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Forever Mine (The Moreno Brothers #1)

By:Elizabeth Reyes

Sarah thought back to the first time she'd seen Angel, two summers ago. She and her mother had come out to visit her mother's sister, Valerie's step mom, Aunt Norma. Valerie had taken her along to a beach party with her.

It was an all-day party, but Valerie being self conscious about her body, decided they'd show up late, after all the swimming was done. They arrived when everyone was just hanging around the bonfires, and listening to music. Sarah had never really grasped everything Valerie had told her about Angel and his brothers. She made them out to be movie-star, drop-dead gorgeous. Valerie had poked her when he and his friends arrived. "There he is. That's Alex's little brother."

Sarah had looked up and saw him in all his glory. He was anything but little, even back then. He and his friends seemed to move in slow motion toward a group of girls. The girls waited their anxious smiles enormous. He wore a tank top that showed off his muscles and denim shorts. Sarah had never seen a more finer-looking smile. His dimples were incredible. She watched as one of the girls practically jumped into his arms, hugging him, and then looked around casually to make sure everyone was watching.

"Is that his girlfriend?" She'd asked Valerie.

Valerie had immediately huffed, "She wishes. That's Dana, the one I told you about, she's forever throwing herself at him and tries to convince anyone that will listen that the two of them are an item. Everyone knows he's never had a girlfriend. Why should he? When he can have all the girls he wants, whenever he wants?"

Sarah remembered watching him and fantasizing that day. It was all she could do. The girls he hung with seemed so experienced, and cool around him and his friends. They laughed sometimes a little too exaggerated, but still at least they could hold a conversation around him she had barely been able to breathe the first day of school when he looked at her. And now she had almost knocked him down. If he did remember her as the gaping fool from the first day, he'd now have yet another asinine memory of her. She was hopeless.

None of that mattered anyway. Making friends was not on her agenda. She didn't plan on sticking around long enough for that.

She picked up the speed and tried to remove him from her mind. She remembered Sydney's birthday. It was this weekend, and she had to make sure she finally emailed the gift. She'd made a slideshow with pictures of the good times they had had, along with all of the songs that held special meaning to just the two of them. She knew Sydney would appreciate it much more than any store-bought gift.

If it hadn't been for Sydney, she didn't know how she would've gotten through the past year, and she wanted to show her appreciation. Sydney meant the world to her. They'd been through so much over the years, last year especially when the nightmare with her mom started.

When Sarah was forced to move to California with her Aunt, she and Sydney made a pact to always keep in touch. So far, they had swapped emails, and since Sydney's parents had offered to get her a cell phone that had unlimited minutes, they could talk every day. No matter how far away, Sarah was determined to keep Sydney and his family in her life forever.

Aunt Norma didn't know about Sarah's plans. She would be eighteen in January, and once she was, no one, not even her mom, would be able to stop her from going back to Arizona. She would save enough money to be able to pay Sydney's parents to let her stay with them. She already had several baby sitting gigs lined up. Between that, and school, there was no room for a social life.

Sarah could hardly wait. Just the thought made her smile. Next semester she'd be running for her home track team at Flagstaff High, where she belonged, and her life would go back to the way it should be.

She glanced up from her feet as she made her way down the bleachers and saw Jesse Strickland waiting for her at the bottom, arms crossed, smiling from ear to ear. Oh, God, what now? She fought the urge to roll her eyes, as she reached the bottom, Jesse standing in front of her, deliberately blocking her way. He reached over to pull an earphone out of her ear but she stopped his hand from getting any closer and did it herself.

"You know what today is?" he smirked.


He stared at her in disbelief. "Valerie didn't tell you?"

Sarah shook her head, not the least bit interested. She was getting hotter, and already sweating. She knew she'd soon be drenched if she didn't start running again.

"Is this gonna take all day?" she said. "I'm in the middle of my run here."

"It's my birthday," he opened up his arms. "I'm here to collect."

Sarah's eye's narrowed, and she stepped back. "Collect what?"

He stepped forward grinning big. "Well, being that we're here in school. I'll take a hug for now." He leaned in, and began putting his arms around her small waist.

Sarah scowled, pushing him away. "I don't owe you anything!"

Obviously amused, he lifted an eyebrow and proceeded to move forward and force a hug. "Oh, come on, Sarah, we've done so much more before, what's a hug now?"

"That was a long time ago, and a mistake, so get over it!" She struggled to undo his hands that had clasped behind her waist. She felt his weight on her, heavy at first, pushing her against the fence. And then just like that, the weight was gone. It took her a moment to understand what just happened, then she realized someone had pulled him off of her, and saw Jesse slammed against the side of the bleachers.

Her legs went limp. She held on to the fence for support with one hand, the other lay flat on her chest feeling the hard thud of her heart against her chest. It was Angel.


"You have a problem, asshole?" Angel demanded, his face inches f