A Thousand Ways to Love

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Katie Ryder: pretty, popular, hotshot hockey captain. And Grade 12. Colin Fowler: handsome, introverted science genius. And Grade 11. She thinks he’s an arrogant jerk. He thinks she’s a dumb jock. But in this reverse of geek and jock roles, Katie and Colin will break down each other’s walls to find the person on the inside. But in life, nothing is easy, and when too many good things are happening in your life, something has to go wrong.

Romance / Other
K.E. Woodward
Age Rating:

Chapter 1 – Kissing Other People


He grabs my hips and then pushes me up against the wall. His mouth comes down on mine and I let him take the lead in this secluded hallway, away from all the drunk teenagers at this house party. I can still hear the loud music playing, but it seems distant right now. Right now, it’s just me in an empty hallway, making out with one of the town’s hockey players, and he’s not shy in the least. I run my hand through his blonde messy hair and then bite down softly on his lower lip. His hands find their way under my shirt and they travel up my torso, his rough hands on my bare soft skin. He’s a good kisser that’s had plenty of practice. I wrap my arms around his neck and my long, straight, brown hair acts as a curtain around us. It feels good, his hands on me, and then I feel his hands touch my bra. I let him, but then I feel his fingers move to the back of my bra, trying to get to the hooks. I slam my back against the wall and break the kiss. I put my hands to his chest to put space between us and stare at him.

“Sorry,” Tyler says with a grin on his face.

“I don’t know what kind of girl you think I am,” I say to him, dropping my hands to my sides as he puts his on either side of me, keeping me pinned to the wall.

“I think you’re hot, athletic, and have just a slight fiery side that both intrigues me and scares me at the same time,” Tyler says.

“I should go,” I say and grab onto his wrist to try and pull it down so that I can leave but he doesn’t budge.

“Come on, Katie,” Tyler says and grabs my waist with his other hand and brings his face close to me. “I’ll be good, I promise.” And then those big blue eyes stare into my hazel eyes.

“I have to go,” I say sternly and bring down his wrist again and this time he lets his arm fall away so I can escape.

“You’re a real tease, Katie,” Tyler says to my back and I turn to face him.

“Excuse me?”

He comes right up to me and looks down on me. He has a head over me like most people do. “A tease. Someone who tempts someone with no intention of acting on it. You can google it.”

“I know what it means,” I say annoyed. “Sorry to disappoint you but I’m sure there are plenty of other girls here that would be more than happy to be alone with you right now.” And then I turn away from him, but he grabs my arm to pull me back to face him.

“I like you,” Tyler says.

“You like getting lucky,” I say. “Now, I’m giving you five seconds to let go of me.”

He lets go of me, not out of fear, but courtesy. “Okay, Katie,” Tyler says, and I turn away. “See you at the rink!” he calls after me as I walk away, and I just roll my eyes. Why is the guys’ practice always scheduled after ours?

I walk through the house that is filled with teenagers, maneuvering my way through them to get to the front door. I grab my jacket to protect against the Fall chill and head out the door, walking down the steps where there are even more people. I see his blonde-brown fauxhawk immediately and make my way towards him and the group of friends he is talking to. As I come up to the group, I grab him by the arm and pull him away from them.

“Hey!” he calls out as he is being dragged away.

“Good night!” I call to the group over my shoulder.

“Night Katie! Night Liam!” I hear them call back.

I let go of Liam when we make it to the sidewalk. “Was that necessary?” Liam says, rubbing his shoulder.

“I’m ready to leave,” I say.

“Mmmmm…” Liam smiles. “Trouble in paradise?” I glare at him. “I saw you sneak off with Tyler.”

“And now I’m ready to go,” I say sternly.

“Junk food and a movie?” Liam says.

“Reading my mind,” I say, relieved to have a best friend that I can always rely on. “Now let’s get out of here.”

We walk down the sidewalk until we reach my car. “So, do I get to be the dramatic one next time we leave a party?” Liam asks.

“I’m sorry, Liam,” I say as we get into the car.

“Don’t be,” Liam says. “You know I don’t have a min for time spent at parties, but I definitely have a max.”

I smile. “You’re the best gay best friend a girl could ask for,” I say and then he gives me a look. “Sorry, the best gay best friend who is straight.”

Liam rolls his eyes. “Let’s just get going.”

“So, how was the party?” Sierra, my ginger best friend, asks me and Liam at my locker Monday morning.

“You didn’t miss much. Other than Katie making out with one of the hockey players,” Liam says and then winks at me. I slap him on the arm.

“So, the usual,” Sierra says.

“Please stop,” I say. “It was nothing.”

“I don’t think Tyler would agree,” Liam says. “Heard him talking about you to the other guys this morning.”

“Oh,” Sierra says excitedly. “He’s cute.”

“He’s nothing,” I say and then shut my locker.

“Coming over tonight?” Sierra asks.

I shake my head. “Hockey practice,” I say.

“How could I forget?” Sierra says sarcastically and then smiles.

“I’ll finish my part of the History project tonight,” I say. “We can put it together tomorrow night.” The warning bell goes off. “See you guys at lunch!” I say and head off to Chemistry class.

I take a seat at the back of the class with the other athletic girls in Grade 12. “So, what happened between you and Tyler this weekend?” Eleanor asks as soon as I sit down, and all the girls turn towards me.

“Made out,” I say and then open my books.

“Anything else?” Chelsea asks as the final bell goes off.

“Hmmm…” I put my pencil against my forehead. “Let me think. Uh, no.” And then I smile at them.

“He made it sound like it was more,” Eleanor says.

Of course he did. “Because he’s a guy,” I say.

“He’s so cute, Katie,” Chelsea says.

“And available,” I say.

“You and Tyler aren’t…” Chelsea starts. I shake my head and I can see the relief on her face.

“Any good?” Eleanor asks with a raised eyebrow and I glance at her and then a grin.

“Practice makes perfect,” I whisper. “And Tyler has had a lot of practice.” Eleanor laughs.

“Girls,” Mr. Banner says from the front. “May I start class now?”

“Yes, Mr. Banner,” we say in unison and then just smile amongst ourselves.

“Good,” Mr. Banner says. “For our next unit, I’ve decided to assign lab partners.” The whole class groans. “This is what the real world is like. You’re not always going to get to work with the person you want. You’ll have to work with people you don’t get along with sometimes. Anyway, lab partners are assigned randomly, so I don’t want to hear any complaining.”

“Random, my ass,” Eleanor says under her breath as she slouches and crosses her arms in her seat.

I start daydreaming as Mr. Banner reads off the names of lab partners until I hear mine. “Katie Ryder,” Mr. Banner says, looking at his list, “is partnered with…Colin Fowler. And that’s everyone. Go to your lab stations and let’s get started.”

“Lucky girl,” Eleanor says to me as she gets up.

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