Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Blueisland (Watermagic Series, #4) Available Now!


Hey Guys!

Blueisland (Watermagic Series, #4) is up on Smashwords and on Amazon! Can't wait to share it with you:)

Prom night has never been so frightening and romantic. Jewel is out of control, taking dangerous risks on the after party yacht when she discovers a sexy bad boy wading out in the deep ocean with a hot girl clawing at his body. What are they doing? They could be killed. Jewel is immediately attracted to him and recognizes him from reoccurring dreams.

Here is the preface and the first chapter:

Copyright© 2013 by Brighton Hill

Blueisland

Watermagic Series, #4

by Brighton Hill

Sabine’s School of Mers Formed Twenty Five Years Ago on an Island in the Atlantic Ocean
This is how Jewel, Savannah, Emily, Logan, Andrew, Steve, and Jane became a family

Preface

Back in tenth grade my high school only had three baton twirlers and I was one of them. Geeky—that’s an understatement. I must have been crazy to volunteer because everyone thought twirlers were total nerds. At least that’s the way it was at my high school. It wouldn’t have mattered what other people thought so much if they left me alone. But, you know how it is, kids love to bully the underdog.

I should have known that, but at the time my mind was in other places. Mostly, I just wanted to get my mom who had been a baton twirler in high school to notice me more than her druggy boyfriend who had become her number one obsession. It was my hope that if I followed in her footsteps, she would come to the football games to watch my dances and love me again.

That didn’t happen. I don’t think she even knew I was ever a baton twirler. I told her, but she just couldn’t listen to a damn thing I said. “Not, now, Jewel,” she sighed waving me away with her hand. Instead, I became the school buffoon all for nothing.

We wore these out of style maroon colored body suits with lots of sequins and fringe around the hips that made my classmates laugh. I understood because the design made me cringe. I was more of a simple, plain dressed girl with messy brown hair and all that gaudy flash and sparkle wasn’t my thing. And, aside from the pathetic costumes, I was so skinny from malnutrition. Because my mother was so wrapped up in Steve’s life, she kept forgetting to pick up the food stamps from the government office. That year I looked like I was dying. A pale, waify teenager in a goofball leotard wasn’t a pretty sight.

The other two twirlers weren’t much to look at either. The poor girls were as fat as elephants. Mary had short, curly orange hair that looked like a clown’s wig and Genie wore six pony tails on her head and had glasses as thick as storefront windows. People called them the bun sisters and me the baloney girl. I was the flat piece of meat between the buns. A popular football player named Jake Stevenson came up with that one. What a moron.

Well, one dark night when the moon was full in the sky and the stars were falling like sad tears, I waited in my baton twirler costume for my uncle to pick me up. Somebody had stolen my backpack with my clothes in it. Everyone had already left the football game except for that jerk, Jake Stevenson. He was standing there under the light of the moon by the back fence that closed in the bleachers. Most everyone considered him good looking with his brown short hair and muscular physique, dark eyes that switched back and forth, but he wasn’t my type.

Jake kept glancing over at me from across the parking lot as he chucked rocks at a metal trashcan. I wished my uncle would hurry up.  I knew he probably wouldn’t show up like he promised, but I had to wait until ten just in case before walking home otherwise he’d whip me good.

My body tensed as I noticed Jake was walking through the parking lot toward me. “Razzle, my dazzle,” he called to me, strutting a little more suavely than I was used to seeing. He was teasing me about my last name, Razzen. He liked to make fun of me at school too. “Whatchya doing out here all alone?” He winked as if that was cool or something. What an idiot.

He stopped right before me and leaned his hand against the wooden light pole next to where I stood. Looking at him made me very uncomfortable and I felt even more awkward talking to him in my French cut costume with the fringe blowing in the night wind.

I swallowed hard, the heat rising up to my cheeks. “I’m waiting for my ride.” My voice was more of a whisper because he made me nervous. Just because he was popular didn’t make him good.
His shifty eyes glanced at his watch. “If your folks haven’t picked you up yet, they aren’t coming.” His low voice lifted teasingly. Whatever!

Well, I’m embarrassed to say, tears welled up in my eyes. I think the fight I had with my mother’s boyfriend after school was making me feel out of whack. Steve said he was thinking about putting me in foster care. Jerkoff.

