Friday, May 23, 2008


I was almost certain it was illegal to ground a seventeen-year-old. But my father did it anyway. Two weeks. No phone. No human contact outside of school. A bit of an overkill. Especially since I’d answered the phone when he’d called. That deserved a pardon on its own.

My punishment was spent ignoring Conner’s “pssts” in class and his girlfriend’s dirty looks in the cafeteria. If Trish thought her squinty green eyes intimidated me, she was sorely mistaken. She was lucky I hadn’t mentioned the fact that her boyfriend was STALKING ME!

Brandi was fascinated by my grounding. She’d even told me that she didn’t know that people “did that” anymore. Yeah. They did.

“So today’s your last day of confinement, right?” she asked, biting into her corndog. The cafeteria was nearly empty as it got close to the end of the period.

“Finally, yes. Do you want to hang out tonight?”

She giggled.

“What?” I pushed my tray away. Hot dogs on a stick repulsed me. I should have picked the mystery meat under the foil.

“Oh, nothing,” she smirked. “Becker and I will come by around eight.”

“Becker?” My voice squeaked. I hadn’t seen Brandi’s brother since that night at the club. The night that he said he liked me. Or sang to me. I couldn’t really remember. The punishment had messed with my memory.

“Yep.” Brandi was grinning and soon, my stomach was knotting up. Becker… was so super hot. Different hot than Conner, who by the way, was still eying me from across the room.

“Sounds fun.” It was all I could think of to say!

“Gross,” Brandi said, tossing down her stick. “Trish is coming this way.”

I looked up to see Conner’s girlfriend walking toward our table, a self-righteous smirk on her face. Ugh. She was such a bitch.

“Let’s go,” I said. I didn’t want to talk to her. But as I got up and began walking, there was a bump in my shoulder. No. She. Didn’t.

I spun around coming face-to-scowl with Trish.

“Oh, excuse me,” she said. Then she leaned in to whisper in my ear. “You keep looking at my boyfriend and I will drop you.”

I laughed and pulled back. She’d obviously forgotten that I wasn’t from Oregon. “Try and touch me,” I said, smiling. “And I will rip every orange ringlet from your oversized head.” Okay, so her head wasn’t all that big, but I knew if I said it, she’d have a complex about it. Mean, yes. But she bumped me!

Her mouth dropped open as she touched protectively at her hair. Then I turned around and walked out of the cafeteria.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Brandi pulled up to my curb and I took a deep breath. Okay. Porch light was on. But my father wasn’t on the porch waiting. It was entirely possible that he went to bed.

No. He was waiting. I could feel his anger from here.

“Well, good luck,” Brandi said. It sounded like I was heading off to a firing squad. I nodded and climbed out. “By the way,” she called after me. “Becker is totally into you.”

My stomach fluttered. “I know. Too bad I’ll probably be grounded until I’m thirty five.”

Brandi laughed. “That would suck.”


We waited a moment and then she rolled up the window and pulled away. Slowly, I ascended my porch stairs. I tried to relax myself, not look so guilty. I mean, sure. I lied. I stole a little. But things could be so much worse. I could be--


I jumped and spun around. Conner was on my bottom stair looking up at me. My heart began to race.

“What are you--”

“Are you dating him?” he interrupted.

“Who? Wait. Becker? No. I’m not dating anyone.” It sort of bothered me to say that because it was only last weekend that I thought Conner was my date. But he hadn’t been. He’d been my lip-locking mistake.

He exhaled and smiled, making his way up toward me. I backed away, almost to my door. He looked hot. Too hot to be alone with me on my porch. My willpower wasn’t THAT good.

“I’m glad,” he whispered, reaching out to slide his arms around my waist. I widened my eyes, surprised, confused, freaking turned on. And I didn’t pull away. Shit. I totally should.


“Because I don’t want you to date other guys,” he said, leaning his mouth close to mine.

Seriously, Stella. Pull the hell away!

“I want you to date me,” he breathed as his mouth pressed against mine. I didn’t react at first, then I felt his tongue and I just about fainted. Why was I so weak? Why was--

“What the hell?” my father’s voice boomed. Conner and I jumped apart.

Then before I could even utter, ‘This was a huge mistake, Conner,’ my father took me by the elbow and yanked me into the house, slamming the door behind me. I stared up at him as his slippered foot tapped on the wood floor.

“Well?” he demanded.

“Uh….” This should be good.