Chapter 14

4.7K 136 56

After photographing and naming the first seven sea turtle hatchlings for characters in Anything Goes- Reno, Moonface, Billy, Hope, Ritz, Ching, and Ling- Camila returned to her booth on the beach while Lauren bounced around the pier, her shop, and her new dive boat in the harbor.

Camila wasn't exactly moping, but she couldn't bring herself to put on another enthusiastic display of song and dance like she had Friday and Saturday. She still flung goodies at passers-by and made sure her music drowned out the other booths.

Ally prodded her repeatedly.

"I don't think it'll actually rain today." She mused, nudging Camila's chair.

Camila glanced at the sky and shrugged.

"That would be a nice change." Ally plowed on. "I think they've finished all the contest heats, right? Did you see the dolphins in the water earlier? I would've loved to go swim with them."


Camila honestly appreciated Ally's grasping for distraction. But it was not working.

Ally smiled brightly at her. "Top five 80s music videos, Camila." She requested. "Go."

Camila was still humming "Thriller" when they packed up the booth three hours later. Ally had latched onto the song and taken the opportunity to teach Camila the entire dance, and then shanghaied Clara into learning the second half when she stopped by to drop off another pizza.

The closing party on the pier started with sunset. Camila left Ally behind and weaved through the large crowds- the surfers, spectators, locals, and tourists- trying to pawn off multiple boxes of leftover donuts and whatever goodies she'd failed to hand out. The slightly cooler air felt nice on her sunburnt face, but she was sweating through her tank top and growing increasingly sticky and sandy and frustrated in her search for Lauren.

"Donuts!" she heard a voice proclaim, and she smiled and veered off in its direction.

Niall grinned. He was sitting on the wooden pier railing- Camila could knock him backwards into the ocean if she pleased- with Normani and Dinah on one side and Louis on the other. They were all red-faced and curly-haired and bare-footed.

Niall held his hands out expectantly.

"Split them with everybody." Camila warned, handing him the last box of donuts.

Niall hugged the box to his chest protectively.

Normani reached over and pulled at the lid, trying to peek inside.

"Hey, dude, knock it off!" Niall protested. He swatted at her arms and Louis rolled his eyes and positioned himself to prevent Niall from tipping backwards into the sea.

"I have to count them or you'll hoard them all away."

"There are six, Normani." Camila wiped at the sweat on her forehead and grimaced.

"Perfect. Three for me, one for each of you."

"Uh, no." Niall shook his head and slid forward off the rail. He yelped at the splintering against the back of his legs and dropped the box onto the ground.

Dinah lunged for it and Normani nodded approvingly.

"Have you seen Lauren?" Camila asked.

"You go, DJ!" Normani exclaimed, watching Dinah jog gaily down the pier with Niall hobbling after her, rubbing at his legs.

"She was talking to some of the surfers." Louis offered. "They liked the shop."

Normani refocused on Camila and thrust a small, black flask out towards her.

Ain't That a Kick in the Head (Camren)Read this story for FREE!