You know that in only a few more days Chris’s book will release, right?
Boy, it’s already the sixth book in a series that initially wasn’t even meant to be one. LOL. The first book, PLAY WITH ME, was a finished story in its own. But so many of you begged me to write more about the Grover Beach gang that at some point I just couldn’t say no any longer.
I can’t thank you enought for pushing me! 🙂
So as a small payback, why not start one of the top-selling YA series of 2015 with a FREEBIE? 😉
It was still dark when someone shouting my name in a subdued voice woke me. Since there were not many people who called me Matthews, I jerked upright in my bed, my heart banging in my throat. I rushed to the window and found Hunter standing in our yard, dressed in shorts and a black tee.
“Hi,” he said and smiled when he saw me. “You don’t look like you’re ready to go.”
I fought to find my voice but kept it low, leaning far out of the window. “How did you know this was my window?”
“I didn’t. It was trial and error.”
Oh God. “How many windows have you tried?”
Okay. Okay. I needed to calm down. The captain of the soccer team was waiting below my window, and I was standing there in my tank top and boy shorts. Duh, it was five in the morning.
“Are you coming?”
“I can’t. I’m grounded.”
A sly smile played on his lips. “For sleeping with me?”
“For not sleeping in my own bed,” I whispered back, fighting to bite down the grin he teased from me.
“How long are you grounded?”
“Until Sunday. But I can come to the practices.”
“At least there’s that.” He scratched his chin, looking around my garden, especially scanning the shed and tree next to my window. “What time do you usually get up in the morning?”
What kind of question was that? “I don’t know. Eight, nine, sometimes later.”
“So we have at least three hours until someone will expect you downstairs.” The left corner of his mouth tilted up, and he flicked his head, motioning for me to move. “Come out.”
“Get dressed and climb to the roof of the shed. I’ll help you down.”
A hesitant laugh broke from my throat. “You’re crazy.”
“You are a coward.”
That cut me silent.
Tony had used the tree and shed to get into my room since we were nine years old. But with a key to the front door, I had never felt the need to do the same.
“So?” Ryan prompted me.
“Fine. Give me a minute.” He was insane, and I was even crazier to agree to his stupid idea. But heck, what did I have to lose? Apart from another week of freedom for a reckless escape from my room.
I traded my jammies for shorts, a white tank top, and sneakers, then wound my hair back into a high ponytail. Hunter was leaning against the trunk of the maple tree when I returned to the window. He straightened when he saw me.
A little shaky at first, I hoisted one leg over the windowsill and then clutched the frame as I let myself down to the roof of the shed.
“Good.” Ryan’s low voice already sounded nearer than before. “Now hang onto that branch, and I’ll get you down.”
Huh? “I’ll break my neck if I fall.” Goddammit, I should have stayed in my room.
“I won’t let you fall. Promise.” He lifted his arms toward me as if intending to catch me.
Breathing deep, I grabbed the nearest branch then stepped off the wood-board roof, suppressing a frightened moan. My feet dangled in front of his face. He stepped closer and ran his hands up my thighs until he had a good grip right beneath my bottom. I swallowed hard and wondered if he had the slightest idea how that made me feel…
“I have you. Let go.”
“What?” I cried out, digging my fingers harder into the wood.
He laughed, and I found I quite liked that sound. It felt soothing, somehow. “Let go of the branch, Matthews. Now.”
“Ungh.” It took all my courage to uncurl my fingers and let him support my weight. As soon as I let go, I clutched his shoulders, and he eased the grip of my legs to wrap his arms around me and let me slide down against his body. When my feet touched firm ground, I looked up at his face.
He didn’t immediately release me but let a smile tug on his lips. “Hi.”