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While You're Away Part II: When I Retreat
     

While You're Away Part II: When I Retreat

4.0 1
by Jessa Holbrook, Mae Middleton
 
Once a cheater, always a cheater?

From the moment Will and Sarah first set eyes upon each other, they know that what they have is special.

There’s just one little problem . . . each of them already has a significant other.

After flirting with danger, it becomes clear their passion is too strong to be denied. But even if they

Overview

Once a cheater, always a cheater?

From the moment Will and Sarah first set eyes upon each other, they know that what they have is special.

There’s just one little problem . . . each of them already has a significant other.

After flirting with danger, it becomes clear their passion is too strong to be denied. But even if they make their relationship official, there are plenty of challenges in store. Will leaves for college at the end of the summer, while Sarah faces her senior year of high school in their small suburban town. Long-distance relationships always come with their fair share of troubles—mismatched schedules, jealousy, and temptation are only the beginning.

Can cheaters ever change?

WHILE YOU’RE AWAY is a steamy story about a love triangle, a long-distance relationship, and learning the true meaning of commitment.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780698152946
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
10/22/2013
Series:
While You're Away Series , #2
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
54
Sales rank:
652,142
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

SEVEN

Sitting back to back with Will, I leaned my head against his. This was the only way we could talk without crashing into each other.

Even still, we held hands. Our fingers twisted and teased. Slipping together, then apart again, they whispered with caresses. It was like our hands continued doing all the things we couldn’t. Because no matter what we wanted, we really did have to talk.

If I said too much, if I said it the wrong way, would he leave? My heart said no, but how could I be sure? A different kind of tension threaded beneath my skin. It pulled tight, shortening my breath as my pulse raced.

Pretending things weren’t complicated didn’t actually simplify them. Nerves frazzled, I shaped my lips to say it.

“You have a girlfriend,” I said. I kept my voice down. Since diving practice ended, the dark hallway took on an eerie quiet. I didn’t want all my secret thoughts and feelings to carry. No one could know what I was feeling—no one but Will. I glanced around, but we were alone. I was glad for that, because his response caught me off guard.

“Yeah. Tricia’s great.”

Jealousy filled me, not that I was entitled. But I didn’t want Will to think she was great. I wanted him to think I was better. I wanted him to admit he was mine, so I could admit that I was his. How else could we ever be together?

Casting a look over my shoulder, I said, “That night—you asked me if it was just you.”

“It sounds wrong,” Will said. His shoulders rubbed against mine. Fingers darting, he caught my hand in a new grip. His fingers trailed along the underside of my wrist. The skin there was tender, and his fingertips rough. “Or maybe it sounds like bullshit, I don’t know. But it’s different with you.”

A shiver skated through me. “How? Is it just, you know . . . physical?”

“No.”

“Are you sure?”

When he laughed, I felt it vibrate through him. “If it were, the boathouse would have been enough.”

“Okay, crazy confession time,” I said. I squeezed his hand, rolling against his shoulder. All I wanted was a peek at his face. I caught a glimpse of it in the shadows, half-masked by dark. The light caught his eyes so that they seemed unnaturally blue. Bright as the pool above us, and just as variable.

“Yeah?” he said, prompting me.

“Before anything happened, I felt like I knew you.”

“I thought you were on to me,” he said. With a wry little smile, he rested his weight against my back. “That Athena, she’s just too smart. She cut right through the douche-bag party-boy and saw my true nature.”

I wanted to gather him in my arms. I wanted to protect him from the rest of the world, who looked at him and couldn’t see past the surface. I was sad that he hadn’t had a chance to just be until now. His whole life, stuffed into a shape that didn’t fit him . . . it was like I was the only one who realized that Pinocchio was a real boy.

Twining our forearms together, I raised our joined hands. Fingers skimming our shoulders, I turned and brushed a kiss against his fingertips. “There you are, Will.”

Roughly, he said, “Here I am.”

