Today please welcome my friend, Jenn, who was brave enough to be my minion. She survived working on Tina's Terrific Team! This is an excerpt from her first novel, let it be, which is written but not yet published. Enjoy.
She didn’t bother with make-up. The boy knew what she looked like. He must like her face well enough. She didn’t see the point in painting it. She didn’t possess that talent in normal situations. With her nerves, she would’ve wrecked her cosmetics in seconds.
In all the times she’d imagined dating him, she’d never considered it a possibility. Still, as she made her way across town to his apartment, she couldn’t tamp down the excitement she felt. Nor could she loosen the huge knot that had formed in her gut from worry that she’d screw things up before they’d even had a chance to begin.
You’ve known him for years, Isabel. You want to know him better. Yall are just talking.
Not my forte.
She sucked in a breath, then another as she turned into his complex, sat in the lot with the engine running. Waited for Christina Perri’s “Arms” to conclude. She shut her eyes, rolled her neck, her shoulders.
It’ll be fine. You can do this. “Yall are just talking,” she muttered as she shoved the door open, slid out and slammed the door.
Turned to find him waiting for her outside, seated at the base of the stairs that lead to his apartment. Smiling.
The knot in her stomach—the one that magically appeared every time she thought of him, saw him—tightened. She swallowed, tried a smile. Searched for something intelligent to say as she meandered over to him, but the damned knot had risen to her throat. “Hi.”
She sat next to him, folded her hands in her lap. “What’d you do that for?”
Isabel glanced at him, then down and out, toward the parking lot. Took a breath. “You kissed me. I wanna know why.”
“I’d think that’d be obvious.”
“I’m not your type.”
“I have a type?”
“No. Not everyone,” he said. “Take Matt, for example.”
Her lips curved into a sneer. “I’d rather not.”
“Isabel.” He sighed. “I’m curious. That a good enough reason?”
“We can date or whatever.” Irritation flickered across her face. “I don’t know what I’m doing, though.”
She frowned. What the hell did I say that for? And how can I sound so ignorant and afraid?
Gray eyes peered into black. “Isa?”
“Nothing. Never mind. I’m hungry.”
He waited a beat, kept his gaze steady on hers, even as he rose and held out a hand to take hers and pull her up. But he didn’t take a step, didn’t make room for her. For the longest moment, they stood there, facing each other, eyes intent, her hand held lightly in his.
She lifted her other hand, placed it on his chest, near his shoulder, her thumb at the base of his throat. She felt his pulse, the warmth of his skin near the collar of his t-shirt.
But he didn’t try to kiss her. Instead he reached up, fingered the strands that fell near her temple, tucked them behind her ear, then stroked her cheek as he lowered his hand. Smiled and asked, “Who’s driving? Me or you?”
Isabel drew in a breath. Then another. Lowered her hand and pressed it to her stomach. Focus. “Mine’s a mess, and you know I’m a crap driver.”
“Me, then,” he said and stepped onto the parking lot, pulling her behind him. “We could grab some food then catch a movie,” he suggested as they crossed over to his truck. “How’s that sound?”
He turned to grin at her, then lead her to the passenger door, opened it. Finally released her hand when she’d gotten settled.
The contact had unnerved her. But she found she missed it when he’d let go.
Jenn blogs at quirky pickings, a must read. She's smart, serious and snarky. She's also incredibly honest and generous, and just a lot of fun to know. I love jenn's writing, and am always eager to hear what she has to say next. Pay her a visit! I'm proud to count jenn as one of my friends, not just a blogging buddy.