Today's excerpt comes from a future YA titled, "All About Romeo." Meet Aaron Loving. Mr. Charm. Or as Aven Modell calls him, Mr. Irritating. In this opening scene, he and Aven are locked in a closet for a party game, which she's not too interested in doing.
He was the worst boy in school, town, America, the planet, and I was stuck with him. To play Seven Minutes In Heaven nonetheless. Heaven. Right. It was more like lying flat in a fire ant bed naked while chewing unsweetened licorice. Bleh.
He wasn’t bad looking. If I screwed my eyes up real tight and pretended he wasn’t as annoying as heck, that is. But he was. So faced with wasting … literally wasting … seven whole minutes with the resident pest I contemplated either scratching my eyes out or preferably, gouging his.
Gouging his would be way more entertaining because I could start by yanking those reflective-lens glasses from his head and breaking them into tiny pieces. Then I’d feed them to him, one sharp, pointed piece at a time. He’d have to look me in the eye while I did it, too, and I’d laugh – one of those evil villain laughs.
As it was, here we were, luck of the draw thrown together, and Kaitlyn standing there holding the door. “Okay, you two. Enjoy.”
Did she just imply there was enjoyment in the same room as Aaron Loving? She was crazy.
She was lucky. She didn’t have to do it. She’d drawn Logan Boyd. I would personally bare myself for Logan Boyd and consign my soul to Hades. He was that hot.
But as it was, in I went, Aaron’s hamburger-laden breath creeping down my spine. I pushed through the clothes dangling all around to the farthest point I could find and wedged myself in between the two sides of the wall, the corner to my back.
And shrieked when he touched me.
He laughed. “Gees, Aven, you’re jumpy.”
Gees, Aaron, you’re a nuisance.
“Why are you way over there? We’re supposed to make out.”
“The rules. Haven’t you played this before?”
Yeah, I routinely climbed in closets with boys. I was a promiscuous closeteer.
“Who’s going to know if we do or don’t,” I asked. Let’s not and say we did.
“I’m going to know, and if you don’t emerge blinded by my presence, the world will know.”
His fingers touched my arm, crawling up my sleeve, and I shrunk back. If he noticed, he didn’t say so, but instead, crept closer. I could smell his breath again and taste vomit in my throat.
“I can’t,” I said.
He paused, his hand now firm around my arm. “Didn’t figure you for the jittery type.”
How to tell a boy that I thought he was gross?
“Not jittery …” Repulsed. I inhaled the word.
As much as I disliked him, it wasn’t in me to say so outright. I hated making enemies, even ones like Aaron, and really, he was more aggravating than anything else, and definitely not hateful. He had friends and he’d dated once, I think. But Aaron was so full of things about Aaron that if he had any charm, I couldn’t see it.
“I need some build up to this,” I said. A delay tactic. If I could just delay for seven minutes, then I’d get out of this without doing whatever it was he had in his head to do.
“Build up?” he asked.
“Yeah, you can’t just walk up to a girl and kiss her. You have to romance her first.”
I heard him shuffling around then suddenly, he was beside me. Like right beside-right beside, his leg against mine, his shoulder pressed against me. His hand had moved to my face, and he cupped my cheek.
Here’s where he spouted some poem, something that surprised me he’d know it. But no. He was a boy, and he was Aaron. So instead, he started talking about the one thing he knew the best – himself.
“I have great lips.”
“I wouldn’t know.”
He laughed at that. “I can prove it.”
“That’s build up?” I asked. “Try a compliment if that’s not too hard.”
“Like what? You have great skin. Let me taste it and I’ll know for sure.”
I half-groaned. “Don’t tell me you have more of those.” Bad pickup lines, I meant. I could feel his grin in the darkness.
“If I walked around you seven times, would you fall for me?” he asked.
I laughed. I actually laughed and could have slapped myself for it, because he took that for some sort of acceptance and brought my lips to his. He didn’t do chaste either. Oh, no, this was a mind-bending, tongue-reaching face grapple that dang it if I didn’t respond.
Seriously, who knew that Mr. Infuriating could kiss like that?
I was out of breath, hot and bothered, and aware of parts of me I’d never noticed before by the time he was done. I raised a hand to my mouth thinking to feel if it was still there and bumped his chin, which brought him back in, only this time he went slow. He lingered, as if we were sealed together with caramel and he had to lick every bit of it off.
I heated to a volcanic level, finally erupting by putting my hands on his chest. “Aaron …” I shoved him away.
“That was amazing,” he said. “We’ve got it going, Baby.”
I frowned. He couldn’t see it, but I was hoping the vibe would communicate. It didn’t.
“Give me your number.”
“So you can, what? Come over and suck face with me?”
“Suck face. Lick your ear lobe. Whatever you like.”
A knock on the door sent my heart thudding in my chest.
“One minute,” Kaitlyn called.
“Please,” Aaron begged. “Anyone who can kiss like that I have to be with.”
Be with? Me and Aaron Loving? Laughable.
“Listen. The only thing … the only thing,” I repeated the phrase. “The only thing we have going for us is kissing. I’m not even sure I like you.”
He leaned in, his mouth right over mine, a temptation stronger than a chocolate bar to a girl going through that time of the month.
“Oh, you like me,” he said.
And the door opened. I shot out like a squeeze tube of jelly.
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.