Teaser Tuesday is from my latest YA novel, The Pros and Cons of Breathing. Tucker just told Ariel he loves her, her reaction isn’t exactly what he hoped for.
“Are you going to answer me?” he asked.
I released my hand from his, and crossed my arms.
“What do you want me to say, that I feel the same way? Because I don’t,” I said, moving my hair till it fell along my neck. “This—being in a relationship is new to me, and I don’t want to rush.”
He sighed, and furrowed his brows, “we don’t have to. Just forget I said anything.”
Tucker came toward me, with his limp arms, and I moved away.
“I think,” I said, stammering. “I think we need to take a break.”
His forehead scrunched, making this harder than it should have been. I didn’t want to be in a serious relationship—not now, maybe never, I just wanted to have fun. Obviously, he didn’t want the same.
“I’m sorry,” I said. “I just need some time.”
I walked up the house, and into a crowded kitchen. The music was pulsing in my ears, like a million sirens exploding at once. Naomi raised her eyebrow. She was always so curious.
Quite frankly, I was tired of being labeled Owen and Seth’s goody-two-shoed sister. That’s the problem with labels. They tell you who you are, who you should be, and before you know it, you don’t even know who “you” are anymore. With privilege and fame came consequence. I wasn’t ready to love Tucker—that’s all there was behind it.
“Wow, I can’t believe it,” Naomi said, pouring us a shot. “And here I thought you found your soul mate.”
I rolled my eyes, tossed my hair back over my shoulder, “they don’t exist.”
Naomi narrowed her eyes, causing her nostrils to flare, before she brushed my comment aside, and handed me a shot.
“To being sexy and single,” Naomi said, cheering.
“I’ll drink to that.”
Our glasses clinked. The shot burned my throat, but it felt amazing. I needed something to kick away what happened with Tucker. Seth and a few other guys were sitting outside, by the fire, passing a joint. I walked out, and sat beside Jett, a fellow Island Prep jock. He was about my age, and completely gorgeous—thick, blonde hair, sun-kissed skin, and preppy, like he belonged to the country club or something. Jett dated Naomi for a few months, until he cheated on her—which we all knew would happen. Jett wasn’t the type to commit monogamously.
“Hey, little James,” Jett said. “Want some?”
My eyes fell to Seth. He nodded. Unlike Owen, Seth didn’t follow rules. I grabbed the joint, and took a drag. I knew I shouldn’t have. Tucker’s girlfriend wouldn’t smoke pot, neither would Owen’s sister.