Read Temptation: A Novel Online

Authors: Travis Thrasher

Tags: #Solitary, #High School, #Y.A. Fiction, #fear, #rebellion

Temptation: A Novel

BOOK: Temptation: A Novel
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TEMPTATION

Published by David C Cook

4050 Lee Vance View

Colorado Springs, CO 80918 U.S.A.

David C Cook Distribution Canada

55 Woodslee Avenue, Paris, Ontario, Canada N3L 3E5

David C Cook U.K., Kingsway Communications

Eastbourne, East Sussex BN23 6NT, England

The graphic circle C logo is a registered trademark of David C Cook.

All rights reserved. Except for brief excerpts for review purposes,

no part of this book may be reproduced or used in any form

without written permission from the publisher.

The website addresses recommended throughout this book are offered as a resource to you. These websites are not intended in any way to be or imply an endorsement on the part of David C Cook, nor do we vouch for their content.

This story is a work of fiction. All characters and events are the product of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to any person, living or dead, is coincidental.

LCCN 2012930869

ISBN 978-1-4347-6417-1

eISBN 978-1-4347-0503-7

© 2012 Travis Thrasher

The Team: Don Pape, LoraBeth Norton, Nick Lee, Caitlyn York, Karen Athen

Cover Design: Amy Konyndyk

Cover Photo: iStockPhoto

First Edition 2012

For Madison

Contents

Preface

1. Elegia

2. Made for You

3. The Breakfast Club

4. Memories

5. Keys

6. Trying to Outrun Reason

7. Back Roads Party

8. A Night Like This

9. Like Mother, Like Son

10. You Owe Me

11. Just a Shadow

12. Pity Party

13. Warning Sign

14. Similarities

15. Bad Romance

16. End of the Discussion

17. A Slap and a Punch

18. The World Will Be Yours

19. The Fantasy

20. Poe

21. Answers?

22. A Little Care

23. What I’m Doing

24. The Card Game

25. Following the Rules

26. Banana Split

27. Rolling in the Deep

28. Rolling in Something Else

29. A Slice of Normal

30. Sun in Your Eyes

31. Anticipation

32. A Great Day

33. A Voice from the Past

34. Mess with the Bull You’ll Get the Horns

35. The Cold Hard Facts of Life

36. Don’t You Forget about Me

37. How Old I Am

38. Dreams

39. Bloodline

40. Handling Things

41. Prisoners

42. Some Weird Voodoo Stuff

43. Partial Answers

44. Now We’re Even

45. Another Story

46. One Big, Gigantic Pool

47. Drama

48. Alone

49. Broken

50. Summertime Rolls

51. Who Knows

52. The Spoon

53. Petrified

54. Cold and Soft and Dead

55. Breathturn

56. A Different Story Again

57. Stuck and Hidden Somewhere

58. The Boy Who Cried Wells

59. Madly Crazy

60. Losing My Mind

61. The Sex Chapter

62. The Dream Is Never the Same

63. Coming Back Again

64. A Little More Trouble

65. Lies

66. When the Creepies Come Calling

67. Living in the Moment

68. Harder to Breathe

69. Texts

70. Lovesong

71. Dr. Everything’ll Be All Right

72. Shadowplay

73. Finally

74. Slave to Love

75. Long Gone

76. The Routine

77. Trying to Kill Me

78. The Conversation

79. Destiny

80. Angry

81. Deliverance

82. Midnight City

83. The Boxcar

84. A Song and a Dance

85. Temptation

86. Temptation Remix

87. Clean Slate

88. Exchanging Information

89. Dirt

90. Nothing to Dislike

91. Definitely Not Brotherly

92. The Pit

93. Fear

94. So …

95. No Reply at All

96. The Darkness Is Easier

97. Dream or Reality

98. A Lost Battle

99. Elegia II

100. Whatever You Need

101. Real

102. What’s in a Name?

103. Where This Will Lead

104. The Gift

105. Chicago

106. Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

107. The Stranger

108. Remorse

AfterWords

Three Recommended Playlists

Behind the Book: Sixteen Candles

A Snapshot

T
ONIGHT
I
THINK
I’
LL
WALK
ALONE
I’
LL
FIND
MY
SOUL
AS
I
GO
HOME
.

