Let’s Read The Word

Open APP
Falling for Hudson (Ashland #2)-Alexandria1

Falling for Hudson (Ashland #2)-Alexandria1

Author:Alexandria Bishop


General Romance

Becoming an orphan right before her senior year is not something Chloe had on her agenda. Neither was moving away from the only home she's ever known. Rather than dealing with her grief she drowns her sorrows in a liquor induced haze and relies heavily on Hudson. The only person who truly has her happiness in mind. With his band starting to take off the only thing missing from Hudson's life is someone to share it with. Lost in an internal battle between being the friend Chloe needs and boyfriend she wants his resolve soon weakens when they find themselves locked in their school's auditorium for a long weekend. When these friends decide to finally become lovers, could a misunderstanding break their already unstable foundation? Or will they persevere and be exactly what the other needs?


Ashtyn, my best friend, is a wreck. She’s been crying all of her makeup off and reapplying it I don’t know how many times. I get it. She’s upset. Her boyfriend, Flynn, is moving to the opposite end of the state with his band Marlowe; her feelings are valid. But not once has she asked me how all of this makes me feel. I’m losing someone too. She hasn’t been paying attention and is lost in her own problems. Her mom dragged her to Ashland, Oregon, away from our home in Santa Barbara, California. Ashtyn’s parents are getting a divorce, but her mom, Audrey, forgot to mention that little detail when she brought her up here.

My parents decided to go on a cruise, leaving me with two options: spend my summer vacation in Kansas with my grandmother, or run away to Oregon and join Ashtyn. Since I got here, I’ve been spending the majority of my time here visiting with Jax, the guitar player for Marlowe, while Ashtyn’s been off with Flynn. One night in particular pops into my mind.

Jax, his brother Hudson, and myself are sprawled across their couches and are having a movie marathon. Hudson is the drummer for Marlowe, and he left shortly after Jax turned Point Break on. As he left the room, he was mumbling something about Jax being a narrator. I didn’t get what he was talking about until the movie started and he started saying all of the lines with the characters. It was cute at first but got kind of annoying pretty quickly. After he repeated some line about cum, I’d had enough.

I slowly work my way down to his end of the couch, but he’s too engrossed in the movie to realize what’s going on. I curl myself into his body, blocking his view from the TV, but he doesn’t seem to mind. “Lets go up to your room.”

With a shrug of his shoulders, he turns off the TV and leads the way upstairs. As we pass Hudson’s room, I can hear loud, angry music blaring through his bedroom door. I wonder if he’s upset about something? Jax opens the door to his very messy bedroom and then closes it behind me. He has a typical guy’s room. Clothes, which I’m hoping are clean, are scattered on the floor. Band posters are placed in between super models in bikinis. At least his bed is made. He sits down on the edge of his bed and turns his TV on. Not happening. I straddle his lap and go in for the kill. My lips graze his once, twice, three times before I give in and kiss him.

“Chloe.” He groans as he fists his hands in my hair. I tease him with my tongue and he greedily opens his mouth to me. My body is on fire with each tangle of our tongues, and I push him back onto the bed without breaking contact.

“Chloe, stop. I don’t think we should do this.”

Rolling off of him, I release a frustrated sigh. “I don’t get it. Why not?”

“Because I respect you too much for what this is.”

“And what is this?” I sigh in frustration and motion my hand between the two of us.

“I don’t know what you want from me, but I know what it can’t be. I can’t be in a relationship after how things went down between Erin and me. And I’ m not willing to have a one—night stand with you. Chloe, you deserve better than that. You deserve better than me.”

I’m pretty sure that was the night I started falling for him. It’s not going to help anything to bring it up now, so I take a couple swigs of tequila and set the bottle on her dresser before heading into the bathroom.

I instill an overly bright and cheery tone to my voice. “We should get going soon. Tonight’s supposed to be fun and not about goodbye. We’ll do that tomorrow. So cheer up, buttercup.”

