Was she a dangerous infatuation, or a second chance at love?
Bonded for Life
by Sharon Buchbinder
Genre: Small Town, Second Chance, Romantic Suspense
Prologue Victory Shores High School Victory Shores, New York Twenty-Five Years Ago Lola Getz threaded her way through the crowd, anxious to get to her locker to grab her books for her next class. Members of the football team, spread out between the locker-lined walls, streamed toward her and blocked her path. Madre de Dios. Just what I need today. A hulking offensive linebacker stepped in front of her and stared down her blouse. “Hey, Chica! Why are you in such a hurry?” Waves of body odor rolled off him and over Lola. Wishing she had a can of deodorant to hose him down, she waved a hand in front of her face to dispel the B.O. “I have to get to class.” “I have to get to class,” he mimicked in a high-pitched voice. “Why bother? You’re going to get married and change diapers.” How many times in her life had she heard this sexist crap? She was sick and tired of being told all she was good for was to take care of a man and to breed. She was an artist, a damn good one, and no one was going to take that away from her. No one. Someone pinched her butt. Hard. She whirled and kneed the creep in the crotch. The quarterback, who often bragged he was the smartest player on the team, howled and dropped to the floor. Lola considered the writhing boy. “Not so smart now, are you?” Ms. Cross, the Women’s Studies teacher, materialized at her elbow. “Where are you supposed to be, Lola?” “I was trying to get to my locker—until this pack of hyenas attacked me.” “Go on. I’ll take care of them.” Ms. Cross yelled, “A month’s detention for the entire football team.” “Aww, come on!” “Not fair.” “We were joking!” “She attacked the QB!” “I didn’t do nothing!” “Dickhead made us do it!” Escaping the tumult, Lola raced down the hall and around the corner. She skidded to a stop at her locker and yanked the door open. She had a fraction of a second to register something didn’t belong in the narrow space—a scrawny kid!—before he fell on top of her. With a loud “oof,” she landed flat on her back on the floor. The boy’s face smashed into hers, his beak of a nose pressing into her right eyeball. In the moment, all she could think of was, “At least he doesn’t reek of B.O.!” “Ohmigod, ohmigod!” The kid scrambled to get up, slid on the notebook-paper-strewn floor, and fell on top of her again. A sharp elbow jabbed her in the breast. “Watch it, compadre!” she yelped. His arms flailed and sought purchase on the recently waxed floor. “Sorry,” the kid moaned. “Sorry, so sorry!” She attempted to roll out from under him, only to get tangled in his legs. Madre de Dios. What else can go wrong today? The poor boy’s expression as he tried to get off her, only to slide with a clang into the metal locker, set her off on a burst of giggles. “Ohmigod, you’re crying.” His face creased with worry. “Don’t move. I’ll get the school nurse.” Shaking with mirth, Lola gasped, “No. Stop. Don’t go.” He knelt at her side and peered into her eyes. “Your pupils are dilated. You’re in shock.” “I’m fine, I swear.” She sat up and wiped a tear off her cheek. “Who put you in there?” “My arch-enemy, Dick Heade, and his merry football henchmen.” The kid extended his hand and assisted her to her feet. “They think it’s tons of fun.” “What a cabrón!” “If that means what I think it means, yeah. He is a—” “Bastard.” “I was going to say dickhead, but then that’s his name.” The boy shrugged. “Overkill.” If the kid hadn’t been as skinny as a decoration for Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, he would have been cute—and sexy in a Johnny Depp kind of way. When he’d been on top of her, he’d rubbed her in all the wrong places—and caused all kinds of sensations that she’d never felt before. In fact, she hadn’t wanted the feelings to stop. Where had that come from? And he’d made her laugh. No other guy in this school had made her giggle like that before. “What is your name, amigo?” “Webster. Webster Bond.” “Hmm. Stirred but not shaken. I like that in a man.” His face became a deep red. “And you are…?” “Lola. Lola Getz.” The class bell rang. “Mierda. Late—again.”
Sharon Buchbinder has been writing fiction since middle school and has the rejection slips to prove it. An RN, she provided health care delivery, became a researcher, association executive, obtained a PhD in Public Health, and is an administrator in higher education. She is the author of the Hotel LaBelle Series, the Jinni Hunter Series, and the Obsession Series. When not attempting to make students and colleagues laugh or writing, she can be found walking her pugs, Agent Frank and Igor Valentino, waiting on her Maine Coon cat, Buster Brown, or breaking bread and laughing with family and friends.