Edition: Digital original. Kody Keplinger both returns to the halls of Hamilton High and explores new territory in her collection of two e-book exclusive novellas. Kody Keplinger (Author) this was a short and sweet read about casey from the duff and bailey from a midsummer's nightmare, in two seperate short stories. as the two other books i've read by kody keplinger, this was also very fast paced and easy to get into. Get Free Read & Download Files Secrets And Lies Ebook Kody Keplinger PDF. SECRETS AND LIES EBOOK KODY KEPLINGER. Download: Secrets And Lies .
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She could bitch to a houseplant just as well as she could to me. With my head hurting even worse, I yanked the curtains closed to block out any trace of sunlight and fell onto my bed, burying my face in the pillow with a groan.
I felt something stiff and crinkly under my stomach and sighed. The room had finally stopped spinning now that I was lying down, and sitting up seemed like a bad idea.
Moving as little as possible, I reached beneath me and pulled out the offending object, holding it up to examine it. It was the thing Trace had sent me.
A blue envelope with my name written across it with a pretty pink gel pen. Emilys doing, for sure. My brothers penmanship was shit. With slow, unsteady movements, I opened the envelope and pulled out the card inside.
What a clich. Inside, though, my brother had crossed out all the cheesy poem crap and written his own message. Of course, since Trace wrote it himself in his sloppy boy handwriting, it took me a few minutes to decipher. Love, the best big brother ever and Emily and Marie, too I smiled. It was a mark of how much I loved my big brother that I found his lack of punctuation and proper grammar endearing. Emily and Trace had been married for about two years. They met when Trace got his job as the assistant to some talent agent out in Los Angeles.
Emily was an actress which means she was a waitress who was originally sleeping with Traces boss, trying to get parts. But then she met Trace, and he claims it was love at first sight.
Normally, if someone told me that, Id gag, but I bought Traces story. After they met, Emily dumped agent-man she wasnt getting any gigs anyway and started dating my brother. I figured that would be a conflict of interest with Traces job or something, but I guess that kind of crazy stuff happens all the time in Hollywood because he was still working for the guy. He even got promoted after that.
And Emily had Marie, their daughter, just last month. That was why Trace hadnt made it to my graduation. Marie was too little to fly, and Trace didnt want to leave Emily at home with the baby by herself. He had a lot going on. And picking up and flying all the way out here for just one night would have been stupid.
I mean, Dad hadnt even been able to make it because of work, and he lived within driving distance. It was no big deal.
The ceremony was dumb anyway. But it would have been nice to see Trace. Next year, I thought, putting away the card and check hed sent before curling up on my side and closing my eyes to fight off the headache.
Dad and I will fly out to California together during his vacation. No work, no Mom driving us crazy. Itll be great. Next year. And with that thought, I drifted off to sleep. I think she was shooting for California or Hawaii or something, but instead we wound up only two hundred and fifty miles away, just far enough so our antenna didnt pick up Channel My dad was this hotshot news anchor.
He was, like, the most popular television personality in the tristate area or something. Channel 34 had the lowest ratings of all the local networks before they hired Greg Johnson to do the morning news.
And everyone fell in love with him. Women wanted to date him, and men wanted to go fishing with him. Suddenly, Channel 34 was the most popular station in the area. So, naturally, my mother wanted to move to a place where no one had ever heard of my dad.
Even if that meant I was living far away from him, too. At twelve, I was already old enough to realize how selfish my mother was being.
She moved us to a city four and a half hours from Dad all the way to fucking Indiana yet she had the nerve to bitch about how he didnt spend enough time with me. For Gods sake, it wasnt his fault that she wasnt mature enough to live in the same state as her ex or that he had a job that took up a lot of his time, even weekends.
Because of her, any traditional custody agreement just wasnt feasible. So Dad and I worked out a more convenient system. Id spent every summer for the last six years at my dads condo. He lived only a few miles from Kentucky Lake, so I wasted most of the hot days stretched out on a towel, getting a tan on the beach. At night, Dad would fire up the grill, and last year hed even mixed us a few drinks, making me promise Mom wouldnt find out.
