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The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.
Most superhero stories start with a meteor shower or a nasty insect bite, but mine actually starts with a kiss. This was going to be the longest summer of my life. Being deprived of my three best friends, Jesse, Josh, and Jackotherwise known as the Jswas worse than Id imagined it would be. Itd only been a week and I was already cracking like a nut job from the summer boredom.
If it werent for the new kid across the street Id be in a room with padded walls already. The new kid and his mom moved in the day after the Js left to go to hockey camp for the summer. Im not even going to start on how unfair it is that I couldnt go with them just because of the fact that Im a stupid girla fact which my older sister says is debatablebecause it will only make me punch something.
Anyway, the Js all left to go become NHL material, and just when I thought for sure I was going to literally die without them, a moving van pulled up in front of the house across the street. Naturally I was curious, so I sat up in my room, with a bowl of ice cream and Weezer blaring loudly through my open window, and watched as the movers began.
After a few minutes, I stuck the spoon in my mouth and forgot to remove it until I got a massive brain freeze. This was not because Im a moron and dont know how to eat ice cream.
It was because a BMW, of all things, pulled up to the curb in front of the house. Of course Ive seen nice cars before, and it wasnt even about the fact that I live in the kind of neighborhood where people only drive minivans, but a BMW? Thats like German or something. If youre going to move to Detroitokay well Canton, which is only a suburb of Detroit, but stillthe least you could do is have the decency to drive American.
I waited to see what kind of people would have the nerve to roll up in a foreign car, and the woman who stepped out from behind the wheel seemed to perfectly fit the stereotype I had in my head. She was super skinny, which, not to be rude to a lot of the moms on my street, was not something we were used to seeing around here.
She had really shiny brunette hair, like the kind you see on shampoo commercials. Her clothes were probably designer, not that I would really know, and she had something hanging on her ear, which I decided was one of those cell phone things you see people using in the movies. In fact, she looked like someone you would see in the movies. He had shaggy, dark brown hair that was as messy as the guys that play hockey with me, except that his seemed to be styled like that on purpose.
It hung down into his eyes, making him look kind of mysterious, and he was really tall. Definitely varsity basketball team tall not that he struck me as the type to play organized sports. And tall is good, because Im like five, ten. Not that Im planning our wedding or anything, Im just saying. He seemed a little on the skinny side, but you could see the definition under his polo-fit tee.
So hot, that I could feel myself blushing even though he was down on the street and had no idea I was watching him. And thats what I did for the rest of the week. I watched him. Id become obsessive about spying on him over the last week since it was my only form of entertainment. Well, it was the most exciting entertainment anyway.
Abercrombie working out in his garage. The workouts started the morning after he moved in. Every morning around nine a. Half the days he did an extensive cardio workout, with a jump rope of all things, and then hed beat the crap out of a punching bag. Thats pretty fun to watch, but Ill admit I liked the days when he lifted better. He had one of those weight machines that allows you to work out all the different parts of your body, so after he worked his thighs and gluts, he moved on to my particular favorite, his upper body.
I kind of have the perfect view, too. My bedroom window is directly across from his bedroom window, which sits above his garage. So after his workout, I can usually catch a glimpse of him stripping his tank top off as he heads into his bathroom to shower.
Best ten seconds of my day. Only today it was actually more like a whole minute, because he stopped to look out his window as he gulped down a bottle of water.
I was completely mesmerized by his hotness, and didnt think to hide from his view until our eyes locked. I panicked and quickly ducked out of sight hoping that we were far enough away from each other, that maybe he didnt notice me. Maybe I only thought hed seen me. I waited a minute and then peeked again to see if he was gone, but he was still standing there. Not only that, but its like he was waiting for melike he knew Id look again. At that point what could I do, hide again? I think not.
I was already busted. In an attempt to save my dignity, and hopefully make him think Id. He didnt wave back, but beneath the intense stare he was giving me, the corners of his mouth curved into half a smile. I couldnt help but think, Is he laughing at me? Who are you waving at? The dreaded older sister. Just the name makes me shudder. Shes only a year older than me, but thats enough to make her think shes better than me in every way possible.
I hate her because shes way pretty and wears a lot of skirts and stuff, and she hates me because Im basically the oppositea pale, skinny, redhead, whos taller than half the boys in school and could beat any one of them in hockey.
