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Authors: DeAnna Kinney

Charity Moon

BOOK: Charity Moon
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Charity
Moon

By DeAnna Marie Kinney

 

 

 

Charity Moon

Copyright© 2011

DeAnna Marie Kinney

 

All rights reserved.  No portion of this book may be reproduced in any form without the prior written permission of the publisher and copyright owner.

 

 

 

 

ISBN: 978-0-9842836-2-0

 

 

 

Published by UR Published, Inc.

Post Office Box 551323

Gastonia, NC 28055

urpublishedinc.com

 

Printed in the United States of America

 

 

 

Chapter One

 

It was early on a chilly, crisp Saturday morning when I snuck out of bed and tiptoed my way to the bathroom, eagerly anticipating my long awaited date with one giant claw-foot bathtub. Normally I’d have slept in on a Saturday, like every other teenager I know. But on this particular morning I could hear the tub beckoning me, and I had to obey. I filled her up with the hottest water I could tolerate and added my favorite raspberry scented bubbles.

 

You see there are some things I just can’t be content without. One, of which are my steaming bubble baths; two, my favorite lip balm; and three, Happy’s butter pecan ice cream.

 

I let out a heavy sigh of contentment as I sank deep, bubbles to my ears, and lost myself in the heavenly sensation, glad that all the terrifying events of my past were just that—the past, or so I hoped.

 

There was a time when I considered myself to be pretty sane, at least as sane as any resentful teenager with a chip on her shoulder can be. But that was before—before the things of make believe jumped out at me and turned my life upside down and back again. The truth is I could never share all the details of my life with anyone except Ashley. Too many lives depend upon our secrecy, including my own. Besides, I can barely remember my life before them—before him.

 

As the bubbles whispered sweet nothings in my ear, and the glorious aroma filled the small space—I slipped away, deep in thought, and remembered where this incredible, yet terrifying adventure
really
all began . . .

 

It was early March and my final semester at West Windrake High; a school nestled in the growing town of Windrake Mountain, located in the heart of the beautiful North Carolina Mountains.

 

Rumors had just begun to circulate about a boy who was transferring from our rival school, East Windrake High. This was a big deal for two reasons. According to the talk he was off-the-hook gorgeous, which I couldn’t care less about. And no one ever transfers from E. W. High to our school, unless they want trouble, that is. Because not only have our two schools had an intense rivalry since the Stone Age, but it all started with the town itself. The town is split into east and west, and the prejudices go back to the early foundings of our town. It’s rumored to be as a result of two families who lived on opposite sides of the town who hated each other and were constantly at war. It’s
totally ridiculous if you ask me.
  

 

Though the prejudices have died down as the town has grown and new bloods moved in, it’s still there, simmering just below the surface. I believe the young members of our town are ready to see the rivalry die. For one thing, to my annoyance, everyone seemed so excited about our new arrival, especially the female student body. That’s all my friends could talk about, and to be honest, it was getting on my last nerve. As a matter of fact, I was thinking if I heard any more about the guy, I was in danger of choking someone, starting with my best friend, Ashley.

 

“Charity!” Ashley called with exaggerated excitement as she danced to my side in the crowded hallway. “Have you seen him yet?”

 

“No, I haven’t, and I really don’t care. Don’t you have anything better to do than wait around to see this guy? After all, he’s just a guy.” 

 

“No, he’s not
just
a guy! He’s a really hot guy, and I
am
waiting to see him, so don’t ruin this moment for me. Just because you’re not boy crazy doesn’t mean I can’t be.”

 

“Well, give him a kiss hello for me,” I said, rolling my eyes as I walked away and headed to my next class.

 

“Very funny,” she called after me.

 

I entered my class and went straight to my seat, eager to finish the last few problems of my homework. I hated math, and to be honest, Calculus was like a foreign language to me, though I generally made good grades in all my other subjects. Something about being able to understand them makes a huge difference. Go figure.

