Enjoy this sneak preview of Follow Your Heart #1: Your Best Friend's Boyfriend, published by Scholastic books!
Your best friend, Sally, lets out a long, happy sigh. "Isn't Mike gorgeous?" she asks you. "Check out those cute legs!"
From your seat next to her in the second row of the bleachers, you scan the soccer field. The guys on your high school's team, the Clearview Stallions, are wearing dark green jerseys and matching shorts, and their opponents, the North Cliff Eagles, are wearing blue uniforms. You shade your eyes from the sun with your hand. "Which one's Mike?" you ask. All the North Cliff guys look pretty much alike from where you're sitting. All of them have cute legs.
Sally points a perfectly manicured finger toward the far end of the field. "There," she says. "With the black hair. Facing off against your brother."
As a photographer for your school newspaper, you always have your digital camera with you. You peer through the viewfinder and zoom in on the guy she pointed out. Mike crouches in ready position on defense as your brother Peter hurtles toward him, dribbling the ball at top speed. You smile as you see Peter touch his lucky headband in a habitual gesture as he closes in on Mike.
Mike has a trim, athletic body, with a golden tan and a look of intense determination on his handsome face. The lean muscles in his arms and legs clench as he concentrates. His sweaty hair glistens in the sunlight. You take his picture, feeling self-conscious about your suddenly thumping heart.
"He's adorable," you tell Sally without lowering the camera. You mean it, too, which is strange, since you and she usually have totally different tastes in guys.
"Today's our one week anniversary," Sally says proudly. "We're going to a movie tonight --" She gasps as your brother fakes out Mike on the field. Mike lurches the wrong way and Peter sweeps around him.
You click the camera again, capturing Mike tumbling to his knees and hitting the ground hard. A second later, Peter takes a shot on goal and scores for the Stallions.
"Your brother's the only one who can fake Mike out," Sally says, sounding slightly defensive. She pushes her shoulder-length, straight red hair back behind her ears. "He's usually incredible, I swear."
"I can tell," you say, wondering how Sally would feel if the photo of Mike falling showed up in your school newspaper.
After the game, which the Stallions win three to two, you follow Sally down to the field. Mike is sitting on the visitors' bench, looking dejected as he takes off his cleats.
Sally sits down next to Mike and bumps his shoulder with her own. "Don't worry about the game," she coos. "You were wonderful!"
Mike shrugs. "We blew it," he says. "But we'll get you guys next time."
Sally peers up at you. The skin on her pale face is always somewhat pink, but now her cheeks are turning bright red simply from her excitement at being near her boyfriend. "Mike," she says, "I want you to meet my best friend. She's the sister of Peter, the guy who . . . well, the guy who scored in the first half."
Mike shifts around on the bench and nods at you. "Yeah," he says. "You do look like brother and sister."
You swallow as you nod back at Mike. His eyes are the most mesmerizing electric blue you've ever seen. You look down at your camera quickly, and click the camera shutter open and closed again for no good reason.
There's an awkward pause as you try to think of something to say.
It surprises you to realize how much you want to impress him.
If you tell Mike about the photograph you took, click here.
If you praise Mike for his performance in the game, click here.
If you cut the tension by making a joke about your brother, click here.