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by Vikk Simmons
Category: Young Adult/Romance
Description: Kimberly Lange is no stranger to competition. She's been trying to catch up to her successful big brother for all of her 16 years. So when she and Marla Monroe compete for the coveted internship on Northrupp High's senior video project, Kimberly's not just trying to grab a chance to work with Greg Winters, the project's dreamy cinematographer. She's also out to prove to herself and to her parents that she's as much a winner as her big brother. But even Kimberly's good intentions can't always protect her from her own impulsiveness. When her well-intended actions get her into hot water with the project faculty advisor and jeopardize her budding relationship with Greg, Kimberly must reexamine what it truly means to win.
eBook Publisher: Awe-Struck E-Books/Byte-Me General/Teen Read, 2005 www.awe-struck.net
eBookwise Release Date: September 2005
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [133 KB]
Reading time: 91-127 min.
"Quick paced, with teen smart dialogue, this deftly woven rollercoaster romance will hold you with interesting stops along the way." Elaine L. Galit, co-author Exploring Texas History: Weekend Adventures
"Vikk Simmons's second novel in the Northrupp High series is another exciting ride on the romance roller coaster; and like her first book, it doesn't shy away from tackling the bigger issues. In her previous book, Simmons explored environmental concerns. This time out, she looks at the darker side of competition and the green-eyed monster of jealousy. As always, Simmons knows just when to tug at our heartstrings and when to make us cheer for the good guys. Video Magic is a clear winner!"--Deborah Whitaker
Finally, she collapsed in a heap on the roof. She looked for something to shield her from the blinding sun. The scrim fit the job and she held one over her head to block the sun. Greg appeared suddenly and dropped down next to her. He handed her an iced bottle of water.
"You look like you could use it," he said, smiling and taking control of the scrim.
Greg leaned behind her and moved the scrim against the back wall. As he did, his arm brushed against her back. She instinctively shifted toward him, then rolled the water bottle against her forehead in an effort to cool down.
Rising to his knees, Greg dug deep into his back jeans pocket. Kimberly had no idea what he was doing, but she wished he would sit down. She had become acutely aware of his presence. She smelled the woodsy cologne, heard his breathing, sensed his leaning closer and closer even as he dug deeper into his pocket.
A few seconds later he waved a bandana in the air, then shifted until he was behind her and wrapped the cloth band around her forehead. When he had finished, he continued kneeling behind her, his hands resting casually on her shoulders, and said, "That should help. The sun is really intense today."
That's not all, she thought. His breath whispered against her ear and cooled her cheek as he spoke. The warmth of his palms resting on her shoulders radiated more heat than the late morning sun burning her exposed sun. The soft, lingering scent, reminding her of a cool, dew-drenched forest, mingled with the humid air between them.
Despite the awkwardness of the moment, she didn't move. She liked his touch, his scent, his attention.
A sharp whistle blast shattered the moment. Barry, in a hurry to finish the scenes on the roof, was trying to hustle everyone into action.
"Guess it's time," Greg said, his voice still soft.
She nodded. "Yes, we better go." She saw Barry waving for her to join him. "Barry calls."
Greg laughed and got to his feet. "At least he hasn't blasted us with his whistle."
When Greg left, she felt the loss. She couldn't sit around thinking about him, so she grabbed the script and jogged over to where Ricardo had set up the camera. Thanks to Barry, she had something else to keep her occupied. Barry had the actors do a number of retakes and Kimberly could see that Marla was getting tired. Maybe the heat was starting to get to her. It certainly was slowing Kimberly down.
During the last take, Kimberly started to think something was off, not quite right. She watched Marla pace in front of the camera, each step retracing the exact path she took before. Despite her careful efforts, Kimberly couldn't figure out what was bugging her.
During a short break, Ricardo slipped next to her. "You sure are watching Marla. Don't tell me you want to be her understudy."
"Hardly," she said and shrugged. "I don't know. Something just doesn't feel right."
"You and Greg make a real pair. You both need to relax. Everything looks fine."
Shading her eyes, she looked across the roof. "Did you watch Marla do the crossover earlier?"
"Yeah, of course I did. Through the camera," he said and folded his arms across his chest. "Who wouldn't watch her make her moves? Did you see how her hair swings gently at the end as she takes a step?" Then his smile sagged. "You don't think Marla made a mistake, do you?"
Kimberly sighed. "I don't know. Maybe I'm trying too hard. You're probably right and everything's fine." She glanced at Marla again and watched her throw her head forward then toss her long silky-red mane.
"She looks good to me, girl," Ricardo said and shifted his weight to get a better look at Marla. "She hardly ever makes a mistake; but, look, if you really think there's a problem you need to tell Greg now."
She stood and replayed the last scene in her mind. She tried to visualize Marla's actions. Nothing. She still could not get it out of her head by the time Greg joined them.
"Looks like we're ready to break everything down, pack up and leave," he said, but his clear eyes shadowed when he looked at Kimberly and Ricardo. "What's the problem?"