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Authors: Amy Sparling

In Every Way (16 page)

BOOK: In Every Way
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Chapter 30


The last two weeks have been like a fairy tale. I never thought I’d compare myself to a princess, but it’s true. I have a real life prince charming, and he’s romantic and caring and never misses sending me a good night text.

Even though I spent years hating myself for being hopelessly single, I’m really glad I didn’t get a boyfriend until now, when I’m older and about to head into college. I was able to bypass all of the drama from high school and skip right over years of heartache. Of course, that doesn’t mean I might one day get my heart broken, but Josh has promised me that he wants to go into this thing as adults who talk to each other, who don’t keep secrets, and who always try to work things out.

I’m sure there will be a fight or an argument in the future, but for now, we are two people on cloud nine, the puppy love phase securely in place.

The doorbell rings, but I don’t bother capping my mascara and rushing to answer it because Grandma is home. One thing I’ve learned in the last two weeks is that Grandma and Josh can talk forever. It’s made us more than late to a couple of movie dates so far.

I hear her let him inside, and she comments on his shirt, which is apparently very handsome on him.

I grin as I apply my makeup. It’s the first time since our first date that I’ve bothered going through all this getting pretty routine stuff, but tonight is special. Maddie is having a party at her house, which is basically a mansion complete with housekeepers and a chef, and I know there will be tons of pictures taken of the event. So I need to look good.

Of course, with Josh by my side, I always have this goofy grin of lovesickness on my face, so it’s kind of impossible to look like anything else.

“Hey, beautiful.” Josh enters my room and flops down on my bed.

“That was quick,” I say. “Usually ya’ll talk forever.”

“Grandma had brownies in the oven, and the timer went off so I snuck in to see you,” he says with a wink. Yes, he calls her Grandma now, but because she’s insisted that he do so.

“Looks like Blue is comfortable,” he says, pointing to my kitten. She’s curled up in my lap while I sit at my vanity.

I stroke her head and she purrs. “Every time I sit down she’ll hop up in my lap and go to sleep.”

“She adores you,” Josh says.

“And I adore her.” I dab some powder over my foundation. “I’m all ready. Wanna go?”

He gives me this exaggerated frown. “But the brownies are almost ready. Can’t we stay and eat some?”

I roll my eyes. After telling Maddie about my dieting plan, she yelled at me for going about it all the wrong way. Now we’re both using this calorie counting app and eating 1350 calories a day for healthy weight loss, even though Josh keeps saying it’s pointless because I don’t need it. Of course, as an excellent boyfriend, I guess it’s his job to say those things.

Regardless, I know I have some calories to spare, and I just can’t say no to that face. “Fine,” I say, pointing at him while I pretend to be serious. “One brownie. And then we’re going.”

“Deal,” he says, hopping off my bed. He kisses the top of my head and then sprints out of my room to go get himself a brownie.

I chuckle as I get up and set Blue down on my bed in her favorite spot near my pillow. Josh is a dork, but he’s my dork.




Maddie’s pool is filled with blow up floaties in colorful shapes and designs. Her little sisters are playing on a gigantic blow up donut and one that’s shaped like a popsicle. This is a small party, with only a few of Maddie’s friends, which is great because it’s helping me slowly get used to being in this group of people who were practically royalty in high school. Of course now that we’re graduated, everything is different. I’m accepted into groups that would have shunned me back then. And things that felt like a big deal in school aren’t even a small deal now. It’s nice being out of school.

“Hey girl!” Maddie says when Josh and I arrive. She gives me a quick hug, her hair smelling like dye.

“I like the new hair,” I say, nodding in approval at her new style. She’d dyed over the pink she’d had earlier in the year, but now it has highlights.

“It’s supposedly a natural highlight,” she says with a shrug. “I kind of wanted to go back to pink, but we’re legal adults and all that, so I figured I’d get a more mature hair style.”

Her boyfriend Colby fist bumps Josh in a hello before saying, “If she’s so grown up and mature now, why did she assault me with a water gun just five minutes ago?”

