Lakeshore Lyrics (The McAdams Sisters, Book #5)

Avery McAdams has dreamed about the day his band, Inch Away, would make it big, but he never expected to also fall in love at the same time. But it seems the woman he's falling in love with, Cece Boyd, doesn’t have the same feelings. Apparently, their one sexual escapade was just a run of the mill romp in the sheets for her.

Cece sees things differently. She thinks Avery is like every other artist: just looking for the best way to get to the top. She’s determined to not let their one-night stand get in the way of business. What she doesn’t expect is to be madly attracted to him.

While both try their hardest to keep it “professional,” being stuck together in a cramped tour bus only heightens the feelings they have for one another. Will they be able to keep hold of their professionalism or will they’re broken hearts mend together as one?

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Chapter One

“YOU ARE SOOO dead.” The threat came out in a long, slow, sympathetic tone. It ended with a devious chuckle that shot, unusually straight through Avery McAdams, scratching every last nerve that was already on edge.

It wasn’t his twin sister’s fault that Avery had to inhale an extra deep breath to fill his lungs with strength before even attempting to speak to her...for simply pointing out the obvious. No, he’d woken up in a helluva bad mood this morning. And nothing, including the workout he’d hammered in the fitness room down the hall, the steaming hot shower afterwards, or the hearty breakfast Riley Boyd, Abby’s boyfriend had whipped up helped to relieve the tension tightening his entire body.

Even now, as he was somewhat comfortably sitting on the white leather sofa, basking in the hot sun beating through the windows behind him and embracing his favorite object in the world, his guitar. But even that wasn’t flaking away at his nerves like he’d thought it would.

Avery looked up from his fingers, paused on the strings of his guitar. This was his go-to frustration release tool. This was his go-to tool for all of his moods. Happy...strum an upbeat tune. Sad...dig into his soul for heart-rendering lyrics. Excited...let the neighbors know it. Today...it wasn’t working. That only irritated him mood more.

These sudden feelings of annoyance, frustration, irritation, and anger...all of which were new to Avery...were bunched together in a tight ball bouncing around in his gut fighting the reason behind these emotions...Cece Boyd.

He was surprised that his breakfast even stayed down this morning. With that thought, Avery reached for the cinnamon bun he’d set on the coffee table earlier and took a bite, so he had a reason not to reply to his sister.

Technically, he hadn’t awakened in this foul mood. He had awaken with the pleasant, entrancing smell, feel, touch, and sight of Cece Boyd, only to find it was a dream...a damn good dream...but still a dream. The truth was, it would only ever be a dream and well...that just kind of kicked in his sour mood.

Now, he was battling these strong feelings for her, that he’d somehow managed to ignore up until today, at the same time trying to determine a plan for coping this week while he was traveling in very very, close quarters with Cece. Tour-bus-close quarters.

So, Avery didn’t need his sister telling him what to do, which he knew was exactly the bumpy road that comment was headed down. He always knew the direction of his twin’s thoughts.

“Aren’t you supposed to be at a meeting like...” Abby glanced at her phone screen, for dramatics. Avery would bet if he stood up and grabbed the phone from her right now, the screen wouldn’t be lit. “...fifteen minutes ago?”

Why are you even asking me? The cinnamon bun, he was overly chewing, didn’t keep him from answering the question in his own head.

Abby knew the answer. They’d discussed the week’s events over supper the night before with Riley, so Abby was up-to-date on the activities of his band, Inch Away, for the next week. Today’s meeting, yes, fifteen minutes ago, was on that agenda...and yes, he was supposed to attend.

We will be seeing plenty of each other starting tomorrow for the next week while travelling and sleeping on the same coach bus. It will be easier for both of us if I don’t attend today.

That wasn’t true. Sure, it was saving him the torture or seeing her, watching her, longing to kiss her luscious, full lips again and run his fingers through her long, dark locks, but as for her...it didn’t matter...she didn’t care. After their entertaining evening spent in Riley’s games room, she’d walked away without a second thought about him. He, on the other hand, hadn’t stopped thinking about her. How irritating.

The thought of Riley knocked quietly, but persistently, inside Avery’s head, bringing a sting of guilt for not attending the meeting. Riley had, after all, signed Inch Away to his label back in July, making it crystal clear he was not recording their album simply because he was in a relationship with Avery’s sister. That also meant no special treatment.

