Authors: Lisa Logue
Tags: #Paranormal Romance, #Urban Fantasy
Legacy of Secrets: Book One
Legacy of Secrets #1
Publisher: Lisa Logue, United States
© 2012, Lisa Logue
All rights reserved.
I’d like to thank Suze for being my motivation and my friends and family for all their support.
Wandering with eyes wide open,
but I still can't see.
Caught up in the chaos,
needing to be free.
The inside is numb from the past,
hollow as an abyss.
Drowning in fake smiles and laughter,
proving nothing's amiss.
Little do they know the pain,
how it lingers and takes hold.
Biting back the bitterness and tears,
slowly fighting back the cold.
Where is that sun?
shine down and chase away sorrow.
Come back to me soon,
your warmth I'll borrow.
Fill me with hope again,
faith in the unknown.
Light my way to see again,
no more wandering alone.
I woke up sweating bullets and panting. I was shaking so hard my teeth were chattering; my throat was hot and sore. Most nights I could feel the dream coming, but it scared the hell out of me every time.
I wiped the sweat from my forehead and looked at the clock; five a.m. Sleeping a full eight hours was rare and usually I wasn’t tired. The exception, of course, was when I had the dream. Those days I wanted to stay in bed, but I was too terrified of it happening again.
“It’s bad enough I was there,” I said, getting out of bed. For ten years I was plagued by the constant reminder of how my parents died. I was forced to relive that pain. I shuddered and hopped in the shower, washing away the remnants of my curse.
Well, one of my curses. My emotions poured from me like a leaky faucet, affecting anyone in my path. On days that were particularly sad, I elected to stay home. The last time I attended classes on such a day, the entire room burst into tears out of nowhere. I freaked and went home, but that didn’t stop them from talking.
College isn’t that different from high school. Aside from there being many more people, word still travels just as fast. The only real differences are the papers and final exams that cover material the professors pulled out of thin air. Still, I could handle what was thrown at me. What I couldn’t handle were the fake ones; those who tried to see if the rumors were true.
I’d more or less shut myself off from the rest of the world. After the first few liars tried to fake friendship, I learned to lock it all away. A normal social life just wasn’t in the cards for me. Most of my relationships were long distance, only existing in cyber space.
The shadows became my friends, providing shelter when I needed it most. I was a fly on the wall, nothing more. After all that I’d seen in my life, as short as it was, the last thing I needed was attention. Knowing something was wrong with me helped lessen the suffocating feelings. All I needed were Nana and Pops; they were all I had left.
I dressed in my usual faded jeans, lace cami, bomber jacket, boots, and scarf. Living in Colorado meant it never got incredibly warm so a jacket was a usual accessory. It was one of my favorites, mainly for the inside pockets for my cell and MP3 player. I’d hide the ear buds in my hair while pretending to pay attention during lectures. It was easier to avoid everyone else when I couldn’t hear what they were saying.
The smell of breakfast wafted up from the kitchen. Inhaling deeply, I followed the path to deliciousness. I was convinced that my grandmother was born with a spatula in her hand. Unfortunately that gene bypassed my DNA. I could burn water.
“Good morning, Nana. Mmmm it all smells
,” I mused. She chuckled.
“You’d think after all these years I’d get tired of hearing that, but honestly, I don’t! Sit, sit. You need your strength. Rough night again?” she asked with her back to me. Nana and Pops knew of the dream; even put me in therapy that didn’t work. Eventually they let it go.
“Unfortunately, but it is what it is. Where’s Pops?” I sat down and shoveled a large portion of cheesy scrambled eggs and bacon onto my plate.
“Oh, he’s around here somewhere. He’s terribly bored these days what with the retirement and all. Between you and me, he’s driving me bananas! He never stops puttering with things. He needs a hobby, I tell you. Do you want orange juice?”
“Sure. Well, we can think of something for him to do. Maybe he can work part time somewhere. Better yet, just start making up things for him to do. That’s what husbands are for, right?” I smirked.
“Only partly. I married him for more than just his handiwork, dear. You’ll see one day. The right man will sweep you off your feet and you’ll never look back,” she said smiling wistfully. I grunted.
“I doubt that. I’m not exactly what men are looking for these days, Nana. I have
,” I grimaced. I sounded middle aged and I wasn’t even twenty-five.
“Men are funny like that. They don’t know what they need until they find it. Now hurry, you don’t want to be late.”
I finished the rest of my breakfast thinking about what men wanted. It went something like: sex, money, sports, and more sex. It was a rarity to find one who was in it for love. I sighed, kissed Nana goodbye, and headed to campus.
Dallas was waiting for me when I pulled in and a shudder ran through me. Dallas Holcomb was the first person I met in Colorado and my only friend. We also became involved in high school, but kept things quiet. I don’t know if it was for his sake or mine, but either way I couldn’t complain. He was nice when he wanted to be and very generous in the
department. I called things off when he started seeing Leslie Bingham; the biggest bitch I’d ever met.
