Is her past about to confront her present?

October 25, 2009 at 5:11 pm (Uncategorized)

Hi Everyone,

I hope that you are all enjoying Choices. Jackson is one of my favorite characters. Hopefully, you all feel the same way.

As for what I’m reading, I just finished Shiver by Maggie Stievwater! It is about werewolves. If you are a Team Jacob fan, I highly suggest that you pick it up. You will not be disappointed. Now, I am reading The Perfect Liar by Brenda Novak and I can’t put it down.

I hope you all have a great week 🙂

Chapter 6

What the hell was he doing here? 

            Jackson pulled his bike to a stop beside the outer gates of the Westfall estate.  This was a big mistake, and he knew it.  He felt like an idiot for going along with this ridiculous plot of hers.  Agreeing to meet her outside the gate was a sure sign that things were not on the up and up.  It made her plan to capture a “big surprise” all the more obvious. 

            So, why was he still here? 

Was he fueled by some perverse curiosity to see where this hatched scheme would end? 

            Definitely.

            He pulled a pack of cigarettes out of his pocket sliding one into the crook of his mouth.  Bending over to light it, he inhaled deeply.   

            If he had any sense, he would stand her up. 

            A wicked grin took hold of his mouth at the thought of her face when she realized that she had been left waiting.  It would serve her right for coming up with such a cruel prank.  Just as he was about to leave, she appeared between the bars.  The gate squeaked as she closed it behind her, before walking over to stand beside him.  Her auburn hair was pulled in a tight ponytail.  Long legs were revealed by her pink miniskirt.  His hands twitched involuntarily with the need to travel their length.  The outline of her breasts was visible through her white shirt.  The strings to her blue bikini top peaked out of the collar.  He repositioned himself on the seat as he felt a familiar hardening. 

            “Are you ready?” she asked, her eyes bright with mischief.

            The objections he had so recently pointed out seemed to dissolve instantly.  “Yep,” he muttered, his voice sounding foreign.

            When she climbed on the seat behind him and he watched her legs slide around his, he knew it was over.  One way or another, he was going to have to see this through.  His body demanded it.  When he agreed to this, he had unwittingly become her plaything, and though he didn’t like it, he was no longer the ultimate decision-maker.  She pressed her cheek against his back, her arms folding around his middle.  He winced as he noticed the bulge in his pants was becoming more and more noticeable.  All he could do was pray that they reached the Buchman house before his precarious position became embarrassing.

            By some stroke of luck, he was able to do just that, and as they stood together on the front steps, he said a silent thank you.  He glanced at her out of the corner of his eye.  As if she could feel the weight of his stare, she turned to give him a playful wink.  The teasing smile she offered was almost his undoing.  She was way too cocky for her own good, which was probably what he found so damned attractive about her.  Behind that grin, there was no shame. 

            She was going in for the kill, and he was just along for the ride. 

            The door swung inward to reveal Teddy Buchman, a chicken leg held firmly in his hand.  Upon seeing them, his eyes widened.  His gaze traveled back and forth between them for a moment before realization set in.

            “Well, well, well!  Somehow, I don’t think you got an invitation, Hart.  What, did your bike break down?” he inquired with a derisive sneer.

            “He’s with me, Teddy,” Mallory chimed in.  She laced her arm through Jackson‘s, leaning in to press against his side.  “He’s my date.”  When she looked up at him dreamily, he knew he should have put a stop to things earlier.

            Teddy offered a crude snort.  “I sure as hell hope you know what you’re doing, Mallory.  All right, fine by me.  Come on in,” he relented, moving aside so they could enter. 

            Jackson sighed heavily.  This was going to be worse than he thought.  Up until now, he hadn’t been sure how far she would go.  But her performance just now confirmed that she was willing to go all the way.  When they stepped through the French doors onto the back porch, it appeared the party was in full swing.  Kids were jumping into the pool, splashing each other.  Some of the boys had girls on their shoulders and were deep in the middle of a chicken fight.   Most of the adults had gravitated to the side of the house, where tables were set up with red and white checkered tablecloths. 

            Several heads turned as they came out.  He felt the curious stares from the girls, and the suspicious ones from the boys.  Mallory’s meddling had assured that this was definitely going to be a day for the Princeton history books.  Jackson Hart had just invaded the nice and tidy world of the rich and he wasn’t sure any of them would ever be the same again.

            He followed Mallory over to a group of kids who were standing beside the pool.  “Hey Mallory, we didn’t think you would ever get here,”  Leah called out running over to join them.  

            Mallory tucked her arm in his causing Leah’s eyebrows to arch. 

            “So, what took you so long?” she added in a teasing voice, her gaze flicking back and forth between them.

            Mallory rolled her eyes dramatically.  “Not what you’re thinking, I’m sure,” she chided.  “Leah, have you met Jackson Hart?”

            Jackson looked down at the girl.  Her red hair was short and swung playfully around her ears.  Her bikini nearly matched her hair, but was partially covered by a damp towel wrapped tightly around her waist.  He held out a hand, which she gave a firm shake. 

“Nice to meet you,” he offered distractedly.  His eyes flickered to the group of boys who were huddled together frowning as they overtly stared at them.

            “You, too!  Mallory’s told me…”  She paused for dramatic effect.  “Almost nothing about you, so I guess you’ll have to fill in the blanks.”  At Mallory’s look of censure, she gave her a wicked grin.

            “Leah!”  Mallory scolded.

