I wanted my exclusive content to not be a spoiler for those who haven’t read Tempest but also somewhat interesting material for those have read the book.
So, I’ve included an entry from the diary of Holly Flynn, my main character Jackson Meyer’s main love interest in the trilogy. Holly’s diary entries are not part of the actual series. It was more of a writing exercise gone mad for me and now the page count is well on it’s way to 400 pages. This entry falls the day after Jackson and Holly had their first kiss (which is a scene included in Tempest).
The Super Secret Diary Of Holly Marie Flynn
June 23rd, 2009
When I get to camp this morning, I have no idea what to expect from Jackson. I almost feel more nervous than last night. We kissed. One incredibly hot, amazing kiss last night. We established nothing. Decided nothing. So yeah, today’s weird.
It’s not until about an hour before lunch, that I actually catch Jackson’s eye, up close. He smiles a little and then Brook comes over to ask him where he went last night.
He shrugs and says, “Home . . . early.”
She doesn’t push for more info, but she does catch me watching them. I look away as fast as I can and then during lunch, I purposely sit by myself and burry my nose in a book so I don’t get bombarded with questions from other girls or look desperate to kiss a certain boy all over again. And I totally want to.
Eventually, Jackson plops down in front of me and eyes my container of grapes. I slide it in his direction and he picks up one and tosses it into his mouth. “Holly?”
I lower my book to look at him. “Yeah?”
“How do you feel about French Poetry?”
He smiles. “I’m going to this kinda lame, coffee house poetry reading tonight, more by force than actual choice, but I thought it might be your scene.”
I laugh and toss my book into the grass. “I love listening to literature I can’t understand.”
“You mean people actually understand poetry?” he jokes.
“So far you haven’t really convinced me. I need more info . . . like why are you even going?”
“It’s for my online summer course. I opted to write the paper rather than perform aloud, but I still have to show up for participation credit.”
“Okay,” I say. “I’ll go.”
He steals another grape and grins at me before getting up. “Cool.”
Cool? Not, damn I hope we share another totally mind-blowing kiss?
We both have a late day and don’t even clock out until six. Jackson is nothing but friendly when he asks me if I want to grab something to eat on the way. We eat veggie burgers while walking to this coffee shop and when we get there, it’s already full of college students. Jackson sits down on a couch near the front and the second I plop down next to him, he whispers, “Be prepared for the most lame experience of your life.”
That gets me to relax a bit and I lean back and watch this nerdy guy walk up to the microphone and start speaking in French. I glance at Jackson and say, “Are they going to translate or something?”
He shakes his head. “Trust me . . . this one’s better left alone.”
“What if I want to know?”
I nudge his shoulder and his arm goes around me. Then his mouth is right next to my ear, giving me goose bumps everywhere, “I managed to make every trace of human hope vanish from my mind. I pounced on every joy like a ferocious animal eager to strangle it.”
“That’s pleasant,” I mumble.
“I did warn you.”
He doesn’t move his mouth from my ear, but instead of translating poetry, he nods toward the girl in front of us, who’s texting someone and starts guessing what her message says. At least half the students have their phones out, messing around. So he continues making up humiliating messages, some quite vulgar, and whispering them into my ear while I sit there trying not to laugh out loud.
When the last student performs, it doesn’t seem like an hour has passed. I also feel more keyed up and excited than I should after listening to all those depressing, monotone poems.
Jackson strokes the back of my neck with his fingertips and I turn my face toward him. For a minute, it’s like we’re alone on the couch, in this crowded place. Then I hear someone say, “Jackson Meyer? Is he here tonight?”
Both of us turn our heads and see an older woman standing in front of the microphone holding a stack of papers. Jackson’s face turns slightly weary and he lifts a hand half way in the air.
The woman nods and smiles. “It’s nice to put a face to all these papers I’m grading. That’s the trouble with online courses. Very little personal contact.”
Jackson slides away from me and I continue to watch his face carefully.
“Anyway, Mr. Meyer wrote a beautiful and very original short story and I’ve made copies for everyone if you’d like to see. I couldn’t convince him to read for us today, but perhaps he’ll allow me permission?”
My stomach twists in knots on Jackson’s behalf. This is one of those situations where he’s been completely backed into a corner and saying no would only make it worse. The weary expression fades, replaced by a more impassive one and he nods.
The Professor lady pushes her glasses to the end of her nose and looks down at the paper. “What I love about Mr. Meyer’s piece is the beautiful, yet subtle emotion. Not to mention his use of authentic, conversational French slang proves his ability to move beyond the text, something we all should work to achieve.”
Everyone seems to be listening more intently than they have all evening, like they’re already predicting the serious tone. Except this one girl, leaning against the wall. She’s sort of exotic looking with light brown skin and silky dark hair. She snorts loudly and then turns it into a cough. The girl is closer to me, so Jackson doesn’t seem to notice her. When I look over that way, she’s watching him.
The professor begins reading Jackson’s paper and he sinks back into the couch cushion, holding on to his impassive expression. I don’t understand a word of what she’s reading, but I’m totally engrossed just listening to the sound. I’ve never wanted to understand French more than I do right now. The lady reading aloud even sheds a few tears, but it might be more for dramatic purposes. She totally seems the type to do that.
