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Thirty Seconds To Die

Thirty Seconds To Die

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Thirty Seconds To Die

valutazioni:
4/5 (3 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
426 pagine
4 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Jan 4, 2013
ISBN:
9781481117470
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

Lexi Flynn thought she could hide from her dreams.

She thought her fears were all in her imagination.

She couldn't imagine that after everything she'd been through, she could fall in love.

She was wrong.

An ancient society, one extraordinary letter, and the secret Alexandra Flynn would die for - again - to protect.

For Lexi, life had always been - normal. But it only took one moment to change everything. Her life quickly becomes the opposite of normal when Ren Miller moves to the small community where she lives. Mysterious, handsome, and dangerously charming, Lexi discovers Ren is no stranger. They've met before - in another life.

When Ren pulls her into his bizarre world of past lives and secret societies, all bets are off. They become the targets of the Sentori, an ancient, secret society who believes it must protect the sanctity humankind by killing those like Lexi and Ren, those who are reborn.

In an effort to protect Ren from the Sentori, Lexi is forced to enlist the aid of the most unlikely of all allies. Her decision ignites a series of events that lead to a heartbreaking decision and a devastating conclusion.

If your life was all you had to give, wouldn't you give it to save the only person you ever loved?

THIRTY SECONDS TO DIE draws the reader deeply into a story of danger and flight, of love and hate, and of the extraordinary power of the spirit - human or otherwise.

Editore:
Pubblicato:
Jan 4, 2013
ISBN:
9781481117470
Formato:
Libro

Informazioni sull'autore

S.G. HOLSTER lives in California with her husband and their two daughters. She is the author of the THIRTY SECONDS TO DIE series.Young Adult:Her Thirty Seconds To Die series includes:Thirty Seconds To DieTerrible LiesHeartlinesRomance:DaisyphobiaUpcoming releases are:To The Edge Of The EarthYou can also find more about her here:Pinterest/sholster1Facebook S.G. Holsterwww.SGHolsterAuthor.com

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Thirty Seconds To Die - S.G. Holster

Thirty Seconds To Die

S.G. HOLSTER

THIRTY SECONDS TO DIE

S.G. Holster

Copyright © 2012 by S.G. Holster

All rights reserved. Except as permitted under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, or stored in a database or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Published by S.G Holster

The characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.

Cover design by Michelle Carroll

2016 Edit by Holly Kothe

No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law.

Contents

Preface

One

Two

Three

Four

Five

Six

Seven

Eight

Nine

Ten

Eleven

Twelve

Thirteen

Fourteen

Fifteen

Sixteen

Seventeen

Eighteen

Nineteen

Twenty

Twenty-one

Twenty-Two

Twenty-Three

About the Author

Do not stand at my grave and weep

I am not there. I do not sleep.

Do not stand at my grave and cry;

I am not there. I did not die.

- Mary Frye

Preface

The strange tiny girl stood in front of me in the blinding white snow and held out her hands, revealing the sphere that was alive with swirling colors. Flakes of glitter danced around green and blue clouds.

Will you die for him? A deep voice billowed from behind me.

What? I asked, out of breath and confused.

My heart pounded as I turned to the voice. Ren was there with his back to me—just out of my reach. My surroundings had changed to a damp stone room, and I wanted so badly to touch him.

A man whose face was concealed under the hood of a black cloak stepped forward. My heart beat wildly in my chest.

Will you die for him? he shouted this time. Every muscle in my body tensed, and as frightened as I was, I felt a surge of strength.

Yes….Yes…! I reached out for Ren, but he disappeared into a thick fog. Complete darkness followed.

When I came to, I stared at my enemy through the haze of exploded airbag fog in the crumpled wreckage. He was injured, probably mortally, but his wounds started to disappear before my eyes. His eyes fluttered open, and I was looking death in the face. It was hard to believe I’d once thought of him as a friend. I stared into the blue of his eye, considering what my next move would be. I’d thought those gentle blue eyes could be trusted, but I now knew they would betray me in the end. If I had held my ground all those months ago, I wouldn’t be here now. Ren would have only been a boy I knew once, and Charlotte and John would have remained only characters in a dream.

