Sixteen-year-old Wendy Wyman is bereft over the death of her best friend, Peter Preiss, whose body has been found at the bottom of the town lake. She blames herself because she allowed him to go back to his family’s lakeside boathouse late at night where they had just made love for the first time. She wonders what she could have done differently to stop Pete from being killed, and thinks back to the beginning of the school year when her whole life changed forever.
Wendy will stop at nothing until she finds out the person responsible for killing Peter, who was bullied by most of the students in their junior class. She is in for even more of a shock when she finds out that not only did Pete keep dark secrets from her, but a few of her close friends are hiding ones as well. This also includes Dylan Mayone, the new popular boy at school, who wants her for his own, and may have had a hand in Pete’s death.
A scraping noise came outside my bedroom window. Pete climbed in as if nothing was wrong. I crossed my arms and shook my foot in agitation.
“Nice of you to make an appearance after weeks of not talking to me,” I said in a snotty tone.
He dropped his backpack on the floor and sat on the edge of my bed. “Want me to leave?”
He looked so vulnerable with his hair falling in front of his eyes and how he chewed on his bottom lip. It broke my heart.
“Come here, you big goof.” I held out my arms.
He crawled over to me, and I wrapped my arms around him. We tumbled back, clinging to each other. The huge knot that had settled in my stomach for almost three weeks vanished.
“Sorry,” he whispered against my neck a few times.
I continued hugging him and playing with his hair. When he tangled his legs with mine, I squeezed him harder. Even with my mixed-up emotions about him and Dylan, this still felt so right.
“We both acted like jerks,” I whispered and kissed him near his ear.
He zoned in on my neck. “It’s gone.”
I grabbed a pillow and hit him on his head. He held up his hands and laughed.
“That’s all you have to say? Yeah, the hickey’s gone. You were the only one to notice. I was smart and put a ton of cover up on it. My mom thought I had a pimple there.”
He rubbed a finger over the spot, and I shivered. I turned off the music while he lay with his hands behind his head.
“Are we cool again?” I bit down on my thumbnail.
“I don’t know why I acted the way I did. It was stupid.”
I slid down on my side, facing him. Pete also turned on his side and pressed his nose to mine. We used to do this a lot. But lately, not so much.
He closed his eyes and let out a deep breath while I fingered his hair. “Dylan and I talked today. He told me about the conversation you two had.”
“I wanted to apologize for being such an ass. He did also. He seems okay. I can see why you like him.”
I lifted up on an elbow while he contemplated the ceiling. I really wanted things to go back to the way there were before all this happened. I was so out of sorts.
“Dylan may think highly of himself, but he’s honest and seems sincere. He wants us to be friends.”
“Is that what you want?” Pete brushed his thumb over my chin.
I laid my head on his chest near his heart. “I don’t know. He’s a fun guy to have around. Please don’t get upset by this, but he’s a good kisser. Not that I’ve had much experience, so I can’t go on anything else.”
He tapped my back. His eyes held mine, and my stomach dropped to my knees.
“Want to compare?” He leaned in, his mouth almost on top of mine.
“Hmm.” I didn’t know how to respond. “Are you sure—?”
When his lips grazed mine, I gasped.
He pressed his mouth gently across my open one. “How’d that feel?” he asked, doubt in his voice.
“I think you should do it again and longer this time.” Cupping his face, I locked my mouth to his and then sucked down on his bottom lip.
He inhaled loudly and clasped my face like I had done to his. We moved our mouths back and forth together. Angling my head, I opened my mouth and tugged on his top lip. I dug my fingers into his shoulders for leverage. I had no problem sticking my tongue out and pushing it inside his mouth. Our tongues met and circled one another. He licked the inside of my mouth. I broke away, catching air.
Breathing heavy, he bit his lip. “I guess there’s no comparison?”
I turned his face to mine and gave him another kiss. This felt awkward. Not because of who I was kissing, but because we’d never made out before.
“It takes practice, Mr. Preiss. I’d rather work on my kissing skills with you, not Dylan. Who knows where that boy’s mouth has been?”
Pete chuckled and poked me in the side. I curved my arms around him. He did the same to me.
“I wanted to be the first,” he whispered in my ear, leaving a soft kiss there.
“From now on, it will only be you.”
I’m a Northeast girl who first found my love for books when I read Nancy Drew’s The Secret of the Old Clock Tower at thirteen. I’m a bit quirky and silly at times, and love anything in entertainment from movies to television and books. I read close to 20 books a month and spend most of the rest writing.
Join me as I start my journey as a young adult writer.
In the immortal words of Mark Twain: “Life is short, Break the Rules. Forgive quickly, Kiss SLOWLY. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably and never regret ANYTHING That makes you smile.”