Chapter One

Maine

"Dad, are you sure you have to go?" I pleaded as he grabbed his bags from the trunk of the black car.

"I can't take more than a week off at a time, Aud. You know that. And now my week is up," he explained, slamming the trunk closed before turning to face me.

I pouted and crossed my arms.

"Okay, fine. But do you have to leave me here? Why couldn't you decide to leave me in Cancun? Or England? Oh, I heard Greece is beautiful this time of year!" Dad laughed, the corners of his chocolate brown eyes crinkling up.

"Your Mother wanted to return to summer house here in Maine, you know that. Plus, you spent spring vacation in Cancun."

"Okay, fine. But that just leads me to my next point! Do you really want me spend all summer here with Mom and Bryce? Don't you care about me at all?" I cried, dramatically.

"Adriana, your mother is not as bad as you seem to think she is. Maybe if you tried a little harder to get along with her…" It's hard to get along with someone who makes me want to rip my hair out. My face must have shown my doubt because Dad rolled his eyes. "Listen Aud, I've been in love with your mother since we were eighteen and she walked into my family's ice-cream shop. Don't you trust my judgment?"

"Well, yeah…but Daddy, she's just so aggravating!" I whined, stomping my foot.

"No she's not, Darling. You just have a short temper and you and your mother are too similar for your own good."

"We are not similar!" I argue. "Just because we both like strawberry ice-cream doesn't mean we're alike. Because other than that, we're not!"

"You two have the same eyes," he pointed out. I huffed and he laughed before changing the subject. "And you forgot to mention that Claire will be here too!"

"Dad. While awfully cute, Claire barely knows her ABC's," I deadpanned, thinking of my four-year-old sister.

"Beggars can't be choosers, Aud." I rolled my eyes and Dad continued. "And as for your brother…well, maybe you'll be a good influence on him. Plus, it's only for nine more weeks. Then you'll come home for the Governor's Ball -which I know if you favorite event of the year- and then you're off to college!" He spoke with as much enthusiasm as he had, clearly trying to make me a little more tolerant of my situation.

"Daddy, my older brother is twenty-two years old, dropped out of college three years ago, and is still living off your money. I think its time you understand that he's a lost cause."

"Adriana Keller, your brother is not a lost cause," Dad weakly tried to defend. "Well…granted he's made some less than admirable life decisions, but…you know what? On second thought, try not to spend too much time with him. The last thing I need is his spitting some nonsense into your ears. But come on, Adriana. What about that girl we met? She seemed friendly, right? Why don't you hang out with her?"

I shrugged as I thought about the waitress we met when he took me out to lunch a few days ago. I had yet to venture around the small town where the summerhouse was located, so as of now, that girl was the only teenager I had met. Luckily, since business was rather slow that day, she ended up chatting with us for a bit and she and I exchanged phone-numbers.

"I'm hanging out with her tomorrow night," I offered, deciding to leave out the party the two of us would be attending.

"See? Thinks are already looking better then you thought they would. Now, I really have to go but I'll see you at the end of the summer, okay?" He kissed me on the forehead and pulled me into a hug. "I love you."

"Love you, too!" I stepped back and Dad smiled at me before he turned and walked into the airport, his blond head disappearing behind the airport doors. I sighed and walked to the driver's seat of the car.

I punched in the return address into the GPS and started the drive back to the summerhouse.

Brockport, Maine. Maine. I would be spending my summer in this seemingly empty state. When I was younger, my family would fly up to Maine every summer and we'd spend at least a month here, but when I was eight years old, Dad become our state governor and the Maine vacations stopped.

However, I graduated from high school about a month ago and my mom was sincerely troubled that we may not have many more family vacations together so she arranged for us all to spend the summer here. Of course, Dad couldn't actually take that much time off so the plan was kind of a bust.

I shook my head and turned on the radio as I spent the rest of the car ride attempting to distract myself from thinking about the sure misery that was my summer vacation.

By the time I pulled into the driveway of our house, the stars were out and the sky was dark. I walked into the house and found Bryce lounging in the living room watching some reality TV show.

"Where are Mom and Claire?" I asked as I walked by him and headed for the stairs.

He shrugged and didn't look away from the TV, the light from the show reflecting off of his light brown hair.

"Claire's bedtime was a while ago and Mom hit the sack early. The life of a trophy wife is a tiring one, after all." I rolled my eyes at the disdain in his voice and started up the stairs. "Where were you?"

I stopped walking and turned to face him, my expression mimicking my disbelief. He really didn't know where I was?

"I went to drop Dad off. Easier then him taking a taxi to the airport."

Bryce let out a laugh but it had too much of an edge to it for him to be genuinely amused.

"You would. God Aud, don't you ever get tired of being the picture-perfect daughter? Do something interesting with your life, for once," he commented with a slight sneer.

"Yeah, because you're the one with the right to talk about what I should do with my life?" I scoffed and continued to my bedroom without another word.

My room walls were the same powder pink my Dad had painted when I was six and pure white curtains blew forward as a breeze drifted through the window, into my bedroom. I walked to the window and push the curtain aside, observing the view of the waves as they lapped onto the sand, bringing bits of the grit back into the water with them with every lap.

When I was younger, my father used to take my brother and I sailing but I never really was a fan of actually being on the water; I much preferred to observe it from the shore.

I turned away from the window and proceeded to get ready for bed before I reached into my purse, pulled out a sleeping pill and tossed it into my mouth.

I slipped under my white duvet and found myself thanking the constant breeze that seemed to battle against the July heat. After a few minutes or so, my eyelids began to droop and I turned on my side, willing the sleep to claim me.

I fell asleep with the ocean breeze brushing against my face.

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