Authors: Jamie Loeak
BODY AND SOUL
Text Copyright © 2012 Jamie Loeak
All Rights Reserved
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 author.
First Digital Edition: August 2012
The characters and events portrayed in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.
Loeak, Jamie, 1987-
Body and Soul; a novel / by Jamie Loeak – 1
Editing services provided by Mara Biggs.
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: Kate, the daughter of a lawyer and marine biologist, has just moved to a small beach town in Florida. She’s forced to start over in the middle of the summer, but is used to it by now, since she’s moved around her entire life. When Kate meets Rico and Adriana on her second day at the beach house, everything changes. Kate is introduced to the world of Light and Darkness, and is thrown into the middle of it when a mysterious being attacks her one night. As Kate’s nights continue to get weirder, her friendship with Rico and Adriana grows stronger, and for the first time Kate has real friends. When Rico sits Kate down to tell her what is really happening to her, things start to click for Kate, and she is forced to make a decision to quit or fight for her body and soul.
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The stifling summer heat seemed to caress Kate’s skin. The cool night air swirled around her bedroom, pouring through the window and dancing just out of reach. Inwardly, Kate cursed her parents for shutting off the air conditioner and rolled over to cool off the front of her body. She imagined her parents, sleeping in a room cooled by their ceiling fan, re
sting peacefully in their chilly night air, oblivious to Kate’s misery. She mused at the idea that the heat was somehow bearable. Her mother had said that the night air would cool off Kate’s too warm skin, and that she would be able to fall asleep. She said that Kate wouldn’t feel the heat when she did fall asleep. She had been very wrong.
Kate sighed and rolled over for what felt like the hundredth time, and in a fit of annoyance sat up instead. She would never fall asleep like this. Kate sat there for a moment, her legs hanging over the edge of the bed, and formulated ideas. This was a new place.
There wasn’t much to do in the middle of the night. Kate tapped her foot against the metal bed frame, sifting through her options. She decided a minute later, and in one swift motion she pushed herself off the bed, landing lightly on her bare feet. She headed downstairs to the kitchen.
The tile floor was almost cold, and Kate moved across it slowly, enjoying the sensation. The air was cooler down here, where it was open, and
Kate stood in front of the open refrigerator; the cold air soothed her burning skin and relaxed her aching muscles. It was nice to lose the feeling of being choked by the heat, and she decided to grab an ice cream before heading outside. With an ice cream sandwich in one hand and a glass of water in the other, she carefully opened the back door.
Kate stepped out onto the cherry deck. She moved quickly across the
scratchy wood, finding the stairs easily, and made her way toward the gulf. Out here, the wind rushed past her, instantly cooling her skin. She paused and tilted her head back, lifting her arms up in order to relish the feeling. The sand was smooth and rough, a contradiction that Kate had always liked. She moved closer to the waves, and sat on the harder sand that lay close to the water’s edge. She ate her snack, thinking of everything but the sticky heat that clung to her bedroom.
Kate’s summer was just beginning, and she would be left lounging on the beach every day while her mother researched the ocean and her father won cases
. Somehow, Kate could not feel excited about being left alone all summer. Sure, the sun would bronze her skin, leaving her fair skin glowing. Yes, she could read every book that she had ever wanted to read with few interruptions. But what Kate wanted most, even though she would never admit it out loud, was her mother.
Kate’s mother was always busy researching seaweed, manatees, or other sea creatures. She was always searching for a new grant to fund her research, and Kate was proud of her, but sometimes she missed the cliché fights or ridiculous
shopping sprees. Kate sighed, in spite of herself, and began drawing patterns in the sand. She found herself in a trance, not knowing what she was drawing, and when she awoke she found that she had sketched what appeared to be waves or flames. They clung to a circle that seemed half consumed by the swirling images. She gaped at it, and then turned to face the ocean again, tears threatening to disarm her. Kate breathed deeply to calm herself down and shook her head to erase all thoughts of her mother’s time consuming career. She would not allow herself to break, not this early in the summer, not her first night here.
