Today is sunday which means Sample Sunday! Even as I am typing this, I'm not sure which chapter 2 I will be posting today! I finished chapter one of Walking a Thin Line (End of the Line 2) on friday, but since it is a sequel I do not think I should post the chapter considering it will give away so much of the first book I'm trying to re-release. So I guess I'll be holding that secert a little longer, which is so hard to do! So yes I'm have been working on Walking a(the) Thin Line and Invisible Bonds which is Family Ties 2, but I'm really trying to give a story to my publisher in a couple of months. I really want to give either Project US or Beneath the Scars to BCP, but right now the two are in different stages and seirously fighting for attention. Project US will probably win that one with Beneath the Scars probably not too much further behind, probably submit over the summer. I am loving Beneath the Scars, it is different then what I have written, and I just have been having so much fun writing it. The two will be as a warning my top two romances, I'm hoping that the two will stand out for their love stories. Yes there is love in Family Ties and End of the Line, but it's not the same level, but there is thrill in Project US and Beneath the Scars so don't worry! Oh I really don't know which one I want to post!
Well I guess I'm posting from Project US! Today you'll be seeing one of the leading men in my stories over the years. Nick was created based off a dream I had (which unforunatly had a real guy in my grade, so he has picked a couple of his characteristics) freshman year of high school. Nick is a big player in the Men of Ottilie Line up! My friends at the time read this story as I wrote it so this story because a big part of anyone who knew me in high school. There will be a bunch of people really excited for when this is published. So much of me has gone into this story it's going to be amazing feeling when I am actually able to get it published. So Nick was has set the stage for most of my stories for the leading male characters, usually they get compared to him by my friends. He is one of my favorite (shhh don't tell the other characters!). When I'm revisiting Project US I'm reliving the fun of this story and fixing it up. When I'm done editing it I probably will have a couple of my friends read it to see if they like the changes I'm doing lately. Really curious what they'll think.
I crossed the entryway, my hand behind my back to close the room behind us. Rachel turned around, probably thinking she’d close the door herself. She came chest to chest, face to nap of my neck. I grinned. Rachel’s cheeks had pink spread across them, so her. Her eyes were glued to the floor as the door clicked behind us. I watched her whole upper body rise, filling up like a balloon before letting out a long breath. Rachel always has been funny to embarrass. I held back laughter. I didn’t want to make her completely uncomfortable.
The hall was surprisingly quiet. Rachel was a step or two ahead of me despite her shorter legs. My eyes glimpsed over to her. Rachel’s hair was just short of her wait, blond with smooth waves that flowed down from the top of her head to the tips of her strands. Her coat was button and tied close to her upper body and overlapping those dark blue jeans of hers. Rachel’s white little sneakers just peaking out of the bottom of her pants, no I wasn’t studying her.
I reached around her when we reached the end of the hall to open the door before her. She titled her head to some extent so that her big green eyes would meet mine. The corners of her lips turned ever so slightly.
“Thanks,” She spoke.
“No problem, Rachel,” I responded.
Rachel started to hop down the stairs. When I say hop, I mean quite literally bouncing down the stairs like a small child. I took each step in hast to keep up with her. It was probably not wise to lose a short woman on a mission. My sister and mother proved that one. I was the youngest of four, two older brothers and an older sister. Plus I’ve had classes long enough with Rachel to know the teachers were going to fix our room situation. When we reached the bottom of the platform we made our way out into the lobby to be seeing our grade traveling as a herd into another room, a big room filled with tables and chairs for dinning, most likely was used for conferences that came to the hotel. I glanced down at Rachel who shrugged her shoulders as we followed. We were ushered to a random table.
I sit in the chair, closed my eyes for a moment and stretched wishing that I could just go to sleep already to make up for waking up so freaking early this morning for this stupidity. My siblings took this trip in eighth grade, my brothers felt the need to brag about the fact they didn’t have a project like us. My sister smacked them with a spatula when she was cooking to get them to shut up. That started a food fight in the March household. We were just lucky my Mom came home before my Dad otherwise we would have been doomed. Mom got the last bit by shoving spaghetti sauce in all of our hairs then made us clean up before Dad came home. I love my family.
“It kind of looks like everyone is paired up when they are coming in here,” Rachel spoke in a low voice, disbelief in every word.
