The Body Finder (The Body Finder 1) - Page 9

“Your mom told me where you were, so I thought I’d come hang out.” He made himself at home, sitting down on the couch where she’d just been. “You don’t mind, do you?” he asked, even though he already knew the answer.

She didn’t bother replying; she just sat down. She was cold, so she leaned against the side of the couch and shoved her feet beneath his legs, letting his body heat warm them. He surfed through the channels until they found a movie they both agreed on, even though it was already more than halfway over.

This was how it was with the two of them—the effortlessness they had.

She made a bowl of microwave popcorn, and they watched the rest of the movie while they joked around, and while Violet tried to forget how close he was sitting…and how warm he was beside her…and how good he smelled.

Even before the credits were rolling they were already talking about other things, the movie forgotten. They discussed their new teachers, and what they had heard about them from other students who had gone before them. And they gossiped about rumors going around at school, like who was dating who, and who had broken up over the summer.

Violet was purposely avoiding discussions about all the girls who had suddenly noticed Jay, but he didn’t seem to have the same aversion to the topic, and eventually he asked, “So, what about that note from Elisabeth Adams?”

Lissie Adams was the last person Violet wanted to talk about right now, but she couldn’t just ignore his comment. This time the teacher wasn’t there to cut him off.

“Weird, huh?” And then the question that Violet was almost afraid to ask came tumbling from between her cursedly loose lips. “So, are you gonna call her?”

She tried not to care about the answer, and she concentrated on keeping an indifferent look on her face.

“Nah. I’m not really interested.”

Violet was stunned and a little afraid that her mouth might actually be hanging open. “Why? Why wouldn’t you want to go out with Lissie Adams?” She was amazed that she sounded like she was trying to talk him into calling the popular senior, but she couldn’t seem to stop herself. She couldn’t understand why any boy wouldn’t want to date Lissie.

He just shrugged. “I’m just not.” And then he asked the question that Violet was most afraid of. “Why do you care if I call her?”

“I don’t,” she lied. “I’m just surprised. I thought you would’ve called her already.”

“Hey, did you hear about Brad Miller?” he asked, already forgetting about the Lissie conversation. “He got his car taken away for getting another speeding ticket. Of course he tried to tell his parents that it was a setup.”

Violet laughed. “Yeah, because the police have nothing better to do than to plan a sting operation targeting eleventh-grade idiots.” She was more than willing to go along with this diversion from conversations about Jay and his many admirers.

Jay laughed too, shaking his head. “You’re so cold-hearted,” he said to Violet, shoving her a little but playing along. “How’s he supposed to go cruising for unsuspecting freshmen and sophomores without a car? What willing girl is going to ride on the handlebars of his ten-speed?”

“I don’t see you driving anything but your mom’s car yet. At least he has a bike,” she said, turning on him now.

He pushed her again. “Hey!” he tried to defend himself. “I’m still saving! Not all of us are born with a silver spoon in our mouths.”

They were both laughing, hard now. The silver spoon joke had been used before, whenever one of them had something the other one didn’t.

“Right!” Violet protested. “Have you seen my car?” This time she shoved him, and a full-scale war broke out on the couch.

“Poor little rich girl!” Jay accused, grabbing her arm and pulling her down.

She giggled and tried to give him the dreaded “dead leg” by hitting him with her knuckle in the thigh. But he was too strong, and what used to be a fairly even matchup was now more like an annihilation of Violet’s side.

“Oh, yeah. Weren’t you the one”—she gasped, still giggling and thrashing to break free from his suddenly way-too-strong grip on her, just as his hand was almost at the sensitive spot along the side of her rib cage—“who got to go to Hawaii….” She bucked beneath him, trying to knock him off her. “…For spring break…last…” And then he started to tickle her while she was pinned beneath him, and her last word came out in a scream: “…YEAR?!”

That was how her aunt and uncle found them.

Violet never heard the key in the dead bolt, or the sound of the door opening up. And Jay was just as ignorant of their arrival as she was. So when they were caught like that, in a mass of tangled limbs, with Jay’s face just inches from hers, as she giggled and squirmed against him, it should have meant they were going to get in trouble. And if it had been any other teenage boy and girl, they would have.

But it wasn’t another couple. It was Violet and Jay…and this was business as usual for the two of them.

Even her aunt and uncle knew that there was no possibility they were doing anything they shouldn’t. The only reprimand they got was her aunt shushing them to keep it down before they woke the kids.

After Jay left, Violet took the thirty dollars that her uncle gave her and headed out.

As she drove home, she tried to ignore the feelings of frustration she had about the way her aunt and uncle had reacted—or rather hadn’t reacted—to finding her and Jay together on the couch. For some reason it made her feel worse to know that even the grown-ups around them didn’t think there was a chance they could ever be a real couple.

Tags: Kimberly Derting The Body Finder
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