Over the next few weeks I will be sharing the initial chapters of Lindsey: Love & Intrigue, my award winning debut novel. Lindsey is a Young Adult (YA) Romantic Thriller. To find out more about the book please visit: http://www.kimberlykolb.com/
If you enjoy these initial chapters please share them on FB with your friends: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKimberlyKolb
Love and Intrigue
my mother, Barbara, for always making the time;
my father, Donato, for making me believe every problem can be solved;
my husband, Jeff, for countless moments that were better than I ever could have imagined;
and to the sixteen-year-old in each of us, for your unending capacity to dream.
|1. The First Day: I certainly hope so.
2. Gymnastics: First practice.
3. A Ride Home: This changes everything.
4. First Football Game: The football team won, but I seem to be in the lead.
5. The Party: Sorry night was cut short.
6. My Ride: Fade to black.
7. Pairing Up: Just looking at him makes me nervous.
8. Empty: Everyone peaks at a different time.
9. In Person: I’m gonna kill my routines.
10. North Meets South: All’s well that ends well.
11. Homecoming Dance: I’m in way over my head.
12. Auditions: Should you trust me? Always.
13. An Evening at Home: Why is everything a code?
14. Play Rehearsal: He barely brushes his lips to my neck.
15. Flower Day: Wonder if I will ever know.
16. My birthday: Yours, Chris.
17. North vs. South: Game on.
18. A Night Out: Sweet dreams.
19. Research: A huge weight has been lifted.
20. Pickup Truck: Who’s that guy?
21. Halloween: Will we ever have our first kiss?
22. Dracula: Remember you’re mine.
23. Our First Real Date: All of you.
24. Hockey Night: Friends of yours?
25. Thanksgiving Weekend: A third wheel.
26. Date Night: Time to get ready.
27. A Cold Winter Night: I’ve lost my grip.
28. The Clubhouse: Thank you.
29. A Plan: They’re watching me.
30. The Final Plea: Why me?
I would like to thank my mom, Barbara Cantalupo, for being the first to read my initial rough draft and for her long hours of skilled editing of those early versions. I would also like to thank my dad, Donato Cantalupo, for always believing in me and the paths I choose.
I am grateful to my husband, Jeff, for supporting me in this, and all my endeavors.
I want to thank my uncle Jack Hess for putting words to this project when I couldn’t, and Jack and his wife, Pat, for reading an early draft and encouraging me through to publication.
To my dear friend Michelle Kilbourne—we walked together for hours and sat in many coffee shops over the course of several years. At the end of the journey, you received your PhD and I have published my book. I can only hope my kids have friends who encourage and challenge them as much.
And to everyone who has believed in me—teachers, coaches, colleagues, friends, and family—I thank you. I am indebted to you for your kind words of encouragement.
First day of school. I wonder who’ll be in my classes.
As I shower and start getting ready, my mind begins to wander. What will this year bring? Will I have girlfriends—real girlfriends—or will it be like it’s always been, me as mostly a loner? I’ve always had friends, but not good friends. Not the kinds of friends you read about or see girls have in the movies. I tend to get along better with guys. Girls are so much trickier. Well, at least for me. I think I’m the only fifteen-year-old girl in the world that doesn’t have three BFFs.
Looking in the mirror, all I think is ughh. I wonder who’ll be in the cool crowd this year. Mostly I like not being part of a group. I’m just me. I hang out with the kids I like, regardless of whether they’re popular or not or which group they’re a part of. Truth is, I wish I was more outgoing and social. The kids who are outgoing seem to be friends with everyone. I know most of the kids in high school think I’m shy. Maybe I am. More than anything, I think most of what they talk about is ridiculous, so I choose not to join in.
