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Getting Lost with Boys
By Hailey Abbott
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. Copyright © 2006 Hailey Abbott
All right reserved.
Cordelia Packer was the most uncomfortable she'd ever been. More uncomfortable than when she'd contracted the chicken pox from Alexis Dunbar, her best friend, in kindergarten. More uncomfortable than when she'd puked up her hot dog lunch onto Alexis's shoes during the semifinal round of the fifth-grade spelling bee after being asked to spell "forsythia." Actually, now that Cordelia thought about it, she was experiencing the most uncomfortable moment of her life, and Alexis was nowhere to be found. Weird. She wished she could call Alexis now.
But even weirder was the fact that she was out here camping. Cordelia never slept on anything except a queen-size bed fitted with two layers of four-hundred-thread-count sheets and a goose down comforter. Now she was lying on the floor of a tent that smelled like wet canvas, trying to reach the stone that had been digging into her back all night. This stone had single-handedly ruined the restful sleep that she had planned, and it was currently threatening to ruin something that could have been etched in her mind as the most incredible moment of all time, instead of the most uncomfortable. That certain something was the full-on, hip-grinding make-out session she was having with her exceptionallywonderful and gorgeous boyfriend, Paul.
Not only was Paul seriously sexy, he also had a way of convincing Cordelia to put aside her slightly rigid quality-of-life requirements. This time, he had won her over with the fact that Torrey Pines State Reserve was located near the beach. Cordelia hadn't heard the word near -- only the word beach. Cordelia always considered the beach to be her second home -- she just loved listening to the roaring sound of the ocean waves. But instead of relaxing in the sand, she was nestled in a tepee-like contraption and surrounded by a forest of pine trees. Not exactly what she'd had in mind.
But she tried to refocus her thoughts on the good stuff, like how Paul was now kissing the length of her neck. God, Paul was a good kisser -- "good" as in he had the power to make her forget some pretty important things, like what time it was, her first name, and what planet she was on.
"Is this okay?" Paul asked softly as he pulled her closer.
"Mmm, yes, that feels great," she murmured.
Just then Cordelia managed to wiggle so the stone shifted out from underneath her without Paul noticing a thing. What a relief. She could finally enjoy the Paul Morgan lip-lock experience.
Yeah, not a chance. Cordelia could never turn her brain off, even if someone paid her a million dollars to throw the switch. While she was thinking about how Paul's breath was so sweet and his lips were so soft, she was simultaneously obsessing that her own breath might smell like feet, the really sweaty kind. She hadn't been able to brush her teeth since last night. She also reminded herself that she usually slept with her mouth open, so who knew what might have flown in there!
Paul stopped nuzzling her neck for a minute to look deep into her eyes. He never let a day go by without mentioning how remarkably blue hers were, but she didn't expect him to say anything nice about the icky white stuff that was surely stuck in the corners of them now. He ran his hands through her long honey-blond hair, which Cordelia assumed felt greasy and disgusting -- she hadn't had a chance to wash out the styling product build-up.
Why, oh why didn't I wake up at the crack of dawn to take a shower? Cordelia thought. Then she remembered the questionable conditions of public campground restrooms and the answer became crystal clear.
She tried to distract herself by slipping a hand under Paul's T-shirt and tracing the shape of a heart on his back with her fingertip. For a non-jock, he had the most amazingly buff swimmer-type body. Ripped abs, arms that were toned (not jacked), broad shoulders. Cordelia had to restrain herself from climbing all over him as if he were a rock wall. Speaking of which, Paul was slightly over six feet tall and towered over Cordelia's small, five-foot-three frame. Even lying down next to him, she felt dwarfed, but that was fine with her. It almost made her feel protected.
Protection seemed to be on Paul's mind, too. As they were pressed up against each other tightly, he stretched out over Cordelia and made a move for his wallet. She knew what was in there. They had talked about this before. He'd only been with one person, which is very respectable for a seventeen-year-old guy. And noble too. As for Cordelia, she had just turned sixteen a couple of weeks ago and had racked up a big whopping zero conquests overall. She was cool with it, though. She was just waiting for the right person, and the right time and place.
Paul leaned back over her and delicately kissed her forehead. "You take my breath away, you know that?" he whispered.
All right, it seems like I have the right guy, chirped the voice inside Cordelia's head. After all, they had been going out for a few months and he was super-hot and incredibly nice.
But was this the right time and place? Highly doubtful. If it happened here and now, it would be an impromptu, spontaneous event, and those never happened to Cordelia Packer, the most structured, organized, type-A teenage girl in San Diego. In fact, Cordelia was the reason the Container Store existed and why Excel spreadsheets had been invented. Even if Cordelia had planned on Paul going into his wallet to dig out something that had a wrapper (but wasn't a piece of gum), she hadn't planned on being this nervous and sick to her stomach. She didn't feel right. A vision of Alexis Dunbar and the word F-O-R-S-Y-T-H-I-A flashed before her eyes. This was definitely not good. She had to do something quick, or else Paul would be covered in last night's veggie burgers.
Excerpted from Getting Lost with Boys by Hailey Abbott Copyright © 2006 by Hailey Abbott. Excerpted by permission.
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