Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Deleted Scene: ANOMALY by Tonya Kuper @tonyakuper
Reality is only an illusion.
Except for those who can control it…
Worst. Birthday. Ever.
My first boyfriend dumped me – happy birthday, Josie!- my dad is who knows where, I have some weird virus that makes me want to hurl, and now my ex is licking another girl’s tonsils. Oh, and I’m officially the same age as my brother was when he died. Yeah, today is about as fun-filled as the swamps of Dagobah. But then weird things start happening…
Like I make something materialize just by thinking about it.
When hot badass Reid Wentworth shows up on a motorcycle, everything changes. Like, everything. Who I am. My family. What really happened to my brother. Existence. I am Oculi, and I have the ability to change reality with my thoughts. Now Reid, in all his hotness, is charged with guiding and protecting me as I begin learning how to bend reality. And he’s the only thing standing between me and the secret organization that wants me dead…
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I walked a few feet to the studio, Josie followed and stood in the doorway. She looked totally drained. “Really?”
“Yup.” I sat and patted the floor next to me, which earned me an eye roll.
She plopped down, not making eye contact. “Where’s Hannah?” I whispered.
Still not looking at me, she carefully placed her water and towel in their exact places, and checked her phone. “She’s not gonna make it tonight.”
“Mmmm. Lucky you then.” I pointed to the sign on the door. “It’s partner night.”
Josie’s face swung to mine, her eyebrows arched high. I gave her a “suck it” smile.
The class started with slow stretching, working our way up to sun salutations. It was hard for me to concentrate. I watched Josie lower herself to the floor with control and strength, hover just above the mat then thrust her hips forward into upward dog, pushing her back into a beautiful arch.
The instructor turned the music down with the remote control and said, “Find your partner for the night, the one who will help you identify if we are engaging your core.” She switched the music to a contemporary song with a heavy beat, far from our usual flute and steel drums yoga tunes.
Josie, still avoiding my gaze, got into Warrior I position, her front knee bent and arms reaching for the ceiling. The yoga teacher instructed us to first check the position as a whole before moving onto the abs. Partners, all women, stood behind the other placing their hands on the others hip bones, making sure they pointed forward. Moving behind Josie, I straddled her extended leg, watching her back expand and contract as she breathed. Easing closer, I slid my hands around to the front of her hips. Josie dragged in a rugged breath as I leaned into her. I closed my eyes for a moment, trying to stop the dizziness initiated by her gardenia perfume and surge of energy rushing through my veins. The very essence and proximity of Josie gave me a natural high. Opening my eyes, I was surprised to find Josie’s irises locked on mine, almost daring me.
The instructor weaved through the yogi pairs. “Let’s check to make sure those ribs aren’t popping out. We want the abdominals fully engaged, not letting the torso arch or break.” She illustrated on a student and expected us to the do same to our partners.
Josie focused on the front of the room as my right hand skimmed over her tank, just under her chest. My fingers drifted over her ribs to her stomach, my lips close to her ear. “You’re connected,” I whispered.
Her intense gaze hung on mine in the mirror as my hand hesitated over her navel, my chest pushed against her back. For a moment, my heart and breath stopped. Time seemed to slow and the world around slipped away. It was in her eyes – questions and confusion, but also a longing, a burning, a desperation. She felt the electricity between us, the intangible, undefinable something that drew us to each other. Every nerve ending in my body burned.
“Switch,” the instructor yelled.
Josie’s body flinched under me and her cheeks darkened, a sliver of smile playing on her lips. She cleared her throat and turned her head toward my face so my nose, lips, and chin brushed her cheek. Then she stepped out of her stance, away from me.
Facing me, she smiled. “You’re turn, pretty boy.”
I settled into the position. Josie’s warm hands swept over my shoulders and pulled down. I was not prepared for her hands to be anywhere besides my stomach. “Relax,” she whispered behind me. “Pull down your latissimi dorsi muscles, it’ll create more space between your shoulders and ears.” Two fingers skated down my lats on each side, making my spine straighten more and the air in my lungs rush out in surprise.
Her unabashed hands wrapped around my hips, her fingers searching for the edge of the hip bones. Once she literally held my hips in her hands, she twisted them to the front of the room in one quick, rough motion. My blood was sure to boil and cook me from the inside out.
Her hot hand shot over my ribs, her fingers spread wide then crept down my shirt to my lower abs. She popped up to her tip toes and whispered, “Your ribs aren’t popping. It feels engaged. Do you feel the connection?”
Keeping my body directed to the mirror in front of us, I watched her. “You have no. I. Dea.” I turned my head over my shoulder and she was right there, our noses almost touching. I could feel her chest expanding faster against my back as her lips parted ever so slightly. Her always serious, calculating face waivered for a second, like when it was her turn. I wasn’t sure what I’d caught a glimpse of, but I liked it.
The rest of class continued, Josie avoiding more contact at all costs. I now had a new goal in addition to everything else: Make whatever flashed across Josie’s face appear more often.
About the Author
Tonya Kuper's debut, ANOMALY, the first in the Schrodinger's Consortium young adult scifi trilogy, releases November 2014 by Entangled Teen. She lives in Omaha, NE with her two rad boys and husband, is a music junkie, and a chocolate addict. Star Wars & Sherlock fan.
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