Long Beach

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Chapter One

Hey so, I really wanted to focus on these two character’s different experiences surrounding their sexuality and their individual struggles with it. I’ve tried to create them so that people will identify based on their own experiences — would love some feedback on that, although it’s not super relevant in the first chapter. It’s going to be a fun young romance so I hope you enjoy.


Ripley’s POV

Ripley pushed her sunglasses up onto her tightly woven blonde corn-rows.

“Hey, no running Jackson! You’ll slip and crack your head open!” she yelled, narrowing her eyes at the small chubby boy who frowned at her, but stopped running.

She stared him down, until he blushed and looked away, ready to comply. Ripley wasn’t a serious person, in fact, she firmly believed that rules were made to be broken. However, when it came to her job, she took safety seriously. And that meant making sure everyone followed the rules.

She crossed her legs, shifting uncomfortably in the plastic chair of the lifeguard post. The umbrella hardly cooling the harsh sun which beat down, turning the cement around the pool into a hot plate.

She let out a bored sigh and glanced at the clock at the end of the pool. Only two more hours until closing – great.

Ripley was a restless person, she didn’t enjoy sitting still, patience was not a strong point of hers and the need to move was like a fire engulfing her from the inside out.

Some might wonder why she took a job at the pool as a life guard. Well there were three reasons. The first was the fact that, she lived in a small town and there really weren’t a whole lot of options when it came to employment. The second reason, was her best friend Wade worked there as a life guard as well. He was a great surfer; almost as a good as herself – she smirked at the thought. And the third, was the scenery.

As if on cue, her ex-boyfriend Seth walked past and gave her a wink. She just smirked at him, obviously checking out his abs. They’d parted on relatively friendly terms and although he was attractive — Ripley wasn’t shy about acknowledging that – she wasn’t interested in pursuing any sort of relationship with him.


It was about an hour and a half until closing, when a pretty new thing caught Ripley’s eye.

She was small with long dark hair, wearing a flattering black bikini. She was lounging on her towel down the other end of the pool.

Ripley lowered her sunglasses a little so she could see better.

She wondered briefly if she was a tourist. Their pretty stretch of beach and quiet friendly town often attracted them during the summer.

Either way, Ripley was sure she’d never seen her before or she would have remembered.

“What are you gawking at?” A familiar teasing voice interrupted her thoughts.

Ripley turned to see Wade leaning against the shade sail post, watching her. His expensive sunglass pushed up onto his curly blond surfer-boy hair.

“Nothing,” Ripley turned her gaze back to the pool so he couldn’t smirk at her.

She felt him move up beside her, following where he gaze had been.

“New girl in town?” he asked casually, a smile in his tone.

“I don’t know,” Ripley shrugged, “Probably just a tourist.”

Wade shrugged, “Well she is something.”

Ripley glanced at him, a smug smile plastered across his face as he met her eyes, clearly to gauge her reaction. She punched him in the arm.

“Go do some work. If you distract me and someone drowns, I will blame you.”

Wade chuckled but straightened up, “Sure, as if you weren’t already distracted,” he grinned as he headed back to the café.


Eve’s POV

Eve blew the hair out of her face in frustration, sweating sliding down the back of her neck.

She grunted in frustration as the wheel of suitcase caught on the crooked step of her Grandma’s cottage. She huffed and plopped down on the top step, defeated. She couldn’t believe her parents had sent her to live in the middle of nowhere, she missed the city and her friends already. It was so unfair.

“Eve sweetheart!” she heard the door open behind her, “What are you doing sitting out here? Come inside, I’m so glad to see you!” her Grandma approached her, leaning down to give her a quick kiss on the head.

Eve smiled up at her, at least her Grandma was a lot sweeter than her parents, even if no more understanding.


A few days later, Eve was well settled into the spare room of her grandma’s neat little house. She already knew her way around town given it was so small, but aside from exploration walks and spending some time at the beach, hadn’t found very much interesting to do. She’d discovered there was a bar and local pool but that was about it. She’d decided to tan at the local pool and maybe do a few laps that afternoon, then head down to the bar afterward and see if she might be able to get a job waitressing.

She had an uneventful afternoon at the pool and bursa escort about a kilometre down the main street toward the beach where the local bar sat. She was hit by a blast of fresh air, cool her unflatteringly red face.

The bar had a long wooden counter, with hundreds of different bottles of alcohol behind it. There were a few signed surfboards hanging around the place, giving it a little more of a beachy vibe. There were a few boys playing pool in the corner, and a neglected dart board not far off.