I couldn’t regret my choices. As he moved toward me, his concentration betrayed no doubt or hesitation.

I was terrified,

I was going to die…but it had all been worth it.

One

If fate had any pity at all, I would have been warned. Had I known, I would have avoided him at all costs, but there I sat, oblivious to the cruel joke the universe was about to play on me.

I saw him before he saw me, but I wasn’t the only one who saw him. The entire class was staring at the stranger hesitating in the doorway. He handed Mr. Figgis a yellow slip of paper. My eyes kept fluttering back to him. I was trying not to stare, but I thought I knew him. I scanned my memory, trying to place him.

Okay, Mr. Miller, you can take the empty seat in the back. Mr. Figgis sounded annoyed at being interrupted. He motioned with his finger as he signed the paper and handed the new boy a calculus book.

Ren Miller looked about my height, maybe taller, and I could make out his lean build under his gray sweater. He had wavy dark brown hair, brown eyes, and sharp features. He looked different; he didn’t fit in. I was caught staring when our eyes met for a brief second as he passed. He looked away abruptly as though I’d startled him. A sudden heaviness caused my heart to beat unevenly. I sucked in a deep breath to get it back into rhythm, and the room started to buzz with whispers.

I waited a few minutes before I turned to look at him, just to check his expression. His gaze was intense, his eyes piercing. Why was he looking at me? I ran my fingers through my hair and brushed the back of my hand across my lips, checking for anything out of place. His stare sent a charge of unsettled fear through me. Why? I tensed at the strange and unwelcome feeling.

Mr. Figgis, who was the pithiest of any of my teachers, was writing out an equation on the white board with his skeleton-like hand. He called out my name and I blushed, embarrassed I’d been caught.

Miss. Flynn…

My eyes darted to the front of the room.

Take a try at this one.

I slid out of my seat and stood in front of the white board. I scribbled out the equation and hoped that I’d spared myself any humiliation by giving the right answer.

Yes! Correct, he sounded surprised. Let’s move on. Relief washed over me.

I didn’t dare look directly at the stranger in the room. My eyes kept flickering towards him, but I’d catch myself and quickly look away to avoid any further embarrassment. The minutes passed in slow motion as the clock in the front of the room seemed to tick too loudly. I was relieved when the bell rang, breaking the quiet of the room, and I quickly gathered my things and flung my backpack over my shoulder.

Lexi! I turned to the door where my friend Dani anxiously waited for me. Dani was my first friend at Ferndale high.

Ferndale was in Northern California. At the top of the tallest hill in town, on Wildcat Road, you could see all the way to the ocean. Well-preserved Victorian buildings made up the town and the main street was lined with small businesses set against a backdrop of rich green forest. I’d moved there with my parents, eight months before, in the middle of my junior year. My dad had accepted a job offer at the nearby university. Ferndale was so different from the fast paced-city where I grew up. I missed Newport Beach and my friends, but it was a good change for all of us. My first weeks in Ferndale were tough. I thought my new surroundings would help me with my issues, but it would take time for me to get close to anyone.

Dani’s red and white cheer uniform stood out from the monochromatic colors that filled the hall. Her hair was almost black and was pulled back into a tight ponytail and topped with a red bow. She wasn’t shy; she always drew attention to herself with her friendly personality. I remembered thinking the only reason Dani spoke to me at first was for the attention of being seen with the new girl. I think we were both surprised to find we genuinely liked each other. Dani had become a good friend and a comfort in my new school.

I have to tell you something. She was bouncing, clearly excited. I stole a glance at the seat where Ren Miller had been as I walked to the door—it was empty.

Hey, what’s up? I asked, smiling at Dani.

Kyle just asked me out! She couldn’t contain her excitement, Can you believe it? Finally, right? I mean I’ve had a crush on him for so long. She clenched her hands into fists to exaggerate how long she’d waited for that moment.

