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Here's a peek at the first chapter of Jocelyn's Choice...
I sat on the floor in the tiny bathroom and debated whether I should reach up to the counter and check the stick I had just peed on. It had been over five minutes, more than enough time to get the results I was dreading. I’d thrown up twice since starting the test, but I was getting used to that. I had been throwing up for over two weeks now. At first, I thought it was just the stress I felt over him leaving. It wasn’t until after he went back to Yale that I realized I was more than three weeks late.
Three weeks and two days, to be exact. I didn’t have to look at that test to know what it was going to tell me, because I already knew. My stomach did another flip just thinking about it. The July heat wasn’t helping, either. I hovered over the toilet, pulled my long hair out of the way, and emptied whatever was left in my system, which wasn’t much. I stood up and rinsed out my mouth, my gaze veering over toward the pregnancy test. My hands trembled as I slowly picked it up. I forced myself to look. I needed the confirmation.
Two pink lines . . . no shock there. I even knew exactly when it happened. The day of the week, and where we were. But, how did I let this happen? I knew the answer to that too.
Four Months Earlier . . . .
Evan Jordan and I had become pretty good friends during our senior year of high school. He was by far the cutest, most unattainable boy at J.C. Clarke High, and I was exceptionally shy, awkward, clumsy, and smart enough to know he was off-limits. He’d dated several girls at our school over the years, including a brief stint with the class snob, Amanda. He finally settled into an on-again, off-again relationship with Cali, the daughter of his dad's best friend, who went to a private, all-girls school a few towns over. Today, I think they were in the on-again phase.
Evan and I were lab partners for the year. At first, I was scared to death to open my mouth, but once I got to know him, I realized he wasn’t just the typical, good-looking rich kid I’d always perceived him to be. He was smart, funny, caring, and a really good friend. After a few days, we hit it off, and I was glad to have him in my life.
Before becoming Evan’s lab partner, I'd spent most of my time alone, never really fitting in. I wasn’t very athletic, but I wasn’t a girly girl either. I was smart, but not brilliant. I came from modest means. We lived about an hour from Denver, Colorado, in a small town, in a little two-bedroom house I shared with my father, Max, the town’s Police Chief. I often referred to him as Max behind his back, a habit I picked up as a child. He worked long hours, hung out with his friends, and liked to watch an unhealthy amount of sports. Except for my part-time job at the local coffee shop, I really didn't get out much.
I used to spend most nights reading or surfing the net, but since we'd become friends, Evan had me over several nights a week. I was growing rather attached to his parents, too. He lived in a huge house with what appeared to be the perfect family. His father, Jack, was a prominent surgeon at a Denver hospital. Jack loved his family very much and catered to their every whim. They all drove really expensive cars and wore only the best designer clothes. He was married to the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen. Sarah Jordan was a fantastic wife and mother. She doted on Evan, his sister, Brenna, and their older brother, Alex.
At twenty-one, Brenna, a goddess in her own right, still lived at home. Evan often said she was still trying to find herself, but she seemed pretty content living off her daddy’s money. She’d tried college, beauty school, and now she was attending a well-known fashion academy in the city with her BFF, Julia Miller. Brenna had dated Julia’s brother, Ryan, since high school and they seemed pretty exclusive. I didn’t know Brenna well, since she spent most of her days in the city and many of her evenings out with either Ryan or Julia.
The only Jordan I’d yet to meet was Alex, but by the way everyone else around here spoke of him, he seemed pretty special. He was a straight-A student and always had been. He'd finished his undergraduate degree in three years and at the age of twenty-three had already earned his Master's in psychology. He was hanging out back East until he made a decision on what he should do next. According to Evan, Alex was struggling to decide if he should enroll in medical school to become a psychiatrist. He was Jack’s pride and joy. Apparently, he was also a pretty good baseball player and had made a name for himself at J.C. Clarke. My father had mentioned Alex's athletic abilities when I told him I was hanging out at the Jordan house. Max said how thrilled he was that I had made such impressive friends.