Angela barged into my room so suddenly that I jumped sky high at the sound of her voice. I yelped as I whirled around to face her. Why are you blushing? Im not blushing. Im just Its hot in here.
What do you want? She watched me suspiciously for a moment and then put the pieces together. Oh, my gosh! You were watching the new guy work out, werent you? She pushed me out of the way to take her own peek at the window across the street, which was now empty, and added, Did I miss him take his shirt off already?
Good to know stalking runs in the family. I was going to deny it and play dumb, but I was still so stunned by him catching me that I blurted out a yup before I could stop myself. Angela sighed in regret, but then pulled herself away form my window and turned her evil eyes on me.
Well, well, well, is Ellie Westley finally crushing on a boy? Its about time. I dont Its nothing to be ashamed of, Ellie. Angela rolled her eyes as she cut me off.
Hes totally gorgeous and youre almost sixteen. I was starting to worry that youd never realize what boys are for. Id already had enough embarrassment for one day with the whole being caught spying thing.
I didnt need Angela making it worse with some sort of welcome to womanhood speech. What are you doing in my room? I yelled. Sheesh, I was just looking for my black clips.
Do I look like someone who would use your hair clips? You should. You actually have really nice hair if you would just brush it once in a while. I couldnt help reaching up to grab my ponytail defensively. I brush it. When Angela saw the frown on my face, she studied me for a moment then sighed.
I cant believe Im about to say this but, why dont we go shopping today and get you a skirt and a swimsuit and you can come with me to the lake tomorrow. Excuse me? Never in all my fifteen years and eleven months of existence had such a statement come out of Angelas mouth. I know you miss those loser friends of yours, but maybe them being gone is a good thing.
I was shocked because she actually sounded sincere. Well, sincere for her anyway. If youll promise to not be quite so you. There goes the sincerity. Ill let you hang out with my friends and me.
With the Js out of the way, we might have a decent chance of turning you into a girl this summer. I couldnt believe what I was hearing. Had Angela gone mental? Was I not the only one going crazy from the summer break? Well Hell would have to freeze over before I agreed to a make-over, and considering it was like a hundred degrees outside, I pushed Angela into the hallway and slammed my bedroom door screaming, I dont have your stupid clips!
Angela yelled back through the door. I guess she was mad that I wouldnt let her play like Im her Barbie. Well, whatever! Just because my best friends were all boys, and I. And for the record, I didnt have a crush on the new guy. I just thought he was really hot. But even if I did, it wouldnt have been my first. Id had crushes on boys before. Not any of the Js of course, but last year I totally liked my biology partner Eric Sherman.
That didnt work out so much since we dissected frogs and I mentioned I was disappointed that there wasnt any blood. But still. Feeling ready to punch something, which is basically how I feel every time I have to interact with Angela, I cranked up the My Chemical Romance and climbed out my bedroom window onto the roof of the garage where I like to go when I need space.
I assumed thats where Id spend the rest of my day because my life was just that exciting. I actually didnt stay out on the roof that long, because Mrs. Haskins pulled up in front of my house.
Ellie, honey, she called to me through the open passenger window, are you free to watch Cameron this evening? Sure Mrs. What time do you need me? Six oclock okay?
Should be fine. Thanks Ellie! She started to drive off, but then stopped again. Oh, and Ellie? Yeah, Mrs. If you see Bruno, would you mind hanging on to him till I can come get him?
He got out? I couldnt help the surprise in my voice. Its not like Bruno is a little Chihuahua who could sneak through a hole he dug under the fence. Hes a pound boxer. Hed never hurt a fly, but still not the kind of dog youd want cruising the neighborhood on his own. Bob forgot to shut the gate after he took the trash to the curb this morning. I laughed because that was just like Mr. That man would forget his shoes in the morning if Mrs. Haskins werent there. You want me to help you look for him?
Haskins eyes lit up at the offer. Oh, would you? Let me just put on my skates and Ill do a few laps through the greenbelt for you.
Oh, Ellie. Haskins sighed in relief. What would I ever do without you? More like what would I do without the Haskins? Im saving up to by a car as soon as I get my drivers license, and the Haskins add to my car fund more than any other family in the neighborhood. They pay really well and only have one kida baby wholl be in bed by seven-thirty. Plus, they always have the cupboards stocked, and they get all the movie channels.
