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Have you ever gone skinny dipping? It’s sooo fun–the feeling of naughty, weightless freedom. Skinny dipping has a special place in my YA novel Streamline, which will launch in just one week on 3/27/12.
Today’s excerpt is 17 year-old Leo remembering when he first felt a spark of romance for his swimming teammate Audrey.
Two years ago, when Leo was a sophomore, he’d finally grown taller and more muscular. His friends told him he’d drawn the attention of several girls, yet he was oblivious to their stares. Consumed by school, swimming, and trying to please his father, he hadn’t even considered dating.
It had been a hot September evening, and the swim team had just finished a grueling round of running the stadium stairs. Leo then added an additional half-hour of stair climbing for himself, knowing his father would expect that extra effort. As he emerged from the showers and toweled off in the empty locker room, he heard giggles in the pool.
Once dressed, Leo went to investigate the sound. The pool gates were locked, but all the swimmers knew the security code for those occasional mornings when Matt overslept. Leo heard giggles again. He just had to find out what was so fun in there.
Quietly keying the code, Leo entered and stayed in the shadows of the pool deck as dusk encroached. Smack in the middle of the pool were Audrey Rose and Elaine Ferris, two sophomores on the girls team. They snorted with laughter as they attempted some synchronized swimming moves. Audrey’s graceful arm flared over her head as she kept her body afloat with furious kicking.
Elaine applauded. “Brah-vo,” she mocked.
When Audrey floated on her back and extended her lean leg in the air, Leo had gasped. Audrey was naked! Skinny dipping! He caught a glimpse of two perfect breasts: perky, curvy mounds he just had to caress. He suddenly saw the daughter of his father’s subordinate in a whole new light.
Elaine started. “Who’s there?”
Not wanting to be a creepy stalker, Leo had immediately stepped out of the shadows, his eyes alight with mischief. “I’m just enjoying the show, ladies.”
Audrey’s mouth dropped open. “Leo Scott!” She turned to Elaine and they whispered. “Turn around, Leo!” Audrey ordered.
He gave a little mock salute and performed a sharp about face. He heard vigorous splashing as Audrey and Elaine swam to the other side of the pool, then a rush of water as they pulled themselves out.
“Don’t peek!” Audrey shouted.
Leo put his hands in his pockets, rocking back and forth on his heels and reveling in every second of her embarrassment.
When he heard the patter of feet toward the women’s locker room, Leo turned around. “Audrey?”
She halted, nervously tightening her towel around her chest. “What?”
Leo came as close as he dared, lest Audrey dart away like a gazelle from a hunter. He flashed a warm smile and watched her face flush. “I judged your routine, and I give you a nine.”
It took her only a second to recover. “Only a nine?” she pouted. “What would I have to do to get a ten?”
“You need to get higher out of the water.” Leo cleared his throat. “You know, so the judge can get a better view of your, ah, your, your beautiful smile.”
“Is that right?” Audrey scanned the deck for Elaine, who’d walked over to the other side of the pool and now seemed busy organizing the kickboards and pull buoys. “Maybe you could show me sometime?”
Leo laughed. “I’d like that.” They stared awkwardly for a moment, and Audrey shivered in the humid breeze. Fearing she was about to leave, Leo blurted, “Well, I gave you my number. How about you give me yours?”
Audrey narrowed her eyes and smiled. “The only way you get my number is if you change yours to a ten.”
“Done.” Leo nodded decisively. “You were absolutely perfect.”