As Promised

As Promised

Chapter two is finished, and the new book is at around 18,000 words.  So as I promised, here’s a little snippet – Sara is remembering her first “real” kiss.  She was fifteen, and a freshman in high school.  It happened during a Christmas party…

Belinda shrugs her shoulders.  “You know Vince.  It could be a hundred people.”  A hundred?  Now I really don’t want to be here! But I don’t want to leave Belinda all alone.  She’s my best – my only close friend at school.  I can’t ditch out on her.

Here comes her brother now, with one of his friends, a short, stocky guy I think I’ve seen in the corridors at school.  They’re each carrying two cases of beer – I wonder if which one of them has a fake ID, or maybe they got somebody to buy it for them?  They set the beer down on the kitchen table right in front of us, and open one of the cases.  “Here you go, ladies,” Vince says, handing Belinda and me each a can.  I don’t want – I’ve never even had beer before!

But everyone else is opening theirs and toasting each other.  I – I don’t have to, but Belinda’s my friend, right?  I open mine, salute them and take a sip.  I barely swallow it down without spitting it out; how does anybody drink this stuff?  Belinda doesn’t like it much more than I do, but she forces her beer down, and I follow suit while the boys laugh at us. 

“Hey, Belle, why don’t you put out some food?”  She’s told me she hates being called Belle, but she’s not going to get her older brother to stop doing it anytime soon.  I go to help Belinda set out several bowls of chips, and then she goes up to her room to change.  That’s all I need – not only will I not know anybody, but I’m going to look like crap compared to everyone else.  I thought my sweater was cute, but I’m sure Belinda will be back downstairs in five minutes with an outfit that puts me to shame.

And I can’t even borrow anything from her – she’s only a couple of inches taller than me, but she’s at least three sizes bigger.  Oh, well.  As I watch her go up the stairs, I see something hanging from the ceiling at the foot of the staircase.  Mistletoe.

I start to wonder who hung it there when there’s a hand on my shoulder, and I turn to see Vince.  He’s not much taller than Belinda, but he just seems bigger somehow, or maybe that’s just my imagination.  I can smell the beer on his breath; we’re only a few inches apart.  He’s looking up at the mistletoe, too.  He puts an arm around my waist and pulls me still closer.  I let him; he is cute.  And I’ve never had an older guy show the slightest interest in me before.  Is this why he didn’t complain about Belinda inviting me?  Does he have a – a thing for me?

He’s leaning in towards me, coming closer.  I tilt my head up to meet him, I close my eyes, and I feel his face just an inch from mine, then his lips are touching mine, and – I – God!  I go limp, I don’t respond, but I don’t have to; his lips and his tongue are doing all the work – then from out of nowhere there’s a voice.  Belinda’s voice, loud and shrill: “Jesus, Sara!  Get your tongue out of my brother’s mouth!”  And then I feel her hands on my shoulders, pulling me away from Vince.

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