Its almost a crime to take their money. See you in a while Mrs. Haskins, I called with a big friendly grin. Not that looking for Bruno was all that exciting, but I was more than happy to slip on my rollerblades and go for a good skate. Id been in the house too much this week and could use the exercise. So, as Mrs. Haskins continued to drive down the street calling out for her dog, I headed in the other direction toward the greenbelt like Id promised.
I live in a subdivision called Brookhurst. I dont mean one of those new housing developments where you have to put a potted plant or a flag by the mailbox just so that you can tell which house is yours. Im talking about a real neighborhood. The kind of place where there may be a house here and there in need of a paint job, but the trees are mature enough that they actually produce shade. Real estate people like to use the term character.
Its the type of place where everybody knows everybody, and for some reason once you move in you stay until you croak. Which is exactly why the new guy moving in was so exciting, and also why I couldnt stop thinking about him as I rolled around the neighborhood.
I went down every path in the entire neighborhood but didnt see any trace of Bruno. Since Michigan is hot and muggy enough to be mistaken for a rainforest in the summer, I only did one lap and then called it quits. I got to my driveway and ripped off my helmet to wipe at the sweat that had gathered under it. No sooner did I toss the helmet in the grass than I heard the sound of paws thudding toward me.
Not only does Bruno love me because I feed him junk sometimes while Im babysitting, but he seemed particularly excited at the moment because of his current freedom. He came barreling at me at full speed.
Bruno, no! Bad dog! I called when I realized he wasnt going to stop. But it was too late. Bruno jumped up and knocked me right off my skates. Everything happened so fast. I crashed back against my driveway hard, and for a second, things went totally black.
When I came to my ears were ringing, my head was pounding, and I felt like I was going to vomit at any moment. Then, just as Id suspected would happen, a giant tongue attacked my face.
Bruno only got the chance to give me one good lick before he yelped and fell limp beside me. Thats when I looked up to see the new guy staring down at me with the most intense eyes Id ever seen. And, get this. He was holding a Taser.
Hi, Ellie, he said in a strong, deep voice. Its nice to meet you. Well of course I screamed. The psycho just killed the Haskins dog. I screamed loud enough that the Js probably heard me all the way at camp. Then I tried my best to push the new kid away from me, but he was too strong. I would have freaked out that such a hot boy was touching me, except I was too busy freaking out that such a hot boy was touching me!
Pinning me to the ground, actually. Easy there, Ellie, New Guy ordered me and then did the weirdest. He took off his shirt. Not that I didnt appreciate what was under his shirt, but I screamed again. Well what was I supposed to do? The guy comes out of nowhere, kills a dog, pins me to the ground, and takes his clothes off?
Oh yeah, and he knows my name. How does he know my name? It wasnt until he wadded up his shirt and plastered it against the back of my head that I realized maybe he wasnt attacking me.
Once I understood this it finally dawned on me how much pain I was in. There was a pounding in my head like nothing Ive ever felt, and it seemed to match the rhythm of my heartbeat. The thud, thud, thud was echoing in my ears and making my brain want to explode, but it was soon overpowered by a much worse sound. One that was unfortunately all too familiar, and makes my head ache even when I havent just cracked it on the driveway. What the freak is with the screaming? Im on the phone! Angela was saying until she got to the driveway and saw what was going on.
The shriek that followed was blood curdling. Dont worry, shell be all right, but shes going to need stitches. I was startled because the voice came from so close to me. Its like Id forgotten the new kid was there, and when I looked up I was surprised to see his face just a foot from mine.
Theyre blue, I thought as I finally got a really good look at his eyes. Id been wondering all week what color they were. It was hard to tell from my window. Deep, dark, ocean blue. Gorgeous, just like the rest of him.
He looked down at me suddenly with the same amused grin hed given me from his bedroom window, which I thought was strange. But maybe I was looking at him cross-eyed since he held a finger up in front of me and slowly waved it from side to side. The motion made me nauseous. She might have a concussion, too, he said, still grinning at me. Is a concussion funny? It certainly didnt feel funny. We should get her to. Are your parents home? Theyre both at work, Angela replied in a frantic voice.
She came rushing to my side as if she were completely freaked out, but I noticed the way she put her hand down on New Guys forearm as she pretended to care about my well-being. I smirked at her fingers clinging to his skin. Obvious much, Ang? Angela was suddenly glaring at me for some reason, and the new guy laughed. It was quite irritating because the situation was anything but funny. I would have told him just where he could shove that laugh of his, but I started seeing these big, dark spots floating all around me, and sort of forgot that I was annoyed.
