Hearts Unbroken by Cynthia Leitich Smith Read Online (FREE)
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Half past nine a.m. in the residual haze of my junior prom, I ducked into a powder room off the kitchen at the swanky lake house where the after-party took place.
It reeked of vanilla oil and was decorated with dead starfish.
Then I tapped my phone to update my newish best friend, Shelby Keller. We had texted off and on the night before, but this morning’s conversation mandated face-to-face communication. She answered with “Good morning, Louise. Please tell me you didn’t waste your maiden voyage into sexy fun time on that narcissistic player you call a boyfriend.”
“Not even,” I whispered to Shelby. “You know how Cam has to eat an entire cow or something every three hours? After the dance, we detoured to IHOP for a snack. On the way out, he threw up a whole bottle of champagne and a double-blueberry short stack in the parking lot. Then he passed out in the limo.”
Her snort-laugh burst through the tiny speaker.
I replied, “Yeah, well, I may never eat pancakes again.” After all, unbuttoning your semiconscious boyfriend’s vomit-splattered shirt isn’t any girl’s prom-night fantasy.
“Sounds like I didn’t miss much,” Shelby said. With her part-time waitressing gig, she didn’t have much time to socialize. And her earnings went to necessities, not party dresses.
“Definitely not,” I said out of loyalty, though the actual dance had exceeded all expectations. “Cam and I are supposed to be at brunch in a half hour, and he’s still out cold.”
“Drooling?” Shelby asked.
“Snoring,” I admitted.
Her laugh was less affectionate than mine.
The lake house decor was high-dollar rustic. The quarterback, Blake Klein, is one of Cam’s closest pals, and it’s Blake’s family’s second house. Not a trailer or hunting cabin — we’re talking steam room, a Sub-Zero refrigerator, and a motorboat in the detached garage. (It’s not so much on the lake as near the lake.)
I didn’t doubt that they had a maid service, too, but Mama raised me to be a considerate guest. Besides, having ventured into the family room, I was mindful of how whatever was left lying around might affect (for better) the boys’ reps and (for worse) the girls’.
While I was talking to Shelby, the other post-prom stragglers had already vacated the premises, including the unidentified human-shaped lump under a chenille throw on the sofa.
So I tossed the scattered beer cans and red plastic cups. I retrieved and repositioned the couch pillows, wiped down the immense black granite counters, and used salad tongs to remove the condom wrappers littering the rugs. Then, after clearing more plastic cups and a few stray Doritos from the deck, I finished the job by hauling out the trash.
Finally I returned upstairs to Cam. The night before, I’d crashed on the faux-distressed leather chaise longue in front of the bay window. He was still sprawled diagonally and bare chested on the king-size bed. Not his finest moment, but it didn’t matter. I was smitten.