A/N: Hey, guys! Today, July 18th, is Jake’s birthday! So for the first time ever, I’m going to let you see part of one of the chapters I wrote when book one of their series was in-progress. It’s currently on hold while I figure out some stuff, but they’ll get it eventually! Anyway, here you go 🙂
Alice lifted her head as the door to the little dorm room opened. Jacob leaned into the room, that dorky grin on his face. He looked more boyish with his glasses on, which he’d been wearing against since they got pepper sprayed. She wasn’t sure how long that’d last. “What can I do you for, Jake?”
“My dad’s outside if you still wanna meet him.”
“That was a hell of a lot easier than I thought it’d be,” Jacob said.
Alice smiled, pushing herself to her feet. “I’m a very social person,” she said. Besides, she needed kind people to be around for at least a few seconds that night. “Do I look okay?” she asked.
Jacob seemed to know exactly what she was asking. “I like your hair when it’s curly, Allie Berry. You look great.”
“Thank you,” she said softly. She crossed the room, snagging her hoodie from the bunk bed. She raised an eyebrow, pulling the hoodie on over her head. “Allie Berry?”
“Yeah. Like Halle Berry, you know?”
She rolled her eyes, but the smile came back to her face. “And just why are you referring to me like Halle Berry?”
“Uh, because she’s black, and she’s fucking gorgeous. And smart. She’s totally smart, too,” Jacob said.
Alice snorted. “Thanks, Jake.”
“Oh, you betcha. Come on.” Alice followed him out of the room, closing the door behind her. They walked down the hall, and Jacob headed for the elevator, hesitating before turning toward the stairs instead.
“Not feeling the elevator, huh?”
“You always look tense when we take the elevator. I don’t mind walking down two flights,” Jacob said.
A soft smile tugged at one corner of Alice’s mouth as she tucked her hands into the pockets of her hoodie. “You pay attention to a lot more things than I thought you did.”
“I mean, when you ride in an elevator with someone every day, you kinda start to notice that their shoulders are real tense and they close their eyes most of the time,” Jacob said. He looked over at her for a moment. “Is there a reason you don’t like them?”
“I’ve never really liked them. I don’t like that… that weightless feeling when it first starts moving or right it stops. I like feeling solid, I guess,” Alice said honestly.
“Hmm. The more you know,” Jacob said.
“What about you? You like elevators?”
“Allie, I used to hate them. But my mom, see, she said if I didn’t get on the elevator, we could take the stairs, sure, but she wouldn’t hold my hand the rest of the day. And I was the biggest momma’s boy on the whole damn planet, so I totally couldn’t have that, right? So she just let me squeeze her hand super tight in the elevator. I eventually got over it, but even now, I remember that time my brother told me people die in elevators roughly every seven seconds. Scared the hell out of me.”
“Your brother’s an ass, but your mother sounds like she was a wonderful human being.”
“He is! And, God, she was. Loved her to the damn moon and back,” Jacob said. “She would’ve loved to meet you. She and Dad both love talking to intelligent people. I mean, they gotta get away from my dumb ass somehow.”
Alice laughed, bumping his shoulder with hers. “You aren’t dumb. Pretend you are all you want, but I won’t let you get away with it.”
“Dad says the same kinda shit. You two’ll be like two peas in a pod.”
Outside, a man pushed himself away from the truck he leaned against. He looked a lot like Jacob, with darker hair and less blue eyes, wire glasses balanced on his nose. He had the same smile as Jacob, but his posture was more refined and dignified. He held out a hand. “You must be Alice.”
“Yes, sir.” She reached out and grabbed his hand. “And you, Mister Mason?”
“Oh, dear God, I’m not that old.” She smiled. “Arthur’s fine.”
“Arthur,” she echoed. She dropped his hand, nodding toward Jacob. “Your son’s a great kid.”
“Yeah, he’s the good egg. Consider yourself lucky Ryan wanted nothing to do with the police force.”
“I’ve been told he’s a bit of… a trouble maker,” Alice said. Behind her, Jacob scoffed.
Arthur only laughed. “That’s certainly one word for it.”
“Ryan’s a total dickweed. Love him, though. He’s just, well, a dickweed,” Jacob said.
Alice looked back at him over her shoulder. “Is he now?”
She rolled her eyes, turning back to Arthur. “Thanks for raising pain in the ass over here.”
She didn’t even have to look at Jacob’s face to know the sound he made was one to express his great offense, but he followed it up with a loud, “Hey!”
“I wouldn’t survive this place without him,” Alice said.
Arthur smiled. “Oh, you betcha. Kid’s the best legacy I got,” he said. He lifted his right arm, looking down at his watch. “Unless you kids have a lot of studying to do, we could go out and grab something. Couple drinks, late pancakes, ice cream?”
Alice looked back at Jacob. “Let’s go with pancakes.”
He grinned, whispering a, “Yes,” before stepping forward to fold an elbow over Alice’s shoulder. “You’re reading me like a book, Allie Berry.”
She snorted. “You aren’t as mysterious as you’d like to be,” she said. She gestured to the truck. “Go on, Mister Mason. Lead the way.”
“Oh, will do, Mrs. Dawson.” Jacob flashed a smile, pushing away from her. “Come on. It’s a big step up and there aren’t any running boards. I’ll help you up.”
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