He looked down at the hand on his arm and immediately removed it. That earned him a couple brownie points with me until he took her hand and placed it on the shirt hed been pressing against my head. Hold this, he instructed and then got to his feet to let my sister tend to me. I was going to school him on just how not smart it was to leave a dying girl in the hands of my sister, when I saw him scoop up something huge into his arms, and I remembered what happened.
How could I have forgotten about Bruno? He totally killed Bruno! Hes a dog killer! I wanted to yell at him, but hed already disappeared inside his house. He came back a minute later with keys in his hand instead of a dog, and a new shirt onto both my sisters and my disappointment. You know where theres a hospital? Uh, just a mile or two from here, Angela said, staring at the keys in her hand. Ill get her. You drive. The next thing I knew I was being scooped carefully off the ground.
My head responded with a vengeance, and I groaned when everything started to go black around me. Unfortunately I didnt get to pass out because Angela screamed again. Theres so much blood! I could feel the new guy shrug his shoulders beneath my weight and then he said, Ive seen a lot worse. Youve seen worse? Angela asked, vocalizing my exact thoughts. New Guy didnt explain himself, though.
Shes got plenty left. Trust me. Angela frowned but New Guy just swept past her, not bothered in the least by my weightwhich is a lot more than youd think considering how skinny I lookand asked her to open the car door for him. Angela did as she was told, but as the new guy climbed into the backseat with me she asked, Doesnt blood stain? Youre going to get it all over your car.
Leave it to Angela to be worried about the car and not her dying baby sister. I could barely make sense of anything at this point. My head hurt so bad the pain was almost numbing, and I was growing more and more tired by the second, but I could still hear the words he muttered under his breath as he pulled me against his chest, holding his shirt tightly against the back of my head again. The expression on his face grew disturbingly dark and he muttered, Wouldnt be the first time.
W-what d-do you mean not the first time? I stammered, a little distracted by the threat of unconsciousness. His scowl was gone so fast I wasnt sure itd been there. Shh, he said with a wink. Then he looked up at Angela and barked, Just hurry, okay? The movement of the car only made my stomach feel even queasier. It made it very hard to fight off the unconsciousness that had been trying to overcome me. The world around me seemed to slip out of focus and then my eyelids drooped.
Oh, no you dont. The new kids voice was extremely tender, but. No falling asleep. Cant help it, I thought. Im so tired, and youre so comfortable. Maybe it was the possible concussion, but this was the closest Id ever been to a boy that hadnt just mowed me down chasing after a puck, and I fully intended to take advantage of it.
I relaxed in his arms and enjoyed the feel of the chest I was being held against. For someone with such hard-looking muscles, the new kid is surprisingly soft. New Guys chest started to tremble beneath me and I looked up to see him shaking his head with laughter. Id officially had it with this guy and his being amused with my dying.
My anger managed to give me a little burst of energy. Enough to steady my gaze momentarily and growl, Something funny? I thought I sounded pretty menacing, but New Guy didnt bother to wipe the smile from his face. He just looked down at me and shrugged.
You are. I tried to glare again, but I couldnt focus my eyes enough to do it. I dont think I lost consciousness then, but maybe I did, because New Guy touched my face again. Only this time he didnt slap it to keep me awake, he started brushing his fingers back and forth along my cheek. The warm tingly sensation his fingers left on my skin was something Id never felt before.
Certainly nothing like whenever the Js tug on my ponytail, or give me an elbow jab, or even when they give me a hand up after theyve knocked me to the ground. This was different. It was like magic. Wonderful, wonderful magic that made all the pain in my head disappear. I was sure it was a concussion-induced hallucination, but even still, I was beginning to think it was worth it.
That is, until New Guy brushed my hair out of my face and said, Such shiny, bright, red hair. Gorgeous, just like the rest of you. My stomach lurched and it had nothing to do with my head injury.
Hadnt I thought the exact same ones about him only minutes before? Had I really been talking out loud this whole time? Suddenly, all his amusement made sense. The humiliation was too much for me to handle with everything else going on at the moment, and all those spots in my vision finally lumped into one giant shroud of black.
I only spent one night in the hospital, but I still came home with a raging headache. Between the pain and the painkillers, I was pretty out of it for a good two days. I wasnt sure how long Id been drifting in and out of consciousness, but I knew when I woke up this time that I was really awake and was going to stay that way.