The guys recently signed a record deal with Oliver Morris. Apparently he used to work for Flynn’s dad, Carl Wilson, who is the owner of Lost Souls Records and also Audrey’s employer. Oliver lives in Portland, which is nearly five hours away, so the guys are all moving up there tomorrow so they can get started on creating an album.

She rolls her eyes at me. “I know that, Chlo. But I’m allowed to feel sad. I’m in love with him and he’s leaving me. I can’t imagine not being able to see him whenever I want.”

Continuing to stick with my fake happiness, I say, “Don’t worry, Ashtyn, the school year will fly by. Besides, it’s not like they’re going off to war, just the other end of the state.”

“What about all the slutty ho bags out there? I told you how the starfuckers acted when I first got here. He can have his pick of girls out there. He’ll get tired of a cold bed and find someone else to keep him warm.”

“How could you think that?”

She shrugs her shoulders.

“He would never cheat on you. That boy is madly in love with you. You’re it for him. It’s written all over his face whenever you’re around.”

Her face lights up with nothing but happiness. “You really think so?”

“Really, Ashtyn? I know so. No more crying. Let’s go to that party and have the time of our lives. That gorgeous boyfriend of yours is waiting.”

“Hey, you watch yourself there.” She smiles and goes back to finishing her makeup.

“You know I don’t want Flynn. But I can appreciate a gorgeous man when he’s standing right in front of me.”

As if on cue, Flynn shows up and Ashtyn agrees to ride with him to the party on his motorcycle. I guess I’m getting her Jeep all to myself tonight. As they’re heading out, I take a couple more gulps from my tequila bottle and then stash it back in my duffle bag. I’m a little lighter and warmer now. Hopefully this will be nothing but a fun night.

They’re still kissing and being cutesy when I get out to the driveway, so I take off first. I plug my phone in and blast “Closer to the Edge” by 30 Seconds to Mars. Oh man, Jared Leto is so hot. The things I would do with that man if I had him alone for a night. I reach over to turn the volume up and swerve a little on the road.


I guess I took a few swigs too many. I finally get there and park the Jeep. Rather than wait for Ashtyn, I go off in search of my favorite Hartley brother. It doesn’t take me long to find Jax hanging out near the dock. Bumping my shoulder against his, I pull his attention away from wherever his head was at. He’s all smiles when his eyes land on mine. He pulls me into a tight embrace and I relax into his arms. He smells faintly of campfire and cologne. “Chloe, you’re here.”

I giggle and beam up at him. “Of course I’m here. Where else would I be?”

He shrugs and steps back, breaking our embrace. “I’m so stoked we’re leaving tomorrow. Only focusing on the band is going to be epic.”

My happiness falters, but I quickly shake that away. I can’t fault him for his happiness. “Well we need to do a celebratory drink, then.”

“Hell yeah we do. What’s your poison for the evening?”

I open my mouth to answer him before I’m rudely interrupted.

“Jax. There you are. We’ve all been waiting.” A harem of skanks comes strolling up and breaks us out of our little bubble. The lead skank holds up a bottle of peach schnapps. “We’re doing body shots, remember?” She smiles at Jax before turning daggers on me.

I give her a smile as sickeningly sweet as the liqueur in her hand and tuck myself underneath Jax’s arm. He automatically wraps him arm around my shoulders and kisses me on my temple. I melt a little right there, and the bitches scowl and continue with their daggers. “I’ll be over in a minute.” Her entire face lights and she opens her mouth to say something but must think better of it. She makes a point to smile extra widely in my direction before turning to walk away. “Oh, and Brooke?”

“Yes, Jax?” she says in a sultry voice that makes me want to gag.

“Grab something a little stronger. I don’t do the sweet stuff.”

Her smile falters and I turn my face into his chest to hide my laughter. Jax leans down and kisses me again. “You’re okay with me heading over, right? Hudson’s around here somewhere. And we can take that shot later.”

I force my pain to the back of my mind and give him one of my megawatt smiles. “Of course. This is your night. Have fun, but don’t forget to come find me later. You’ve been fighting me on it all summer, but I will be in your bed tonight.”

