Authors: T.J. Yelden
I would like to thank those who indulged me when I asked them what they thought if the story went this way…or that way; and for reading my story…many times over. To my cheering squad and unofficial promoter – you make me smile. And to those who know a thing or two about cars and debate on the merits of each. Thank you for your love and support! -T.J. Yelden
Teen & Young Adult, Science Fiction & Fantasy, HIDDEN: Hidden Trilogy Copyright © 2015 by Tracy J. Yelden First E-Book Publication January 2015 Cover Design by Tracy Yelden. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED: This literary work may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including electronic or photographic reproduction, in whole or in part, without express written permission from the author. All characters, places and events in this book are fictitious or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, actual events, locale or organizations is strictly coincidental.
What happens when fantasy becomes reality?
Kendra was a normal girl trying to finish out her senior year of high school. Little did she know what Fate had in store for her. Cade McCoy was a natural born protector, or so his friends told Kendra. Personally, she just thought he was an overbearing caveman with good looks, and an unexplainable need to watch over her. After one shocking afternoon when fantasy became reality, she soon found herself immersed in wolf shifter pack life, while trying to keep their secret from her own kind, humans. A chance encounter with another pack forces the McCoy Pack to appear before the High Council to atone for their actions. The real kicker? Apparently she’s not as human as she thought.
Join Kendra as she begins her journey to discover her past, learn about her present, and transform the future…for all shifters.
SURFACED (Coming Soon)
RISEN (Will Follow SURFACED)
A five and a half hour drive would make anyone’s butt numb
. I sighed in the backseat of the truck as I shifted my weight and adjusted my sunglasses. Not that it was that sunny outside. The overcast sky was typical of Oregon State and sunglasses were more to cover my eyes than to keep the glare away. My foster parents, Steve and Nicole Henkens, were quietly discussing the scenery from the front. Steve was your typical late fifties, lean, tall man. He was always quick to smile and joke, no matter the situation. Nicole was similar in personality. She was a few inches shorter than Steve and athletic looking. Steve was a forest ranger and had just recently been transferred to the other side of the state. Which meant goodbye to one small town, hello to another.
I’ll admit, the scenery was beautiful as we drove down the highway. The hills and valleys covered with trees and an isolated stream or river flowing down a hillside was picturesque. I enjoyed the view. I just wasn’t looking forward to the destination.
Cave Junction was just another small town to torture new kids. A new town meant a new school, new classmates, and new teachers. Everyone probably knew each other from birth which would just make me an outcast all the more. Being a foster kid and running through homes in my early childhood did not endear me to people. Throw me into a new school my last year…yeah. It was going to be great.
When I landed with the Henkens at 14, I was a little bit of a handful. Thankfully, they had other kids before me and helped me work through my issues…well, most of them anyway. I was now able to have a conversation without throwing something at someone so I suppose that was progress.
I was seventeen and had nine months before I turned eighteen in May. Nine months before I could graduate the system and make my own choices. Was I counting every second?
Don’t get me wrong, I liked Steve and Nicole. I was their last kid to foster and I’d overheard them discussing a few trips that they wanted to take. They deserved some time off after dealing with all their foster kids. They were better than any foster home I’d had before, but they still weren’t my parents.
Not that I knew who they were.
Steve and Nicole had offered a few times to adopt me. I was shocked at first, after everything I went through, but they said I was special to them and that’s why they offered, but I politely declined. I didn’t want them to be financially responsible for me or be a burden on them later in life. Who knew what life would bring in five or ten years.
As the car slowed, I looked up to notice we were finally entering the city limits of Cave Junction. I saw the sign welcoming us and noted that it had a population of a little over 1800.
Plus three more.
People on the streets stopped to stare at us as we passed in our truck and packed storage trailer that followed behind.
Yep, welcome to small town, USA.
We passed through the town and drove by small shops and little boutiques, a few restaurants, grocery store, and a post office. I hoped there were a few more shops on a side street otherwise I was going to be making a few trips to Ashland just to buy some necessities. Steve turned off the main road, passed the high school, and traveled down a residential street before we reached the last house on the right.
