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WANTED FOR ARSON. CATFISHED AT SANTA’S. ROBBED AT THE FALLS. SHAKESPEARE OR DIE. DRIVER PICKS TUNES.

I’m weird. This isn’t news to me or anything. I have lived in a UFO my entire life. This wasn’t a coincidence. My parents believe in extraterrestrial life. You know, “phone home” and all that crap, and they dragged my sister Mercury and me into their mess when they named us what they named us. So it wasn’t a surprise when after getting accepted to UW and expressing my desire to actually attend, they lamented that college is “just another ploy for the government to keep tabs on you, man.” In other words, “We won’t be helping you out, Jupiter.” That’s fine, though, because my best friend Frankie and I can be pretty clever chicks when we want to be. We found a way for me to get up there and it was in the form of a longtime crush, his equally cute cousin, and a kickin’ set of wheels. Buckle up, Buttercup, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.


EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT: Get in the Car, Jupiter

Fisher Amelie

A delightful standalone romantic comedy from Fisher Amelie, the author of Penny in London and the Seven Deadly series, is here, and to celebrate its release, I have an rather amazing excerpt for you. Enjoy!

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Excerpt

I woke up to a light knock on my door then looked out the window to see if the sun was out and was startled to see tall buildings bathed in streetlight instead. It was still really dark, though. I went to grab my phone then remembered I didn’t have one.

I stood up, pulled my T-shirt over my bare thighs, and cracked the door a few inches. I peered out into a softly lit hallway.

Ezra?” I rubbed an eye, trying to wake up. “What time is it?”

He stood there, his hair a mess, wearing a pair of track pants and no shirt. I opened the door a little farther but still stood behind it. It was uncomfortable, but there was no way I was going to open it fully.

“I see you’ve brought a six-pack,” I joked, gesturing to his stomach.

He smiled down at me. “You’re funny.”

“What time is it?”

“Three.”

“In the morning?”

He rolled his eyes. “No, the afternoon.”

“Sarcasm? Really? Is that why you woke me? I need every second of beauty sleep I can get.”

He looked taken aback. “What are you talking about?”

“Nothing, what’s up?”

“No, tell me what you mean by that.”

I sighed. “I didn’t mean anything by it, really. Bad joke.”

“You know you’re beautiful, right?” he asked. I swallowed. “If you didn’t, you should.”

“Th-thank you.”

He shook his head as if to clear his thoughts. “I couldn’t sleep. I needed to talk to you.”

“Um, okay. What’s up?”

“Can I come in?”

“Uh, well, I’m not wearing pants.”

His eyes bugged. I would have found that hilarious if I’d been holding a full deck. By deck, I mean fully clothed. As it was, I was short a spade. And by spade, I mean pants.

“Let me slip into the covers and you can come in. Just, uh, just give me one second.”

I closed the crack in the door and headed for the bed.

“One,” he said. The door creaked and I panicked.

“Wait! Wait! Wait!” I scrambled. “I’m not in. I’m not in!”

I was greeted with laughter on the other side.

“That’s not funny, jackass.” I sat on the edge of the bed and pulled the covers over my legs. “Okay, come in.”

“Are you decent?”

“Yes, dummy, come in.”

“Because I wouldn’t want to come in if you weren’t decent. Even the slightest peek at your leg might send me into a tizzy.”

“You think you’re so funny,” I huffed. “Now, come in.”

He stuck his head through. “Whew,” he sarcastically bit out as walked in. He closed the door behind him and sat across from me.

He didn’t say anything for a moment.

“Ezra, if you don’t start talking soon…”

“You’ll what?” he asked. He grinned and moved closer to me.

I scooted back, fighting laughter. “Will you stop? What did you wake me up for?” I whined that last bit to encourage spillage.

He sat back. “Milo has a crush on you,” he said like he was dropping some bomb.

I needed to pretend I didn’t already know. “Huh, okay, that’s not a big deal.” Nailed it.

Not a big deal?” he asked me. He was unbelieving. I must have been a terrible actress.

I let out a frustrated laugh. “No, it’s not, Ezra.”

“It’s a huge deal!” he whisper-shouted. “Milo is relentless. He won’t stop until you’re in love with him. He’s just like that. Milo always gets what he wants.”

My face fell into my hands and I dragged them down. “Ezra, did you seriously wake me up at three in the morning to tell me your cousin has the hots for me?”