His face breaks out in a half—cringe, half—smile. I can tell he’s internally fighting between what he wants—what we both want—and what he feels is right. “I leave tomorrow, Chlo.”

“More reason to finally give in to what we’ve both been feeling. No more talking about this. Go do your shots with the skanks, but you will be mine later.” To really put my point forward, I pull his face down to mine and slam my lips onto his. He stiffens slightly, but I knead my fingers on the back of his neck underneath his hairline and dart my tongue out along his bottom lip. He groans and pulls my body to his own while bringing his hands to my ass. All too soon I break the kiss before we end up having sex right here in front of everyone.

He presses his forehead to my own. “Whatever you say, babe.” And then he walks away like nothing even happened.

Making my way to the patio, I spot my good old buddy José Cuervo. I grab the bottle of tequila and head back toward the grass. I’m chugging the bottle when Hudson comes by and snatches it out of my hands. “What the fuck, Hudson?”

I reach for the bottle again, but he holds it back from me. “If you continue hitting the bottle that hard, you’ll end up sick or passing out in less than an hour. Why don’t you take it easy?”

He looks legitimately concerned, but I don’t care right now. I reach for the bottle again, and this time he relents. “Why do you even care?”

Grabbing my hand, he leads me over to the fire pit and we take a seat. “I care, Chloe. I can tell you’re hurting and I’m sorry.”

I look over at him and his whole face is full of remorse. “What do you have to be sorry for?”

He grabs the bottle from me and takes a generous chug himself before placing it on the ground in front of us. I pick it back up and cradle the bottle like it’s my baby. I know I’ve reached the point of word vomit, but I’m drunk and I don’t care. “Why are you even over here, Hudson? I’m sure Jax isn’t going to sleep with all of those girls, at least not tonight. Why don’t you go find your hookup for the night? I guarantee you, Jax is already living up to the rock star persona. Just gearing up for skankri—la.”

“You don’t get it, do you?”

I know I’m drunk, but I have no idea what he’s talking about. I get it one hundred percent. Jax is an asshole and I fell for him. I’m the idiot, just like all the groupies surrounding him. I thought I could tame the untamable.

What a fucking joke.

I’m not drunk enough to spew all of those thoughts, so I ask him the only thing I can think of. “Don’t get what? What is there to get?”

He looks over at me and opens his mouth but immediately slams it shut. What is going on here? His focus moves away from me and out onto the lake. He lets out a sigh and stands up.

“Never mind. It doesn’t matter—”

I nod my head and ignore whatever else he says. It isn’t important anyway. I continue nursing the bottle until I hear a shrieking laugh coming from the other side of the yard. From over here, it looks like he’s just moving down the whore line doing body shots. The shrieker gets a little bold and slams her lips to Jax’s. And he is all for it. She wraps her legs around his body, pulling him flush against her. She’s dry humping him and he isn’t doing a thing to stop it. They’re practically having sex right here in front of everyone. It makes me sick.

Why am I still here? Why am I watching this shit? Fuck it.

I don’t notice Ashtyn approaching, and she breaks my concentration when she asks, “Hey, Chlo, what’s going on? Why are you sitting over here?”

Looking around myself, I realize Hudson must have left. I guess he got bored with me ignoring him and only paying attention to his brother. One more thing that I can add to the list of stuff Jax is fucking up tonight. Why did I have to fall for him? Stupid fucking heart.

She looks down at the bottle in my arms and I twirl it around. “Hey, Ash. I was hanging out with Hudson, but he got bored with me, so he left. Everyone’s leaving me these days. So I’m hanging out with my buddy José tonight. He always likes spending time with me.”

She reaches for the bottle and I don’t even fight her when she takes it. I need to leave this place anyway. Wasn’t I already leaving? “Why are you upset, Chloe? What’s going on?”

Throwing my arms out, I stumble out of the chair. My breathing is a little erratic and I just need to go. Fuck! “I can’t do this anymore. I really like Jax. I thought something could actually happen between us. Something real.”

