Evie Mitchell eBook Pier Pressure (EBOOK)
Evie Mitchell eBook Pier Pressure (EBOOK)
Evie Mitchell eBook Pier Pressure (EBOOK)

Pier Pressure (EBOOK)

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James
All I wanted was a week with friends. A week to sit by the lake, listen to some tunes, and maybe forget for five minutes that my best friend was engaged to a guy I despised. Well, that was the plan until Hazel called and said she and Mister-I'm-Too-Good-For-Camping had broken up. Now it's my chance to do something I should have done years ago, turn myself from best friend into boyfriend. I don't want to be the rebound. I want to be her only.
If only Hazel could see that.

Hazel
Peer pressure. It's the only reasonable explanation for why I'm on this trip.
Oh, that and wanting to escape the judgemental glares of my parents. After breaking off my engagement to Mister-I-Don't-Share-Fries, I just want a quiet week away with my friends. Sun, sand, and swimming is the perfect way to mend a bruised heart. Only... my heart doesn't feel that bruised. In fact, it feels kind of... achy. And excited. And it seems to skip every time James enters the room. It feels a lot like... love?

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Hazel

I stared at the article on my screen. Disbelief warred with shock as denial hit me like a truck. 

This can't be happening. 

My phone rang, and without thinking I slid my thumb across the screen answering the call. 

"Hello?"

"Hazel Bronze?"

I frowned, not recognizing the voice. "Yes? How did you get this number?"

"This is George Kingly from Gossip Daily. Do you have any comments on your ex-fiancé's elopement with Prika Thompson?"

I swallowed, attempting to draw moisture into my desert-like mouth. "No comment."

"Are you sure? Cause it's not every day your fiancé dumps you to get a quickie wedding to Hollywood's sexiest woman."

I cleared my throat, forcing strength behind my words. "No comment."

"But, Hazel. Don't you want to—"

"No comment!" I hit end, tossing my cell into my tote, my hands shaking as I reached for the edge of my desk, gripping it with white knuckles, my eyes once again scanning the article on my computer. 

Thompson and Ryder Tie the Knot

It's time to welcome our newest Mr. and Mrs.! Following his breakout debut as Derrick Golland in last year's blockbuster End of Days, alongside our fan favourite actor and director, Robbie Huynh. 

Though new to Hollywood, Ricky Ryder has taken the silver screen by storm, capturing the heart of our favorite actress—Prika Thompson. Voted Hollywood's hottest actress three years in a row, Ms. Thompson the pair met on the set of End of Days, sending tongues waggling at their incredible chemistry. 


In a surprise announcement overnight, the loved-up pair tied the knot at the famous A Little White Chapel in Vegas. The venue includes five indoor chapels – the Little White, L’Amour, Crystal, Promises and Green Room, as well as an outdoor gazebo, and the historic, world-famous Tunnel of Love Drive-Thru, and has hosted the weddings of stars like Jonas and Sophie Turner, Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, and Frank Sinatra and Mia Farrow. 


The wedding came as no shock to friends of the newlyweds. 


"They've been dating in secret for months. I've been friends with them for years and never seen them so happy. It's such a relief to know that they can now share this joy with the world."


The two released the following statement on their respective social media accounts.


"Sometimes you just know when you've met your soul mate. We're so blessed to be surrounded by the love of our families and friends. We'll have a proper wedding sometime in the future, but in the meantime—here's to our wonderful future." 


We wish the happy couple all the best. 

The words on my screen began to swim in front of my eyes as my phone vibrated with another call. I reached down automatically, checking the screen. 

Oh, shit. 

I braced, answering the call. 

"Hello, mother."

"Hazel, I've got all my friends calling me with news of Richard's elopement. What is the meaning of this?"

I sucked in a breath, attempting to calm my racing heart. "Your guess is as good as mine. Yesterday I was speaking to his personal assistant about canapes for the reception. Today I'm looking at—at—at—" I choked, my throat closing. 

"You failed, Hazel." She left no room for argument. 

I sucked in a breath, my eyes closing as I tried to force the emotions down. 

"I know. I'm sorry."

My mother was silent for a long time, her displeasure leaking down the phone line. 

"Your father and I will discuss the matter. We will find another appropriate suitor for you. Don't expect a reprieve this time. The wedding will progress quickly. No arguments." 

"I understand." 

She hung up, the dial tone in my ear a familiar farewell. 

Shit. 

My body began to shut down, uncontrollable trembles shaking my limbs as the reality of my situation crashed into me. 

Shit. Shit. Shit. What am I going to do now?

I fumbled with my phone, scrolling to Ricky's number and hitting call. 

Once upon a time, he'd been Richard Gordon Jr., son of one of the richest men in Astipia. Now he was Ricky Ryder—a name he'd adopted upon the advice of his agent when he'd first made it to Hollywood. 

Pick up!

"Hello?"

My heart leapt into my throat. 

"Ricky, it's Hazel. I just wanted to ask about—"

The phone went dead. 

I blinked, pulling it away from my ear to stare down at the screen. 

"Fudge." I hit redial, trying again. 

"What do you want, Hazel?" He sounded belligerent this time, the sleep gone from his voice, replaced by annoyance. 

I sucked in a breath, knowing my fears were about to be realized. "It's true, isn't it? You got married last night?"

There was a long pause. 

"Yeah." 

My gaze fell to the picture on my computer screen, blinding staring at the picture of Ricky and his new bride as they shared their wedding vows. 

"Were you going to tell me?"

"You've read the newspapers?"

"Yes?"

"Then you know."

Hurt bloomed in my chest. "We've been together a long time. Didn't you think I deserved a phone call?" 

He huffed out a bitter laugh. "Together? We were an arrangement between parents, Hazel. You've been nothing but a stone around my neck for years."

My eyes drifted closed, tears clogging my throat. "But you were fond of me, weren't you?"

There was another long pause. 

"Ricky?"

He sighed heavily. "Look, next time? How about you tell your parents to fuck off and marry someone who'll actually make you happy? Good luck, kid."

And with that, he hung up, shattering my future. 

Oh, God. Oh, God. Oh, God! Crabapples and firetrucks! 

My phone buzzed, text number six hundred and nineteen lighting my screen. 

Mother

We have a possible option. Come home this weekend and we will discuss. 

Dread crept up my spine, my blood running cold. 

"Fudge apples."

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