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Unedited Text – Excerpt BITTER BETRAYAL Copyright © 2016 Amanda M. Thrasher release Copyright © 2017 Amanda M. Thrasher 

Chapter 1

Cover For Me

DTB CU there!

(Don’t text back see you there).

The message flashed across her phone and that’s all it took. Not even a whole sentence and suddenly all she could think about was getting out of there. Payton hadn’t heard a single word the kid standing in front of the class nervously speaking had said, as her fingers frantically tapped away on her phone. Looking back, what was she thinking?!?!

Payton: Cover for me

            Aubrey: Seriously?

            Payton: Problem?

            Aubrey: Yah

            Payton: Really?

            Aubrey: Nah

            Payton: K

            Payton: G4I (Go for it)

Aubrey: 182 (single space underneath put: I hate you)

            Payton: U don’t hate me J Luv u 

                  Five, four, three, two, and the bell finally rang. Payton shot out the door. Aubrey, her best friend since 6th grade, took her time and shoved the books she’d left behind into her backpack. Payton’s behavior though frustrating at times wasn’t surprising. She was head crazy about that boy, Reece Townsend, and it helped that Aubrey liked him too.

With less than ten minutes to freshen up, get across campus to her car and make it to the dam in time to meet Reece, Payton didn’t have time for small talk with anyone. Dodging in and out of kids she avoided eye contact with as many people as she possibly could. The boy’s football coach, Coach Duncan, was headed her way. His voice, undeniably recognizable, bounced off the walls and echoed through the corridor before he was physically present. When finally in view, she purposely looked at her feet and rushed passed him. No way was she making eye contact with him; questions about her brother and his playing time on the field at college would stall her.

“Whoa girl, where’s the fire?”

Coach grabbed her arm as she tried to rush past him, her whole body swung around forcing her to face him. Arm still in his grasp he shook his head. “Slow it down girl! If only my boys had moved half as fast this morning.”

Managing a slight smile she pointed toward the bathroom. He raised his hands in the air shook them back and forth, stopping her from saying another single word. He wanted no part of what could pop out of that girl’s mouth. She was liable to say something for the shock value alone. He didn’t need to know, want to know, or care to know for that matter. He let her on her way, no questions asked. A healthy spritz of perfume, lip-gloss, duck-lip practice, and Payton climbed into her car.

“What took you so long?” he said.

Payton’s love of her life…well at least to a sixteen year-old love struck teen. One look at his face with that smile, and she melted. It was bad enough they attended different schools, but him a senior, narrowing down his college options meant she’d be stuck there without him. The thought of it made her cringe. She obsessed about him leaving on a daily basis, even when he asked her not to, but she couldn’t help it. Not today she told herself pushing the thoughts out of her head. The best part of his day was right then as he watched her walk toward him. He was sitting on the back of his tailgate, swinging his legs back and forth, waiting patiently for her to join him. He tapped the cool metal, her cue to join him. She grinned. So freaking hot! He always looked that way to her, and all she wanted to do was wrap her arms around him and kiss that face of his! Her grin turned into a girlish giggle.

“What’s so funny?” he asked.


“Whatever!” A cute smirk crossed his face. “Something.”

She grabbed his face in her hands, laughed out loud, and kissed him before stepping aside to hop up next to him on the tailgate, but Reece playfully pulled her back toward him instead. Standing face-to-face she brushed his sandy-brown hair to one side revealing his green eyes. She could get lost in them; they were that pretty, at least to her.

“What?” he asked.

“Nothing,” Payton giggled. “You grabbed me, remember?”

“I did. But why are you staring at me like that?”

His breath hit her face. Truth be told all she wanted in that moment was for him to kiss her; really kiss her. Move Payton. Move now, she told herself stepping back and taking a deep breath herself.

“I’m just looking at you, that’s all. You’re kinda cute like that.”

He rolled his eyes. But Payton could tell by the boyish smirk that crossed his face that her comment had pleased him. She loved that look on his face. He looked a few years younger, like a real kid. It was sweet.

“You know I’m supposed to say that kinda stuff,” he said as seriously as he could but it wasn’t working.

The long cotton skirt she’d chosen to wear that day wrapped around her legs as she swung them bag and forth on the tailgate. Sandals, painted toes, and a T-Shirt completed her outfit. Her long dark hair with a delicate headband, complimenting her outfit, finished off her look.

“You look hot. But I know you know that, so I’m not going to tell you!”

He laughed. “Just kidding. You look amazing. Beautiful as usual!”

Payton’s face lit up. She leaned in and kissed him gently on the lips. Funny thing though, she thought Reece was the most beautiful thing she’d ever seen. They’d actually argued about that statement once. Guys aren’t beautiful, he’d stated. They could be handsome. Good looking, sexy, dope, hot or even cute, but not beautiful! Men were not beautiful. But it didn’t matter what he thought. To Payton he was and she could look at him all day long.

“Hey, you never did answer my question,” he said.

“What question was that?”

“Why were you late?”

