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Authors: Brieanna Robertson

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Dark Masterpiece (Serendipity Series 3)

BOOK: Dark Masterpiece (Serendipity Series 3)
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Dark Masterpiece

Book Three in the Serendipity Series

 

Brieanna Robertson

 

Smashwords Edition October
2009

 

Amaranth of the Wild
Things
is a work of fiction. Names,
characters, and incidents are the products of the author’s
imagination and are either fictitious or are used fictitiously. Any
resemblance to actual events or persons, living or dead, is
entirely coincidental.

No part of this book may be
reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means,
including information storage and retrieval systems, without prior
written permission from the copyright holder and the publisher of
this book, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a
review.
For information, please contact the
publisher.

This e-book is
licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This e-book 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 person you share it with. If you’re rea
ding this book and did not purchase it, or it was
not purchased for your use only, then you should return to
Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting
the hard work of this author.

 

Copyright © 2008 by Brieanna Robertson

All rights reserved

 

Published by

Whimsical Publications, LLC

Florida

 

Print book version available at
http://www.whimsicalpublications.com

Print ISBN-13: 978-1-936167-03-6

 

Cover art by Traci Markou

Edited by Janet Durbin

 

---------------

 

Also by

Brieanna Robertson

 

Serendipity Series

The Road Less Traveled

Better Than Chocolate

Dark Masterpiece

 

Stand Alone Books

Amaranth of the Wild Things

 

---------------

 

Acknowledgments

 

To those in my field who took a chance on
me, encouraged me, and helped me realize my greatest dreams:

Rene Walden, JT Schultz, Traci Markou, Janet
Durbin, Yvette Lynn, Adelle Laudan and Diana Castilleja.

Thanks again to “My Team,” Jimmy and
Phil,

for providing me with such great material for
Traevyn’s poetry.

 

---------------

 

Chapter One

 

Bullets whizzed past her
head as she ran, dodging the dead Confederate soldiers and evading
the cannon fire. She had to make it to the shadowy figure on the
hill! It was a matter of life or death! She had to give him her art
portfolio or else her cat would die of starvation and Darth Vader
would force her to eat nacho cheese chips! Then she would never be
able to help Luke destroy the Death Star! She ran faster. She had
to make it to the shadow on the hill!
DING!

What was that?

DING!

Impending doom!

“Evie!”

Evie jerked her head up from where it had
been lying on the table, her study guide stuck to her cheek. “The
Union slaughtered the rebels at the Battle of Gettysburg right
after Traevyn Whitelaw sold his first painting to San Francisco’s
Museum of Modern Art, where he promptly died of the Spanish
Influenza,” she rattled off.

Evie’s beautiful, blonde friend Meg arched an
eyebrow and she reached out to pull the paper off of her face. “Is
that right?”

Evie blinked the remaining sleep out of her
eyes and touched her cheek where the drool was still cemented. She
made a face and tried to wipe it off. “Man, what time is it?” she
grumbled.

“It’s seven thirty. We have to be to class in
a half hour. I rang your bell twice, but you weren’t answering, so
I just used my key,” Meg replied.

Evie groaned and put her head in her hands.
“Crap! I didn’t get to study for Western Traditions! I was writing
my stupid Art History paper all night long!”

Meg shrugged her slender shoulders and sat
down across from Evie. “You’ll survive.”

“No, seriously.” She met
Meg’s eyes. “Like, I didn’t study
at
all
. I fell asleep right before I
could.”

Meg smirked. “You know you were muttering
‘Luke, I am your father’ when I came in?”

Evie shook her head and
giggled. “I was having the weirdest dream. I was half
watching
Star Wars
last night while I studied for US History. I think there was
something in my dream about Vader torturing me by force-feeding me
nacho cheese chips.”

Meg pointed to a bag of half-eaten chips on
the table. “Could these have had something to do with it?”

Evie giggled again and stood, stretching out
her stiff back and groaning. “I’m gonna take a quick shower. I
promise to be fast.” She headed toward her bedroom.

“What was your Art History paper on?” Meg
called.

“I had to pick an artist and write a
biography on him.”

“You picked Traevyn Whitelaw, I assume?” Her
voice was laden with teasing.

“Of course.” Evie came back out into the
living room, carrying her clean clothes. “It was ridiculous. I
couldn’t find anything on the guy. I couldn’t even find a picture.
All I found was that he lives somewhere off the coast of California
and that he used to be married with a daughter, but his wife left
and his daughter died in some kind of accident. So, yeah, I had to
try and write a five page report on that amount of information.
Luckily, I was able to find his career history, but a lot of good
that did me. Thank goodness for friggin’ double spaced formatting
or I‘d really be screwed.”

Meg smiled. “Must be a private guy.”

Evie snorted. “That’s all well and good for
him, but not for my Art History grade.”

“Hey, you’re still going to that thing for
my brother tonight, right?”

“Like I would miss anything that your brother
was at.”

Meg shook her head and rolled her eyes.
“You’re the only girl on the planet who has a crush on Maxim. Most
girls, at least normal ones, go for Jeff.”

Evie smiled as she thought of Meg’s charming
brother. “Jeff’s my second choice.”

Meg giggled and played with the ends of her
sandy hair. “Get in the shower. We’re going to be late.”

Evie turned and headed back down the hall,
nearly stumbling over her fat, gray tabby cat. He meowed promptly.
She frowned. “Did I ever feed you?” He meowed again. “Meg, could
you feed Leo? I think I forgot him last night.” After receiving an
affirmative reply from her friend, she continued on into the
bathroom.