But Jake Stevenson didn’t have to rub it in that my family didn’t give a crap about me. I turned away so he wouldn’t see how I was feeling, being so pathetic and all. “You’re probably right,” I said coldly without looking at him. Before he could respond, I started to walk away.

But he jogged up to me as I crossed the parking lot and grabbed hold of my frail shoulder spinning me around. We were standing in a dimmer part of the lot now where the light from another lamppost was flickering on and off. The dark shadows and flashes of light on his angular face made me uneasy. There was something about the look in his eyes that were much steadier now that made my skin crawl.

“There’s no one around,” he said, looking through the parking lot and back up toward the stadium.
I rolled my eyes. “That’s obvious.” My voice was sarcastic because I didn’t know how else to act to such an absurd comment.

“Let me give you a ride,” he suggested. “My Camero is over there.” He pointed at the black sports car.
I knew a lot of girls who would die to go anywhere with Jake Stevenson in his Camero, but I wasn’t one of them. “No, thanks. I want the fresh air.”

He smiled, one eye narrowed more than the other. “I’ll roll down the windows. Take off the T-tops. Can’t get more wind than that.” To my surprise, he took my hand.

That made me even more uncomfortable. His palms were clammy and hot. “Thank you for the offer, but I think I need some alone time.” I tried to drop his hand, but he clasped it tighter. Even though it was cool out, my forehead was perspiring and a thin stream of sweat rolled down my back where my costume was too baggy.

“I won’t take no for an answer.” He started leading me to his car. “It’s dangerous for a little girl like you to walk home at night. I won’t have it.”

He was right. It wasn’t safe for a girl to walk home at night by herself. I was used to that sort of thing and had learned to hide in the shadows and run behind the bushes so passing cars wouldn’t notice me. But I knew that was risky all the same. I would probably be better off hitching a ride from the moron. My best friend Savannah would just die to hear I got a ride home with the one and only hot Jake Stevenson. Just giving her that thrill made it worth it. We’d have something to laugh about. But even still, I didn’t feel good about it.

“Come on, come on,” he said, opening the door with a smile on his face.

His insistence surprised me. He acted almost caring. I think that’s what got me to lose my mind and go against my own better judgment. This was not the way I perceived him at all. So even though I didn’t want to go with him, I did. I should have never ignored that warning in my gut because my life was never the same since. For a long time after, all I could hear in my head was his groaning, “You want it, girl. You want it.” And then, there were my screams: “No! No!” The blood was the worst part. So much blood.

Chapter One
 Almost Two Years Later

“Party on,” I yelled out to my classmates on the deck below as I edged my way up the mast of the yacht we rented to celebrate senior prom.

Below me, I heard some football players chanting, “Raz, Raz, Raz…” They saw me as a tomboy and apparently liked to tease me about it. I didn’t care if they thought of me as a dude—I just wanted to get away from it all.

“That whore’s a geek,” one guy said. My blood boiled at that. I just knew that was Jake Stevenson. He loved to put me down. If I could, I would kill him with my bare hands. Nobody knew him like I did. And I would never tell a soul the truth about him. “Baloney Girl,” he yelled, even though I quit baton twirling after that night that he drove me home.

Some stupid girls were screaming too. I heard blond, beautiful Emily Monroe crying, “Get her down—she could die!” She was just another one of the phonies I wanted to avoid. We used to be friends in elementary school, but that all changed once she became popular.

Like, I cared if I died. That was what I wanted, I thought as I took another swig of vodka from the bottle I was holding.

During the dance earlier, Emily Big Boobs and I had been crowned prom queens. It was the first tie in school history, they said. Whoop-dee-do! What a joke.

I knew the principal and teachers elected me because of what happened to my mother and that Emily was the real queen chosen by the other students of our senior class. I wasn’t the glamorous, popular type with my shaggy brown mess of hair and childish body in boy jeans. I didn’t even run for prom queen. People who run for those things are idiots. And, anyway, the only reason I even got a date to the dance was because Donny Smith’s so called girlfriend dumped him for Jake Stevenson and he needed someone to go with.

But Emily was thrilled to get the honor and after the dance she insisted we wear the idiotic crowns the entire night even though I had already changed back into my jeans and t-shirt. Every time I took the dang crown off, she put it back on my head. It was so absurd that it almost became funny. I said almost because in truth it was just annoying.

