Falling into You Read online

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I sucked in a breath. I hadn’t called him to cancel. “Shit, no, he doesn’t. ”

  Kyle’s lip quirked up in a grin. “You’d better call him, then, huh? He’ll be wondering where you are, I imagine. ”

  I glanced at my iPod. 6:54 p. m. “Can I use your phone?”

  He scrolled through his contacts, yanked the earbuds free, and handed it to me. I hit ‘send’ and pressed it to my ear, the rubber case still damp and warm from Kyle’s grip.

  “Hey, Kyle, my man! Whassup!” Jason’s exuberant voice came through the phone.

  I sucked in hesitant breath. “Actually, Jason, this is Nell. I’m calling from Kyle’s phone…I—I forgot mine. ”

  “Forgot yours? Where are you? I’m pulling up to your driveway right now. ” His friendly, excited voice took on a confused tone.

  “Listen, I’m sorry, but I can’t go out with you. ”

  A long silence. “Oh, I gotcha. ” His voice drooped, and I could picture his features falling. “Everything okay? I mean, —”

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  “I just—I may have said yes too quickly, Jason. I’m sorry. I don’t think…I don’t think it’d work. ”

  “So, this isn’t a rain check, is it. ” His words implied a question, but his tone was a statement, flat, tense.

  “No. I’m so sorry. ”

  “It’s fine, I guess. ” He laughed, a forced bark. “Shit, no. It’s not. This is kinda shady, Nell. I was all excited. ”

  “I’m so, so sorry, Jason. I just realized, after really thinking about things…I mean, I’m flattered, and I was excited that you asked me, but—”

  “This is about Kyle, isn’t it? You’re with him, on his phone, so of course this about him. ”

  “Jason, that’s not—I mean, yeah I’m with him right now, but—”

  “It’s fine. I get it. I think we all knew this was coming, so I shouldn’t be surprised. I just wish you’d told me sooner. ”

  “I’m sorry, Jason. I don’t know what else to say. ”

  “Nothing to say. It’s all good. I’ll just…whatever. See you in chemistry on Monday. ”

  He was about to hang up, and a flash of inspiration jolted through me. “Jason, wait. ”

  “What. ” His voice was dead, flat.

  “I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but…Becca has had a crush on you since seventh grade. I guarantee she’ll go out with you. ”

  “Becca?” I could hear him considering the idea. “Wouldn’t that be weird? I mean, what would I say? She’d think she was my second choice, or something. I mean, I guess that’s true, but not like that, you know?”

  I thought about it. “Just tell her the truth. I backed out on you, last minute. You already have reservations, and I thought she might like to go with you instead of me. ”

  “Think it’ll work? Really?” His voice took on a new life, excited once more. “She is pretty hot. ”

  “It’ll work. Just call her. ” I rattled off her number, and he repeated it.

  “Thanks…I think. But, Nell? Next time you’re gonna break a guy’s heart, give him a bit more notice, would you?”

  “Don’t be ridiculous, Jason. I didn’t break your heart. We hadn’t even gone out yet. But I am sorry for standing you up like this. ”

  “No worries. Besides, maybe something will work out with Becca and me. She’s almost as hot as you. Wait, shit, that didn’t come out right. Don’t tell Becca I said that. You guys are equally hot, I was just—”

  I couldn’t help laughing. “Jason? Shut up. Call Becca. ”

  I hit end, handing Kyle his phone back. He stared at the phone. “That was pretty slick, Nell. I gotta hand it to you. ” He glanced at me quizzically. “Does Becca really have a crush on him?”

  I laughed again. “Hell yes. She’s been mad in love with Jason Dorsey since…well, I told him seventh grade, but it’s been longer than that. Way longer. Like…since fourth grade. Forever. Another reason why I should never have said yes to him, I was just…I was excited, Kyle. Getting asked out by cute boys is a big deal, and you and Jason are the two cutest guys in the whole school. ”

  Kyle grinned at me, rakish and mischievous. “You think I’m cute?”

  Oh god. Oh god. This was trouble. I couldn’t meet his eyes. The grass was suddenly really, really interesting.

  “You know you’re hot, Kyle Calloway, so quit fishing for compliments. ” I tried the flirty, joking tack, hoping to distract him from the fact that I was blushing hot red from forehead to cle**age.

  It didn’t work. “You’re eight shades of red, Nell. ” His voice was all too close. His breath was hot on my neck.

  What was going on? What was he doing?

  I looked up and Kyle’s eyes were centimeters from mine. He was lying on his side, and his fingers were reaching for me. I couldn’t breathe, suddenly. He was brushing my hair behind my ear, and I couldn’t focus on anything but his sculpted body and his fiery eyes and his hand in my hair and his mouth, his lips, so close, his tongue tip running over his lower lip. Suddenly Kyle was someone else, someone different. Not the little boy I’d grown up with, but a young man with his features, his eyes, his strong jawline, but an intense, grown up, almost hungry gaze.

  I didn’t know this Kyle, but I liked him. I wanted to know him.

  Electricity surged through me, startling my eyes shut, shock dragging a gasp through my lips as Kyle pressed his mouth to mine. Wet heat and soft power thrilled through me, surprise giving way slowly to wonder, to delight.

  Kyle was kissing me. Oh god, oh god…ohmigod. I liked it, so much. My first kiss.

  I was breathless, unable to move for the incredible feeling of lips touching lips. Foreign but perfect, questing and hesitant. He pulled away, leaving me even more breathless and mourning the loss of the kiss.

  “Nell? I—you…?” He seemed unsure of himself, of the kiss.

  I smiled at him, our faces still so close I felt my lips curving against his. My hand drifted from my lap to his arm, then to his face, my fingers splaying around his ear, my palm against his cheek. He let out a sigh of relief, and this time the kiss was mutual. I pressed in, moving my lips against his, breathless in wonder again, or still.

  A thousand questions that had cropped up in my mind when watching movies showing people kissing were answered. What did you do with your noses? What nose? All I knew was his mouth against mine, slightly tilted. Hands? They seemed to know where to go on their own. To his face, to his nape, to his arms. I could breathe even as we kissed, obviously. I’d wondered if I had to hold my breath, when I was younger. Now, I was delighted to understand that I could kiss Kyle forever, I’d never have to break for breath. I didn’t want to.

  I wasn’t sure how much time passed while we kissed there in the grass on the hill. I didn’t care. Nothing mattered but the delirious joy of Kyle, of my first kiss, of making out with my best friend, the only guy I’d ever really cared about.

  This wasn’t just perfectly natural, it was the only thing I could imagine happening, and I couldn’t figure out how it hadn’t happened before now.

  Then, suddenly, I was lying down in the grass, blades crushed and tickling my bare back beneath the strap of my sports bra. Kyle was above me, weight partially on me, partially supported by his arm. His palm planted into the grass next to my face, and I curled my hand around his arm, the other on his nape, making sure he didn’t pull away, didn’t stop kissing me.

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  Suddenly, I understood so many things.

  I understood the danger in a kiss. The heat and the power and the lightning. I felt something hard pressing against my hip, and I knew what it was in a flash of heat. The kiss broke, and Kyle shifted away, pulling his hips back. His gaze flickered over my body, and I blushed, both from his attention and from the knowledge of what I’d felt.

  He blushed, and I realized I’d been gazing at him, at his body, his sculpted