That’s huge, Dani. When’s the big day? I asked as my eyes scanned the crowded hallway.

Friday.

I heard her answer as my attention drifted into its own universe. I watched as the new boy walked down the hall. Everyone gawked at him. It was easy to spot someone new in such a small school. I should know. My fist day at Ferndale High School had been so stressful. I hadn’t imagined being the shiny new toy would be so nerve-racking.

When lunch time came, I hadn’t seen or even thought about Ren Miller until he walked through the cafeteria. His own secrets and composure suggested an acquired confidence. You could see it in his eyes and by the slight curl of his lips. He sat on the opposite side of the room with a boy named Brett.

Taylor leaned towards us, Who’s the hot new guy with Brett? she wondered in a whispered voice.

Taylor’s tall, slender frame reminded me of a model, but her body had grown too fast for her and she seemed uncomfortable with the way she looked. Her dark brown hair was cut in a sharp line at the bottom of her neck and her full lips resembled the shape of a heart.

He’s in my history class. He’s so cute. Dani glanced behind us.

Shrugging with bogus indifference, I thought to myself that cute wasn’t how I’d describe Ren Miller; he was handsome. Remaining silent, I stared at the imitation marble pattern on the table, following the lines with my eyes.

Yeah, when I was in the office I heard he’s from England and lives with his aunt. He seems a little weird to me, Scott said with a tone of jealous bitterness.

I’d never seen someone bite, chew, and swallow while managing to spew out a sentence the way he did. It was gross, and I suspected, the main reason for his single status. His braces seemed to overpower his face, which was dotted with freckles. He wore his blond hair neatly combed to the side. He seemed proud of himself for informing the table of the details he’d overheard from the office staff. I rolled my eyes.

The group continued to speculate about the new stranger, much like they’d probably done about me. Sneaking a quick glance at the new boy, I thought he appeared oblivious to the stares from around the cafeteria… and then he was looking at me! I quickly looked away as I felt my face turn warm. Once again embarrassed I’d been caught. I don’t think anyone else noticed my face had turned to a nice shade of red. What was it about him that felt so familiar—the way he carried himself? His demeanor? I wasn’t sure yet. He was confident, strong, and maybe even arrogant.

We’re all going to the lake on Saturday. You should come. Dani nudged me in the arm with her elbow.

Umm, I … I pressed my lips together, concocting an excuse—I didn’t really want to go.

Come on, Lexi. It’ll be fun, Taylor said.

Okay, I agreed, but I planned to cancel at the last minute. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be around my friends, I just always felt like the outsider. They had all grown up together.

Great! You’ll have fun, I promise. And Brett said he’d be there, too. I might have mentioned that you were going, Dani squeaked and giggled at me, fully aware that Brett had a crush on me—I rolled my eyes and ignored her.

Like me, Brett had moved to Ferndale last year and was part of our small group of friends. His blond hair had gotten lighter over the summer and was messy, longer than he usually kept it. His blue eyes held your attention when he spoke to you, and there was a small gathering of freckles that splayed across his nose. Brett had an amazing personality that drew people to him. Everyone liked him, and I could never quite pinpoint what it was about him that made me uneasy. Maybe it was that I knew he liked me, and Dani knew it, too. Thankfully, Dani fixed her attention on Ms. Bowen, the music teacher, who was strolling through the cafeteria. She was pretty, in her early twenties, I think. She bumped into Dirk Summers, a beefy senior who was a star player on the football team. His food tray shifted, nearly falling to the floor. Ms. Bowen caught his elbow while apologizing profusely for her being clumsy. She giggled and blinked slowly at Dirk who was blushing.

God! She’s so flirty with her students. She’s gonna get in trouble for that one day. Dani scrunched up her nose and shoved a carrot stick in her mouth. She was right though. Ms. Celia Bowen liked to flirt with her male students.

You know why she goes for young boys? Dani leaned over the table. Old guys are hairy. Ya know, coming out of their ears and nose. Like Figgis. Yuck.

Nice, Dani, I said, standing to leave.

