Twelve Steps by Veronica Bartles (Excerpt)

12 steps cover PT

“I really am sorry you’re so upset. You can yell at me, if it helps,” Laina says.

Of course I’m not going to yell at her. But obviously, I can’t tell her about Jarod’s visit this afternoon either. If she ever stopped being so clueless and realized he’s in love with her, I’d lose any hope of a chance with him.

I swallow hard and sit up, crossing my legs and leaning against the headboard. “You should be sorry. You’d think a straight-A student like you would be smart enough to realize that Oreos cannot be properly devoured without the requisite glass of milk.” I frown and stare at my empty hands, as if waiting for milk to magically appear.

“Oops!” Laina jumps up, giggling, and races out of the room.

I feel the slightest twinge of guilt over manipulating her compulsive need to please people, but sometimes Laina’s neuroses totally come in handy. And right now, I really need a few minutes to plan my next move. Thomas Jefferson’s advice about being cool and unruffled is perfect in almost every situation, but sometimes life requires a little bit of carefully-constructed drama. And if I’m going to get ungrounded in time to show Jarod he’s going after the wrong sister, this is definitely one of those times.

Laina returns a few minutes later and hands me a tall glass of cold milk. I carefully twist open an Oreo and lick out the crème filling before dunking the cookie part into my milk.

“Okay, now will you tell me what’s bothering you?” Laina asks.

I blink back a few well-timed tears. “Nothing. I’m fine. Really.” I dissect another cookie.

“Come on. You can tell me.”

I take a deep, shaky breath and set the cup and the decimated cookie on my nightstand. Then, I shrug and pick at imaginary balls of lint on my quilt.

Laina wraps an arm around me and pulls me in for a protective, big-sister hug. “Talk to me. Maybe I can help.”

I shake my head and pull away. “I’m just so tired of being grounded. You’d think they could overlook one silly, little D. I still have a B average, and who cares about biology anyway?” I frown and look up at her through droopy eyelashes. “What’s it like, being the favorite child?”

Read more about Twelve Steps and enter to win a copy and Amazon gift card.

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One thought on “Twelve Steps by Veronica Bartles (Excerpt)

  1. Pingback: Twelve Steps Blitz and Giveaway | Plain Talk Book Marketing

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