Everyone should have something to rebel against.
Crank Wilson left his South Boston home at sixteen to start a punk band and burn out his rage at the world. Six years later, he's still at odds with his father, a Boston cop, and doesn't ever speak to his mother. The only relationship that really matters is with his younger brother, but watching out for Sean can be a full-time job.
The one thing Crank wants in life is to be left the hell alone to write his music and drive his band to success.
Julia Thompson left a secret behind in Beijing that exploded into scandal in Washington, DC, threatening her father's career and dominating her family's life. Now, in her senior year at Harvard, she's haunted by a voice from her past and refuses to ever lose control of her emotions again, especially when it comes to a guy.
When Julia and Crank meet at an anti-war protest in Washington in the fall of 2002, the connection between them is so powerful it threatens to tear everything apart.
Release Date: December 15, 2012
Published By: Cincinnatus Press
New Adult/Contemporary Romance
About the Author
Charles Sheehan-Miles has been a soldier, computer programmer, short-order cook and non-profit executive. He is the author of several books, including the indie bestsellers Just Remember to Breathe and Republic: A Novel of America's Future.
I kept my eyes closed another fifteen seconds or more. And, let me tell you, fifteen seconds is a long, long time. Finally I opened them, and he was looking at me with an expression I couldn’t interpret. For someone who was always joking, always making snide remarks, he looked serious. Too serious. More serious than I was comfortable with. I didn’t need serious in my life. I saw his Adam’s apple bob as he swallowed, then he said, “I’m at some dump in Arlington. Sharing a room with Mark.”
“Oh,” I said, my voice unnaturally tense.
“What about you?” he asked. He spoke very slowly, carefully.
“Um … my parents have a condo in Bethesda. I was planning on heading back there tonight.”
“I don’t want to say goodbye,” he said. I couldn’t get control of my breathing. I felt lightheaded. Out of control. “Come back to my place.” He titled his head, leaned close and whispered, “Are you sure?”
I found myself chewing on my lower lip again. “Yes.”
I dropped my eyes and leaned forward, putting my hand on the back of the taxi driver’s seat.
“Can you take us to Bethesda instead? Wisconsin Avenue and Montgomery.”
Suddenly it was quiet in the cab. Tense, awkward. I couldn’t believe I’d done this. I did not do one-night stands. But here I was, half-hyperventilating, with this guy I’d only known for eight hours sitting beside me in the cab. And I guess if it was just for now that was fine, but what if he wanted to see me again? What if he wanted to date? What if?
I didn’t think I could handle that. This was so stupid. Things were so much easier with Willard, before I broke up with him. I was always in control. There was no passion there, true. There wasn’t anything there. But it was comfortable. Easy. I wasn’t afraid. Crank, though: he made me afraid. The cab cleared the traffic and turned up at Massachusetts Avenue, and we were speeding out of downtown DC.
“You’re awfully quiet now,” Crank said.
I looked at him, and his eyes were boring into mine, intense, probing.
“Having second thoughts?” he asked. “It’s okay.”
I leaned a little closer. “No. Just … it’s just tonight. We don’t see each other again. We don’t call each other in Boston. We don’t … anything. Okay? We enjoy each other’s company tonight, and then we’re done.” He stared at me, surprised. And … his face looked disappointed. He swallowed, his Adam’s apple bobbing once in his throat. “I don’t know why, but that’s … not what I expected.”
“Don’t get expectations. Not with me.” He shook his head. “Usually I’m the one who says things like that.”
The cab came to a halt, and he paid it, and we were out on the street. A cool wind blew through the streets of downtown Bethesda, and traffic rolled by us. I took his hand and walked to the entrance of the high rise, swiped my access card to unlock the front door, and we walked into the lobby.
The night concierge was sitting at the counter, watching a small television. She looked up briefly, gave us a casual wave and went back to her show. Good. If it had been the day concierge, my appearance with Crank would have been reported back to my parents by morning.
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