Oh god girls were absolutely crazy!
“Rachel I think you’ve been too many of your weird plot book,” I started thinking about when the plot of some book I think was called Flowers in the Attic came up with some students before class started, Rachel straightened out the facts which left me never to look at her the same way. “We go to a public school we are not people in a dating service.”
I shook my head as she raised an eyebrow at me.
“Don’t patronize me Nicholas, look around the room,” Rachel muttered, she just had to use my whole name.
I narrowed my eyes as her gleamed. I rolled my eyes as I scanned the room, observed more of my peers enter the room.
“Okay, maybe you aren’t’ completely crazy,” I spoke under my breath and she stuck her tongue out at me.
I returned the reaction and she giggled. I smiled. This was so normal for us. I really wish Rachel wasn’t right so much.
“Yo, dude what the hell is happening?” A slap on my back came.
I peaked over my shoulder and grinned.
“Dill if I knew I’d think about telling you for a good price,” Dill my great for years.
Dill, Mark, John, and I were part of a close nitch group, each person coming in at different years. Dill and I were probably the longest in the group then John later in elementary school when he moved into our town. Then Mark moved into our town in middle school with his Uncle, we were all a little different yet still had fun busting each others chops. What else are guy friends for?
Dill had his dark hair in his usual short cut. I did not know how he could handle half inch of hair. I liked being able to have hair to run my hands through. I would never tell my friends that, the girl jokes that I would get. Dill had dark eyes and was a little shorter then me. Dill sat in a chair across from me, slouching back in the chair. Next to him glared Rachel’s dark clothing wearing Bridget, big hair and all.
“Hey Rachel maybe you had a point in being pessimistic on whole drive here,” Bridget still kept her eyes on Dill who looked just as thrilled as her.
“Schools you can’t trust them,” Rachel responded, but she was turned around not facing the three of us still surveying the room, her voice was distant.
“Rach, you okay?” I asked placing a hand on her should, she withdrew her body from me.
“Do not touch me,” Rachel snapped, even through her jacket I could see her shoulders tense.
I tried to remember her friends hugging her in the halls like some of the other girls did. I couldn’t think of a time I’d see that. Actually thinking back to eighth grade graduation she was laughing at those crying. She kept shouting something ‘you’ll see them in three months!’ over and over. I rolled my eyes, she’ll calm down eventually.
Principal O’Doherty stepped up to the front of the room.
“Students quiet down, quiet down!” his stern voice cutting through the voices of the sophomore class.
A middle age man with brown hair that was speckled with gray and white hairs that I could see even in the distance that I was at. Microphone was in a hand of his while his other hand was free to be able to expressive. I scooted the chair a little so that I could see the principal, leaning back I watched around Rachel’s blond head. Principal O’Doherty was a tall lean man who always wore a pressed suit that always seemed to hang just a smig on his frame. Back when my siblings were in high school he was a decent guy, but apparently a few years ago his wife and him started having issues in their marriage. Rumors spread around the school that his wife left him, that they spilt up, that there was a full on battle of a divorce, that one of them was caught cheating, you think of a piece of gossip it was mentioned. Ever since then Principal O’Doherty has been a hard-ass, ruling Adams High with an iron fist that is so very needed apparently for a very low key suburban town.
“Before you continue to barmaid the teachers to fix your room arrangements, there was no mistakes made that is your roommate,” Principal O’Doherty paced, his eyes scanning the room that was now hushed except a few whispers. One of his hands was somewhat open, rolling around in the air as he spoke. “The project will be taking the next few months, possibly longer depending on how things go. Spending more time with your partners will help the project develop for the full experience.”
He stopped in the center of the platform upfront. Principal O’Doherty’s body was directly facing the middle of the study body. All of us waited for him to continue so we would finally hear the details of the allege project. My eyes drifted down from Principal O’Doherty and to Rachel. The girl was stressing from the moment the permission slips were passed out during homeroom! Rachel’s emotions weren’t fully fury or crazed, but more curiosity and dread of who she would be paired up with. GPA was a heavy top with her, she was the type to stress over that since kindergarten. When our friends were a little side tracked I tried to calm the nut job that is female. I told Rachel worse comes to worse she messed with the person, she didn’t respond well to that.
