Hello! I’m Lavinia Leigh, I’m the author of Flirt, a young adult romance novel. I thought for fun today I’d give you the prequel to the story and explain how the romance started. Enjoy! There’s a chance to win a copy of the book. The details are below!
Cofftrees and Meat
A Flirt Prequel
Emmeline caught his eye from across the room. He smiled first, then ran a hand through his chestnut hair while the teacher droned on, failing to convey any excitement about conjugating verbs. It sent her heart racing and in one swift move, he’d reignited the crush she’d been drowning in for months.
"Emmeline!" Ginny poked at her from across the table in the library, hours after the look had left Emmeline floating in a dream-like state. "I’ve lost you again."
"Hun?" Emmeline lifted her head off the palm of her hand, reluctant to be dragged back into reality.
"You should ask him out. It’d make my life so much easier," Ginny teased. There was a fierceness in her brown eyes that made the suggestion come across as a command. Ginny never sat around dreaming about a boy; she’d go after him or forget about it.
Emmeline scrunched up her nose. She wasn’t sure what to do with this and wasn’t about to rush over and start drooling all over Nicholas.
Ginny laughed, able to practically read the thoughts going through Emmeline’s head. “You are aware girls can ask guys out, right?" She tapped the end of her pencil on the table, then turned it over and using the eraser to remove the last word she wrote.
"Yes, but let's face it, I trip over my words on good days. How could I possibly ask him and sound like a normal human being? He makes me so fluttery?"
"Good point! You’re pretty useless with your tongue."
"I'd like to try out that theory," Callum volunteered, eavesdropping from the table behind them. Callum was a professional flirt, tall with nut-brown unkempt hair, making him look playful and resistible, all at once.
"You heard that?" Emmeline shrunk down in her chair, wishing she was shorter than she already was. She should have been paying attention to who was around them. Callum and Nicholas were practically inseparable.
"So, it's Nikki you have a crush on?" he teased.
Ginny rolled her eyes, "Since forever."
Emmeline's cheeks burned a raspberry color as she resisted the urge to run out from the library. Callum turned his chair around and pushed it up closer to Emmeline, putting a practiced arm around her shoulders.
"If you aren't going to go out with me then I guess it might as well be him." He sounded crushed. If Emmeline hadn’t seen him flirt with almost every girl in school, she might've thought Callum had a crush on her. But she’d seen too many other girls cry thinking that he had genuine feelings for them, but didn’t.
"Please don't say anything!" Emmeline begged. The smirk on his face told her it was a lost cause. Until now, Ginny had been the only person she’d told about her crush. Secrets were best to keep to yourself unless you wanted the whole school to know – especially in a small town.
"You might as well let Callum spill the beans. At least you'd know for sure if you had a shot with him. Besides, if you ask yourself, there’s a good chance you’d ask him out on a dog instead of a date."
She bit her top lip, the words were truer than she wanted to admit. Here was the perfect chance to let someone else find out what Nicholas was thinking. Besides, now that Callum knew, she knew Nicholas would find out soon one way or another. It was better to be prepared. She leaned forward on her chair and the words, "Do it, tell him!" toppled out.
"Quick go! Before she changes her mind," advised Ginny, frantically waving her arms towards the door. Emmeline pinched her lips together, avoiding the temptation to beg him to forget what he’d heard. Callum tucked his books under his arms and smirked at her before heading for the door. A feeling of doom welled up inside Emmeline’s soul as the idea of being rejected settled into her brain, making her nauseous. She dashed out the library a minute later and tried to find Callum. He was gone and the bell was ringing, sending her back to class, terrified of running into Nicholas. With each passing moment, it was more likely he knew. It would be fine if she knew for certain he liked her, but the truth was, it was only a glance, which could've meant nothing.
After the last bell rang, Emmeline took the long way, sneaking out the back door and down the path close to the bushes where Ginny's sparkly new car was parked. Emmeline waited until she saw Ginny by the car looking around for Emmeline. The parking lot was busy and exposed. She checked around, then made a beeline for the car. "Ginny! Let me in!" she pleaded as she got to the car. She grabbed the handle and violently jerked on it repeatedly.
Ginny raised her eyebrows, and slowly pulled the keys from her purse.
"Look, there's Callum, I wonder if he talked to Nicholas yet?" Ginny casually pointed to Callum who was waving to a set of girls and heading in their direction. Emmeline wiped her sweaty palms on the blue and green tartan skirt of her private school uniform. She knew Nicholas would be there at any second to give Callum a ride home.
"Tell me you had pity on me and didn't tell him," asked Emmeline as he approached.
Callum wrapped his arm around her shoulders and leaned his head over until it touched hers. "Now, what good would that do?" A mischievous smile threatened to swallow his face. His cockiness was driving her crazy. He squeezed her in a little closer. She had to get away. She took her elbow, and dug it backward, hitting soft flesh.
"Oooph!" he groaned on contact. He dropped his arm and placing them protectively across his groin.
"I am so sorry! I thought, it was supposed to, gut, oh my god. I didn’t mean to.
"What’s he done now?" asked a voice from behind her. She froze. There was no mistaking who it was.
"Nicolas,” said Ginny. “You’re just in time for the fun.”
"Help! She's trying to kill me!" said Callum in an over-exaggerated way.
