In honor of my latest book release, September Rain out 5/15, I’m posting a snippet from the manuscript. I was going to write this big introduction but then realized this scene is self explanatory
. . . Jake was anxious for me to meet his mom. He’d planned to introduce me several times, but I was always too nervous. I made up excuses the first couple times he arranged for us to meet. He didn’t like my cancelling, but had been letting me get away with it. By the fourth invitation, his patience was wearing thin. Seeing this, I agreed to go over one Sunday afternoon.
“She’s going to love you.” He assured me, tapping his fingers on the steering wheel to the beat of the radio. “Just relax.” His gaze drifted from the road to the rearview mirror.
Avery was in the back of the van, watching the store fronts blow by. I’d invited her at the last minute because knowing she was there would help me feel confident enough to relax. And Jake didn’t say anything when she got into the car, so I assumed it was okay.
“Where’s your mom work?” Avery asked.
“Post Office.” Jake turned to me and smiled.
“Why do you want me to meet her so bad?” I asked.
He looked into the rearview mirror again. “Because I like you.”
Just then, I looked into the back. Avery was staring at him, wearing a small smile that faded when her eyes met mine.
My fingers clutched at a set of knots forming in my stomach. When I looked back to Jake he glanced from the rearview mirror, to the road, and then back at me. I straightened in my seat.
When we stopped at a red light, Jakes eyes went right into the rearview mirror, again. He was looking at Avery, even when she wasn’t talking. I understood why—I mean she was so much prettier than me—but it made my chest quiver, and not in a good way.
I told myself it was nothing, but couldn’t help asking, “Why do you keep looking behind you, in the mirror?” My tone was low, hoping Avery couldn’t hear.
Jakes face didn’t change, but his gaze shifted to the road ahead. “I’m being a responsible driver.”
“It doesn’t mean anything, Angel.” Avery whispered, reaching up to pat my shoulder. I swear she had the ears of a jungle cat.
I looked out the window behind us. There were a few cars. The light changed and we started moving. I watched Jake as he checked his mirrors and then switched lanes, but his gaze kept going back to that rearview mirror.
“What are you looking at?” I asked more forcefully.
Jake didn’t take his eyes off the road, but they shrank. “Traffic.”
“Who are you looking at?”
“Angel.” My name was a warning. “Don’t start this again.”
“Tell me. Who are you trying to scope out back there?”
Jake shook his head and scoffed as he guided the van to the roadside. He parked and turned to face me, pinning me under his undivided irritation. “Are you trying to start a fight? Because I thought we were going to having a nice time. I thought that I was taking you to finally meet my mother. If picking a fight is your way of trying to get out of it again, you let me know. The way I’m feeling right now, I will fucking fight.” His lips thinned and his voice was stern.
The sliding door of the van slammed. I looked into the back and Avery was gone. I turned to look out my door and found her face in my open window.
“I’m not fighting with anyone.” She snapped, before taking off down the sidewalk.
I jumped out after her. She stopped when she heard my door close and turned around, stalking back to me.
“Angel, dammit, would you get back in the car?” Jakes’ voice sailed from inside the van.
I ignored him. “Ave—”
“Go, Angel.” She told me. “I’m only a few blocks from my mom’s store. She’ll give me ride home.”
“Angel!” Jake called, sounding more upset.
I was torn. “I’m sorry,” I told her.
“Angel, you’re really pissing him off right now. Over nothing. Just get in the van and go meet his family. It’s important to him.” She turned and started down the block again.
A second later, Jake was behind me. “Well? Are we fighting or what?”
I turned to face him, but kept my eyes on the ground. “Let’s go.”
He opened the vans passenger door for me and I hopped inside.
Jake’s temper vanished as we drove down the road. My mood improved considerably as I watched him repeatedly checking the rearview mirror.
Hope you enjoyed it!