It is release day for Forfeiting Adam, the second book in the Smith & Guy University series. I am so relieved this day has finally arrived. Wow! Launching a book is WAY more involved than you might think. I have learned tons this launch--most of which will make future launches even better!
But, as promised yesterday, here is the second half of Chapter 2 from Forfeiting Adam. If you missed the prior posts
Chapter 2 (Partial 2)
In the bathroom, a dinky two-stalled place, I paced, too worried to pee. The door swung open and Harper walked in. With a single look, she demanded, “Are you hiding in here?” She entered the smaller stall while continuing to speak. “I’m not on break so tell me fast.”
“Maurice is talking to Adam.”
“No idea. That’s what worries me.” I checked my non-existent makeup in the mirror. My worried blue eyes stared out above checks dusted with freckles. Running over the summer had given me a tan that had not paled yet.
A toilet flushed and Harper emerged to wash her hands. “I’m sure it’s nothing. Maurice means well.”
“I’m sure he does but...”
“But you think he’s going to scare Adam off?” Harper cranked the paper towel dispenser. A shredded scrap barely big enough to dry a finger poked out. She began tugging on the scrap.
I walked over and twisted the side dial to release more. “Right.”
Harper ripped off a nearly acceptable amount of paper towel. “I doubt you have anything to worry about. Adam’s the real thing. Just act like nothing happened.”
I sighed, and the thought, Easier said than done, filtered through my mind. Harper gave me a quick hug then pushed me out of the bathroom ahead of her. I dragged in a deep breath, squared my shoulders, and headed back.
Reaching the table I decided to sit beside Adam. It was a show of preference on my part. Adam slid his arm across my shoulders without hesitating. They were discussing SGU’s abysmal chances for a football championship. I sensed this topic was a load of bull.
A guy I had seen several times at Leach walked up to our booth. Seeing him, Maurice rose to leave. Adam stopped him by saying, “We’re leaving. Why don’t you take our booth?”
Maurice’s smile became genuine. “Many thanks. This is Larry. Larry meet Edee, a co-resident of mine, and her boy, Adam.”
I had barely relaxed when he introduced us that way. Since I seemed to be the only one annoyed, I opted to ignore Maurice’s wink and walk away.
Leaving Baker’s Dozen, Adam and I waved at Harper whose newly cut bangs billowed up in a blast of steam. She smiled, but kept working.
At the last moment, as Adam was turning away to open the door, Harper caught my eye and nodded her head toward the guy standing to her left. I looked quickly, gave a thumbs up, and followed Adam out the door. Now I knew why she had been mum about her love life for weeks—a dead giveaway that she had a crush on someone.
Outside Adam wrapped his hand around mine. “Maurice has got to be the weirdest papa bear I’ve ever heard of.”
“I know. I’m sorry,” I sighed.
“It’s cool. He grilled me about my intentions.” Adam wiggled his brows at me. Then he grinned, and added, “And I don’t mean in politically polite terms.”
I stopped short unsure if I wanted to hang my head or lecture Maurice. Adam, however, pulled me into a crushing hug. “I’m glad your friends care. Kinda nice to know they agree with me.”
I only nodded as my thoughts swirled. If my friends had been this vocal last year, would I have dated John? Would I have put myself in a position where I trusted someone who did not care about me and saw me as an object to use?
Or should I kill Maurice?
I would have commented, but Adam asked, “How bad is it that he volunteered me for the haunted house?”
I winced. A low, “Ohhhh,” was all I got out.
“That good, huh?” Adam asked. He grinned at me not understanding how much he had walked into.
“Well, it depends. Haunted House is a Leach tradition. Maurice takes it seriously. Like over the top, super freaky serious. It’s normally restricted to Leach residents, so its something of an honor he asked you.”
“Yes, you’re now officially an indentured servant.”
“Pretty much. Setup is hard, and the nights are long.”
“Guess I’m up for it. At least I’ll get to see you. The way he talked, it was agree to help or never see you again.”
I gasped at Maurice’s panache. Adam laughed then asked, “So, how did you met Maurice?”
The thought of our first meeting made me roll my eyes. “First night freshman year. Maurice rounded all of us up, corralled us into the third floor lounge, and proceeded to torture us.”
Adam’s jaw dropped before he caught himself and began laughing as I nodded solemnly and finished with, “Yep. Forced viewings of college movies. Accepted. Necessary Roughness. Revenge of the Nerds. You get the idea.”
“The horror. I’m surprised you survived.”
“It was close.”
“And you’ve loved him ever since.”
I nodded. Stepping back, this time I took his hand, grateful that he understood. “He’s a unique person with a heart of tarnished gold that gleams anyway.”
Hope you enjoyed this excerpt from Chapter 2 in Forfeiting Adam.
Check out my Forfeiting Adam page for buy links
Also on that page is an excerpt from Chapter 4!
Many thanks to everyone who have supported and helped me on this journey into book publishing. There is so much more to come. I am in love with this business!
Smith & Guy University series