Authors: Abbi Glines
Tags: #YA Paranormal Romance, #paranormal romance, #ya romance, #Wild Child Publishing YA Paranormal Romance, #Abbi Glines
Copyright © 2011
by Abbi Glines
Cover illustration by
Wild Child Publishing
For information on the cover art, please contact Stephanie Mooney.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without written permission from the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages for review purposes.
This book is a work of fiction and any resemblance to any person, living or dead, any place, events or occurrences, is purely coincidental. The characters and story lines are created from the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.
Editor: Brandy Cowan
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Printed in The United States of America
To my husband, Keith. Without his support I wouldn’t have
been able to finish the first book. His understanding and
patience mean the world to me. I love you honey.
I have to start by thanking my kids, who tolerated the dirty house, lack of clean clothes, and my mood swings, while I wrote this book. They are my world.
My best friend, Monica, who once again read it from start to finish in less than twenty- four hours in all it’s rough draft glory to give me her opinion.
My mom, Becky, who tells anyone who will stand still long enough about my books and where they can find them. Her unconditional support means the world to me.
My dad, Joe, who passed on the ability to spin a story to me.
He doesn’t get acknowledged for this often enough but I am incredibly thankful for this gift.
The Paranormal Plumes:
Without this bunch of amazing authors I don’t know where I’d be. They aren’t just authors whose stories I adore but they’ve become friends I truly love. The advice, encouragement, last minute editing, and all other forms of support I get from this group is priceless.
Don’t look at him and he’ll go away
. I chanted in my head, as I walked toward my locker. It took an extreme amount of willpower not to glance back over my shoulder.
Not only would alerting him I could see him be pointless but it would also be stupid. The halls were already full of students. Although, if he’d followed me inside the school I would have seen him easily enough through the throngs of people. He would stand out just like they always did, unmoving and watching.
“GAH! Have you seen Leif? I mean honestly can he get any hotter? Oh, yes he can.” Miranda Wouters, my best friend since elementary school, squealed as she grabbed my arm.
“No, I haven’t seen him. Football camp must’ve agreed with him,” I replied, forcing a smile. I couldn’t care less how hot Leif Montgomery looked. Miranda rolled her eyes and opened the locker beside mine.
“Honestly, Pagan, I don’t get how you can be so immune to such intense hotness.”
I managed a genuine laugh and slipped my bag over my shoulder. “Hotness? You didn’t just say hotness.” Miranda shrugged, “I’m not an endless well of descriptive words, like you are.”
I chanced a peek over my shoulder. The halls were full of normal people, living people. They were talking, laughing, and reading over their schedules. It was all very real. I let out a sigh of relief. This was the first day of my senior year. I wanted to enjoy it.
“So, what class do you have first?” I asked, relaxing for the first time since I’d spotted the dead guy lounging outside on the picnic table staring directly at me.
“I have Algebra II, blah! I so enjoyed Geometry last year.
I hated Algebra my freshman year and I can already feel the negative vibes coming from my textbook.” Miranda’s 5
dramatic flair for life never failed to make me smile.
“I’ve got English Lit.”
“Well, we all know you’re loving that. OH, look, look, look, there he is,” Miranda managed to squeal in a hushed tone while nodding her head toward where Leif stood talking to other football players.
“Hate that I can’t hang around and bask in the presence of greatness with you, but this is my stop.” Miranda glanced back at me, rolled her big brown eyes, and gave me a wave before making her way over to Leif.
Empty rooms were places I usually avoided at all cost.
Given the fact the bell wouldn’t ring for five more minutes, this room would no doubt remain empty for the next four minutes. If I’d stayed out in the hall, I would have been dragged by Miranda over to where Leif stood surrounded by his chosen few. I knew without a doubt he wasn’t interested in talking to Miranda. We’d been going to school with Leif since we were eleven. Since his move from somewhere up north to the coastal town of Breeze, Florida, never had he acknowledged either of us. Not that I minded. He wasn’t my type. I walked over to the desk closest to the window and put my bag down.
A movement, out of the corner of my eye, caused the hairs on my arms to prickle. I’d known better than to stay in this empty room. But I was here now and running would make it worse. I turned to face the same soul from outside sitting in a chair at the back of the classroom with his feet propped up on the desk in front of him and his arms crossed casually over his chest. How had he known I could see him?
