Isn't She Lovely Page 2

He raises an eyebrow that’s a couple of shades darker than his blond hair. “Stereotype much?”

I don’t even know why I’m engaging in an argument with the guy, but there’s something smug about him, and all that tidy perfection bugs the crap out of me. I prefer my dudes real, and this one isn’t.

I sort of wave my hand up and down in his direction. “It’s just that I think you forgot to change out of your country-club uniform.”

He takes a tiny step closer to me, and I try to ignore the fact that he’s about a foot taller than me and has a perfect view down my shirt.

“Does the surly mood come with the goth outfit?” he asks, giving me a once-over. “Or do you have to buy it separately?”

I hold up a hand to shield my eyes. “Could you please watch where you’re pointing your teeth? The glare from your caps is hurting my eyes.”

He runs a tongue over his ridiculously white teeth, looking thoughtful. “You know, sometimes if I don’t have enough light to study by, I just smile and use the reflection from these pearly whites.”

It’s a lame comeback, but I roll my eyes and let him win the sparring contest. I’m over this ridiculous conversation, and I head toward my classroom, well aware that I’m now a full twenty minutes late.

“You’re not even going to say good-bye?” he calls after me. “I picked up your tampon!”

I give a dismissive flick of my hand over my head, not bothering to turn around.

I quickly find my classroom and brace myself for that awkward late-girl moment. The room is overly full considering that this is a summer elective course, but then I guess that’s to be expected when the professor has two Golden Globes and an Oscar under his belt.

And actually, the professor isn’t a professor at all, but the current darling of Hollywood screenwriting. Martin Holbrook graduated from NYU’s Tisch School like a hundred years ago, and he guest-lectures at his alma mater every now and then to throw some wisdom at the undergraduates.

Of course, this class isn’t my only reason for sticking around New York this summer. Hell, it’s not even my primary reason.

But it’s still pretty freaking cool to work with a guy who’s done the red carpet and all that. Most of my professors’ experience is limited to behind-the-camera indie stuff.

“Ms. Kendrick, I presume?” Martin Holbrook says as I try to slink unobtrusively along the side.

“Um, yeah,” I say as I slide into the first empty seat against the wall. “Sorry I’m late.”

But to my surprise, Mr. Holbrook doesn’t seem fazed by my late arrival. Neither am I getting the usual collegiate-judgment stare from my classmates.

Instead, they’re all staring at the toothpaste commercial standing in the doorway.

Oh, good God. I think for sure we’re dealing with a wrong-room scenario.

“Ethan, it’s good to see you again,” Martin Holbrook is saying.

Wait. What? What does Holbrook mean, again?

Instead of skulking along the wall like I did, Ethan ambles easily toward the empty row of desks where I’m sitting, looking completely unperturbed by the fact that everyone is staring at him.

I glare at him in a way that I hope coaxes him to put a couple of desks between us. Instead, he lets his hip brush against the edge of my desk, tossing my smashed granola bar on my lap as he passes.

“You dropped this,” he says with a wink.

Everyone is staring at us in confusion, and I don’t blame them. I look like the troubled girl parents warn their kids away from, and Ethan looks like the homecoming king. In no ecosystem should we even be acknowledging each other’s existence.

And yet we both came in late, practically together, and now he’s being all winky and you-dropped-this, making it seem like we actually know each other.


I catch the eye of Carrie Sinders, one of my closest friends at school, and she widens her eyes dramatically, as if to ask, What’s going on?

Good question, Carrie. Good freaking question.

The only good thing about the whole situation is that Martin Holbrook isn’t the prima donna I was fearing and doesn’t seem at all annoyed by the interruption. Probably because he played lacrosse with Pretty Boy Prada’s dad or something.

I pull out my notebook and a pen and try to focus on what Holbrook is saying when I feel a poke between my shoulder blades.

“Hey, Morticia, can I borrow a pen?”

I start to tell Ethan that I don’t have one, but of course he knows firsthand that I have about ten in my bag. I dig out a blue ballpoint and drop it onto his desk without looking at him. I don’t like people I can’t figure out, and his very presence in a place where he doesn’t seem to belong is unsettling.

That, and he smells good. Really good. Normally I hate dudes with cologne. But this is clean and sexy and smells kind of like summer in the Hamptons, and it’s more than a little distracting.

I shake it off and remind myself that I’m avoiding the male population in general since David. David, whose idea of cologne is deodorant.

“So everyone’s good?” Holbrook says. I panic a little because I haven’t been paying attention at all, and instead of there being notes to copy down, Holbrook has just written on the board a link to a website. I hurriedly scribble it in my notebook.

Luckily, there’s a total stoner in the back row who’s apparently as clueless as me, because he raises his hand in confusion. “Wait, so like … we just go online, pick out one of these common film narratives, and then write a screenplay based on one?”

Prev Next
Romance | Vampires | Fantasy | Billionaire | Werewolves | Zombies