“I’m never mocking the art club again.”
His bad-boy reputation required at least two detentions per week, but this time, he’d bitten off more than he could chew. Two whole moths of helping the theater group backstage?
David stared at the huge canvas, his chin propped in one hand. It looked like someone had barfed random colors on it. “Ghastly,” he said in a lofty tone, imitating a British accent.
“You don’t like it?” asked a sultry, sensual female voice.
He turned so fast, he overbalanced and had to resort to some hefty footwork to stay upright. That voice should belong to an older woman, wearing a business suit and an all-knowing smile. Instead, he faced a girl with golden hair braided in two plaits. Her petit frame was mostly hidden by her large, paint-splattered jean overalls and checkered shirt. Bright, sky-blue eyes shone behind rimless glasses.
She tilted her head. “Well?”
He couldn’t take his eyes off the perfect curve of her lips. Idiot, you’re staring.He forced himself to shut his eyes. A muscle in his jaw twitched in annoyance. He didn’t even know this girl. “Who are you?”
She squinted. “Your detention supervisor.”
David heaved a sigh. It wasn’t her fault that his stupid heart went haywire. Actually, it was, but she wasn’t doing it on purpose. And if he was nice enough to her, maybe he’d get out of detention sooner. “Sorry. I’m David.” He reached out his hand. “And, no, I don’t like the barf painting.”
Her eyes still slits, she took his hand and shook. “Maximillianne. And I know it’s not my best work, but I wouldn’t go as far as to call it barf.”
Crap! Diversion, quick.“Maximilliane. Wow, that’s a mouthful.” Great, insulting her art and now her name.
She gazed as though trying to read the fine print on his forehead. His collar became unbearably hot. Finally, a small smile tugged at the corner of her lips. “You can call me Millie if it’s too much of a brain-stretch for you.”
He laughed. “Touché.”
Her smile widened and the entire room seemed to brighten. “Okay, now we’re clear on that, why don’t you help me turn this new décor into something that makes sense? Bring it down, would you?”
“Yeah, sure.” He grabbed the sides of the canvas. It was heavier than he’d originally thought. Heaving, he pulled it to the ground. “There you go.” He turned to face her and caught her staring. “What?”
Her eyes rose from his chest to his face. “You the sporting type?”
He narrowed his eyes, trying to hold back a smile. “Why?”
“Oh.” She waved at the canvas. “You must be working out.”
“I don’t. I swim a lot, though.”
She nodded, a rosy blush covering her cheeks. “I can’t swim.”
“It’s not hard. Maybe I could teach you sometime.” He bit his tongue as soon as the words were out. He couldn’t believe he’d said that. An image of what she might look like in a swimsuit filled his mind. His cheeks burned and he prayed he wasn’t blushing.
She batted her eyelashes and grinned. “That sounds lovely.” She pulled two paintbrushes from the pocket of her overalls. “Let’s get to work.”
David watched her searching a cupboard for paints. Maybe detention wouldn’t be so bad after all.
Born and raised in Romania, the only girl amongst two brothers, Stefanie has spent her childhood playing pretend and inventing characters. Once she actually learned how to spell in English, she started writing the adventures of her alter egos. Hundreds of thousands of words and thirteen years later, after two years of learning the craft of writing, Steph still tests the waters of her imagination, coming up with stories and characters. Her first paranormal romance novel, Hunters, will be published in July 2012 by Melange Books.
Visit her blog at: http://stephacrosstheborder.blogspot.com/