Publication Date: February 29th, 2012
Publication Date: February 29th, 2012
By Moonstruck Media
Chase Walker used to be a good kid—charming, athletic, and with a bright future ahead, but that was before travesty struck his life, sinking him into deep despair. Caught up in a world of drugs and alcohol, he doesn’t notice time slipping away until he’s arrested for underage drinking one night.
Fed up with watching her son destroy his life, Chase’s mom relocates him to live in a small ranching community with his ex-military grandfather. Chase is far from happy about the situation until he meets, Nikki, the cute cheerleader who won’t give football players like him the time of day.
Chase enjoys a good challenge though and sets out to claim Nikki for his own. He soon discovers she’s more than a pretty face—she’s a balm to his troubled spirit also. But when tragedy strikes Nikki’s life too, suddenly Chase finds himself put to the ultimate test. Can he trust Nikki, and all that she’s taught him? Will it be enough?
The bell rang, signaling the release of class, and I watched Nikki hurry from her seat and through the door without looking in my direction. I grabbed my books and hurried after, catching up to her in the hall.
She cast one glance from the corner of her eye at me and started walking faster. “Go away,” she said.
“Go out with me.”
“Go out with me. I like you.”
“You don’t even know me.”
“Exactly! That’s why you should go out with me. How am I going to get to know you otherwise?”
“Not going to happen.” She stopped at her locker and began twirling her combination.
“I’ll bring you flowers. What’s your favorite?”
“What time should I pick you up? Is seven okay?”
“I’m not going out with you.”
“Why? What’s wrong with me? I brush my teeth, use mouthwash, and I wear oodles of deodorant.” I placed my hand on the locker next to hers and leaned in really close behind her. “My aftershave is really nice too. Can you smell it?”
She paused in the middle of sliding her books onto the shelf and turned to look at me. “It does smell good, but I’m still not going out with you.”
“Ah ha! A compliment! I knew it was in there somewhere.” I smiled widely. “I guess I’ll cut my losses for today and run with my compliment. But don’t worry, Nikki,” I whispered into her ear. “I’ll ask you again tomorrow.”
She gave an exasperated sigh, and I laughed as I walked away.
“You’re a sucker for punishment, you know that right?” Brett said from where he was standing against the wall watching.
“Are you saying you doubt my skills?” I asked, stopping at my own locker to drop off my books.
“Yes,” he said bluntly.
“Ouch. I’m wounded. Guess I’ll have to prove it to you.”
“Why do you have to get her? Practically every other girl in the school is throwing herself at you, much to the dismay of the rest of us guys, I might add.”
“I don’t want every other girl.” I glanced down the hall catching Nikki staring at me with a perplexed look. “I want that one.” I flashed a wink in her direction and she quickly turned to hurry off with her friend.
Life hasn’t been easy for Chase Walker. He’s experienced tragedy, and at times he’s not sure he wants to continue living. But he made a vow to go on with his life, and he intends to keep it.
After getting a college scholarship to play football, Chase heads off to school, hoping his time on the field will help to bury the intense emotions that still linger in his heart. Fate doesn’t work that way though, and he soon finds himself having to face all the things he’s carrying inside, or he may miss the one shot he has to learn how to love again.
“Chase, I can take care of this. You’ve got a house full of people here for your goodbye party tonight. You need to come inside.”
Pausing, I wiped my arm across my sweaty brow and glanced in the direction of the house. “I don’t really feel like partying. Maybe you can make excuses for me? I’ll grab some leftovers when I come in later.” I gave a pleading, hopeful look as he stared, his lips pursed.
“Son, come sit with me for a spell.” He waved his hand toward some of the bales on the ground.
Sighing, I finished stacking the one I’d been moving and climbed down. I sat beside him, my elbows resting against my knees.
“You’ve got to be one of the best kids I know.” He clapped me on the back. “I may have had my doubts in the beginning, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a guy your age work as hard as you.”
This was high praise coming from him. “Thanks,” I mumbled. “I’m just trying to help out.”
“I have to say, I don’t like it one bit.”
His words threw me.
“What?” I glanced up, confused. I thought he appreciated my help.
“You’ve got your whole life to work yourself to the bone, Chase. You need to enjoy being a kid. Go be with your friends—laugh, be silly, do some crazy things. Hang with the guys for a while, or try dating again. There are some very pretty girls who’d love to find a handsome guy like you paying them attention.”
I clenched my jaw, grinding my teeth together. “I can’t do that.” I got up and grabbed another bale.
“What do you think Nikki would say about how you’re behaving?”
Hearing her name made me feel like I’d been sucker punched in the gut. I dropped the hay. “Don’t go there. Please, Grandpa. It still hurts too much.” I struggled to maintain my composure.
“I had a dog once that got tangled in a loose barbed wire fence. His name was Barley.”
Wait. We’re talking about dogs now?
“He cut himself real good on his hind leg. I helped him get free, but he ran off before I could put any salve on the wound and dress it proper. He wandered around the edges of the property, limping, but whenever I’d come after him, he’d hightail it away before I could catch him. Finally, one day I found him laying in the field over yonder. His leg was swollen real bad, and I could tell he had a pretty serious infection going on. I knew if I didn’t cut him open and drain it, he was going to die, so I pulled out my pocketknife and sliced into it. Ole Barley, he howled like the dickens and even nipped at me pretty sharply. Green smelly puss shot from that thing, though, and I knew he had to feel a lot better getting rid of the pressure. I carried him to the house and cleaned the wound as best I could. It was touch and go for a while, but finally his leg started healing, and he made a full recovery. Barley and I were pretty close after that. He was a good dog.”
I folded my arms. “Is there a point to this story?”
He stood and walked in front of me. “The point is, sometimes you’ve got to lance your wounds, and let all the infection and poison pour out of your soul so it doesn’t eat you alive from the inside out. Sometimes we fail to see there are people around us who love us, and they are waiting to help, but we don’t let them. Instead, we choose to let things fester, going off on our own—licking wounds as we try to heal ourselves.” He put his hands on my shoulders. “Don’t let this happen to you, Chase.”
I blinked back the tears which threatened and looked away. I knew what he was saying, but I couldn’t give in. It was too hard—too much. “I can’t let it out,” I whispered. “It’s . . . too strong.”
It was while she was attending the small country school in Clay Springs, that she read her first "big" book at the age of eight. It was a Nancy Drew novel and Lacey was instantly hooked. She read every book that she could find in the series and decided that she wanted to write stories too.
Lacey spent a lot of time at the library from that time forward, even volunteering in her later teen years and early twenties. She would don a crazy clown outfit for the Friends of the Library fundraisers in an effort to help get the new town library built.
When she and her husband moved away from the area, Lacey took the opportunity to take some creative writing classes at the local college to help further along her interests. Several years later, they were blessed with the opportunity to move back to Clay Springs with their family. The town had finally succeeded in building their library and Lacey had the opportunity to be President of the Friends of the Library for a very short time, before relocating.
Lacey and her family still live in the White Mountains of Arizona, where she continues to write young adult novels that have a fantasy/fairytale or paranormal bent to them, as well as being sure to include a great romantic storyline!