My room was bright and airy since my window was open, but the light made my head hurt like a son of a you-know-what. I threw my arm over my eyes and reached beside my bed where I always keep one of those grabby things. Usually I use the grabby thing when I leave my game controller on my nightstand or drop one of my Twizzlers, but today I used it to grab my window shade.
Concussion or not, I have excellent hand-eye coordination and with just one little grab I plunged myself into total darkness. Angela immediately protested. Angelas voice is not what you want to hear when you are recovering from a concussion. Get out of my room, I groaned since I. No way. You have a much better view than I do. View of what? The new kid is playing darts in his garage. Who plays darts? Angela pulled the blinds up again. I would have protested the action except that she said, Who cares?
Hes doing it without a shirt on.
I got out of bed, found a dark pair of sunglasses, and pushed Angela aside to take a peek. Just as I looked, the new kid flicked his wrist and sent a dart flying into what looked like the direct center of a bullseye. He smiled to himself as he crossed the garage and admired his aim, then he reached for his shirt.
I was worried that he was going to put it back on, but instead he used it to wipe the sweat off his face and began guzzling a bottle of water. This is even better than Greys Anatomy, Angela sighed, plopping down onto my bed when he disappeared into his house.
Hes gone. You can leave now, I said, pushing Angela out of my way so that I could lay back down. I pulled my covers over my head, but Angela yanked them right back off. Get up and get dressed, she told me. Were going over there. Cmon, while we know hes home. Why do I have to go? You have an excuse to go over there. I dont. What excuse? You want to at least know the name of the boy who saved your life. He didnt tell you his name? Didnt you guys spend hours flirting in the waiting room while I was unconscious?
I laughed when Angela frowned. Apparently the answer to my question was no. Shut up! He just never got the chance. As soon as we got to the hospital, he let some guys wheel you inside and then said he had to go. He just left us at the hospital? I thought this was strange, but Angela didnt agree. Its not like he could have done anything else. They wouldnt have let him come back with us because he wasnt family.
Still, to just dump two girls off at the emergency room and not even stick around to see if I was okay? Way to be self-absorbed Ellie.
Thats not what I mean. Theres something really weird about that guy. Angela finally lost her patience with me and began tapping her foot as she stood over my bed. Get your lazy butt up right now or I will be forced to sit in here with you all day. She would do it too. I had no choice but to drag myself from bed. When I got up Angela narrowed her eyes at me.
Nothing dirty, no jeans with holes in them, and absolutely no jerseys. When youre dressed, I will do your hair so that we can cover up those nasty stitches.
Thank goodness the cut was low enough that they didnt have to shave half your head. Would you give it a rest? My head is pounding again, I grumbled. And its not from the concussion. Just hurry, Angela snapped and slammed my door on her way out. I went to pull my shade down again so that I could change, and, not that I was looking or anything, but I just happened to notice the new kid reappear in his garage. He examined the dart still stuck in the target, and then pulled something from his back pocket.
He threw so fast I. There was no smile on his face as he admired his aim this time. He pulled the knife out of the dartboard and then as quick as the first time, he threw it again. The action was so fast it took me a minute to figure out where it landed. But then I saw a mannequin in the corner of the garage rocking on its stand, the knife sticking out of its throat. With a gasp, I quickly ducked out of view from the window.
I jumped back so fast that I banged the back of my head on my closet door. It freaking hurt, and I yelled like there was no tomorrow. What is going on in here? Angela asked, barging into my room, yet again. She took one look at me and her frown got even bigger. Youre not even dressed yet! I hissed, pulling her out of view of the window.
Hes crazy! What are you talking about? The new kid! Angela pulled free from my grip and looked out the window.
Theres nobody out there. She was right. I looked again and hed already gone back inside and had apparently taken his knife with him. He had a knife. He threw it at that dummy. Slit the freaking things throat. It hit dead center, like he could do it blindfolded. Angela rolled her eyes and then pulled the prescription pill bottle off my nightstand. How many of these did you take? Im not high on painkillers, you idiot. You sure sound like it.
Angela let go a frustrated groan and began tugging me out of my room. Im not going over there! I protested. Angela screamed. Be a loser! Ill go by myself. You cant go over there!
What if he slits your throat next? Angela crossed her arms and gave me the evilest sneer. Then you can blame yourself for my death because you made me go over there alone.
