Genre: YA Contemporary
Word Count: 54,000
Song: Don’t Save Me by HAIM
16-year-old Tatum’s on house arrest for a crime she didn’t commit. With Tiger Stepmonster breathing down her neck, she needs to earn back her family’s respect while hopefully winning her cello-playing prince along the way.
“Tatum, they have your license plate on camera. This is as good as it’s going to get.” Mr. Alves stood at the head of the table in the conference room. I hadn’t been listening, but staring at the button about to pop off his expensive dress shirt, straining against his massive gut. Gross.
“Tatum Elsea, Mr. Alves is speaking to you.” My stepmother, Su-bin, poked my shin with the toe of her pointy pump.
Pain shot up my leg. “You didn’t need to kick me,” I said loudly, making sure my dad, Mr. Alves and God heard me.
“For the love of Pete,” my dad said. “Tom, I apologize for my daughter’s behavior. Please run through the deal again. Tatum, this is your future.”
“Yes sir.” I refused to turn my head toward him.
Mr. Alves cleared his throat. “Here we go again. You’re expected to formally name the figures seen on the security camera exiting Masons’ Department Store.” He glanced down at the paper in his hand. “Ashlyn Zanotti and Chase Massey. Is that correct?”
“Correct,” I confirmed.
“Their official charge will be grand larceny because of the amount taken. Normally in Virginia, being the driver, you would be charged with the same felony, but since no merchandise was found on your person or in your car, the Commonwealth Attorney has agreed to reduce it to a misdemeanor.”
Thank goodness for small favors,” Su-bin said. I resisted the urge to send death lasers into her perfectly beautiful face.