At the end of the day, a gentle mist floated down, leaving everything it touched damp. I shook off my jacket and laid it on the floor of the back seat of my car and blasted the heater. As I drove through town, I noticed a black jeep behind me, following too close all the way up the road until I turned off onto the long drive that led to my house.

Back off, I mumbled, annoyed. I hadn’t seen it around there before, and I watched in my rear-view mirror as it sped further up the hill.

The sweet smell of apple, butter, and cinnamon filled the house. My mom had taken up baking when we moved. Her new hobby was one of the reasons for my long runs. I guess it was some kind of outlet for her. My mother was a freelance wildlife journalist. She’d always traveled for work, but had chosen to stay at home with me while we adjusted to our new surroundings. I felt guilty. The heroic thing would have been to insist she go back to work. I chose guilt. I sometimes wondered how long her adventuresome spirit would stay sedated. Since we’d moved to Ferndale, she seemed happy and relaxed as she’d embraced the slow pace of the bucolic community. That gave me some small comfort.

Mom’s a little taller than me, and her hair is lighter than mine. I look more like my dad: caramel hair, hazel eyes, and a slight olive tone to my skin. My dad—a geologist—was more introverted than my mom. He was also the only person I’d ever seen carry a monogramed handkerchief in his pocket. I often wondered what was going on behind his thoughtful eyes. He was always so content. That was where our similarities ended. I’d always felt restless; there was so much to experience in this world.

Smells good, Mom. She jumped a little, startled by my swift entrance.

Hey, Lex, I didn’t hear you, she said, removing her oven mitts. Did you have a good day?

It was okay. Is there any mail?

None today, honey. Maybe you should think about one of the other schools. She was trying to comfort me because she knew there was only one thing I was hoping for—a letter from Stanford. I’d been waitlisted by Stanford, but accepted to two other schools.

This again.

It’s only October, I mumbled, irritated.

Well, you’ve always been very focused on what you want. Just be patient.

Thanks, Mom, I said, walking out of the kitchen.

She was right about me being focused. I always had a plan, but only up to college. My future beyond that was clouded. When I closed my eyes, I couldn’t picture where I wanted to live, or falling in love, especially after what I’d been through. I’d closed myself off to being emotionally attached to anyone. I couldn’t even imagine leaving for college.

I struggled through my homework, and when I finally turned off my computer; I snuggled into my bed, closed my eyes, and started to dream.

For a long while my dream had gone away. I’d thought I was finally free of it. And when I say dream, I do mean only one dream. When we moved to Ferndale, the dream came back. It was always the same, the people, the setting. The same story played out night after night.

I stood in a large, open field that that seemed endless and so bright, a green that was unreal. I was younger, seven or eight years old, and I was with a boy who looked a couple of years older, whose skin had the tone of fine china and whose wavy brown hair framed his face. He was my friend. His blue eyes appeared to glimmer when he looked at me. We ran through the tall grass with my long pink dress floating in slow motion behind me. A small black and white dog chased us—we were happy and laughing. The boy locked his pinky finger with mine and we continued running into the forest where it was dark.

My dad says that when we die our soul becomes a star, he said from the shade of the trees. I felt my mouth curl up at the ends and he smiled back.

I watched him from across the clearing. Even though we were far apart, I could see every detail on his face. His blue eyes were kind and safe. I felt they would protect me from the darkness that was closing in around us. I wanted to be closer to him, but I couldn’t move. The ground seemed to have grown up around my feet.

Help me, John, I said in a strangely relaxed tone—he didn’t hear me.

Blocks of sunlight fell dim against the sky and we both looked to the side. In the darkness—someone else was there. Dread wrapped its hands tightly around my throat. Something was wrong.

Pray with me Charlotte. Pray with me. He fell to his knees.

"Now I lay me down to sleep,

I pray the lord my soul to keep,

If I die before I wake,

I pray the lord my soul to take," John started to repeat himself.

I felt someone close behind me. Ren Miller stepped out from the dark shade of the trees. My heart constricted in fear and my right hand clenched into a tight fist.