There were leather booths lining the walls and heavy wooden tables in the middle of the floor. She decided it was a fairly typical bar and nothing to dislike. She put on a polite smile and headed toward the counter. There was a young boy, maybe sixteen years old behind the bar, he had goofy sandy coloured hair sticking out in all directions and gave her a crooked smile as she approached.

“Hi, what can I do for you?” he asked, “My names Sandy by the way, we don’t get a lot of new faces around here.”

Eve smiled politely at him, “Is the manager around? I’d like to speak to him about if he has any work.” She seated herself on the edge of a bar stool.

Sandy grinned, “Great! Let me see if I can find him, he should be out the back somewhere.”

The boy put down the glass he was polishing and flung the tea towel over his shoulder, before disappearing through a door by the side of the bar.

A few minutes later a tall, tanned blond man in his forties if she had to guess, emerged. He gave her a warm smile.

“Well Sandy here tells me you’re looking for some work?” the man leans casually on the bar.

Eve stands up and gives him a polite, somewhat shy smile.

“Yes, I’m Eve. I’ve just moved here to live with my Grandma and I was hoping to get some work while I’m around.”

The man stuck out his hand, “Well, nice to meet you Eve. I’m Marlin, owner of this here establishment. Who is your Grandma?” he asked politely.

“Edith, Edith Gardner.”

“Oh Mrs. Garnder, yes everyone around here knows Mrs. Garnder, lovely old bird. Well you wish her well for me young lady. And yes, as for work, I believe I could do with another waitress given my last one just ran away to college on me.”

Eve grinned, “Great! Here, let me give you my phone number so you can contact me.”

Marlin nodded, “Okay, but if you’re free, I’d be happy for you to start tomorrow, being a Friday and all, it can get pretty busy. I take it you have experience in waiting?”

Eve nodded, “Yes, I worked in a restaurant back in Seattle.”

“Seattle hey? Big city girl. Well, this must be quite a shock, this little town here hey?” he gave her a lopsided smile.

She laughed nervously, “I suppose it will take some getting used to.”


Ripley climbed into her Jeep wrangler, which sputtered to life on the second key turn. It was just after 6pm, if she hurried, she could catch the tail end of happy hour at Marlins.

“Hurry up Wade, if we miss happy hour, you’ll have to buy me drinks!” she called out the top of her roofless car.

Wade quickly finished locking up the pool gates and jumped into the passenger seat.

“Hey, I’m just as much a fan of cheap drinks as you are. Come on, let’s get out of here.”

Ripley grinned, barely waiting for him to clip his seat belt in before she tore out of the carpark and down the main street, windows down and radio playing.

“So, I heard from my little brother, there’s a cute new girl working at Marlins,” Wade nudged her, “Maybe it’s the same girl you were checking out at the pool yesterday.”

Ripley spared him a glance; he had a suggestive smirk on his face.

“I highly doubt it, like I said she’s probably a tourist — had that city vibe about her” she rolled her eyes. “And don’t say it like that, I don’t know why you think I’m into girls — I’ve only ever dated boys.”

Wade scoffed, “You make out with girls at parties, and I see you eyeing them off. Besides, what about Hannah?”

Ripley couldn’t help but stiffen a little and she huffed, “Hannah and I did not date we just had a ‘thing’ I guess, and we didn’t do anything more than make out a few times.”

“Yeah, a ‘few'” Wade made finger quotes in the air.

Ripley pulled into the carpark of Marlins.

“Let’s just not talk about it okay? Now, are you ready to be drunk under the table again?” Ripley grinned, already climbing out of the car.

“You did not drink me under the table last time. Besides, you have the advantage that Marlin is your uncle and he’s practically been training you.”

Ripley scoffed, “He let me have the occasional few beers when I was younger and maybe a wild seventeenth — that is not an advantage.”

Wade held the door open “Ladies first.”

Ripley smirked and sauntered in, right over to the bar where her uncle was serving.

“Well hello you two,” her Uncle smiled, looking up from the beer he was pouring to find his niece and her usual partner in crime.

“Hey Marlin, busy night tonight,” Wade observed, bursa escort bayan settling himself in the barstool next to Ripley.

“It’s always busy, we’re the only pub in town” Marlin flipped a tea towel over his shoulder, “So what can I get you two trouble makers tonight?”

“Whiskey, neat” Ripley made a serious face at her Uncle.

