It's been a while since I produced writing...not a surprise if you followed my summer. I needed a break, and so did my characters. But, it's November, which means it's NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), and I'm back at it. I only have 20K words, and I kind of hate my characters right now...but I also kind of love them.
Cameron, my heroine, is an asshole. She's afraid, she's confused, and she has a bit of a poor-me complex. So...she's a teenager ;)
Gunner, my hero, is a perfectionist with a heart that trusts too easily and gets bruised just as quickly. His downfall comes in wanting to change things that are never going to be his to change.
Even better, my minor characters are threatening to steal the show, which tells me there will be a second book at some point. Until the first gets written and sent to you, however, here is a snip between Cameron and her bestie, and occasional Saturday night hook-up , Ty. Yes, you read that correctly. Like I said, teenagers ;) I hope you enjoy the first of many teasers from Lessons in Gravity (thanks for the title, Santana;)).
When I look up, Ty’s there, standing in the middle of the empty garage, nothing but basketball shorts on. And he’s smiling.
For a second, I stand in the middle of the driveway, despite the wind and rain, and stare at him while he stares at me. Something…today changed something.
And I don’t want it to change. Ty and me…we can’t change. That’s all I know. He must know it, too, because he nods his head and shouts out to me.
“Get your sweet ass moving, Granny CC. Maize and Connor are on their way with provisions. We’re going to have ourselves a little celebration.”
“What are we celebrating?”
“Your sweet ass? My good looks? Who the fuck cares?”
But he’s looking at me, eyes assessing as I get nearer, and I know he feels it too, the draining of whatever tension was there earlier, the relief that we can move past it.
“My sweet ass is still sore,” I manage, walking the rest of the way up.
“Want me to rub it?” His voice is teasing, and I almost smile.
He laughs, and then I don’t know who reaches first, but his arms are around my shoulders, bringing me against his chest, and I’m letting him hug me without a sexual undertone for the first time in our relationship.
I stand, stiff and a little awkward because this—being hugged—is something I’ve never allowed, not in all of the years I’ve been alive. My mom used to tell me that I was this fiercely independent child that never wanted to be coddled or hugged. If I fell down, I would walk away and cry alone.
Old habits die hard, I think, because even now, a part of me wants to push away and go off alone. This…this feeling of friendship is too much, like I’m starting to need Ty. Need support.
Need someone other than myself. Gunner pops into my head, and I do my best to shove him back out.
“Put your arms around me, CC. You’ll like it, I promise.”
His voice isn’t teasing anymore.
“I don’t know if I can,” I admit. And then I brace, waiting for the inevitable to happen; for Ty to look at me like he did this afternoon before he walks away.
Instead, he laughs. “Sure you can. Just remember that time last New Year’s when we played I’ve never and ended up in Maize’s pool for the better half of the night. I’m wearing basically the same thing.”
I move now, pinching his side and making him squirm. When he’s done, I don’t put my arms back to my sides; hesitating for a second, I wrap them lightly around his bare waist. And he’s right—I do like it, hugging my friend Ty.