Dark Seraphine (The Seraphine Trilogy) (8 page)

BOOK: Dark Seraphine (The Seraphine Trilogy)
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He

s ambitious. He has striking gray eyes
,
with dashes of sugary brown in them. And he has an IQ that most jocks would kill to get. What

s not to like?

Damn she

s good with words.

I shuffled on my feet this time.

Don

t think for one second that I

ll dress up as a sparkly vampire. That

s not happening.


Fine. That is
,
as long as you don

t expect me to put on a skin tight dress and turn into Mermaid Barbie.


You

re killing me. What girl doesn

t want to be a mermaid?

I asked
,
feeling all giddy inside.
Again. Control
,
dude.


This one doesn

t. Don

t let the pink clothing make you think I

m all sugary and nice. Agreed then?

She held
up her fist
for me to
jab with mine
.


Seriously
,
do you really expect me to do
that with you
?


I really do
,
my man,

she
mocked
,
holding back a grin.


Alright.
You
got it.

We
bumped our fists
together and smiled
,
making
a
promise
to do something
I wasn

t quite sure I wanted

not with Erica
, anyway
.

Holding our gazes
,
both our smiles faded. She moved closer to me. Right away
,
the gym seemed to be closing in on me. I had to hand it to her. The way she used her girl
ish
charms
was working overtime on my hormones. I cleared my throat
,
and the distance between us decreased. I didn

t even see it happen.

How long had it been since I kissed a girl? Over three months
?
That was the last time I saw Tammy. She told me that she

d chosen to move away with her father instead of staying here in
New Bern
with me. It killed something inside me. A part of me still drifted around in nowhere land
,
waiting for that one chance to feel a spark
,
that flame to fire up my soul again. Could Erica be that person? I had to know
; e
ven if I wasn

t a hundred percent on our relationship
.

I lowered my head
,
my heart beating
like a drum solo
. If she moved against my chest
,
then she

d definitely feel every single thud. Our lips were less than one inch apart
,
and my head spun wildly.

Claaaaang! What the freak?

Both of us jerked toward a crash of metal that sounded like it came from the
girl
s

locker room.

Stay here
,”
I said to Erica.


No way
,”
she
replied and followed me to the
locker room.

Besides
,
they

ll think you

re a pervert if they catch you in there without me.


Shh
,
listen
,”
I ordered. A low moan
,
a shuffle along the darkest areas of the gym
,
and something that sounded like a whistling wind
came from inside the doorways
of the locker rooms.


Caleb this is freaking me out
,”
Erica whispered.

Let

s just leave.

She wasn

t the only one feeling all crazy inside at the moment. I felt them before they revealed themselves.
Walker
s. They stood in the
entryways
to both the girls

and boys

locker rooms alike.

I clenched my jaws
. Two men dressed in black clothing: a trench coat
,
dress pants
,
shoes
,
and dark glasses stood there watching us. This
was
getting freaky
.
There were about
four or five dudes
wearing
the exact same
outfits
as the strange guy I spotted at the library a while back. N
one of the
Walker
s had ever made their presence known in this way.

I recalled the
Walker
girl

s warning about the
Dark Ones
. Well
,
men wearing sunglasses
in a building
and
decked out
in black clothing didn

t get any shadier.

Staring them down
,
I placed a protective arm in front of Erica and guided her toward the exit.


What is it? What do you see?

she
whispered.


Nothing. Do you need to get anything out of
your gym locker
?

I asked without moving my gaze away from the strange men.


Heck no. I
just
need to grab my bag off the
bleacher
s
.


No,
I got it.

I trudged over to the
bench
es
,
thanking the Heavens above that
her
bag was on the one closest to the exit leading to the parking lot.


Let

s
break u
p out of here
,”
I said
,
turning around to catch one final glimpse of the dark dudes. But there was nothing but the exit signs flickering
off and on like
someone gave them a mind of their own.

 

 

Chapter Five

 

The next few days were rough. I almost failed an English test. I added too much salt to my lab partner

s volcano project
,
resulting in the chemicals blowing
up in our faces. I forgot my lacrosse stick. Now I would be forced to use
the old ratty one that the coach set aside for just such emergencies.
Yeah, it was a bummer of a week.

The
Walker

s words worried me.
The
dark dudes that kept popping up in odd places
like the locker room and the library at school
made me paranoid. I kept looking out for others like her
,
normal looking
Walker
s with
ordinary
faces and things. They never came. It was like they

d all suddenly disappeared when the dark dudes showed up. I wondered if it had anything to do with her sudden ability to use a door.

Walking down North Hall
,
I came across something that wound up being the perfect end to a crappy freaking day. Thorne and Erica stood at her locker
,
intimate looks passing between each other. Flirting wasn

t the right word. Try to use the term
sexual tension,
instead. She

d missed the past
few days
of our training. As her drafted
party date
,
I felt like I deserved some kind of explanation.

I hung back
near the wall by the water fountain
where they couldn

t see me. I glanced around to see how many others would be witnessing my humiliation. Everybody knew that we made plans to be each other

s dates. People also talked about how much closer we

d gotten over the past few weeks. So to see my

girl

all hugged up with her ex
,
heated me up
.

I mumbled
,
cursed
,
and clenched my jaw
,
completely unable to move my feet
,
even though I knew what was about to go down. Then it happened: the kiss
,
the goo-goo eyes look
,
and
the embarrassment of the decade for me.
This
crazy
feeling
rushed through me
. All I could think about was my ex
’s sudden departure
and my dad

s decision to move the family away without even talking to me.
Respect was seriously lacking in my life lately.