My arms started to ache as I pulled myself up the sleek lengthy pole. The night wind was thrilling as it thrashed through my tangled hair, but it knocked the crown off my head and onto the deck. Once it landed, Emily let out a loud sob. “Oh, no! Jewel Razzen’s beautiful tiara!”

The clouds were thick above, graying in the night and the air was fresh and salty. The higher I got, the less obtrusive the sounds below became. And even in my mental state, I relished in the escape. Screw them all—superficial snobs.

With the view around me, my mind drifted to other thoughts. The ocean is awesome. Since childhood, I’d been obsessed with the vast underwater depths and all its life forms. I used to dream of sailing the seas. In my fantasies I found sparkling treasures and was romanced by the same confusing guy of mythological wonders.

Maybe that was why I found high school a bore with its rules and predictabilities. The social cliques were absurd. Why can’t people just be who they are rather than something that everybody else expects them to be? I wanted adventure, magic, and passion. That’s why I was damn glad that we would be graduating next week, so I could get away from Sunshine Coast.

When I reached the top of the mast, I guzzled down the rest of the vodka, relishing the burn in my throat. I pulled the note I wrote earlier out of my jeans pocket and pushed it inside of the empty bottle before capping it. And without further thought, I chucked the thing hard and fast out into the ocean as planned. More screams. Jerks were below me. I’m not joking. Like I would smash their heads with glass. I wasn’t such a douche bag.

At that thought, I broke off the flag flapping violently in the wind. Feeling as free as a bird, I waved my prize in the air. A part of me wanted to just let go entirely and fall through the night, plummet into the thrashing water and drown like my mother did six months ago.

I pushed the flag in my jeans pocket and grasped onto the mast now with both hands. Two years of gymnastics gave me enough upper body strength to support my waify body for a while. I had filled out some over the last couple of years. The sounds below were muffled now from the approaching storm. It was good to have relief from their jabber.

I yearned to see the stars, but they weren’t visible through the thick masses of graying clouds. But then, through the wind, I thought I heard the voice of my best friend, Savannah Kilmore. We went through some unconventional and hardcore Girl Scouts together as kids. Nobody’s been in a troop like ours. This wasn’t some prissy kind of club like you might expect. It was downright dirty. Even our cookie sales kicked ass—#1 in the country.

“Raz—get the hell down.” The words sort of washed through the wind, so I wasn’t certain if it was Savannah or someone else.

I gazed out at the immense black ocean. The unpredictability of the great expanse mesmerized me in its vastness. My view was so open and dark with just specks of light on the water. That kind of beautiful kills me.

The yacht started to slow and come to a stop out in the middle of the ocean. It was probably a whale sighting. The captain said he would stop for those. I heard people running to the other side of the deck away from where I was at.

My thoughts began to blend into the night. A sort of serenity started to take over my senses. I felt tired, sort of dreamy like I was floating. My mind was on a good buzz. That went on for some time. But just as my eyes started to lower, the strangest thing happened that jarred my senses.

Holy crap! A flash of light. Did I see what I thought I saw? Could it be? I rubbed my eyes with one hand as I looked out at the ocean.

I seemed to perceive something glowing beneath the dark waters. It looked like sparkly lights jetted through the waves and across the surface. Did someone lace my vodka with something? My body tensed as my breath quickened. Was there some sort of submarine shining lights up at us?

But the lights appeared to grow more prominent and grander like fireworks shooting out from the depths. My adrenaline rushed fast now. What the hell could that be?

Suddenly, to my utter shock, a guy about my age maybe a little older swam up through the spray. I felt my heart pounding hard against my chest. I could hardly breathe.

My mind raced with so many thoughts, but I swear he looked like the same guy from my dreams. It couldn’t be. He appeared to be about nineteen or twenty. His skin was an enticing shimmer. I tried to gain focus. In the light, his eyes looked fiercer and bluer than mine—more stunning like that of a tropical sky. It looked like his hair was long and dark with a masculine array of jewels woven into his locks.

But he didn’t seem like a nice guy. He looked downright mean with scratch marks on his stunning face. I wasn’t sure but I thought I saw a tribal design tattoo on his shoulder kind of like the one I had on mine. He bit down hard on his lip and closed his eyes as his body shuddered briefly while exhaling. The only time I had seen an expression like that was in a movie that I shouldn’t have been watching. He swung his head of long hair up and to the side sending a spray of water out that glistened in the light.

