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Authors: D L Richardson

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Little Red Gem

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Little Red Gem

D L Richardson

 

Copyright 2013 Deborah Louise Richardson

 

Published by D L Richardson

www.dlrichardson.com

 

Smashwords Edition

 

 

Smashwords Edition, License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal
enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to
other people. If you would like to share this book with another
person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If
you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not
purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com
and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work
of this author. 

 

 

Digital ISBN:
9781301976485

Print ISBN- 13: 9781492939924

Print ISBN-10: 1492939927

 

 

First electronic publication: October
2013

First print publication: October 2013

~
Table of Contents
~

~
Acclaim for
D L Richardson
~

~
Look for these titles by D L Richardson
~

~
Dedication
~

~
Chapter
One
~

~
Chapter
Two
~

~
Chapter
Three
~

~
Chapter
Four
~

~
Chapter
Five
~

~
Chapter
Six
~

~
Chapter
Seven
~

~
Chapter
Eight
~

~
Chapter
Nine
~

~
Chapter
Ten
~

~
Chapter Eleven
~

~
Chapter Twelve
~

~About the s
ongs in this book~

~
About
the Author
~

~Discover more about D L
Richardson~

 

~
Acclaim for D L Richardson
~

Praise
for 
Feedback


My favorite aspect of
Richardson’s writing is how unapologetic she is. Her descriptions
and details of each teen’s situation, their disease and what it’s
doing to their bodies, is, at times, raw and makes it that much
easier to sympathize with each of them...” —Bookloversity
Reviews


You find yourself while
reading this book saying ‘Wow…that could really happen.’ I would
definitely recommend this book for anyone who likes a touch of
paranormal to their realism or a touch of realism to their
paranormal.” —The Book Maven


You should read the book.
It really IS good!” —Blooding Book Reviews

Praise
for 
The Bird with the Broken
Wing

“…
this book is so
exceptional and heartwarming and mixed-up that my thoughts were
just flying around in my head and none of them were landing in
cohesive sentences…” —Sapphyria’s Book Review


This was a great read,
nothing like I have read before. I loved the storyline and how it
kept you guessing, and the ending was perfect.” —Book Devotee
Reviews

~ Look for these titles
from D L Richardson ~

The Bird with the Broken Wing

Feedback

Fear of Falling

Little Red Gem

Curious (3 novels in
1)

Poison in the
Pond

~ Dedication
~

To every girl and woman who has felt her heart soar, felt her
heart break, fallen down and gotten back up, punched through walls,
or felt the need to do whatever it takes to protect what is hers.
Stay strong, stay true, and don’t let anyone get you
down.

 

 

 

 

Chapter One

 

 

 

 

A week earlier

 

Rock-A-Lilly’s was the
name of the rehearsal studio in my home town of Providence. Located
inside a small warehouse district on the southeast side, I spent
more Saturdays afternoons there than my mom cared for, hanging out
while Leo Culver worked to save up for his dream – to record a demo
CD with his band, Volt. I would laze around on the sagging, brown
corduroy couch, paperback in hand, while heavy metal music
attempted to throb its way through the walls.

Some girls might not
consider this a romantic way to spend a Saturday afternoon with
their boyfriend, yet I held an equal passion for music. It was no
big deal for me to watch Leo sitting behind the counter under the
tutelage of Jimi Hendrix or Aerosmith or whatever aging band’s
poster happened to take the owner’s fancy at the time, while he
replaced broken guitar strings. Sometimes, Leo would become so
buried beneath a tangle of leads and cables that I’d wonder how he
ever managed to put up the Christmas tree lights at home. I’d
stifle a laugh and he’d look up in time to catch me ogling him. A
shy smile would accompany the brief hiatus he took from doing
whatever he was doing, and then he’d blow me a kiss.

This simple gesture should
have been enough of a hint that he loved me, yet when I found
myself sitting in the restroom of a service station with a home
pregnancy test in my hands, doubt circled around me like a silvery
shadow. Or maybe I was just hallucinating from spending too long
breathing in the fumes coming off the fuel tanks
outside.

The gentle knock on the
door startled me.


You still in there,
Ruby?”

How long had I been
sitting here staring at the blue box in my hands? Long enough to
have taken the test and gotten the results ten times over I
suspect, yet the thought of discovering whether or not I was
pregnant while sitting on the wobbly toilet seat at a highway gas
station had kind of sapped the valor out of the quest.


