Thursday, April 7, 2016
About THE NATURAL HISTORY OF US:
One class assignment. One second chance at love. The school player is all in. Now he needs to win back the sweet commitment girl who's forever owned his heart.
Justin Carter has a secret. He's not the total player Fairfield Academy believes him to be. Not really. In fact, he used to be a one-woman guy...and his feelings for her never went away. Too bad he broke her heart three years ago and made sure to ruin any chance she'd ever forgive him.
Peyton Williams is a liar. She pretends to be whole, counting down the days until graduation and helping her parents at the family ranch. But the truth is, she's done everything she can to get over Justin, and salvation is just around the corner. With graduation one short month away, she'll soon break free from the painful memories and start her life fresh. Of course, she has to get through working with him on one last assignment first.
For Justin, nothing ever felt as right as being with Peyton, and now that fate's given him a shot at redemption, he's determined to make the most of it. And for Peyton...well, Justin Carter has always been her kryptonite.
“Gabi Avila,” I read, looking at the tough chick from English class. “Huh. You know, I can’t get a read on this girl at all. I’ve gone to school with her for a while but haven’t said like two words to her.”
Carlos glanced over and I held up the book. “Hot,” he announced. “And my luck, a Commitment.”
“She’s friends with Aly Reed, so I’d say that’s probably right.” Brandon pointed at the right side of the legal pad. “I’ve known that girl for a long time and she’s one of my closest friends. I can tell you she’s absolutely a Commitment.”
As Carlos jotted down both names, I flipped to the end of the class photos and found Aly. She was cute. If I remembered right, she played for the volleyball team. In her picture, she was laughing instead of smiling, and something about the way her eyes crinkled reminded me of Peyton.
“I think it’s safe to say most of the Diamond Dolls are Casuals,” Carlos said, already writing Ashley’s name. “They seem cool with just hanging out and having fun, not trying to call any of us their boyfriends or anything, right?”
The other guys nodded in agreement. I wasn’t sure what Lauren wanted from me, but she’d never brought up labels. She left notes in my locker before games, cheered for me in the stands, and saved me a seat at lunch—basically the same things all the Diamond Dolls did. She also ignored me the other six days of the week, openly flirted with the other players, and kissed random dudes in the hallway. I’d say that was probably the definition of Casual.
“What about that new girl?” I asked. “I think her name is Peyton?”
Carlos side-eyed me, having seen her that day in the bleachers, but he didn’t out me.
Drew scratched his chin. “Who?”
“You know, the cute girl who started this semester. Strawberry blonde, kind of quiet, spends most of her lunch break reading a book?”
From the way all three of them turned to stare at me, it was clear my attempt for nonchalance missed by a mile. Carlos smirked, but replied, “Yeah, I’ve seen her around a few times. She came to the game the other day, didn’t she?”
Yes, she had. And I’d felt her watching my ass from behind home plate.
“The girl who screamed bloody murder at the umpire for missing that call?” Brandon asked, and I nodded, fighting a smile at the memory. It had been a horrific mistake, almost cost us the game, but hearing Sunshine yell so loud, and seeing her face turn red while she did it in the stands, had made it damn hard to stay angry.
The guys looked at each other for confirmation before saying in unison, “Commitment.”
I went to argue. I wanted to believe Peyton could be a Casual. If she didn’t want anything serious, then there would be no problem with us hooking up, having some fun, and hopefully getting her out of my head, since nothing else seemed to work. But, I knew the guys were right.
Carlos glanced at me, the pen pressed to the paper. I released a breath and said, “Yeah, she’s totally a Commitment.”
And completely off limits.