Sat
Jul 15 2017 12:35pm

Kylie Scott Excerpt: Trust

Kylie Scott

Trust by Kylie Scott

Being young is all about the experiences: the first time you skip school, the first time you fall in love...the first time someone holds a gun to your head.

After being held hostage during a robbery at the local convenience store, seventeen-year-old Edie finds her attitude about life shattered. Unwilling to put up with the snobbery and bullying at her private school, she enrolls at the local public high school, crossing paths with John. The boy who risked his life to save hers.

While Edie's beginning to run wild, however, John's just starting to settle down. After years of partying and dealing drugs with his older brother, he's going straight—getting to class on time, and thinking about the future.

An unlikely bond grows between the two as John keeps Edie out of trouble and helps her broaden her horizons. But when he helps her out with another first—losing her virginity—their friendship gets complicated.

Meanwhile, Edie and John are pulled back into the dangerous world they narrowly escaped. They were lucky to survive the first time, but this time they have more to lose—each other.

Get a sneak peek at Kylie Scott's Trust (available July 18, 2017) with an exclusive excerpt of a selected scene.

Beep, beep, beep went the sales register, adding up my purchases. Excellent. Cute guy and I were ignoring each other. No further eye contact was made. This was the best of all possible outcomes. Human interactions in general were a trial, but attractive people were far and away the worst. They unnerved me. I always started sweating and turning red, my brain an empty useless place.

All of my loot got shoved into a thin white plastic bag, guaranteed to tear halfway across the parking lot. Never mind. I’d hold it against my front, stretch the bottom of my t-shirt out to bolster it or something. Easier than asking him to double bag it.

I shoved the money in his vague direction, mumbled thank you, and got moving. Mission accomplished.

Except a wire thin guy entering the store was in an even a bigger hurry than me. We collided and I lost, my flip flops sliding out from under me, thanks to the wet floor. I stumbled back into the shelving before dropping, hitting the cold hard ground. The plastic bag broke and shit went everywhere. Fother mucker.

“Awesome,” I muttered sarcastically. Followed up fast with a sarcastic, “I’m fine. No problem.”

How embarrassing. Not that anyone was paying me any attention. Must have caught a metal edge on the way down because I had a scratch on my waist. It stung like a bitch, both it and my bruised ass.

College boy gasped. Fair enough. I’d be pissed too if some fat chick in pajamas started throwing her stuff everywhere. But the douche canoe who’d sent me reeling slammed his hand onto the counter, snarling something, as college boy stuttered, “P-please. D-d-don’t.”

I froze, realizing this wasn’t about me crashing into the shelf.

Not even a little bit.

College boy fumbled with the register, panic written all over his face. This was wrong. All of it. Time slowed as the kid punched register buttons, tears flowing down his face because it wouldn’t open for some reason. Skinny guy was shouting and waving something in the air like he’d lost his mind.

Suddenly the drawer flew open with a discordant little jingle.

College boy grabbed a wad of cash, shoving it into a plastic bag as the skinny guy slammed a hand down on the counter again, full of frustration and anger. Then the scream of a police siren split the air and I heard tires screech. I watched in horror as a battered car careened out of the parking lot, knocking over a garbage can and spilling trash across the pavement. A cop car followed it over the curb as another came to rest in front of the store, lights blazing.

The man at the counter spun toward the parking lot, yelling something indecipherable as he twitched, his eyes messed up, pupils swollen and huge. Red patches—sores—covered his face, and his teeth were nothing more than rotting stumps. Then I saw the gun in his hand and my heart stopped.

There was a gun. A gun. This was happening, right here. Right now.

Red and blue lights flashed through the filthy windows and I sat stunned, my eyes wide, nothing computing. It was all moving so fast. I saw the instant the gunman realized he’d been left behind, because his whole body jerked. The gun wavered and then he turned on the college guy.

One second they stood frozen, one shaking in terror as the other pointed his weapon. Then a loud cracking noise filled the air. College boy fell. It looked like someone had thrown a bucket of crimson paint across the rack of cigarettes.

The sound of sirens grew louder as more cars surrounded the building.

 “You bitch!” the man screamed, even louder than the siren and the ringing in my ears. “Joanna, you fucking bitch! You weren’t supposed to leave! Get back here!”

I couldn’t breathe. Throat shut tight, I stayed cowering on the floor.

He turned back to the mess of blood behind the counter and swore long and hard.

“Put down the weapon,” said a woman’s voice through a loudspeaker. “Put it down slowly and come out with your hands in the air where we can see them.”

Heavy mud splattered brown boots smacked against the floor, coming at me. Oh, no. I had to reason with him, talk him down somehow. But my brain remained stalled, my body shaking. He might’ve been skinny, but he easily dragged me to my feet, the grip on my arm strong enough to break me in two.

“Get up.” A hand fisted painfully in my hair, the hot muzzle of the gun shoved beneath my chin. “Get to the door.”

Step by shuffling step we moved forward as he used me for a human shield. I almost tripped on my Pringles, the tube rolling beneath my foot, messing with my balance. His grip tore at my hair long blonde hair, ripping a chunk free. Tears of agony flowed down my cheeks.

“We can end this without any more violence,” said the police woman, voice crackling. “Let her go.”

The headlights were blinding, lighting up the rain. I could make out the shadow of a head, one of the cops half crouched behind a car door, arms extended with a gun in hand. Hannah was out there somewhere. God, I hoped she was safe.

“We’ve got both exits covered. Let her go and put down the weapon,” she repeated. “We can still end this peacefully.”

Pain tore at my scalp again as he pulled at my hair, shoving the gun into my mouth. My teeth chinked against the hard metal, the muzzle scratching the roof of my mouth. The stink of gun powder filled my head.

I was going to die, here, tonight in the Drop Stop in my fucking pajamas. This was it. Out in the car park, someone screamed.

“I’ll kill her!” he yelled, foul breath hot against the side of my face, holding the door ajar with his body.

“Don’t,” the cop sounded panicky now. “Don’t. Let’s talk.”

The gunman didn’t respond. Instead, the hand that had been in my hair grabbed the shop door handle, pulling it closed. Next he locked it, dirty fingers pushing the deadbolt home. No escape. Not with the gun in my mouth, trembling just like his hand. All of the things I’d never do if he pulled the trigger filled my mind. I’d never get to go home again, never say goodbye to mom, never become a teacher.

“Back up,” he said. “Move!”

The gun pressed deeper, making me gag. I dry heaved. It did no good. Slowly, I put one foot back, then another, panting as we took baby steps. Racks full of magazines filled the front glass wall, nothing could be seen of us below chest height. Above that line, the world was red, white, and blue. It looked like some messed up disco, colors flashing between the posters advertising drinks and other stuff. In the distance, I could hear the blare of a fire engine getting closer.

Then he pulled the gun from my mouth, pushing me to the floor. I sucked in air, trying to keep calm, to make myself small, invisible. High above me chrome flashed, his arm swung in a mighty arc and bam. The pistol’s butt slammed into me, pain exploding inside my skull.

“Stupid whore,” he muttered. “Stay there.”

Then nothing. 

***
Copyright © 2017 by Kylie Scott.
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Learn more about or order a copy of Trust by Kylie Scott, available July 18, 2017:

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New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kylie Scott is the author of the Stage Dive series and Dive Bar Series. She is a long time fan of love stories, rock n roll, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia she reads, writes and never wastes time on the internet.

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