Welcome again to YAFF Muse: blog rounds. The ladies of YA Fiction Fanatics have come together for YAFF Muse. To have a little fun, explore different styles of writing and to give you some kick-butt shorts to read. Enjoy!
Foggy sunlight by walyir
by: Rachel Marie Pratt
“Mackenzie, get up.” Trae nudged me in the leg with the tip of his steel toed boot. A solid reminder, last night hadn’t gone at all how I’d planned. On my way down to Peterson’s barn, I played over and over in my mind how perfect we would be together. But reality was nothing like I imagined. Laying on a haystack opposite him for five-long-hours, listening to the torrential rains pummel the sides of the barn, the trees splintering as the wind wrestled the branches to the ground. I didn’t get a bit of sleep.
Through squinty eyelids I peeked up at him and stretched as if I was just waking. Lord, he was beautiful in the morning. Even in torn jeans and a filthy shirt, he looked good. Of course, it helped that under his dirty clothes were the lean muscles of a bull rider. I pushed from the scratchy straw to stand. Pieces of last night’s bedding poked my hands as I combed my hair with my fingers.
“I’m sorry about coming here. It’s just I thought—”
“I know what you were thinking, Mac.” His head shook and he walked toward the barn door.
Of course he knew, I didn’t exactly leave much to his imagination coming there wearing nothing but high heels and a trench coat.
Slowly, I crossed the barn to stand beside him. The minutes past while I mustered up the nerve to whisper, “The truth is I like you. A lot.”
“I like you too.” He continued to stare straight ahead.
“Yeah.” I lowered my voice, pulling the trench closer. “Just not enough to be with me.”
“Christ. You’re oblivious, you know that?”
My chest tightened at the frustration in his voice. He really must hate me. The thought turned my stomach sour. What was I thinking coming here? We’d been friends for as long as my dad stabled our horses at Peterson Farms. From day one, I talked to Trae without feeling self conscience. At least until the day I realized I wanted him more than anything else in the world.
Tears burned my eyes.
“I’d better go.” I went to move around him.
The shock of his hand sieving my arm, halting my retreat, was nothing compared to his mouth suddenly capturing mine. Like an electric current coursed through me, my body tingled. His lips crushed mine with feverish demand. I ran my hands up the front of his shirt, bringing them to rest at the nape of his neck. When I tugged him closer, deepening our kiss. He groaned and pulled back.
“What?” I asked, breathless.
His hesitation stirred my fear. “Mac, last night…I wanted you. I still want you. But not like this. Not here. Don’t you see?”
He waved his hands through the air at our surroundings, at him and me.
“I’m nineteen.” He began to pace. “I muck out stables for a living. Dammit. You’re not even seventeen.”
“I will be in a week.”
“You’re dad talks about you and Harvard.” His pacing stopped and he turned to face me. “Harvard, Mac. Not community college or working in a factory.”
“So you can’t like me because of some college?”
“That’s not it at all. I love you enough not to get in the way.”
“Love?” The word hung there, a web of admissions spun between us. He loves me. I love him. “What if I don’t go—”
“No.” Trae bowed his head. When his chin lifted the pain in his eyes is unbearable. “Can’t you see I don’t want you to give up your dreams?”
“Then don’t push me away.”
His mouth parted, but no words came. For the longest time we watched one another. Neither of us moved. My mind was made up a long time ago. And by the way he looked at me I could see his was too. It looked as though it might come down to whoever was more determined, when the barn door burst open.
“Daddy?” I gasped. My gaze shifted to Trae then back to my father, who grabbed me by the forearm and yanked me outside.
In wake of the storm the sky hazed over with a thick fog, but it didn’t hide the anger that drew hard lines across Dad’s face. “You’ve got some explaining to do young lady.”
He twisted around to Trae. “I’ll be talking to your boss.”
“Dad, please.” I begged as he rushed me to the car.
“You think I’ve given you every opportunity so you could blow it all on some cowboy and a romp in the hay?”
“We didn’t do anything.”
“You expect me to believe that boy didn’t take advantage of you?”
I stopped walking. Dad halted too.
“His name is Trae. And he didn’t take advantage of me.” Tears flowed warm on my checks. “I came here because I thought he might like me. But he didn’t want anything to do with me, except to say, we could be friends.”
Relief softened Dad’s features. “We’ve got a lot to talk about, Mac. You can’t go around offering yourself to every guy you think you like.”
I stayed quiet. It was better to let him believe that than to admit that I’d fallen for Trae years ago, and that he loved me too, especially if I wanted to save Trae’s job.
“Lucky for you that boy’s got morals.” He pointed at me.
Dad was right. Trae never once crossed the line. He wanted what was best for me and now, more than ever, I knew he was it.
I settled into the passenger seat then glanced at Trae in the side mirror. As the car pulled away, Trae disappeared into the fog. A smile tugged the corners of my mouth. We’d be together again. Just not today.
© 2010, December 15, rmg.