Kate sat still and let the crashing of the waves calm the uneasy feeling that had wrapped around her like a blanket. She watched the twinkling of the stars, the slow crawl of the clouds as they raced across the sky. She watched as
the dark sky lit with streaks of grey. Kate lay back and watched the heavens change colors, creating new images like a kaleidoscope. She lay there for a while, watching the sun crawl over the horizon, admiring the change from violet to tangerine to canary.
When the sun had fully risen, Kate rose too. She trudged back up the sandy expanse, not eager to see the day starting. She found her mother in the kitchen, mixing something in a metal bowl, and her father sat at the table with a steaming cup of coffee in his hands, his laptop
in front of him. He glanced up at Kate when she walked in and smiled. She offered one in return, although it wasn’t as genuine as his, considering the night she’d had.
“What’s wrong sunshine?” he asked her,
closing his laptop, showing Kate that she had his full attention.
Kate’s father was always there. His career was as demanding, if not more at times, than Kate’s mother’s, but he
had always managed to be there for Kate. Kate hated to admit it sometimes, because kids weren’t supposed to have favorites, but she loved her father best.
Kate sat down next to
Aaron and poured herself a cup of coffee. He raised an eyebrow and watched her take a careful sip of the steaming black liquid, before pushing the sugar and cream toward her. She took it and poured small amounts of each into the coffee until it was a warm caramel color. After taking another, larger sip, she looked up into his eyes. Her father looked older than usual this morning. His usual sparkling gaze looked hollow, his green eyes tired. He must not have slept much either.
took a moment to glance at her mother, Blaire, who was humming while she made pancakes. Blaire had already showered, her chestnut curls drying around her shoulders, frizzing in the humidity of the morning. She was wearing her typical clothing, ripped jeans and a scruffy button up top. Her sneakers were worn but told a tale of adventure and discovery. She hummed as she flipped the pancakes. Kate watched her breathe in the scent of blueberries and syrup, almost like she enjoyed the way they blended together.
“Kate, honey, I asked you what was wrong,” Kate heard her father say, real concern evident in his tone.
“I’m sorry,” Kate said, focusing on her father. “I couldn’t sleep last night so I went out and sat on the beach.” Kate looked at the glossy wood of the table before continuing. The warmth of the ceramic mug suddenly felt too hot in her hands and she let go of it, tracing the floral pattern on the handle instead. “I know you guys think that it’s okay to sleep with the windows open but I don’t think I can do that. I didn’t sleep at all,” she added, hoping that would open up a renegotiation.
“It must have been the new bed,”
Blaire said absently, interrupting Kate’s silent plea with her father. Blaire turned around then, and looked at her daughter in between flipping pancakes. She glanced at the mug in Kate’s hands. “You shouldn’t be drinking coffee,” she said before turning back around, ending the conversation.
back down, defeated. She didn’t much like the taste of her coffee anyway. She stood up then, pushed the steaming mug away, and walked out of the room in protest. As Kate walked by, she commented on how it might be easier to sleep during the day anyway, since she was alone. Stunned, Blaire turned to watch her daughter leave, and then slowly turned back to her cooking. She began to hum again, almost as if the argument hadn’t taken place at all.
Upstairs, Kate flopped down on her bed, tears burning in the back of her throat. Her mother
was making her favorite food for breakfast, and even though Kate was angry, she couldn’t erase the feeling of guilt she had for storming out. She lay there for a moment, relishing in her suffering, and then shifted so that she could look out the window. She sat up quickly, noticing a figure dressed in all black walking across their private beach. He stopped in the middle of their property, and bent to look at something in the sand. Kate stood up and moved closer to the window, curious to find out what he was doing. The dark figure rose, holding Kate’s glass and ice cream wrapper. Kate smacked her forehead, chastising herself for leaving trash on the beach. She could have gotten herself in a great deal of trouble. Without hesitation, Kate rushed out of her room and back down the stairs, ignoring the fact that all she had on was a sports bra and striped pajama shorts.
The air outside was already hot, and it smothered Kate as s
he made her way across the sand. She walked quickly, eager to explain the misunderstanding. When she got closer, though, she realized that the person, who was actually a boy, didn’t look much older than she was. His raven hair was long and shaggy, and curled at the edges. He was tall with lean muscles; his olive skin was tanned. He turned to watch Kate as she moved closer, his eyes level with her own.
