Crush, p.10
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       Crush, p.10

           Lacey Weatherford
 

  Chapter Seven

  Cami-

  It was late when I rolled over and checked the time. Wow. Ten o’clock and my mom hadn’t been in to wake me. I reached for my phone on the charger and looked to see if Clay had messaged. There was nothing. I didn’t know what to say so I didn’t text him either.

  Grabbing some shorts and a t-shirt, I made my way into the bathroom for a quick shower and then headed downstairs for some breakfast.

  “Well, look who finally decided to grace us with her presence this fine Sunday morning.” My dad smiled from his recliner where he was reading the Arts & Style section of the paper.

  I bent and kissed him on the cheek. “Morning, Dad. How are you today? Did you enjoy your band fundraiser last night?”

  “I’m good and we had a great time. The people in the hotel really loved the jazz performance, and we raised a lot of money. I’m pleased we live in a town that appreciates good culture.”

  Copper City certainly did cater to the arts. I felt like he and Mom were really happy here. It was definitely their dream place to live.

  “I’m so glad. That’s awesome. I’m going to grab some breakfast. Where’s Mom?”

  “She stayed up late helping with clean up after the banquet so I let her sleep in.”

  That explained why she hadn’t been in this morning. I went to the cupboard and pulled out a bowl before getting a box of cereal off the counter and taking it to the island bar.

  I was munching away when I felt my phone vibrate. I stiffened. Chances were this was either Clay or Hunter, and I was afraid to look, feeling nervous about hearing from either of them. I glanced at the text.

  Nice day 2day. Wanna grab some lunch & eat @ the park around noon?

  I smiled, letting out a sigh of relief. It was Hunter.

  Sure. Sounds fun.

  Gr8. Can I get UR address?

  I texted it back to him with a little smiley face.

  Awesome. C U in a bit.

  Nervous butterflies danced in my stomach. I quickly finished my last few bites of cereal and hurried to my room.

  “Where are you going in such a rush?” Dad called.

  “I have a lunch date!”

  “With Clay?”

  “No. His name is Hunter Wilder. He’s new. I’ll tell you more about him after I’m ready.”

  “Okay. I want to meet this kid before you leave with him.”

  I rolled my eyes. “Yes, Dad.” My dad was totally the overprotective father type. I knew he trusted me, but I was a little worried about what he might think of Hunter.

  Yes, I’d been out a few times with guys other than Clay, but they tended to be more of the studious variety, or they were music and drama students—people who my dad would instantly approve of. He’d even let me go with one of his students from the college. I’d never dated anybody in the hot guy category of Hunter, though. It would be interesting to see if he said anything.

  I raided my closet and drawers, finally deciding on a pair of tiny jean shorts and a cute square-cut tee with cap sleeves in a bright, cheery yellow. I carefully applied my makeup and then got my hot iron and painstakingly worked on my hair until my curls were bone straight. I pulled it back into a trendy-styled ponytail, and added some gold hoop earrings before slipping my feet into some matching yellow sandals that laced up my calves.

  It was only eleven-thirty when I finished, so I went back down to the living room to visit with my dad, finding my mom had joined him as well.

  “You look nice.” She smiled, glancing up from a romance novel she was reading. “Dad told me you have a lunch date with a new guy. Who is he?”

  “His name is Hunter Wilder. He recently moved here from Tucson with his uncle. I guess both his parents were killed in a car accident. At least that’s what the rumor mill says. I haven’t really had an opportunity to talk to him about it yet, other than for him to tell me he’s from Tucson.”

  “So is he in your music and drama classes with you then?” Dad asked.

  “No, he’s in my Chemistry, English, Government, and Photography classes.”

  “Oh, so does he hope to be a photographer?”

  I laughed. “I have no idea. I don’t know him that well. He’s only been here a short while. We’ve never really spoken to each other before this week.”

  “Does Clay like him?” Dad smiled and I instantly sobered.

  “No, I’m afraid not.” I cringed. I knew my dad put a lot of stock in Clay’s opinion about who I dated.

  “Why doesn’t he like him?” he pressed.

  I shrugged. “Jealous, I think.”

  “Jealous?”

  My mom chuckled. “You’re a little out of the loop, Brandt. Clay seems to have developed a bit of a crush on our girl.”

  “Has he now? How do you feel about that?”

  “Actually, it’s quite awkward, and I wish he hadn’t. I don’t feel that way about him. It would be like dating my brother or something. He’s making things difficult.”

  “So last night didn’t go well?” Mom asked, looking concerned.

  “Not at all. In fact, I think Hunter asked me out as a way to try and help rescue me from a very uncomfortable situation.” I twisted my hands together in my lap.

  “That was nice of him, though I’m sad you and Clay are having problems. You’ve been friends far too long to let something like this come between you. I hope you can fix it.”

  “Me too. I love Clay, just not like that.” I looked back and forth between them. “There’s something else I should tell you about Hunter.”

  “What’s that?” Dad asked.