His neck tinged pink. “Well, yeah.”

I furrowed my brows and sniffed the air twice. “You smell that?”

He looked around, smelled nothing. “Smell what?”

“That bullshit you just fed me. Seriously, tell me, Ezra. Right now. Why did you really come in here? What is keeping you up?”

He took three deep breaths. “It’s strange having a mega crush on a girl who doesn’t play games.”

My jaw dropped to the floor. “Um, excuse me, I am a flipping master at Monopoly, sir.”

He smiled. “Stop it.”

“I can’t,” I told him. “I’m digesting the bomb over Baghdad you just dropped, and I feel like you might not have even said it. I feel like I might still be asleep.”

He reached over and pinched my arm. It hurt.

“No, I’m up like a toddler at dawn on Saturday.”

I was still and we were quiet for at least two minutes.

“Digested?” he asked.

I nodded my head. “You like me.”

He swallowed. He took another deep breath, like he was screwing up the courage to reveal something. My hand went to my chest, and I leaned toward him.

“I have never liked anyone as much as I like you, Jupiter, and I don’t think I ever will.”

When I realized my eyes welled with tears, my cheeks burned in embarrassment. He brought his hand up and caught a falling tear with his thumb. He leaned in and brushed my hair back away from my face.

I sniffed and smiled at him. “That’s something.” I laughed. “That’s more than something. That’s probably the best compliment I’ve ever been given, Ezra.” Two more tears fell and I giggled at myself. “I’m an idiot.”

He cocked his head to the side and studied me. “No, you most definitely are not.”

I picked up the sleeve of my T-shirt and wiped my eyes dry. “How long have you liked me?” I asked him.

He shook his head and stared out the window, running a hand through his hair and off to the side.

I poked his leg. “How long, Ezra?”

“Since two months before graduation,” he told the window.

I balked at that. “I don’t believe it.”

He looked at me. “Believe me, Jupiter.” He turned back toward the window. “It took me a very long time to get over Jessica, over what she did to me, over what happened to my body, over the loss of lacrosse, over my changed heart.” He turned to me again.

“One day I just sort of snapped out of my haze. It was during class. I looked around me and there you were. You were this bright, beautiful light. You were gut laughing at something Frankie said and your hair swung forward, touching your knees. I noticed you didn’t do anything unless you could do it with your whole heart, and I just found that so attractive. I don’t think I’d ever been so drawn to someone in my life. You just gave off this energy, and it was like I saw you, really saw you. You weren’t funny, cool Jupiter Corey anymore. You became Jupiter Corey. Funny, cool, unbelievably interesting, want-to-flunk-all-my-classes-just-so-I -could-follow-you-around, gorgeous Jupiter Corey.

“And I never had that with Jessica. Never.” I followed the line of his throat as he swallowed. “I’ve wanted you so bad.”

His words weakened me and I fell back onto my pillows, unable to hold myself up anymore. “C’mere,” I told him, and he slid beside me on top of the covers.

“I’ve liked you for years, Ezra.”

“Liar.”

I shook my head back and forth slowly. “Years,” I whispered.

I turned to him and he followed suit. I walked my fingers up his arm and defined shoulder and let them find his hair. I threaded them through and held them there.

“When you walked into a room, Jupiter, you got all of me. I didn’t care who I was with or talking to at the time, I ignored them. You got my attention. So watching Milo with you today and occasionally while driving with Kai, I burned,” he said before clenching his eyes shut, “no, seethed with jealousy.”

His words went straight into my heart and settled there, like I swallowed a shot of something strong and drugging.

“Why didn’t you ever say anything? Why haven’t you made a move this whole trip?”

“Because I’m a chickenshit,” he admitted behind a devastating grin.

I laughed. “Underneath that cool bravado?”

“Lies the heart of a pansy,” he said, smiling.

“Why?” I asked.

He breathed easily, more easily than I’d seen him since we left Florida. He reached for a strand of hair and coiled it around his finger over and over. It sent shivers down my body.

“It sounds stupid,” he explained.

“Try me,” I sleepily demanded, dazed by his touch.

He took a deep breath and dropped the strand of hair. “At the waterfall, with the stone below us, the water around us, I felt like we were the only two people on earth and I forgot about my stupid rules for a minute. You were beautiful, and I couldn’t take being near you anymore without being able to touch you. Like I was either going to touch you or approach the cliffs of insanity. I skated that fine a line.

