Monday, October 8, 2012

Cutters vs. Jocks (Excerpt) by Elizabeth Marx

A Prequel Novella to Binding Arbitration

Cutters Vs. Jocks, A Prequel Novella to Binding ArbitrationOn the idyllic campus of Indiana University, Little-Libby-Nobody clashes with Band-Aid All-American-Athlete and fireworks explode, spiraling Libby and Aidan into a collision course of love at first sight versus lust you can’t fight. Libby believes superstar jocks don’t take cutters to Rose Well House, at midnight and pledge their undying devotion beneath its sparkling dome. And Band-Aid imagines there’s no place in the major leagues for a small-town waitress. As the game plays out and their affection grows, they realize that labels like cutters and jocks can’t extinguish what’s between them.
File Size: 640 KB
Print Length: 65 pages
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English

An excerpt from the prequel, Cutters vs. Jocks

A Midsummer’s Night Dream

Do you believe in love at first sight is an illusion? Madonna’s lyrics funneled through the speaker system. I tripped going up the stairs into the alcove, as I caught a glimpse of him. Never before has a single person made such an impression on me. And no guy, with the silky nod of his head, has overwhelmed me with a gaze that seemed to penetrate me, all the way to my soul.

Weren’t there supposed to be fireworks, violins, and rose petals at a time like this? It was just my fortune, since I had bad luck fermenting in my blood, that my awe-struck moment was illuminated by the glare of college football on a television screen, the crunching of peanut shells under-foot, and stale stout stabbing my senses.

It was the fall of my junior year. I had avoided any such entanglements since I’d enrolled at IU. It was Saturday night, at McCreary’s, a bar that sits in a commercial strip mall right down the way from the movie theater on the mall side of Bloomington. As if a saloon from the Wild West, the wide plank floors are marred and scuffed. And watch where you walk, because peanut shells litter the floor. Poetry, profanity, and phone numbers whittle the wooden walls. It’s patrons are a mix of cutters and college kids. McCreary’s had some of the best sandwiches in Bloomington, with names like Casablanca, Gone with the Wind, and Call of the Wild.

Vicki and I had just seen a movie, and right then I was so dumbfounded I couldn’t remember the title.

The second I walked into the bar, I was informed that we were playing pool in the Hoosier Room. McCreary’s four pool tables sit at the four cardinal points in little alcoves cordoned off by half walls.

Vicki and I worked together at the Waffle House. While I went to class and the library, she said she’d take a pass on anything past primary. She’d only come to Bloomington to escape her small-town parents who thought marijuana was a seasoning added to brownies.

I had no desire to play pool, but I agreed because there was no talking Vicki out of something once she set her mind on it. Case in point, her hair was chartreuse right now, popsicle green, with a white lighting streak running down the side of her bangs.

We stepped into the tiny niche and one of our opponents greeted us. The lookout was tall and muscular, with dirty blond hair. His teammate was positioning his long athletic frame over the table, looking at his shot. When he heard the introductions, he looked up. He brushed his dark hair away from his blue eyes and took in Vicki, his eyes seemed to fill his face, but he didn’t sneer, which is what most jocks did when faced with Vicki. It wasn’t that she wasn’t pretty; it was just that she was a lot to take in all at once. And once she started talking, it was hard for most people to listen, because her voice reminded you of a mouse trying to swallow a hurricane.

The jock nodded in greeting, and then turned toward me. His lips crinkled into a lopsided smile, and he beamed me with his killer blue eyes. I felt like I had walked straight into a beam of electrified male energy. The dimple in his chiseled cheek was so deep he could use it as a trap, and I didn’t doubt that he’d caught quite a few gals in that crevice alone.

Researchers say that we can judge the attractiveness of another person in .13 seconds. I knew he was someone I would never forget. It wasn’t just his physical appearance that ensnared me, but his eyes locked on me like he wanted to sharpen his ego on my bones. His presence was so calm, cool and collected that I took two steps back. The hair all over my body stood up, and then knotted. I tried to blink. I couldn’t. My eyes were Super-glued on him. Vicki and the other guy were speaking, but I couldn’t hear them because blood was boiling in my ears like a thick pot of chili at the Waffle House right before Saturday afternoon kick-off.

I shook my head and told myself this wasn’t real. Love at first sight was a physical response, simple attraction. Some might call it lust. I forced my eyes away from him and listened to the introductions. His friend’s name was David, I thought. I couldn’t be sure because I was locked into a clear box with the guy leaning on his pool stick, and someone was sucking all the air from the confined space. I wanted to panic breathe.

“I’m Aidan,” he said.

I put my hand out, but when his hand came into view, I pulled mine back. His deep tenor stroked my consciousness. I was certain that he could read the nature of my attraction on my flushed face. He didn’t need the ego boost. I swallowed down my instinct to make a run for it, extended my hand again and said, “Elizabeth.”

“Elizabeth is a beautiful name.” His words were the third lure. I was a goner. “Everyone calls me Band-Aid.”

David reintroduced himself for my benefit. He said they were baseball players at IU. I stole another glance at Aidan, but he seemed unaffected by what happened, and started asking me questions to figure out from where he knew me.

David racked the balls and said over his shoulder, “You’ve probably seen them on the square.” Translation: David assumed that because Vicki was a cutter, I was too.

Aidan shrugged, easily swallowing that information hook, line, and sinker.

For the next forty minutes, I listened to Vicki and David carry on a conversation, while Aidan watched me. I refused to glance his way, but every once in awhile, my will power slipped. I barely pulled my wits together enough to play.

After each of Aidan’s shots, he stood alongside me, inching a little closer each time. By the end of the match, the cuff of his rolled-up shirt sleeves brushed against my bare arm. He was trying to fluster me, so I concentrated on putting stripes in pockets, and ignored whatever game he was playing.

Vicki distracted David with her friendly banter, while the snug fit of my jeans diverted Aidan. We whipped the jocks. Aidan wanted to go three for five, but I shook my head in refusal.

As I stepped out of the space, I turned back for a final glance. The loss sent a little spark of determination to Aidan’s cheeks. It seemed jock boy was way competitive. It was a good thing it was only a tiny spark, because if anything else ignited, the small room and the entire strip center might have gone up in flames.

Binding Arbitration and Cutters vs. Jocks can be purchased on Amazon.

As per FTC requirements: My Life. One Story at a Time. is an advertising affiliate with Amazon. A small fee is earned when purchases are made using the above link. A free book was obtained from the source mentioned above in order to provide an honest and fair review. The views, beliefs, and opinions expressed by guest post authors are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views, beliefs, or opinions of My Life. One Story at a Time. Guest Posts are offered so authors can share their writing with my audience for their enjoyment.

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