“I accidentally left my glass and wrapper out here this morning,” she said when she grew close enough to speak to the boy. “I’m sorry,” she added, not sure if he was someone she should apologize to. She looked into his eyes when she spoke to him, noticing their intense color. His eyes were an icy shade of cobalt, an impossible blue.
The boy handed Kate her belongings without saying anything. She stood there, slightly annoyed with his lack of words. He should at least acknowledge her apology. They stood there for a moment, staring at each other, before Kate decided that she would take the high road.
“I’m Kate,” she said, sticking her hand out.
The boy hesitated then took her hand in his own. His skin was rough and warm, his grip firm. His handshake spoke volumes, and Kate could sense his quiet confidence.
“My name is Rico,” he said at last, startling Kate. She
had thought, for a moment, that he would never talk, that they would end up in an awkward battle of silence, but she had been wrong. He smiled at her then, and she noticed that his eyes crinkled at the edges. She couldn’t help but smile back.
“You know,” she warned
, “this is a private beach. You shouldn’t be over here.”
“I was unaware. I apologize,” Rico
said. “I’m not from around here, you see. I’m visiting family this summer and thought the beaches had public access points.”
“That’s okay,” Kate replie
d. “I’m not from here either. I actually just moved in yesterday. My parents and I are renting this house for the summer, maybe longer. You know, though, the people who live here year-round might not be as nice about you being on their land,” Kate stated in an attempt at friendliness.
“I understand completely, and I thank you for your concern. I think I’ll be okay, though. I can handle an old man yelling at me from his deck,” he said, a mischievous grin crawling across his features.
Kate observed Rico. He was dressed in all black, dark jeans and a faded t-shirt, and Kate thought that he could handle a great deal more than an old man yelling at him. He could probably handle a young man yelling and chasing him across the beach. Anyone could tell that he liked to cause trouble by his appearance, so why did he feel the need to chastise Kate or make fun of what he thought was concern? Kate crossed her arms across her chest, and attempted to gain some form of dignity; she was much too proud to walk away right now. “I just assumed that I would help you out since you aren’t from here,” she snapped, losing her patience.
“I thought you said that you weren’t from here either,” he retorted.
Kate threw her hands in the air, giving up for the second time that morning. Her gesture conveyed her annoyance, and what she hoped was indifference; the last thing she wanted was for Rico to think that she cared.
at her, a quizzical look on his face.
“What?” she demanded.
Rico just smiled and shook his head. When she stared at him, he just shrugged and shoved his hands in his pockets. There he was, at a loss for words again. Kate’s frustration peaked, igniting a flame of anger within her soul.
“Will you just leave my property?” she asked. She couldn’t understand why Rico made her feel so much anger, but she knew that she couldn’t let it get the best of her. She was at least reasonable enough to see that.
Naturally, Rico didn’t say anything. He turned and left, glancing behind him once more to see her watching him leave. He offered a devilish grin before disappearing over the horizon.
“Who was that boy?” Blaire asked when Kate walked into the house with her glass and ice cream wrapper.
“Some kid named Rico that liked observing the things I accidentally left on the beach,” Kate replied, holding up the objects.
and I are about to leave, honey,” Blaire interjected without really listening. “Please eat something; I left a few pancakes in the microwave for you. We should be back before dinner, so don’t eat a late lunch. We plan on going out to eat at that seafood restaurant down the street. It’ll be our housewarming dinner.”
Kate nodded, still annoyed with her mother and Rico, and walked to the microwave. She took out the
blueberry pancakes, and grabbed some orange juice before sitting in front of the television. Finding a dramatic reality show about crazy teen parties, Kate settled in to eat breakfast. She could feel her mother watching her, and felt guilty about being mean. She turned around to say something, but her mother was gone, and the distant sound of the front door shutting announced her parents’ departure. Kate sat back on the cream couch, content with losing herself in the pointless drama of rich, rebellious adolescents. It would at least drown out the memories of her first morning in Florida.