How many times can you lose the one you love?
For Matthew and Katherine it is again and again, over and over, century after century. Katherine and Matthew are destined to be born again and again. Each time their presence changes history for the better, and each time, they fall hopelessly in love, only to be tragically separated. But why do they keep coming back? How many times must they die to save the world? What else must they achieve before they can be left to live and love in peace? Maybe the next together will be different…
Part 4 of the exclusive extract from
The Next Together by Lauren James
“Welcome to my lair. Make yourself at home.” She gestured to the lab, which was filling with the gentle scent of rotting manure. Nearby a cluster of the Ice-Machine Gossipers, labcoat sleeves over their noses, were gathered around the spillage, offering advice to the flustered supervisor.
Kate turned back to the boy, who’d dropped his labcoat onto the bench like he’d just been waiting for her permission.
He’d apparently been using it as a kind of satchel, as he pulled out an assortment of stationery, notebooks and what looked like his lunch (in a biology lab; did he have no survival instincts at all?) from its depths. As he finally wrestled his way into his sparkling new labcoat and then rescued an apple from where it had bounced across the floor, she found her gaze lingering on the way his hair curled over the back of his collar.
Having picked up the apple, he turned around and actually blushed when he noticed her watching him − a vivid pink staining cheekbones that she was frankly jealous of. Bone structure like that was wasted on a chemist. Kate pulled off her goggles to distract from the fact that she’d been caught watching him. She fought for a moment to pull them from their determined grip in her tangled red hair.
He had blushed? She wasn’t sure what to do with that, actually. Was it a good thing, a guy blushing when you looked at him? He might as well have a name tag saying, “Hi, I’m a shy, socially awkward scientist. Please don’t look me directly in the eye or I might faint.”
Kate was just imagining him introducing himself as “a socially awkward scientist”, his Scottish lilt skipping quickly over the words, when he cleared his throat and spoke.
“I didn’t actually download a copy of the labbook. What experiment are we doing today?”
That was a bit odd. He sounded exactly as she had imagined him: the same soft Scottish brogue. She frowned.
Why had she assumed he would be Scottish?
“Cleaning up horse muck, by the look of it,” she joked, glancing over at the students still gathered around the spillage.
He dimpled a smile at her, and relaxed a little. There was half a ham sandwich poking out of his pocket. It should have been strange but it wasn’t.
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Lauren James is a scientist by day, writer by early hours of the morning. She graduated in 2014 with a Masters degree in Natural Sciences from the University of Nottingham, where she studied Chemistry and Physics. She now lives in the village of Berkswell, West Midlands.
You can find her on Twitter at @Lauren_E_James, which she mainly uses to fancast actors as her characters and panics about all of the overly ambitious plans she has for her PhD, or her website at http://lauren-e-james.tumblr.com.
The Next Together publishes in September 2015 (Walker Books)
and can be pre-ordered now.