It would be so much easier to be a guy. Wake up, two minutes in the shower, throw on a pair of jeans and a T-shirt, and show up at school—instant cool. Instead, I’m faced with an endless array of decisions like, should I straighten my hair or curl it? Should I wear eyeliner or just blush and lip gloss? Then there’s the annual challenge of selecting an outfit for the first day of school. The judgment girls place on that first-day-of-school outfit is tangible. I guess the guys are judging too. Who gained weight over the summer? Who got taller? Who changed their hair? Nightmare. At least Mom has taken me shopping so I have plenty to choose from, but walking into my closet now, suddenly nothing seems right. What will the girls wear this year?
Staring at my organized closet, I decide on jeans that I know fit well, with a new pink top. Grabbing my backpack off one of the built-in hooks, I head downstairs. Of course, I’m the only one left in the entire junior class who’s still fifteen and can’t drive yet, but luckily my neighbor Isabella will give me a ride to school.
As I ring Isabella’s doorbell, I wonder if it’s really Tuesday. What if it’s actually Monday, Labor Day, and I wake up her whole family on the wrong day? Stop it. Of course it’s Tuesday. No one’s home at my house, right? Mom and Dad already left for work, so it must at least be a weekday. Wonder if I’ll ever stop questioning myself as to what day of the week it is. Do other people do this? Some probably do, but they likely live in a different kind of “home.” Smirk. My mind turns to Isabella. I’m sure I’ll get an update on everything she and Rick, her boyfriend, have been doing. They’ll go to the homecoming dance together. I wonder if anyone will—
“Hello, Lindsey!” beams Mrs. Castiglioni. Isabella’s mom is like chocolate chip cookies, warm and inviting.
“Hi,” I say as she gives me a hug and a kiss on the cheek.
“How was your vacation out east? Must have been wonderful; you got plenty of sun!” she continues while holding my arms, which are pale in comparison to her natural olive tone.
“It was great, thank you.”
“Hey,” Isabella says as she comes in, looking ridiculously pulled together. “Ready?”
We step through her foyer and into the garage, and I wonder which guys got cuter over the summer. Guess I’m as judgmental as the rest. Will he be in any of my classes? As we slide into Isabella’s car, the music is already on. We head out and drive around the lake.
Isabella and I are not really close, but then again, am I close to anyone? I consider Elena and Melissa friends, but am I really close to them? Isabella’s family has lived in the area for a while, and ever since I moved here, she has been nice to me.
And she’s willing to drive me to school, so I figure I should at least try to be social. “How’s Rick?” I ask.
“Terrific. We’re doing great. It’s been eight months—can you believe it?”
“I bet we stay together forever!”
“Hmm.” Forever? Seriously, this is exactly why I don’t get girls. Forever. Right! Why would you want to be with him forever?
Glancing around our small town, I remember riding through it for the first time. Nervous, excited, and mad that we had moved! Again!
We moved here, to Emit, Michigan, from the suburbs of Chicago the summer between my seventh- and eighth-grade years. I remember my dad and I were on one of our walks when he told me that he would be leaving his office at the end of the school year to start his own practice and that we would be moving to Michigan. My dad had started his career as a lawyer working for the New York District Attorney’s Office prosecuting some of what he calls “the-most-violent-criminals.” He says it like it’s one word. Then we moved from New York to Chicago, and he worked as a lead prosecutor for their state attorney’s office.
We moved from New York because of what our family knows as “the Case”—the Case that changed things. I still don’t know much about the Case because it’s one of those things you just don’t bring up. Whenever I mention it, my dad’s face tightens. He cracks his neck and usually answers in curt responses until he or my mom changes the subject. What I do know is that he had been preparing to go to trial to prosecute a sixteen-year-old who had apparently sexually assaulted and brutally beaten a couple of young girls. My dad was planning to try him as an adult. Before the trial even started, my dad received an anonymous letter letting him know that the author hoped my dad was successful in prosecuting this kid and sending him to jail for life. The letter said that if my dad was the prosecuting attorney and the kid ever walked free again, the writer would ensure I would understand what pain was before burying me alive.
Dad was brought up by parents who had immigrated to the United States, and he was raised with very strong family values. His Italian father died young, but my mom once told me Dad knew what his father would have said to him about caring for me. Hearing his father’s advice in his head, Dad immediately transferred the case to another attorney.
