My first Teaser Tuesday! I was writing this entry and then I realized I don't know the rules.. Am I allowed to post something from a book that's already done? Or do I have to post something from what I'm working on now? Hmmm...
This is from my YA novel ACES UP, which will be out in August...
“This is you, right?” he asks. He pulls a crumpled-up piece of paper out of his pocket. He’s still a few feet away, but I can tell what it is. An internet printout of an article from our local newspaper, The Whitinsville Eagle. ‘HIGH SCHOOL JUNIOR WINS BIG AT MATH DECATHLON,’ it says. It’s accompanied by a picture of me, smiling into the camera and looking a little cross-eyed. Also, I’m wearing a white shirt, which has the unfortunate effect of making it look like my head is floating in midair.
Uh-oh. Is this some kind of trick? Is Cole actually casino security, trying to fool me into admitting I’m only seventeen? I square my shoulders and pretend I have no idea what he’s talking about.
“No,” I say, squinting at the picture and hoping I look super-confused. “I’ve never seen that girl in my life.”
“It says your name underneath it,” Cole points out. Damn.
“What do you want?” I ask again, letting the door go. It closes behind me. “If you’re trying to blackmail me, good luck. I have seventeen dollars to my name, so if you want to go through all this trouble for that, then be my guest!” I pull open my purse and shake my money onto the ground in a pathetic storm of fives and ones. I was trying to sound haughty, but it didn’t come out that well. “And where did you get that printout, anyway?”
“Googled you,” he says.
“Why were you googling me?” I ask suspiciously.
“We do a standard background on all the new employees.”
“What’s ay says up?” I ask again. Definitely sounds shady.
“It’s a poker society,” he says. “And we want you to join.”
I frown. “A poker society? I don’t know anything about poker.”
“We want to teach you.” He looks at me intently, his dark eyes serious. “We think with your math skills, you might be able to win a lot of money.”
“How much?” I ask in spite of myself. I mean, I would never gamble for money. A) I can’t risk losing everything B) Gambling is shady and C) I’m totally underage. Lying to get a job is one thing. Lying to gamble is another thing completely. But still. Now that Cole doesn’t seem as dangerous, and my path to the door is clear, I’m slightly intrigued.
“Lots.” In this light, he looks a little bit like Casey Affleck. But I will not be swayed by mopsy hair and dimples. Especially when I’m smart enough to know that nothing comes for free, especially money.
“Yeah, well assaulting me outside the elevator? Not the way to get me to join your stupid society,” I say.
“I told you, it’s secret,” he says, waving his hand like it’s nothing. “We have to be careful who sees us together.”
“I don’t want to be a poker player,” I say. I open the door again, and my feet sink into the soft carpet of the hallway. “I don’t want to be a gambler of any kind. And so I’m leaving.” I take one step outside, waiting for him to call after me. “Aren’t you going to try to stop me?” I ask, turning back around.
“Nope,” he says. And then looks me up and down, like he’s sizing me up. But not the way guys usually do, like they’re trying to figure out if they want to hook up with you. It’s more like he’s giving me a tryout of some sort. In fact it’s kind of ….sexy. Way sexier than the other kind of sizing up. But then I remember there’s nothing sexy about accosting me in an elevator and trapping me in a hotel room.
And then I figure it out. He’s pretending he doesn’t need me, so that I’ll be all, “I want to be a famous poker player, oh, please please please!” Ha! He obviously doesn’t know who he’s messing with. “I’m leaving,” I say again, forcefully this time.
“Okay.” He shrugs again. Annoying.
“Well,” I say. “Bye.” I step all the way into the hallway then.
“Bye, Shannon,” he calls as the door shuts behind me. But something about the way he says it implies he thinks I’m going to be back.....