He held her gaze then after a moment relented, “Alright, but I’ll be watching you two — when Diego says no more, I don’t want to catch you sneaking drinks from behind the counter.” he paused, “Ripley.”

Ripley gave him a big smile, “Of course not Uncle, I would never do any such thing.”

Marlin just snorted and set their drinks on the counter, before turning away to serve another regular.

Wade picked up his drink and spun his seat around to face the steadily filling dining room. Ripley did the same, resting her elbows comfortably on the wooden counter behind her.

It seemed to be the usual crowd. A few boys they’d gone to high-school with playing pool, their girlfriend’s sitting in the booth behind them, chatting noisily about something Ripley couldn’t have cared less about.

The postie Gordon, was sitting down the other end of the bar and gave them a polite wave as he took a sip of his frothy beer.

Ripley’s gaze passed over the familiar face of their small town until Wade nudged her arm and nodded his head in the direction of the kitchen.

Ripley raised an eyebrow with intrigue at what she saw. It was the same girl with long dark hair, almost down to her waist, caring three plates of food to the booth by the door.

“Well, looks like it is the girl from the pool,” Wade gave her a smug look.

“Guess she’s not a tourist then,” Ripley shrugged and returned her focus to the drink in her hand. She drained the rest of the glass and put it on the counter.

Wade put his empty glass on the counter as well, “Another, mi’ lady?” he asked.

“Of course, kind sir,” Ripley agreed.

Wade looked up the bar to find it unfortunately lacking of a barkeep, despite the other patron’s full glasses. Sandy, Wade’s little brother, was cleaning glasses and stacking them under the counter.

“Bus boy, fetch us Diego, would you?” he called.

Sandy looked up, seeing his brother, he made his way down the bar.

“Marlin said I can start learning to mix drinks — if it’s just for you guys.” Sandy smiled, his crooked grin.

Wade shook his head, “Do we get a rookie discount?”

“You already get half-priced drinks,” Sandy replied, already pulling out various bottles of alcohol.

“I can’t believe my Uncle would let a sixteen-year-old practice mixing drinks on us,” Ripley shook her head in mock disappointment.

Sandy started pouring drinks together in a seemingly random fashion, “I’m still pretty new at this, but I think you guys are going to love this.”

“So,” he continued, “Have you met Eve yet?”

“The new girl?” Wade asked.

“Yeah, the pretty one with the really green eyes.” Sandy clarified.

“Nope, but Ripley saw her down at the pool yesterday,” Wade slid her a sideways smile.

“She’s really nice, she moved here from Seattle to live with her Grandma – you know Mrs. Gardner.” Sandy rambled on.

“Oh yeah, she lives just down the street from us, I love Edith, she makes the best shortbread cookies.” Wade grinned.

“Alright,” Sandy sets two lime green drinks in tropical looking glasses in front of them, “Go on, taste them, they’re supposed to be grass-hoppers– they look good hey?”

Ripley glanced at Wade, he looked about as unsure as she felt, but he shrugged.

Ripley took a sip, her face instantly scrunching as she forced a smile.

“Mmmh, good,” she lied, trying to keep a straight face as she forced it down.

She side-eyed Wade, who looked like he’d just sucked a lemon, but managed a pained smile and a thumbs up at his little brother.

Sandy gave them a lop-sided grin, “Great! It sucks that I can’t taste them yet. Well you two enjoy then,” and he turned away to clear some tables.

“Oh my god, grass-hopper? Tastes more like grass clippings,” Ripley winced, leaning over the bar to tip her drink down the grate.

Wade chuckled, following suit “Yeah, he should be thanking his lucky stars he can’t taste them.”

The kitchen doors flung open and Diego appeared, tea towel over his shoulder.

“Well hello there my two favourite patrons,” he grinned, pushing his dark curly hair back.

“Diego, thank god. Make me a drink, something delicious. Sandy might just have ruined alcohol for me.” Ripley groaned.

Diego chuckled, “Yeah, he made me taste one of his drinks earlier, I guess he hasn’t improved much.”

“You need to teach him a thing or two, because I don’t think I can keep faking it,” Wade informed him.

Diego pulled out a couple of glasses “Beer?” he asked.

“Yes please, whatever is cold and on tap.” Ripley replied agreeably.

“Sure, and you two want something to eat? I know you’re going to be doing a lot of drink escort bursa so you better.”

Wade shrugged, “I could eat, what’s good tonight?”

“Well Butch is making his famous lasagne tonight, you can’t say no to that.”

Ripley nodded keenly, “He’s right, you can’t say no to that.”