“We want our students at Adams High to be able to enter the real world prepared for life and what will come their way. We have a reputation to with keep. Now I’m sure you students have seen over the years seen on television or even from grades above you the marriage project. You and your partner will learn to corporate with each other, in addition to basic skills it takes for a couple to function in a marriage.”
“Oh for the love of god,” Rachel mumbled under her breath, with her elbow resting on the table she leaned her head against her hand.
I might never have had been Rachel’s number one friend, but I do try to look out for her. I admit that I have been known to pick on her over the years, but I was never that bad. I’m not that mean like I tell her to stand up for herself against others. My picking is more like joking between the two of us then harshness. For example a few guys made a nickname for her (that she hates) and I call her that sometimes. At the same time I tell her to tell on them since a teacher heard someone saying it to her and told them to stop. When I do push her buttons it always seemed different I can’t explain it, but it just was. It was also written on her face that it was unlike when I do call her it the once in a blue moon I do call her worm. She doesn’t have the look of ‘I hate you go die’.
I leaned close to her.
“You could have been paired up with someone worse Rachel,” I whispered to her, red spread across her side of her face.
Rachel always turned red. I smirked. Her chin was almost against her shoulder so that she could almost see me. A hair tie held her hair back in a ponytail as that her hair was out of her face. She placed her index finger over her lips.
“I’m hoping that even though we paired a bunch of high schooled students together that with this assignment that you all will act as young adults instead of hormone driven teenagers,” Principal O’Doherty continued voice still stern despite the catcalls that followed.
I looked around at all the tables. There were the girls who did their make up between classes with guys from honors class then there were some with guys that they wouldn’t usually take a second glance at. Football players with cheerleaders and some with girls from ROTC. I smiled at the so called social spectrum being scrambled. I peeked over at my friend Dill he rolled his eyes once he saw that I was watching him.
“Since it’s still decent hour in the afternoon we are going to have you in your groups get organized then head over to the historical sight. Watch for your chaperones and remember you are representing Adams High on this field trip so behavior yourselves.”
The teachers started to line up in front of the room to get our attention, but the chatter of the room just grew by the second. Dill rolled his eyes as Bridget next to him was putting on her long black coat, ignoring the guy beside her. I glance over to Rachel who was always bundled up in class. She was still wearing her coat, her hands buried deep in her pockets. Rachel was already standing up as if I was taking too long.
“Ready to head over?” Rachel asked her green eyes on me, her voice light.
I shrugged my shoulders and followed her through the mob of students. I was almost tempted to grab onto her hand so that I wouldn’t lose her in the crowd. With her tiny stature she was having an easier time zipping through the people. I had to watch to trail after her. Rachel kept her arms curled into her chest as she weaved. I did not want to lose her. I was squishing myself between people to keep up with her. She finally stopped near the teacher, scanning over her shoulder till she found me. Squeezing through the last couple of people I made my way next to Rachel whose head came about the nap of my neck.
We moved out of the room and got onto our newly designated buses. The bus ride was short for us to get to
. Everyone was talking madly about this new
news. We had to share a room with the
opposite sex. The guys were either
complaining about the girl they were with, celebrating that they got the hottie
they wanted to talk to in class, but couldn’t, or were too embarrassed to say
anything. I didn’t really know how to
respond to my situation. Here I was with
Rachel. I kept glancing over at Rachel
who was staring out the window the whole ride. Williamsburg
We arrived at
with me wondering if this was a
good pairing or not as they gave us our badges to prove that we were on a
school trip together. I got off the bus
and waited for the rest of my group.
Rachel stood there next to me waiting like me. She was shaking, but wore a coat with her
hands still well hidden in her jacket.
Yet I was fine and I had a lighter coat then her. Williamsburg
“You okay?” I asked titling my head so that I could catch her eyes.
“Eh,” she mumbled with a shrug, her body swaying slightly.
“Give me your hands,” I spoke holding my hands out she raised an eyebrow at me.
“Ha, no,” Rachel snorted.
