Authors: Dina James
Published by Mundania Press
Also by Dina James
Light in a Dark World*
Time Heals: A Stranger Things Novel*
All Wounds Copyright © 2011 by Dina James
All rights reserved under the International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechani-cal including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
A Mundania Press Production
Mundania Press LLC
6457 Glenway Avenue, #109
Cincinnati, Ohio 45211-5222
To order additional copies of this book, contact: [email protected]
Cover Art © 2011 by Niki Browning
Healer’s Mark © 2011 by Becky Hitchin
Edited by Skyla Dawn Cameron
Trade Paperback ISBN: 978-1-60659-276-2
First Edition • October 2011
Production by Mundania Press LLC
Printed in the United States of America
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You read even my most fanciful tale with the utmost seriousness.
I miss you, Daddy.
This book wouldn’t have been possible without so many people. If I forget anyone, I apologize now. I should probably thank my mother first thing. Hi, Mom! Thank you for um...stuff.
Next, thank you to the namesakes of this novel—the real Becky, Robin, and Amy for the encouragement, tea and inspiration. I threatened to name the characters of this novel after you, and so I have.
Thank you to Lilahel, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Jacqueline Carey, Jean Auel for the same. Thank you to Lili, Skye, Audry and David, and Ilona and Gordon for things they probably don’t even know they’ve done.
Thank you to Valtinen for too many things to list.
A huge thank you to the Windsor House of Tea and her staff. Though you are no more, you are deeply missed, and this novel is in part in existence because of you. Thank you for the time, the atmosphere, the quiet, and of course, the tea. I couldn’t have done this at all without vast amounts of your tea, both at the shop and here at the house.
Thank you to the long defunct Wannabes and Wish-They-Hads (AKA
“Waiting For Bill Honl”). I keep my promises.
Thank you to Trisha, who is solely responsible for me even attempting a young adult story, let alone a novel, and for giving me a shot. Thanks also to Froggies in the Timber-Batts for the chips and the fire.
A HUGE thank you to my editor of awesome, Skyla Dawn Cameron.
Thanks for the week-long slumber party. We’ll make it two next time. Thank you to Mundania Press for this opportunity and for being awesome. Thank you to Niki Browning for the awesome cover, and Becky Hitchin for the Healer’s mark design used on the cover. It’s awesome and I loved it so much I had it tattooed on my left arm. No, really.
And finally, my eternal gratitude to my husband, Rob. You’ve supported me through everything. Thank you for this as well. Thanks for the understanding, late night food, enduring my weird hours and facing the Dalek.
The only thing in the room that made any sort of noise was the click-ing keys of the old computer keyboard, pushed—no, more like jabbed—by a very annoyed secretary.
Rebecca shivered and bit her bottom lip to keep it from giving her chill away. Was it always this cold in here, or did she just feel cold because she was sitting in the principal’s office? She almost envied the black leather jacket of the smirking dark-haired boy sitting in the corner with his hands clasped behind his head. He caught her looking at him and leaned his plastic chair as far back as it would go against the wall.
Ryan Dugan. Of all the people to be in here when she was. Of course, when
Ryan in the principal’s office?
Rebecca dared a sideways glance at the girl with carefully styled-to-look-messy thick, blonde hair sitting beside her and risked a whisper. “Sorry.” The tapping of the computer keys stopped abruptly. Behind her metal desk the secretary leaned around the old yellowed computer monitor to glare at them with narrowed eyes. When she did the same to Ryan, the boy doubled over in a fit of totally fake—and very loud—coughing.
“Sorry,” Ryan said after he sat back up. He slapped his chest a few times and cleared his throat as he smiled at the secretary. “Must be coming down with something.”
Rebecca could tell the woman was convinced that Ryan’s apology was about as sincere as his coughing had been.
“That’s enough out of you, Mr. Dugan,” the secretary said in a clipped, exasperated voice.
Ryan grinned at her and clasped his hands behind his head again as he kicked his chair backward to lean against the wall once more. He winked at Rebecca.
Rebecca hoped her cheeks weren’t as red as they felt, and bit her top lip this time—hard—to keep from smiling. It had been pretty funny, the way the evil toad-faced woman had given Ryan a look that would have made Rebecca cringe, and Ryan just smiled back at her. Rebecca bowed her head, hiding her blue eyes—and her amusement—behind her straight, mouse-brown hair.
The principal’s office door opening kept Rebecca from risking another illicit whisper to her friend.
“Miss MacDonnell? Miss Turnbull?”
The principal shook his head after gesturing to his doorway. “I have to say, girls—yours are two names I never thought I’d call until your com-mencement ceremony.”
“Hey, I was here before they was!” Ryan spoke out as he got to his feet.
The scowl on his face made Rebecca wince. It was much darker than the one the annoyed secretary had given her.
“‘Were’,” the principal corrected as Rebecca and Robin got to their feet. “Which you’d know if you spend any kind of time in your English class, Mr. Dugan. And while you might have been here before these two ladies were, and you’re likely to be here for most of the day, not to mention the day after that, as well as the following day, so I don’t see any reason why I should make these nice girls wait out here any longer than they have to, especially with the likes of you. I’ll deal with you later, so you just sit down and keep quiet. You’re already in enough trouble as it is.” Ryan flopped back down in his chair, muttering curses only Rebecca was near enough to hear him say. She thought for a second he was going to start turning chairs over or ripping the bulletin boards off the wall, but he sat back down and assumed what seemed to be his careless pose, leaning back in his chair, his hands behind his neck, cradling his head. This time he closed his eyes and looked like he was going to sleep.
“Come on, girls,” said Mr. Harris as he ushered them into his office.
He looked almost sympathetic that they’d had to endure Ryan’s company for as long as they had. In fact, he even apologized for it...before he sat them both down and gave them each a detention.
“I’m so sorry, Ro, really,” Rebecca apologized in a rush the moment she and Robin were out of the principal’s office and on their way back to their respective classes.
“Rebecca, stop worrying so much,” Robin replied, shaking her head.
“So we got sent to the office. It could have been worse. One max detention?