As an extra bonus today as part of the Foretold blog tour I have a snippet of the book just to tease you to go out and buy it asap.
After the events in South Georgia, Riley returns to Atlanta and the classroom.
The old Starbucks’ parking lot was nearly full up by the time Riley pulled in and, to her relief, she was a few minutes early despite all her fretting about being late. Harper had been right – finding a Klepto-Fiend in the middle of a peach producers’ convention had been anything but a slam dunk. Three hours in she’d finally caught the little fiend as it’d slowed down long enough to collect some glittering peach pins at one of the producer’s booths. On the plus side she’d scored four jars of peach preserves. Those would be yummy on Mrs Ayers’s homemade scones.
Peter sauntered over the moment she exited her car.
‘The wandering Riley returns,’ he said. ‘And look, no gator bites, either.’
A magnificent bruise encircled his left eye, shading from brown to green.
‘Peter! What happened?’ she demanded.
‘Your stalkery ex said something I didn’t like and I told him to jam his head up his butt. It didn’t end well.’
‘Alan? I warned you he’d get even,’ she said. ‘Why didn’t you tell me about this?’
‘You had enough going on down south – you didn’t need to know about my problems.’
Getting in Alan’s face felt like a plan right now. He couldn’t hit her best friend and not incur her wrath. Riley’s eyes swept the various knots of students as they clustered around talking or texting before class began.
‘So where is the jerk?’ she asked.
‘He’s suspended until Thursday. I only got a warning.’
There was only one reason Peter might receive that.
‘You hit him back?’
‘Sure did,’ he said, holding up his skinned knuckles as evidence. ‘My dad gave me props once he heard what happened. He said he was proud of me, but it had to be top secret so Mom doesn’t come unstuck.’ He waggled an eyebrow. ‘Simi thinks I’m cool because of it.’
‘She’s just jealous of your hair,’ Riley replied, pleased her barista friend had finally begun to take Peter’s interest seriously.
‘Maybe, but she thinks I’m so cool we’re going to the dance together.’
That works. Simi would encourage his wilder side while he mellowed her out. Then the other part of his statement registered.
‘What dance?’ Riley asked, hefting her backpack on a sore shoulder. Her muscles still felt as if someone had stomped them into a pulp.
‘It’s the annual citywide “dress like an adult” thing. It’s this Saturday.’ Peter fell in step next to her as they walked towards the building.
‘You mean the prom?’ Of course he did.
With the school system bankrupt, the dances were sponsored by local businesses. To accommodate all the kids in the city, there were a series of proms and it appeared theirs was going to be way early this year.
A pang of envy shot through her. She would have loved to go, but . . .
‘You guys have fun.’ She would probably be trapping smelly demons in a MARTA station or in the bowels of Demon Central.
‘You can come, you know,’ Peter suggested. ‘I’m sure I could spare a dance for you.’
‘No. It’s . . . It wouldn’t feel right.’
‘So ask Beck to the dance.’
‘What?’ she sputtered. ‘No. Not happening.’
‘Ah, I got it. You’re chicken. You’ll take on a horde of demons, but when it comes to the one guy you’re really hot for—’
Riley glowered at him. ‘Don’t. Go. There. The subject is closed, Mr King.’
Peter raised his hands in surrender. ‘Whoa, you are grouchy. I was looking forward to seeing you . . . why?’
‘You don’t understand. It’s complicated with me and Beck.’
‘Buzzz!’ he said. ‘It’s totally simple: You guys have to stop being idiots. You’re driving each other crazy along with the rest of us.’
FORETOLD © 2012 – Jana Oliver (Macmillan Children’s Books)
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