Snippet Saturday is the brainchild of author Lauren Dane, wherein a group of authors selects thematic excerpts from their work and shares them on Saturday mornings. This week the theme is celebrations and parties, and since my first Ellie Marvel release from Samhain "What She Deserves" was about a high school reunion, it seems like the obvious choice for a short little excerpt, in which our heroine sticks her foot in her mouth:
Peter spread his arms. “How do I look? Good enough to make my high school fantasies come true?”
She could tell him the truth, that he looked so good she could hardly remember Chase’s smile. But that would give him too much power over her.
“The short hair suits you,” she said awkwardly. “How would you know about high school fantasies? Everything you went for, you got.” Especially if it was something she’d wanted first. God, if he’d been gay, would he somehow have wound up with Chase?
No way. She drained her glass and motioned to the bartender for refills.
“Trust me,” Peter assured her. “I didn’t get everything I wanted.”
“Is this about Most Likely to Succeed again?” Hell, he’d even gone to the prom. With a girl. A girl who could have been her.
“We were in high school. We all felt like our lives were miserable. Your true love never noticed you, the rest of the students made fun of you and now you’re ready to show them how wrong they were.”
He pulled a face, and she got the impression he knew exactly what he was talking about. Who was his high school crush? The only name that came to mind was Sally Jones. He’d grown up with her, kept in touch with her, and defended her to her oafish husband.
“Who…” she began but stopped herself. Did she really want to know which woman Peter hoped to astound? He might think she was sexy, but Winnie doubted the Armani was for her benefit. “You were the one who got made fun of. I got ignored.”
“I never ignored you.”
“Much to my chagrin. But people did pick on you, didn’t they?” She recalled numerous incidents, incidents that inevitably sent Peter running to her—where he’d do something to embarrass or irritate her. But that was in the past, and the past was what she planned to erase.
“What can I say?” Peter picked up his second flute of champagne. “When you’re a hundred pound weakling with a big mouth, you open yourself up to a lot of hassling.”
“Well, nobody’s going to pick on you anymore, Peter. Except me. Here’s to shaking off our nerdy images.”
They clinked glasses and exchanged a smile. Though she’d vowed to ditch him, she followed him into the throng of drinking, laughing alumni. She looked for Chase but didn’t miss the admiring glances cast her way by men who’d never spoken to her except to ask to copy her homework. Women weren’t supposed to enjoy leers, but tonight she tucked them away to savor later like chocolate drops.
On the other hand, she was uncomfortable with the number of women who pounced on her escort, hugging him, gushing over him. She and Peter had to stop so often, they could barely make their way across the floor. Had he befriended all these women or were they honing in on the Armani, the Rolex and the broad shoulders?
Inevitably, the girls from high school, the ones who’d had dates to the dances, got sour looks on their faces when Peter drew Winnie forward and introduced her.
“Winifred Sampson,” they said, “you look exactly the same.”
The sixth time this happened, Peter’s lips quirked. Lola Fox, one of the cheerleaders, clapped her hands together as she said it, as if leading a cheer.
“Um, so do you,” Winnie replied, though Lola’s white-blonde hair was only an inch long. In high school it had frothed halfway down her back.
“Non-sense,” clapped Lola. “The chemo took” (clap) “all my hair.”
“Oh, I’m so sorry!” Winnie’s face flooded with embarrassment.
“I’m not sorry” (clap) “because now I’m cancer-free. And I love love love” (clap clap clap) “having short hair!”
“It’s very chic,” Peter complimented her.
“Well, aren’t you two” (clap) “the sweetest couple,” Lola gushed, and Winnie was too mortified to correct her.
Peter located an empty table near the dance floor. “You don’t look exactly the same, you know. People change.” He ran his gaze up and down her again, and she shifted sideways in her high, strappy heels. “You’ve filled out, Beanpole.”
Places you can buy What She
All Romance Ebooks
Barnes and Noble
Books on Board
www.jodywallace.com * www.meankitty.com
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