There are sooooo many things I want to write and say. Unfortunately ADD rears it's ugly head and I get all thrown off schedule and well you know... That being said; another project slated for release in October is STARTING OVER.
Kailen's dreams came crashing down when she found out the truth about the man she was about to marry. All the weddiing plans, decorations and even the dress were locked away along with her heart. Then Devon walked into her life. Would she finally get her happily ever after?
I started working on this in October or November last year and it as undergone so many changes that I almost didn't recognize when I finished it. I laughed and cried while writing this. In a lot of ways it changed me.
Here is an exerpt from STARTING OVER
“I can’t believe you beat them all that fast! It has to be some kind of record!” Devon lay propped up on one elbow next to me his shirt still unbuttoned. His white undershirt clung to his muscled chest and made it difficult to look away from it.
“This should teach you a lesson. Don’t doubt Devon.” He winked at me and I giggled.
“Did you see Casey’s face? She was furious, I don’t think she likes you much.” He shrugged and reached for my hand.
“I’m not concerned with someone that shallow. I’ve found a wonderful friend and that’s all that matters.” He squeezed my hand and my heart sank. Of course I was in the friend zone. This beautiful man wasn’t in my league by any stretch of the imagination. I watched as he rolled onto his back and stared up at the sky, I was mesmerized by him. It was so unfair, I shook my head trying to clear out the hopes and dreams that would invariably enter and try to set up a home in my imagination.
“KAILEN!” Seriously? Giving up was not in Casey’s nature. “Come and do the clown game with me!” She was bouncing around again.
“Yeah, I don’t think so, Casey. I’m not exactly what you would call competitive. I think I’ll just hang out and watch.”
“Well I suppose you should. After all I wouldn’t want to embarrass you in front of Devon here.” She flipped her hair at me and giggled at Devon. UGH! I seriously disliked her.
“Why don’t you try your hand at it, Kailen? I’m sure that you can give Carly a good run for her money.”
“My name is Casey! I’m sure the name can’t be that hard to remember.” She hissed at him. He was under her skin, no doubt about it.
“Yeah, sure, whatever. Come on, Kailen, let’s go.” He was on his feet before I could move.
“Okay, let’s go.” I grinned at the twinkle in his eye. I don’t know that I’d ever be able to deny this man anything. We found the clown game at the midway and found two seats across from each other.
“Do you want to go best two out of three?” Casey asked dubiously.
“Sure, that sounds good.” I answered wondering what her angle was. She smiled sweetly at me and the strange feeling grew stronger. The lights on the indicator went from red to yellow and finally green. The bell rang signaling the start of the game. The nozzle at my station was aimed right at the clown’s mouth and I sprayed water in trying to fill my balloon first. Then a cold blast of water hit me square in the face and I fell backward off my seat.
“Kailen, are you okay?” In a flash Devon kneeling next to me. “Are you hurt?” I shook my head and realized in horror that my white dress was drenched and completely transparent.
“I’ve gotta get out of here, I’m so sorry, Devon.” I scrambled to my feet and tried, with little success, to cover myself.
“Kailen, wait.” Devon called after me. I could hear Casey cackling in the distance. I was so mortified that tears filled my eyes, I should have known better. I should never have trusted her. I felt a strong hand on my arm and in an instant I was engulfed in a strong embrace.
“Please just let me go.” I cried. The dam broke and I slumped against his chest as the tears flowed freely now.
“Kailen, here, take this. I looked at him and saw that he had removed his shirt. “Put it on over your dress. I refuse to let that nitwit spoil our day.” I took the shirt, knowing it would never fit me. Still, maybe I could put it on backward.
“Thanks, I’m so sorry.” I sniffled, trying to hold back the tears.
“Don’t be, there is no reason for you to apologize, this wasn’t your fault.” His voice was so kind that I started crying all over again.
I fumbled with the shirt and couldn’t find the proper way to put it on. “I’m such a klutz.” I mumbled.
“Here let me help you with that.” He took the shirt back and helped me slip it on. “Here you go.” He buttoned it with no problem. I was amazed that it fit.
“I must look horrible.” I thought of my now ruined makeup. Between the shower courtesy of Casey and my own waterworks, the painstaking beauty routine was ruined.
