The Mistake- Elle Kennedy

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The bell over the door dings loudly, and my head involuntarily swivels toward it, then immediately swivels back. I hunch over, hoping my hair will shield my face from view of the newcomers.

The newcomers being Logan and four of his friends.

Crap.

Maybe he won’t notice me. Maybe I can sneak out before he does.
I don’t want to draw any attention to myself, so I don’t get up right away. Logan and his buddies approach the order counter, and every gaze in the coffee house hangs on their every move. Something about these guys changed the air in the room on a molecular level. They’re larger than life, and not just because they’re all tall, strapping hockey players. It’s the confidence with which they walk, the good-matired insults they toss back and forth, the easy grins they flash to people.

I know I should be skulking off, but I can’t look away. It’s almost criminal how attractive he is. Granted, I`m only looking at the back of his head, but it’s a very sexy back of the head. And it’s so easy to pick him out as an athlete. The long limbs and toned muscles beneath his cargo pants and snug shirt create a drool-worthy package that my fingers itch to unwrap.

Argh. I need to drag my head out of the gutter. Lusting over him is too close to liking him, and I`m not ready to open that door yet. If ever.
But common sense comes too late, because Logan is now moving away from the counter and marching in my direction.

“Hey, gorgeous.” He slides in the seat across from me and places a chocolate chip muffin on the table. “I got you a muffin.”

Damn it, I guess he’d noticed me right when he’d walked in.

“Why?”? I ask in suspicion, and without saying hi.

“‘Cause I wanted to get you something, and you already have coffee. Ergo, muffin.”

I raise one eyebrow. “Are you trying to buy your way into my good graces?”

“Yup. And excellent pun, by the way.”

“I wasn’t punning. My name just happens to be a homonym.”

His blue eyes gleam as he downright smolders at me. “I love it when you talk homonyms to me.”

“Uh-huh.” I choke back a laugh. “I appreciate the gesture, but do you really think a muffin is going to wow me?”

“Don’t worry, I`ll buy you an entire meal when we’re out on our date.” He winks. “Anything you want off the menu”.

Damn him and his seductive winking powers.

“Speaking of that, when should we do it?”

I eye him warily. “Do what?”

“Go out.” His head tilts in a thoughtful pose. “I`m free tonight. Or any night, really. My schedule is wide open.”

God, this guy is incorrigible. And too damn gorgeous for his own good. His chiseled jaw is covered with scruff, as if he hasn’t shaved in a few days, and my tongue tingles with the urge to lick a path along the strong line of his chin. This is the first time I`ve ever wanted to lick a guy’s stubble. What is the matter with me?

“Congrats on your wide open schedule,” I grumble. “But I`m not going out with you.”

Logan grins. “Tonight, or in general?”

“Both.”

We’re interrupted by the arrival of one of his friends. “Ready?” the guy asks Logan as he flips the top of his coffee cup.

“Go away, G. I`m wooing.”

His friend snickers, then turns to me. “Hey, I`m Garrett.”

Right. As if I don’t know who he is. Garrrett Graham is a legend at this school. He’s also incredibly good looking, the kind of good looking that brings a blush to my cheeks despite the fact I`m not even interested in the guy.

“I`m Grace,” I answer politely.

“I didn’t mean to interrupt.” He edges away, a barely restrained smile on his lips. “I`ll wait outside so my boy can keep, ah, wooing.”

“No need, We’re all done here,” I scrape my chair back and hop to my feet.

“We most certainly are not.” Logan mutters.

Amused, Garret glances from me to Logan. “I took a mandatory conflict resolution seminar back in high school. Do you guys need a mediator?”

I pick up my coffee. “Well, the stenographer who follows me around is a on a  lunch break, but I can catch you up no problem. Logan asked me out, I solved the conflict by respectfully declining. There. I did all the work for you.”

Garrett laughs loud enough to attract the attention of everyone around us, including the three hockey players who wander over from the counter.

“What’s so funny?” Dean asks curiously. He notices me and offers a delighted smile. “Grace. Long time. I`m loving the hair.”

I`m surprised he even remembers my name. “Thanks.” I inch closer to the door. “I`ve gotta go. See you around, Logan. And, uh, you too, Logan’s friends.”

I`m halfway out the door when I hear him call, “You forgot your muffin.”

“No, I didn’t,” I answer without turning around.

Male laughter tickles my spine as the door closes behind me.

– page 148,Chapter 20
The Mistake.

 

 

 

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I`ll Give You The Sun – Jandy Nelson

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giveyouthesun

 

He keeps stopping to pick up rocks, examining them, and then either touching them back or stuffing them in his sweatshirt pocket, which is starting to sag with the weight. I stand by when he does this, wanting to ask what he’s searching for. Wanting to ask why he followed me. Wanting to ask about the telescope and if he can see the stars during the daytime. Wanting to ask where he’s from and what his name is and if he surfs and how old he is and what school he’s going to next fall. A few times I try to form a question so it sounds causal and normal, but each time the words get caught somewhere in my throat and never make it out. Finally, I give up and take out my invisible brushes and just start painting in my head. That’s when it occurs to me that maybe the rocks are weighing him down so he doesn’t rise into the air…

We walk and walk through the gray ashy dusk ans the forest starts to fall asleep. The trees lie down side by side, the creek halts, the plants sink back into the earth, the animals switch places with their shadows, and then , so do we.

When we break out of the woods onto our road, he spins around. “Holy hella shit! That’s the longest I`ve gone without talking. Like in my life! It was like holding my breath! I was having a contest with myself. Are you always like this?”

“Like what?” I say, my voice hoarse.

“Dude!” he cries, “Do you know those are  the first words you’ve said?” I didn’t. “Man, You’re like the Buddha or something. My mom’s a Buddhist. She goes to these silent retreats. She should just hang out with you instead. Oh, oh, not counting, of course, ‘I`m a bloody artist, a bloody mess, mate;” He says this last part with a heavy English accent, then cracks up.

He heard me! Talking to the trees! So much blood’s rushing and gushing to my head it might blow straight off my neck. All the silence of out walk is gurgling madly out of him now and I can tell he is someone who laughs a lot, the way it;s taking him over so easily and lighting him all up, and even though he’s laughing at me, it’s making me feel okay, accepted, and making me feel a little bubble- headed as laughter starts to fizz up in me too. I mean, it was supremely funny,me yammering away in an English accent all alone like that, and then he says it again, his accent super- thick, “I`ma  bloody artist,” and then I say, “A bloody mess mate,” and something gives way and I`m laughing outright and he says it again, and I do, and then we’re both really laughing, then the doubled- over kind, and it’s ages before we calm down, because each time one of us does, the other says, “`m a bloody mess, mate,” and the whole thing starts all over again.

When we finally get it back together, I realize I have no idea what just happened to me. Nothing like this has ever happened before. I feel like I just flew or something.

He points to my pad. “So I guess you just talk in there, is that it?”

“Pretty much,” I say. We’re under a streetlamp and I`m trying not to stare but it’s hard. I wish the world would stick like a clock so I could look at him for as long as I want. There’s something going on in his face right now, something very bright trying to get out- a dam keeping back a wall of light. His soul might be a sun. I`ve never met anyone who had the sun for a soul.

– Page 88-89-90.
I`ll give you the sun, Jandy Nelson

 

Jandy Nelson talking about her book.