Markham has a classic, "preppy chic" style and prides himself on being impeccably dressed (with a flair of personality) at all times. The styles chosen reflect that aesthetic.
She reached up to undo the top button of her silk blouse, affording him a promising view of what awaited. Champagne sloshed over the side of her glass, splattering his artfully rolled cuffs.
“Careful,” Markham murmured, his eyes tracking the soft curve of exposed skin. “Bespoke shirts don’t grow on trees. At least not on this side of the River Styx.”
She frowned. “What’s bespoke? Is that like a European brand?” She twisted a strand of curly blond hair around her finger, making Markham realize that once again he’d succumbed. Once again he’d brought home one girl simply because she reminded him of another. In looks alone.
Markham sighed. Because there was only one adversary at Colebrook Academy worthy of conquest. One girl who made him furious and exhilarated all at once. One girl he would never let himself pursue. Markham found this more than a little unnerving. Normally he demanded the best, and felt he deserved it. But Piper Harrington had shown time and again that she was too good for him. She was too good for anyone in his eyes. He pictured her smile the day she’d won the school’s math award. And just like that, he had to work hard to keep himself focused on the girl now in front of him.
“Bespoke means custom, and I don’t have the time to drive to New York for a replacement. Homework, et cetera.” He realized how formal he sounded. Long gone was his flirty tone—banished by thoughts of Piper.
Saturday morning, Markham had a spring in his step as he made his way across campus toward the gym. His usual morning routine included thirty minutes of cardio and forty-five of weight training, followed by a protein shake. But that day, he was cutting his regimen short in order to meet Piper at the cafeteria. It was time to repay his debt, and for the first time in his recollection, he hadn’t been the one to set the terms.
His brain was working overtime to puzzle out what Piper was up to. Her instructions had been vague at best—telling him to wear something comfortable. Her actual words had been “Do you have any clothes other than your yacht club special?”
Curiosity burned its way through his brain all through his workout. It wasn’t often he let someone else take charge. It was never. But he was indulging her whim by choice—it wasn’t as if he couldn’t get the upper hand if he really tried.
(Note: This passage is actually from Book 2: Dane's Addiction (coming September 10th!)...but Markham on his boat! We just couldn't resist the perfect pairing of this look with that passage) :)
Dane's phone buzzed in his pocket and he pulled it out, reading a text from Markham. “Meet me on Savoy.” The Savoy was his narcissistically named sailboat that he kept docked on the school’s huge lake, encircled by its vast arboretum. Markham must want to take her out one more time before the autumn turned too cold to be on the water.
Dane made his way to the dock and stepped onto the Etchell, low, sleek, and white on the water that was deep blue in the late-morning sun. He looked around for Markham but didn’t see him anyplace.
“Markham!” he yelled. To no answer. Then he could hear the strains of music coming from the tiny cabin below.
He pushed open the door to the tight little galley kitchen and table and was struck immobile by the wholly strange sight of Markham sitting on the bench at the table with a joint between his lips. He was blaring the Tchaikovsky that Dane always listened to when he got stoned. He felt a strange punch of jealousy mixed in with a possessiveness—my drug, my
music, Dane thought. Markham drank plenty, but always gave Dane the usual “the body is a temple” speech where drugs were concerned. It was bizarre to see him smoking.
“What the hell are you doing?” Dane shouted over the trumpeting drama of Tchaikovsky’s Capriccio Italien.
Markham squinted at him as the cherry end of the joint glowed in the dim room. “Just seeing what all the fuss is about,” he shouted back. “Tchaikovsky’s really got a thing for trumpets, doesn’t he?”
Dane shook his head, as if he could shake off the strangeness of the question. “Markham, what the hell?”
Markham plucked the joint from his mouth and dropped it in an ashtray.
“Well, Dane,” he said, grinning with no mirth. “It’s obvious you’re going to let this noxious little botanical combination ruin your life, so I just wanted to uncover the appeal.” Markham rose. He took his hands from his pockets and put them on Dane’s shoulders; Dane couldn’t remember Markham ever touching him and he flinched. The little cabin was too small for the two of them and Dane felt crowded, claustrophobic, even as he breathed deeply, trying to grasp a wisp of a contact high. “Bro, I got to tell you,” Markham said, shaking his shoulders a little. “I just. Don’t. Get it.”Re-Release: August 6th 2013
About the Novel
About the Novel
Author: C.C. Dalton
Publisher: Twist Literary
Even though he safeguards the secrets of his classmates, Markham wouldn't be caught dead sharing his own, and he never lets romantic entanglements get the best of him. But when Piper Harrington marches into his life, he’s forced to give her something in exchange for her cooperation in his schemes--his very own Colebrook Confession. And that's not the only time Piper brings out an unexpected side of himself. Will the dirty secrets of Markham Savoy be his crowning glory...or his undoing?
Hint #3: Vivianne