My father refers to the kid who was accused as the Animal. The Animal cut a deal with the new lawyer and only served nine months in a juvenile facility. In the year following his release, three girls were brutally murdered in New York. There was no physical evidence at the crime scenes, except one thing, the same at each. My initials, LB, were carved into a tree within a few hundred feet of each of the girls. My dad, and all the authorities, are convinced the Animal killed all three of them. These remain open, unsolved cases.
I know Dad thinks he would have been able to try the Animal as an adult, won the case, and sent him off to a real jail. I think Dad has always felt responsible for those three girls killed in New York. He’s never given up a case since. After the Case, I think my dad felt like he needed a fresh start, so we moved to Chicago.
After a few years in the state attorney’s office in Chicago, Dad took a position at the US attorney’s office in Chicago. I guess he has always been a good courtroom attorney, but he really built his reputation during his years as a prosecutor in Chicago. He had several major cases that gave him a lot of national notoriety. He told me once that with his record, he should be able to build a strong private practice on his own, and my mom had always wanted to live in a bit more rural area. He started building the business when we were in Chicago, and he must have gotten some good clients because my mom built her dream home on the lake when we moved here to Emit.
Now he has a thriving practice. He says it’s much better because he gets to pick his clients and his cases, whereas when he worked for the government, he had to take whichever case they gave to him. I think he still likes to be involved in criminal work, but now he also gets to work with clients like our neighbor Mr. Kirkwood, in corporate law. Truth is, Dad still seems to get asked to consult on some of the high-profile cases being prosecuted by his old government offices in Chicago.
As Isabella and I pull into the student parking lot, my thoughts are interrupted. I see him: Chris Buckley. Sigh. He waves at us, so of course Isabella waves back. Wow, he always looks … Wait, is he looking at me? He spent last spring semester and the summer studying abroad in London, so I haven’t seen him since the fall of our sophomore year. As always, he looks terrific. I glance over at Isabella, as I assume he’s eyeing her—and realize she’s on her phone and totally engrossed in conversation with someone, probably her boyfriend, Rick. Turning back, I think Chris looks my way for just a second, then he turns to grab his backpack. Maybe he’ll be in one of my classes again this year. I certainly hope so. If not, maybe he’ll try out for the fall play; he’s clearly one of the reasons I’ve enjoyed being part of the school’s productions. Wonder who he’s seeing. I’ve had a crush on him since eighth grade, when my family moved to town. We had a fleeting moment of romance back then, and ever since he’s always been nice to me, but sadly I’m not even sure he knows I’m a girl. Maybe this’ll be the year that things change. Who knows? I’ve daydreamed about him more than I want to admit—even to myself.
Shock, Rick parks right next to Isabella.
“Hey, Rick. Thanks for the ride, Isabella.”
“Sure. See ya!” she says as she walks off with Rick’s arm around her. I wonder what she sees in him. I guess he’s cute enough, but he’s definitely not one of the smartest guys in the class. What have they talked about for eight months? Seriously. On the other hand, I bet I could think of eight months of things to talk about with Chris.
Next thing I know, Rick’s brother, Kevin, is standing next to me. Kevin is a senior, towering over me at six foot one; he’s in the honor society, plays soccer, and has been dating the oh-so-perfect Andrea for the past year.
“Hi, Lindsey, nice tan.”
“Oh … um, thanks.” Why are you talking to me? “How, uh … how was your summer?”
“Pretty good; I didn’t see you around much.”
“Oh, yeah, well, I guess I spent a lot of time at gymnastics practice, and I was visiting family the last couple weeks in August.” Nervously I keep looking down and playing with the zipper on my backpack. As I glance up, I notice in the split second that we make eye contact, he’s smiling at me. He pulls his backpack over his shoulder, grabs his gym bag, and starts to walk toward school. I start to dig out my iPhone so when Kevin starts walking in with someone else, which should be happening any minute now, I can at least listen to my tunes and look normal even though I’m alone. I quickly look around the school grounds to see where Chris has gone. No sign of him. Oh, well.