 

Mr. Dawson, our weird Calculus teacher with a bad comb-over and freakishly hairy knuckles entered the classroom. Knowing I had only minutes left before the torture began, I hurried to finish. Suddenly the sound of female gasps drew my eyes to the front of the classroom. That’s when
he
entered, an amazingly tall boy, possibly 6’2 or more, with wavy, brown hair all in disarray. His face was
very
handsome, his build muscular, but lean. One word immediately came to mind—magnificent! Followed closely by another—trouble!

 

It was then that I realized my gum had actually fallen out of my mouth, and only because it landed in a warm, moist wad on top of my arm. One quick glance around told me no one noticed, so I leaned down and sucked it back up. Of course no one noticed. The guys were too busy looking at our new arrival as if he were an invader from outer space, while the girls were looking at him like he was—well—lunch.

 

The new guy walked across the room with grace and confidence, his head held high and his shoulders back. The elegant figure extended his hand to Mr. Dawson, introducing himself as Levi Drake.

 

As the murmurs from the females around me gurgled in my ears, pushing my brain to the point of implosion, I realized this was the guy everyone was talking about, and as much as it really pained me to admit it, he was gorgeous, alarmingly so. 

 

Mr. Dawson escorted him to his seat, which was directly across the room from mine.

 

As he walked the short distance to his seat, his eyes scanned the room, no doubt checking out all the curious eyes watching him, and froze when they met mine. My breath caught in my throat as his gaze sliced through me. There was something there, but I was puzzled to identify it. I was startled at the piercing beauty and haunting depth of his eyes, though I quickly righted myself and gave him an irritated glare. In response his own gaze changed, his eyebrows knitting together in a look of agitation. I pretended to yawn and went back to my homework. Yes, okay, so he was way beyond gorgeous, but I was never one to jump on the bandwagon. It turned me off that everyone seemed so into him, and I, for one, refused to become part of the hysteria.

 

I finished my homework in record speed and glanced to my right, noting Levi Drake’s sharp gaze fixed upon me. His expression held a hint of bewilderment. I responded with another unfriendly glare causing his expression to turn agitated once again.

 

I was having fun.

 

I imagine that every female was going out of her way to be nice to him, probably already entertaining fantasies that he’s the man of her dreams. Surely I was the only member of the opposite sex he had encountered being unfriendly. I mean what normal girl cares about some stupid rivalry when you look that hot, right? But I’m not a normal girl and haven’t been for a long time. Truth be told, I was slightly puzzled by my reaction to him. After all, it wasn’t his fault that girls were dropping like flies at his feet, but to be rude to the guy just for being gorgeous wasn’t quite my style. Or was it? He was probably wondering what my problem was, but I didn’t give a dung heap.

 

I reached in my pocket, pulling out my favorite raspberry ice lip balm and applying a generous coating. When the bell finally rang I jumped up and darted from the classroom, thankful the torture was over, and not giving Levi Drake another moment of my brain time.

 

Ashley caught my arm as I entered the cafeteria. “Did you see him?”

 

“See who?”

 

“Levi Drake! I heard he had last period with you. Okay be honest, is he the McDonald’s-french-fry hot, or the boiling-lake-of-lava hot?”

 

“First of all, take a deep breath, will ya? Yes, I saw him, but he’s no big deal. Trust me, I’ve definitely seen better.”
I’m sure it had to be true
,
I’d probably just forgotten. I didn’t want to admit he’s the singe-your-eyebrows-at-the-very-thought-of-him hot.

 

Just then Levi Drake walked past us giving me a scowl look, and even the scowl didn’t detract from his magnificence, in fact, it added to it.

 

“Oh-my-gosh, Charity, I think he heard you. Did you see the look he gave you? How have you managed to make an enemy of him when he just got here?”

 

“I—don’t—care.” I said the words slowly.

 

“I can’t believe how gorgeous he is. Have you ever seen anyone that gorgeous? Beverly was right. His hair is amazing. Do you think he has a girlfriend?”

 

Blah, blah, blah
, I thought, rolling my eyes in disgust.