            “Well, I see my work here is done.  If you guys want a soda, there’s plenty in the cooler.  I’m going to go find Tim and see why he’s not paying enough attention to me.”  Leah walked over to the group, stopping briefly to chat before taking a seat.

            One of the boys headed their way, and Jackson tensed. 

“What are you doing here, Hart?” 

            His eyes narrowed and his chest bowed out.  Sensing the change in his demeanor, Mallory quickly intervened.  “He’s with me, David.” 

David’s blond hair was still slicked back from the pool, and his wet swim trunks were creating a puddle of water around his feet.  Jackson didn’t know David well, but he knew him well enough to know that he was nothing more than a self-centered rich kid who probably never had to work a day in his life.

            “And just what made you think you could invite him?  I mean, my parents invited you, Mallory.  Not him!”

            Jackson took a menacing step toward him, causing Mallory to put a restraining hand on his chest. 

            “You got a problem, Hart?” David yelled, as several of his friends came to stand behind him.

            “Nothing I can’t take care of right now,” he bit out.

            “Come on, Hart!  Let’s go,” David prodded, as he glanced behind him, giving his friends a satisfied nod. 

            “No!” Mallory screamed.  “Let’s just go, Jackson,” she begged, coming to stand between them as she stared imploringly at Jackson.

            “You don’t have to go, Mallory,” David explained with a sneer.  “I’m sure Hart can find his own way home.”

            He was just about to respond, when Mallory turned to David.  “If he’s not welcome here, then neither am I.”  She spun on her heel, taking Jackson by the arm and leading him out despite his obvious reluctance.

            Once they were safely on the bike and headed out to the main road, she called to him, her voice muffled by the wind.  “I don’t want to go home, yet.”

“Where do you want to go?”

“Anywhere, just not home,” she admitted.

He drove to an old abandoned barn on the outskirts of town, parking his bike out back.  After helping her off the bike, he walked over to pull open the weather-beaten door.  Watching her walk around the room, he noticed the tension in her shoulders.  He could only imagine how she felt right now.  Mallory Westfall had actually been thrown out of a party.  It wasn’t something that happened to people like her.  In truth, he was a little bewildered himself.  The scene that David Buchman caused did not surprise him in the least.  In fact, he had expected it, had been prepared for it. 

What surprised him most was her reaction. 

He had expected her to ditch him once she realized she had pushed them too far.  Instead, she had held her head high and walked out right along with him.  Her motives were still unclear.  Had she done it because she didn’t like being called out or was there another reason?  One thing he knew for sure was that he needed a cigarette—bad.  He walked over to lean against the wall pulling one out to light it. 

She fiddled with the pockets on her skirt.  “I’m sorry about what happened.  I still can’t believe that they threw us out,” she confessed, refusing to meet his eyes.

He snorted.  “Can’t you?  Isn’t that why you brought me there?  To stir the pot?”

Her eyes widened at his accusation.  Deep down, she knew he was right.  When she invited him to the barbeque, it had been in an attempt to make her father angry.  She just wanted him to realize that he couldn’t control everything she did.  She was sick and tired of him expecting her to bend to his every whim.  The fact that Jackson knew what she was up to all along, and still went with her made her feel even worse. 

Walking across the room, she took a seat on a small wooden bench that had been left behind.  “You’re right.  I’m sorry,” she admitted softly. 

He shook his head.  “Don’t sweat it.  I knew what I was getting into.”

She couldn’t help but voice the question that had been plaguing her.  “If you knew, then why did you come?”

Shrugging his shoulders, he dropped his cigarette and stamped it out with his foot.  “I don’t know.  Curiosity, maybe?  What about you?  Was it just your idea of fun to get me thrown out?  You thought you would teach me a lesson.  Try to put me in my place?”

“No,” she replied.  “No, I swear it wasn’t like that.  I admit that I wanted to make my father angry, but I never imagined they would throw us out.  I was just tired of him trying to plan my life for me.  That’s all, I swear.  I didn’t mean to embarrass you.”

He pushed away from the wall.  “I guess it doesn’t matter now, does it?  Come on, I’ll take you home.”

Pain sliced through her heart.  She wasn’t sure why his opinion of her was so important, but it was.  Walking over to him, she placed a hand on his arm.  “I really didn’t mean it like that, I swear.”

She could feel the muscles in his arm flex under her fingers.  Before she could stop herself, she leaned in to press her lips against his.  At first, he didn’t respond.  He merely stood there while she explored the fullness of his lips with her own.  But, then, she felt his arms close around her waist drawing her in deeper.  Her hands came up to blaze trails through his hair.  Her tongue tentatively traced his lower lip.  A low growl escaped his throat. 

Then, he took control.  His tongue demanding entrance to the warm hollow of her mouth.  She moaned softly at the sweet sensation of being claimed.  She pressed her body against his wanting more.

Before she knew what was happening, he pushed her away. 

“I should take you home,” he said gruffly, his eyes clouded with passion.

Her eyebrows drew together in confusion.  She wanted to protest, but the fierceness of her own emotions were too new, too unsettling.  It wasn’t like she hadn’t been kissed before.  She had, but never like that.  It seemed ironic that Jackson Hart could awaken things in her that were so intense, when all others failed.   When he climbed on the bike in front of her, she pressed herself tightly against him.  Resting her cheek against his back, she knew that she was in trouble.

She was falling in love with Jackson Hart.

And she wasn’t going to let anyone take that away from her.

 

Stay Tuned for More of Choices…

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