“Every time I’ve asked you, you’ve told me you’re just hanging out.” Is she that oblivious? I mean, yeah, she’s been focusing on Flynn a lot lately, but she’s always been able to see through my lies in the past. “Yeah, well, I lied. He’s over there livin’ it up with all the ‘see you next Tuesdays.’ I’ve never been the girl to care, but somehow my stupid heart got involved. I need to leave.”

She grabs my arm. “Chloe, you can’t leave like this.”

I stumble away, cursing under my breath. “Just watch me.”

“The plan was to stay the night. If you had told me you wanted to leave, I wouldn’t have started drinking tonight. I’m sorry you have feelings for Jax, but you’re right, I don’t see him settling down anytime soon. Sorry.”

Way to stab me in the heart right now. If she’s trying to get me to stay, she’s fucking failing big time. I’m so over this right now. “I need to get out of here. I need to get away from Jax. I don’t feel like sitting here watching him pick his whore for the evening. He’s ripping my heart out of my chest. I feel like I’m suffocating, and I need to be as far away from him as possible.”

“Chloe, calm down for a minute. Let’s talk about this. You never told me you felt that way about Jax. You always acted like you were having fun.”

“I don’t want to talk this to death right now, Ash. I need to get out of here.”

I take off and don’t look back. I drove here, so I still have the keys to her Jeep. I hop inside, and luckily, no one blocked me in. I’m starting up the car when Ashtyn flings open the door and gets in the passenger seat. After she shuts the door, I don’t even wait before peeling out of there.

“Chloe, pull over. We can figure everything out. We’ve both been drinking and your emotions are going a little haywire right now. It sucks Jax is an ass, but you knew that already. He’s the epitome of a player.”

“Yeah, and I was another one of the stupid girls thinking they could tame him. I hope someone rips his heart out and stomps the shit out of it someday.”

My phone starts ringing and I’m looking all over for it. I don’t remember taking it into the party with me, but I can hear it close.

Where the fuck is it?

I look over at Ashtyn and notice that she’s typing something on her phone. That’s when I spot mine still plugged in. I pick my phone up to answer it when Ashtyn says, “Hey, right now isn’t the best time to be on the phone—”

I don’t let her finish before I answer my phone. Even in my inebriated state, it crosses my mind that it’s a strange time for my grandma to be calling. “What’s going on? Isn’t it like three a.m. over there?”

Her voice comes over the line after a pause that makes my heart sink. “I know it’s late, honey, but I have some bad news.”

My heart stops sinking because it hits the pit of my stomach.

“Chloe, are you still there?”

I nod at the phone, but I know she can’t hear me. I can’t get the words out of my mouth. In my gut I know something isn’t right, but I don’t know how to respond to her right now.

“I’m sorry for telling you this way, but there was an accident, Chloe. Your parents didn’t make it—”

I don’t even hear anything else that she tells me. All of the air leaves my body. My face gets wetter and wetter, but I don’t actually feel as if I’m in my body anymore. I feel as if I’m traveling higher and higher, away from my body.

I feel like I’m watching it all in slow motion as the Jeep swerves on the road and slams into a tree. My body flies forward and slams into the steering wheel before falling back into my seat. I spot Flynn and Hudson charging toward us. Oddly, it occurs to me that must have been the text Ashtyn sent.

There’s gut—wrenching screaming coming from somewhere, and I look over and notice Ashtyn crumpled at an awkward angle. It’s only then that I realize the screaming is coming from me and I can’t stop. I’m vaguely aware of someone trying to get my attention and pulling me out of the car. It’s almost as if I’m two separate people right now: the one coherent about her surroundings, and the other who can’t quite connect and is a full—blown mess.

My arm suddenly burns with a sharp pain, and my disconnect starts coming back together. Rather than stick around and watch everything unfold, I start to close my eyes, and I see Hudson’s broken face before I shut them and allow the darkness to pull me under.