By Derrolyn Anderson
Published August 30th 2012
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy / Romance
Country girl Cali has been kept a secret her entire life, raised in isolation by two very troubled people. Despite her parent’s disturbing fits, Cal is perfectly content, living at one with the nature that surrounds her, and finding adventure inside the pages of her beloved books. When an awful tragedy tears her away from her remote cabin in the woods, nothing she’s ever read has prepared her for a world that she knows very little about.
Girls and motorcycles are what bad-boy Cal’s life is all about. Brought up in a raucous party house by his biker brother, he’s free to do as he pleases, going through the motions on his final days of high school. Aimless, Cal stopped thinking about his future a long time ago.
Attacked by a gang of thugs while running an errand for his brother, Cal is in serious trouble until a fierce girl appears out of nowhere to intervene. She chases off three grown men, sparing Cal a brutal beating before disappearing into the night like a spirit. He can’t stop thinking about his mysterious rescuer, and when she turns out to be the weird new girl at school who goes out of her way to avoid him, he can’t contain his curiosity.
He’s never met anyone like her before, and the more he learns about the unusual girl who shares his nickname, the more he wants to know. Cal can’t help falling for Cal, but can he keep her from falling victim to a dangerous enemy from her parent’s tragic past?
“She stepped out from the shadows, shrieking, “Stop it! You’re going to kill him!”
The three thugs looked up with shocked faces, “What the…”
The punching man stopped in mid-swing and charged at her. She tried to run back into the tree line, but was thrown to the ground by a flying tackle and dragged by her ankles into the clearing. She kicked and fought, twisting and clawing at the turf, but she was unable to break free. Her hood slipped down and a mass of curly blonde hair spilled out.
“Let go of me!” she screamed, remembering the last time a killer tried to drag her away.
The man lunged on top of her, straddling her and pinning her arms to the ground over her head.
“Shut up or I’ll shut you up,” he grunted from the exertion. The other two men stood looking down at her as she struggled futilely to get away.
“Here to save your boyfriend?” one of them asked, making the other one laugh.
“Help!” she screamed at the top of her lungs. The man on top of her released one of her arms to slap her hard across the cheek, and it was all the opening she needed.
With a well-practiced grab, she drew her hunting knife from its sheath on her belt and pressed it to his side, ready to plunge it in. He looked down in horror and reeled back from the long blade, allowing her to push him over onto his back and spring to her feet in one swift move. She crouched above him, poised to plunge it into his belly.
“I swear I’ll gut him!” she yelled, her eyes flashing at the men who stood frozen. “Get back,” she growled through gritted teeth, trying her hardest to send them all an icy blue blast of fear.
It seemed to work, because the man lying on the ground called out, “Do what she says…” His eyes were wide in the moonlight, locked onto the gleaming silver blade.
“Back off,” she yelled again, watching the others as they slowly moved away. She kept the knife raised with both hands, shaking from the rush of adrenalin. A police siren wailed in the distance and the two men looked over their shoulders nervously.
“Take it easy Blondie,” the one on the ground said. “We were just leaving.”
She slowly backed away, keeping her knife at the ready, fully prepared to dive on him and stick it deep into his belly without hesitation. The man scrambled backwards, finally rising to join the others. He brushed himself off, trying to regain his dignity, and signaled for them to leave. She watched the three of them disappear back into the shadows they’d come from.
Satisfied that they were really going, she turned her attention to the beaten boy.
Cal had crawled to his knees and witnessed the whole scene, and he looked up with bleary eyes to see the girl standing over him, her golden hair reflecting the moonlight like the halo of a guardian angel. The police siren grew louder on the road beneath the hill, passing them by and fading away into the distance.
She bent down to offer him a hand, and he took it, focusing on the two raised scars that ran down the length of her forearm. She pulled him to his feet and he stood wavering, rubbing his sore jaw. It hurt to breathe, and he wondered if they had a broken rib.
He watched in a daze as she slipped her knife back into its sheath, pulling her oversized sweatshirt down to conceal it. She pushed her sleeves down over her arms and flipped the hood back up to cover her glowing mane of hair. It occurred to him that she might be a ghost.
“You need to get out of here before they come back,” she said.
“Where did you come from?” he choked out, looking back the way the men left. “Who are you?”
When he turned around she was gone.“
About the Author & Links:
Derrolyn Anderson is a visual artist and writer of fiction. The creator of the four part “Marina’s Tales” series and the YA romance, “The Athena Effect”, she’s currently hard at work on her next book, “The Mackenzie Legacy”.
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