A Son of Carver
Genre: Upper YA/NA Contemporary
Release Date: May 17th 2016
one you can only see through someone else’s eyes. But what happens when those
eyes belong to the one person you don’t want them to?
affair and her parent’s resulting separation, Presley Knox has been ripped from
her life in California and dropped into an abyss in the middle of Georgia. With
her alternative looks and creative spirit, trying to find her place in a sea of
jocks and cheerleaders is hard, but doing it while living with her cousin who
belittles her every chance she gets is almost impossible. There is one person
in Carver who embodies everything Presley hates about her new life and she
can’t help but use him as the outlet for all of her frustrations.
image isn’t a façade; he drinks too much, sleeps around, makes his money street
racing and has zero plans for his future beyond living a rowdy life with his
likeminded dad and older brother. His good looks, cut body and popularity have
always gotten him anything and anyone
he’s ever wanted. That is until Presley Knox showed up at Carver High.
of Presley and her sharp tongue that’s always aimed at him. But that becomes
impossible when they’re paired together for a semester-long photography
assignment that promises to push them into the depths of each other’s personal
lives. In order to survive the semester, Nash implements a new strategy: get
the one girl who’s immune to his charm to change her mind about him.
to know everything about her, and with
the nagging voice inside her head that’s insisting there’s more to him than
she’s letting herself see, Presley struggles to keep her wall firmly in place. When
it slowly begins to crumble, Nash wonders if he should have kept his distance after
all because the girl that’s been hiding under Presley’s hard shell is breaking
his heart wide open.
things to a lot of girls, but Presley’s the only one he’s ever wanted to
shelter and protect. But how is he going to do that when he knows she’s right
to keep their friendship a secret in order to protect herself from him?
“From one to ten, how much do you hate living here?” I ask Presley.
She laughs – a normal cute laugh, not an angry one. “Depends on where I am.”
“You’re here; in your room… with me.”
She rolls her eyes at me. “Ten’s the worst?”
“An eleven?” she smirks.
“Is it because the room part or the me part?” I ask, cocking my head at her.
I pout at her.
“Don’t even try that with me,” she says, narrowing her eyes.
“It’s cute,” I tell her.
She shakes her head.
“Come on, I’m cute – you have to admit it.”
“You’re not cute, Nash.”
“Yeah, I guess sexy’s the more accurate word.”
She squints her eyes at me, her mouth lifting with a wicked grin. “It bothers you, doesn’t it?”
“What? That I’m so sexy? No, not really. I mean, sometimes I just want to be left alone but it comes with the territory. What am I supposed to do?”
“It bothers you that I don’t think you’re cute, or sexy and that I don’t particularly like you.”
Yes. Completely. In fact, I’ve made it my mission to make you like me.
“Am I the only girl who hasn’t crumbled after a mere glance from you?”
I lean forward and cock my head at her, giving her a sly smile. To which, her reaction is a tight grin that says, nice try, cheese ball. “Probably. But don’t worry, I’m pretty sure I’m getting to you already. Not particularly liking me is a huge step up from absolutely despising me. And I can maybe believe the not cute thing, but there’s no chance you don’t think I’m sexy. Have you seen me with my shirt off?”
“You realize that huge muscles aren’t a turn on for everyone and that some people even find things like a brain and modesty to be sexy?”
I give up the act and lean back on my elbows. “I don’t know what to say – you got me. I don’t have much of a brain and I’m definitely not modest. You could still like me though, right? I mean in a, I’ll tolerate him for a couple of hours kind of way.”
She mimics my posture, laying back on her own elbows. “I suppose.”
I stare at her – she’s got her hair pulled up on the top of her head in a messy bun, her face is bare; her ivory skin glowing in the sun that’s coming through her window. Her eyes are closed, her long lashes brushing against her cheeks. She looks peaceful. I pick up my camera, aim it towards her and snap a picture.
“What are you doing?” she mutters, eyes still closed.
“Taking your picture.”
“Can we talk about it for a minute before you proceed with your assignment?”
“Talk about it?”
She lets out a frustrated breath, sits up and looks at me. “We were supposed to start at your house. This makes me uncomfortable; having someone take my picture, especially here in my home landscape that’s not actually my home at all.”
“Are you trying to tell me you don’t want me to take your picture? Because I’m pretty sure I can’t pass the class if that’s another one of your rules I have to abide by.”
She pinches her eyes closed and clenches her teeth. “You can take my picture. I know you have to do that. I just thought if we laid out a plan I could limit the number of pictures taken.”
“I don’t get you, Presley. I’m trying to get you, I really am… but honestly, I can’t figure you out. Why wouldn’t you want your picture taken?”
She glares at me, which happens so often I’m pretty much immune to it.
“You’re not self-conscious?”
Another glare, this time it punctures the surface of my skin.
“You’re gonna have to use words, I’m not fluent in severe facial expressions.”
“Forget it, Nash. Just do whatever you’ve gotta do, it’s fine.” She stands and grabs her camera off her desk and shoves it into her backpack.
I stand too and walk to her. I turn her around so she’s stuck between me and the desk. She has a talent of running away when our conversations become too personal but I’m not gonna be dealing with whatever issue she’s got with my camera for the rest of the semester. “I get that you’re immune to my charms, so please don’t take this as anything other than a fact being stated.”
She crosses her arms over her chest, but doesn’t tell me to shut up, so I carry on.
“You’re pretty. Like really, really pretty – you know that, right?”
“I swear to God, if you say one word about my body…”
“I’m not talking about your body which, by the way, is extremely beautiful. I’m not even talking about your blue eyes, your thick hair or your perfect skin. I’m talking about your cute smirks, your impressive eye rolls, the way you chew on your lip and how you’re always hiding behind your hair. I’m not artist, I can barely work the camera on my phone, but I’m pretty sure I’m gonna ace this class because you’re my subject matter.”
“Jesus, Nash, you are seriously too much. I mean I get it – I can see how a speech like that would win over any girl you know but you’ve gotta stop trying to use your lines on me. It’s seriously starting to piss me off.”’
My head actually retracts at that. There is no winning with this girl. “You really don’t believe a word that comes out of my mouth, do you? You think everything I say is just some stupid line meant to convince people that I’m likeable because, in reality, I can’t possibly be anything other than scum, right?” I stare at her, fully aware that I’m getting more worked up than I should be. She stares back at me but says nothing.
“When I saw you in that class I wasn’t any less annoyed than you were, but I told you I would try with you. And I believe you told me the same thing. But I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who’s actually doing it. I’ve been nice to you, I’ve taken two days out of my weekend to prove to you that I’m taking this seriously because you told me you needed that from me, I’ve tried getting to know you, I even tried being a friend to you. And every time you make it clear that you hate everything about me I find some reason to justify why that is and I let it go because I’m trying to get somewhere with you. But we’re never gonna get anywhere if you’re constantly pissed off at me for no damn reason. I can’t even give you a genuine compliment without you making me feel like a piece of crap.”
She flares her nostrils and shakes her head.
Presley’s never been able to keep her mouth shut. She’s got an opinion about everything and everyone, especially me. I didn’t think anything could be more annoying. But this is. Her refusal to acknowledge anything I say like I don’t even deserve her words is way more annoying than a litany of insults.
Forget it. I grab my bag off her bed and head out the door.