“It’s felt unnatural going all this time not placing a hand on you whenever I felt the urge. I kept having to remind myself you weren’t actually mine, even though I looked—look—at you like you are. That’s the problem, Jupiter. You have unimaginable power over me.”

He gulped and his brow creased as if it had been difficult for him to admit that to me. Ezra didn’t like to lose control. A light clicked on. All the times he wouldn’t let me drive, or even Kai, really. The fact he wouldn’t let me pay my part for gas or the rooms. The ribbons on the trees. Admitting his vulnerability for me. It was a control issue.

“I promised myself the night I woke up from my accident,” he continued, “that no one would ever have that kind of authority over me again. So, when I took notice of you that day in class, when I started wondering what you were doing, who you talked to, what your life’s plans were, and if you ever thought of me, I realized I was giving you power and it was a fearsome thing, Jupiter, because the hold you were beginning to take over me was infinitely stronger than anything I had ever felt with Jessica, and if that were true…”

“Then this fall would really hurt,” I finished.

He closed his lids briefly then stared hard into my own. “Not hurt, Jupiter, wreck.”

“That’s what’s haunted you these last two years,” I stated.

He nodded, his handsome face relaxed. He leaned closer and dragged his thumb over my forehead and down my cheek, resting his palm on my neck. It fit over my entire throat and sent a thrill through my head and stomach.

“Do you have any idea how badly I’ve wanted to touch your skin?” he asked.

“Not as long as I’ve wanted you to touch my skin,” I whispered.

He looked at me and I could tell he saw me, saw every facet. “You’d have needed only to ask, Jupiter,” his deep, soft voice promised.

My heart beat furiously. My pulse raced with the statement.

I closed my eyes. “What did you say at the waterfall?” I asked, bracing myself for rejection. It was an old habit.

He dragged his hand down from my neck, his fingers splayed across the top of my chest, and I opened my eyes. He had to have felt my Benedict heart in all its treasonous pounding.

“I said I couldn’t endure another minute without knowing what you felt like.”

All the breath escaped my lungs in one full rush. Something passed over his face, something different, foreign to me, something liken to desperation, I thought. Both of his hands found the sides of my neck.

“I’m going to kiss you, Jupiter Corey,” he told me, his hands trembling.

I took short, shallow breaths. I’d forgotten how to breathe. My hands went to his wrists. “Ezra, I-I’ve never kissed anyone before.”

His eyes narrowed. “How is that possible?”

“No one has ever placed their lips on mine?”

His shoulders shook in a silent laugh. “Surely guys have asked you out. Have you seen your face?”

I smiled. “I have, and don’t call me Shirley.”

“You’re an idiot.” He laughed, kissing my cheek.

“No, not a single boy has ever asked me out.”

“What nimrods.”

“I think I’m just a little, you know, too much, maybe.”

“No, you’re not too much. You’re the perfect amount of awesome, actually, and that’s intimidating to guys.”

“Not to you, though.”

“No, you intimidate the hell out of me. It took me months to gather up the courage to talk to you. On the last day of school, I’d known I’d blown it and I got pretty depressed. Then I remembered I’d see you at graduation and promised myself I’d talk to you.”

“Thank God Molly Carrington moved away.”

He smiled. “No shit.” He sighed. “You were so freaking hot that day.”

My cheeks flushed. “Oh my gato, you are such a liar. I went there with wet hair! My mom tossed my graduation outfit. I had to pull some crap together to try and look halfway decent.”

“Dude, you didn’t look halfway decent, you looked full-on decent. It was all I could do not to fall on my knees and worship at your feet.”

“Oh, Ezra.” I giggled.

Oh, Ezra,” he mock teased.

“Stop it!”

Stop it!” he falsetto mimicked.

Ezra,” I pretended to whine.

He laughed. “Fine. After you asked for the ride? I couldn’t conjure up enough grit to say anything to you over the summer. Crippled by fear and intimidation. How’s that for proof that boys are only scared of you?”

“Boys are just soft little kitties after all then?”

“We are, but we don’t like to admit it,” he said.

“I won’t ever bring it up again, Felix.”

“Thank you.”

He gave me that crooked smile again, his eyes crinkled when he did it, and I found that such a fantastic thing to look at. I pushed my fingers through his hair then down to his neck. His skin was warm and sent tingles through my own. His vein pulsed under my fingers.