“We’re here!” Nicole sing-songed as we pulled into the driveway. She glanced back at me excitedly and I pasted a smile on my face. See? I could be happy. I looked past her to view the house. It was a two story, four bedroom, and two and a half bath, with an open concept floor plan on the main floor. While I didn’t have any choice in moving there, Steve and Nicole did let me help pick out the house they would buy. I liked this one because I had my own bathroom since the master bedroom had its own, and the bedrooms were on opposite sides of the house.
Privacy I liked.
Steve parked the truck and I slowly stepped out as I fully stretched my aching limbs.
“So, what do you think?” Nicole asked as she turned to me. I shrugged. A new house was a new house. It really wasn’t all that different from my previous life experiences. “Ok, well, grab what you can and we’ll check it out.” Nicole replied as she bent back into the truck to grab her things from the front. I already had my backpack with me so I made my way to the front door. Steve was ahead of me and used his key to unlock the door. It swung open and I followed him in. I glanced around, taking in the new interior, happy to note that it was just like the pictures online.
I circled the downstairs before I slid around to the stairs and jogged up to the rooms above. If you went right, the master wing was down the hall, left were two bedrooms and a bathroom. There was a study/bedroom downstairs with a half bath. Glancing in both bedrooms, I took the one that was at the back of the house that faced the woods. I dropped my bag in the corner and went to the window seat. The view was amazing. The backyard was fairly large with a few deciduous trees but mostly pine. The yard then butted up to the forest which stretched for miles. A house on the edge of town was a perfect idea. For the first time that day, I allowed a real smile to cross my face.
Maybe this year wouldn’t be so bad.
It took us a good five hours to move all our stuff inside. There were a few curious faces that slowed as they passed on the street but no one stopped by. When the last box was moved to a corner, I collapsed on the couch in the living room. Five and a half hours in a car to spend five hours moving junk and I was exhausted. I watched as both Steve and Nicole fell into the other sofa.
“Whew! I thought we’d never be done.” Nicole mumbled. I nodded in agreement. Steve had his eyes closed and rested his head against the back of the sofa. Without opening his eyes, he brought up the question about supper.
“Want to order a pizza?” He asked.
“Sounds good to me.” I commented. Nicole nodded enthusiastically.
“Ok.” Steve sighed as he pulled his phone out of his pocket and proceeded to order a pizza to be delivered.
At least the town had a place that delivered.
“I’ll be upstairs. Just yell if you need something.” I commented and Nicole nodded that she heard me before she rested her head on Steve’s shoulder. I pulled myself to my feet and went up the stairs. My room wasn’t a total disaster but it was going to take time to sort everything out. The bed was the first thing on the list. Organizing shelves and clothes could happen the next day. I needed a bed to sleep in that night.
Thirty minutes later my bed was presentable and the pizza was there. I shuffled down the stairs and met Steve and Nicole in the kitchen. Plates and silverware hadn’t been unearthed yet so we used paper towels as plates. I was so hungry the grease didn’t even have time to soak into the paper towel before it was gone.
“Hey Kendra,” Steve said as he turned toward me. “Tomorrow we have to go into the ranger station and pick up one of the work trucks. You can come with us if you want.”
“No, that’s fine.” I assured him. “I’ll keep unpacking and maybe explore a little in town.”
“Okay. We can drop you off downtown before we go. If you need something or get lost, call us, we shouldn’t be gone more than a few hours.”
“Will do.” I answered.
“Are you excited about your new school?” Nicole asked. I shrugged. Once again, it was nothing “new” to me. “I’m sure there will be lots of people there to make new friends.” Nicole added.
“I’m sure there will be lots of other kids there.” I agreed, not commenting on the friend thing. Those you couldn’t just pick out at the local store.
“I bought all your school supplies already, they are around here somewhere,” Nicole murmured before glancing around the kitchen. “Ah ha!” She exclaimed as she looked in the closet next to the sliding glass door that led out to the backyard. “Here you go.” I took the bags from her and noticed there were notebooks, pencils, a new backpack, a planner, and what looked like sketching supplies. I closed my eyes for a second in appreciation, then looked up and gave her a genuine smile.
“Thank you. You didn’t have to buy me this.” I said sincerely. I loved to draw so the sketching supplies were an awesome gift.
“Oh, no big deal. They’ll come in handy.” She smiled in return before turning her attention to the kitchen.
“If you guys don’t mind, I’m going to go upstairs and probably go to sleep. I’m beat.” I said as I sidestepped to the hallway door.