Just then Kevin turns back and asks, “You are coming to class, right?”
“Huh? Oh, um, yeah.” As I start across the student parking lot, I can’t help but notice that he seems to be slowing down. Is he waiting for me? A lowly junior? Should I catch up with him? He must be waiting for Andrea. I decide to walk in his general direction, which, after all, is in the direction of the school entrance, so that way I can either meet up with him, if by some strange twist of fate he does want to walk with me, or I can just head to the building, in the more likely case that he barely knows my name and I’m hallucinating this entire interaction. I probably imagined Chris noticing me too. Great start to the year, Lindz.
As I continue to walk in Kevin’s general direction, in a deliberately slow manner, I see Andrea wave at him from across the lot in an overly enthusiastic way. Okay, hallucination officially over. Cue Kevin eagerly walking over to Andrea and putting his arm on her shoulder.
Wait a minute. Did he just nod at her? What does that mean? Well, she is walking with some friends. I keep my steady, slow pace and approach Kevin.
“So, what’s your first class?” he says as he seems to be matching my stride.
“Oh um, chemistry, with Lyons,” trying to seem casual on the outside as I am totally dying on the inside. Why are you walking with me?
“I had him last year—good luck with that.”
“Thanks.” As I try to focus on what he’s saying, I can’t help but notice that he continues to walk with me. Okay, so he’s just being polite. His mother works at our school and is so nice; she would be proud of his good manners.
As he heads down the hall, he says, “My locker’s this way, but maybe I’ll see you later.”
“Sure.” Heading to my locker, I nod at a few kids I haven’t seen since the end of last year. I wonder why Kevin didn’t walk in with Andrea.
There’s the Fab Five gabbing it up. Jennifer is across their circle from me and is nice enough to call over to me as I pass the group in the hallway, “Hey, Lindsey!”
It’s fair to say that I have a soft voice, so I try to call back loud enough so she can hear me over the general din of students starting the year, as well as the Fab Five discussing … who knows what, “Hey, Jennifer.”
“You going to practice today?” she says with genuine enthusiasm.
“Oh yeah! I’ll be there.”
“Great. See you then.” Jennifer and I have been on the same club gymnastics team since I moved here. It’s nice of her to acknowledge me while the Fab Five is holding court. The others do not even seem to notice. Shock. Those are the kind of friends I don’t need.
As I turn the corner to get to my locker, I see Jon. I can’t help but smile, although I consciously control it to a small curl. I must admit a part of me is seriously hoping that his crush on me is still in full throttle. It was nice last year to at least have one guy notice me for more than just the fact that I’m still considered the “new kid.” Jon is a sophomore, and a rather cute one. I’m not really interested in Jon. At least for me, there weren’t any feelings last year, but if I’m honest, I get a huge surge from the attention he gives me.
“Hey, Lindsey. Good to see you,” he says as he hooks one arm over the top of his locker in a smooth, but deliberate, attempt to look casual.
“Hey, Jon, how was your summer?” I give him a sideways glance, and although I’m actually shooting to look him in his eyes, I realize he grew a good two inches and I’m looking at his dimpled chin.
“Good. My trip with my folks to London and Paris for a few weeks was great. How ’bout you?”
“Cool! Oh, you know, the usual.” I throw my backpack into my locker, and slam it shut. He slams his as well. I suspected he was already done with his locker when I had turned the corner, but now I’m pretty sure he still has a crush on me. And I’m selfishly thrilled at the prospect. As I look up into his gray-blue eyes, which don’t seem to leave me even as his friends are greeting him, I ask if he has chemistry first period.
“Yep—shall we?” he says with that familiar glint in his eyes. It’s our traditional greeting. Last year we had first-period biology together, and he always said, “Shall we?” and I would reply, “Surely,” which I do again this morning.