I raised my own brow as I kept an eye on her during the tour. We walked on the dirt path though the colony just like they did during all those years ago. After having American history taught to us since kindergarten it is nice to actually see what was being shoved down our throats. We saw people in costumes and buildings from that era. There were a few people in horse drawn carriages too. A couple of guys started to point and laugh at the horse droppings. It is amazing how some teenagers aren’t much different from preschoolers. There was also some talk of trying to get the people out of their character. If anyone from my group could get the colony people out of their character that would be very funny, I’m not going to lie. Yet my eyes kept peeking over at Rachel to check up on her.
“It’s nice here,” Rachel spoke through my chattering teeth, crossing her arms firmly across her chest wanting warmth.
“It’s okay,” I responded not really paying full attention to this simple place.
I really couldn’t wait to leave this part to get her back inside and me some food. I couldn’t figure out why our school couldn’t have gone to the sight in the spring when it was warmer and there was less of a chance for the students getting sick. My own fingers fidgeted at my sides restraining myself from forcing my own coat onto Rachel. She would likely throw a tantrum proclaiming she was fine and didn’t need my help.
We were at
for a few hours before we headed
back onto the bus to return to the hotel from our adventure. We went arrived at the hotel rooms to get
ready for dinner, as a mob trying to funnel all those bodies into one door, and
then half wanting to take the elevators out of laziness while the rest of us
tried to fit in the stairs all at once. So
many people in tight corridors, I hated every single second of it. I was having trouble staying close to Rachel,
in the madness thanking that we were only on the second floor. Despite how I knew she would react I grabbed
onto Rachel’s elbow and dragged her through the massive amount of people
through the floor door before we made our way down the hall after she wiggled
her way out of my hold. We didn’t have
to get changed into nicer clothes for dinner, but were given time to go to the
bathroom or get a sweatshirt kind of ordeal. Williamsburg
Rachel was fixing her hair even though it was tied back small pieces had escaped from its prison. The hair tie was pulled out completely as she worked out the knots the wind had caused. Our jackets were tossed carelessly to the side of the room so that now her hair was down against her long sleeve shirt which hung slightly baggy on her so that the fabric did not cling onto her female body then. She fixed her hair so that the strands were neither too high on her head nor loose at the top of her neck. The light catching the waves of her hair that rolled down her back.
“I’m still freezing!” Rachel said breaking the silence as realized that I was staring at her.
“Do you want to borrow a sweatshirt?” I asked her as she spun her body so that she was positioned in front of me.
“I’ll be fine thanks though,” she answered quickly; she crossed her arms over her chest as she scanned the room.
I raised an eyebrow at the girl before me
“It won’t kill you to accept help; I’m just offering a sweatshirt. I promise no harm can come from a sweatshirt,” I ranted, hands coming out of my pockets out with entheises.
She rolled her eyes shifting her weight from one leg to the other. The room filled up in utter silence and not the comfortable kind. I ran my fingers through my hair as I as comfortable like the time I wore the wool sweater my great aunt got me for Christmas when I was younger. Then there was silence that filled the room awkwardly just like the first day of school and trying to scan the cafeteria for a friend.
“So are you ready to go,” I asked, my voice was more tender then earlier ailing myself to lock eyes, my blue ones with her green.
“Sure,” Rachel responded, her voice with a tint of bitterness or annoyance I wasn’t sure with her.
“I wonder what we’ll have for dinner,” I thought out loud.
“You and your stomach!”
I put my hands on my stomach.
“My stomach and I have gotten through some pretty awesome meals over the years.”
I grinned as I looked down at her as we made our way back to the dinning hall. She raised her eyebrow at me.
“Are you in a relationship with your stomach?” Rachel asked.
“A very nice one if you ask me.”
“We are going to fail,” Rachel muttered as she fiddled with her necklace.
“Nah, you wouldn’t know how to fail if you were given instructions,” I snorted.
“If I was given instructions how could I fail?” she asked.
“Don’t poke holes in my logic!” I responded quickly before poking her dangling earring.
“Aw, but, but Nick it’s fun,” Rachel faked a whine.
I grinned, I haven’t seen too much of this side of Rachel before. She always seemed to have her guard up, also known as, ‘this is school, things need to get done!’
“Whatever Blondie,” I chuckled.
“Don’t call me that,” she laughed, her voice stern though.
