The Body Finder (The Body Finder 1) - Page 60

Lissie opened her mouth, but then she seemed to freeze in place, and a perfectly bland smile replaced her vicious sneer. Violet didn’t need her “special abilities” to know from the insipid look on Lissie’s face that Jay had joined them and was standing right behind her now.

His voice was deceptively casual. “Hi, Lissie.” He was standing so close to Violet that he was practically pressed against her back.

Lissie looked suddenly self-conscious, something she probably wasn’t accustomed to, and she cocked her head to the side, her voice brimming with phony flirtatiousness. “Hey, Jay. Violet and I were just talking about the dance.”

Jay had the good sense to sound genuinely remorseful. “Yeah, about that, I feel really bad, Lissie.”

Lissie batted a hand at the air, blowing off his apology. “Don’t be silly. I already told you it’s no big deal.” She leaned forward and seemed to forget that Violet was standing right there. Her voice became throaty and was overflowing with suggestion. “Like I said, maybe some other time.” She flashed a seductive smile over Violet’s shoulder to where Jay was standing, and then she sauntered away, wagging her hips provocatively back and forth.

Violet stiffened. And then she cringed. She hated the brittle stab of jealousy she felt.

Jay, the mind reader, whispered in her ear, “Don’t worry about her. If she wasn’t such a bitch I might have felt sorry for her. But all in all, she made it pretty easy.”

Violet smiled, and then relaxed, enjoying the warmth of him against her back.

“God, I hate her kind,” Chelsea muttered as Violet tore herself away from Jay to sit down again.

The rest of lunch was fine, but Violet was even more aware of the fact that curiosity wasn’t the only interest that she and Jay were piquing today. And that Lissie wasn’t the only one who seemed to be put out that they were a couple. She began to notice little looks, sometimes not so subtle ones, from the other girls around her. They ranged from envy to resentful anger and fell everywhere in between. Violet probably should have been uncomfortable from all the negative vibes being thrown her way, but she wasn’t. How could she be, when every time she looked at Jay, and he was grinning back at her with more than a small dose of desire in his eyes, little thrills shot through her like electrical shock waves?

When she wasn’t thinking about Jay, Violet was consumed with frustration that there were still no answers regarding Mackenzie Sherwin’s disappearance. And even though she wasn’t tortured by the same physical discomforts that had seized her in the wake of encountering Carys Kneer—the girl from the lake—she was haunted by the disturbing knowledge that Mackenzie was still out there somewhere. And that no one knew whether she was alive or dead.

In the meantime, Violet’s skin was growing thicker by the day, as she grew immune to the gossipy whispers and the fleeting—and sometimes not so fleeting—daggers that were shot her way by the other girls who envied her new status as Jay’s girlfriend.

She did her best to avoid running into Lissie, or any of her “backup dancers,” as Chelsea liked to call the blonde automatons that followed Lissie around all day. But by Wednesday, rumor had it that Lissie already had another date for the dance, and the word was that she had dumped Jay rather than the other way around.

Jay didn’t seem to care what anyone said, and he made it more than clear who he would rather be with.

Grady, on the other hand, she still hadn’t dealt with. He seemed to be avoiding her like the plague. He sent a few more apologetic text messages, and Violet responded to them, letting him know that even though she thought he’d acted like a jerk, she wasn’t going to hold it against him. What she didn’t say was that Jay was still mad at him. But Grady probably knew that, which was why he was giving Violet as wide a berth as was humanly possible.

She and Jay settled into a nice pattern. School during the day and then doing homework at her house afterward. And, of course, “doing homework” meant making out in Violet’s room until both of them were tense with frustration and they had to take a break from each other just to get their sanity back. That was when the real homework was done.

She kept waiting for her parents to notice how much time they were spending in her bedroom and to say something, but they never did. Not that she was complaining; their ignorance meant she and Jay could continue with their extracurricular activities without interruption.

But on Thursday afternoon, after only about an hour of “studying,” Violet’s mom tapped on the door.

Violet shot up, not wanting her mom to walk in and catch them all tangled up together. Jay hopped off the bed as quietly as possible, and Violet rushed to the door, cracking it open to see her mom on the other side holding out the phone.

“Jay’s mom wants to talk to him.”

“Er, thanks, Mom,” Violet mumbled, taking the phone and trying not to sound incredibly guilty. She hoped that her messy hair wasn’t a dead giveaway to what they’d been doing.

Violet’s mom gave her a curious look, and Violet was sure that her mom was finally going to say something, but then she seemed to change her mind, and she left them alone again.

Violet handed the phone to Jay, who seemed remarkably composed considering they’d almost lost their closed-door privileges.

They’d lost them before, once when they were eight and Violet’s mom had walked in to find them playing a game of “I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours,” which at that point consisted of Violet flashing her flat-as-a-pancake chest at Jay. Her mom had come in while the bottom of Violet’s shirt was pulled up in front of her face. They never got far enough for him to show his.

Tags: Kimberly Derting The Body Finder
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