The intense fright forced my eyes to open. This vision, a figment of my imagination, had been with me for years. The eerie consistency of the dream was a dysfunctional comfort. It frightened me, but I could rely on its constancy. But it had changed, my dream was different because of Ren Miller.

As I drove to school the next morning, the rain came down harder. After parking my car, I hurried through the parking lot toward the covered walkway, concentrating on the ground. My shoes made a sloshing sound on the wet gravel. When I reached the top of the stairs, I almost crashed into Ren. He put his hand out to my shoulder to keep me from knocking him over. I tensed at his touch that sent a wave of heat through my body. My eyes darted away from the dark warmth of his.

You okay? His hand stayed in place.

Glancing up I managed to say, Sorry, and kept walking.

I didn’t look back, I was too much of a coward, too shy, but mostly still on edge from my dream. My heart pounded in my chest and my fists clenched at my side as I hurried on to class.

When he walked into the room, I had my book open. I hid my eyes by resting my forehead on my hand and letting my hair screen the side of my face. I was too embarrassed to look at him. I was happy he sat in the back of the room. It was hard not to glance back at him though, especially since I could feel him watching me. Or maybe he wasn’t watching me at all. Maybe my mind was playing tricks on me; an inner boredom reaching out for its own amusement.

When the bell rang, I practically sprinted out of class. My mind wasn’t on school at all because Ren Miller had found his way into my every thought—what was wrong with me? At the end of the day, as I waited for the school bus that was blocking my path to move, I glanced in the rearview mirror. The jeep was behind me, too close again, and I could see Ren Miller in the driver’s seat. His eyes met mine in the mirror and he smiled. Irritation washed over my face.

The next morning, the sun shining in my window seemed unusually bright. I wondered if I’d slept in late. I couldn’t say I was looking forward to the lake, and I hadn’t come up with a good excuse to get out of it. And I hoped being around my friends would be a distraction from my fascination with Ren Miller. I tried to place him at some point in time in my life. And by the way he looked at me—I imagined he felt it too.

I stretched out, feeling every muscle relax. I changed into my running clothes and grabbed my phone. Our house was an old farmhouse that had been seriously updated by the previous owners. It was light and airy; the original wood floors creaked, and the stone fireplace overpowered the living room. My room was smaller than the one I’d had in our last house and the bathroom was small too. The grayish blue of the walls and the big white fluffy bed my mom had bought when we moved in made me feel comfortable and safe. I had pictures of my friends from my old school and all of the pictures from summer pinned on a corkboard over my desk. They made me smile as I glanced at them. The picture of my aunt Ellie and I standing on a mountain top we’d climbed over the summer made me laugh quietly at what we’d accomplished. She was always taking me on crazy adventures with her. I was happy to go along. She was the kindest person in the world and I always felt very close to her. I knew my mom envied our relationship. I could see it on her face every time we were all together. Ellie was devoted to be the best aunt and friend to me. I never asked her about her choice of adventures, like survival camp, trekking through the rain forest, rock climbing, kickboxing camp in Thailand. As tough and grueling as they were, we always had fun. Our last trip over the summer was to a retreat in Bali to learn meditation. I missed her. I wished she lived closer.

Living with the constant hum of restlessness from my dream required meditation in its own right. I was disturbed that Ren, a stranger, had started showing up in my dream night after night. That was new. The unwavering dream had changed slightly because of him. His deep brown eyes stayed with me and the nights of restless sleep had started to leave bruised circles under my eyes. I’d always kept the dreams to myself. They’d become so real since our move; I could feel every emotion intimately that I was starting to think maybe there was something wrong with me. I knew these people in my dreams. I found myself searching reincarnation on the Internet in the middle of the night when I couldn’t sleep or didn’t want to sleep. I guess I thought their pictures would just pop up if I searched enough. I never found anything. The thought that I might scared me. I didn’t want to believe in it.