I feel a little guilty walking down the hall with Jon, because I know I’m probably not going to go out with a lower classman. I wonder … does Kevin, who’s a senior, have the same rule? Happily, Chris and I are both juniors, so the dream lives on. But Jon seems to know I’m not really interested in him in that way, and he doesn’t appear to care. No idea why—but I figure why not enjoy the attention from Jon since Chris isn’t giving me any?
Walking down the hall we hear the first bell, and we both quicken our pace. I’m always glad to have someone to walk with down the back hallway—the so-called “burnout” hallway. I hate going down here alone. All the kids that smoke hang out back here. Why do they all wear black?
I see Mark tossing out his cigarette butt in the courtyard and smile. Mark is such a rugged outdoorsman. Always going camping, or rock climbing, or something outdoorsy. I admire how comfortable he is out in nature.
“Hey, Mark,” I say, and with this, Jon looks over to see who I know in this particular hallway.
“Hey, Lindsey, how’s it going?”
“Good. When do you have lunch?” I ask, and I’m glad we still seem to be friends.
“Third—you?” he asks.
“Fourth, but they overlap so maybe I’ll see ya later,” I say as I pass by, still walking with Jon. Fortunately, no one else talks to us as we turn into the chemistry lab, because except for Mark, the rest of the crowd looks way too tough for me. The usual array of kids are in chemistry, and Mr. Lyons is already projecting his tablet on the screen. I’m hoping that Jon will sit with me at a lab table. Given that he’ll likely be salutatorian or valedictorian for his class, being his lab partner will just about guarantee an “A” for me in the class. So I turn to him and ask, “Lab partners?” The prospect of flirting with him for the year is also exciting in a ridiculously giddy way.
With a broad smile across his face, he responds, “Definitely,” as he guides me to a table in the back corner by the window. And the Crush lives on. I know I shouldn’t enjoy the attention as much as I do, but I just can’t help it.
For third-period English, I choose a seat toward the back, but most of the seats are still open as we still have a few minutes before the class bell. I assume most kids already know who will be in their classes and will walk in with a friend. Almost everyone at school posts their schedules online in a “private” area, which ironically they give most of the school access to. My dad won’t let me join any of those websites, let alone post any information about myself online. Both of my parents are attorneys, but they work in very different areas of the law. One of the many benefits of my dad having been a district attorney for many years is his general distrust. Rather than the typical American perspective of innocent until proven guilty, my dad works from the perspective that everyone I meet is a criminal until proven otherwise. I always kind of knew this, but it really hit home when I made the mistake once in fourth grade of telling my folks about my day at school and mentioning that a boy was picking on me.
At that dinner I think I learned what an inquisition is. Dad went completely crazy. Asking me all kinds of questions, over and over again. “Did he touch you? Has he ever hurt you? What exactly do you mean ‘picking on you’? How long has this been going on? What did the teacher say?” I don’t think he even knew my teacher’s name before that. Next thing I knew he was scheduling meetings with my teacher, the principal, and the kid’s parents. He blew the entire situation completely out of proportion. The truth is the kid would just say mean things to me at recess and lunch, basically anytime he saw me when a teacher wasn’t around. But after my dad’s string of meetings, not only did that kid tease me, but so did all his creepy friends. I learned very quickly to be careful what I said about other kids at school.
Then Chris Buckley walks in, and I’m instantly thrilled. I see him and my mind can’t think of anything else. Chris has perfect hair, shiny and brown, with subtle blond highlights that seem to spike and fall in a casual precision around his face. He is about six feet tall and has a completely adorable, dimpled smile that lights up his eyes, making it impossibly contagious. I don’t think he has ever really had a girlfriend, but he always seems to have a date. He’s one of those guys who are so handsome and cool everyone likes him. All the girls want to date him and hope to be the one he actually chooses as a girlfriend, and the guys all want to hang out with him. To me, he is simply devastating: bright blue eyes framed with long, dark lashes; broad shoulders; and a lean muscular build. Unattainable perfection realized.
Chris says, “Hey, Rob! Hey, Jason!” Jason gets a knuckle bump as his greeting from Chris. I’m, of course, still looking at him, as I assume is most of the room. Does he even notice that girls stare at him all day long?