Sometimes his girlfriend whoever she was that month would come over, but hed never let her stay long. The summer was our time. Our time to make up for the months spent apart. And this was the last summer before college. I imagined sitting on the beach with Dad, talking about his days at University of Kentucky where Id be starting in September him telling me the crazy stories from his fraternity days while we drank together.
Maybe hed even help me figure out what to major in when I got to UK. Mom said I should focus on business, but Dad knew me better than she did. That could be our project for the summer, deciding what I should do for the rest of my life. I tossed my duffel bag into the back of his SUV, eager to hit the road and get our summer started.
He was sitting in the drivers seat, talking to somebody on his cell phone and pretending he didnt notice Mom watching him from the front window of the house. Shed never come outside when Dad was here. Shed swear she wanted nothing to do with him, but I always saw her watching. Ready to go, munchkin? Dad asked, shutting his cell phone and plugging it into the car charger. I slammed the SUVs door. Did you tell your mom good-bye? Yeah, I muttered, climbing into the front seat.
Lets just get out of here. First put on your seat belt. I sighed, pulling the belt across me. Dont act so casual about it. He revved the engine. We just aired a special report over at the station about the death rate for car accidents, and its unreal the difference that little lap belt will make. Dad chuckled. I dont know what Im going to do with you, munchkin, he said, already backing out of my driveway.
I turned, thinking I might at least wave good-bye to Mom, but she wasnt at the window anymore. The blinds were shut. I wondered if shed gone back to bed, if shed stay 14 there for days the way she did for the first couple years after the divorce. The sick part was that shes the one who left Dad.
I think part of her assumed hed chase after her or beg her not to go. But he didnt. After two months of separation, he sent her divorce papers, already signed. I didnt blame him. They fought all the time about stupid stuff. I was sure that was why Trace moved across the country after graduation to get away from the drama.
I was probably the only twelveyear-old to ever be relieved that her parents were getting divorced. I was less relieved, however, when I realized this meant I had to live with my mom full-time. The first two years were the worst. When she wasnt depressed, she was angry. She was still angry now. Sorry I couldnt make it to your graduation, Dad was saying as we swerved through lunch-hour traffic.
I wanted to be there, but with my work schedule, it just wasnt possible. Its cool, I said, watching as the tall buildings of the city zoomed past the windows.
Graduations nothing special anyway.
SECRETS & LIES
Its actually really boring. But Mom recorded the ceremony on my digital camera so I could send it to Trace. If you want, I can load the file onto your computer and show you the footage once we get to the condo. I have some news. I turned to look at him, a little nervous as I remembered the beloved condo with its bright retro paintings and squeaky floorboards. Nothing to get worked up about.
You dont have ants again, do you? I keep saying that you need to get a real exterminator in there instead of trying to do everything yourself. No, its not ants, he said. And I dont think well have to worry about those pests again because. I repeated. You mean, like, to a new house? Thats what I mean. I stared at him, shocked. Why would you move? Did you want a place closer to the lake or something? No, it wasnt about the beach.
Then why give up the condo? I asked. If youre not going closer to the lake, theres no reason to live in Millerton. Well, I agree. But thats just it. Im not living in Millerton.
But youve always lived in Millerton. You grew up there I grew up there. Why would you leave? Youll see when we get to Hamilton.
Youll love it there, munchkin, he assured me. Its a nice little neighborhood. Great surroundings. Wonderful people. Youll love spending your summer there, I promise. Its even better than Millerton. Hamilton was a hellhole. I discovered this three and a half hours later, after listening to every song on my iPod multiple times. Id spent the drive giving Dad the silent treatment, annoyed that he hadnt 16 warned me about this move. Hed always had a bad habit of springing things on me, like new girlfriends those never lasted long enough to matter, though or remodeling the condo.
But never anything as drastic as moving to a new town.