She stomped out of my room and I could hear her as she trotted down each and every stair. Then she slammed the front door. I called down to her from my window in another hiss. The glare she gave me was enough for me to know that she was not going to listen to me. When she started to head down the driveway, my eyes drifted back to the house across the street and then naturally made their way up to his window.
His blinds were down but cracked open the tiniest bit, and I could swear I saw a shadow standing behind them. What was I supposed to do? I couldnt just let her go over there alone. The guy was a psycho. First he killed the Haskins dog, and now hes an expert knife slinger?
Angela, wait! Ill come. Just hold on. Ten seconds, she called up to me. I threw on the first shirt I could find that didnt have anyones number on it, ignored the no holes in the jeans request, and then carefully pulled my hair back into a ponytail. I, for one, didnt care if my stitches were showing.
Angela rolled her eyes when she saw me, but didnt say anything except, Took you long enough. I hate you, I grumbled and then headed across the street with my sister, against my better judgment, to meet the new neighbor. We got as far as his mailbox when a car blared its horn behind us. I reached up to grab my throbbing head while Angela whirled around to greet her unexpected company.
I have no idea which of her gazillion male admirers were in the car, but one of them hung his head out the window and said, Ang, babe, were all going to the park for some frisbee football.
Teddy and Alex are bringing a barbeque. Angela glanced longingly back at the new kids house. She sighed. I could here her shrieking playfully as the car sped off. I sighed too, but mine was a sigh of relief. The whole ordeal left me feeling particularly exhausted, and my head was throbbing.
Especially since Id whacked it again. I headed back home refusing to look over my shoulder at the house behind me, and went straight to the comfort of my dark room. I swallowed one of the pills on my dresser, turned on my fan, then collapsed on my bed and waited for the painkillers to render me unconscious. I dont know how long I slept, but when I woke up I was assaulted by sunlight again. Come on Angela, give me a break, I groaned, throwing my arm over my eyes.
I reached for my grabby thing again, and with as much ease as Id done it earlier, I pulled my shade down. I was about to yell at Angela to get out of my room, when a strange voice broke the silence. Now that was almost as impressive as your high score on Skateboard Pro Ive been trying to beat it for three hours and havent even come close. I looked down to see a shadowed figure sprawled across my beanbag chair playing my X-box and, well, what else was I going to do?
I screamed bloody murder. Only when I screamed it nearly made my head explode so it wasnt all that impressive and turned into a groan rather quickly. You know, Ellie, the stranger, whos voice suddenly seemed extremely familiar, said with another laugh, youre going to give me a complex if you continue to scream like that every time we meet. I felt like I should be fearful for my life, but even in the mostly-dark room I could see him grin up at me from beneath those eyelashes that Angela would have killed for.
That face should be illegal. As I continued to lay there, mesmerized by his beauty, his grin turned a little lopsided. You feeling okay? You seemed a lot. Slowly, the memory of smacking my head pieced itself together. Though it was near impossible to look away from the gorgeous guy whod come to my rescue, I threw my arm back over my eyes.
I was concussed! I gasped. My brain was scrambled. Whatever I said, it didnt count. Im sorry to hear that, he said, laughing. I kind of liked the idea of being gorgeous. I was so glad my arm was still covering my face, because Im pretty sure he would have taken great pleasure in watching me blush. Id never told a boy I thought he was good-looking before, but since he wasnt pretending I hadnt said it, I didnt see any way that I could deny it.
Im sure you already know that, I mumbled. I nearly had a heart attack when my arm was lifted off my face.
I hadnt heard him get up, or noticed when he sat down on my bed, but my new neighbor was now smiling down at me from an alarmingly close distance. Its still nice to know that you think so, he said in a voice that no guy had ever used on me beforelike velvet and hormones mixed together.
It sent shivers through me, and dont think he didnt notice my reaction. He hovered above me for a minute, staring so intensely into my eyes that it was causing my heart to do strange things in my chest. When I gulped, his smile widened. Seth Bishop, he said with a twinkle in those deep blue eyes of his. Seth, I breathed automatically, and then a second later was able to reclaim my swimming head.
A little. I sounded breathless, but still managed to voice my main concern. What the hell are you doing in my room? He was surprised enough by my question that he afforded me my personal space, but amused enough by it that he didnt go far. You should be nice to me, he said, still grinning. I saved your life. It was easier to concentrate when he wasnt right there anymore. I started to get my confidence back. And that gives you the right to break into my room and try to beat my Skateboard Pro record?
