Playing with Michael comes out on Friday! YAY! To celebrate I’ve written a bonus scene.
Playing with Michael is the first story in a series of shorts. It’s a friends to lovers story. The rest of the series will focus on different couples that are introduced in this first book. They’re all friends from high school, so this bonus scene takes place in their high school days. It’s unedited, and pretty raw.
Michael stood at the edge of the diving board. He glanced down at the clear water contemplating what sort of entrance he wanted to make. A graceful dive, or an explosive cannonball?
Scott’s parent’s backyard was large, with a wide patio and a kidney shaped salt-water pool complete with a waterfall. It was the perfect place for an afternoon of sun and swimming and a great way to celebrate the end of grade ten. Scott came out of the house with a bowl of potato chips. He popped one in his mouth before setting the dish on the table. Behind him was Heath.
The second Michael saw Heath he decided on a dive and with as little splashing as he manage, he entered the water. If he’d waited much longer he didn’t doubt that Heath would have rushed over to push him in the pool.
When he surfaced, he paddled over to the edge and braced his arms on the concrete slabs. Trying not to be too hopeful he asked, “Are Candice and Nikki coming?”
He’d heard they were coming. Their presence was the main reason why he’d agreed to come. He wanted to see Nikki again. More specifically he wanted to see Nikki in her sexy little black bikini. It showed off her long legs, and shapely ass, and after she’d been in the water her nipples poked out against the fabric.
Michael was glad he was well hidden against the side of the pool because suddenly he had a boner.
“They should be here any minute,” Scott replied.
“What did you think of Ms. Witler’s exam?” Heath was talking about the math exam they’d all taken two days ago. Grade ten academic math. She was a hard teacher and it had been a rough exam.
“Oh, it was easy,” Riley answered as she walked out the door carrying a soda. “Should have been easy for you too.” She nudged Heath. “Since you copied off me.”
Heath frowned. “I did not.”
“Sure you did.” She grinned up at him, her smile flirtatious. “But I didn’t mind. If you ask nicely, I’ll share anything with you.”
Grumbling Heath shifted away from her, pulled off his shirt and dove into the pool. Michael watched from the side of the pool as Riley bit her lip and turned away. She took a sip from her Coke before taking a seat on the opposite side of the table.
Though she’d never said, Michael was sure Heath’s pissy attitude bothered her. It was clear she was crushing on him, but Michael knew Heath considered her “off-limits” because she was Scott’s younger sister.
Heath stayed submerged for so long that Michael turned to check on him. He probably needed to cool down after Riley’s flirty remark. When he finally popped up he swam to the edge, dragged himself out and proceeded toward the diving board.
For fifteen minutes they took turns jumping into the pool, alternating between trying to see who could make the biggest splash, or who could make the quietest dive. Riley stretched out on a lawn chair, soaking in the sun.
Michael had just stepped onto the board when the patio door opened. Candice walked out first, her bare feet slapping against the stone and her sing-song voice carrying across the lawn. “We’re finally here!”
Nikki stepped out next. Reflective sunglasses hid her eyes, and her long hair had been pulled into a high pony tail. Her back and shoulders were bare, except for the little straps that held up her swim suit. She took his breath away.
“Sorry were late,” she called as she waved to them.
“This one took forever.” Candice pointed over her shoulder at Nikki. “You’ll never believe it! She broke up with Daniel!”
Michael fell off the diving board into the water.
When he came sputtering to the surface the guys were laughing at him.
He couldn’t believe it. She was single. In all the time he’d known her she’d never been single. Now was his chance. But how long should he wait?
Candice and Nikki settled in. Greeting Riley, they sat around the patio table and grabbed a few chips.
Heath swam over to him. Quietly, so no one could hear he whispered, “Don’t wait too long.”
Michael frowned. “What?”
“With Nikki. Don’t wait too long. I think Liam likes her.”
Liam was another student at their school. Star athlete, attractive, smart, on a good path. He’d be quite the competition. Michael wiped water away from his face. His gaze switched from Heath to Nikki. He must not have hidden his interest as well as he’d thought.
Nikki sat in a lawn chair, one leg crossed over the other, she swung her foot to and fro as she sucked the nacho flavoring off her fingers. Michael swallowed. To be that finger.
He glanced back at Heath, and caught him checking out Riley. The guy had it bad.
Michael wondered if that’s how he looked when he was staring at Nikki. He ducked beneath the water to give himself time to think. Heath obviously lusted after Scott’s sister, but was reluctant to make a move. He didn’t want to risk his friendship with Scott.
Did Michael want to risk his friendship with Nikki by asking her out? Did he really want to risk upsetting the balance in their little group? After being homeschooled through elementary school it had taken him awhile to crack into a good group of friends. Not that he had trouble making friends, but he was selective when it came to the type of people he wanted to spend time with. Would dating Nikki ruin all that?
Was she worth the risk?
Michael decided to wait until the summer was over. He spent as much time as he could with Nikki. Talking on the phone, chatting online, going to the movies. They were practically dating, but he hadn’t yet made a move. When she walked into English class on the first day of school holding hands with Liam, it felt as though someone had punched him in the gut.
Too long. He’d waited too long.
He hadn’t even gotten to kiss her.