Inch Away’s unique sound of rock with a touch of folk was what had attracted Riley to the band. But they had to work their way to the top. Missing today’s important meeting was no doubt skipping on the work part of their verbal agreement.

Now, only two months after signing, Inch Away was heading to AHJ, one the largest, most popular music festivals. That was incredible on its own, but in such a short time and to have Inch Away on the music lineup...well that was just on the edge of damn near impossible! If it hadn’t happened to Avery’s band he would have truly believed it was impossible.

The anticipation of walking onto a stage that he had stared at as a struggling musician in previous years sent a rush of adrenaline pulsing through his body. His band was going to be performing for a crowd of ecstatic fans, whom he had once been...he couldn’t wait. 

Not to mention this was going to be an incredible promotion for the band. They weren’t getting paid for performing at the AHJ, since all the money went to charity, but the publicity of their music would pay for itself over and over again.

It was Avery’s dream come true. It was every artists dream come true...and yet here he was...not at that meeting.

Behind his decision to stay home were reasons he didn’t want to get into with himself so he certainly didn’t want to get into them with Abby. Besides her being a flapper of the mouth since childhood, she’d been dating Riley, her soul mate, for the last two months and she’d now taken on dishing out supreme dating advice Avery’s way whenever the topic came up...or even when it didn’t. Supplying her with his feelings and thoughts would only end in a nagging he didn’t want to endure.

Abby continued on when he didn’t reply. “You better move your ass,” she told him, snatching the rest of the cinnamon bun out of his hand and taking a bite with her glossy painted lips. She made a face like the cinnamon bun was heaven you could eat...which it had been until she took it away from him.

Despite eating more junk food than anyone else he knew, Abby was stick-thin. Riley fed her sweet tooth with fresh baking every morning. Avery could get used of waking up to the recipes Riley used from Mrs. Calvert’s bakery back in Willow Valley, Avery and Abby’s hometown. Riley had worked at the bakery for two years dealing with his past before moving forward and returning to Oakston with Abby by his side.

“Cece is going to drag you to the butcher shop and come back with Avery drumsticks all wrapped in fancy brown paper.” Abby’s black studded boots were stepping away from him as she was shrugging her black leather jacket over top of a black t-shirt and black skinnies. Her trademark: black. It was quite the contrast from her annoyingly cheerful self this morning...most mornings.

Why was she so annoyingly cheerful this morning? And why did just the two syllables of Cece’s name speed up the beat of his heart?

First question...because Abby’s love life is falling into place more and more by the day and yours is non-existent. Second question...he had no idea, he’d never felt like this about a woman before.

Avery wasn’t jealous of his sister’s relationship with Riley. Hell no. A little annoyed at the stickler of love she’d become, but not jealous. He couldn’t be happier that she found her one true love and knowing Riley would never let harm come to his twin sister doubled Avery’s happiness.

Avery had thought he’d found that special someone months earlier. The one woman he planned to spend the rest of his life with, to share stories, talk for hours, and love. Only to have a rude awakening and what felt like a kick in the head that scrambled everything he’d thought he found.

Avery’s whole life, he’d been so focused on his band, and then his father’s rehab to break his drinking addiction, that Avery hadn’t gone searching for love or even been open to the possibility of it. Sure he’d dated, but he’d never fallen in love...and then to have it pulled right out from under him like a huge ass area rug...well it damn well hurt falling flat on his unexpected ass.

Love...ha.

He was done with love. Finished. Period. The end.

Then what were the feelings stirring you awake this morning? And why are they so much stronger than the ones you felt when you were convinced you were in love?

Avery sipped his coffee instead of answering his own questions and watched Abby’s big, russet eyes waiting for his reply. He wasn’t giving in.

Abby was the wild-child of the McAdams siblings with a flair for dramatics and always on the go. Lately Riley was going just as much, and as hard, as Abby, back and forth between Willow Valley and Oakston. Riley’s label was situated in the old part of Oakston, unique just like the talent he invested in. Abby and Riley were wired to the limit. But happy.