“Dallas…” I said brushing past him.
“Lia, why haven’t you stopped by after running?” he fidgeted, talking in a whisper.
“Because I don’t want to cause trouble for either of us and being faithful to Leslie is good for you. What kind of friend would I be if I messed that up for you?” I asked, raising my eyebrows.
“Just because I’m seeing someone doesn’t mean we can’t still be friends. Isn’t that what we are?”
“Dallas, I can’t trust myself with you. It may start out innocently enough, but eventually we’d end up in bed together. If you want to talk then you can text or something, but I’m not coming over,” I sighed.
“I guess I never realized I have that affect on you,” he smirked. I punched him in the arm and laughed.
“Aren’t we full of ourselves? Come on, we need to get to class,” I started walking, but he stopped me.
“Hey, look, um…I might have said something to Leslie that I shouldn’t have. Before anyone else said anything I wanted to talk to you,” he backed up a step.
“Wha…what did you say?” I put my hand to my temple and closed my eyes, forcing the anxiety away.
“She asked if I ever noticed anything weird about you. I told her you’d been through a lot, but she kept asking questions. I might’ve told her some of what happened in Pennsylvania,” he said in a rush.
“Why? Why would you tell her?” I squeaked as the tears began to well up. I felt paralyzed.
“I don’t know! I didn’t mean to. We were talking and I just blurted it out. I’m really sorry, Lia. You know I wouldn’t have said anything on purpose,” he a step toward me but I held up my hand.
“Don’t. I can’t believe you would do that! You were the only one who knew. How can I go in there and face those people when you’ve given them the perfect ammo?!” the air started pulsing.
“Lia, please, I didn’t even realize what I said until after I’d said it. I made her promise not to tell anyone, but I’m not sure she won’t. I just wanted to be the one to tell you,” he glanced behind me and I knew she was there. Her eyes were boring holes in the back of my head.
“Well, well, isn’t this nice? Feel like having a chat, did you? I’m sure he’s told you by now that I know
. So I’m going to tell you this once. Stay. Away. From. Him. If you so much as breathe in his general direction, I will make sure that everyone finds out about where you spent your time after your parents died. Or is it after you killed them? I still haven’t figured that one out. Run along,
,” she spat. Red began to fill my vision, the anger threatening to spill over. I took several steps backward trying to compose myself.
“Leslie, stop,” Dallas pleaded.
“No, she needs to know her place. If she won’t leave you alone I have to do something about it, since you obviously won’t. Don’t underestimate me, sweetie. I can be just as crazy as you,” she glared at me with such intensity my resolve began to waver.
She doesn’t know nearly as much as she thinks she does
Dallas stepped between us, sensing the anger and hurt swirling around me. My energy was no stranger to him. Sparks danced behind my eyes, willing me to attack, but I wouldn’t. I spat, turned on my heel, and got in the car. Swallowing the surge of emotions, I peeled out of the parking lot and drove to the far end of campus.
I sat there for a while, thinking and stewing. I hated it in Colorado. I hated every part of it. But I just couldn’t bring myself to leave Nana and Pops. They saved me. I couldn’t just walk away without repaying the favor. I hated myself. I hated how I couldn’t control my emotions. I hated how I had no idea what it was or how to stop it or whether it even
be stopped. I just wanted to crawl into a ball and disappear.
I got out of the car and stomped my way into the quad. I lay down under the trees and stared up at the clouds. It was nice, imagining myself in a different place where people didn’t care, where I didn’t have to hurt so much. I closed my eyes and listened to the earth; the wind in the trees, the birds singing, and the pitter patters of the different critters running around. Tension loosened the deeper I fell, my breathing finally returning to normal.
I sat up and watched the passersby hurrying along in different directions. People I knew, some I didn’t, but no one saw me. I’d retreated back into the shadows.
My heart almost stopped when I saw Christian Mason leaning in one of the doorways. We had a Biology Lab together, but he was among those who didn’t know I existed. If there was ever a man to be called beautiful it was him.
His skin was slightly tanned, like he’d come back from a vacation at the beach. Muscles he tried (and failed) to hide were evident under his fitted shirts. Slightly buzzed, dark hair blended into a constant five o’clock shadow. He was tall, maybe a bit over six feet, and wore it exceptionally well. I couldn’t see his eyes from the distance, but I vaguely remembered them being green. Something about him screamed trouble, but I couldn’t find the heart to look away.
A different type of anxiety thrust itself upon me; a smoldering heat from somewhere I hadn’t known existed. Ripping my eyes away from him was difficult, but too many people were around. Warmth spread from my middle, flushing my cheeks. At that moment I realized how lonely I really was. I sighed loudly and lay back, returning to the fantasy world among clouds.