 

She couldn’t seem to shut up about the guy as we got our food and joined our other friends already seated at our usual table. I noticed Levi had joined some guys at a table across the room.

 

“Jumping jolly ranchers!” I barked. “How has Levi Drake already managed to make friends? They just moved over and made room for him to sit like he belonged there.”

 

“Well, Charity, not everybody has a chip on their shoulder the size of Asia like some tall, gorgeous technophobes I know so well.”

 

“Hey! I happen to like my chip. We’re tight, you know.”

 

“Yeah, all too well. At least his back’s to us so we won’t be tortured by his gorgeousness.”

 

“Sing a new song, would ya!” I snapped, repeating a line from my favorite show,
Drake and Josh.

 

Ashley, Stacy, and Delaney all began discussing Levi and the classes they had with him. All of us had classes with him, except Ashley, and, for about 30 seconds, she was bummed about it.

 

Ashley’s been my best friend since kindergarten, and I love her like a sister, but quite honestly, she’s a little too perky for my taste. To say it gets on my nerves would be a ginormous understatement. Only on occasion have I ever seen her angry. Except there was this time when Kenny Talbot pinched her on the butt. Anyway, that’s another story. She’s always positive and thinks the best of people; a totally annoying and useless trait in my opinion.

 

Stacy’s the smartest one in our group. Whenever any of us have questions about schoolwork, we ask her. She’s not really all that pretty, but she’s got a great sense of humor and guys seem to like that about her. And I mean it when I say her heart is made of pure gold.

 

Delaney, on the other hand, is very pretty, but likes to steal other girl’s boyfriends. The idea of finding one on her own seems to be too much effort for her. Needless to say, not many people, or should I say girls, like her. I’m not even sure why
we
hang out with her except that Ashley thinks she’s great—no surprise there.

 

Toby, the only guy in our group, has guy friends, but I imagine his hanging with us has something to do with the fact that he’s been crushing on Delaney for the past year. He follows her around just hoping one day she’ll decide to acknowledge him. Personally, I don’t think it’s gonna happen, but I would never tell him that. He’s cute, funny, and incorrigible, but we keep him around anyway.

 

“So what did you do to make Levi Drake dislike you? You didn’t hit him, did you?” Ashley asked while shoving a huge bite of pizza in her mouth.

 

“Yikes, Ash, take bigger bites why don’t ya.”

 

She giggled and managed to speak through her food, “Sorry. I skipped breakfast and my stomach is about to revolt. So spill it. What did you do to make ‘Lava-Hottie’ hate you?”

 

“Lava-Hottie? O—kay, well, I didn’t do anything to the guy. I just gave him a dirty look, that’s all.”

 

“That’s all!” Stacy responded, her chubby face full of disbelief. “Why on earth did you do that?”

 

“I didn’t like the way he was looking at me.”

 

“Oh come on,” Delaney interjected, “guys look at you all the time and you don’t give them dirty looks, and I guarantee this guy is hotter than any of those. You should be flattered. Every girl in this school wants him to look at her.”

 

“I didn’t say he looked at me like he was interested in me. I just said I didn’t like the
way
he looked at me.”

 

At that moment, Levi turned around and glared at me, agitation still the dominant expression on his face.

 

Surely he didn’t hear me from that distance
.

 

“Oh-my-gosh, Charity, he’s staring at you, and he doesn’t look happy,” Ashley said, her brown eyes wide as saucers.

 

“Well, let him stare. I really don’t care,” I said sharply, meeting his gaze.

 

Without warning, he rose from his seat and headed straight for me. Everyone at my table held their breath as he approached, sighing in relief as he deliberately walked right past me, so close in fact we almost touched. I closed my eyes as I caught his fragrance, and it wrapped around me, overpowering my senses and making my skin tingle. It was a smell unlike anything I’ve ever encountered before, natural, but woodsy somehow, and I actually had to catch my drool before it hit my jeans. How gross.

BOOK: Charity Moon
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