Suddenly, he peered up at me for a moment and snarled. I shook my head in astonishment. My body shivered. I couldn’t believe my eyes. What was this? It wasn’t possible for a guy to swim so far out into the ocean. Did he swim out of a submarine somehow? I don’t think that was possible. Or was it? No, no, no. Crap. Was his boat anchored nearby and I just hadn’t seen it in the dark sea? Maybe he dove in for a short swim before returning to his vessel. What an odd thing to do.

What were the lights? And then, as I was trying to figure it out, suddenly, some hands shot out of the lit water below him and grabbed onto his body. It happened so fast. Long nails dug into his neck causing his forehead to frown. At once, a girl surfaced and kissed along his neck. He brushed her off. The girl was utterly gorgeous with long ass hair too. Then to make matters even weirder, suddenly a whole bunch of feminine hands shot out of the water at once and pulled the stunning couple under.

What the hell? I was shaking. This didn’t make sense. I kept looking out, waiting for them to resurface, but they did not. A group of people had just drowned them. This was crazy. It couldn’t be happening. Was I going insane? My heart tightened so tight just like the evening when the police officer told me my mother was dead.

Who swims at night out in the middle of the ocean? It is dangerous to swim up so close to a yacht. What if the captain started it up again? The propellers could shred them to pieces. What kind of reckless teenagers would take such risks? And who would swim after them?

This guy wasn’t even normal looking and neither was she. Hello! He was gorgeous, the epitome of my ultimate fantasy, anyone’s ultimate fantasy—the vision of a pirate-ess out at sea too long perhaps. Yet, we had only been on the ocean for a few hours. And he looked so much like the guy from my dreams. Some kind of demented serendipity perhaps? And now he was dead.

A strange feeling swept over me. How could my reoccurring dreams actually be real? I felt like I knew this guy. During those whims, we swam together to a far off island, hung out in his secret tree house in the jungle, and messed around in a cave behind the waterfalls.

The engine to the yacht started back up. The other kids were back from looking on the other side of the yacht for the whales now, talking amongst themselves below me. I couldn’t reason away what I had seen. I wasn’t prone to hallucinations. Sure I was buzzing, but that never made me this loony before. There was no way I imagined that. I wasn’t that creative.

Crap! Suddenly, the yacht rocked in a jolting start and I lost my grip in the thrust­­­. At once, I flew backwards. Oh God! Girlish screams sounded from below. I was upside down now with my legs wrapped around the pole above me as my heart slammed against my ribcage.

I hadn’t expected that. Adrenaline rushed through my body again. That felt good, like I was alive. Now or never, I thought. With that, I drew in a quick breath and tried to inch my legs down the pole, but the position was awkward. Damn! A bead of sweat rolled off my forehead. Just do it, I told myself.

So at once, I just let go and threw myself upwards. Somehow, I managed to grab the pole as I fell and I slid down fast. My thoughts were spinning in my mind, but to my surprise, I landed upright on the deck, relatively unscathed.

Everybody down below in their prom dresses and tuxes rushed over to me. It was like a sequin, satin nightmare. What a pathetic scene of teeny boppers. It was like I was on the set of Beverly Hills 90210.

“Put this back on your head,” Emily insisted as she set the crown atop my windblown hair. She probably didn’t even notice that my face was as white as a ghost. I was disappointed that the rush of danger was leaving my body. I hated that dead feeling that weighed down upon me.

“You should be more careful,” she complained, cracking her knuckles. “And whoever saw a queen without any makeup on.” She pulled some lipstick out of her sequined purse and ran it over my lips before I grabbed her hand and threw it off. I glared at her much too intensely.

Rolling her eyes, she turned away. She wasn’t afraid of me even though she should have been. “You are out of control,” she huffed as she repositioned the homecoming king’s, Logan Townsend’s, crown on his head now like she was in charge of both of us.

Logan Townsend, with his brown short curls and swamp green eyes was an arrogant snob. It didn’t matter that his nose was crooked because all the girls wanted him anyway and nobody cared that he flunked two grades. Maybe that was because he was acting on a soap opera in Los Angeles and that made it okay—whatever!