“Hey, Chris!” bursts out Amanda. Amanda is another member of the Fab Five, the most popular group of girls in our class. Whatever “popular” really means. Nightmare. They will, of course, all be on homecoming court next year. Amanda is okay. Maybe not the worst of the bunch, but clearly she figures Chris is in her league. Isn’t that how it always is? The best-looking, most-popular guys, all seem to be taking turns dating the best-looking, most-popular girls. Nightmare.
“Amanda,” Chris responds with an easy smile.
Amanda continues to glow in his direction. “I forgot you’re in Ms. Lowen’s English class. This is gonna be fabulous.” Right. You forgot he’s in your class. He slides into the desk behind Jason, just in front of me, the seat next to Amanda. Great. I’m sure she won’t be chatting him up all year. I know I’m not an outcast, but I’m also not in the “in crowd.” I wonder what this year will bring. But my thoughts are interrupted when Chris turns the full force of his killer dimpled smile on me, “Hey, Lindsey! Wassup?”
Time changes pace, seeming to both slow and quicken simultaneously. These are the moments when I wish I wasn’t so quiet. All the other girls seem to always have something clever to say and deliver what seem like their scripted lines in such an engaging way. The guys flock to them like bees to honey. That’s just not who I am.
Stealing a quick glance in his direction, I say, “Hey, Chris.”
He raises his eyebrows and starts to ask me, “Hey, are you …” only to be interrupted by Ms. Lowen starting class, “Welcome back from summer vacation, ladies and gentlemen.” Chris rolls his eyes as he turns back to face Ms. Lowen at the front of the classroom.
Am I what? Aware something is on my face? That my hair is sticking out? That my fly is open? Unconsciously I check my fly. Everything fine there. Next I run my hand through my hair; seems fine. What is Ms. Lowen saying? She spends the first half of class explaining how our grade will be calculated. The second half of class, we jump right in and start a poetry unit.
Class bell. Lunch is next. I hope there are kids I know in my lunch period. I already know that Melissa has lunch with me, so at least I can look for her. As we all start leaving English, Chris is chatting with Jason and Rob, so I make my way to the front of the room to head toward my locker before lunch.
“See ya, Chris.” Huh? No idea what he was going to say earlier, but at least he acknowledged me before leaving the room. Take that, Amanda!
Walking down the hall, I see Joel weaving through some kids to walk with me.
“Hey, Joel.” Looking at the lake we live on, Isabella is my neighbor on the south, or right, side of our house, while Joel and his brothers are our neighbor to the north, or left, side.
“How was your vacation?”
“We missed you out on the lake the last few weeks.”
“Thanks, but I’m sure you found plenty to do.”
“I guess. Hey, Mike and I are having a party next Saturday after the football game.”
“Really? Cool.” Mike is Joel’s fraternal twin.
“You should come over.”
“Sure, I guess.”
“There’ll be a lot of kids there. Anyway, I should get to class before the bell. Hey, when do you have chemistry—maybe we have it together?”
“I had it first, too bad. I’ll see ya.”
Heading into the lunchroom, I’m hoping that Melissa is already here and saving me a seat. Looking around for someone I know, I see Chris coming out of the lunch line. Smiling at him, I turn toward where Melissa and I sat last year and am glad to see her there.
“Hey, Melissa,” I say softly, hoping the seat next to her is for me.
“Hey, Lindsey! Here; sit here.”
“Thanks, I’m gonna go get some food, I’ll be right back.” Whew. Someone to sit with at lunch.
Last period is study hall, which I can take in the cafeteria or the library. I opt for the library in order to avoid all the inevitable socializing I will be left out of in the cafeteria. I head to a large corner table and sit alone, in hopes of getting my history homework done before gymnastics practice. I’m so lost in my own thoughts I don’t even realize that Kevin Walker is standing next to me until he deliberately clears his throat. Is that the second time he cleared his throat? Oh, man.