I’d never seen Alex in person, but all the pictures in the house suggested he was just as beautiful as the rest of the family. He and Brenna possessed similar features and favored Jack with their blond hair and pale skin. Evan looked more like their mother, but I could definitely see Jack in him too. I often found myself daydreaming about Alex when I was alone. How silly was that? I had become obsessed with photographs and stories of a man I’d never met.
It was clear by the way Evan talked about his brother that he looked up to him. I noticed he wasn’t the only one who admired Alex. Julia seemed pretty taken by him too. I hadn’t hung with her much, but the few times we did, he was all she talked about. Evan said they’d gone out a few times, but Alex wasn’t interested in her. It was more to please Brenna and Ryan when they went out and felt like having company. Julia was still holding out hope, but who could blame her? He was hot.
One particular day, Evan and I were at his house, and we’d been working on our lab project all afternoon, or at least I had. Evan had been texting Cali for the better part of an hour.
"Jocelyn, I have to call her. Her texts are getting too involved. I won’t be long."
"Yeah, right." I rolled my eyes.
"I won’t." He flashed me his signature grin, the smile that had most girls at our school lifting their skirts and spreading their legs for him. "I just gotta sort out the details for this weekend." They were planning an overnight trip and had to get a handle on what story they’d be telling their parents. "We'll finish, don't worry. It's only March; we still have a few more weeks anyway.
"Take your time. I’ll do my econ homework while I wait."
"Thanks, klutz." He kissed the top of my head. Klutz was his special name for me, and if anyone ever saw me in gym class, they’d know why. "Help yourself to something to drink. My mother stocked the fridge with that iced tea you like."
"Okay." I got up and walked into the immaculate kitchen. I opened the fridge and smiled, shaking my head at Sarah’s thoughtfulness. My own father probably had no idea I drank iced tea. It wasn’t Max's fault; he just wasn’t very observant when it came to me. My mother had walked out when I was two, and Max hadn’t been prepared to raise me alone. He did the best he could, but lots of things slipped through the cracks.
I grabbed the bottle and headed for the table but was startled when I saw him, standing in the doorway with a huge grin on his face.
Oh. My. God. Those pictures didn’t begin to do him justice. He was tall, muscular, and had the most brilliant green eyes I’d ever seen. His blond hair fell perfectly around his face, and for a second, I thought about running my fingers through it.
"Oh!" I screeched. "You scared me."
"Why?" He casually leaned against the doorframe, arms folded across his impressive chest. "Am I scary?"
"N-no." My cheeks started to burn. "I just didn’t expect anyone else to be here. Evan didn’t tell me you were coming home. You’re supposed to be in Connecticut."
"You seem to have me at a disadvantage," he said, moving all the way into the kitchen and stopping just a few feet away from me.
"I do?" I didn’t know how I was managing to speak at that point.
"You know who I am." He smiled, and his teeth were so freaking white he should have been a toothpaste model.
"Your pictures are all over the house, and the rest of the family talks about you all the time."
"Really? All good, I hope."
"Well, brown eyes, now you’re definitely at an advantage, since you know who I am, and you claim to know all about me, and I don’t know your name."
"Oh." I smiled shakily. "I’m Jocelyn Andrews."
He extended his hand, which I awkwardly shook. It was soft and warm, and I had an incredible urge to touch more of him. "Nice to meet you, Jocelyn Andrews. I’m Alex Jordan, but you already knew that."
I nodded. I was too mesmerized to do anything else. I didn’t know what had come over me. I had never reacted this way to any guy, but then again, not many guys had paid much attention to me.
"So, where’s Evan?"
"On the phone with Cali."
"And you’re okay with that?"
"Why wouldn’t I be?" I felt like I was missing something.
"My brother leaves a beautiful woman in the kitchen while he talks on the phone to his ex-girlfriend?"