When I was a kid, I wished Logan would ask me out just as most everyone did, but I knew that would never happen. He didn’t like skinny rag dolls. He was better off for it because after one night, I’d just grow bored. I wasn’t much for attachments. And I didn’t like the smell of his cologne.

As expected, Logan didn’t even notice me. He was busy staring at Emily and her big tits spilling part way out of her sequined formal as was every other guy in our high school.

I tried to ignore them as I looked over at my prom date, bony Donny Smith in his vintage tuxedo. He was nice and intelligent with his glasses and shy face. He wasn’t my type though, kind of waify like me, but taller. Yes, he was better than the brainless jock idiots that chanted my name when I was climbing the mast, but still, he could never really understand me. And he was only with me because I was his last resort.

“Raz—I was worried about you,” Donny mumbled awkwardly, sticking his hands in his pockets and leaning more on one leg than the other.

His hair was sandy blond and just a little frizzy. He looked good enough with his chiseled features, but I preferred the dark waves of hair and confidence of my dream guy in the vision I had seen in the sea just minutes before. Too bad he was with another girl and too bad they probably drowned. My heart clenched at the thought, not knowing what to make of it all. A sort of ugly nausea waded in my belly. And even if they were still alive and kicking, a guy like that would never be interested in a girl like me in real life.

The muscles in Donny’s thin forearms flexed as the wind rushed over. I noticed the way he scrunched his eyes when he looked at me too long. It made me wonder if he was detecting a pimple between my eyebrows or something. I bet he wanted to pop it.

He was about to say something else when Savannah smacked me on the back. “You scared us, girl.” She pulled her blouse down over her hips. Her dark straight hair was in disarray. “What were you doing up there?”

“I wanted the flag.” I lifted the thing out of my pocket and cocked an eyebrow. “Did you see that in the ocean?”

But before she could respond, Donny started pulling me by my belt loop, which took me by surprise. He was leading me with the crowd back into the party room. I smiled wryly at Savannah as I grabbed my backpack stocked with another bottle of vodka and followed Donny inside. From the look on Savannah’s face, I guessed she hadn’t seen anything in the ocean except maybe whales. Everybody must have missed it because they were all on the other side of the yacht looking at blubber, otherwise everybody would have been freaking out.

My classmates took to the tables, the bar, or the dance floor. Donny and I went with some other friends to play cards at a round wooden table off to the side of the room. A lot was going on for a boat ride. And people were making too much of it, posing for pictures in their stupid evening attire. Weirdo Harry Kingerton with ginger hair and skinny legs pulled up Ashley Baker’s dress. Her face turned as red as a tomato before she swung around and slapped Harry across the cheek. And then his dopey friends pulled him away like wannabe heroes as she cursed him out. He just laughed like a horse, blowing air out of his freckled nose and snorting.

As we sat at the round table, I noticed Donny watching preppy Albert Martinez a little too intently while he shuffled the deck of cards. That just made me wonder why he was so focused on him. Did he know that he and I went together in elementary school? That was a short, awkward relationship that never even made it to first base.

“What’s wrong?” I asked Donny, my eyebrows drawing together.

“I don’t really like games,” he responded while running his fingers through the frizzy sections of his hair. His nails kept getting caught in fine tangles that he ripped through. “You just lose all your money and the only way to win is to cheat.”

What?! That’s what he was thinking? I tried not to roll my eyes, but instead forced a smile and nodded empathetically. But then I started thinking about his confession. Who the hell doesn’t like cards? And who cheats? What was he talking about? His admittance irritated me. I wanted to hang out with Savannah and try to have fun—attempt to forget my problems. I loved games of all sorts. Now I was stuck with a prom date that was as boring as hell.

“Please don’t make me play.” He scrunched up his nose and searched my eyes.

My eyelids shot up. Was he kidding? I wasn’t making him do anything. At first I laughed thinking he was joking, but when his eyes widened and his lips pressed shut, I realized he was serious.

Trying to keep a pokerfaced expression on my face, I twisted a strand of my shaggy dark hair in my fingers and observed him as he tapped his fingers on the table. Even though he was kind of awkward, he was a pleasant enough guy. Give him a chance my inner voice urged. Don’t be so afraid of everyone.

I decided not to mind if he was a little difficult and odd. I mean, I wasn’t exactly a barrel of laughs. At least he wasn’t a phony like so many other kids at my school. And at least he wasn’t a monster like Jake Stevenson.