Yeah
,
I always knew Erica was untrustworthy
,
and she made it clear that she was sort of using me,
but damn. 
Thorne
glanced up
,
caught me staring
,
and frowned. Erica turned around and gave me a smile that was about as phony as
Jillian
’s
hair pieces. That was until
she really focused on my face, and then her grin slowly faded.
I moved in front of the water fountain and pretended to be taking a drink.


Girl troubles
,
my
brother
?

one guy
asked
as he walked by
,
laughing at me
hunched over the water fountain, and looking like a complete fool
.


That

s it. I

m outta here.

I turned around and trudged down the hallway. Everything around me seemed all stuffy and strange.
The mannish
voice
inside
my head
kept teasing me and saying:
I know Caleb Wood didn

t fall for the wrong
girl
.
Idiot!
That

s not possible. But that annoying voice kept on tapping inside my head. It kept
picking at
me
,
making me feel like everybody else in the school was laughing too.


Forget this
,”
I spat aloud and slung my bag over my shoulder. I needed a beach trip and fast. Nothing cured
anger
better than surfboarding. Ever since the
Walker
told me about the body heat thing
,
I

ve been aware of how I feel
.

I wasn

t the least bit surprised when I heard

the voice

beside me.

Caleb
,
wait!

she called out to me. I didn

t want to be bothered by her either
,
so I kept
on
going.


I know you

re upset
,
but you really shouldn

t go to the beach today
,”
the
Walker
girl
suggest
ed.


Stop mucking around in my head
,”
I
blurte
d.


I bet they can feel your body heat all the way on the west coast
,”
she said
,
struggling to match my pace.


Get lost
,”
I ordered.


Can

t do it. Not this time
,”
she said and followed me out
of
the exit and to my Challenger sitting in the parking lot.
It was my free period, and there was no training class today.

At the car
,
I turned to face her
.
S
he wore that black leather jacket over a white tank top
,
a dark gray skirt
,
and legging
s
with boots. Her honey colored skin seemed strange today. It had a glow under it like she might

ve
tanned
for a longer time than usual. I doubt very seriously that
Walker
s used tanning booths though.


Oh, come on.
What
can you possibly
want? In case you
hadn’t
noticed
,
I

m leaving.
And
I

m kind of in a hurry.
That means y
ou

ll have to find some other time to pop up and annoy me.

I turned around and unlocked the car door. She placed her hand on my shoulder. A warm current surrounded the spot that she touched.
The same thing happened before when
we
made physical contact with one another. I glanced into her eyes. Her face was strained
,
and she looked worried.

Please don

t go surfing today. Wait until another time to burn off your eg
o-
steam.


What is it with girls today? Do I look like I need three mothers?

I scoffed and hopped in my car
,
not wanting to hear the
Walker

s re
sponse. I sped away from Ashley-George
High
School
,
heading
toward a place where the waves waited to please me like no girl could at the moment.

* *
*

The water covered my body as the tides roared around me
,
thrashing in my ears.
Soothing
liquid
cooled
off
my
temper just like
I knew it would.
T
he
ocean was
unusually warm for this time of year.
The strong
waves
cradled me
, shoving
out all
of
the girl
thoughts. The more I
surfed
on my board
,
the better I started to feel. Usually Kyle and I did this kind of thing together. But I couldn

t stand listening to one more story about how he and Shani
will
work out their college life
,
get married
,
and have kids. Plus
,
he

d be mortified at the thought of skipping a class.

I
stroked toward the next wave and glided onto the peak of it. This time
I didn

t wait long enough for the tides to ease up before I
moved on top of it
. The force knocked me off my
surf
board
. I plunged
deep down
in
the ocean
. Salty
water spilled in to my mouth
and eyes, choking
and blinding
me
.
Damn it stings.
I struggled to pull myself up. No luck.
Something
felt
kind of
like it was tugging at my ankle
,
holding me under the water. Panic set in on me.

Why can

t I pull my leg free?

Something was holding
on to
me
,
and damn if that thing didn

t feel like
somebody’s
hand.
At once I was tossed against some rocks, my left arm blinding me with pain on top of my panic.

Pressure filled my lungs. Holding my breath
,
I started to experience a burning sensation inching through my chest. I heard the stories many times before. How some dumb swimmer thought he could beat
the rift tide
and wound up drowning
?
Well who

s the dummy now?

My muscles turned to jelly
,
and the urge to open my mouth took over. More water rushed down my throat
.  Something in it stung like hell as the liquid
blaz
ed a path down to my stomach
. I was getting burned and s
corche
d at the same time
.
Oh snap! I

m seriously about to drown
.
I thought of my parents
,
the yoga ladies
,
Kyle
,
and even Erica just before the brightest white light I had ever seen surrounded me. The soft glow filled me with peace and made me smile
,
even though I knew this was the end.

* * *

My eyelids fluttered open.

Boy
,
they were heavy. I felt kind of like
somebody
replaced my skin with stone. My breathing was strange
,
too. Each gulp of air felt like a scrape inside my chest; and my head ached on the left side. The stench in the air reminded me of alcohol mixed with some other stale odor
.

Glancing around the room
,
I took in my surroundings.
I figured
out a couple of things right away: this was a hospital; and I wasn

t dead.

My mother stormed through the door first. She ran to the bed and covered my face with kisses. The nurse walking in behind her smiled. My face flamed up. Even with my tanned Indian skin
,
I knew I was beet red.


What were you thinking
,
Caleb? Skipping class and surfing
all
by yourself? You could

ve been killed. Just wait until your father gets here.

She said all of this and
was still kissing me and crying
at the same time.

BOOK: Dark Seraphine (The Seraphine Trilogy)
5.91Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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