Just Perfect bonus scene: A Day in the Park
Just Perfect is available from Torquere Press.
Just Perfect & bonus material © 2012 by Rowan McBride. All rights reserved. This story may not be reproduced in whole or in part without author's permission.
While Just Perfect is told from Draven's point of view, this snippet features a short scene from Cody's perspective, taking place the day after their fight at the beginning of the story. It's a bit fluffy considering what happens in the story, but even these two can have their moments. :)
Draven laughed as he followed me onto the grass. "The park? Seriously?"
"Why not?" I turned to face him, jogging backward as I spread my arms wide. "It's summer! What better place is there?"
He shook his head. "Just yesterday you were Mr. 'Ready to Take on High School,' and suddenly you want to play around like some little kid?"
"Aw, man. Why're you riding me so hard?" I winked at him. "Jealous that I'll be rocking that sweet letter jacket freshman year?" I was full of it, of course. Draven was going to be cool till the end of time. The girls cooed over him because he was tall. Because he had dark hair and even darker eyes. But it was more than that. A strength he never completely let on he had. A focus that made you think he could see inside of you. Lately it made my stomach twist whenever I was around him. And... And I liked the feeling.
High school was a whole new world. He wouldn't need some jacket to be popular. But I was pale, skinny. If I wanted to keep hanging around him, people were going to need proof that I deserved to be close.
I wanted to be close to him. Always.
His smile faded.
I backed into a swing and stopped moving.
Oh, crap. Could he tell what I'd been thinking?
"You're really looking forward to being on the football team, huh?"
Relief made me grin. "Yeah. It's important. To me. To my dad."
"I didn't even know you liked football."
I didn't. Not really. But I couldn't tell him that. So I reached up and grabbed the chains of the swing behind me and started to pull myself up.
Draven slipped his big, warm hands around my waist and raised me high enough to let me set my feet on the hard seat of the swing. "What if you don't make the cut?" he asked softly.
Even with the weight set Dad had gotten me today, it was going to be hard. I'd give it my all but I was realistic about my chances. "Fall back on other interests, I guess."
He let go of my waist. "Like?"
My body felt cold now that he wasn't holding me, but I forced a grin. "Electronics, computers, that kind of stuff."
A bright smile curved his mouth. "It was crazy how you fixed my mp3 player with your Swiss army knife last week."
Suddenly I was warm all over again. Draven was the only one I knew who was impressed when I dinked around with tech.
"Hey," I said, tightening my grip on the swing's chains and leaning forward. "Give me a push."
He cocked an eyebrow. "What are we? Eight?"
Draven was more adult than anyone I knew. Even his parents let him do whatever he wanted. It was kinda sad, because I think he really liked to play. "C'mon."
He held his ground a few more seconds before lifting his hand and laying his palm on my chest.
Right over my heart.
My breath shallowed. "Well?"
The press of his palm firmed, but he didn't shove me like I expected. Instead he tilted his head to the side. "I don't want to push you away."
My heart skipped a beat then. He had to have felt it, and I tried to mask it with a chuckle. "Idiot. No matter how many times you push, I'll always come back."
He met my gaze, his eyes dark and bottomless. "Promise?"
High school was three short months away. Draven had never had a girlfriend, but he would. Could I watch him, with his arms around her, dropping kisses on her mouth I wanted to steal for myself?
The warmth of his palm sank into my chest, wrapped around my heart, and I knew I could. I could take whatever pain he put me through. "Promise."
"Hm." His other hand grasped a section of chain above one of mine. "Not good enough."
My eyes rounded. We'd had a fight yesterday. I'd said some pretty bad things. Was he still mad? "It's not?"
"Nope." He placed a booted foot between my sneakers and pulled himself onto the swing. "I'm never letting you get away in the first place."
He was never going to let me go? Even if I never got a letter jacket and stayed a geek through high school? "Best friends forever?"
"Whatever you want." He leaned back, sending the swing floating in the opposite direction. "Forever."
I lost my balance, falling forward into his body. Heat flooded my skin and I squeezed my eyes shut.
What I wanted... My first kiss. And I wanted Draven Donnor to give it to me. But even though I didn't think he'd get mad at me for asking, I couldn't take the risk of losing him, no matter how small.
"I'm so pathetic," I whispered, my face buried in his shoulder.
Draven straightened, staring down at me as we swung back and forth. I'd treasure his next words, let them comfort me when nothing else could. Later, he'd vanish from my life and those words would develop a razor's edge, slicing my heart to ribbons, but even then I'd never let them go.
"You're perfect, Cody. Just perfect."
Just Perfect is available from Torquere Press.
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