Silence overcame us yet I could see her in the corner of my eye attempting to hold back her smile by pressing her lips together and biting down. A lopsided grin formed on my own face. Walking into the conference room the students were all over the place, so Rachel and I took our seats from earlier.
“Hey Rachel!” Bridget waved as we got to the table her eyes covered in dark make-up.
“Hey Bridget I see you haven’t killed Dill yet,” Rachel spoke up while Dill had his back to us all so that his attention seemed to be elsewhere.
Bridget glared at the brunette next to her.
“Don’t tempt me,” was all that Bridget muttered.
I chuckled, oh how I knew Dill was. Part of the guy code, make fun of each other.
“Yo,” I called over which got Dill’s attention.
Dill half turned, did a half wave before finishing off his conversation with someone from the table near us. I rolled my eyes. What a buddy. Rachel besides me let out a giggle probably at something Bridget had said. She glanced down at the placing before her. I shook my attention as food was placed in front of me which I dug right into without a second thought. I didn’t even try to attempt to start up again a conversation with Dill who usually was as enthusiastic as me with food. I kept peeking over at Rachel who was poking around the pasta sauce, pushing away the clumps of tomatoes instead of actually eating the meal before. As I chewed I watched her taking a small bite.
“You eating?” I asked fusing my eyebrows together.
Her face scrunched not even looking at me.
“I hate tomatoes,” she muttered.
“This is completely normal for Rachel, trust me,” Bridget spoke up before taking in a good bite herself.
I nodded my head still observing the blond girl besides me.
“I have eating habits like a five year old,” Rachel spoke up as she skimmed a couple of strands before putting the bundled portion into her mouth.
“Since everyone is done you all will go straight to your rooms. Make sure you are settled and well rested for an early start tomorrow, we will not tolerate students falling asleep during the activities. The chaperons will make sure that no one escapes their rooms tonight. Your chaperons will also call you all tomorrow morning to wake you all up,” Principal O’Doherty ordered with a stone face.
I watched as I lost Rachel in the crowed of people. It wasn’t like she raced ahead, but people just squashed through the opening. I was left behind as watching the small blond circle disappearing the hall who was linked arms with her couple of friends. My hands dug into my pockets, I didn’t have my stupid room key. I lost my partner in the crowd and don’t have my key to the room; Rachel was totally going to use that information as a piece that we were going to fail the project. She needed to take a deep breath and come with terms with the fact that we’ll be great.
Elbows were jabbed into my as people shoved around as I attempted to make my way up. Part of me wished that I was Rachel’s slight size to squeeze through these dumb, pushy peers. People called out saying ‘hello’ to me and others, but I was just to a point where I have been up since early that morning; I wanted sleep. Despite the happy belly of food, sleep was needed now. As I cut through the mob out onto my floor, Rachel was still out of sight. Once I reached my door, after a couple second guessing on other doors. There was no real response, but I heard the television on in the room. This time I knocked harder, and students that were passing turned to watch me. That only made more frustrated. Raising my fist again to knock for a third time, but Rachel opened the door. Her big, green eyes looking up at mine, however the door was only open part way as she leered out of the small opening.
“Why didn’t you use your key?” Rachel asked, even through the gap had her head titled to the side.
“Just let me in already,” I responded slowly, each word slow and fully announced so each part was distinct.
“Fine, go ahead and ruin my fun,” Rachel pouted as she stepped aside opening the door fully for me.
I waltzed into the room pretty much collapsing onto the bed as the exhaustion hit me. Propping the pillows behind me I was sitting up a little more, my eyelids half closed wanting to be given the chance to relax. Yet a short, furious blond stood in front of the screen. Her weight shifted onto one side with her arms crossed firmly over her petite chest with one of her eyebrows arched high.
“I think we should make a plan for the project, you know get a heads start so that we aren’t lost,” Rachel started, her position didn’t move, she was a statue as she paused staring at me.
I was not awake enough or in the mood to answer questions about doing a school assignment. Moving my head to the side to try to peer around her hips happy she did not have ones like my sister. Rachel just retaliated by moving her weight to that side so I leered to the other side which she only followed suit. I glimpsed up into her eyes that were narrowed. She was as scary as bunny slippers; part of me wanted to laugh at her.
“Nick come on be serious! This is going to be a big grade for us, now come on and take me seriously!” Rachel snapped as her hands locked onto her hips.