A beautiful woman? God, kill me now. He was flirting. "They’re back together again," I managed to choke out.
"Huh, I must have missed that. So, you’re not dating my brother?"
Before I could answer, Evan barreled into the kitchen and jumped on Alex’s back. Alex quickly flipped him over and pinned him to the kitchen floor, ruffling the hair that Evan always made sure had just the perfect amount of mess to it.
Evan pushed him off and quickly fixed his hair. He had an unhealthy fetish about his hair and didn't like anyone to touch it. They sprang up and gave each other a rough hug. Alex squeezed Evan’s shoulder before letting go. I got the impression he'd really missed his brother.
"What are you doing home?" Evan asked. "Yale kick you out?"
"You wish." Alex laughed as he picked an apple out of the fruit bowl and bit into it. I noticed he had the most amazing lips to go along with those white teeth. "I got that internship, the one Dad made me apply for."
"That’s great!" Evan smiled, and I figured this internship was a good thing.
"Yeah," he said, "but it doesn’t start until July, so I have to take an on-line course, and Dad arranged for me to shadow the head psychiatrist at the hospital. You’re stuck with me for four months."
"Cool!" Evan smiled, and I could tell he was really excited to have his brother home; I knew I was.
"Yeah, but you seem a little busy for me." Alex winked at me, and my heart skipped a beat. "Cali?"
"How did you know that?" Evan asked.
"My good friend, Jocelyn, told me." He took another bite of apple. I’d never been so captivated by someone eating a piece of fruit, but then again, I’d never seen Alex in person.
"Your good friend, Jocelyn?" Evan glanced at me, then at Alex. "How long have you been home?"
"Not long enough to ask Jocelyn out." Alex smiled at me.
Is he kidding? He wants to ask me out?
"She won’t go out with you," Evan answered for me.
"Why not?" Alex asked.
"You’re too old for her," he said.
"I’m twenty-three." Alex finished the apple.
That's only five years, I thought.
"You’ll be twenty-four in November," he said. "And Jocelyn knows what kind of player you are. She’s too smart for your kind."
I wanted to hit Evan, or at least tell him to shut up, but Alex did it for me. He punched Evan's arm and said, "Let Jocelyn tell me herself."
They both stared at me. Two perfectly sexy men, staring at me. Will that ever happen again?
"What?" Stupid question, but all I could manage at the time.
"Tell Alex you’re not interested in him," Evan advised.
"Jocelyn." Alex ignored his brother. "Would you like to go and get something to eat with me?"
"Um, well, Evan and I are kinda in the middle of a project." I sounded like a complete idiot, but I had never been asked out on a date before.
"Not now." He laughed and looked to Evan. "Is she always this cute?"
"Adorable." Evan rolled his eyes. I was picking up a strange vibe from him, like he didn’t want me to accept Alex’s invitation.
"My mother wants me all to herself tonight, but how about tomorrow night? Are you free?"
"Um, yeah," I said. "I’m always free."
Kill me now!
"Okay." Alex smiled. "I’ll keep that in mind."
"I just meant I’m not seeing anyone." I tried to recover. Evan snickered, and I shot him a "shut the hell up" look.
"That’s good news," he said, as he headed up the back staircase. "I’ll get your number from Evan and call you later."
"Sure." I smiled.
"It was nice meeting you, Jocelyn Andrews," he said, as he disappeared from sight.
I hope you'll enjoy reading Jocelyn's Choice as much as I loved writing it. It's a Young Adult Romance that deals with all the firsts that come with new love. I had such a fun time writing this because in capturing the innocence I needed for Jocelyn, I felt like I was reliving all those high school moments; the first kiss, the first fight, the first time… It was a sweet journey, but it isn't all roses and tulips. Jocelyn quickly learns there are consequences to her actions and young love can sometimes be complicated. But, I always deliver the HEA!
Leave me a comment, ask me a question or just say hello. I love making new friends!
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