A new, crappy town. I was just thinking that I needed to get on iTunes to download some music when Dads SUV rumbled past the welcome to hamilton! As soon as I saw that exclamation mark, I knew I was doomed. It only got worse as we drove farther into town. One stoplight. A population of less than a thousand. And definitely, definitely no beach. In fact, Dads new house was on the opposite side of Channel 34s viewing area, which put us more than a hundred miles from the lake.
Great, I muttered, watching out the window as white picket fence after white picket fence zoomed past. So much for spending the summer in a bikini. Hey, dont get upset just yet, munchkin.
Two Short Stories
He reached over to pat me on the knee. Millerton had been twice the size of this place. It wasnt really a city, but there was a mall, at least, and all the houses didnt look exactly alike. There had been some diversity, some color. There were skate parks and weekend mini-golf places. And sometimes Dad took me to the go-kart track in the summer. As we drove through the town, I spotted a library, a grocery store, a bank, and absolutely nothing fun to do.
Im going to be so pale when I start college, I whined. Youll still get a tan. We already have a pool. Whos we? You mean you and me?
Dad cleared his throat. Thats the second part of the surprise. Second part? We pulled into a driveway. The house we faced was pretty big, with a perfect, well-kept yard and neat little shutters on the windows. The part that caught my attention, though, was the woman standing on the front porch.
She was tall, blond, and wearing super-high high heels.
Dad, I said. Who is that?
He cut the engine and pushed open his door. Honey, Im home! I frowned and climbed out of the SUV. The woman was already jogging down the sidewalk, which I had to admit was impressive in those heels. Instead of running toward my father, she steered in the other direction and landed right next to me, reaching out and wrapping her arms around me in a tight hug before I could stop her.
Thank God it was a quick one. When she stepped back, she was smiling at me like some kind of lunatic. Oh, Whitley, she said with a sigh, brushing blond hair 18 out of her heart-shaped face. It is so nice to finally meet you. You are just so, so beautiful. Your dads pictures dont do you justice at all. Uh, thanks. I glanced over at Dad, who was making his way around the SUV, coming toward us.
Then I looked back at this crazy woman. Sorry, but who the hell are you? She looked taken aback for a minute before my father sidled up beside her, slipping his long arm around her shoulders.
This is Sylvia. My fiance. Sylvia Caulfield was a lawyer from Indiana. She and Dad had met last September when Dad was doing a story on Land Between the Lakes, a national recreation area near his condo, and Sylvia was there, visiting the park with a friend from college.
Dad asked her for an interview about her experience at the park, and she asked for his phone number. Not long after that, they were crazy in love. The story made me nauseous.
We mostly exchanged e-mails and phone calls for a few months, Sylvia explained as she poured herself a mug of coffee in the houses cheerful kitchen.
The pastel blues and greens were in direct contrast to my mood four hours into vacation and already everything was ruined, and I had the strong urge to strangle my father and his bride-to-be. You sure you dont want a cup of coffee, Whitley? I shook my head.
She had already offered me one, but Id refused. I hated coffee with a passion. The smell alone was horrible. Well, anyway. Neither of us expected a long-distance relationship to work out. Especially me, I think.
I hadnt dated since my first husband passed away from a heart attack a few years ago. This was so new to me. I was sure wed break up before Christmas. Did you really think Id let you get away that easy?
Dad asked, kissing her on the cheek. Im not that stupid. She blushed and giggled. I couldnt believe I was seeing this. It was like a bad made-for-TV movie. Poor little widow meets successful local celebrity. Then its all flowers and sunshine in suburbia. And it was so unlike Dad. After he and Mom split, my father had turned into a real flirt, which was, you know, pretty normal for a semifamous bachelor. Every summer when I came to visit he had a new twentysomething bombshell following him like a lost puppy.
They always had names like Heather or Nikki, and they spent most of their time in way-too-revealing bikinis, lying on the beach and reading Vogue. Sylvia wasnt one of those girls, though. In fact, the only thing she had in common with any of them was her hair color, but my father had always preferred blonds. Other than that, she was a total one-eighty from the usual bimbos. For one, she had a real job, whereas all the others had been 21 waitresses or retail clerks.
And she was close to his age, too. So not his type.
