Authors: Jessica Burkhart
Other books in the
CANTERWOOD CREST SERIES:
TAKE THE REINS
BEHIND THE BIT
LITTLE WHITE LIES
HOME SWEET DRAMA
SCANDALS, RUMORS, LIES
Chapter 1: All the Cards on the Table
Chapter 4: Blogger Confessions
Chapter 5: Rile's Room Revealed
Chapter 7: Sleepover Interrupted!
Chapter 8: A Chatter Addiction Can Ruin a Sleepover
Chapter 9: Shoe Shopping of a Different Kind
Chapter 11: And the Oscar Goes To . . .
Chapter 12: AndÂ .Â .Â . Action!
Chapter 14: You Call That a Warm-Up?
Chapter 17: Cake on The Makeup
Chapter 20: Where Did the Weekend Go?
For everyone who's ever had to
make a comeback
to everyone at Aladdin: Bethany Buck, Fiona Simpson, Alyson Heller, Mara Anastas, Jessica Handelman, Nicole Russo, Courtney Sanks, Stephanie Voros, Dawn Ryan, Carolyn Swerdloff, Russell Gordon, Karin Paprocki, Craig Adams, Katherine Devendorf, Alex Penfold, Venessa Williams, and everyone who touched this book.
Special hugs of gratitude to Fiona and Bethany for going above and beyond, and helping me on a personal level.
As always, thank you to Monica Stevenson for this beautiful cover photo. Hugs to the models who made the cover look
I heart all of you on Team Canterwood! A girl couldn't ask for better readers. I'm thankful for you every time I sit down to write.
Thank you to the S&S sales team, who has been getting Canterwood into the hands of readers. Huge thanks to the bookstores that have embraced the series.
Thank you, Kate Angelella, for your
edits. The extra help with Lauren's French and the words of encouragement kept me in front of the computer. Otherwise, I probably would have been off chasing unicorns.Â .Â .Â . And, hey, I didn't throw a lip gloss at you this time!
Brianna Ahearn, the write-a-thons with you were awesome! I want to do them for all of our future projects.
Lauren Barnholdt, the text you sent while I was writing is STILL making me giggle.
is why you should switch to a BlackBerry!
Ross Angelella, okay, okay. I'm a J-Ran. I said it! There. It's in print.
Thanks to all of my friends who helped me finish this book. xx
KHLOE AND I SAT ACROSS FROM EACH OTHER,
moving, as if we were horses unsure whether to bolt or fight. We'd locked eyes,
and neither of us had said a word since I'd last spoken.
Below us, riders readied for their lessons. Lexa had told Mr. Conner that
Khloe and I were “sick” and had to miss our lessons. We'd been sitting
on the floor of the stable's loft, surrounded by hay bales, for what felt like
forever. The overpowering scent of hay tickled my nose. I sneezed.
“Bless you,” Khloe said.
“Thanks.” I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, then looked at
Khloe. She'd drawn her knees to her chest. “Lexa dragged us up here to talk.
Knowing her, she'll bring us
food and water and not let us down
until we talk. We're pretty much captives.”
“I'll agree with you on that
thing,” Khloe said. “And I think you should start talking.” She yanked
her long blond hair into a ponytail. “You're the one who just accused
of something that wasn't true.”
“Khloe! I heard you!” I shook my head. “Why would I make
that up? I was outside the tack room door, and you and Drew were talking.” Just
about what I'd overheard minutes ago made
my stomach ache.
“You were eavesdropping. Did you even consider for a second that
you'd, oh, I don't know,
? I can't
believe you would think I'd say something awful about you.”
I rubbed my dry lips together. “Then what did you say?”
“I ran into Drew in the tack room. We said hi, and I asked him about
Mr. Conner during your lessons. Specifically, about how Mr. Conner acts with
“Like if he gives me âspecial treatment?'” I
rolled my eyes.
“No,” Khloe said sharply. “Like if Mr. Conner started
treating you different since he learned that your secret's out. I wanted to make
sure he wasn't pressuring you to do
more than anyone else in
class. I asked Drew because I was worried. I trust Mr. Conner, and I believed he was
coaching you the same as he had been since your first lesson here, but I wanted to make
I stared at Khloe, letting her words sink in. I'd been so blinded by
my like for Drew that I'd jumped to a very,
conclusion. I was embarrassed over what I'd doneâit wasn't me. I
didn't turn against my friends over a boy.
Even though Khloe still had a lot of explaining to do about other things,
I'd been wrong about this instance. I was
“Oh, God. Oh, no. Khloe.” I picked up a piece of hay and
twisted it around my index finger until the stalk snapped. “I'm so sorry. I
should have talked to you about that before assuming anything.”
“It's okay,” Khloe said, shaking her head. “You
didn't hear what I really said.”
“But I know you better than that. I shouldn't have freaked out
and run to Lexa. There were so many things that happened between us recently, and
Khloe smoothed the front of her navy tee. “Like what?” She sat
up straighter, raising an eyebrow.
“Like you not telling me first about Zack, sleeping
over at Lexa's last night, not saying anything to your guy friends about me .
I trailed off, watching her face. She'd scrunched her nose, and her
lips were parted.
“Before I address
of that, I have some
things too,” Khloe said. It felt like tension was building all over again and we
were about to get into another fight. “How about your dropping advanced history
when it could have been
other class, and your Sweet Shoppe
date with Drew?”
Oh, mon Dieu.
We were going to be up here all
“I didn't know you had a problem with either of those! We
talked about them.”
explained about Zack, haven't
had a second to talk to you about the sleepover, and you don't know the situation
with Michael and those guys.”
A small headache started between my eyes. I'd been a student at
Canterwood Crest for less than a month, and I was fighting with my roommate. Not a
squabble over something small like leaving clothes all over the floor or not rinsing
toothpaste out of the sink. But serious issues that obviously hadn't been
addressed between us.
“I'm listening,” I said, raising my chin.
“First, we talked about the Zack thing. Laur, you'd been up
late so many days in a row and you were finally
asleep when he texted
me to ask me out. What I told you then is
. I texted Lexa
on a whim, and she happened to be awake.” Khloe took a breath. “It was so
hard not to wake you up and tell you. But I wanted you to rest.”