I vaguely wondered what he was interested in. It was hard to believe now, but ­­Donny used to be popular with the girls in middle school. In seventh grade he teased me a lot in a sort of flirtatious way, but nothing ever came of that. It probably meant nothing to him. That was probably just his way with girls at the time.

Now he wasn’t at all as good looking and gregarious. He seemed different, not really the popular type anymore. That was a good thing, but I wasn’t sure what he was. Often I saw him sitting off by himself at school reading. I heard he was a surfer. That was probably why his hair looked so sun bleached with the frizz on the ends.

There was laughter. I looked away from Donny at our circle of friends at the table. Savannah and the others were joking around. She cut the deck before Albert dealt the cards.

“Why don’t we lounge over on the sofa and just talk then?” I wasn’t in a conversational mood, but I didn’t want to be ornery either.

“That’s cool.” He looked relieved, so I was glad I’d made the suggestion even if it could lead to some awkward dialogue. “As long as I’m with you,” He coughed looking down and then back up at me with his puppy dog brown eyes.

His comment surprised me. Was he flirting with me? I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. But, to my surprise, the more I looked at him, the more I decided he was still cute in a different kind of way. That was probably the alcohol tricking my senses and the awful loneliness that I felt deep in the pit of my stomach that never seemed to go away no matter how many people I was around.

But he wasn’t the guy for me. Was I leading him on somehow? I hoped he didn’t think anything was going to happen between us because I accepted his date to the prom.

I stood there for a minute thinking about what he said while he ordered sodas at the bar for us. He handed me the glass a little clumsily as we sat down on the plush sofa. “I’m so pissed off at my mom,” he said suddenly.

“Why’s that?” I shifted my position uncomfortably. I didn’t like thinking about mothers now that mine was dead. And even at that, I was surprised at his sudden intensity. I wasn’t used to people opening up about their feelings so quickly, if ever.

“She called the swim team coach and told him I can’t participate at the special end of the year meet.”

I unzipped my backpack and reached inside for my vodka bottle as I glanced around the room for narcs or teachers on staff. They were all in a social huddle talking and joking with each other. The students purposely asked the younger, less strict faculty to chaperone us. “Why doesn’t your mother want you in the meet?” I asked now looking over at Savannah who was raking in the money from all her wins. I wished I could join the game. Family issues weren’t my thing.

“She put me on restriction when she caught me making out with Liddy Devonshire in her bedroom.” He laughed and leaned back, crossing his leg over his knee.

“You’re dating Liddy?” I knew all about her. She was his original prom date who dumped him, the girl with a big ass that made all the guys excited when they looked at her. I don’t know why guys think it is appealing to talk about other girls they’ve been with. It’s a huge turn off. And Liddy was way too hot for Donny. I could have seen that relationship in middle school, but not now.

“Not anymore.” He smiled. “If I was, I wouldn’t be here with you.”

I was relieved the subject had at least moved away from mothers, but the other stuff confused me. My mind twisted up with thoughts as I unscrewed the lid to the vodka bottle and poured some into my soda. “Why did you stop dating?” Why the hell did I just ask that? Stupid.

He looked uncomfortable with the question, but when I held up the bottle to offer him some he smirked and shook his head somewhat amused. “We weren’t in a relationship and now she’s going out with Jake Stevenson.”

My body tensed. “Jake’s a prick,” I said shifting in my seat.

“No kidding.” He frowned. I wasn’t sure, but it looked like he started to perspire on his forehead.
I followed Donny’s eyes as he looked over at the other kids. Jake had his hand on Savannah’s shoulder as she cut the deck for the next round. I cringed. Heat rose up from my chest to my cheeks. “You want it, girl. You want it,” I imagined him saying. I wanted to jump up and sock him in the face, but I knew that would not be smart.

As upset as I felt, I imagined that Savannah loved getting attention from that ass. Like everyone else, she thought he was hot. Savannah hadn’t seen his bad side like I had. If Savannah’s date hadn’t gotten sick at the prom and went home, maybe Jake would have laid off. If he got too friendly, I’d have to step in.

With that thought, I looked over at Liddy to see if she was angry that Jake was flirting with Savannah, but from a distance, it appeared as if she was busy trying to talk to the new French girls I heard about, Brigitte Couture and Marine Thibault. Oh my—those vixens weren’t even normal.

