Today, I thought I'd share another excerpt from an upcoming YA entitled "Ichabod & Penelope." (That being the story I'm currently working on.) If you missed it, the very first piece of the book is still on the blog. In that scene, the two main characters shared an amazing kiss, never mind they didn't know one another.
Today, we meet the actual faces behind the false names, Georgia Davis and Devon Walker. The thing is, neither one of them want to know that. For now.
Also, here's your first look at the book cover.
“So you’re telling me you kissed some strange boy, who’d given you a false name, just for the heck of it?” The lift of Heather’s eyebrows and bite of her voice fully expressed her disbelief.
I stuffed my sandwich in my mouth, thus rendering myself speechless.
But she waited, her fingers tapping on the tabletop in a staccato rhythm.
I gulped the bite down. “He was cute,” I said.
“Cute? Antoine was cute, too, but I didn’t kiss him.”
Antoine. Why’d she dig him up? That was tenth grade. I kept that thought to myself.
“He asked.” I tried this angle, but she puckered her mouth, drawing up one side of her face. Disbelief. She wasn’t buying it.
“Did you at least get his real name?”
I smiled. “Nope.”
Her expression became yet more wide-eyed. “No? And you agreed to go out with him?”
I grinned. I had, sans name.
“Friday,” I replied.
“Georgia Davis, you’re crazy. You cannot go out with a boy if you don’t know his real name.”
“I can and I will.”
She smacked me in the forehead. “Knock some sense into that pretty noggin. He could be a crazy pervert. He could have more girls than Satan’s got demons.”
I scowled. She was ruining my good mood.
“Okay, that was a bad analogy, but you know you’re inexperienced.” She sat back in her chair, one arm over the ridge of the seat, and kinked her neck an inch or two. “You liked him.”
Unabashed, I gazed back at her. I had, immensely. He’d made me laugh.
“But you need to date Thomas.”
“Thomas? I don’t want to date Thomas. He’s …” How to say disgusting kindly? “Gross.”
“Gross, but safe,” she said. “And dating Mr. Unknown is not safe. You need to call this off.”
“I’m not calling this off,” I said. “This is the best I’ve felt in ages, and you’re only jealous because your last date was a complete bust.”
Gropey McGroperson. That’s what she’d called him. All hands and fingers, picking at her blouse, roaming everywhere.
“At least with him I knew what he was about to do. With this guy, you don’t. Besides, how are you going to avoid finding out his name? If he goes here, someone will know him.”
I took a sip of my drink, fiddling with the straw. “We thought of that. We’re meeting at the gates and driving one town over.”
“You planned it together?” She blew out a puff of air. “You’re crazy. After all the stories on the news …”
“Oh, come on!” I snapped, interrupting her. “You’re treating me like I’m some nincompoop. I’ll be fine. I know how to say no.”
But her return expression said she doubted it and more than that, that she was worried. I couldn’t see why. It was only one date, one date I was going on whether she liked it or not.
I checked the time on my phone. “You’re going to be late for class.”
Her face changed then from contemplation of my safety to complete panic. She couldn’t afford to be late again. She shot up from the table, slinging her book bag over her shoulder, and waved at me before she disappeared. I returned to my sandwich.
I had a date, an actual date, with a guy I couldn’t wait to go out with. So what I didn’t know his name. He didn’t know mine either, and that was half the fun of it.
I couldn’t see as there was any harm. Heather was just being paranoid.
Devon pocketed his cell and looked for the person calling his name. His gaze landed on Rory Hutchins’ bulging face, and a curse word fell out. Fortunately, if Rory heard it, he didn’t respond or apply it personally.
“Saw you this morning,” Rory said. He grinned and wiggled his eyebrows upward, an expression that made him look curiously like a turtle.
Devon leaned his weight on one hip. “And?”
“And,” he drew the word out. “You were sucking face with some babe.”
With a roll of his eyes, Devon went back to his amble across campus.
Rory skipped a step to catch up. “Well?”
“Well, who was she?”
Devon stopped in place again. “Can’t say that’s any of your business.”