The second she’s done and copies start drifting amongst the students, Jackson pulls me up from the couch. “Ready to go?”
The girl in front of us hands me a copy and Jackson plunks it from my fingers and gives it back. I open my mouth to protest but the Professor woman is right behind Jackson, tapping his shoulder.
She practically pounces on him, speaking in English first and then switching to French. He’s blushing. Actually blushing. And now I’m dying to find out what he wrote. I whisper to him that I’m going to the restroom and creep my way around, looking for a stray copy. I can feel someone behind me, watching and decide to actually go in the restroom in case Jackson’s also watching me. I stand in front of the sink, putting on more lip gloss. The door opens and in walks the exotic girl who laughed earlier. She’s in front of the mirror, too, adding another layer of pink lipstick to her mouth.
“That was totally lame, wasn’t it?” she says.
I shrug and say, “It was tolerable.”
She doesn’t speak to me anymore and I leave the bathroom and snatch the first copy of Jackson’s poem or whatever it is, lying on an abandoned chair. I watch the back of his head as I fold it carefully and tuck it into a zippered pouch in my purse. From the corner of my eye, I can see the girl from the bathroom staring at me. She saw my super sneaky behavior. It’s too late to take it back. But what would she think? That I’m some kind of girl who keeps a creepy scrap book of all things Jackson? And why the hell was she watching me like a stalker?
What if she has a past with him? Or something along the lines of stuff I didn’t want to think about.
Jackson catches my eye and looks relieved to see me. He grabs my hand and pulls me out of the coffee house, saying a quick goodbye to his teacher.
“Um . . . well . . . that was . . .” he stammers and his cheeks turn a little pink again.
“Interesting?” I finish for him.
He shifts uncomfortably from one foot to the other. “I was going to say, not at all what I had planned.”
His humiliation is so real it hits me right in the gut. I decide to rescue him from discussing this further, for now anyway, and I plop down on a bench behind us and tug on his arm so he sits beside me. I don’t really have anything cool that I planned on saying to lighten the mood, so I turn myself so we’re facing each other and ignore the fact that he can’t seem to make eye contact right now.
I brush my fingertips over his cheeks and feel the warmth from his blushing. Several emotions flicker across his face, like he’s not sure if we’re about to have a heart-to-heart or something and I know he doesn’t want that. He’s suffered enough for one night. I lean forward and kiss him on the mouth. I only meant for it to be quick and distracting, but a whole day of thinking about last night, all the build-up of a second kiss, takes over.
His hands are on my face, his tongue dancing in my mouth and we’re so close, but it’s not close enough. Suddenly, I have this strong desire to remove every single barrier between us: secrets, fears . . . clothing.
Kissing Jackson versus kissing Toby, David, Brian . . . well there’s truly no comparison.
After I don’t know how long, the tension in his arms and his hands seems to melt away, likes he’s completely relaxed. His lips rest against mine. His breathing slows down and one of his hands drops from my cheek to my waist.
Just as I’m digging for something to say that doesn’t completely reflect what I’m really thinking, he kisses the side of my face and then my neck. My eyes close again and this intense heat envelopes me. He’s slowly, tenderly seducing me, but I’m not sure he even realizes it. And I love that Jackson, the guy who almost always knows exactly what he’s doing, has stepped out of his costume for a while and is walking through this moment just as blindly as I am.
The reasonable part of my brain takes over again and I mumble, “Jackson, maybe we should--”
“Take a tour of my apartment?” he says then immediately lifts his head and gives me a sheepish grin. “I totally didn’t mean to say that out loud.”
I can’t help smiling. “I was going to say . . . maybe we should go home . . . separately.”
His expression turns into this fake-serious look. “Oh . . . I completely agree.”
“Of course you do.” I force myself to stand and put some distance between us. “I have to be up again in eight hours so I really need to go.”
He stands in front of me and puts his arms around my waist. “Don’t you ever worry about taking the subway alone, late at night?”
“I’ll be fine . . . I could text you in a few minutes. Just so you know I’m still alive.”
“Deal.” His hands drift to my face and he kisses me again. “I need to ask you something but you have to promise you won’t laugh.”
I rest my hands on top of his and close my eyes. “I promise.”
“Can you loan me some money for cab fare? I left my wallet at camp earlier and all I had was a twenty in my pocket, which I spent on dinner.”
Of course I start laughing, but then I open my wallet and hand him a twenty dollar bill. “Don’t you have a car service you can call or something?”
He shrugs. “I don’t like my dad to know where I am every second of the day.”
I can totally understand that, but is he trying to hide the fact that he’s going out with me, an average girl? He did introduce me to his dad last night. Of course we ran into him on accident…
He takes the money from my hand and holds it between his fingers. “I’ll tell you what . . . let’s make a trade . . . you loan me money today and you can come to the Mets game with me tomorrow . . . sit in the sky box… all you can eat and drink. I might be able to snag a close up seat for batting practice.”
“Seriously?” Okay, that sounds too good to be true.
“Yep, but you’ll have to meet me at the Stadium because I have a doctor’s appointment tomorrow and I won’t be at work.”
“Deal . . . and I’m leaving now.”
The train ride home seems short in comparison to others because I texted Jackson the whole time.
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