After the jump, you can find a teaser excerpt from my new novel, Suburban Girl's Rebellion. If you prefer, you can download this same excerpt on Goodreads. The full novel is on sale at Amazon's Kindle Store for 99 cents. Keep in mind, you don't have to own a Kindle to read Kindle purchases - they have free apps you can download so you can read on your computer, iPhone, iPad, Blackberry or Android.
Another hour into the party, Laurel found that she and Christian were the only sober ones left. Most of the girls were cheering and shrieking as Jesse drunkenly wrestled a fellow senior. Amanda had somehow passed out on the armrest of the chaise and was joined by a few others who were sprawled about random areas of the deck.
Laurel sat back in her chair, watching Jesse pin his friend as Riley pounded the floor with her fist. She shook her head and laughed, turning her attention from the wrestling match to the corner that Christian still sat in. She caught him not just looking at her, but watching her. He didn’t stop despite her catching him.
Laurel gave a slight smile before getting up from her chair and slipping into the house. Follow me! She willed him silently.
She made her way to the kitchen, pretending as if she needed a snack or a glass of water. Her heart skipped when she heard the screen door push open, the sound of footsteps slowly nearing her.
She tried to look as physically appealing as possible as she poured herself a glass of water. She closed the refrigerator door and couldn't suppress her girlish delight to see Christian standing beside her, wearing his charming, crooked smile.
"Hi," she breathed, her nervous excitement forcing her to set her drink down.
"Did I scare you?" He asked.
"No. Yes. A little."
Christian let out as much of a laugh as Laurel had ever heard from him. She tried to compose herself and look like the poised, intelligent sophisticate that she believed she was, or at least could be. "So," she sucked in a deep but inaudible breath to relax herself. "Did you enjoy your conversation with Amanda?"
Christian leaned against the kitchen counter and squinted. "Who?"
"Amanda Emery. The girl you were talking to."
"Sure I enjoyed my conversation with Gossipy McGee."
Laurel snorted. "Oh, did she talk you ear off? I would've warned you if I got here earlier."
"I wish you did."
She smiled. "Well at least now you know the dirt on everyone at Lexington."
"No, I tuned out for most of it. I'm not extremely curious about high school scandal."
Laurel held her hands up in mock apology. "Sorry, that's just so past you isn't it?"
"Yes." Christian answered plainly. "Except one story."
He grinned. "I'm sure you didn't want me to know."
Laurel shrugged it off. "I don't care," She said, barely convincing herself.
"But you're blushing."
"Okay, you're not."
Laurel clenched her teeth, ready to knock Amanda's head off. She hadn't wanted Christian to know even one detail of her humiliating past. She was supposed to have had a brand new start with him.
"I'm just…hot in here. These lights," she muttered, realizing she had barely expressed a coherent thought in her seething embarrassment.
"Let's get out of here then," Christian said, taking Laurel's glass of water and pouring it into the sink. "Let's go cool off outside."
"But – " Laurel began to protest, wanting to stay in the privacy of the indoors with him. She tried to resist but couldn't argue once he took her hand to lead her back outside.
She stared in awe at their interlocked fingers. No one noticed them as they slipped back onto the deck and down the steps toward the pool. She watched in dumb awe as he led her onto the diving board, holding her hand securely as they stood at its wobbly edge. "Go." He said simply.
Laurel scoffed. "You go."
"We'll both go. On the count of three."
Laurel froze, smiling nervously. "Are you…serious? But this skirt…"
"I know. It's expensive. Probably from a store I’d get kicked out of." Christian said, his tone conveying how little he cared.
"Why do you always insist on ruining my pretty stuff?"
"Christian, just hold on one sec – "
Laurel shrieked, squeezing her eyes shut as she flew off the diving board, her hand still gripping his. She sank into the depth of the pool, the layers of her Jean Paul Gaultier skirt floating spectacularly under the water. Her stinging eyes opened to see Christian actually laughing, bubbles rising from his lips to the surface of the pool. She couldn't be angry when he looked like he was enjoying himself so much. And he looked so cute enjoying himself.
She swam her way to the top and gasped for breath, pulling him to the top.
He coughed pathetically and grinned, wiping her smudged mascara with his thumb. "Not so hot anymore are you?"
She frowned, not entirely sure how he meant that. "I'm cold now," she shivered, her hair clinging to her cheeks. She blinked drops of water from her eyelashes.
"You look like a wet kitten."
Laurel splashed him. "Do you ever have anything nice to say?"
He smiled with a quiet thoughtfulness as if actually thinking. Laurel watched him with anticipation, her eyes unblinking as she waded the water anxiously.
"You're cute." He said simply.
Laurel blinked. "Cute" wasn't quite a bad thing but she had expected a bigger payoff. "And?" She pressed.
"And that's it."
Laurel nearly sank into the water. Christian ignored her visible disappointment and nodded towards the deck. "Ready to get out?"
He let go of her hand and swam to the side, hoisting himself out of the pool. She watched him stand at the edge and hover over her while she still waded in the middle of the deep end, clearly displeased.
"Come on, kid. Take my hand."
Laurel fumed at the word "kid," thrashing away from him and swimming towards the ladder to climb out. She had let him drag her back outside and run her into the pool fully dressed, and all to be told that she was nothing too special to him anyway.
He watched with a look of amused bewilderment as she stormed past him, refusing to make any sort of eye contact.
"Fun swimming with you, Laurel Rixon."
"Whatever." She muttered as she stomped away.