Ah, young love…

It doesn’t just happen to brooding vampires and confused teenage girls; we’ve all been there.  Yes, that’s right, we’ve all fallen in love and had our hearts broken .

Remember what it was like to be in love as a teenager?   All butterflies and roller coasters and stars and desperate passion and…whatever else television likes to say about it.  Say what you will about falling in love for the first time (whether you were 13 or 53), but it was memorable.   It may have caused quite a bit of heartache and tears, and it may not have worked out, but it was probably not something you forgot.

Maya, as supernatural as she is ,still succumbs to the powers of  young love.  (Just as a reminder, Maya Price is the main character in Identified: The Maya Price Story).   Maya is in love with Pete,  a boy she has known her entire life.   Just before she finds out she is a shifter, Maya confesses to Pete that she has feelings for him.  It is a pivotal point in their relationship, but Maya is taken away (to Leets) immediately after her confession.   The excerpt below is the scene in which Maya admits to her feelings for Pete.   Pete has just taken Maya away from the town’s annual picnic,  where she made a stinking, drunken mess of herself, and he is berating her for her behavior.   The scene starts with Maya’s apology to Pete.

 

From Chapter 3 of Identified: The Maya Price Story

The pair sat in silence and listened as an alternative rock singer crooned from the radio in Pete’s truck.  “I’m sorry”, Maya whispered, “I don’t know…”

“Are you mad at me because I went to the picnic with Katelyn?” Pete interrupted.

Maya’s heart began to play drums in her ears and she could hear the blood rushing to her head like the noise of whitewater rapids.   She felt her stomach twist and wondered briefly if she would throw up again. Interlacing her fingers and squeezing her palms together, she debated her answer choices.  She could: 1.) lie, 2.) avoid the question and feign nausea, or 3.) tell the truth.

“Yes,” she told him, in barely more than whisper.

Pete took off his glasses and furiously cleaned them on his shirt.  Maya knew that this was a gesture that indicated either nervousness or frustration.  At this point, it could have indicated either.  After putting the glasses back on, he looked over at her expectantly and, when she did not say anything more, looked down at his hands.  Though her head had not stopped spinning, she could see that he was interlacing his fingers and pressing his palms together just as she was. She felt like she was on the verge of panicking, but also felt very calm.  She felt that her heart would beat so fast that it would explode.

“Are you jealous?” he managed to ask, his voice even softer than before.

Although to both Maya and Pete it seemed like an hour, twenty seconds later she replied “Yes” and looked away.

Laying her cheek against the cool glass, Maya wanted to quiet her emotional and physical state.  The racing of her heart mixed with the lingering nausea.   Despite the fact that the alcohol was causing her eyelids to begin to droop downward, Maya felt alert.  Anxiety collected in her fingers and toes and she was beginning to sweat.  This was Pete.  Pete, her running buddy.  Pete, who punched Josh Walman in the face for making fun of Summer.  Pete, who brought her a box of strawberry popsicles the first day of summer, every summer, because he knew they were her favorite. Pete, who asked her to the Homecoming Dance sophomore year and, when she refused to go,  stayed home and watched reruns of Buffy the Vampire Slayer with her.  Pete, who sat beside her on the porch swing for seven nights straight the week after her mother left, even though she refused to talk.    Pete,  who laid down next to her when her Grandma Smith died and, when he thought she was asleep, drew a pictures in the palm of her hand and told her he was there.

As she replayed these moments in her mind, Pete suddenly slipped his fingers through the fingers of her left hand, now resting on her left thigh.   He pulled her hand closer to him, forcing Maya to look at him.  Never in her life had she felt breathless until this moment.  It was a strange, new feeling, trying to catch her breath as another singer began to sing from Pete’s radio.   The See Ya Later!  Picnic seemed like it was a hundred years ago.   Pete began to pull Maya’s hand closer and closer to his chest so that she was forced to lean with it.  She did not lean in toward him quickly, but she did not fight him either.   Finally, her face was right next to his.

With his free hand, Pete drew a line with one finger along her chin.   Maya could feel his warm, sweet-smelling breath on her cheek and leaned in closer.  Slowly, and somewhat carefully, Pete placed his lips on her right cheek…

 

And, if you want to know what happens to Maya and Pete, stay tuned….

Identified will be released December 3rd!

 

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About Faith Rice-Mills

Librarian. Writer. I teach my students, but they also teach me. Married to my best friend from high school. Mommy to the most cutie patootie I've ever seen (AB, we call her. Though the husband likes to say "little monkey"). Owner of Simon and Fitzgerald (Not Paul and F. Scott, my dogs). My parent's daughter, in every sense of the word. Siblings-Yes! They are some of my best friends. Afraid of snakes, elevators and cotton balls. Love having coffee with my best friend. Yoga=yes please! Developing a sense of style. Interested in playing with verb tenses. Oh! And point of view! Would love a delicious chicken fried steak followed by a chocolate chip cookie. Love my red pants, my pearl necklace, and my sparkly gold shoes. Wish I was fluent in Buffyspeak and that Harry Potter was my friend. And so that's me...
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