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June Mabee is a lot of things.
She’s the girl next door.
She’s the best friend I ever had.
She was my first kiss, as awkward as it was.
And she’s the last person I should have feelings for. Ever.

Two years ago, I cut all ties with her because I had no choice. No more late night phone calls, no hellos or goodbyes, not even a passing smile. I left her to wonder what happened to the us we used to be. We were best friends, and then suddenly…we weren’t. And I know it hurt. But the truth would have hurt her more, and being anything with June would have destroyed my family.

For a while, we managed to exist a hundred feet apart with no connection at all. She changed schools. I kept busy. We existed, apart. But no matter how hard I tried to not think about her, I just couldn’t stay away from the funny, adventurous, steadfast girl with wild green eyes.

She’s back. We’re seniors now. We’ve grown—all of us. And while I might be different, she’s different too. She takes risks, stands up for herself and doesn’t back down. The more we’re forced together, the more I miss her. But for June to be a part of my story, I need to tell her the whole truth, everything that happened. And I’m not sure any of us are ready for that.


Ginger Scott

Expected Release Date: 15 October 2021

Book Series: 

A new book in Ginger Scott’s Varsity series is out this week, and I have a sneak peek for you. Varsity Captain is a full-length novel with brand new content and not just a simple retelling, and it gives readers the experience and backstory of Varsity Heartbreaker, told from Lucas Fuller’s POV.

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I do my best to ignore his back-and-fort texting, but when he howls in laughter. I glare at him and he nods his head toward June, urging all of us to look. I stand when my friend does, and my eyes find June’s panicked face on the other end of the lane. Poor thing was just trying to get through her shift. Nice, Tory. Real nice.

“I’m inviting her over. This is ridiculous,” he says.

I wave a hand, knowing he’s going to do whatever he wants to anyhow, which he does.

I hover around the ball return, holding my open palm over the fan while Tory stands on one of the seats and cups his mouth, as if he needs any assistance in being loud.

“Maybe Mabee would like to come say hi to her friends!”

I cringe and glance with side eyes, almost certain I see June’s shoulders scrunch up with embarrassment too. My eyes fall back to the ball return, and I push my ball around a little to find the thumb hole.

“Oh shit!” Tory’s unnerved tone spikes my adrenaline, and I look up just in time to see June’s legs fly out from under her body, which cascades through the air, her head on a perfect path for impact with the corner of the gutter.

Fuck, she’s hurt!

“June!” Her name flies from my lips out of habit and need. She hit her head hard, and my heart is thundering in response.

I sprint down the lane, my feet sliding along the slick floor the entire way until I’m at June’s side. Her eyes are rolling, her pupils wide. This isn’t good.

She’s gasping for air. She probably got the wind knocked out of her on impact. I push her disheveled hair away from her face and brace her head between my hands. She’s squirming.

“June, careful. Don’t move.”

Her eyes search wildly and I try to hold her still, forcing her to focus on me. Her pupils have closed, which is a relief, but she’s hell bent on moving more. She starts to roll to her side and I decide I need to get her off this floor.

“You can’t carry her on that. You’ll slip, too!” Morty’s worried about a lawsuit, so I shoot him a glare and do as I damn well please.

I scoop June into my arms, her body rolling into my chest as I lift her and fight to steady my feet. She wraps her arm around my shoulder, her fingers gripping my hoodie. I’m glad she has the strength and coordination to do that. It’s a good sign. Her eyes flutter closed as she tucks her face against me, so I adjust my hold to grip her tighter against me. This floor is no joke. How I sprinted across it a second ago beats me.

“I can walk,” she croaks.

“Shhh,” I hush, laughing slightly. Still stubborn June, after all this time.

My right foot slides out about a foot so I bend my knees and stop. June clutches me.

“This shit is slippery,” I say to my friends. They’re about a dozen steps away, all standing with their legs spread, knees bent and arms out as if they are in any position to catch me or June if I tumble.

I cut my steps in half, sliding my feet as if I’m on ice. I’ve got this. I’m decent on a hockey rink.

“Almost there,” I say, tucking my chin.

I take a gamble and lunge forward when I see unwaxed floor ahead. June flinches in my arms, and I check her face the second my legs are steady. Our eyes lock, and my insides rush with this overwhelming sense that I need to take care of this girl. My arms feel numb, and it’s not because June is heavy. Hell, I lift things twice her size for a workout. No, this is more like a morphine drip. I’m a little sick from the feeling, but it’s lingering in my body, slapping me around on the insides.

“Tory, someone needs to drive her home, man. Get your car.”

I kneel and set June down on one of the nearby seats. I try to stand but June’s hand grasps at my sweatshirt and her eyes flash wide. I’m not sure if she’s feeling sick or uneasy or what, but I react with the same instincts I have for the last two minutes—as if she is mine, and I’m the only one in the world who can take care of her.

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(standalone stories with interconnected characters)

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