Though I kept glancing over at Jake to make sure he didn’t get too friendly with Savannah, the French girls caught my focus over everyone else. I had never seen them close up. They were gazing out into the room in no particular direction, seemingly uninterested in Liddy’s chatter. From where I was at, the rumors were right—they looked like divine creatures with jewels and sparkling trinkets in their long hair. Their bodies were sleek and perfect. And their faces were as stunning as movie stars or super models, but they had a dangerous air that got me wondering about them.

Donny shook his head in bewilderment. “I love swimming and I don’t think it’s fair that my mom would punish me for doing something so normal like kissing a girl.” His Adam’s apple lifted in his throat.

Oh boy—back to his mother again. “You’re right.” I responded, not knowing what to say. I was squinting to get a clearer look at the pearl ensemble in Brigitte’s long shiny black hair, but I could not get my focus. I rubbed my eyes. Everything about her looked exotic.

“My mom is so annoying too,” he continued, biting his already chewed up nails.

“What do you mean?” I cringed as I took a drink of my soda and tried to ignore what he was saying. Crap, I wanted this conversation to end. I felt my palms sweating. That was really bothering me.

“She’s always singing these dumb country western songs around the house. She thinks she’s going to be the next big star.”

I turned to him, stretching my arms over my head. “Maybe she’ll audition for American Idol?” The more I looked at him, the more his face started to blur. Maybe I was drunk.

Donny’s face lit up. “That is exactly what she’s trying to do! She’s so pathetic.” He ran his fingers over the gelled part of his hair and then put his hand on my knee. “When I was little, she used to tuck me in at night and sing country western songs to me! She never hugged or kissed me or even said prayers. She just sang like a geek!”

“Okay. I like geeks,” I said trying to subdue the irritation rising up in me. I guess Donny wasn’t as shy as I thought. At the dance, he was more reserved.

His face twisted a little. “After Dad left us, Mom got this really horrible boyfriend. She said she liked him because he was so good looking. I thought that was an imprudent reason to like someone.” He rubbed his eyes. “He got cruel one day and threw her on the ground…”

“Okay!” I looked at him with a blaze of hatred in my eyes. My stomach felt nauseous. I thought I might just puke right on him. “I don’t want to know about it.”

“What’s wrong?” he asked, putting his hand on my shoulder. “She dumped him. It’s not like he hurt her that bad.”

“It’s nothing,” I responded, shaking my head and moving away. I just couldn’t stop thinking about Mom and her freak boyfriend drowning her in the bathtub. It felt like a blanket was smothering me all of the sudden. “I gotta get some air.” I stood up.

“Can I come too?” he asked with concern in his voice.

“No.” I looked at him directly in his puppy dog eyes. “I need some time alone.” With that, I walked out of the room as calmly as I could and headed for the deck. I wanted out of this life. Maybe if I died, I could join my mom.

The hall that led outside was dimly lit and relatively quiet. With the back of my hand, I wiped the tears out of my eyes and tried to pull myself together. I could hear the muffled sounds of kids in other rooms laughing or talking. Someone was playing a Duran Duran song: “Hungry like a Wolf.” Oh, brother.

But then I heard something. The hardly audible sounds were coming from behind a slightly open door. “That’s good,” the girl panted. “You’re a master…”

I couldn’t help but look in. To my utter shock, it was blond, beautiful Emily Monroe. Her prom queen crown was on its side on the floor next to her sequined pumps. Her dress was hiked up and a guy with long dark hair had his hand in her panties. He glanced down at his designer wristwatch. I couldn’t see his face, but his body looked sexy as hell. I didn’t know who he was, but he seemed familiar. His dress shirt was torn open.
Emily looked like she was in so much pleasure as he did things I had never experienced. I wondered what it felt like to be touched that way. The guys I had been with were self-centered and awkward.

So many feelings rushed through me. I could have sworn that guy reminded me of the one from the ocean and my dreams. I remembered how good he had made me feel in those nighttime fantasies. No other guy compared. Embarrassed and jealous, I hurried back down the hall just as Emily cried out, “Marcel…” Her breath was getting caught in her throat. “…you are the hottest guy alive.”