—“T
EMPTATION

BY
N
EW
O
RDER

Preface

 

The night changes everything.

So she told me.

Final words to her little boy.

In the passenger seat of the SUV, I look out and see the city. It glows and breathes and welcomes me. I hear the words and believe them.

I never knew Chicago could look so beautiful.

It’s late, and I feel like we’ve been driving forever. My ears are sore from the earbuds attached to my iPod. My butt is sore from sitting in place for so long. The last time we stopped was around Lexington. I’m ready to get out and stretch my legs and step back onto flat Illinois land.

Solitary is over a dozen hours away.

Not far enough, if you ask me, but it’ll have to do.

It’s quiet in the car. I look out the front window at the skyline in the distance. That’s where we’re headed, toward the city and not the suburbs.

The city means more people. More people means more help in case—well, in case of anything.

“You awake?”

I glance over at my father. “Never fell asleep.”

“You closed your eyes.”

Sometimes it’s better that way.

I yawn and wipe my eyes.

“You’re going to enjoy it here,” Dad tells me.

“Yeah.”

I don’t really believe this. I want to. I really want to. But I just need to be away from that cursed town for a while. Maybe I can slowly begin to forget. Maybe I can slowly start to live again.

But that’s what you tried doing in the summertime, and look where it got you.

I don’t want to think about the last few months. The only thing that will bring is hurt, and I’ve got enough of that as it is.

“I think you’ll like the apartment,” Dad says.

“I think I’ll like anything that doesn’t have winding dirt roads around it.”

Or secret hidden tunnels below it.

Dad doesn’t know quite what to say. I don’t blame him. He probably still aches for Mom. Maybe he’s angry with himself for not being able to do anything more.

That’s how I feel. Angry with myself, with nothing left to say.

When someone dies, all you can do sometimes is stay quiet and keep moving.

I thought that losing Jocelyn hurt. But this … this is different. This is worse.

The first time you did too little. But this time you did too much.

“Hungry?” Dad asks.

I was until I turned off the music and started hearing the voices. “No.”

The city with its lights and life invites us in. I’m glad to see civilization again. I no longer feel so remote and so alone.

Yet there’s a part of me that says I should have stayed.

There was no reason to stay.

There’s so much to think about that my head hurts. I can’t sort out the details. I think of the motorcycle, of the cards, of Marsh and Staunch, of Oli, of
him
. I can feel the Zippo lighter in my pocket.

Then I picture her face and feel the hurt again.

“I know Mom is proud of you.”

I let out a chuckle and then keep my voice down. “Proud of me for what?”

“Proud of you for being strong for her.”

It’s been quite some time since I’ve felt proud or strong. The irony is that it’s my father telling me this.

Seven months ago, there’d have been no chance ever that I’d be riding here with
him
.

But life sure has a way of crashing and burning around you.

The interstate eventually merges into Lake Shore Drive. Even though I can’t see it, I know Lake Michigan is out there in the darkness. I can feel it watching and waiting in silence. Eventually we take an exit and drive for a few minutes down block after block.

“This place will be busy tomorrow night around this time,” Dad says.

Everybody will be celebrating and toasting and laughing and living.

Wanna know what I was doing last year on New Year’s Eve, Dad? I was discovering that this girl I’d fallen crazy in love with had her throat slashed by a bunch of freaks in robes.

Even though Dad knows a few things, he doesn’t know that much. He can’t know much. I still don’t know everything, but I know enough now. I know a lot of answers to questions that circled inside my head a year ago.

Answers might fit the puzzle pieces together, but they still don’t block out the gaping hole in the picture. The hole that’s my heart.

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