"Ah, he couldn't have been that bad, could he?" asked Nicholas.
Emmeline scanned his face for clues to tell her if he knew or not. Callum moaned, giving her no clear one way or the other.
"Do I need to have a talk with Callum and tell him to stop being such a jerk, or should I leave you to finish the job?"
"Nikki, this poor, not so sweet girl, would like very much for you to not know something."
Oh no! thought Emmeline.
"Now you have my interest, what, Miss Hope, would you not like to tell me." He stood up straight, grinning, and pulled back his shoulders. His shirt went taut against his defined chest.
Ginny mouthed the words, do it, at Emmeline, who was torn between running away and murdering Callum.
"I can't," Emmeline answered back.
Nicholas' eyes lowered and the corners of his mouth twitched. "Seriously, what is it?"
"I, I, was wondering if you could get cofftrees with meat sometimes." She paused, trying to regroup."Coffee, I drink coffee, with me, not meat. Do you drink cofftrees, coffee?"
Nicholas burst out laughing. It was Emmeline's worst nightmare. Everything she’d thought this morning, the way he looked at her, had all been in her head. None of it was real.
"Ginny, we're leaving!" Emmeline gave her the now look, and the beep-beep of the car door unlocking signaled Emmeline's escape.
"No, wait! Emmeline!" called Nicholas as she slammed the door shut with her on the inside. Ginny shrugged her shoulders and got in herself.
Nicholas knocked on the passenger side window. Emmeline ducked down, her shoulders nested near her ears, and stared straight ahead, willing the tears that wanted to fall to stay in place.
"I can't believe Callum did that to me," exclaimed Emmeline as Ginny pulled out of the parking lot.
"I'm not sure he saw that coming. That was epic! Go out for Cofftrees and Meat? What were you thinking?"
"I wasn't thinking, that's the problem. Any chance time machines are a real thing?" Emmeline groaned as the scene replayed in her mind. "On the bright side, I learned Nicholas is a jerk, and I can finally get him out of my system."
The rest of the car ride was quiet. Emmeline didn’t want to talk, and Ginny respected that. Besides, Ginny wasn’t entirely innocent. At home, Emmeline ran to her room, she slammed the door and flopped down on her bed, pulling her pillow over her face. The phone rang, but she ignored it. She was raw and daunted by the idea she’d have to go to school the next day. In a small town.
Everyone knew everyone's business. She couldn’t imagine walking through the school halls and having everyone repeat her humiliation. Her head felt heavy. She replayed the scene in her mind, each time it got worse. She vowed to never speak to him again, or any guy for that matter. It would be safer that way.
An hour later, she went downstairs for dinner. She picked at her food, staying firmly out of her parent’s, should they plant yellow or pink bulbs for the garden next year, conversation. When the doorbell rang they’d hadn’t settled on anything, and it was getting heated. The doorbell was a welcome escape, and she got up to answer it.
She could see Nicholas’s car parked in the driveway through the side window as she approached the door.
Couldn't he leave me alone to my misery?
She crept closer to the window, spying around the paisley curtain. He was holding long narrow white box tied with a pink ribbon. Her breath hitched in her throat. Boxes like that only had one thing in them. Her feet which a moment ago wanted to run directed her towards the door. She opened it, not knowing what to expect.
"Emmeline," he started, putting his hand on the door and opening it wider.
"I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to laugh. I feel terrible."
"I got these for you." He handed her the box, and untied the ribbon, opening it up to show her twelve perfect pink roses. "I hope you can forgive me. I was so surprised. If I was being honest, I've wanted to ask you out for forever, and Callum the Moron knew. I think he was really trying to help."
"Un-hun." She wished better words would make their way through her lips, and yet, at least these ones were safe.
"So?" he asked. "Is that a yes? Will you have coffee with me?"
Emmeline shook her head yes, her heart fluttering, grinning from ear to ear.
Coffee turned into dinner, and lunches outside under the oak trees at school. It was the beginning of something beautiful and those first few months passed in a blissful minute. Nicholas was always doing something sweet: taking her to movies, dinner with his family, coming up behind her at her locker and wrapping his arms around her waist, and whispering in her ear. She still said stupid stuff, and yet, he seemed to understand, and only teased her sometimes. One day, she vowed, she would learn to say the right thing when she was nervous.
A couple of months later, she said something even she wasn't prepared for...,
"Oh, Crap! I'm pregnant!"
****Flirt, the continuing story of Emmeline and Nicholas, can be found on Amazon*****
I want to give a hug thank you to Apryl for letting me be a part of her Blogfest!! It’s been awesome! If you want a chance to win one of five digital copy of Flirt, click on the link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b1cdf2821/?
-Lavinia Leigh xo
About the Author
Lavinia Leigh has been in love with stories her whole life. As a child, she used to read well past her bedtime with her foot on the light switch, primed to turn it off quickly at the slightest hint of being caught. As an adult, she has carried that love of stories with her until the day she started to write herself.
Outside of writing, she is a serial volunteer, and loves being involved in her community, from helping to build a giant waterslide down the middle of her town’s main street, to running a day camp, and working on a committee that honors volunteerism. She has also won a cooking show on Food Network.
Lavinia Leigh has a super supportive family who lets her go ahead with whatever hair-brained idea she comes up with and helps her along the way.