Authors: Melissa Pearl
Tags: #Love, #History, #Paranormal, #adventure action
Time Spirit Trilogy
Copyright 2011 Melissa
All rights reserved.
This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in
any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the
This is a work of
fiction. Names, places, businesses, characters and incidents are
either the product of the author's imagination or are used in a
fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or
dead, actual events or locales is purely coincidental.
Cover art (copyright)
by Amanda Crane. All rights reserved.
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Thank you for
respecting the hard work of this author.
You are the hope within me.
I love you.
Hope is the thing with
That perches on the
And sings the tune
And never stops
They were an enigma.
Throughout the ages there had only ever been rumors of these
mysterious people who appeared out of nowhere and disappeared just
as quickly, whispers of swirling gold dust, unexplained piles of
abandoned clothing left in dark alleys. Only a select few had
glimpsed the reality and they chose not to speak of it. They knew
the truth needed guarding. These people were special… chosen.
Created for the sole purpose of changing history.
St. Augustine, Florida
- 2011 AD
Gemma Hart pulled on her jeans and zipped the
fly. Grabbing her shirt off the toilet seat, she threw it on and
struggled to do it up. Her hands were shaking and still rippling
with pins and needles. She bunched them into fists and shook them
out before attempting her buttons again. Her fingernails shone
gold, but that would only take another moment to fade.
She straightened her shirt, pulled on her
black hoody and quickly assembled her long hair into a ponytail.
Smoothing back any lumps, she fisted her hands for the last time.
Flexing her fingers, she held them steady in front of her and
examined the red knuckles on her right hand. They were still
swollen, but the grazing was already healing. She ran a light
finger over them, still feeling the man’s jaw crunch beneath her
She frowned. It had been her only choice.
The phone in her back pocket dinged. With an
irritated huff, she ignored the tone of the message and
IM FINE. WHEN IS DEBRIEF.
She touched SEND and drew in a deep breath.
The bell would ring soon and she didn’t want to be late for class.
Gathering her bag from the floor, she checked her phone and made a
mental note to be home by 5pm. Being late to class was one thing,
but being late for a debrief was not worth the drama.
Unlocking the door, she peeked her head out
of the stall and crept into the bathroom. She washed her hands and
leant against the basin, studying her weary reflection. She knew
her body would soon be fully energized again, but it felt like the
older she got the longer it took.
She snorted out a cynical laugh. Seventeen
and already worrying about aging? Yeah, she had issues.
The bathroom door banged open. Gemma’s body
snapped straight and her gaze dropped to the floor. She could feel
the curious glances. No one ever just skimmed over her. She was
always studied from a safe distance; never approached. But that was
her fault, right? She wasn’t exactly the friendliest girl at St.
Augustine High School.
Clearing her throat, she lifted her bag,
grabbed her binder and turned to look directly at the two bug-eyed
freshman. They both looked to the ceiling. Gemma rolled her eyes
and squeezed past them. What was the point?
The hallway was crowded. The chaotic symphony
was rising in a steady crescendo as students loitered near their
lockers expecting the post lunch bell to ring at any moment.
Dana Monroe and her posse of girls giggled
their way past Gemma. She paused to let them go by. Getting noticed
by the gossip queens was painful. They had enough rumors on her to
start their own paper and she didn’t need another headline.
She waited until their perfect curls and tiny
waists were four lockers away before moving into the human traffic
and turning the opposite direction. She’d take the long route to
English class. Not the best option, but better than the girls
turning to see her then bunching their heads together. She hated
the way they did that. It’s not like she couldn’t still hear their
whispered insults. So she was rude to Dana once, the girl had no
idea what she was trying to protect. The only reason the petite
brunette even invited her out was because Gemma met her pretty
friend criteria and she had an older brother who was smoking
Gemma did not have the luxury of cozying up
to a bunch of girls. Girls talked, shared secrets… and there were
things she was never allowed to say. Her no-close-friends policy
had been working well for the last two and a half years. She hadn’t
expected to have absolutely no friends, but be rude to a gossip
queen once and your social life was over.
Gemma shook her head. Dana had actually done
her a favor. Being alone was easier and she was happy that way. At
least that’s what she kept telling herself.
