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Carswells guide to being.., p.4
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       Carswell's Guide to Being Lucky, p.4

         Part #3.10 of The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer
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  him toward the med-droid office.

  “Not your fault,” he said through his teeth. Although, now that he had the strenuous effort of

  walking to focus on, the pain almost seemed to be dul ing. Almost. “You get your portscreen?”

  “Yes. Thank you. And I have your bag.” Then she huffed. “I can’t believe they’re suspending you. It

  isn’t fair.”

  He tried to shrug, but it came out as vague flopping of his free arm. “I was already grounded for mid-

  July break. A suspension can’t make it that much worse.”

  “Grounded? For what?”

  His glaze flickered to her, and he couldn’t avoid a wry smile, even though it pinched his throbbing

  cheekbone. “Poor math grade.”

  She flushed. “Oh.”

  Carswell pressed a hand against his ribs, finding that by applying a slight amount of pressure he

  could relieve some of the jarring as they walked. “Yep, I’m grounded until I bring my score back up. Of

  course, that’s not going to happen now that I can’t even go to class.” He tried to laugh as if it didn’t

  bother him, but quickly realized what a bad idea that was and the sound turned into something of a

  pained cough. “Oh, wel . Just more time to catch up on my Joel Kimbrough reading, I guess.”

  She tried to giggle, maybe to make him feel better, but it didn’t sound any more authentic than his

  laugh had.

  “When you’re done,” she said, “I’m sure you could write an amazing paper that explores the

  parallels between the dangers of space travel as compared to navigating school hallways and social

  status and . . .and . . .”

  “And Parents.”

  Her laugh was less forced this time. “And parents, of course.”

  “I suspect that Martians have always been a metaphor for parents in those books.”

  “They must, being that they’re so . . .otherworldly.”

  “And terrifying.”

  This time, her laugh wasn’t forced at all, and it gave Carswell a warm, tender feeling somewhere

  under al the bruising. He wished he could have laughed with her, without it causing a flash of pain in his chest.

  “Think Professor Gosnel would give me extra credit?”

  “I’m sure she would,” said Kate. But then her sympathy was back. “It wouldn’t help with your math

  grade, though.”

  “True. If only studying algebra formulas was half as much fun as corny space adventures.”

  “If only.” Pursing her lips, Kate glanced up at him through her cascade of hair. Then she took a deep

  breath. “I’ll let you copy my math homework.”

  He raised an eyebrow.

  “Until . . .until your grade is up. And when we come back from break, I can help you study, if you stil

  want me to.”

  “Thank you.” He smiled, and he didn’t have to fake his gratitude, even though the relief came with

  that peculiar undercurrent of shame again. He knew that she felt guilty, that she felt as though she

  owed him something. He knew he was taking advantage of those feelings.

  But he didn’t even think to reject her offer. Because in the back of his head, he was already counting

  up the hours this would save him, the money he could earn with that time. He was already moving past

  Kate and her portscreen and her gentle laugh and the lingering pain from his first fight.

  Already, he was thinking of the next goal, the next dream, the next obstacle. Carswell grinned, just

  to the point where it started to hurt, and rubbed a thumb over his tie tack.

  For good luck.



  Marissa Meyer, Carswell's Guide to Being Lucky

  (Series: The Lunar Chronicles # 3.10)




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