What kind of spell did this chick have him under? And how the hell could he not tell me about her? But we made it past Christmas, she said, sitting across from me at the kitchen table.
I wrinkled my nose as the smell from her mug wafted my way. Finally, we realized we just couldnt stand being apart for so long. Because, of course, your dad couldnt travel to see me with his work, and I dont get out-of-state cases that often.
So I asked her to move in with me, Dad said. And I said no. Sylvia laughed. I just couldnt live in that condo. I scowled. I hated the way she said it. That condo. Like it was a bad place. Didnt she know that that condo had been a home to me?
More of a home than Moms house in Indiana ever had been. So we negotiated, Dad continued, either not seeing or choosing to ignore the glare I was giving them both.
I realized I wanted to marry her, but Sylvia wanted to live in a family community. Shed been in the city for too long, and she was right that condo was just too young for me. It was a bachelor pad, and I wanted a real home. Plus, I was driving more than an hour to get to the station every morning.
With that kind of trip twice a day, the money I was paying for gas was really ridiculous. And my sister lives here in Hamilton.
Sylvia took a sip of her coffee, beaming at me over the top of the mug. We both knew that this was the perfect place for us. We 22 got engaged last month, and we finally moved everything in last night. I looked at Dad, silently asking for a better explanation. Why had he let this woman convince him to move out of the condo and into this place?
Who was she to make him change? I kept hoping hed burst out laughing and shout, Got you! You really fell for it, munchkin. But he didnt, and that pissed me off even more.
I got an Illinois license to practice law, moved to a new firm one closer and now your dad is closer to his work, too, Sylvia was saying. Its only thirty minutes to the station from here.
And we both just love this little town. Its lovely, isnt it? Sure, I muttered.
Id been there for twenty minutes and already hated Hamilton. I never thought Id say this, but I would have rather been back in Indiana. The city would have been better than this place. Dealing with Mom would have been better than dealing with this little surprise.
I couldnt believe Sylvia had talked Dad into moving here. Hamilton so wasnt his style. Dad liked bizarre pink flamingos and horseshoe pits in his yard. Not picket fences and clich little gardens. At the condo, he had these crazy retro paintings and posters in trippy colors hanging from the walls. I think there was even a Velvet Elvis in his bedroom.
But there was nothing like that in this house. Floral wallpaper. Watercolor art. Nothing with real personality. It was all generic and uniform. Back home. Sylvia got to her feet as the sound of the front door opening caught all of our attention.
Secrets and Lies
That must be the kids, she said, hurrying into the living room. I turned to Dad, stunned. Oh, yeah, Dad said, moving to sit in the chair next to mine. Sylvia has two children.
I didnt say anything. She's also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy scho Most high school sports teams have rivalries with other schools. At Hamilton High, it's a civil war: the football team versus the soccer team. And for her part,Lissa is sick of it. Her quarterback boyfriend, Randy, is always ditching her to go pick a fight with the soccer team or to prank their locker room. And on three separate occasions Randy's car has been egg She's just met his new fiancee and her kids.
The fiancee's son? Whitley's one-night stand from graduation night. Just freakin' great. Worse, she totally doesn't fit in with her dad's perfect new country-club family. So Whitley acts out. She parties. So hard she doesn't even notice the good things right under Sonny Ardmore is an excellent liar. She lies about her dad being in prison. She lies about her mom kicking her out. And she lies about sneaking into her best friend's house every night because she has nowhere else to go.I loved just kinda checking in with everyone.
Dad said, stepping up beside Sylvia and putting his arm around her.
He was sitting in the drivers seat, talking to somebody on his cell phone and pretending he didnt notice Mom watching him from the front window of the house. Customers who viewed this item also viewed. I thought the school was called Fairview.
I seriously hoped I wouldnt get a chatty driver. Kody Keplinger both returns to the halls of Hamilton High and explores new territory in her collection of two e-book exclusive novellas. Whitley, I corrected, reluctantly taking his hand and shaking it for just a second before letting go. Details if other: You okay, munchkin?
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