Turning the corner, Gemma came across a loud
group of fellow juniors who were jostling over some poor freshman’s
bag. Intervening for the skinny kid, whose face could be mistaken
for a page of Braille, was the right thing to do, but that would
illicit unwanted attention and more gossip. Despite this, her steps
slowed as she pictured exactly how she could end the torment,
taking down each player with swift precision.
I really shouldn’t, but how I can just walk
Her indecision was taken away when her
hulking brother sauntered around the opposite corner. He was six
foot three and built like a Mac truck. He spotted the problem and
hollered at the boys. Silence descended. Every head turned towards
the drama, but none was provided. The bullies scampered like
With the prospect of Dominic Hart pounding a
bunch of juniors no longer on offer, the milling bystanders lost
interest and turned back to their conversations.
Collecting the bag that had been thrown sky
high, Gemma pulled it back into shape and handed it over. The boy
mumbled a quick thank you, shot Dominic an “I want to be just like
you when I grow up” smile and took off down the hall.
“Nice going, loud mouth.”
“Thanks, slim.” He lightly punched her arm
then picked up her right hand. Rubbing a thumb over the knuckles,
he squeezed her fingers and winked. “Nice work today.”
“See you at five.”
He dropped her hand and walked backwards
singing, “I’ll be there.”
Laughter bubbled up Gemma’s throat, but it
was cut off by the sight of Harrison Granger. His blonde hair
flashed into view as she turned and Gemma’s lips warred between a
smile and a frown. Pulling her binder close to her chest, she
raised it to cover her mouth and silently watched him.
He was with Darren Kidman as usual. They were
laughing about something. Darren slapped Harrison on the shoulder
and pushed him into the lockers. Harrison countered with a fake
punch to the head that didn’t connect.
His brown eyes were playful. He dropped his
bag on the floor and ran a hand through his scruffy waves of hair.
He did that a lot.
Darren was shaking his head as Gemma walked
“That is such crap. You are full of it,
Harrison grinned and opened his locker. “I’m
not, I swear.”
“I won’t believe it till I see it. You are
coming over on Sunday and it’s on. There is no way you can score
that high on…”
The bell let out a shrill ring. Gemma missed
the name of the game that she assumed was to do with Darren’s XBox.
There was a reason why that guy didn’t have a girlfriend.
She hadn’t pegged Harrison for the gamer
kind, but there was a lot she didn’t know about him. A lot she
never would. Forcing herself not to turn back, she let out a
disappointed sigh and hurried off to English.
English was delivered in its usual monotone,
the discussion questions answered with limited enthusiasm. Gemma
sat in the back and took her usual silent observer role. When the
bell finally rang, she collected her books and headed to History,
her stomach a tight ball of vibrating nerves.
She loved and loathed the subject.
It was by far her favorite class. Mr. Lomax
was a cool teacher who was passionate about any era but the
present. Unlike most of the student population, he took a liking to
Gemma. For once she was sure it had nothing to do with her looks
and everything to do with the fact she excelled in History.
“Okay, let’s get started. Now, what were we
doing yesterday?” He scratched his receding black curls and flicked
through the textbook on his desk. “That’s right!” He clapped his
hands together. “Eighteenth Century socialism. Let’s get excited
people, this is a fascinating subject. Now who can tell me… Mr.
Granger, hurry up and take your seat, sir.”
“Sorry, Mr. Lomax.”
Harrison grinned and slouched over to his
seat. Gemma admired the way his tall, lanky frame folded into the
chair. He shuffled back in his seat, exposing a flash of red boxers
then swung around to borrow a pen from the girl behind him.
Harrison’s smile was warm as he said thank
you. Gemma glanced away when it brushed over her, her heart
skipping three beats.
There sat the reason for hating this class.
Fifty-five minutes of pining for someone she could never have,
equated to the cruelest type of torture.
Gemma flicked open her
textbook as commanded and found her place. The text on the page
blurred. She bit down hard on her lip. At least tomorrow was
Saturday. She could go a whole two days without having to encounter
her forbidden fruit. Not that she’d know what to do if he ever did
talk to her.