Jolted by the sudden company, I jumped and clumsily fell forward catching the edge of the piano keys-creating a horrific cacophony.  I quickly caught my balance and whipped around wide-eyed and burning with humiliation.

His face was flawless-sinfully, painfully flawless.  I caught myself staring momentarily at the beautiful boy before remembering to answer.

“H-hi,” I stammered.  The Greek God standing before me met my gaze and then closed his eyes as if collecting his thoughts.  When his eyes reopened, I thought the corner of his mouth was lifting, changing his stiff aggravation into a smile.  But then, his tall, muscled figure went rigid and hands clamped shut into fists.  The expression on his face baffled me-it was angry, and I was hurt by it.

Alex managed to compose himself long enough for a brief introduction.  “I’m Alex.”

In spite of his perplexing reaction to me, I held out my hand. “It’s great to finally meet you, I’m Kat.”

In one noticeably graceful movement he turned and began walking away.  Without looking back, he called, “My mother is requesting your presence at the dinner table, she sent me to get you.”  His voice now equaling his frigid behavior.

Appalled by his harsh treatment of me, I stood deflated and heart-stung.  “Oh, alright then,” I muttered, dropping my rejected hand.

I shook my head in confusion, pondering the possible reasons for his reaction, but came up short.

The silence at dinner was deafening and immeasurably tense.  Alex’s severe stares across the table at me killed my appetite, so I spent more time rearranging the food on my plate than I did actually eating it.

Matt remained silent, seemingly noticing the tension, but this hardly kept him from clearing his plate and going for seconds.  I inconspicuously watched the Hamlin’s as they slowly ate their meals.  No words were spoken, but the glances flying across the table were evidence enough of another type of discussion.

The meal dragged on longer than I could bear and I desperately needed an excuse to leave the table.  I tried to avoid making eye contact with Alex, but I was unexplainably drawn to his gaze in spite of its menacing features.  His eyes were bereft of the staggering green donned by Evie and his parents.  His were somber, washed-out like jade, and I didn’t like how they pierced through me the way they did.

For the life of me I couldn’t figure how my presence could be so offensive to him.  I must have been slow on the uptake because Evie’s apologetic smile convinced me that she was somehow privy to the exact cause of the problem.

“I have a terrible headache,” I announced, trying to sound tired.  “May I please be excused?”

Even to me it sounded like total B.S.-no one else looked convinced either.

“Of course,” Constance said, smiling politely.

Outside, the rain softly tapped the windows.  The guest room was officially my sanctuary, or quite possibly my self-appointed prison at this rate.  I opened the French doors leading to the patio, and stood staring into the rain with my arms wrapped around my waist.

More than anything else, I wanted to talk to my dad and beg him to let me go home.  But, I would have to wait until he called again-it could be weeks.

The wind blew the rain in slanted sheets-lopsided and thrown off-balance, like I felt.  Camden’s cold air relentlessly bit at me-lonely and unforgiving, so I curled up in the over stuffed chair and caved to the imminent tears.

Comments
  1. dollyperry says:

    Maybe I missed something,
    So what is she upset about? That Alex didn’t accept her at their first meeting? Or is it something deeper? It didn’t seem like a big enough deal. It continues on into chapter two, with her not wanting to leave the room. Why? I think more insight into her thoughts here, or later at the beginning of chapter two might help the story along. Could it just be her new surroundings—homesickness, mixed with his disapproval? Then there’s the dinner table. Is the rest of the the family sensing what happened upstairs, or did they have their own disagreement with Alex? I know you mentioned something about “another type of discussion”, but more insight into that would be helpful. A line or two from one of the parents? I know she feels uncomfortable at dinner because of his stares. There I was actually a little confused. Upstairs he so readily brushed her off. Would she really hold his attention? What does reason does he have to stare? Does he not like others in his house? It seems to me that Kat would be more upset if he ignored her after their encounter.

    Sorry, that got a little long! I just think more reasons for the tension would be nice as her gloom carries on into the second day. I think I just want to know why dinner was as uncomfortable for everyone else as it was for them.

    Bravo! This seems like a hard scene to write. I hope you don’t think I’m trying to put you down in any way. I want you to have the best possible connection with the reader and for me it just didn’t quite click. The biggest thing was how very, VERY uneasy she felt at the dinner table and the atmosphere there—enough to ask to leave. She doesn’t seem like a self-conscious person to me, besides when she falls and gets hurt. Then she doesn’t want anybody to notice.
    Hope this helped and I didn’t put you out. You’re doing a FANTASTIC job! I know I say this every time, but I can’t wait to read more. 🙂
    (Just tell me if you want me to stop commenting! I’m more than happy to oblige.)

    • zoechance says:

      First of all…NEVER stop commenting! I love it. Next, I think Alex’s reaction is strange to…I think Kat really shouldn’t care as much as she does. She doesn’t think she is special in any way but she is definitely not self-conscious about herself. BUT… that is part of the mystery. In the coming chapters, things will straight up blow Kats mind…and in the chapters after that they will probably blow yours to. Kat and Alex have a connection that ONLY Kat is unaware of. Everyone else in the house knows exactly what is going on. Things might be a little confusing right off that bat but I would hate to kill the suspense in the first few chapters. Kat needs to be confused and conflicted with her emotions before she discovers what comes next and puts the peices together. Hopefully that answered some things for you. But definitely don’t stop commenting.

      • dollyperry says:

        Great! Definitely don’t kill the suspence in that case! I’ll just have to keep reading to find out. 🙂

      • zoechance says:

        Well I hope it’s not a let down… Also chapter two has a lot of description in it so let me know if feels overloaded….again, I appreciate the Time u take to read my book and make comments..

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