“Not at all.” Steve replied with a wave of his hand. “Thanks for all your help today. We’ll wait until you’re up in the morning to leave and we should be back in the afternoon sometime.”
“Ok. Night.” I nodded in their direction.
“Goodnight.” They chorused. I grasped my bags of supplies a little tighter as I made my way up the stairs. When I entered my room, I walked over to my bed and upended the bags. I stood there for a moment, looking over the new supplies, and then stacked them neatly on the desk near my bed.
A new place, one more new home. I wonder what tomorrow will bring?
The next morning I woke to the sun streaming in my window. I squinted at the bright light, trying to remember where I was. I looked around the cluttered room and it hit me that this was my new room. New house. New town. I fell back to my pillow and closed my eyes.
Closing your eyes isn’t going to organize your room for you Kendra,
I scolded myself. I climbed out of bed and found some clothes to wear for any casual occasion, worn jeans and long sleeved t-shirt. My long brown hair was thrown up into a pony tail after I ran a brush through it. I made sure my silver necklace was tucked under my shirt. I never went anywhere without it. I glanced in the mirror to make sure nothing was out of place.
My honey green eyes stared back at me. I was probably average height at 5’6” with a medium build. Most people assumed with my athletic build that I liked to play sports. I scoffed. Team sports were not my thing. I kept to myself as much as possible. It was easier to stay under the radar that way. Since I moved around so much growing up, I couldn’t really make friends or join teams. I knew I would be moving on so what was the point? It wasn’t that I didn’t want friends, or someone to hang out with. It was just I knew I would be moving on. It was hard to make friends when you didn’t stick around. I’d only made one good friend in the past and that didn’t turn out so well.
Maybe this year would be different.
I shrugged as I grabbed my phone and went downstairs. My friend situation and organizing my room could wait until later.
Steve and Nicole were ready to go when I walked down the stairs. I looked down at my phone to see that it was already ten o’clock. I smiled in their direction and hurried over to the refrigerator and glanced inside but Nicole hadn’t had time to grocery shop. The only thing in there was bottled water from our drive down the day before. I shut the door and scrounged through a few bags on the floor until I ran across a granola bar. That would tide me over until lunch.
Which was going to have to be somewhere in town since there was no food here.
Our house was on the outskirts of town, not far from the high school but still a distance from main street. I could do a little exploring that morning, find somewhere to eat, and then see if Steve and Nicole were headed back to pick me up. I found my purse, grabbed some cash, and stuffed it in my pocket. Sunglasses on my head, phone in my hand, and we were out the door.
I took note of our street name, just in case I got turned around some time. Steve and Nicole dropped me off at one end of main street and I said I would call them when I was done. I walked at a leisurely pace and took in each little shop with the window displays. I was looking in a window that showcased paintings when I heard rambunctious laughter from behind me. Without turning around, I shifted my gaze to the reflection in the window to the scene behind me.
Three boys and one girl were across the street standing under a tree laughing. They looked about the same age as me, but it was hard to tell from my angle. All three boys were tall and lean. The girl beside them was slightly shorter than the boys and I watched as she elbowed one of them in the side. That just made them laugh harder. I turned sideways and glanced across the street to get a better view.
The boy in the middle was a hair taller than the other two. He had black cropped hair that gave away to sharp cheekbones and a strong jaw. He was wearing jeans that fit across the hips and then hung loose mid-thigh. His t-shirt was blue with something stamped across it but I couldn’t tell what it was.
Both boys beside him also wore jeans and a t-shirt. One had curly brown hair while the other was wavy blonde. The one with the blonde hair was slightly more bulky than the other two and even from this distance I knew he was one guy you wouldn’t want to mess with.
My eyes shifted to the girl who was saying something which made all the guys laugh again. She was pretty with her short, highlighted brown hair and fitted jeans and t-shirt. I wondered which one was her boyfriend. My eyes returned to the boy in the middle with the black cropped hair.
“You shouldn’t stare.” I started at the voice beside me. I turned to find a petite girl about my age looking directly at me, shifting her weight side to side. If she didn’t have deep red hair and green eyes that would make her stand out, she could have easily faded into the background with her shy demeanor, calling me out aside. By the way she shuffled side to side, I had the feeling she didn’t confront people that much.