Reality pressed in. Closing my eyes, I was forced to admit things were crazy complicated. We couldn’t just pack up a convertible and ride into the west together. He’d been dating Tricia for a while. They were homecoming king and queen, and on track to sweep the prom, too. And Dave? Dave wasn’t just my boyfriend. He was my partner. We had years of history behind us, and I cared about him.

“I’m waiting for the ‘but,’” Will said.

What a way to prove he did know me, in some basic, primal way. Already, he keyed into my silences.

“Dave isn’t just my boyfriend,” I said. “We’re partners.”

“The band,” Will said.

“Even that makes it sound easier than it is. We actually have something, music-wise. I don’t believe in muses or anything. But when we sit down and write a song together . . . it really is like there’s some force out there, pouring music and lyrics into us.”

“I’ve seen your website,” Will said.

It touched me that he’d looked at it. That made the rest of what I had to say even harder. I wanted him to understand that Dasa wasn’t so much about me and Dave as a couple. It was about us as artists.

With a frown, Will looked back at me. “You know, I’ve heard you play without him. You’re really good.”

“I’m better with him.” I sighed. This was a mess; I was making it worse.

Will turned. I guess he thought I needed to see him when he said it. Catching my chin gently, he searched my face. Then he met my eyes, unwavering. “I don’t want to take that from you.”

Nervous, I nodded. I appreciated the gesture, but part of me wanted him to protest, to want to be the only guy in my life. Covering his hand with mine, I wondered if this was the part where we agreed to meet back up in five years and see if we could make it work then. A knot formed in my throat. It twisted tight, because the thought of giving him up made me want to cry.

His expression melted dramatically. All at once, his eyes were seeking. His brows tilted, reflecting my pain. Soothing, he stroked my cheek, knuckles grazing my jaw. “Hey. Hey, shhhh. There’s nothing wrong here. We can figure this out.”

“Can we?”

Meet the Author

Jessa Holbrook comes from a very small town that happened to have a very big library. When she was six, she decided to read her way from one end to the other. More than a few years later, she’s still working on it. She’s so in love with books that she also made them her career—and, she admits, she cheats on the book she’s reading in the bedroom with the novel she left in the basement.

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While You're Away Part II: When I Retreat 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
kimberlyfaye More than 1 year ago
Sarah's story continues in part two of my new favorite novella serial. In this book, Sarah has some big decisions to make. Will she stay with the Dave, her friend, musical partner and the guy with whom she has history? Or will she take a risk and pursue Will, the taken player with whom she has an intense chemistry – and maybe something a little more special? "I wanted to gather him in my arms. I wanted to protect him from the rest of the world, who looked at him and couldn't see past the surface. I was sad that he hadn't had a chance to just be until now. His whole life, stuffed into a shape that didn't fit him… it was like I was the only one who realized that Pinocchio was a real boy." One of my favorite things about this series is that Sarah sees a different side to Will. There's more to him than meets the eye and she's the only one who can see it. Everyone else expects him to be someone else. She sees the real guy, the vulnerable one, under his carefully-crafted exterior. I think it's part of what makes these novellas so magical. Her friends don't understand it, I'm not even sure she fully understands it, but the connection is there and very real and maybe, just maybe, worth risking everything for. "In our last conversation, Jane and I had come to what seemed like a conclusion: Will was the bad candy, and I shouldn't have any more. And at the time, I'd agreed." Jessa Holbrook has something very special going on with this series. The writing is gorgeous, the dialogue realistic, the characters believable and special enough that I can connect with them in just a few pages. There are sweet moments and sexy moments and funny moments. With humor and heart and just flat-out fantastic storytelling, I'm completely hooked. I'm torn between wanting to know the ending now and wanting to savor every minute of this story. So far the savoring is winning, but we'll see. :) "You don't talk to a guy like Will Spencer! You ride him like a pony, and you go, whee, I always wanted to have a pony, and then five minutes later you say, I'm over it now, thanks, bye!"