24 Apr Book 2 Teaser: Jemma & Caleb
TEASER FROM BOOK 2 OF THE MARKED SERIES
* This is not the final edit and may be different in the final version *
“What’s up, Blackburn,” said Caleb, his hot breath in my ear. He took a step forward and lined his shoulders up with mine. His chestnut hair was pointing skyward and had that messy-with-a-purpose look to it.
“Hey, Caleb.” There was no point in wasting time with idle chitchat. “Have you seen Trace?” I asked him over the bone-rattling music.
He took a sip of his drink and ticked his chin towards the back corner of the room.
It only took me two flat seconds to spot them. Trace and Nikki
My stomach bottomed out as I watched them from the doorway. He was leaning back against the wall, wearing jeans and a fitted white t-shirt that hugged him in all the right places, while Nikki was tipping into him, wolfing up all his personal space with her runway-ready body. She was all dolled up with a skin-tight pink dress and a pair of matching heels that looked like they belonged on a stage. And not the theater kind.
“That didn’t take long,” I muttered bitterly.
“It never does,” said Caleb. The irritation was evident in both his tone and facial expression.
“Why don’t you do something about it?” It came out unexpected, frantic.
“Why would I do something?”
“Because you like her.” I watched his back stiffen at my unexpected accusation. “Why don’t you make a move? Stake your claim, get in the race—do something!”
“Easy, Blackburn.” He started laughing but there was a definite nervous pitch to it. “It’s not like that.”
God, he was useless. “Forget it. Just forget it.”
“Bad day?” he quipped.
“You want something to drink?”
I shook my head, still staring forward at the real-life nightmare unfolding before me.
I felt Caleb’s eyes on me, assessing me as I watched them.
“You really like him, don’t you?” It came out like an afterthought; a passing observation that had just occurred to him. “I mean, I knew you were into him, but it’s more than that.” He looked down at me in a pensive way.
“I don’t like him,” I said, watching Trace as he leaned into Nikki and whispered something in her ear. My heart sank all the way down to my feet. “Not anymore anyway.”
“Don’t take it personal,” he said, taking another sip of his drink as he watched the happy couple from afar. “You’re not the first girl he did this to.”
“Did what to?”
“You know,” —He lowered his voice and leaned in closer— “hit it and quit it.”
My ears damn-near melted off. “You can’t be serious right now.” Is that what he thought happened between us? What people thought? I wasn’t sure if I wanted to laugh or cry.
“Come on, Blackburn. I’m not as dumb as I look.” He took another sip of his drink and focused back in on Nikki and Trace. “One minute I’m getting you a drink at Spring Fling and the next you’re on the dance-floor with Trace. Doesn’t take a genius to figure out why you both disappeared.”
“You’re way off, Caleb. Like on another planet. I didn’t leave the dance to hit it or whatever you called it.”
He shrugged unaffectedly.
“What about you?” I shot back, accusingly. “I saw you that day in the locker room with Nikki. You obviously have a thing for her. Are you just going to let her play you like that?” I goaded.
“I don’t have a problem with it if she doesn’t.”
“So you don’t care that she’s just using you? Why don’t you go over there and tell Trace.”
He laughed as though I’d just dropped the punchline to some silly, little kid’s joke.
“What? Are you afraid of him or something?” I couldn’t believe how low I was stooping.
“I’m not afraid of that half-blood pretty boy,” said Caleb, but I could tell his feathers were getting ruffled. “Besides, he thinks Nikki can do no harm. He wouldn’t believe me anyway.”
“No harm, huh? What a total crock.” My anger notched up to volcanic temperatures. They were so perfect for each other it was sickening.
“Whatever,” he said and tipped his head back as he polished off the remnants of whatever it was he was drinking. “It’s not like she’s the only game in town.” He took a step towards me but I was too consumed with my own thoughts to pay it any attention.
“Look at them just standing there.” I could feel the rage boiling inside of me, rolling through my blood like an inferno.
Caleb said something back to me but it didn’t register.
“Someone needs to knock them off their pedestals,” I said and then stormed off into the room.
Apparently that someone was me.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]