I’ll be out in a sec,” I
told Leo.


Okay. I’ll wait in the
car.”

Sniffing back a few stray
tears, I shoved the unopened box deep into my handbag and retrieved
the small parcel of photos I kept on hand for those excruciating
minutes when Leo and I were apart. Sorting through the photos one
by one did the trick of cheering me up. Not a lot, but enough that
by the time I got out and saw Leo talking on his cell phone my mood
didn’t instantly plunge back into one of despair; it hovered
somewhere between apathy and denial.

I slid in to the passenger
seat, protectively clutching my handbag to my chest. Leo waved a
half-eaten hotdog in my direction.


Urgh. No
thanks.”

Instead, I took a mint
from the newly opened roll on the dash. Leo gunned the engine and
drove out of the service station. He was still on the
phone.


Don’t talk and drive at
the same time,” I garbled.

The usual intensity of my
nagging was missing. It felt as if I’d left all my energy back
there in the restroom. Leo ignored me anyway and drove off the
curb, bouncing my side of the car into the air.


Go ahead and book it,” he
said into the phone, driving with his elbow so he could force the
rest of the hotdog down his throat. “And tell Thomas his dad is a
legend,” he added in a hot-dog-down-the-throat distorted way that
only dentists were able to understand.

There was a pause while
the caller said something that made Leo laugh, though thankfully
he’d swallowed his food by this stage so he couldn’t
choke.


Yeah, I reckon he’ll want
a song named after him, too. Thanks for the update. I’ll call ya
later.”

As Leo turned to face me
he tossed the phone into my lap and wore a grin that I jealously
wished was intended for me.


That was Simon,” he said.
“Thomas’s dad is loaning us the money to record our demo CD. Plus
he’s loaning us his cabin next weekend to write a few more songs.
We’ll need around ten more, I reckon.”


Doesn’t his dad own that
creepy place in the middle of the woods?”

Leo laughed. “What’s wrong
with Capers Cabin? It’s the ideal location to write. No phone
service, which means it’ll be just me, Simon, and Thomas for a
whole weekend with no distractions.”


Oh.”

Leo picked up on my
disquiet. “Babe, you know I’d love you to be there. The highlight
of my day is when you’re by my side. You’re my muse, and I know
with you there I’d create the most beautiful songs.”


You don’t like love
songs.”


Not every beautiful song
is a love song. Anyway, as much as I’d love you there, you’d also
be the biggest distraction. Even now, I can barely keep my thoughts
on driving.”

As if to prove his point
he ran a hand up my thigh. The car veered off the road and
unidentified items stashed under the seats tinkled – probably Coke
bottles, Leo was addicted to the stuff. The passenger side tires
hit the breakdown lane and spat gravel up the doors. I pushed Leo’s
hand off my thigh and reached for the wheel at the same moment that
he pulled the car back into the lane.


Not funny, Leo.” My voice
came out flat. Maybe I wanted him to notice my lifeless mood so
he’d badger me into telling him what was on my mind.


So, did you get what you
were after?” he asked.

To lure Leo into driving
to Prospect – I only had my learners permit – I’d made up a story
about their pharmacy being the only place where I could buy certain
stage makeup products. I sang in an all-girl band so he’d bought my
story. Back at the gas station I’d also decided to create a second
cover story in case I needed to return to Prospect, like to
secretly visit a doctor who didn’t know me or my mom.


They’ve run out,” I said,
which was a lie. “But they’re gonna order some more in.”

Leo drove and tapped his
fingers on the steering wheel to songs in his head while I stared
out the window. So deep within our thoughts were we that our
silence could have marked us as strangers on a train.

I must have fallen asleep
because I woke when I heard the tires screeching. The car did a
sharp left and kept spinning. One second the view was of traffic
rushing toward us. The next it was of the woods. Then traffic. Then
woods.

I screamed and grabbed
onto the dash while Leo pulled the car off the road and out of
harm’s way. The car ended up down an embankment. Thankfully it was
only a gentle incline into thick shrubs because beyond the shrubs
lay the woods; tall, dark, and foreboding even without the recent
near-death experience to add to the atmosphere.

Back up on the highway,
cars slowed down, but didn’t stop. It stung that we could have died
and no other drivers cared enough to check if we were all
right.

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