Life, Love, and Lemons by Magan Vernon
Genre: YA Contemporary
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When life hands you lemons, sometimes you have to say screw the lemons and bail.
Seventeen-year-old Bentley Evans had it all. Then her Dad got laid off.
Now she has to move across town to a small apartment and leave her life of luxury for public school and a job at the local burger place. Just when her world seems like it’s crumbling she finds solace in the unlikely punk boy next door, Kai Stone. But as their relationship blossoms, a jealous ex-girlfriend and a secret to tell that threatens to bring disaster back into Bentley’s life.
“You know I’m pretty sure that all that’s involved in high school dancing is just dry humping and swaying back and forth,” I said as Kai helped me move my parent’s couch back.
“Well, I don’t want to dry hump or just sway back and forth,” he said with a big grin on his face before setting the couch down.
“We don’t have to do this right now either. It’s a Sunday morning and all.” I walked over to the front of the couch, not taking my eyes off of him.
“Homecoming is Saturday, and the only dance I know is the Hokey Pokey.” He shrugged. “Besides Mom and my sisters are at small group and your parents can sleep through anything, so why not now?”
“Okay.” I let out a deep breath and opened my computer. “But you really didn’t take any kind of dance classes? I had ballroom dancing freshman year in gym.”
“Bentley, I’ve gone to public school all of my life. The only dance we ever learned was line dancing when I was in grade school up in Wisconsin, and I’m not doing that at Homecoming.” He laughed.
I started up the song and set my laptop down and stepped in front of Kai, putting my right hand up toward him. “I definitely don’t think there will be line dancing at Homecoming,” I said, putting my hand in his.
“And you make fun of my music?” Kai asked as the song crooned through the speakers on my laptop. I put Kai’s right hand on my hip, and then placed my left hand on his upper arm.
“This is Sinatra, I really don’t think there is anything to be making fun of, and besides I don’t think we could really do ballroom dancing to punk rock.”
“I’m sure we could try.” He smiled and kissed my forehead.
I rolled my eyes. “Okay, now that we have the arm position it’s time to move our feet, and if you step on my bare feet I am going to punch you.”
He playfully hovered his foot over mine, so I pinched his arm. “If you don’t behave then I’m switching the music to country.”
He let out a big sarcastic sigh. “Fine.”
“Okay, so left foot then right foot then together,” I said as we moved in unison.
“Then right foot goes back and then the left foot meets it.”
We moved together doing a few box steps. It felt kind of silly to be dancing in my pajamas in the living room.
“You know, I really don’t think that anyone is going to be doing the waltz at Homecoming,” I muttered
I looked up to see him mouthing ‘left, right, together’.
“Well what do people usually do then?” He looked down at me and stopped mouthing the words.
The Sinatra song ended and a slower punk rock song played, one that Kai had actually put on my computer.
“Usually…” I put both my arms around his neck. “It’s kind of more of a close, swaying motion.”
“Oh.” He wrapped his long arms around my waist and pulled me as close as I think two people can get when one was over six foot and the other was barely over five foot three.
“Like this?” He swayed slowly back and forth.
“Usually it’s not some sort of a giant dancing with a midget.” I laughed.
“Fine then.” He bent at his knees and picked me up off of the ground, so that my legs were dangling in the air while he continued to sway back and forth. “Is that better, shorty?”
I wrapped my bare legs around his waist. “Now it is.”
I leaned in and ran my tongue along his bottom lip, tracing the lines of his lip ring.
“I don’t think that’s part of the waltz.” He smiled and pressed his forehead to mine.
“It is now.” I kissed him, pretty hard, since he fell back into the couch with me still in his arms.
Maybe I should have taken him up on the night alone instead of Homecoming. It felt so good to just be in his arms, and the kissing wasn’t so bad either. I could forget about the world every time that Kai kissed me. It was like his lip piercing had some kind of magical powers that just made all my problems disappear as long as we were kissing.
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