Excerpts for Home for Christmas


Home for Christmas

Images 1 Images

CANTERWOOD IS COMING TO TOWN


Lauren

"OH, MON DIEU!" I SAID, laughing. "We'll be there in five seconds!" I glanced behind me at my friends. Khloe Kinsella, Clare Bryant, Carina Johansson, and Lexa Reed grinned at me from the two rows of backseats in the Towers's family SUV.

"There" was someplace my friends had never been.

Somewhere I was nervous to take them.

I shot a tight but excited smile to Mom, who was in the driver's seat. I turned my gaze back to the front windshield. Mom flipped on the left blinker, and we made a familiar turn onto my street and started cruising past other houses in my neighborhood.

This is really happening, I thought. There's no going back now--you've officially brought Canterwood home for Christmas.

My once-seedling of a dream was now reality. At first I'd thought of only inviting Carina, Canterwood's Swedish foreign exchange student, home with me to Union so she wouldn't be alone for the holiday. But my one-house-guest idea had exploded when I'd stumbled upon the parfait opportunity to invite all of my friends to come with me.

My BlackBerry vibrated on my lap. There was a BlackBerry message from Taylor Frost--my ex-boyfriend from home. He was a Canterwood student now too.

Taylor:

The guys & I just got 2 my house. U?

I wrote him back.

Lauren:

2 secs away from mine! Images

A warm blush crept over my cheeks when I thought about one of Taylor's guests--my boyfriend, Drew Adams. He, Zack Reynolds, Garret van Camp, and Cole Harris--all from Canterwood--were en route to Taylor's house.

I was glad that Union wasn't a big town. My guy friends and Drew weren't in walking distance, but I could reach Taylor's house in five minutes via car. It felt so good to have everyone close for the holiday. All of my Canterwood friends had become more like family than I'd ever expected.

I clicked on Brielle Monaco's name. She was one of my other Canterwood friends who lived in Union.

Lauren:

U almost home?

Brielle would have ridden with us, but space was tight, so her mom had picked her up. Bri and my other bestie from Union, Ana, would be joining my friends and me for the holiday. Ana attended my old school in Union--Yates Preparatory.

Brielle:

Couple of mins away! Sooo excited!

Lauren:

Me too! :D

"Lauren?"

"Huh?" I jerked out of my thoughts when I heard Khloe's voice from the backseat.

"Is this your house?" Khloe asked.

I blinked twice and realized Mom had slowed the SUV in front of what was indeed our house. My mouth was dry--I had no idea what to say. Suddenly I was overwhelmed at having all of my friends here. I visualized having a cup of Peppermint Twist tea in front of the fireplace. Just thinking about tea calmed my nerves. I had to keep reminding myself that this Christmas wasn't about us. We had some serious work to do. My nerves evaporated. I almost wanted to jump out of the Suburban and run up to my house.

"Welcome to my home!" I said.

The girls cheered from the backseat.

----------------------