Hero: Quinton Ferris
Heroine: Laurel Kane
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They say a picture is worth a thousand words…
That’s what Laurel Kane aimed for when she was in high school, and it’s what she does now ten years down the line as a freelance photographer…capture images that spark memories and imagination. Lately though, she’s had a lot of memories cropping up and turning her imagination on. She’s placing the blame solely on her cousin for reigniting her long-extinguished crush on a man who broke her heart as a teenager.
They say what goes around, comes around…
Quinton Ferris has moved on from his high school days. Sure, he’s still an adrenaline junkie and all-around sports lover, but he’s managed to turn that passion into a thriving business. He never imagined he’d be pulled back to a time he’d like to forget and be reminded of how much of an egotistical jerk he’d been. He’s not that guy anymore. But that’s exactly what happens when Laurel spends a weekend at the Chute Shack on a photography assignment and he remembers exactly who she is.
They say time heals all wounds…
Quin can only hope that’s true, and he can finally apologize for how much he hurt Laurel when they were in high school. Because, as much as he wants to deny it, he’s falling for the woman behind the lens.
Sitting high up in the bleachers Laurel Kane leaned back and lowered the camera to her lap. Sighing in delight, she watched the football team finish practice for the day. Players milled about looking exhausted and excited for the game the next night. A few were gathered around the coach for last minute instructions, while others hovered around the coolers pulling down long drinks of water before ripping off their jerseys and pads and heading back to the locker room. All of that male teenage muscle, sweaty and rippling, caused her to blush.
Looking through the viewfinder again, Laurel scanned the boys looking for the one that tripped her heart at every turn. She didn’t find him near the coach or water cooler, but had a good idea where he might be. Moving her gaze to the gaggle of girls on the sidelines, she finally saw him. Quinton Ferris. Jersey and pads flung over his broad shoulder and Marcy Pitt grinning up at him like a buffoon.
Figures. Marcy was your typical bubbly, big-breasted blond, head of the cheerleading squad, Homecoming Queen and all around Princess of the school. Of course she would be all over Quin. He was hot, dangerous and so popular Laurel was sure even the outcasts of the school liked him. Every guy wanted to be him and every girl wanted to date him. The only exceptions to the general rule were his younger brothers Revlin and Kegen; twins who were a year younger than Quin and their own force to be reckoned with.
Ignoring the voice in her head telling her not to do it, she snapped a few pictures of Quin’s hot body before standing and making her way down the steps. She wanted to get back to the yearbook room and select the candid pictures for the six-page football section that still needed to be finished.
Reaching the bottom of the stairs, Laurel cast one last glance in Quin’s direction. Lifting the camera she snapped one more picture right as he turned her way, staring at her with his intense dark brown eyes. His dark hair fell across his forehead and a knowing smirk graced his lips “Hope you got a good one of me for the yearbook, Camera Girl. Or was that for your personal collection? I heard you have a pretty extensive one of me.” Quin laughed, slinging his free arm over Marcy’s shoulders, the other girls surrounding him giggled and snickered along with him.
Laurel stiffened, the blood draining from her face before being replaced by the heat of embarrassment. She dropped the camera to hang around her neck, took one last look at Quin as her heart broke, and then spun away. She forced back the desire to run but couldn’t resist picking up her pace, walking as fast as she could without making a bigger fool of herself. She felt fat tears roll down her face and over her hot cheeks. It was silly to cry over what he’d said, but she couldn’t help it. The first time he’d said anything to her, ever really looked at her, and it had been to get a laugh at her expense.
A bit on the shy and nerdy side, Laurel had only a few friends and even less confidence. She liked to view the world from behind the lens of a camera where it was safe. She preferred to observe and capture defining moments on film. Interacting with people never really paid off in her experience.
Resisting the urge to look back, Laurel made it to the classroom near the field, never noticing Quin’s too aware gaze following her progress. She never saw the flash of regret that crossed his face as she slammed the door closed behind her.
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