Maddie playfully punches him in the arm. “I was being
mature, for your information. I could have just thrown you in the pool, but instead I showed restraint.”

They laugh and pick on each other and then get all swoony-eyed and start kissing.

I look over and Josh and he rolls his eyes. “It’s a good thing we started dating,” he says, pulling me up against him. “Otherwise, we’d go crazy being around these lovesick fools.”

“That’s for sure,” I say, hooking my hands around his neck. “I’ve never been to a party like this. I kind of like hanging out in your world.”

“It’s our world now, babe,” Josh says, kissing me.

The embrace only lasts a couple of seconds before I hear a loud, “Eww!” and we both look down to see Maddie’s little sister Emma staring up at us, a grimace on her face. “You are just like Maddie and Colby!” she says.

“Emma,” Maddie says while she bends down to her sister’s eye level. “One day you’ll want to kiss someone, too.”

Emma shakes her head like the mere thought of it is the grossest thing ever. “No, that’s gross!”

We all laugh. Maddie’s mom is in the pool and she calls the girl over to her, saying she should let the older kids play for a while. I’m guessing that means we are the “older kids” in Emma’s eyes, which is ironic after we just had a conversation about how we’re adults now.

“Okay, I know it’s hot and everything,” Maddie says, watching her sister dive into the pool and into her mother’s arms, “But there’s no way I’d want to go swimming tonight. My hair looks too damn good for that.”

I’m pretty sure Maddie is saying that for my benefit, and I’m grateful. She knows all of my insecurities about my body, and even though Josh loves feeling me up and tells me stupid things like I’m beautiful on a daily basis, I’m still not ready to bare myself in a bathing suit around him. Maddie knows this, so when she planned the party, she made sure to say that swimming wasn’t the highlight of the night.

Instead, there’s a karaoke machine, beer pong, ping pong, and all kinds of outdoor games set up. She even has a permanent volleyball net with a box of sand around it. Music plays from hidden speakers in the patio, and there’s an entire buffet of food to eat. This party has many more options than swimming, and it’s a perfect way to get used to being around Maddie’s friends and her newfound life of luxury at her new step-dad’s house.

Josh takes my hand as we chat with his friends, making introductions to everyone and calling me his girlfriend. We never really had that specific talk—the
will you be my girlfriend
talk that I’ve waited to hear my whole life. It turns out that once you’ve grown up and found someone you want to spend all your time with, you just know. You don’t need formalities to make it real.

“You okay?” Josh says a while later. We’re sharing a lounge chair, with me sitting in front of Josh, his arms and legs wrapped around mine. The stars are beautiful tonight, and we’re being serenaded by Maddie’s mom and step-dad’s terrible voices as they do a karaoke version of
These Boots Are Made for Walking

“Why wouldn’t I be okay?” I ask, looking back at him.

“You’re just quiet.”

“I’m enjoying this perfect day with you,” I say, puckering up my lips so he’ll kiss me.

“Just making sure,” he says, kissing me three times in quick succession. “Hey, I had an idea . . .”

“What’s that?”

His tongue flicks across his lips. “Well . . . I’m having fun and all . . . but . . .”

I narrow my eyes. “Spit it out, boy.”

He laughs. “My parents are gone for the night and Abigail is at her friend’s house.”

“And. . ?” I say, giving him an evil smile.

“And I was thinking maybe we could bail early on this party.”

I smile as a warmth spreads through my chest. “That sounds like a perfect plan,” I say, leaning against his chest while he holds me tightly. “Let’s go.”




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Other books by Amy Sparling:

Believe in Me

Believe in Us

Believe in Forever



In Plain Sight, Maddie and Colby’s story.

Available now

About the Author


Amy Sparling is the author of The Summer Unplugged Series, Ella's Twisted Senior Year, Deadbeat & other awesome books for younger teens. She loves coffee, the beach, and swooning over book boyfriends.


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BOOK: In Every Way
8.16Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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