We've got two short excerpts this time! One shows the rapport between Ben and his best friend/cousin Abigail. They are closer than siblings and she is his main confidant. Their relationship is special and plays a part in her future (In the contemporary romance Stormy Seas: Abigail's Story)
The second excerpt shows a bit of relationship building between Ben and JC before the final get together. Enjoy!
“I thought it might be a good idea to steer clear of Chris for a while. I decided to write instead.”
“You reacted better than I would have,” Ben chuckled. “I probably would have stewed over it for a month.”
Abigail shrugged without looking up from her paper. “They’re just boobs and if he sees them now and likes them, he might want to see them again someday.”
“Like you don’t.”
“Ah! I’m offended. I’m sweet and innocent, dear cousin. Heck I’m almost fifteen and I’ve never even had a crush on a girl.”
“Yeah,” Abby laughed. “But you’ve kissed a boy who gave you a boner.”
“Shh, it’s a secret,” he said with wide, innocent eyes and a wink. “Can I draw while you write, or do you want to be alone?”
“You know the answer to that. Go get your stuff.”
JC looked straight ahead through the windshield, he couldn’t quite bring himself to make eye contact. “I just needed to apologize…for how I ended things. I should have told you in person and not with that stupid letter.”
“That hurt…a lot,” Ben admitted, “But I accept your apology.”
JC’s gaze finally swung over to Ben’s and held. “I lied,” he said softly. “I’m not doing good. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t wonder if people assume I’m gay. Or if someone can guess, when I say your name, that we’ve kissed. There isn’t an hour that goes by that I’m not wondering how I can ignore my feelings for you. But on the other hand, I don’t have the strength to not care what people will think. I don’t have the power to admit what’s right in front of me.”
“Good,” Ben said with a smile. “I’m glad you’re miserable and I’m not trying to be mean. I…I just hope that if these things keep lying in your mind that you will eventually realize how much easier it is to just go with your gut and love me.”
“I can wait,” Ben said with as smile. “But not forever. Someday I will meet someone new.” He hoped he sounded convincing because he couldn’t imagine ever finding anyone else.
JC stared out the windshield again. “Maybe you should just try to do that.”
“I’d rather wait for a while. I have faith in you.”
“So, what have you been up to?” JC asked to change the subject as he fidgeted uncomfortably. And it worked, he and Ben talked about what had been going on in their lives, almost like they were best friends again. But their time was soon interrupted by Abby’s knock on the window. “You’ve got about ten minutes to wrap it up guys. Mom and Dad will be here soon.”
“Can I call…or maybe write to you sometimes?” Ben asked hopefully.
“You can write, but I can’t guarantee I’ll answer. It’s too painful.”
“Okay,” Ben agreed. “I understand.”
“I’d better go,” JC said, reaching for the door handle.
“Wait!” Ben said, grabbing his hand and pulling him close. “Goodbye James.” His lips came down in a kiss that went from sweet to earth shattering before they pulled apart and JC stumbled from the van.
“Goodbye, Benjamin,” he breathed, turning and heading back to where his parents would be waiting for him.
“You okay cousin?” Abby asked, breaking into his reverie.
“For now,” Ben murmured. “For now.”