Clockwise, p.31
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       Clockwise, p.31

           Lee Strauss
 
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Chapter Two

  CASEY

  One Month Later

  Nate lifted my chin (ah, I loved it when he did that) and I closed my eyes, waiting for the kiss.

  I wrapped my arms around his neck and puckered up in anticipation, but before his tasty, soft lips touched mine, we were interrupted by a honking car and the most inconsiderate driver ever.

  Tim screeched into the driveway with his signature blasting bass line vibrating his car, like he had someone trapped in the trunk and he was kicking it in rhythm from the inside. I imagined the whole neighborhood sighing with relief when he turned the engine off. His friend Alex hopped out the passenger door with a shrug and a limp wave before hoofing it the block and a half down the street to where he lived.

  “Get a room,” Tim grunted as he passed us.

  “Oh, that’s so original,” I spouted back.

  Nate frowned. “What’s his problem?”

  “Which one, he has many.” I felt my shoulders droop. “You’d think that a near death experience would make you appreciate life more.”

  And the people in it. If anything Tim had gotten even surlier since the incident at the bank. My parents had contacted a counselor, but so far Tim had refused to go.

  Nate’s frown deepened. “He wasn’t the only one who could’ve been hurt, you know. And here I thought I only had to worry about you when you tripped.”

  “Trip” was the word we used for when I traveled back in time to the nineteenth century. Yup, I time traveled. You can’t get any more abnormal than that. But I was thankful for my “gift” now. It had everything to do with how Nate and I got together.

  I didn’t want Nate to worry about me, here or there. “Where were we?” I said, grabbing his waist and pulling him close.

  He tilted his head towards mine. “I think we were just about to...”

  I pursed my lips and let myself fall into the rhythm of his kisses.

  Nate’s mouth went to my ear. “I have to go or I’ll be late for work.”

  Nate had a summer job working as a mail boy for an advertizing corporation in Cambridge.

  My fingers went to the cross around my neck as I watched him climb into his rusty ’82 BMW and drive away. I blew out a long breath when he disappeared around the corner.

  When I turned to go back to the house I stopped short. Standing in the neighbor’s driveway was Chase Miller. The Millers were new, just moved in next door two weeks ago. My parents had been quick to greet them and get all the facts. Turned out Chase was my age and would be going to Cambridge High with me in the fall. He was just barely my height, with short dirty blond hair. He had a slimmer build than Nate, and walked with a lazy, easy-going slouch. Still, there was something appealing about him. He had calming, dark-eyes and right now they were settled on me.

  Had he been watching me and Nate kiss good-bye?

  He leaned against a small car with his arms folded. He raised his eyebrows and flashed me an amused smile.

  I felt myself blush and let my gaze fall to the driveway as I headed for the front door.

  We lived in a large white Colonial with two rows of symmetrical windows, each with black slatted shutters. The flat yard had mature trees and bushes in full summer bloom, and was fenced in the back. Easily large enough for just the four of us, yet so often lately it didn’t seem nearly big enough. Mom and Dad were recently reunited after a year-long separation. Tim used that difficult event to fuel his innate need to rebel which unfortunately hadn’t subsided with Dad’s move back home.

  I could hear Mom shouting when I entered the front door. She and Tim were at it again. What was it this time?

  Tim’s voice carried down from the upper floor. “Why are you snooping in my room?”

  My mother yelled back, “Are you going to try to blame this on your friends, too?”

  I hated it when they fought. I thought it might help if I offered a diversion. “Hey Tim, can I get a ride to Lucinda’s?”

  He was already bounding down the steps and said tersely as he brushed by, “No.”

  Mom was on his heels. She stopped when she saw me, opening her hand to reveal the item in her palm. I grimaced. It appeared that Tim was into smoking more than just cigarettes these days. Mom closed her eyes, deflated. Why did Tim insist on hurting her? My blood surged with a new bout of anger and indignation and I chased after him.

  “Tim! You’re doing drugs now? Are you insane?”

  “Leave me alone.”

  I couldn’t believe Tim would do drugs. Even the mild stuff could tempt a stupid guy like Tim into trying something worse. I was furious. “Who’s giving you drugs?”

  I reached his car just as he started the engine. The window was down and I grabbed onto the door frame. Tim’s hair had grown and constantly fell into his eyes. He flicked his head so he could see and that’s when I noticed his black eye.

  “What happened to you?”

  He narrowed his good eye at me. “Nothing, let go of my car.”

  My heart raced. Why did Tim have to go off the deep end, just when things looked like they might get back to normal for this family?

  “Drugs and fighting?” I spat out.

  Tim revved the engine. “I said, let go of my car.”

  “Not until you answer me. Who’s dealing?”

  Tim grabbed my arm, pushing me out. I refused to let go.

  It was a bad idea.

  A dizzy spell and a flash of light later, I was pulled to the ground by my brother. We were surrounded by mature, leafy deciduous trees. Small birds rustled away from a nest nearby. I breathed in deeply the scents of the warm earth and unpolluted air.

  Tim shifted back and forth, taking in his new surroundings, his eyes bugging out like he was on a bad trip.

  “Wh-what just happened? Where are we?”

  I groaned because I knew where we were. We were in the middle of a forest in Cambridge Massachusetts in the year 1862.

  Avaliable now!

  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

  The biggest shout out has to go to my lovely daughter, Tasia Strauss. Not only was she my muse for this book, she gave me great plot ideas, her editorial chops, plus her faith in me as a writer has been unwavering. My husband Norm is a close second, always affirming and supporting me on this long, exciting and sometime tumultuous journey. Also, my three sons and my parents, for being such an important part of my life.

  Thank you to my former agents, Natalie Fischer and Taylor Martindale, for believing in CLOCKWISE and for excellent editorial advice.

  Thanks also to Denise Jaden and Juanita Wenham who have been there for the long run.

  My on-line friends in the trenches, Sara Larson, Anne Riley, Talli Rolland, Tamara Hart Heiner, Leigh Moore, Laurel Garver, Heather McCorkle, Laura Pauling, Caroline Starr Rose and Elena Johnson for willingly and eagerly being a pivotal part of my blog tour, and more importantly for all the extra behind the scenes support. It’s been so great getting to know you, and hopefully someday we can meet in person. There are many, many more wonderful people I’ve met on-line, and I can’t be more thankful to be part of such an amazing writing community.

  Thanks also to all my Wattpad fans for loving Clockwise. I so appreciated your support and encouraging words.

  My Noble Girls, Donna Petch, Shawn Giesbrecht and Norine Stewart, for all your love, prayers and support—so grateful to have you in my life.

  Thank YOU, the reader! I hope you liked CLOCKWISE, and if you’re reading the acknowledgements, then you deserve a double thanks and chocolate chip cookies!

  And most of all, to Jesus, who gives my life meaning.

  Table of Contents

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14
<
br />   Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Chapter 20

  Chapter 21

  Chapter 22

  Chapter 23

  Chapter 24

  Chapter 25

 
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