“Well, I think you’ve convinced me then.”

Diego set their beers down, cold and frothy, the best way to have beer.

“I’ll put your order in,” he grinned, then headed off to serve some other customers.

One beer later, the new girl came out of the kitchen, two plates of lasagne in hand.

“The two lasagnes?” she questioned.

Wade gave her a warm smile and nodded, “Yes, thank you.”

“So, you’re the new girl then?” Ripley asked as she got up, heading around the bar to refill her beer.

“Um, yeah, I’m Eve,” she replied uncertainly.

Ripley refilled her and Wade’s glasses from the tap.

She nodded slowly, “Right, so Eve, what brings you to our neck of the woods then?” sounding sceptical.

Ripley glanced up, and couldn’t stop the sharp intake of breath when she found the girl’s bright green eyes for the first time. Sandy wasn’t joking, she did have very green eyes. Very pretty green eyes. Ripley pushed the thought out of head as she sat the beers on the counter and replaced herself on the bar stool.

“I didn’t really want to come here,” Eve’s face seemed to have soured slightly, “But, my parents thought it would be good for me if I came and lived with my grandmother for a while,” she continued quietly.

Ripley nodded along, “Well, I wouldn’t worry, city folk don’t usually last very long here.” Her tone came out a little harsher than intended.

The girl’s eyes flicked up to meet hers, then she glanced back down at her shoes.

“Yeah, well it is a big change but I’m trying.”

Ripley just raised an eye brow.

“I think that’s admirable,” Wade jumped in before an awkward silence settled. He gave her a genuine smile, obviously trying to diffuse some of the sudden tension.

Eve gave him a small smile in return, “Well, I better get back to it,” she said vaguely gesturing over her shoulder.

“Yeah, we’ll see you around,” Wade told her.

When she was gone, he turned to Ripley who immediately rolled her eyes at him.

“What was that?” he raised an eyebrow.

“What do you mean what was that?” Ripley frowned, “A conversation?” she suggested.

Wade shook his head, cutting his lasagne.

“Ripley, you were not very friendly to her, she’s new you should be trying to make her feel at home, not out of place,” Wade informed her through a mouth of food.

“I wasn’t trying to make her feel anything, I was just talking to her,” Ripley argued.

Wade rolled his eyes, “That’s what you always do, you just say whatever you want, you don’t think about how it makes people feel.” He pointed out.

Ripley shrugged, “It’s their business how they feel about me, not mine. I just say what I think.”

Wade shook his head, but he was smiling, “I know you do.”


Eve’s POV

Eve noticed the rambunctious blonde the moment she sauntered up to the counter, even from across the room. She had her hair in tight cornrows, wearing as she was, a bright yellow lifeguard’s shirt and an attitude, she was difficult to miss.

After she finally ordered, Eve felt her breath catch in her throat when she looked up and saw how pretty she was. She felt her heart flutter in her chest, as she tried not to stare at her beautiful, pale blue eyes.

It wasn’t too difficult once she opened her mouth.

Eve left feeling slightly annoyed. The girl definitely had an attitude. She doubted they would be friends, even though Marlin was lovely and she knew the girl — Ripley, she’d been told, was his niece.

Eve noticed the rambunctious blonde the moment she sauntered up to the counter, even from across the room. She had her hair in tight cornrows, wearing as she was, a bright yellow lifeguard’s shirt and an attitude, she was difficult to miss.

After she finally ordered, Eve felt her breath catch in her throat when she looked up and saw how pretty she was. She felt her heart flutter in her chest, as she tried not to stare at her beautiful, pale blue eyes.

It was getting late, the pair, Ripley and Sandy’s brother Wade, had been drinking for a few hours now and they were both fairly drunk.

Eve tried to ignore the pair, who seemed to be heading out anyway, as she carried a tray of drinks across the room toward the pool table. She’d almost made it, when someone slammed into her side. The drinks went flying, soaking her t-shirt, glass shattering across the floor.

“Oh my god,” she stared down at the mess, then looked angrily over to see who so carelessly shoved into her.

She was met by angry blue eyes. Ripley.

“What the hell, new girl! What where you’re walking!” she said, annoyed.

Eve felt an uncharacteristic rage blooming in her chest, “What? Me?! You’re the one who’s so drunk you can’t walk in a straight line! You ran into me!”

“Hey, hey, Eve is right, Ripley, you ran into her. Chill out okay, it’s not her fault.” Wade tried to mediate them, his words coming out slurred.

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