She took a fast shower and threw on a green
shirt and black Capri’s. She didn’t have time to blow dry her
blonde-streaked, brown hair so she just put it in pigtails. Then it
would be wavy for later. She smiled. She had met Meg their freshman
year in college, and ever since, Evie had wanted to be part of her
family. She had three brothers and two of them were the closest
thing to perfection Evie had ever seen. Jeff was the oldest, and he
was very good-looking. He was also charming and charismatic. She
liked Jeff a lot, but she had always preferred Maxim. He was quiet,
shy, and intellectual, but always seemed so gentle. He was also
married…which sucked, but she could still dream. Her entire life
was based on dreams. Besides, she still had Jeff she could go
after.

Meg’s other brother,
Barrett, was the only one she would
not
consider going after. He was
also, ironically, the only one who wanted to date her. Barrett was
cold and rude and not her type. As much as Evie wanted to marry
into Meg’s family, she would not stoop to the level of
Barrett.

After donning her black-framed, cat glasses
she ran back out into the living room and shoved the necessary
books in her backpack.

“Ready to face the firing squad?” Meg
yawned.

Evie rolled her eyes and led the way out of
her apartment. It would be a miracle if she made it through the
day.

 

* * * *

 

By the time Evie was heading to Meg’s
apartment, she was exhausted. Finals had nearly done her in, and
she had spent the few precious hours between class and Meg’s
brother’s BBQ cramming for the next day’s exams. It was all she
could do to drag herself up the steps and knock on the door.

Meg opened the door, looking perky, as
always, which Evie could never understand. She had rarely seen her
friend look disheveled. Her hair was always in place, her skin
always immaculate, and her blue eyes always bright. It made Evie
sick. Meg was a physics major, for crying out loud. She was
supposed to look nerdy and unattractive.

Meg’s eyes filled with mirth as she looked
at Evie, who was wearing a white sundress with pink flowers on it.
Her hair was down and fell in thick waves around her shoulders.
“Decided to go all out, did you?” she teased, putting her hand on
one slender hip.

“Shut up. I feel like a tired, old hag next
to you.”

Meg frowned and glanced down at her attire.
“I’m wearing blue jeans. Besides, with a rack like yours, I’m sure
you’ll be getting more looks than me.”

Evie frowned and covered her breasts
self-consciously. “I would hope you wouldn’t be getting looks from
your brothers in the first place.”

Meg laughed, grabbed her purse, and the two
of them headed through the town of Ashland, Oregon to where Meg’s
brother Jeff lived. He was an attorney and, therefore, had the
nicest house Evie had ever seen. Not a mansion by any standard, but
next to Evie’s tiny one bedroom, it looked like a castle.

They were having the BBQ in his spacious
backyard, celebrating Maxim’s first published novel making the best
seller list.

Maxim deBoer. Even his name seemed magical
to Evie. He was nothing short of a creative genius having just
published his first novel several months ago. She had read it, of
course. It was a romance. To her, any man able to write a romance
novel was amazing. This just further proved her original theory
that Maxim was perfect. There was no other logical explanation.

Jeff answered the door all smiles wearing an
obnoxious Hawaiian print shirt that only he could get away with. He
embraced his sister, then pulled Evie in for a hug, also. “Evie, I
haven’t seen you in forever!” he exclaimed. “How are you?”

She smiled and relished being in his arms
for a moment. He felt so solid and firm, all athletic muscle, and
she really liked the smell of his cologne. Yes, Jeff was definitely
the next best choice. He was always so vibrant and full of
exuberance. She imagined life would never be boring with him. “I’m
good,” she replied. “Tired from finals, but alive.”

He flashed his beautiful grin and took her
hand in his, bringing it up to his lips. “Well, you look
ravishing.” He kissed her fingers, which brought a flush to her
cheeks. He winked at her. “Everyone else is in the back. Can I get
you anything to drink?”

She shook her head and gave a coy smile,
making her way toward the sliding glass back door. Meg was already
out there talking to Barrett, who looked put out, as always. She
scanned the yard and saw Maxim sitting in a deck chair over by the
volleyball net. He was playing with his wife’s hair as she sat next
to him, and conversing with a friend. Evie heaved a sigh. Alyxandra
deBoer. She wished she could hate her, but she couldn’t. Alyx was
gorgeous with thick, black hair and huge, green eyes. She was tall
and slender and full of that lithe muscle that dancers had. She
also happened to be the nicest woman Evie had ever met.

As if on cue, Alyx suddenly caught sight of
Evie and waved her over with a warm smile. Maxim looked over at her
also and grinned, making her blush all the way to her toes. Most
women would find Maxim somewhat nerdy at first glance. He had brown
hair that always seemed to stick up in all directions, and he wore
black-framed glasses that somehow looked stylish on him when they
would look ridiculous on anyone else, except maybe Buddy Holly.
Evie touched her own glasses and smiled to herself. That was
something they had always had in common: nearsightedness. She let
her eyes sweep appraisingly over the object of her affection as she
approached and couldn’t understand how anyone could see him as less
than beautiful. He was just as good-looking as his flamboyant
brother; he just didn’t flaunt it like Jeff did.

“How are you, Evie?” Alyx asked with a smile.
She stood and gave her a hug. “It’s so nice you could come
celebrate with all of us!”

“I wouldn’t have missed it,” Evie said.
“Having your first novel make the best seller list is quite an
accomplishment.” She looked down at Maxim and grinned.

BOOK: Dark Masterpiece (Serendipity Series 3)
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