Home > The Field Party #2 - Under the Lights(8)

The Field Party #2 - Under the Lights(8)
Author: Abbi Glines

I hadn’t even made it halfway to the door when it opened, and Willa stepped out onto the small back porch. She didn’t look happy to see me. Not that I expected her to be thrilled, but she had to be in need of a friend after today. She was a girl after all. Didn’t they need friends to talk to? Sure she hadn’t been girly back in the day, but she was all girly-looking now.

“I’m not doing your book report, nor am I going to steal cookies out of the kitchen for you,” she said as she propped her hip against the door frame and crossed her arms over her chest. Thank God she was wearing a bra. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to control my reaction to her if she’d been that comfortable.

“Damn,” I replied to her, unable not to grin. “And I was sure I’d get those chocolate chip cookies while you did all my homework. What happened to you, Willa? You’ve changed.” I was teasing, but then I wasn’t. I did want to know what had caused the lightness in her eyes to darken and fade.

She shrugged. “I realized I was being used for my nonna’s cookies and my brain, so I moved on.”

Having her back was odd. I used to lie in bed at night and imagine what it would be like if she came back. But those days were long gone. It had taken me months to get over the ache of her leaving. Brady had even teased me about being lovesick. It had made me mad at him for not missing her like I did when he had been the one she wanted. He had her love and didn’t even realize it.

“There’s a family meal going on up at the big house. I peeled potatoes, chopped up broccoli, and rolled up fancy cheese in fancy meat for over three hours this afternoon. You should be up there eating it. What will your mother think?” She was mocking my mother with her proper tone.

“She’ll bitch and moan and apologize to my old-as-fuck grandmother; then she won’t speak to me for a week. It’ll be heaven and worth it all.”

A smile broke across her face, and I swear my heart skipped. Damn.

“Nothing has changed in the Lawton house, I see.”

I shook my head. “Nope. Not a thing. Still one big happy family. Except Rhett’s off at college now and I’m left to suffer through hell alone.”

At the mention of happy family her smile faded and her shoulders lost some of their bravado. She was hurting. I knew that already. I just wish I knew why.

“Gotta love those fairy-tale lives. Must be nice.” I knew she wasn’t accusing me of having one. She knew how badly my family sucked. Her more than anyone.

“Sure you don’t want to share some of Nonna’s cookies with me? I’m missing dinner with that lovely family to see you. At least you could feed me.”

She shoved off from the door frame and nodded her head toward the kitchen inside. “I guess. Come on, and I’ll feed you a healthy meal of peanut butter cookies and whole milk like only my nonna can supply.”

It had been a while since I’d had her nonna’s cookies. My mother didn’t allow anything as terrible as sweets in the house, and I was too old to come begging Ms. Ames for a treat. Not to mention, the idea of coming to this house and not seeing Willa had been too hard for so long it had become a habit to stay away from here. Even after time healed my broken eleven-year-old heart.

Following her into the house, I watched her ass twitch. It was a really nice ass. Hard not to look at, and I wasn’t going to not look while I had the chance.

“I think she has lemon pound cake, too. Want to add that to your healthy dinner of cookies and milk?”

“Hell yeah. I’m a growing boy.”

She let out a soft laugh and shook her head. “I’d offer you a sandwich, but I doubt you’ll have room for it with all the baked goods.”

“Cookies and cake are just fine. So how did you like school today? Suck here as bad as your last school?”

I doubted anyone loved school. I was going to get her talking about her past and why she was back, but I needed to trick her into it.

“Looks like you love school just fine.” She sounded snide as she pulled a frozen glass mug out of the freezer, then filled it with milk. I’d forgotten that Ms. Ames froze her milk glasses. That always made the milk taste better somehow.

“Are you being a smart-ass again?” I asked, torn between watching the icy cold milk with anticipation and the way her body looked in that outfit.

“Stating a fact isn’t being a smart-ass,” she replied as she turned to bring my milk and cookies over to me. I liked the way her voice had that raspy tone in it. Her drawl wasn’t as thick as it had once been, but it was there.




I Just Want Out of Here



Inviting Gunner in was probably stupid. His mother would hate it if she found out. Nonna would be furious. And Gunner wasn’t exactly friend material anymore. He was everything a wealthy, spoiled, good-looking guy turned out to be.

But I’d let him in. Because I was lonely maybe. Because I needed company from someone who didn’t look at me with disappointment. Because for now I didn’t want to think about what I’d done wrong, or the correctional hell I’d lived through. Or the fact my mother hated me.

So here I was with Gunner Lawton in my nonna’s kitchen, eating cookies and pound cake and drinking milk, when I knew he should be at his family dinner with the all-important Grandmother Lawton. The boy I used to know, however, wasn’t one to upset his mother. He tried to make his dad happy. I poured myself a glass of milk too and joined him at the table.

“When did you decide to become a rebel and piss off the folks? Is this a new thing, or have you been at it awhile now?” I asked, truly curious.

Gunner looked at me over the frosty glass he was taking a drink out of. I could see anger flash there, then a coldness. He was different all right. I wasn’t the only one who had changed. I guess we all did that with age and time.

“Stopped giving a shit what they wanted a few years back” was the only response I got.

“No more cotillion events then?” I asked, not even trying to hide my smirk. He had hated the cotillion his mother made him attend back when we were younger. He’d even begged her to let him take me once so he wouldn’t have to dance with one of those country club girls in their long white dresses and fancy hats.

“Fuck no. God those were terrible,” he said with a grin tugging at his lips. He had really good lips.

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