Exclusive Teaser Excerpt: THE FIFTEENTH MINUTE (Ivy Years #5)
Good news! This weekend I finished the first draft of the next Ivy Years novel. And my friends in The Locker Room on Facebook helped me choose a new "win song" for the Harkness men's Hockey team. So I promised to post a brand new teaser excerpt! So, without further ado, I give you DJ and Lianne.
FROM CHAPTER ONE
Trevi refills my beer and then pours one for his evil girlfriend. He’s missed the whole exchange because he’s busy arguing with another hockey player about the Winnipeg Jets.
I’m just about to ask, aren’t the Jets in New York? But then I remember that those Jets are a football team, and save myself the embarrassment. My sports ignorance knows no bounds. I’m bored by their conversation, but I wish I weren’t. It’s nobody’s fault that I grew up among people who bet on the outcome of the Tony Awards instead of the Stanley Cup.
I want to fit in, it’s just that I don’t speak the language.
Even as I’m rounding out this depressing thought, another male body appears in the doorway.
I don’t even have to turn my head to be sure that it’s DJ. I’ve been waiting so long to see him again that I just know. He’s there in the periphery, hands stuck in his jacket pockets, leaning against the door frame talking to one of the players. The muscular set of his shoulders is just how I remember him.
All at once, my pulse quickens and I feel a little dizzy. As if I’d walked out onto the edge of a diving board, and felt it wobble beneath my feet. What on earth will I find to say to him?
The sad truth is that I only sound clever when I’m reading from a script.
For several minutes I sit still, as if enthralled by the complexities of the Jets-who-don’t-play-football. DJ stays where he is, and so do I. There aren’t any seats open near me, though. So if I want to talk to him, I’m going to have to make my own luck.
Rising, I dig a couple of quarters out of my pocket. I don’t head over to DJ, because I’m not that brave. Instead I make a beeline for the jukebox in the corner. I put in my quarters and then I check out the selection. The last time someone updated this puppy looks to be during the 1990s. I hadn’t noticed that the first night I met DJ. Probably because I was drunk. But now it’s a problem, because I need to play something that reflects the girl I wish I was—easygoing, casual, a little bit hip.
Hard to do that when I’m staring down at choices like Madonna’s Vogue (a perfectly good song, but not exactly cutting edge,) or Achy Breaky Heart.
Then my heart kicks into a higher gear, because I feel him approaching. I’m desperate to turn and look, but I make myself pick a song instead. I’m proud to say that I don’t spare him a glance until I’ve tapped in the code for the track of my choice.
Only then do I stand tall and turn to him. And, whoa—my memory hasn’t even done him justice. I’d remembered the thick brown hair and the dimple that’s darkened by his five o’clock shadow. But his eyelashes are darker and more devastating than I remember, and was his mouth always so full and sinful-looking?
And now I’m staring, damn it!
“Hey there,” he says, one elbow on the scarred wooden paneling. “Remember me?”
“DJ, right?” It comes out as a croak. Because I’m cool like that.
God help me—his smile is slow and sexy. “That’s right. I’m surprised you remember, though.”
I clear my throat and try again. “Are you saying that because we only met once? Or because I got senior-prom drunk that night?” I never went to a prom, but I heard another actress say that once and it sounded cute.
He rewards me with an even bigger smile. “You said it, not me.” His eyes drop to the jukebox. “Pick out something good?”
“It wasn’t easy.”
“Right? I love this old thing, though.” He rubs the gleaming surface of the jukebox, and I am suddenly fixated on his wide, masculine hand. I wish I could pick it up and compare the size of it with mine. I want to know if his skin is rough or smooth…
That’s when I notice the abomination coming from the jukebox. An electro-beat that I’d never choose, and some ridiculously high male voices…
“Interesting pick,” DJ says, and the corners of his mouth are twitching.
“Hell!” I bend over the box, peering at the song codes again. “How is this possible? I was trying to play M.C. Hammer’s ‘Can’t Touch This.’”
DJ chuckles. “And instead you got…”
The chorus from the long-forgotten Color Me Badd kicks in, singing “I Wanna Sex You Up!”
Nooooo! Either my subconscious has betrayed me, or the machine is miscoded. It’s probably fruitless, but I have to at least try to distance myself from this error. “You should know that I would never willingly play a song by somebody who can’t spell “‘bad.’”
“Really?” He grins. “Yet you went for some Hammertime. And that dude spells ‘mother’ with a ‘u’ and an ‘a.’”
Shoot me already. “DJ, Your grasp of nineties hits is…”
“Impressive?” His smile is cocky, and I have to restrain myself from reaching up to measure it with my fingertips.
THE FIFTEENTH MINUTE will be published this fall. Cover coming soon! Sign up for the mailing list and hear all the details first.