“You idiot!” She nudged him playfully. “I’m not late; you’re early and for the record I’m the one who’s usually waiting for you!”

He held her by the elbows, leaned in, and kissed her quickly on the lips. She would have kissed him back but he’d already pulled away. Just as well, she wouldn’t have wanted to stop and that wouldn’t have been good since time wasn’t on their side.

“Aubrey covering for you?” he asked as he rummaged through a sack that he had sitting next to him.

“Yep. Advisory. Shouldn’t be too hard.”

She was always late when they met for lunch, but there was no way she was going to tell him that, he’d cut their time short for sure. He held out his hand and she hopped up next to him on the tailgate. So thoughtful! Payton had never struggled with confidence before Reece, but he unknowingly made her question herself, but she didn’t need to, worry. She was popular, a good student, considered hot, and well liked.

“Whole or half?” he asked holding a sandwich in his hand.

“Half,” she answered knowing she couldn’t eat in front of him anyway.

The breeze was cool but not cold, a perfect day for a picnic on the back of her boyfriend’s truck. Why did they have to go back to school?

Reece’s phone buzzed. She didn’t glance at it, but she wanted to. It buzzed again. He didn’t read the text, but did check the time. Pointing at the sandwich she hadn’t touched he nudged her to take a bite. She didn’t think he’d noticed she hadn’t eaten, but he had.

“We’re going to be late if you don’t hurry up. Eat.”

She leaned into his arm. It felt good just being close to him. The feeling of closeness made her want to kiss him, and she had no idea if he knew that. So stupid, irritating, that she felt this way every time they were together. Not to mention when it was time to head back to school it made leaving incredibly difficult. Payton missed him before they’d left. Surely this was normal for a teen her, wasn’t it? She looked at her sandwich just as Reece took a bite out of his.

“I’m not really hungry.” She hesitated for a second, opened up her mouth to speak but closed it again.

“What is it?” he asked, knowing she wanted to say something.

The words unexpectedly flew out of her mouth, surprising even her.

“We could cut class.”

Reece’s eyes darted toward her.

“Stay here and hang out a bit longer,” she added.

Payton Phillips suggesting we cut class. Sweet! He wasn’t sure if he was shocked, but was definitely impressed that it was her idea. They’d been together over a year, but she’d never once insinuated they should cut class before. Grinning, he shook his head.

“I can’t. I’ve got a test this afternoon. No pass, no play, remember?”

Even though she knew he was right, her heart sank.

“But I can’t believe you just suggested that, something I might think of, might, but I didn’t think you would.” Reese took a drink of his coke. “Um. OK then. I think you kinda got yourself in a bind. I might just hold you to that sometime!”

She didn’t care. Hell, advisory or Reece? Seriously…was that a real question? Worth the trouble she if she got caught? Hell yeah! Reece jumped off the tailgate of his white dodge and stood in front of her. One arm wrapped around her neck, one around her waist, he kissed her, real kiss, and she kissed him back. An incoming text interrupted them. Flushed cheeks, heart racing, though Payton wouldn’t have agreed in that moment, it was for the best the text came in. They may not have left that spot for a while longer. Not to mention Aubrey couldn’t cover for that long if she was late. After all, Aubrey wasn’t a miracle worker. Covering for lunch and half of sixth period, advisory, no problem but more than that red flags. Reece’s phone buzzed again, this time he answered the text.

Reece: K CUS – DTB (OK See you soon. Don’t text back)

“Hey, can I ask you a question?”

Reece shrugged his shoulders. “Sure.”

“How come when you text sometimes, me, and it apparently others.” Her raised eyebrows indicated she’d read his response.

“Yeah,” he said hesitantly.

“You don’t let me text you back?”

He looked puzzled.

“What are you talking about?”

“What’s with the DTB. Don’t text back?” She asked.

Reece shoved his phone into his back pocket and packed up the trash. Payton waited for his response.

“What? Seriously?” He laughed. “That’s your question.”

She nodded. “Yeah. That’s it,” she said moving her foot in tiny circles around and around in the dirt. “Like, if you text me first, why can’t I text you a response back?”

He grabbed his phone and pointed to her texts. Now she wished she hadn’t asked such a stupid question. If felt as if she was invading his privacy or something, but a simple explanation didn’t seem too much to ask a second a go.

“Really you want to know why?” He didn’t wait for a response. “It’s simple. Sometimes I’m in class. Sometimes I can’t talk for various reasons. Like right now, I’m here with you and dip-wad Walker is looking for me. Or sometimes I’m driving, at practice, whatever.”

He pulled his phone back out of his pocket and checked the time. “But right now I’ve gotta go, and so do you.”

DTB. A way to communicate without communicating; cute wasn’t it? Was it? Why was she suddenly questioning it?

#YA #TLA17booth2926 #teens #peerpressure #highschool #socialsituations

Amanda M. Thrasher

Mom’s Choice Awards® Gold Recipient The Greenlee Project Trailer

Award-winning ‘The Greenlee Project’










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