“I wouldn’t say that.” He pulled a handkerchief from his pocket and dabbed at my eyes. I burst into peals of laughter.
“You are not a convincing liar.” I giggled.
“Well I suppose you should be glad for that, because now you know I won’t lie to you. Come on and let’s go eat, I’ve worked up an appetite.” We walked back to the basket I’d prepared.
“Oh no!” I cried as I started unpacking the feast.
“I forgot the drinks.” I wailed.
His boisterous laugh filled the air. “Never fear, Kailen. I shall acquire some beverages and save the day!” He drew an imaginary sword from its sheath and set off to conquer the beverage stand.
I spread out the blanket and inhaled the scent of his cologne. He was enough to make me believe in fairy tales again.
“Here we go, fair maiden, the nectar of the gods.” He stood, looking regal, holding two Styrofoam cups. “Okay, so its fruit punch, but it’s the best I could do on short notice.” He handed me one of the cups and sat next to me.
“I suppose it will have to do.” Right as he settled in I felt a burning sensation on my leg. I looked and I was covered in ants. I screamed and jumped up, spilling my fruit punch all over the front of his shirt. I couldn’t blame Casey for this mishap, could I?
With a little help from Devon, I frantically danced around to get all the ants off and quickly made my way to the first aid tent. I sighed as Dr. Watkins tended to all the ant bites. The day was doomed from the get go. I should have known better than to think that anything would go my way.
“There you go, Kay. If you have any problems or if the bites get worse come into the office and I’ll take a look at them for you.” Old Dr. Watkins had been taking care of the residents of Cairnvale since before I was born.
“Thanks, Doc. I’m sure I’ll be fine.” I tried to smooth out my skirt, but gave up once I saw the wrinkles and dirt ground into the once crisp white fabric. This was about par for the course. I thought about sneaking off and just going home without letting Devon see me again, but I had to collect the hamper so I went back to the spot under the tree.
“Thanks for spending the evening with me and I’m really sorry about Casey, taking your shirt, the ants and ruining your other shirt.” I blushed as I recalled spilling punch on his shirt. “I’m so sorry that the evening was ruined.”
“The only thing I’m sorry about is that you got attacked by those ants; the rest of the day was fine. I know you wouldn’t agree after getting hosed down by Casey, but all in all I’d have to say that I enjoyed myself.” He playfully punched my arm and I felt a little better.
“I think I’ll just head on back to the diner now, if you don’t mind. I’m not really in the mood for any more fun, I don’t think I could take any more really.” I chuckled in spite of myself.
“Why don’t you let me walk you back? I think I’ll head out too.” He collected the already- packed basket and walked along side me. If only this were more than just wishful thinking wrapped in a fairy tale.
We walked in silence and I didn’t dare turn to look at him. I was terrified that there would be a disapproving look on his face. I fought the urge to run away. As we approached the diner, I finally spoke. “I really wish things had gone better.” My voice trembled with fear. I’d already been put in the friend zone, now I was on the verge of the ex-friend zone.
“Don’t worry about it, kid. Things happen and life goes on for the most part. Sure I’ll never get the fruit punch stain out of this tee but it could be worse. I’m just hoping your pretty dress isn’t ruined. Now, you get some rest and I’ll see you Monday, bright and early at the diner.” He smiled and handed me the basket.
“Thanks again, for everything.” I smiled weakly.
“It was my pleasure.” He leaned forward and hugged me. I could have stayed in his arms forever. When he released me he paused for a moment, turned and walked to his motorcycle. I made my way to my car and wearily got in. I was way too exhausted for it to have only been a few hours; then again, Casey had made sure that those few hours were eventful. Oooo that girl! One day someone was gonna put her in her place and I’d be standing right there to see it happen. But until then I would have to just grin and bear it, there was nothing more to be done.
The drive home couldn’t end soon enough, I was ready for bed. The sun had set and my dress was still damp. As the wind blew a chill ran through me; I was glad for the extra protection of Devon’s shirt. Even if I never went out on a date with him, I’d remember this evening for the rest of my life. Today was the day that I was starting over.
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