I smashed the earbuds in my ears and set off up the road towards a trail that wound through a forest of trees. Keeping my stride, I turned off the road and onto the soft dirt trail. The air was thick with moisture that clung to everything and filled my lungs. Sunlight streamed through the pine trees, illuminating the ferns that lined the path to a vivid green. I kept my pace and felt relaxed by the peaceful solitude.

Midstride, my music stopped. I pulled my phone out only to find that the battery had died. Standing there in the forest, I was suddenly very aware that I was not alone— something felt wrong. I could feel something or someone watching me, stalking me. Pulling the earbuds from my ears I turned, looking all around me. My heart had started to race so I took off sprinting in the direction that I’d come from. I could see the road ahead of me. Glancing behind me, I thought I saw a figure in the shadows of the trees. By the time my house came into view I was gasping for breath. I slowed to a walk when I reached the driveway. Tears streamed down my cheeks. I wiped them away with my hand and took in deep calming breaths before opening the front door.

Mom? I called out.

Laying on the kitchen counter was a note saying that she’d gone to the neighbors. She’d probably sent a text too —not that I’d see it. After making sure all the doors were locked, I climbed the stairs to my room and plugged my phone in.

After I showered, I’d convinced myself that my imagination had concocted the phantom on the trail. With a sigh I put my bikini on and was thankful for the faint bit of tan I had left over from the summer. There was a text on my phone from Dani.

Hey! Ready for some fun? Pick us up at noon ;). Her bubbly personality even came across in her texts.

Dani’s house was just off the main street of town. She was waiting outside with Taylor when I pulled up. The house was small, and the architectural details made it look like it belonged in a fairytale.

Dani waved and bounced up to the car with a small cooler in hand. She was talking a mile a minute about Kyle, but I was having a hard time concentrating on the conversation. The lake was located down a dirt road in the middle of the forest. The weather was unseasonably warm. It was hard to believe it was raining the day before. I was feeling more relaxed. Taylor and Dani had me laughing by the time we got to the lake. Kevin, Kyle, and Scott were already there, playing catch with a football. We joined in, and after we’d been there awhile, I felt happy I’d come.

That abruptly came to an end when Brett’s truck pulled up. I could see Brett was with another boy whose name I didn’t know, but I’d seen him at school. Also along for the ride was Ren Miller. I had gone to my car to get a warmer shirt; I glanced at them as I opened the back of my car and my heart beat faster. I sucked in a breath. Slow down, I told myself.

Hi Lexi! Brett said, hopping out of the truck.

Hey, I said as I pulled a long sleeve shirt over my head and closed the back of my car.

My parents had bought me a new car when we moved, an early graduation present, I was told. They said I needed a safer car here in Ferndale because it rained a lot more than it did in Southern California. They settled on a used Audi Q5 in white. I really liked it and it was fast, but it stood out from most of the other older cars at school. I felt a little embarrassed by it.

Have you guys been here long? Brett asked as everyone gathered around the back of my car.

A couple hours, I said looking past him to the two boys walking toward us.

We brought some firewood, Brett said motioning with his chin towards his truck.

Cool. I made a polite smile and looked away, tugging at the sleeves on my shirt.

Ren was even more handsome now that I was so close to him and not rushing to get away. His hair, his eyes, he was beautiful. I know you, I wanted to say, but I knew we’d never met. I’d spent enough time thinking about it. I couldn’t understand the pull that I felt for him. It was natural, magnetic, and a little scary.

This is Ren, and Brian. Brett said as he patted Brian on the shoulder.

I was staring again and had to tell myself to look away. Brett introduced everyone to Ren and, when he got to me, I pulled my eyes back up to catch Ren’s stare. He’d look away with the slightest glance and then his eyes were right back to me. His look was so intense I felt a little uncomfortable, and I think the others did too because they’d moved away from us, and now we were standing by my car alone. His gaze seemed to study every detail of my face.

This is your car? Ren gestured with his hand, finally breaking the awkward silence with his smooth British accent.

Yes. It was all I could manage, and I gave him a confused look. Of course you know this is my car. I held my arms around my waist.

It’s nice, he said as one corner of his mouth curled up. I wondered what he was thinking.

