Exclusive Excerpt – AWAKE by Natasha Preston
I had never been excited to see a girl before but after knowing Scarlett just three weeks she made me feel things I thought I wouldn’t experience until I was a lot older. I wasn’t supposed to feel anythingfor her. That shouldn’t be possible.
The doorbell rang and I wiped my hands on my jeans. That was Scarlett. My parents were sitting reading on the sofa opposite. They looked up and smiled.
“Are you ready, Noah?” Dad asked.
I nodded once and stood. “I’m always ready.”
There was a lot riding on my ability to win over Scarlett. I had to make this work. Taking a look in the mirror in the hallway, I took a deep breath and gave myself a silent pep talk. Thinking of home gave me strength. There was a lot of distance between me and my people but knowing they were all behind me spurred me on.
I opened the door and she was standing holding a carrier bag and grinning as much as I probably was. Being around her was euphoric.
April had rolled around quickly. I loved spring, everything was coming to life again and the air was considerably warmer.
“Ready for our movie night? I can’t believe you’ve not had a movie night in with friends before.”
I shrugged and moved to let her inside. “I prefer to be outside.”
“Well, you’ve been missing out on something great.”
“Hello, Scarlett,” Mum said, conveniently walking out of the living room as Scarlett came in. They were going to have to stop popping up everywhere or it was going to look weird.
“Hi, Mrs York.”
“Call me Bethan, remember?” Mum said.
Scarlett nodded. “Right.”
“What do you two have planned for today then?”
Holding up the bag, she replied, “Snacks and movies.”
“That sounds fun. Keep your bedroom door open please, Noah.”
I frowned. Supposedly, they trusted me but every time I was told to leave my door open or not to rush things, I felt like I was being judged—that my loyalty was in question. I knew the proper way to handle this. I wasn’t going to mess it up.
I liked her, yes. I could fool my family, but I couldn’t fool myself. That didn’t mean I was going to throw everything away over a teenage crush.
“I will,” I replied a little harder than I would usually talk to my parents.Trust me. With a curt nod, Mum retreated back to the living room. “Come on then, show me how much fun a movie night is.”
Smiling, she walked past me, heading up the stairs to my bedroom. I couldn’t help watching her. She was petite but her slim legs and slight frame made her look taller. Her dusty brunette hair cascaded down her back in loose, messy waves.
“Okay,” she said, turning to me once we were in my room. “Which one do you want to watch first? Batman Begins or Spider-Man?”
I shrugged. “I haven’t seen either so it’s your choice.”
“What? You’ve never seen the Batman or Spider-Man movies?”
“Noah, where have you been living for the last sixteen years!”
I forced out a laugh and took Batman Begins from her outstretched hand. “This one first.”
“Well, I know you’ve at least had popcorn but please tell me you’ve also had Oreos before.”
Grinning, I replied, “I was raised on a pretty remote farm on a tiny island but I am not that sheltered.” I was. Until she held the packet up I had no idea what an Oreo was.
“I don’t know, you’ve not watched much TV, never had movie nights, you don’t eat a whole lot of junk and you’ve never had a girlfriend before.”
“Funny how I meet you and three weeks later I’ve corrected all of that.” My heart jumped as I realised what I’d said. I knew I needed the girlfriend/boyfriend title but that wasn’t exactly how I envisioned it happening. She had to feel special. It had to be romantic. And not just because that’s what I needed to get her to put every ounce of her trust in me.
Unfortunately Scarlett didn’t miss it either. She watched me carefully, silently. “Have you done all of them now?”
“Is that what you want?”
She frowned. “No way, I asked you first!”
Laughing, I put the DVD down on the bed, followed by the bag she was still clutching and bent my head level with hers. “Well, I think it’s a pretty good idea.”
“We’ve not known each other long,” she replied. Her voice was low, almost a whisper.
“I know, but I like what I’ve seen so far. I’m not proposing, Scarlett, you’re not forced to be with me forever. Look, this is new to me, but I like you, and I’d like to see what happens.”
She broke into a heart-stopping smile that did nothing to help me control my feelings for her. “In that case I’m in,” she replied.
We stared at each other like morons as the air thickened. I was supposed to kiss her. I’d never kissed a girl before. She had an ex-boyfriend so the likelihood of her having kissed someone before was high. I didn’t want to look like an inexperienced fool.
Now was the time, though. I’d let things go on for far too long with very little physical contact. She wanted to take things further, had for a while now but I couldn’t rush anything with her and risk it burning out.
Reaching out, I gently grabbed her hips and brought her closer. Her hands fell on my chest and she splayed her fingers, running them over my shoulders. Yes, she had definitely done this before.
I leaned in and my heart went wild as I felt her breath across my lips. This was unchartered territory but being this close to her, having my hands on her and hers on me felt so natural it scared me. The feelings I had for her were almost so overwhelming I wanted to run and hide from them. I understood love, I felt it for a multitude of people but this was different. This was confusing, exciting, terrifying and so, so strong.
I closed the inch between us when I couldn’t stand it anymore. Her lips were smooth and soft and melded to mine perfectly. Scarlett was warm and felt like home. It was more than had ever imagined.
Her hands found their way into my hair, and I pulled her tighter against my body. I grazed her bottom lip with my tongue and she twisted her fingers through the light strands at the back of my head. My heart hammered every second I kissed her. We pulled away at the same time.
I saw, for the first time, that she was the light.
Don't miss the latest gripping, high-stakes thriller from Wattpad sensation Natasha Preston, author of the runaway hit The Cellar.
Of course, the dress was white. This is what I'm supposed to die in, I thought. Not many people knew what their last outfit would be.
I pulled it over my head. It fit me perfectly. It had long, loose fitting sleeves, a modest neckline, and waves of material on the skirt. I hated it.
There were no shoes, and I was afraid I'd have to run through the forest barefoot but there weren't a lot of options. Besides, I'd run barefoot over a bed of nails to get away."Scarlett, are you ready?" he called.I looked in the mirror and took a deep breath. Time to fight for my life. Scarlett Garner doesn't remember anything before the age of four-until a car accident changes everything. She starts to remember pieces of a past that frighten her. A past her parents hid from her...and a secret that could get her killed.
UK native Natasha Preston grew up in small villages and towns. She discovered her love of writing when she shared a story online—and hasn’t looked back since. She enjoys writing romance, thrillers, gritty YA, and the occasional serial killer.
a Rafflecopter giveaway