Not Since You

Not Since You by Jenna Jared Read Free Book Online

Book: Not Since You by Jenna Jared Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jenna Jared
back on. Another ten for her dress, and still, she couldn't zip it up all the way. Carrie climbed out of the car and hurried back to the prom, hoping no one saw her half-dressed, hair a mess, makeup smudged with passion and then tears.
                  She slipped into the ladies' room, where she somehow managed to get her dressed re-zipped, her hair fixed and her makeup reapplied. She'd find Zack, and she'd hug him and tell him that she loved him, that there could never be anyone else—and she'd make him understand.
                  Maybe all she needed to do was lure him back to the car. Not a bad choice, really. Now that she knew how wonderful it was, she'd much rather be there with him than here with everyone else. He was the other half of her. She knew that beyond a shadow of a doubt; there would never be another man but Zack Mahoney for her.
                  Carrie gave her hair a final spritz of hairspray to keep it pouffed and left the ladies' room. She wondered where he'd gone. Back into their function room? She peered through the glass door; but she didn't see him in the crush of classmates. Where was he? She turned and started walking down the hall to the chandeliered foyer, where some of the kids were smoking cigarettes—even though, technically, they weren't supposed to. As she passed a side corridor, one that went off to the kitchen, she spotted a couple there in the darkness.
                  The boy was leaning against the wall, his arm over the girl's head in a protective, guarding way. She was leaning with her back against the wall; her face was buried in his chest. She appeared to be crying. "Why? Why?" the girl cried.
                  "Shhh. Someone will hear you," the boy said.
                  Carrie felt like she'd been punched in the gut. It was Zack. Her Zack. And...Sarah? She started forward, but their next words stopped her.
                  "But why, Zack? Why the parking lot? Why now?" Sarah sobbed, big hiccupping cries that sounded as if her heart had been broken. "I can't go back in there, Zack. I can't. Not now. Not after...the parking lot. Not like this. Everyone will know."
                  "I know, Becks, I know. Shhh..." He bent his head to hers, pressed his forehead against hers.
    "It'll be all right. Everything will be okay. I'll take care of you. I'll take care of everything. I love you, you know." He pressed a gentle kiss to her cheek.
                  Carrie gasped. They lifted their heads to stare at her. Zack started.
                  "Carrie-da—"
                  "Shut up! Don't you call me that! Ever!" she shrieked and threw her small beaded handbag at him. "I hate you! And I never want to see you again!" She took a step back, looked past Zack to Sarah. Carrie put her fist against her mouth and moaned. She didn't even know what to say to Sarah. She'd been her best friend since her parents had died and she'd moved to Nana's.
                  Carrie turned, then, and ran...
    *****              
                  All the way to Texas. Three months later, Nana had told her that Zack and Sarah had gotten married. A part of her had died.
    She'd thrown herself into her career and never returned. Instead, she wrote. And wrote some more. Anything to stop the memories and the ache in her heart.              
                  She drew a deep sigh and realized something as she sat on the floor with Ellie's head on her lap. "My ass is asleep."
                  Ellie opened her eyes and thumped her tail on the floor; it made the hardwood shake.
                  "You have the Tail of Death," Carrie told her. "Stop that."
                  The dog made a wraow noise. But she also stopped wagging her tail.
                  Carrie leaned her head against the door once more. "The

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