Lena Wise is always looking forward to tomorrow, especially at the start of her senior year. She’s ready to pack in as much friend time as possible, to finish college applications, and to maybe let her childhood best friend Sebastian know how she really feels about him. For Lena, the upcoming year is going to be epic—one of opportunities and chances.
Until one choice, one moment, destroys everything.
Now Lena isn’t looking forward to tomorrow. Not when friend time may never be the same. Not when college applications feel all but impossible. Not when Sebastian might never forgive her for what happened.
For what she let happen.
With the guilt growing each day, Lena knows that her only hope is to move on. But how can she move on when she and her friends’ entire existences have been redefined? How can she move on when tomorrow isn’t even guaranteed?
The kiss was so light, like a whisper against the lips, I almost didn’t believe it had happened, but it had, and his arm was still around me, his hand still on the nape of my neck, tugging on the strands of my hair.
His mouth was still close to mine, so close I could feel every breath he took against my lips, and I wasn’t sure I was breathing, but my pulse was thrumming wildly. I wanted to kiss him again. I wanted him to kiss me back. That was all I ever wanted. But surprise held me immobile.
Sebastian’s head tilted to the side and his nose brushed mine, and I knew I was breathing then, because I sucked in a shallow breath. Was he going to kiss me? Harder this time? Deeper?
He suddenly jerked his head back, and before I knew what was happening, I was on my butt, in the grass beside him. We weren’t touching anymore. I started to speak, to say what, I don’t know. My brain had completely stopped working.
And then it struck me—what had happened.
Sebastian hadn’t kissed me.
I kissed him.
I kissed him and…and for the tiniest moment in the history of all histories…I thought he was going to kiss me back. That was how it felt.
But he hadn’t.
He’d dumped onto the grass beside him.
Oh my God, what had I done?
My heart lodged somewhere in my throat as a thousand thoughts rushed through me all at once. I opened my mouth even though I had no idea what to say.
Sebastian jumped to his feet, his face pale and jaw hard. “Hell. I’m sorry.”
I snapped my mouth shut. Did he just apologize for me kissing him?
He swiped his hat off the ground and pulled it down on his head. He wasn’t looking at me as he took a step back. “That wasn’t—it wasn’t supposed to happen, right?”
Slowly, I lifted my gaze to his. Was he seriously asking me that? I had no answer, because it wasn’t like my lips had slipped and fallen on his. Drawing in a shallow, burning breath, I focused on the bright green grass. My fingers curled into the blades as his words sunk in.
A sharp slice of pain lit up the center of my chest, flowing into my stomach like a thick oil spill, coating my insides.
“I, uh, I forgot I’m supposed to meet up with Coach before dinner,” he said, turning sideways. “We’ve got to head back.”
That was a lie.
It had to be.
He wanted to escape. I wasn’t stupid, but damn that hurt, because I could never remember a time when he wanted to run away from me.
The pain in my chest moved up my throat, choking me. A prickly heat hit my face as deep-rooted embarrassment welled up.
I was going to face-plant the lake and just let myself sink under.
Numbly, I pushed to my feet and wiped the grass off my shorts. We didn’t speak on the way back to the Jeep, and oh, God, I wanted to cry. The back of my throat burned. My eyes stung. It took all my willpower not to break down right there, and my heart ached in a way that was far too real for it not to have cracked open.
Once inside, I buckled myself in and focused on taking deep, even breaths. I just needed to hold it together until I got home. That was all I needed to do. Once I got there, I could curl up in bed and sob like an angry baby.
Sebastian turned the Jeep on and the engine rumbled to life. The radio kicked in, a low hum of words I couldn’t make out.
“We’re… we’re okay, right?” he asked, his voice strained.
“Yeah,” I said hoarsely, and cleared my throat. “Of course.”
Sebastian didn’t respond, and for a few seconds I could feel his gaze on me. I didn’t look at him. I couldn’t, because there was a good chance I would start crying.
He shifted the Jeep into drive and pulled off into the road.
What in the world had I been thinking? Never once had I acted on anything I felt for Sebastian. For the most part, I played it cool. But now I’d kissed him.
I wanted to rewind time.
I wanted to rewind time to feel those brief seconds again because I was never going to get the chance to feel that again.
I wanted to rewind time and not kiss him, because it had a big, huge mistake.
I knew that our friendship, our relationship, would never be the same.
About the Author
# 1 NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY Bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout lives in West Virginia.
When she’s not hard at work writing, she spends her time, reading, working out, watching zombie movies, and pretending to write. She shares her home with her husband, his K-9 partner named Diesel and her hyper Jack Russell Loki. Her dreams of becoming an author started in algebra class, where she spent her time writing short stories, therefore explaining her dismal grades in math. Jennifer writes Young Adult Contemporary, Urban Fantasy/Paranormal and Romance. She writes New Adult and Adult romance under the pen name J.Lynn.
She is the author of the Covenant Series (Spencer Hill Press) the Lux Series (Entangled Teen) and the upcoming YA Don’t Look Back (2014) and untitled YA (Fall 2014) from Disney/Hyperion. She is also published with Harlequin Teen and HarperCollins.