Excerpt Going Under
I watched a cigarette butt fly out of the new guy’s driver’s side window, then his door swung open in front of me, preventing my escape. He stepped out of his truck, looked down at me and grinned as he said, “Pardon me, Princess. I didn’t mean to block your way.”
His voice was velvety smooth, but I didn’t mistake it’s coolness as his tone conveyed his contempt for me. His unmistakable dislike of me immediately raised my hellcat flag because he had nothing to base his aversion on since he didn’t know me.
This was our first time face to face and up close. The other times I saw him was when I stole a few glances during cheerleading practice over the last two weeks during the times I was certain Forbes wasn’t watching me.
I realized he was so much more handsome than I originally thought now that his face mask wasn’t obstructing my view. His hair was as black as I expected, and spikey, and his pale blue eyes were piercing. The contrast of their paleness against his dark hair was almost shocking and I had to force myself to not become lost.
I was angry with him for making assumptions about me, but I was furious with myself for finding him so captivating. I tasted my bitter reaction as it formed on my tongue, but couldn’t stop myself from blurting out, “Asshole.”
He placed his hand over the left side of his chest where his heart would be and said, “I felt that straight through my heart. That’s definitely going to leave a mark.”
I watched him shut his door while he waited for my counterattack and I pushed past him as I said, “Screw you and my name is not Princess. It’s Claire, so if you’re going to insult me, at least have the decency to get my name right.”
“Hmm, I think I’ll stick with Princess. It seems to suit you better,” he said to my back as I walked away.
I couldn’t be certain there weren’t flames coming off the heels of my boots as I practically ran away, but Payton managed to catch up with me and said, “I’m totally disgusted by you, Claire.”
“And why would that be?” I almost yelled.
“That was one of the best displays of underthinking I’ve ever seen. He bested you and I know I taught you better than that. You basically rolled over. How can I call you my best friend when you caved so easily? And by the way, you’ve got something on your ass.”
I spun around to look at the back of my dress as I pulled the skirt part around to look and said, “What is it?”
“Hot New Guy’s eyes.” She died out laughing and said, “Sorry, Claire, but you walked right into that one.”
I narrowed my eyes and pursed my lips as I said, “Maybe you’re the bigger asshole of the two of you. You should definitely be a couple.”
“That lacked creativity and it’s insulting to me as your slander master. We have to work on your comebacks because you are seriously letting me down,” she said, then added, “I wish you could see your face right now. Whatever he just did to you has you clueless. You can’t decide if you should be pissed off at him or hot for him.”
I turned to look at this crazy person I called a bestie standing next to me. “I’m jealous of whatever are you smoking because it has you completely reality challenged.”
“He got it all wrong when he called you Princess. He should have called you Queen of Denial because you’ll never admit what’s going on here,” she accused.
It was just like Payton to draw a conclusion with no real evidence to support her theory. “I have no idea what kind of nonsense you’re talking about.”
“I hope he got plenty of rest last night because his legs are gonna be really tired after he runs through your mind all day,” she laughed and joked, making me livid.
“You must have taken your sleeping pill this morning instead of last night because you are dreaming.”
“When you look back on this moment months from now, don’t forget the one word I’m about to say to you, Claire Deveraux. Foreplay.”