  “He won’t be the kind of guy you’re used to me dating. I mean he’s maybe one of the most popular guys in school right now. He rose to fame around here pretty fast—drives a shiny new black Camaro—and may actually be the best looking guy I’ve ever seen in my life—I’m talking model worthy. I honestly have no idea why he would want to go out with me.”

  “Maybe because you’re beautiful and sweet and he can see that.” My mom smiled.

  “You have to say that. You’re my mom.”

  “She wouldn’t lie to you either, honey,” my dad added.

  The doorbell rang, interrupting our conversation, and I felt nervous. He was a few minutes early. I answered it, surprised to find Clay, not Hunter, standing there.

  He glanced over me before moving back up, locking eyes with me—almost a desperate plea in them. “Hey, Cami. Can we please go somewhere and talk?”

  Right then a loud thumping bass sound filled the air. I looked down the street, and watched as Hunter pulled up in his Camaro with the windows rolled down.

  I glanced back to Clay. “Um, I have a date right now. Maybe later when I get done?”

  Clay’s lips turned in an obvious frown. “He didn’t waste any time, did he? Call me when you get home.” He turned and headed down the sidewalk.

  “Hey, man,” Hunter said as they passed. Clay ignored him and kept on walking. He got into his car and drove away without a backward glance.

  “Did I interrupt something important?” Hunter asked as he approached. He was holding a couple of roses loosely in his hand and I smiled.

  “No, not at all. Come in and meet my parents. They’ve been expecting you.” I stepped aside so he could enter.

  He followed me into the living room, and my parents stood to greet him. I noticed my mom’s eyes going wide in surprise, but my dad’s narrowed as if he sensed a predator. His gaze traveled over the red t-shirt and down to the amazing, deep-blue hipster jeans and dark shoes, all designer of course. It was obvious he had money.

  “This is my mom, Cecily, and my dad, Brandt. Mom and Dad, this is Hunter Wilder.”

  “Pleased to meet you,” Hunter said with impeccable manners, shaking my dad’s hand firmly. He handed my mom a rose. “This is for you,” he added before turning to extend the other one to me. “And this one is yours.”

  I couldn’t help the smile as I took a sniff. “It smells wonderful. Thank you
.”

  He looked pleased. “You’re welcome. I saw them, and they made me think of your pretty, red hair. Looks like it worked for your mom too.” He laughed and gestured to her hair color.

  “Well, aren’t you just the charmer?” My mom giggled like a schoolgirl, and I knew he’d won over at least one parent. “Would you like a drink or something?”

  “Oh, no thanks. I figured I’d pick up something with Cami, and we could go to the park and hang out together.”

  “What else do you plan on doing while you’re there?” My dad asked sternly.

  “Uh, well, I brought a Frisbee I thought we could toss around, if Cami‘s up for it.” He glanced at me.

  “Sound fun,” I said, thinking how I couldn’t imagine Hunter doing anything as lame as throwing a Frisbee.

  “When will you have her home?”

  Hunter shrugged. “I hadn’t really planned on a certain time. I figured I’d take her to do whatever she wanted until she got sick of me. She said there’s some good museums and stuff around. I thought I’d let her decide since she knows better than I do.”

  “I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful time,” my mom gushed. “Cami’s curfew is midnight. As long as she’s home by then, we are good.”

  I think my dad may have actually shot fire out of his eyes toward my mom, and I bit my lip to suppress a giggle of my own.

  “Very well. Please remember she’s the most precious thing in her parent’s lives and treat her accordingly.”

  I almost choked. Boy, he was laying it on thick.

  “I’ll be fine, Dad,” I said, standing on my tiptoes to give him a quick kiss on the cheek. I could tell he was very apprehensive. “I’ll see you both later.”

  “Have fun!” My mom was glowing as she gave us a little wave, and I grabbed Hunter by the arm and dragged him from the room before things could get any weirder.

  He walked me to the car and opened the door before jogging around and getting in the other side.

  “Sorry for the craziness in there.”

  He smiled widely. “Nah, it was fine.”

  “I think my mom liked you.”

  “But not your dad?”

  “I’d say the jury is still out. He’ll form a better opinion of you after you’ve returned me safely home in the same condition you found me.” I blushed.

  “Well, I don’t want to deliver you home in exactly the same condition I found you.” His eyes flitted over my figure and my heart raced.

  Suddenly I felt underdressed. “You don’t?” I managed to squeak out.

  He shook his head. “Nope. I want to bring you back exhausted from having an amazing day with me.”

  “Oh.” I didn’t know what else to say.

  He started the car, and I jumped as the stereo roared to life with a loud thump. I covered my ears in reflex.

  Hunter quickly turned it down significantly. “Sorry! I get a little carried away with the tunes while I’m driving.”

  “It’s okay. It just caught me by surprise, is all.”

  “So, where do you want to go get food?” he asked.

  “Well, if you like burgers and stuff, I like that little diner called Francesca’s.”

  “Oh, I ate there with Russ one night. They had great food. Let’s do that then.” He turned in that direction.

  Everything still felt so surreal—being here with him like this—but he was making me feel comfortable and at ease.

  I sighed. I already liked him, and I didn’t even know him.

 
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