Sneak Peek #1 of Choosing You (The Jade Series)

ChoosingYou This excerpt from Choosing You is from early in the book when Jade arrives on campus and meets Garret for the first time.

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We go outside and start unpacking the trunk, which holds a few boxes and some garbage bags stuffed with clothes, sheets, and towels. As I’m picking up one of the bags, it splits open on the bottom and clothes start seeping out.

“Shit, I knew I should’ve got—”

“Can I help?” The voice seems to be coming from a guy, but I can’t really see him because the bag I’m holding is blocking my view. I peer around it to see him picking my clothes off the ground. “Here, you take these and I’ll take the bag. It looks heavy.”

“I can handle heavy.” I snatch the tank tops he’s holding, then turn my back to him and maneuver the torn bag a different way so it doesn’t tear even more. I feel the guy watching me. “You can go now. We don’t need any help.”

Ryan clears his throat. “Um, Jade, why don’t you introduce yourself?”

Every part of me wants to kill Ryan right here and now. This make-a-friend kick he’s forcing me into is beyond annoying.

I turn around, the bag still teetering in my arms and extend my hand. “Hi, I’m Jade. Nice to meet you.” The bag is blocking my face again.

“I think you’re in there somewhere. You sure you don’t want some help with that bag?” The guy slowly takes the bag from me, holding onto the torn end. I give up and let him have it.

He’s very tall with broad shoulders. The bag looks tiny with him carrying it. He holds it with one arm and extends his hand with the other. “Hi, I’m Garret.”

It’s dark out, but the campus lights provide enough illumination for me to check out this Garret guy. He’s not bad. Okay, he’s hot. Like extremely hot, which means he’s probably a complete ass who uses girls, then tosses them aside. Guys that good looking always get what they want, then move on.

“She’s right on the first floor if you want to follow me.” Ryan motions the guy to the door. I quickly grab another bag and slam the trunk shut, making sure to give Ryan the evil eye as I walk past him.

“Are you a freshman?” Ryan asks Garret once we’re in my room.

“Yeah, I moved in this morning. I actually live right upstairs.”

“Do you know anyone here?”

I give Ryan a look to shut up and let the guy leave, but he ignores me.

“I know a ton of people. Half my prep school ended up here. It’s almost like we’re just continuing high school.”

“Isn’t that great, Jade? He knows a ton of people. He can introduce you around.”

“Yeah. Great. I’m going back to the car.” I start to leave, but Garret stops me.

“Where are you from?”

I turn around and look at him. It’s hard not to stare. He’s that good looking. “Iowa. Des Moines, Iowa.”

Garret doesn’t say anything.

“It’s in the middle,” I explain. “East of Nebraska. West of Illinois. South of Minnesota. North of—”

“Yeah, I know where it is,” he says. “You’re the Kensington Scholarship winner, right?”

How did he know that? Did they include my bio in the orientation packet? Or did the garbage bag suitcases give me away?

“Yeah, that’s me. Anyway, I need to unpack so I’ll see you around.”

“Let me help. I’m not doing anything.”

“No, that’s not—”

“That’d be great,” Ryan says. “Thanks!”

I scowl at him once again. He smiles back.

With the three of us carrying stuff, it only takes a couple more trips to get everything inside.

“Okay, well, thanks for the help,” I say to Garret, praying that Ryan will finally let the guy leave.

“Sure. If you need anything else, just come upstairs. My room is about halfway down the hall.”

Once he’s gone I slam the door shut. “What the hell was that about?” I whisper-scream to Ryan.

“I was helping you make friends. He seemed okay, didn’t he?”

“I didn’t notice. It’s late. I’m super tired. And look at me!” I pull on my tank top. “I’ve been stuck in these sweaty clothes all day. I stink. And you thought now was a good time to introduce me to people?”

“That guy didn’t care. And it’s like 100 degrees outside. Everyone is sweating.”

“I need to shower and go to bed.” I dump one of the garbage bags out on the floor and begin searching for pajamas.

“I’ll guess I’ll head to the motel. I should call Chloe and check on Dad. I’ll come by around 8 and we’ll go to breakfast.”

“And then you’re leaving?” My voice sounds sad and a little desperate. I didn’t mean for it to come out that way. The last thing I need is for Ryan to think I can’t handle being alone.

“I’m sorry I can’t stay, but I have to start heading back. It’s a long drive and I need to get home to take care of Dad.”

“I know. I was just giving you a hard time. Go call your girlfriend. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

He leaves and the sick feeling gnaws at my stomach again.


Excerpt taken from Choosing You, (The Jade Series #1) by Allie Everhart
Copyright 2013 Stephanie Karpinske
Published by Waltham Publishing