Releasing July 14, 2014
Bliss knows all about bad choices but has yet to make them herself. With an innocent heart, she searches for freedom and finds it in the delinquent down the hall.
Dusty is a foul-mouthed troublemaker, tear-maker and heartbreaker. The boy with summer sky-blue eyes knows to stay away, but he can't resist the girl who made his house a home.
She's his reason, but he might not catch her when she falls.
She loves him. He loves her crazy.
This is what happens when a love made of secrets is kept with rules instead of promises.
Buried beneath the blankets, I press the phone to my ear. Dusty doesn’t realize I’m back on, so I listen to him smoke: light, inhale, exhale, sigh, laugh. Hearing it is almost as good as actually seeing his lips around the end of a joint.
“I’m back,” I whisper.
"Beautiful, beautiful, baby Bliss. Baby, baby Bliss." He laughs, taking a hit.
My dad’s a juvenile court judge. Our dinner table talk usually consists of him complaining about the kids he sees coming in and out of his courtroom. It’s an epidemic, he says. Children Bliss’ age using drugs. And it always ends with, Bliss, never give into peer pressure. It starts with a little grass.
Maybe it is some kind sweeping epidemic, but weed doesn’t sway Dusty the way my dad claims it does other people. It soothes him. It makes him funny and honest and tolerable.
My dad doesn’t know everything.
"I thought about you all day,” Dusty says softly, lazily. "I miss your face. I miss your candy wrappers all over my room. I miss your cold toes on my legs under the covers."
"Oh, yeah?" I grip the phone tighter, pressing my knees together. The sound of his low voice sends chills up and down my arms. I bite my bottom lip and curl my toes.
“Come over,” he exhales.
I roll onto my side and turn my face into the hoodie’s hood, inhaling the faint sent of vanilla. I’m lit up, full of crazy butterflies and overriding happiness. This boy makes me smile bright.
"I'll take my mom's car. I'll come get you." He's only half-kidding. "Say yes."
"You'll drive high?"
"I'm not high." There's a moment of silence before he chokes on his laughter. "I'm so fucking high."
I revel in his tone, and his voice, and his silly, half-slurred words while I lie in the dark pretending he's close.
"I'm so hungry, Bliss baby. If you were here, I'd probably eat your elbow. I’d eat your—"
"Dusty,” I cut him off. “Tell me a secret."
"I love you," he says.