“Fine,” I responded not seeing a point in arguing.
She threw her arms up in the air as I watched her in the corner of my eyes; plopping down on the edge of the bed. The muscles in her back were tense as she still wouldn’t face me as she glanced around the room, but me. We were both stubborn.
“Crud,” she muttered almost to herself.
“What?” I asked using my feet to get my shoes off, kicking them off the bed.
“A little math problem for you Nick,” Rachel started as I closed my eyes for a second before connecting our eyes. “There is one bed, there isn’t a couch, but there are two people…”
She stopped letting the last word drift.
“And your point is?” I asked with a raised brown eyebrow just wanting to end this conversation.
“Wow you really are hard headed, that means one of us is going to have to sleep on the floor.”
I held back the smile.
“Think about it. If one of us wasn’t sleeping on the floor that would mean that you and I are sharing a bed! And I am not going to share a bed with you,” Rachel finished.
“And what is wrong with that?” I asked keeping my face muscles cool as a cucumber while her face turned neon red.
At this point with her change of color I burst out laughing as she didn’t respond. My upper body shook as my eyes came close to watering. Her eyes widen before she looked away.
“You’re unbelievable!” Rachel snapped, her voice wavered with her cheeks still highlighted.
Her body was half turned towards me so that she could attempt to glare at me while she still had her feet dangling near the floor.
“Well I don’t feel comfortable making a girl sleep on the floor and lets face it I’m not in the mood to sleep on the floor.”
“I’m not sharing a bed with you,” Rachel responded quickly.
“Why?” I asked raising an eyebrow before my eyes drifted back to the television.
“Because you are a guy…that is a very intimate action,” her voice was softer this time.
“Rachel we’d be asleep not having sex,” I retorted glancing back to her.
“But we’d be in a bed together…”
“Gees, relax a little I won’t be touching you, we’ll put a divider if it makes you feel more comfortable,” I spoke, my voice rough with irritation with the full desire to just sleep.
Rachel’s eyes left me as they fell onto her lap with her hands going straight to her necklace. Didn’t even have to look to know it was her the tiny, single silver wing jewelry she wore it every day for years, I couldn’t picture her not wearing it; it was a very Rachel Hertz trademark. She always played with her pendent, especially during test time, twisting and untwisting the chain.
“Look how about you go shower or whatever it is you do to get ready for bed and breathe,” I spoke after a few moments of silence.
The blond just stared at me with the wing still strong in her fingers, purple finger nails contrasting against her pale skin and sliver metal. After a few seconds she just stood up and headed toward the bathroom with her bag in her hand. The shower water was turned on as I stretched, taking up full stride of the bed before standing up myself. Heading for the closet I found a couple extra blankets and pillows which I tossed onto the bed. Fixing the new supplies I formed a small barrier that I was sure that would at least calm Rachel’s nerves a little, at least for the moment. Reaching behind me I gripped the fabric of the shirt; gathering the material in my fingers I pulled the shirt off. Once the contraption was off I flung it onto my bag to exchange my jeans for more comfortable pants. Once more I dropped onto the bed, the sheets up to my waist, with one hand behind my head.
Sometime later the water was turned off and a few minutes later Rachel came out. Placing her bag next to mine she made her way back towards the bed in blue swirly pajama bottoms with a Giants t-shirt that looked to be the prefect size for a full grown man.
“I didn’t take you for a sports girl,” I spoke up as she pushed wet long hair behind her ear, but the strands didn’t seem like they were planning on behaving.
“I don’t, marching season is enough sports, this is my dad’s it doesn’t fit him anymore which means free pajamas for Rachel,” Rachel started, but I couldn’t help cutting her off.
“FYI that is the wrong.”
Rachel rolled her eyes.
“The wrong team? I’m sorry am I offending you?”
“Yes greatly, take the shirt off now,” I spat out with a half smile forming.
“Not even in your dreams Mr. March,” she spoke slowly.
“Your team color should be-“
“Thank you for the wall,” Rachel said quickly making sure to change the sports topic.
Rachel pushed the sheets aside on her part to crawl in between the sheets.
“Night Nick,” Rachel yawned.
“Night Rach, sweet dreams.”