Which, just so you know, will never happen. Now that I could breathe again, I started to sit up. I definitely could have managed on my own but the minute I moved, Seth jumped up.
He actually fluffed my pillow for me and then gently helped me lean up a little. When I was situated he asked, You good?
Need me to get you anything? I just shook my head incredulously. No guy had ever done anything like that for me before. I mean, the Js would have come to keep me company and all if they could have, but they would still have made me do paper-rock-scissors to see who had to go downstairs to get the sodas. Whats the matter with you? Seth asked, laughing at the expression on my face. I shook my head and said the first thing I could think of. You killed Bruno. Random, I know. But no way was I going to admit what was really wrongthat it freaked me out to be treated like a girl.
Seth bit back a smile and plopped back down into my beanbag chair. He tried to kill you first, he argued lightly. I couldnt believe his response. It was so heartless. How could he be so nonchalant about taking the life of a big, dumb, but really sweet, and totally innocent dog?
He was just excited to see me! I yelled, forgetting that doing so would only cause me pain. I had to lower my voice again, but that was probably a good thing, because I was suddenly a little choked up. It was my own faultalways take the skates off before the helmet.
Bruno wasnt trying to hurt me. He wouldnt hurt anybody! How was I supposed to know that?
Seth retorted. Memorize it, live by it, and happy dating! I've always wanted you--from the moment our eyes met. I wanted you, badly--but you were with someone else. I've been patient, biding time--until you're free. And so here we are. A New Life An Old Flame? Lizzie Hampton is literally a shadow of her former self. Having lost half her body weight, she's headed to her small hometown to test out her new body on an old flame. Just a harmless fling to get her self confidence back before she returns to the city and the new man in her life.
But Lizzie's plan has a few bumps in the road. Finn Robbins can't believe Liz is back in town. Desperate to be the holder of her innocence eighteen years ago, he never got the chance. Now she's back and he can finally check her off his to do list. But her friends, his son, and the mysterious Annie may have something to say about that. Book 1 in a new small town, contemporary romance series. Includes bonus sneak peek material But when he needs her to return the favor, Sam starts wishing the fake relationship was real.
Can they turn their lies into love At least she used to. Somewhere between law school and real life, she lost her sparkle.
Now she wears boring business suits to boring dates in her boring life. The last time Anna remembers feeling that sizzle was with the one man who's all cayenne and passion: Max Corazao, the one who got away. Except Max still sees Anna as a woman full of spice. And Anna intends to do whatever she can to be that woman again—with his help One of the best books I've read in a long time.
Sign me up for book 2! He never expected a young librarian could hold the key to the search, nor could he have expected the danger she would attract. Now he and Beatrice De Novo will follow a twisted maze that leads from the archives of a university library, through the fires of Renaissance Florence, and toward a confrontation they never could have predicted.
And true to her word, brains take center stage when she discovers Hawke has a lot more on his mind than beautiful music.
Targeted by a madman, Rachel puts her trust in Hawke, a move that may cost both their lives Bailey Frost has a recipe for disaster: one cheating ex, one big glass of liquor, and three well-meaning male friends who think her lack of a sex life is funny. Now Bailey has to navigate sappy couples at work, while her friends are hell-bent on helping her get revenge on evil Craig…by dressing up as werewolves, on YouTube.
And one of those friends— the tall, shy-but-gorgeous Linc—might just want to help Bailey with that other little problem… Morgan A Holiday to Remember by Rosesof Prose She watched her mother work herself to death to give her daughter a better life and is determined to make her proud.
If that means not risking her heart, not letting any man get too close, then so be it. Mitch Johnson lives a simple life in rural Georgia. Holding his secrets close. Hiding from the life he left behind. The last thing he wants or needs is a woman to remind him of his past.
When the two are thrown together in a freak snowstorm, sparks fly. Mitch is everything she's worked to escape. Candy is a reminder of his painful past. But the attraction between them won't be denied.
Will love thaw their frozen hearts, or will secrets tear them apart? One thing is certain; it will be a holiday to remember Math, science, accidentally turning people into pumpkins Unfortunately, she's not good at the one thing hiring managers look for when filling open positions for magical beings: Magic. When she jeopardizes her apprenticeship by getting involved with sexy mortal Trevor Masterson, it's one disaster too many.