Can first loves really be forever?
Nolan Lennox was strong, a survivor. She’d stood up to those who tore her down and found her purpose in life when she was at her lowest, her heart broken. And she was rewarded with the fairytale ending she’d always dreamed of. She spent four years loving Reed Johnson, the popular quarterback at her small town high school, earning his friendship first and, eventually, his heart. But fairytales are fiction, and life…well, real life is messy. Can Reed and Nolan’s love survive the growing pains that come along with truly growing up?
Reed and Nolan’s story continues in Going Long, the sequel to Waiting on the Sidelines. It will be available for download on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Sony and Barnes & Noble in October 2013.
Nolan and Sarah were waiting on the leather sofa at the main entrance to the athletes quarters, their feet folded up in their laps. The girls had grown closer in college and even more so when Sienna moved in with her boyfriend. I was glad that Nolan had someone like Sarah to look after her. She’d told me off a time or two, and I’ll be honest, it made me nervous. I wanted that same toughness at Nolan’s side when I wasn’t around.
“Well, how’d I do?” I asked, kicking at Nolan’s folded legs a little.
She stood up, pulling her shirt down over the top of her shorts, always modest and still so damned unsure of her beauty. Chewing at the inside of her cheek a little, she put her thumb to her lip like she was considering something. “Hmmmm, I don’t know, Johnson. I’d put you at about eighty percent,” she nodded, acting with disappointment.
“Eighty percent, huh?” I said, rushing her a little and swinging her over my shoulder to carry her through the doors. Her giggling started then, the best sound in the whole damn world. “Eighty percent?”
I took off running, leaving Sarah behind. Nolan knew exactly where I was going as she started slapping at my back and threatening me that I’d ‘better not.’ When we got to the main fountain at the center of campus, I pulled her back over my shoulder and held her in my arms as I pulled off my shoes with my feet.
“Reed Johnson, don’t you dare!” she screamed as I stepped over the concrete edge and waded in the water, sliding closer and closer to the main spray. Her screams and giggles only egged me on.
“You want to rethink that B minus, Noles? Eighty percent? You sure about that?” I said, freezing in place, just one more step away from the full effects of the waterfall. I looked her in the eyes and watched as she flinched, just for a minute, and then finally did it.
“OK, maybe I was being a bit unfair. You were really more of an eighty-two,” she said, baiting me.
Our eyes locked, I pushed my lips tight into a disapproving grin and shook my head. “Oh, now you’ve done it,” I said, stepping forward and stopping us underneath the force of the fountain’s shower. Nolan wasn’t mad. Sure, she screamed and smacked at my chest as the freezing water poured over us. But my playfulness never rattled her. If anything, it had the opposite effect, which I was counting on as she reached around my neck and pulled my head to hers for a forceful kiss. Her hands grabbed at my soaked T-shirt, pulling me closer. I let her body slide from my arms so I could wrap my fingers through her hair. It was a good thing Trig and Sarah reminded us we were in public.
“God, you two. It’s bad enough that I don’t have a boyfriend, but do I really have to be the uncomfortable third wheel on our way to the bars, too?” Sarah broke us up.
“Sorry, Sar. I get carried away, what can I say,” I said, grinning.
“Yeah, yeah,” she said, reaching for Nolan’s hand to help her climb over the edge of the fountain. But I wasn’t about to let her go. I grabbed her back in my arms and dunked her once more, pushing my forehead to hers as she slid her hair back out of her eyes and blinked the beaded water from her lashes, laughing. I swung her back and forth in my arms as I carried her back to the dry side, the tips of our noses touching and my lips tingling just watching her bite her lower lip. Unable to take it, I had to kiss her once more, the soft and slow kind I did when I forgot others were watching or when I wanted everyone to know she was mine. And she was…she had my whole entire heart.