Haley Howell has had a hopeless crush on her brother’s best friend, Jake Lexington, for as long as she can remember. Too bad to him, she’ll forever be off-limits. But with senior year and acceptance to a college outside their tiny southern town of Culler, South Carolina, comes new confidence. Haley’s ready to get Jake to notice her—whatever it takes.
No one in Culler notices the real Jake anymore—to them, he’s nothing more than the star football player or the kid with the family tragedy. When one mistake lands him in community service, he’s shocked to find his best friend’s little sister there, too, looking cute as hell and threatening all his no-friends-with-benefits rules. But Jake isn’t ready to take a chance, no matter how crafty Haley’s willing to get to prove him otherwise…
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Coach?” I say. “Jake, you ready for this?”
He gives me a look. We both know I’m not, but I’m here anyway. “I need you to stay focused, son.”
“The game is my life.”
Coach shakes his head. “Not the game, Jake. Life, school, responsibilities. Like we talked about after Jamie.”
“Got it,” I say.
He rests a hand on my shoulder. “I hope you do. You need to talk about anything?”
The only adult who gives a shit about me is Coach Tucker. To everyone else, I’m the other Lexington, number 81. I’m responsible for the QB and the ball. That’s all the fuck anyone cares about in this town: football. I don’t blame them, I love it, too, but sometimes I want something else to matter.
He gives me a side-eye. “Not even about how you reek of alcohol right now?”
I don’t dare say anything about that.
“You ever come on this field drunk during a game, and I mean one time, you’re benched.”
“I won’t have you ruining things for your teammates, or disrespecting me or them or this game or yourself. One time, do I make myself clear?”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Danielle Ellison is a nomad, always on the lookout for an adventure and the next story. In addition to writing, she’s the founder and coordinator of the NoVa TEEN Book Festival. When she’s not busy with books, she’s probably watching her favorite shows, drinking coffee, or fighting her nomadic urges. She is newly settled in Oklahoma (for now) with her cat, Simon, but you can always find her on twitter @DanielleEWrites.
This is my desk. It’s is sort of a catch all for my life—and life is real messy sometimes. Between being in library school, writing and gaming, this desk is the safe haven for important things in my life really. I promise, many times my cat hangs out up here. The desk is easy access to important things, like my cardigan of choice, some hand lotion and the perfect place to keep a smelly-good candle.
I refinished this desk and turned it from an ugly orange-ish brown to what it is now. I love it so much! The main reason I got it was because I wanted a simple space to write and play video games. While I really love it, I obviously don’t really write at my desk that much. Most times my computer(s) just sits on it. But there’s a reason for that.
It’s too short for me. We’re in the process of fixing that issue (my partner says he can raise the desk higher? Who knew!) so for now I usually sit somewhere else. I wrote most of The Crush Collision on my bed and my couch. I’ve never been one to sit at a desk, though I want to be. It’s sort of like pushing a cart through a grocery store, which I hate. I want to be free to roam.
So roam I do. I write everywhere I can—my bed, my couch, the front seat of my car, the library, the coffee shop. I like to change it up depending on my mood. But hey, at least I have desk to store all my things on. J