Rory held his hands up, palms outward, almost dropping his books in the process. “Sorry. Not stepping on your toes. What’s got into you today?”
He was failing creative writing, that’s what, and didn’t know what to do about it. Now, add to that Rory was annoying, and––
He frowned. Frankly, kissing the girl had been the highlight of his day.
What had possessed him to kiss her anyhow? Well, other than how tasty she looked. He pictured her again, lying flat in the grass, her bum, her beautiful, rounded bum sticking upward.
That’s what he’d seen first. And in comparing hers to other girls, hers was far superior. Hers was the kind you grabbed onto. Then she’d sat up and granted him a fleeting glimpse of some very nice breasts.
Truthfully, that was the sole reason, he’d approached. He’d simply had to talk to a girl shaped like that. But something about the foolishness they’d played had sucked him in. She’d laughed at his stupidity.
Ichabod and Penelope. He smirked.
He hadn’t decided to kiss her until seated on the bench. Then, having decided, he couldn’t back out. He had to know if there were sparks.
Sparks? More like fireworks. Best kiss he’d ever had in his life and that with a complete stranger.
“You gonna see her again?” Rory asked.
Devon halted in front of the doorway to the next building. “I kissed her. Didn’t I?”
Rory’s fat face split into a wide grin. “Yes, you did.”
He turned his back on Rory and shoved his way through the heavy metal door then down the long corridor toward the school library. Swinging inside, he glanced around the room and his gaze landed on a face seated on the far side. Brad Schmidt, long-time friend and fellow avid bicyclist.
Brad raised his hand and waved. “Man, I thought you were gonna bail on me.”
Descending into a chair, Devon gave a crooked smile. “Never.”
“‘Cause if you’re bailin’ then I’m failin’”
Devon shook his head and laughed. “Lame. Besides, you’d find me and hang me out to dry.”
“That I would.” Brad curved his fingers over the edge of his book and tilted his head. “Wait. You look different. No, don’t tell me. I’m gonna guess.”
Devon reclined in the chair, resting one arm on the table top.
“Maggie called. No. That’s not it.” Brad tapped the tip of his pencil on his notebook. “She always calls. Think harder, Brad. Harder.”
Devon snatched the pencil to silence it, leaving Brad’s fingers aloft.
He flattened them to the table. “You got accepted in the bike race.”
“I didn’t apply for the bike race. I didn’t want to get my butt kicked.”
He held up his hand. “Don’t tell me yet, because I’m gonna figure it out.” Squinching his eyes, he pursed his lips. “You have a date.”
Devon’s mouth twitched.
“That’s it! You do have a date. Devon Walker has a date. Who? Spill!”
Reversing the pencil, Devon shoved it back in Brad’s hand and reached for the Algebra book.
“Really? You’re giving me the silent treatment? All these months I’ve been trying to set you up, and now you have a date, but you’re not going to tell me with who? Fine. I’ll guess again. Is it Lindsay?”
Devon flipped through the Algebra book to the page they’d left off on. “No.”
“You won’t guess, so quit trying, and you’re wasting study time anyhow.”
Brad laid a hand on the open book to cover it. “I don’t care. This is more important. At least, you can tell me if she’s hot.”
Devon focused his gaze on Brad’s face. “She’s hot, and a very good kisser.”
Brad’s eyes widened. “You kissed her already? So you’ve been out with her before?” He sounded offended.
“Yes, and no. In that order. Now, can we work?”
Brad slid his hand off the book and reached for his pencil. “Just promise me, you’ll hang onto this one and not freak like before.”
Devon sighed. “I am a freak, but I’ve reconciled myself to that.”
Brad shook his head and rearranged his things. “One of these days you’ll stop being so hard on yourself for something you had no control of.” He ran his finger down the page and across to the assignment.
Devon resisted the urge to pitch some sort of childish fit, instead exhaling slowly until he’d run out of breath. Brad was right, of course, but what he didn’t understand was how labeled it’d made him. And that was something he wanted no more of.
Suzanne D. Williams
Suzanne Williams Photography
Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.