Eden Morgan makes a list of six goals to accomplish in order to have the best summer ever. Getting a boyfriend, which is perhaps the most important goal, becomes complicated when she and her best friend, Lexi, fall for the same guy. Since Lexi is popular, gorgeous, and always gets her guy, Eden thinks she doesn't have a chance.
Channing Johnson is everything Eden's ever dreamed of and she can't believe he just moved in next door. When he starts showing interest in her, she's overjoyed...until she sees him out on a date with Lexi. He says Lexi talked him into it to repay her for tutoring him. Lexi says they're in love.
Eden doesn't know who to believe and is forced to choose between her best friend and the guy of her dreams. Nothing is as it seems and no matter who she chooses, someone will get hurt.
After dinner, Mom suggested that we go swimming while the adults had coffee. Channing hurried home to change into swimming trunks and, when he returned, I was waiting in the pool. Still a little self-conscious about the few extra pounds I carried, I'd rushed at breakneck speed to get in before he came back. Not to mention that I was embarrassed at the old-fashioned one-piece I wore.
"Want to play some water volleyball?" I called as he sauntered across the patio.
"Sounds like fun."
Channing climbed down the stairs into the pool. His chest was broad and tanned, his body pure muscle. He belonged on a magazine cover.
The breeze was warm, carrying the delicious smell of lilac from the bushes between our houses. I breathed in the scent as Channing swam under the water toward the deep end, his body just a shadow under the surface. Dusk had fallen, and the pool lights were on.
He surfaced, and I hit the ball. Channing sent a quick return, which I missed by inches. "Hey!" I yelled. "That's not fair. I didn't see it coming."
Channing laughed. "Maybe you should keep your eye on the ball." There was a teasing tone in his voice.
Stephie would have been right out there in the middle of it if she hadn't gone to bed with a headache. I should go check on her soon. She was prone to the ones Mom called migraines, and sometimes they made her throw up.
We played until I was tired, and then we swam a while. I did some laps, glad that I'd lost at least some of the weight I'd put on during the winter. I was so lost in my thoughts that I hadn't realized I'd swam too close to Channing until I surfaced and found myself almost in his arms. He reached out to steady me, and I stepped forward, attempting to regain my balance.
A shiver tripped over my skin even though the night was warm. My eyes locked with his, and I found myself lost in the mossy depths. He hadn't released me, and his hands were warm on my arms.
We stood there, speechless, drinking in each other in with an odd kind of understanding, an odd feeling that all was well in the world and we were meant to be together. His touch and his gaze were so mesmerizing that I couldn't have looked away if my life depended on it.
"Channing, you ready to go?" called his mother from somewhere across the patio.
The spell was broken. I backed away, hoping our parents hadn't seen the magic that had passed between us. I wasn't sure what my parents would think about my dating a senior if Channing asked me out.
"Good night," I said, turning and diving under the water, my heart beating wildly as what passed between us seemed like a dream, a beautiful, surreal dream.
I surfaced on the other end and watched Channing retreat from the pool. He turned and waved and, just like that, the guy of my dreams, walked right out of my life.