Kiss and Shell by Annie Charme, A curvy girl enemies to lovers beach romance

Chapter 1 – Kiss & Shell

©Annie Charme (unedited)

“Hey!” I shout as I dive for the volley ball to protect the turtle nest. Warm sand scratches against my forearms. The green mesh falls from my hand. “No ball games allowed.” 

The volley ball rolls away from the nesting area. My gaze follows the trail it leaves in the sand until It rests against tattooed shins. Rolling onto my back and glancing upwards, I lift my hand to my forehead to block out the sun giving this man a golden halo. But it’s no use, the man could be the sun God himself but he shouldn’t be playing ball games around here. 

“Need a hand there lass?” 

My ears prick up at the British accent. I’ve not seen him around here before. The sheer ignorance of people on vacation astounds me. We’ve put signs all along this beach, it’s not that they can’t read, just complete ignorance.

I blink at the dazzling sun, slowly his hand comes in to view as he reaches down, offering to help me up. “I’m fine.” I bat his hand away and roll onto my side away from the nest, then get on all fours to haul myself up. Being a bigger girl isn’t easy getting off the sand, but I’m too mad to care how ungraceful I look. 

He lifts the volley ball and tucks it under his arm while he watches me right myself with a smirk. His gaze gives me a once over and suddenly I’m aware of my t-shirt tied into a knot, exposing my middle. 

Normally I couldn’t care less what I look like, but his eyes on my bare skin makes my palms clammy. I pull the knot out of my oversized t-shirt and let it fall over my denim cut offs. 

“You’re saving the world, one turtle at a time?” He points to the slogan on my turquoise t-shirt. “How’s that work?”

I dig my fist into my hips. “It works by reading the signs.” My hand waves up and down the beach at the posts near the nests. “And it works by protecting the nests. Which means no ball games.”

“Finn, come on what’s taking so long?” Thomas Kilmore hollers.

If I wasn’t already rubbed the wrong way, I am now. My nails imprint into my palms at the mere dight of my school bully. 

He’s still smirking which irks me even more than it should. His dark hair falls in front of his blue eyes and he pulls it back, running a hand through the damp strand. I refuse to look down at his inked chest and give him the satisfaction of thinking I’m remotely attracted to him. This guy looks like he already has an ego the size of Magnolia Point. And judging by the company he keeps, he probably has the wallet to match.

“You’re friends with Kilmore?” I roll my eyes and turn around to walk in the opposite direction. “Say less.”

“What was that, Turtle Myrtle?” Thomas says with a laugh.

I spin around, my hair whipping in front of my face. Anger bubbles in my veins at the use of the nickname I loathe. “Oh it’s you. I almost didn’t recognise you with your illuminous teeth. Those things are brighter than the sun.” I hold my hand above my eyes, feigning blindness. 

The volley ball guy, Finn—not that I made a mental note of his name or anything—huffs out a small laugh. “Mate, she has a point.” 

Thomas closes his mouth, hopefully that’s shut him up. 

Finn pats Thomas on the shoulder and hands the ball over, before bending down to collect the green mesh I dropped in my attempt to volley the ball away from the nest. “I guess you need this for your turtle crusade.”

I glare at him as I snatch the rolled mesh. “Thanks.”

“Come on, leave mutant myrtle to her turtles. Lets get back to the game” 

“No ball games, xxxx need a name to call Thomas here xxxx. I know it must be hard to read the signs in that tiny brain of your, so let me help.” I point to the sign and slowly read the words. “NO. BALL. GAMES.”

He laughs in my face. “Myrtle here, thinks she owns the beach.” He knocks Finn’s arm with his elbow. “Set her straight Jones.”

Finn gives me a pained look, his jaw tight as he guides Thomas away. “I’ve had enough volley ball anyway. I’m gonna grab a beer.”

I don’t mean to stare at his back as he walks away. And I certainly don’t mean to study the ink there. Xxxwhat ink does he have on his back?xxxHe may have not insulted me directly, but any friend of Thomas is an enemy of mine, even if he has the sexiest British accent I’ve ever heard, he has the cocky swagger to match.

“Earth to Shelly.” Tasha waves her hand in front of my face. “These nets aren’t gonna fix themselves.”

I turn around in a daze at what just happened. The whole event seems like a blur.

Tasha hands me the wooden pegs to secure the mesh over the nest. “Was that Thomas Kilmore? Hasn’t he got a job to go to yet?”

I let out a sigh. “Who needs a job when you have daddy’s money.” 

“True. But he must be bored out of his mind. You’d think he’d want to do something productive, right?” She wipes the beads of moisture from her forehead and tucks a loose strand of hair into her ball cap. “The team sent me to get you. We’re all ready to discuss the fundraiser this weekend and iron out all the details. Did you know it’s also international kissing day. The guys thought we could do a kissing auction.” She’s so giddy and enthusiastic about this, I couldn’t have picked a better person to organise our annual July fundraiser.  

“Sounds great. Let’s get back to the hut.” The sun beats down on my back, burning through the cotton t-shirt I’m wearing. I squint as I glance back at the British guy sitting on a sun bed. He raises the bottle and smirks before I turn around in a huff and head towards the beach hut. 

I’m not irked at him as much as I am my body for betraying me. Rich guys are all the same. Only care about one thing. Themselves. Growing up here my whole life and dealing with his kind has been the bane of my existence. 

Kiss & Shell – A Man of the Month Club Novella

This British playboy can charm the pants off any Southern girl with his thick English accent and swagger, but I’m not just anyone. I’m ‘turtle girl’ as he calls me, with a hardened shell protecting my heart. And I wouldn’t kiss this man if he paid me.
Until I’m roped into a kissing auction to raise much needed funds.
Now I’m eating my words as deep blue ocean eyes smirk in triumph, the promised kiss weakening my resolve.

Shelly Myrtle