So, I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that I really like to share. Heh, if you’ve read my books, that shouldn’t be a surprise 😉 But, what I’m sharing today is a teaser from the novella that I am working on and anticipate actually finishing writing this week. So exciting!
Laurie had been eighteen for a little over twenty-four hours when she walked into the orientation meeting for her summer job. This would be her fourth summer at the amusement park and she was looking forward to seeing her friends. Most of them probably weren’t going to be at this orientation, having decided to go partying the night before, but she hoped a couple would have picked the early one. Looking around, she opted to stand in the back of the auditorium near the concession stand.
The floor was wet from people tracking in snow from the last snowfall of the year. Most people were wearing jeans and heavy coats but the ones who had worked there for a while had left their coats in the car. Once the doors closed, the auditorium would be stifling. Laurie had worn a cotton camisole with an over-sized button up shirt over it that she’d swiped from her dad. With her heavy leather boots, she felt pretty well prepared for the meeting.
An arm snuck around her waist and pulled her into a body she’d know anywhere. “Hey stranger,” she said, smiling up at him. “Long time no see.”
Steve smiled back and squeezed her to him. “I was hoping you’d be here. Did you hear where you’re working yet?”
“Nope,” she said. “Terry was disappointed when I turned down the money pit and said I’d have to wait for my assignment.”
“Did you hear it’s a western theme this year?”
“Gah, no, why would they do that? There is no way that booth is going to make money this year.”
“Yep, probably for the best you turned it down. At least I know I’ve got my assistant back.”
“He let you pick already?”
“I insisted as part of my terms for coming back as a supervisor this year. He’s adding the self-standing photo booths to my area along with being responsible for fixing all the electronics.”
“So I’m gonna be on my own a lot, then?”
“It’s why I picked you. You could do my job blindfolded so it’s almost like having two of me.”
“Except I’m prettier.”
“Yes you are. Though, I look better than I should, today.”
“Oh? Were you supposed to dress up and scare people?”
“Nope, my birthday was last night and I didn’t go out and get wasted.”
“Well, neither did I.” She grinned at him. “I didn’t know your birthday was yesterday.”
“Why would you have gone out and gotten wasted last night? And we’ve known each other how long and you didn’t know when my birthday was? I think I’m going to have to demand your woman card.”
“Well, I wouldn’t have gone out to get wasted but it was my birthday, too, so I’m pretty sure I could’ve gotten people to bring me alcohol, at least.”
Steve looked at her sideways. “How old are you now?”
“And you didn’t go get wasted? I’m impressed. Did your girlfriend take you out, at least?”
“Robin took me out but Jen and I broke up in November.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. You guys were together forever.”
“Four years. You still seeing Trevor?”
“Off and on. He’s taking me to prom in a few weeks so that’ll be fun.”
“You’ll have to bring in pictures. Are you making your dress again this year?”
“Of course.” She glanced back at the counter she was leaning on. “Think anybody will mind if I sit on the counter, since we’re not open?”
“Go for it, I’ll cover you.” He bent his knee slightly for her and she used it to jump backwards onto the counter.
The lights flashed and the park director took the stage with a microphone. Steve leaned against the counter and her knee during the presentation, tickling her every time she leaned forward to whisper smart ass comments on what the director was saying.
When the lights came up, she was grinning and trying to defend her knees from his fingers. “You’ve missed me, admit it. The rest of the year is just cold and bleak without my charming personality.”
“Well, it’s also winter when we’re not here,” he said, turning to face her. “Want some help down?”
“I’m sure I can manage,” Laurie said, scooting forward in preparation of jumping down. Instead of waiting for her, he grabbed her waist and lifted her off. Her breath caught in her throat and she tried to look up into his eyes. He was looking down at her feet to keep from dropping her and missed the surprised look she gave him.
“I’ll walk you to your car,” he said and turned toward the door. Once she realized what he’d said, she hurried to catch up with him as he left the auditorium. “If your phone number the same?”
“Yeah,” she said, slightly breathless.
“Great, I’ll give you a call when I get the ok to come in and start setting up. I’ll probably have you do most of that while I go through applicants to actually work the stands. You’re going to need to be mobile this year.”
“Am I getting a radio?”
“As often as I can get you one. You still prefer nights?”
“Yeah, I’ve got another job in the morning this year.”
“Are you still working at the library?”
“Yep, mornings and weekends.”
“Nights it is, then.” They’d reached her car and Laurie had the strangest urge to kiss him goodnight, as though he were dropping her off from a date. Instead, he hugged her tightly then turned to go to his own car. “See you in a few weeks,” he said and waved as he walked away.
“Yeah,” she said softly and waved back.