Buh boom, buh boom.
My heart thrusts with a force that takes me by surprise. Telling me something I don’t understand. A splitting pain, a longing to slip back under. They tell me I was in a hit-and-run, but I can’t remember what happened that night. All I know is that I woke up with pictures in my pocket, a card from one of those photo booths in the mall. And I’m in the pictures. Cody Rush. Me and…
Her brother was there that night, and my dad, the FBI agent, was the one who put her mom behind bars. What’s the connection? And why won’t Julianna talk to me now? Somehow, she holds the key to it all, and getting close–real close—to her for the answers I need will be no hardship at all…
Excerpt —Medicine on the Nightstand
A soft rap at the door sends me running for the window.
“Hey,” his voice greets me.
I whirl around, feigning composure. Cody leans up against the door frame and casually slings his hands in the pockets of his basketball shorts, like finding me in his bedroom is completely normal.
I fell asleep in his living room during our tutoring session and he carried me in here. He had to have.
“Sleep well?” he asks.
“It’s, like,”—I gesture to the clock—“nine o’clock. And I’m in your bedroom.”
“Yeah, I thought you’d be more comfortable in here. And your head was on fire. I put some medicine on the nightstand. Here—”
He crosses the room to the nightstand, his shadow against the far wall stretching as he draws closer. Now I notice the glass of water and little bottles of medicine clustered around it.
“Headache reliever and fever reducer,” he reads from the first bottle and then picks up another. “I wasn’t sure which one you’d want, if any.”
I watch him fish through the medicine that he set out for me while I was sleeping. This is so unlike Vic or Dad, so unlike Lucas or any other guy I’ve met, and I suddenly have a very hard time swallowing.
He reaches up toward my face, his intent gaze nearly undoing me. My heart flings a stream of flutters against my rib cage and I hold my breath. His thumb brushes my cheek, that weak spot of mine that turns me to mush. And this is Cody Rush.
“Here,” he says, his eyes shifting to follow the motion of his thumb. “You have something under your eye.”
Mascara. Makeup everywhere. Ratty hair. I recall the reflection I saw in his mirror a moment ago. “I’ve got to get home.”
He takes a step back. “I’ll take you. Let me change my shirt real quick. I made Lizzy laugh when her mouth was full of chocolate milk and I learned my lesson.”
I glimpse the specks of brown covering his shirt before he whips it off in one swift motion right in front of me.
I spin away, looking anywhere else. “Ah . . .”—I motion toward the door—“I’ll just, you know—”
“Come again?” he says, pretending not to hear me. I’m well acquainted with that playful tone in his voice by now and I turn to meet his eye, instantly knowing it was a mistake. The dim lighting of the lamp casts shadows in all the right places along his defined chest and abs. His mischievous smile sneaks out to tease me right before he pulls on a new shirt.
“Come on,” he says with a wink as he heads to the hallway. “Let’s go.”
Praise for Between Now & Never
“A romance that will keep teens turning pages.” ~ Janette Rallison
“This was a lot different than I was expecting and I was honestly surprised with how much I enjoyed it. The cover led me to believe this would be a cute, love story but it was a suspenseful and gripping read.” ~ Review from Goodreads
“Best book I read all year! On the edge of your seat suspense, heartwarming romance, and characters to cheer for—Between Now and Never is one you won’t want to miss.” ~Kelly Nelson, author of The Keeper’s Saga
“I had the privilege to read BETWEEN NOW AND NEVER when it was in manuscript form. I loved loved loved it from page one! Laura Johnson is such a talented author — really looking forward to reading more of her work!” ~Kay Lynn Mangum, author of The Secret Journal of Brett Colton
Laura Johnston lives in Utah with her husband and two children. Growing up with five siblings, a few horses, peach trees, beehives and gardens, she developed an active imagination and always loved a good story. She fell in love with the young adult genre both through her experience in high school as well as her job later as a high school teacher. Laura enjoys running, playing tennis, sewing, traveling, writing, and above all, spending time with her husband and kids.
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