As I look up and say hi, he gestures to the obviously empty table I’m at and asks if I’m sitting with anyone.
I stammer, “Well, um, no. Oh, I’m sorry; do you need the table for a group? I … I can move to one of the cubes,” and I start to gather my books and papers.
“No. No, I’m just wondering if I can join you.” He just oozes confidence while mine seems to be draining away.
Oh sure, I’d love to sit with you and Andrea, I think as I hear myself mumble, “Sure, no problem.” Pushing my backpack out of his way, he sits right across from me. I rest my head on my hand as I force myself to return to reading so as not to look at him, although I have the distinct feeling he’s watching me. Or is it the rest of the room staring at us? They’re all probably wondering the same thing I am—why is Kevin Walker sitting with her? Shouldn’t he be with Andrea? Or some other knockout senior?
“So, what are you studying?”
Is he still talking to me or did he call someone? As I tilt my head slightly and look over to him, I realize he is talking to me with his eyebrows raised and half a smile, as if he’s amusing himself.
Sarcastically he comments, “Must be fascinating.”
“Completely,” I say, and much to my own surprise, I hold his gaze rather than look away.
“Did you get a lot of homework?” he asks, and keeps his eyes fixed on me.
“Uh, not much, you?” Is this really happening? Nervously I look away.
“Nah, just the usual first-day stuff. You have practice tonight?”
“Yeah, first practice here for the high school team. You?” I manage to say, but I’m still consumed with the question Why are you here?
“Yeah,” he says.
The librarian starts to take a stroll around the room as a not-so-subtle reminder that we aren’t supposed to be talking.
As I glance around the library, I see three guys from Kevin’s soccer team at another table; and, oh great, two of Andrea’s friends are in the back. Did they just look at me? Man, she is going to be ticked. He sits with me, and somehow I know I’ll be the topic of their text messages.
Turning back to my homework, I try to study. I must have read the same sentence five times—I can’t even grasp the meaning. How much time has passed? Kevin has a book out that he seems to be reading. As I try to sneak a peek up at him … Oh damn! I shoot my eyes right back down at my book—is he still looking at me? I look back at him more deliberately; is there something in his eyes?
“What?” I whisper.
In his own hushed tone, “Nothing. What? Just studying.”
“Studying what?” I ask.
He just smiles and raises an eyebrow in response. Like a fool, I smile uncontrollably and feel the blush building. Humiliating. Back to history. I promise myself I will actually read the rest of this section without letting him distract me. Focus. Focus!
The last bell of the day rings. Thank goodness. I expect Kevin to go meet up with his soccer friends and that will be that, but as I pack up, I notice that he’s waiting for me. I know he’s waiting as he has only one book out and has it in his backpack in a flash. I’m so distracted that I drop my notebook, which he picks up and starts to put into his own bag. “Hey!” I say quietly with a smile.
“Just kidding,” he says, handing it back to me.
“Ready?” he asks as I swing my backpack over my shoulder.
“Sure,” I say in an obviously timid manner, which prompts a smirk across his square jaw.
As we walk toward the locker rooms, he asks when our first meet is.
“We have a mock meet here two weeks from Wednesday—but there aren’t any judges.”
“My first soccer game is next Thursday,” he says as he looks down at me with that same smirk.
We approach the guys’ locker room first. As he turns to open the door, he looks back and in an unusually quiet voice says, “See you later,” with a look on his face that made me think of one of my grandmother’s many sayings—he looks like the cat that ate the canary. And I can’t help wondering why that came to mind. I should really call Grandma. Anyway, no time now. I need to change and get up to gymnastics practice.
If you enjoyed this chapter of Lindsey: Love & Intrigue please share it on FB with your friends: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKimberlyKolb
Copyright © 2013 Kimberly Kolb
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.
ISBN: 978-1-4759-8790-4 (sc)
ISBN: 978-1-4759-8791-1 (hc)
ISBN: 978-1-4759-8792-8 (e)
Library of Congress Control Number: 2013907555