“Nervous?” I asked him.

“Anxious,” he admitted. “Excited. I’ve been waiting a long time to taste you.”

I swallowed down the fluttering butterflies. “Don’t say things like that.”

“Why?” he asked softly.

“Because it drives me berserk.”

He leaned in and gingerly kissed the side of my jaw. I gasped. I felt him smile against my skin.

“I can feel your heart beating against my chest,” he said before kissing a line down and around to the base of my throat. I panted to the point of hyperventilation. “Slow,” he ordered, a hint of satisfaction in his voice.

I tempered my breaths, and my head began to clear.

“Stay still,” he told me, running his fingers down my throat.

Ezra gently pushed my chin to expose my neck, kissed the dip between my collarbones once and moved up to my ear. My hands found his shoulders when his mouth found my earlobe and he drew it between his teeth. I began to pant again. He laughed low and deep into my ear.

“Jupiter, how are you this sexy?”

He didn’t give me time to answer because his warm tongue found my earlobe again, rendering me speechless. Before I was ready for him to, he abandoned that punch-drunk place, leaving it cool and neglected. He kissed along my jaw and up a little, stopping at the corner of my mouth before drawing away to look at me. I wanted to scream at him to keep going.

He cupped my face in his hands and drew a thumb across my bottom lip, pulling it down a bit before letting his hand slip back to my jaw. He smiled a lazy smile at me, his teeth white in the moonlight, his heavy-lidded eyes doing something to my insides, a feeling I knew I was immediately addicted to.

“I’m going to kiss you this time,” he told me. “I’ll go slow,” he assured me.

I nodded, afraid to speak.

He leaned into me, pressing his entire body against mine over the covers, but his heat fell through to my legs, belly, and chest anyway and it brought a sweet kind of relaxation. Tentatively at first, he pressed his warm, soft lips to mine, his breaths mixing with mine. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. Slowly, he brought the kiss deeper and I followed his lead, sinking farther into him until I thought I’d go mad if I couldn’t get closer. I wrapped one hand around his neck and in his hair and drove the other’s fingertips into his bare back.

One of his hands stayed at my neck and jaw but the other moved down to my hip and lower back, crushing me into him. His tongue met my bottom lip, licking the length, and I found myself opening up for him. This time my tongue sought his and when I found it, Ezra groaned into my lips. We traded back and forth like that for what seemed like hours, and like an exceptional bottle of wine, we only got better with time.

Unfortunately the sun began to crest the buildings above, shining morning onto the bed, reminding us where we were.

“Oh my God,” I said, my voice hoarse, “the sun is rising.

He kissed my mouth to stop my words until it was his turn to speak. “Why aren’t we ten years older with our own apartment?” he asked, making me giggle.

He kissed my neck and collarbone.

“You have to go,” I told him, gasping when his mouth found my shoulder and bit down lightly.

“If I didn’t love and respect my Aunt Rosie so much, I would put a chair in front of that door and hole up in here with you all day, leaving teeth marks all over your neck.”

“Promises, promises,” I wheezed, out of breath from his comment, the make-out session, both.

He buried his face in my neck then skillfully bit my collarbone. He slid off the bed, his hair sticking up at all angles, and I couldn’t help but smile at him.

“Bed head?” he asked.

I stood up on the mattress to peer into the little square mirror above the dresser opposite the bed and I almost laughed out loud. I turned to Ezra and pointed to my own hair.

“Look at this mess,” I whisper-yelled.

He wasn’t looking at my hair, though. I followed his line of sight to my legs and blushed the deepest crimson I’ve ever blushed. I pulled my T-shirt down.

“Oops,” I snickered. “Sorry.”

“Stop,” he said, reaching for my hands. He pulled them out so he could get a better look. I discovered I was wrong—I could blush a deeper red.

The T-shirt wasn’t indecent or anything. It came to just below mid-thigh, but the fact I wasn’t wearing any shorts made me self-conscious. Ezra let out a shaky breath then ran his hands down his face, stopping over his mouth.

“I gotta get out of here,” he said. He kissed my cheek and opened the door, closing it so softly I barely heard it.

I imagined him creeping down the hall and back into Kai’s room. I laid back down with the biggest shit-eating grin on my face.

“How am I supposed to sleep after that?” I asked no one.

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