Workout Song of the Day: “Take Me Home” by After Midnight Project
Okay, here’s an excerpt from Chapter 2 of Wants. One of the main characters, Gavin, is leaving a pep rally after staring in awe at a pretty blonde on the flag squad. He has a minor confrontation in the gym with a classmate, and this confrontation is now continued in the parking lot:
The sun nearly blinded him even though it was blanketed by a thin layer of clouds. Rain probably. He could only hope. As he zigzagged his way through the crowd of rambunctious teens, he flipped open his book and continued to read. He always knew the way to his car—even in parking garages. And it’s not like he wanted to socialize with any of these schmucks and filter through empty invitations to the latest party. He tolerated them throughout the week. The weekend was his time.
A burly hand scraped his nose and landed in the center of his page. His book made a heavy thud against the pavement. Gavin looked up and saw Curly wink at him. Corn Row was right next to him, cackling like a trusty sidekick. They were also joined by one of the fat bastards from the football team. The right side of his face was lifted into a grin as if he had a stroke.
“Whoops,” Curly said, and Corn Row howled in laughter. Curly lifted his arm and wrapped it around the blonde’s neck. Wait—the blonde? Gavin’s eyes shifted to her but she didn’t give him a second glance. Her gaze stayed on his frayed novel, its guts splayed out for the entire world to see. “Sorry about that man. My bad.” Curly stepped on the spine of the book as he led his crew towards the parking lot. The blonde moved a bit slower than the others, so Curly had to practically drag her.
Gavin cleared his throat. “Pick it up.” He cleared his throat again to reassure that those words just came from his mouth.
Curly and his crew turned to face Gavin. “What did you just say?”
Gavin glanced at the blonde. She bit her lip and stared back at him. Her eyes roving over what seemed like every inch of his body. Gavin sucked in his breath. “I said pick it up.”
Curly chuckled, but it sounded force. He needed a laugh track now that his friends were muted. They just stared at Gavin in disbelief. Curly removed his arm from the blonde, and took a step towards Gavin. “Care to run that by me again?”
Gavin did not take his eyes off the blonde, whose eyebrows were raised at him in pure amusement. “What are you, a ‘tard?” Gavin asked. Corn Row’s mouth pursed into a perfect O. He may have bellowed, but all Gavin could hear was his heart throbbing in his ears. Curly seemed to come at him in slow motion, his fingers so tightly wound in fists that his knuckles grew pale. Gavin sucked the inside of his cheek, calculating his next move. Nobody wanted to pummel him since he spit in Joey Hanson’s Jell-O pudding cup in the third grade, and he was lucky enough to have a teacher interfere before too much damage was done. But Curly was even more pissed, and big as hell. He could probably take out Gavin with one blow to his face. Shit, his face. Gavin raised his arms over his eyes and ducked. He bit down on his cheek to tourniquet the imminent pain.