Thanks. You’re in my first period calc class, I babbled.

Yes. I know. He smiled. I looked away, feeling like an idiot. Are you going to stay a while?

I think so. My eyes darted away from his intense stare, but only for an instant. His eyes were dark brown and made me feel safe in that moment. His confidence could be mistaken for arrogance, but I could see only kindness behind his ridiculously long eyelashes. I felt a warm glow wash over my face.

When we joined the others, they had started a new game of catch on the sandy beach that soon turned into football. We broke into two teams. I was having fun and had forgotten about how tired I felt. I was trying to concentrate on the game that had morphed into full contact football, but I couldn’t stop my eyes from being drawn back to Ren. His smile made my heart race, and I couldn’t help smiling, too. Kyle made the mistake of throwing the ball to me. I turned and tried to run, but was tackled to the ground. Strong arms wrapped tightly around my waist and I looked over to see Ren’s face too close to mine.

Ouch! What the hell? I said. I was annoyed and a little embarrassed while restraining the unlady-like words I was thinking.

I’m sorry. Are you okay? Did I hurt you? He said, laughing at first but quickly turning serious.

I’m fine, I mumbled.

I could feel a warm burning on my leg. My shin was scraped and bleeding. He let his arms loose as I sat up.

Ouch, I said under my breath. Ren was studying my scrape with a look of frustration on his face.

His eyebrows pinched together, I’m so sorry. That was stupid of me. He said as he reached his hand out to help me up.

I’m okay. I have a first aid kit in my car. I refused his hand and walked away toward my car. He followed. I pulled the kit from the back of my car and Ren insisted on helping me, taking the antiseptic wash out of the kit.

The scrape’s dirty, let me clean it off.

I’ll do it. I snapped, taking the antiseptic from him.

I let my eyes glance at him, and as they made their way up his body, I noticed everything about him. His stance was rigid; his hand clenched into a tight fist and his beautifully sculpted lips were pressed into a hard line.

Stop looking at his lips.

So you moved here with your family? I asked, forcing myself to make small talk as I wiped the scrape clean.

I’m really sorry. Does it hurt? he asked, not answering me.

Drawing my eyes up, I noticed the vision of the boy from my dream, John. He was standing just behind Ren. I never had a feeling of fear or even thought of him as a ghost. He was just a vision, a memory, a figment of my imagination

Lexi? You okay?" Ren asked, and the boy floated away like smoke from a blown-out candle.

Yes. I rushed my answer and smoothed the band aid over the scrape as I tried to get control of my head.

What happened? Brett asked as he passed by and shot an antagonistic glare at Ren.

Odd.

It’s just a scrape.

Ouch, he said and walked on to his truck where he grabbed more wood for the fire.

So, you moved here from England? I asked, and now I felt like I was pressing for information. I wanted to know him. We walked down to where the fire was already blazing.

Yes. He answered shortly, looking annoyed by the question, but his tone was kind. I thought it was strange that he didn’t mention why he had moved to Ferndale, a small inconsequential town.

The fire warmed my skin as the sun fell behind the tall trees and the crisp fall air settled in. I sat down next to Taylor on the opposite side of the fire from Ren. Everyone was having fun catching marshmallows on fire and roasting hot dogs. Kyle and Kevin were having a contest to see who could launch a flaming marshmallow the farthest into the water. As I sat there, pretending to have a good time, my mind was racing trying to decipher my confused feelings. Ren made me nervous, excited and fearful all at the same time. I hadn’t felt anything like that before.

Dani I’m going to take off. Can you get a ride with the guys? I said, deciding that I couldn’t be there a moment longer.

Sure Lex. You okay?

No.

Just feeling tired. I didn’t sleep well last night. And if I were being honest with myself I was still a little freaked out by what had happened on my run. I stood up and said goodbye to everyone.

You’re leaving? Do you want me to drive you? Brett said standing on the opposite side of the fire. He met me as I walked up towards my car. "Ren and Brian can

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  • (4/5)
    loved the story but the second nool isnt even on here! i dont know what happen!!???