Under the Dusty Sky (Holloway Farms)

Under the Dusty Sky (Holloway Farms) by Allie Brennan Read Free Book Online

Book: Under the Dusty Sky (Holloway Farms) by Allie Brennan Read Free Book Online
Authors: Allie Brennan
Tags: english eBooks
shoved back into wherever she stores her emotions.
    “ Eventually everything collapses. That doesn’t mean you just abandon it.”
    She turns on her heel and moves to the far edge of the barn, leaving me dumbfounded. Somehow, I don’t think she’s talking about the barn. She kicks a large rock to the side and squats down on her heels. Pushing a big thick wooden board to the side, she gestures with her head to go in. I wonder why we don't just use a door, but a quick glance to the side reveals a thick chain and heavy padlock. I move to the opening and shove through the small space. Gracie’s almost as tall as me, but I’m twice as wide so she slides through with much more ease. The wood panel slams closed.
    “ Gracie, why are we here? I thought you needed all day to get ready for this dance thing?”
    Gracie steps past me into a slit of soft sunlight that illuminates her face, and it distracts me. She’s absolutely stunning. Where I'm from, I see hot girls everywhere, but as I watch her smile at me, with not a stitch of makeup on, I realize I’ve never before seen a beautiful girl. Her dark eyes are endless, and the longer I look, the more I catch glimpses of what she’s hiding. After a few moments, she shifts her gaze to the dusty straw-covered floor and bites at her bottom lip. Her hair is twisted messily and pulled over her shoulder. Her worn sweatshirt is stretched and ratty and hangs off one shoulder. Her jeans are loose with one thumb hooked casually in the pockets, the mysterious leather book still clutched in the other hand. Right now, at this second, she looks real. Authentic. Like this is the girl hidden beneath the attitude, the manipulation, the forwardness. This uneasy girl who chews on her lip and avoids eye contact breathes a new life into me that I know won’t last. Because this isn’t the Gracie that the world sees. I was not supposed to be standing on that porch this afternoon. I’m not supposed to be here.
    I shouldn’t want to be here. This is how it always starts with me.
    A short laugh brings be back into focus.
    “ Oh, my brothers will believe anything. They think I take forever getting ready. It takes me ten minutes to put makeup on. It’s just easier to make them think I’m in my room getting ready because then they don’t bother me. Really I just come here. And, I have no idea why I just told you that, but here you are.”
    She steps past me and to a ladder in the center of the room. It goes up to a loft. She scales the thing like a pro, and I fully enjoy watching.
    She pokes her head over the side of the loft.
    “ Well, ya comin’?”
    I laugh. Archer was right. It’s going to be tough to keep up. I pull myself up the rungs of the ladder and crawl across the wooden floor to a futon mattress that lays on the floor. I point at it.
    “ Don’t even ask. You don’t want to know. That’s why there’s three sheets on it.” Gracie laughs, and it’s full and real. I’ve heard her giggle, squeal, and flirt, but I haven’t heard this one before and it tugs at something in my chest. Genuine laughter. When was the last time I’d heard it?
    Gracie flops down beside me and leans across my lap to push open a broken window. I’ve never really been a ‘hair’ guy, but as a few loose strands brush across my bare arms, I think I could convert. She looks at me as she leans back, that forced sexy look, then shifts backwards until she’s leaning against the decaying wooden panels. She flips open the leather book and pulls her knees up, setting the book on her lap.
    “ Is that a journal?” I ask, watching her eyes flick back and forth. She looks up at me and laughs a short curt laugh.
    “ I have three older brothers. Do you think I’d be dumb enough to keep a journal?”
    I lay back on the old dusty mattress and put my hands behind my head. She looks down at me and her eyes travel me quickly before her bronze cheeks flush so slightly I would have missed it if I wasn’t so damn hyper

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