Read an Excerpt
Perfect Boy, The RB/SB
I don't wanna be a player no more
Ciara Simmons gripped the back of Dougie Hendrick's neck and pulled him closer as his tongue slid inside her mouth. She closed her eyes and breathed in the mixture of sweat and TAG body spray wafting from his skin as the sun beat down on them through the rear windows of his Hummer, which was parked at the edge of the student parking lot at Westwood Prep.
Ciara's mind traced over the past half hour: Dougie had strolled up as she finished cleaning out her locker, shoving a year's worth of old loose-leaf and worn manila folders into a trash bag and carefully taking down the photos of her and her best friend, Em, rocking out at the Black Eyed Peas show and partying on their class trip to Baja. Star of the lacrosse team and headed for USC, Dougie was a hulking blond senior with a small sun tattoo on the right side of his wide, tan neck. Girls loved him, and Ciara had been making eyes at him from across the room in her Eastern Religions elective for the better part of the semester.
As he approached her locker, Ciara waited for the familiar surge of power and excitement she always got when she was about to "land" a guy. She waited through Dougie telling her that she looked good and that he was sorry he didn't get to know her better while he was still at Westwood. He asked if she wanted to check out the sound system in his new Hummer. As soon as his gaze fluttered from her long, dark legs to her twinkling Hershey-colored eyes, she knew that Dougie wanted to touch her. She waited for this to feel good and right, like it always did. Andnow, in the hot backseat of the Hummer, with Dougie's arms around her and his tongue halfway down her throat, Ciara was still waiting.
Ever since her first kiss behind the toolshed at the far end of the soccer field in the sixth grade, Ciara loved smooching boys. She loved the way they smelled, loved the curious, longing way their lips moved, loved the way they looked like they would do anything to keep kissing her once she pulled away. She considered herself kind of a player...she liked having guys around, but once the initial rush of that first heady kiss wore off, she tended to get bored. And lately, the boredom was setting in faster and the rush took longer to kick in. Ciara had always prided herself on thinking more like a guy than most of the guys she knew, but lately it seemed like every guy she made out with was getting more out of the experience than she was.
Dougie's fingers, broad and callused from so many hours cradling the lacrosse stick, began to creep under the soft cotton of her lavender Miss Sixty T-shirt. Ciara pulled back, clamping her hand over his through the material.
"Uh-uh," she warned him.
"No?" Dougie flashed the wide, open grin that had probably worked many times on other girls. But she was already tired of his smile and his need. She was ready to be out of there.
"Sorry, I don't play that way," Ciara said, removing his hand and scooting away from him on the seat. She stretched her arms over her head, then checked the small gold Seiko watch she always wore on her left wrist. "In fact, I should get going. I gotta start packing."
"Oh. Well, uh, where are you off to?" Dougie asked. He sounded disappointed. She could hardly blame him...he probably thought he was going to score a goal, and she was already calling game over.
"Santa Barbara," Ciara said. "My dad's got a place near the beach." There was no reason for Dougie to know her dad had been living in their summer house permanently ever since her parents split up right after Christmas. That was the kind of thing you only told best friends, not casual hookups.
"You gonna be away all summer?" Dougie asked, reaching for her again. The heat inside the car had plastered his blond hair against his forehead with sweat, and his eyes looked puffy in the harsh sunlight. To Ciara, he suddenly didn't look nearly as good as he had standing by her locker in the hallway half an hour before.
"Maybe." She shrugged halfheartedly. "Maybe not. We'll see."
"Well, how 'bout giving me your number for when you get back in the fall?"
"Who knows if I'm even coming back," Ciara said saucily. She had already grabbed her backpack and opened the door. She hopped out of the car and strode across the parking lot to her cherry-red Jetta. As she slid into the driver's seat, her shoulders began to slump. The high she usually got from landing a guy had never materialized, and the faint scent of TAG body spray in her hair was so cloying it turned her stomach. She couldn't wait to get home and take a shower...even though it would take her thick, kinky hair hours to dry.
Her cell rang as she clicked her seat belt into place.
"Where were you?" Em's voice came floating through the earpiece. "We waited for you after school, but you never showed. We're still on for movie night, aren't we?"
Ciara groaned to herself. Movie night used to be her favorite thing in the world: her and Em sharing vats of kettle corn and mooning over Heath Ledger's sexy accent until the wee hours. But ever since Em had gotten together with her boyfriend, Tim, right before Valentine's Day, movie night had become a three-person affair with guns and car chases infiltrating the mix.
"I had some stuff to take care of," Ciara said quietly.
"Oh?" She could hear the skepticism in Em's voice. "Like what? And does this have anything to do with Dougie Hendrick chatting you up at your locker?"Perfect Boy, The RB/SB. Copyright © by Hailey Abbott. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.