26 Jul 2016

Graham by Natalie Decker

Graham Nichols’s main goal in life is to forget. Getting high, completely wasted, and running through a string of sexy blonds daily helps him achieve this task. But one night of partying lands him in a heap of trouble and sent back to the confinements of his hometown. Things can’t possibly get worse, right?
Sarah Morris can't seem to run fast enough away from her past. She’s spent months trying to amend her ways, and is doing a pretty good job. She’s getting good grades, isn't acting like a spoiled brat, and even works at the local grocery store. The last thing she needs is a distraction.
Enter Graham Nichols, the one mistake Sarah can't escape.
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Beep-swipe-beep-swipe. This is a big part of my day seven days a week. Working at a twenty-four-hour grocery store? Yeah, this shouldn’t be my life at all. What I should be doing is sitting poolside with a drink in hand and staring at hot men showing off their sexy washboard abs and glistening tans. “Ma’am? Ma’am?” A fat hand waves in front of my face, popping my daydream bubble and bringing me crashing headfirst into reality.
I blink and smile at the woman. “Yes?”
“These were two for five. They rang up $3.99.”
I skim through my screen and find the item she’s complaining about. I also notice she didn’t scan her discount store card. It’s people like this that make me detest coming here in the first place. Seriously? Swipe the card, get the store discounts. It’s not rocket science.
Instead of rolling my eyes and telling her off like I want to do so badly, I say in the sweetest voice I can muster, “It’s on sale, but you have to use your Wineminster card to get the discount. Do you have yours?”
The woman folds her arms and says through gritted teeth, “Of course I have my card. But I don’t use it until the end of my order.”
Resisting the urge to scream at this woman, I bite back my retort and simply smile. “When you scan the card at the end of your order, you’ll see a price difference.”
“No need to get rude, missy. I was simply stating it was ringing up for full price.”
I continue scanning the woman’s order. My shift ends soon, and I can’t wait to cash my paycheck and get the hell out of here. Thirty minutes left. I can go home, take a nice long, hot bath, and soak my hair in this new conditioning cream I got from the salon.
“Hey, Sarah, how about you, me, and some butter popcorn in a dark theater tonight?” Henry says in what he probably thinks is a sultry tone, but it comes off as nails on a chalkboard to me.
I shoot him a glare. “No.” Henry is gross. I’m not saying this to be a snot, he really is the most disgusting form of man I’ve ever seen. First, he’s like, uck, twenty-five, has acne scars, greasy copper hair, and lives in his momma’s house. She still washes all his clothes and packs his lunch for work. Can we say man-child?
Did Henry’s voice all of a sudden turn deep and sexy? No. That’s the voice from my dreams. Did I dose off during this order? I blink. Nope. Still awake and the old woman’s order I’m finishing up on is giving me the evil eye. As I snatch up her corn from my right, I notice a tan, muscular arm dropping three boxes of cereal onto the moving belt.
My eyes widen as I lock stares with the same boy who has haunted my dreams for over a year now. The one guy whose heart I crushed and who will probably never forgive me. “Sarah Morris?”
I tuck some of my hair behind my ear. At the start of the school year I dyed it from blond to a deep burgundy. I’d give anything to tell him he’s got the wrong girl, but the damn name tag on my shirt kind of makes it impossible to lie. This is the last place I wanted him or anyone from high school to see me. But here it is. The inevitable is happening. My luck really sucks. “Hi, Graham.” I smile. He fishes some things out of the cart his mom is standing behind. Idrop my gaze to the register’s screen.
“What are you doing here?” he asks in a harsh tone.
And there it is, the dreaded question that was sure to follow. I shrug. “Working.”
What’s he doing here? He’s supposed to be in Knoxville.

Natalie Decker is the author of the bestselling YA series RIVAL LOVE. She loves oceans, sunsets, sand between her toes, and carefree days. Her imagination is always going, which some find odd. But she believes in seeing the world in a different light at all times. Her first passion for writing started at age twelve when she had to write a poem for English class. However, seventh grade wasn’t her favorite time and books were her source of comfort. She took all college prep classes in High school, and attended the University of Akron. Although she studied Mathematics she never lost her passion for writing or her comfort in books. She’s a huge Denver Broncos fan, loves football, a mean cook in the kitchen, loves her family and friends and misses her dog infinity times infinity. If she’s not writing, reading, traveling, hanging out with her family and friends, then she’s off having an adventure. Because Natalie believes in a saying: Your life is your own journey, so make it amazing!


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