With his career taking off, Avery couldn’t remember a time in his life when he was happier or more satisfied...until he saw her...then he felt a spark in him that confused the hell out of his no love rule.

Abby zipped up her coat, planted her hands on her small hips and grinned at him. “I am tempted to stay home and witness her bursting through this door to drag you to the label.” Abby was meeting their other three sisters, Kate, Peyton and Sydney, along with a real estate agent to inquire about a small unique building to open their second Old Town Soap Co. shop in Oakston. Abby was thrilled to manage it when she officially moved to Oakston.

Avery would put money down that Cece wasn’t going to come bursting through the door. She was avoiding him, ignoring him, and keeping them as distant as possible...there was no way she would search him out.

He also wasn’t terrified of Cece as Abby was insinuating. If only Avery saw Cece Boyd as the hard, cold, serious artist manager she portrayed. If only he feared her icy cold stare like every other band member that jumped at her every word because she was the boss. Cece was making them famous and she was the amazing one that got them into the AHJ festival. Avery should be kissing her feet and arriving fifteen minutes early to the meeting, not trying to skip it.

Kissing her feet...why was that image so arousing?

There is was again...lacking the fear allowed her soft, smooth feet, which joined to killer long, smooth legs to pop into his head and kick start his hunger for her. His fingertips were tingling at the memory of his hands running up those legs, pushing her dress all the way up to her waist before he tore the piece of material off and exposed her gorgeous, sexy...damn, he wished the cinnamon bun was distracting his fingers.

Avery just couldn’t be so lucky to visualize her like everyone else. They’d crossed a line and now every time Avery saw Cece, her long chocolate shimmering locks, dark eyes, and killer hot body under the reserved pencil-line dresses she wore in every color of the rainbow, excited the area below his pants. His view reminded him, when she wasn’t in work-mode, of how her eyes flared with emotion, lust, desire, and enjoyment and he was back in that room making sweet love to her.

Damn it.

Cece wasn’t even here and Avery was back in that room. His eyes stared past Abby, back to the door under the glass staircase causing a shudder through his body. The places their naked bodies had landed in the games room would send the maid running. He could feel his body reacting to the memory of the pool table, theater seats, bowling alley...yes Riley had a single bowling alley and the game Avery and Cece played would be disqualified, but damn it had been the best round of bowling in his entire life.

This was exactly why he was missing the meeting. How was he supposed to concentrate on what Cece was saying when his mind kept remembering them back in the games room?

That was the first reason he’d steered clear of Torsten Label this morning. The second was that his ex-girlfriend, Ems Gordon, vocals and banjo of Inch Away had hooked up with his best friend Drew, piano and keyboard, months back when they were still an indie band touring and playing little venues...while Avery and Ems were dating! Ems was the reason he had sworn off love.

Yeah, so he was still a little pissed about that too. Today sucked and he didn’t need to sit in some damn meeting with twiddle-tramp, twiddle-backstabber and twinkle-little-star.

He felt a headache coming on.

“However, I’m off.” Abby was at his side as quick as a rabbit, giving him a hug and kiss on the cheek before turning on her heel back toward the front door. “Quit hiding and go be happy,” she said over her shoulder. “Screw Ems and Drew. Just because they’re jerks doesn’t mean you should suffer. Go celebrate.” She opened the door and glanced back in for one final look. “Hey, I will tell the sisters to stick around and we can take them out for dinner tonight.”

The sisters was Avery and Abby’s long running nickname for their sisters, whom were all older then the twins and had been parental care givers during most of their childhood.

“Okay. That sounds great. Text me a place and time.” Avery hadn’t seen his sisters much in the last year, so any time spent with them he appreciated.

“Are you going to the label?” she pried for the last time.

“No.” He really should.

“Okay. Text ya later!” With that she was gone like a puff of smoke and he was left alone in the living room with his thoughts. His all-over-the-place thoughts.

  1. He wasn’t hiding. Why does it feel like I’m hiding?

Avery ripped his shirt off, abandoning the guitar that usually soothed him and headed to the pool in the backyard. It was a gorgeous September morning and these wonderful warm days were beginning to be further apart as fall rolled in, so he might as well take advantage of it.

 At least his sister’s man was loaded, providing Avery with everything he needed to distract himself within the four glass walls of Riley’s luxury home.