I’d given no indication outside. Normally ghosts needed a little clue from me to realize I wasn’t as blind as the rest of the world. Something was different with this one. I dropped my gaze and started to turn around. Maybe I should go join Miranda and the jock squad out in the hall. If I acted like I didn’t see him and casually made my way back into the hallway then he might think he’d made a mistake and float 6
away or walk through a wall or something.
“You don’t really want to subject yourself to such pointless company do you?” a cold, smooth voice broke the silence.
I gripped the hard plastic chair beside me so hard that my knuckles turned white. I fought down a startled little cry—
almost a scream—in the back of my throat. Should I ignore him? Should I respond? Alerting him that his hunch was right might not end well. But ignoring this was going to be impossible. He could speak. Souls never talked to me. From the time I realized that the strangers who frequently watched me or appeared in my home and wandered the halls were not visible to anyone but me, I’d started ignoring them. Seeing dead people wasn’t a new thing for me but having them talk to me was definitely a new twist.
“I pegged you with more guts. Are you going to let me down too?” His tone softened. There was a familiar drawl in his voice now.
“You can speak,” I said looking directly at him, I needed him to know I wasn’t afraid. I’d been dealing with wandering souls, which is what I like to think of them as, all my life.
They didn’t frighten me but I liked to ignore them so they would go away. If they ever thought I could see them, they followed me. He continued to watch me with an amused expression on his face. I noticed his crooked grin produced a single dimple. The dimple didn’t seem to fit with his cold, arrogant demeanor. As much as his presence annoyed me, I couldn’t help but admit this soul could only be labeled as ridiculously gorgeous.
“Yes, I speak. Were you expecting me to be mute?” I leaned my hip against the desk. “Yes, as a matter of fact, I was. You’re the first one who has ever spoken to me.” A frown creased his forehead. “The first one?” He appeared genuinely surprised he wasn’t the first dead person I could see. He was definitely the most unique soul I’d ever seen. Ignoring a soul who could talk was going to be 7
hard. However, I needed to get over his ability and get rid of him. Talking to invisible friends could hinder my social life.
I’d end up looking like some crazy chick who talked to herself.
“Pagan Moore, this must be my lucky day.” At the sound of my name, I spun around to see Wyatt Tucker sauntering into the room.
I forced a smile as if I hadn’t been speaking to an empty room. “I guess it is.” I tilted my head back to meet his eyes.
“You just keep growing, don’t you?”
“Can’t seem to stop it.” He winked and then slung a long leg over the chair across from mine before sitting down.
“What have you been up to this summer? I haven’t seen much of you.”
I chanced a peek back toward the soul to find an empty chair. A mixture of relief and disappointment washed over me. Wanting to ask him more questions wasn’t exactly a good idea, but I couldn’t help it. I'd asked other souls questions before like, "Why are you following me?" or, "Why can I see you?" and they always remained mute. Often times they disappeared when I began asking them questions.
Turning my attention back to Wyatt, I forced a smile before replying, “I stayed up in North Carolina all summer at my Aunt’s horse ranch.”
Wyatt leaned back in his chair and shook his head. “I just don’t get why people would want to leave all summer when we live on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.” For me it hadn’t been a choice really but I didn’t want to explain the reason to Wyatt or anyone else. More students started entering the room, followed by our English Literature teacher, Mr. Brown.
“Wyatt, what’s up, Slim,” Justin Gregory called out as he made his way toward us. He plopped his bag onto the desk across from Wyatt. For now, Wyatt’s attention was off me thanks to Justin’s interruption. As I turned toward the front of the class, my eyes once again found the soul. Leaning 8
against the wall directly diagonal to my desk, he stood watching me. I glared at him and he seemed to find my obvious dislike entertaining. His dimple appeared and I hated the fact I found it sexy. This wasn’t a human, well not anymore. It took extreme willpower to turn my gaze away from him and focus my attention on the board where Mr.
Brown had written our assignment. I’d always ignored these pesky souls before and they’d gone away. I’d just have to get over the fact this one could talk to me. If I didn’t ignore him I’d be stuck with him stalking me.
* * * *
“Hate it, I mean, like hate it in a big way,” Miranda grumbled as she dropped her lunch tray down on the table with a loud clank. “If I have to sit through Algebra and Chemistry all morning, you’d think that I at least could’ve a little eye candy in one of my classes. But noooooo! I get Gretchen with her relentless sniffles and Craig with his gas issues.”