to me. We had only ever been friends. Just friends. As much as I wanted more, it had felt almost too taboo to take it further with him. He was also one of my best friends’ younger brother.

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