Authors: Harley Brooks
"The Boyfriend Cut"
a novel by
AMAZON KINDLE EDITION
Designer Genes—"The Boyfriend Cut" © 2013 Harley Brooks
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This ebook is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places and incidents are products of the writer's imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events locales, or organizations is entirely coincidental.
The Cataloging-In-Publication Data for
Designer Genes—"The Boyfriend Cut"
is on file in the Library of Congress.
Cover Design © Kelli Ann Morgan
Inspiration Creative Services
Editing by Lynne Harter
Word Nerdy Editing Services
Formatting by Bob Houston
Printed in the United States of America
For renowned author,
who told me one rainy afternoon four years ago, Designer Genes would be published.
Thanks for believing in me.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Love is supposed to be a choice made by the heart…not the government.
Born with the genetic markers the government seeks, an unassuming seventeen-year-old girl is dropped in the middle of a covert cloning program where her future is secretly decided. Marli Davis wants out of the government's clutches until she meets her destiny…and his twin brother.
Over six feet of lean muscle, lips that should be registered as lethal weapons and the perfect link to Marli's genetic code, Jordan Mason's only strategy is to fulfill his government contract, not fall in love. His heart, however, changes the game plan and when jealousy spins everything out of control, he chances losing Marli forever.
Jesse Mason offers Marli the one thing Jordan can't give her. Freedom. All he asks in return? Her heart—a price she's not sure she can pay.
Is a life without love, or Jordan, a sacrifice Marli's willing to make? Is Jordan's love for Marli strong enough to fight for her, or strong enough to let her go?
A choice ruled by the heart. A destiny ruled by the consequence.
ed. A powerful color demanding immediate attention, yet foreboding and suggesting danger—
proceed with caution.
The total opposite of what I intended to do, but not alone.
Overhead, the spring sun burned with the same impatient intensity vibrating within me. I drummed my bare toes against the warm concrete stairs and picked at a piece of mortar between the bricks. Fifteen minutes had passed since the courier delivered the envelope and I'd launched a panicked call for help.
"Hurry up," whispered across my lips delicate as the brush of dragonfly wings, while
thundered inside my rattled brain. My eyes dropped to the bold letters on the label.
April 10, 2072. Interview Request for Candidate 5846—Selection A for Candidate 2255.
The heartbeat in my ears thrummed louder. I'd never received a red envelope—a request for an interview—one for my possible assigned genetic link:
. If I listened closely, I heard the sound of my normal life skidding to a halt and felt the tentacles of The Program reach for me, leaving the edges of my dreams to fray until they disappeared.
Chosen at age fourteen, my selection for candidacy met with mixed reactions. A child accepted into The Program signified prestigious standing and guaranteed special benefits. To my father, however, it meant letting the government decide his child's destiny—something he refused to allow.
Scheming behind his back, my grandmother, aided by my mother, secretly enrolled me without my father's knowledge. When he discovered the personal betrayal, the resulting chain of events forever altered my world.
Powerless to change things, Dad forbade the government's interference before I turned seventeen. It seemed the moment I blew out the candles on my last birthday cake, queries flooded my cyber mailbox from compatible candidates. Today, however, I received the first request for an interview.
A soft whirring sound started up the block and seconds later, a solar car holding the two people who'd shared almost every major moment in my life, parked at the end of the walk. Alex, who appeared pixie-like with her tiny build, mischievous eyes and spiky hair, bounded up the sidewalk first. She tugged at the cropped neon-green fabric that barely qualified as a skirt, while twisting her celestial bleached stalks into fine points. A yellow band circled her wrist allowing her the freedom to live life on the edge and not under the confines of The Program. The problem, however, was Alex believed consequences happened to others, not her.
are showing," Brittany stated in her usual judgmental tone. A tall, lithe figure with a mane of glistening black hair edged at her waist, Brittany Johnson, or
, probably had the most common sense in our trio. Raised by strict parents who held fast to their Asian background, she policed everyone's moral conduct. Nonetheless, her comment didn't faze Alex. Nothing did.
"Maybe I mean to expose a little tush."
I tipped my head toward the house across the street. "I'm sure the neighbors appreciate the show."
"Old man Baxter probably needs something to kick-start his heart. He's got to be like a hundred." She turned and purposely waved as if he watched.
"You're impossible, Alexandra Nichols."
Brit tapped the red envelope. "So that's it?" I nodded. "Wow. Guess I expected more—diamond crusted or something more spectacular by the way they describe the 'honorable request.' Did the thing at least come on a satin pillow?"
I laughed. "No, but the delivery guy did bow before handing it to me. I should have checked for wings tucked inside his shirt, or a halo hanging off the handlebars of his scooter."
"More like a retractable pitchfork in his back pocket if he was a messenger from The Program."
"So…are you going to open it?" Alex asked.
"I don't know. Dad will have a come-apart if I do."
Brit drew a deep breath. "You're only reviewing—not accepting, right?"
"Right," I said aloud while inside an emotional war waged. Curiosity plagued me, but once I inserted the pod in my computer registering I'd received the request, I crossed a point of no return. I'd activate my candidacy, officially entering the clandestine world surrounding The Program.
Without my father's permission.
Brittany's voice pulled me from my thoughts. "When does Rick get home?"
"In about an hour, depending on how late he's running with patients."
Alex scoffed. "Patients? Marli, they're cats and dogs."
Veterinarians fell into the same category as street sweepers in some people's eyes. Saving animals' lives didn't hold the significance as saving humans, until one of society's elite needed to give "Fluffy" a tenth life. Then vets were considered
I tugged hard on a bleached spike.
Either way, we better hurry