Welcome! This story has been revised four times, but it will never be finished. As you read, please point out plot holes, grammatical errors, typos, sentences/scenes that you liked, sentences/scenes that you didn't (and why). Thanks, and happy reading!
"Time is too slow for those who wait,
too swift for those who fear,
too long for those who grieve,
too short for those who rejoice,
but for those who love, time is eternity."
Henry Van Dyke
"Shit, shit, shit!" Lissa Jenson cursed under her breath, looking around frantically, her eyes flickering from side to side while the rest of her body didn't move.
She had woken with a panicked jolt just as the gray early-morning light began to creep dimly into the room, illuminating the bare outlines of heavy drapes and unfamiliar furniture. Where am I? Big overstuffed armchairs against musky walls... a row of bookshelves... Her fingers dug into the thick plush carpet. The floor of her cousin's living room.
Sighing lightly, about to roll over and stretch luxuriously as she usually did, she felt a funny pressure on her side. Lissa stiffened automatically, freezing in her restless movements.
Shifting slightly, she realised to her horror that in sleep, an arm had wound its way around her.
Horrified, Lissa peered slowly over her shoulder and stared at the mirage behind her.
The arm draped over her belonged to Caden.
She didn't move, terrified that Caden would wake up and be horribly embarrassed, caught with his arm around another girl. It was an accident, she was certain. He certainly couldn't have meant to do it; surely he'd intended to have his arm around Andrea instead.
Best to jerk away or slowly ease out from under his arm? Lissa wondered. She decided to go for the quick movement- even if he woke up, he wouldn't know why, right?
She thought so. She steeled herself- and, glancing nervously over her shoulder, slid out and away from him.
Caden himself was quite wide awake, and biting his lip, wondering how to get himself out of this mess. He hoped that Andrea wouldn't wake up.
He realized that Lissa was awake. She was wondering what to do, he guessed. She threw a frantic glance over her shoulder, and he snapped his eyes shut reflexively.
She jerked away from him suddenly, and he allowed his arm to fall to the floor, pretending to be asleep.
He heard her sigh of relief, echoing it inaudibly, and let himself relax on his uncomfortable air mattress.
Half an hour later, he was playfully nudged awake by an oblivious Andrea.
"Get your lazy ass up, Caden," she said, dragging the covers off of him and tossing them off to the side. He rolled over lazily and looked around, noting that Lissa avoided his eyes. Seventeen-year-old Magen, Andrea's best friend and Lissa's cousin, was already eating.
Andrea smiled mischievously as she poked him with a toe. He caught her foot and pulled her over onto him, smirking when she seated herself cross-legged on his thighs and munched on a piece of blackened toast. Andrea had never been the greatest at cooking. Magen, he noticed, was tactfully eating cereal.
Lissa and Magen both looked away, seeming curiously concentrated on their bowls of cereal. He heard Lissa murmur something to Magen, but couldn't hear the reply.
Finishing her toast, Andrea got off of Caden and, when he rolled over and put a pillow over his head, impishly jabbed him in the ribs. Magen and Lissa both laughed lightly when she danced around, moaning and holding her toes.
"Serves you right for kicking me," Caden muttered, pulling the hood of his sweatshirt over his face and rolling over.