I waited at the hall door for a minute trying to catch my breath. Marcel? Who was Marcel? In a moment, I would walk back down the hall, past their room, and out onto the deck like I hadn’t seen a thing.

But before I could start walking, the guy stepped out of the room. I only glimpsed the side of his face before his long hair whipped around and covered his profile. He wore slacks with some sort of tuxedo shirt reminiscent of another century. It was ripped in the front like Emily tried to pull it off him. From the brief peek I had, it looked like he had a rockin’ chest. The way he strutted revealed a confident demeanor.

Marcel must have been one of the French exchange students. They dressed like that, kind of crazy like rock stars with a touch of eighteenth century couture. This was probably the one that was rarely at school. The bad boy who was in jail. Marcel Paradis. That’s his name. Right.
He looked back over his shoulder. But when he saw me, our blue eyes met. Heat rose up from my groin into my chest.

“What’s wrong with you?” he asked in a cocky voice. “Got a staring problem?”

“You’re nothing much to look at,” I snapped and then bit down on my lower lip. What a jerk.

“Damn! Don’t do that with you lip,” he scoffed, glancing down through his black heavy eyelashes at my mouth.

Then it got strange. His head jerked up and his fingers curled before his chest. And just like that he fainted on the floor. Totally passed out!

I couldn’t believe it. What the hell?

But before I could figure out what to do, his thick lashes flew open. For a moment his insane blue eyes stared up at the ceiling, wide and intense. Then, he scrambled to his feet. “Stay away from me,” he said, searching my eyes. His tan, olive skin had paled and a purple vein in his neck lifted up underneath his skin.
My face flamed. “My pleasure, asshole.” My knees felt weak like they were going to buckle beneath me. I held my hand against the wall to steady myself.

He just scoffed and rushed up the stairs, out the door, and onto the deck.

I was a bit shocked and not thinking straight. How could I have missed this jerk at school? It was probably because I had been absent so much with my mom’s funeral arrangements, depression leave, and my general lost mindset. But now I remembered who he was. He was Brigitte’s boyfriend! Boy did she have bad taste.

Oh, man, I wouldn’t mess with her. Emily was a fool. Brigitte could kick her ass and then some. French girls were tough like that. Something about her seemed deadly kind of like those sexy assassin types in movies that have great manners, but then sniper someone through a window from another building. She just had that kind of air about her.

That dude looked so much like the guy in the ocean. At that recognition, I rolled my eyes. Of course, he wasn’t the guy I saw. Even if he didn’t drown, he couldn’t climb up onto a yacht from the water below. He would need some kind of ladder or help from the deck. But if it was the same guy somehow, this dude really got around with the girls. And just my luck stumbling in on him twice. Serendipity? Ha! My ass.

Marcel Paradis was a prick and I wanted to tell him off good. I jogged to catch up with him, but when I stepped outside into the night air, he was gone.

I looked around. He was nowhere to be seen. He must have taken the back route into the main room where everyone was hanging out and playing cards. It was a good thing because I would have just made a fool of myself cursing him out.

A lump grew in my throat. I felt so out of whack that I started pacing right there on the deck. I was so sick of people. They were so mean. I didn’t do a damn thing to Marcel Paradis and he treated me like trash. Life was hell. Was he going to start calling me names and making fun of me at school now like Jake Stevenson did? I just couldn’t take that. Not from him especially. Oh, what was I thinking?

Only recently, the doctor said I suffered from anxiety and clinical depression. Whatever! I wasn’t going to take his stupid pills. My eyes kept drifting out to the ocean.

That’s when I noticed the sound of a woman’s voice coming from a radio in one of the rooms below. She sounded like she was complaining about her man on some psychology AM radio show. Thoughts of my mother rushed back into my mind.

Steve, my mom’s alcoholic boyfriend, was choking her, holding her down in the bathtub. Her face was pale. Her eyes bulging under the water. Her arms and legs flailing to and fro. Desperate. Bubbles and bile coming out of her throat. The last thoughts of how she ruined her life by choosing a scumbag. How she destroyed my life.

“Stop, stop!” I said to myself. If only my mind would still.

I leaned way over the rail of the yacht and considered letting go. What was life? There was no reason to it. It would be so easy to just let go. Fall into the ocean and die.

I swung my legs over so that I was hanging off the side of the yacht that glided so swiftly over the wake. Wind rushed over my body. My hands still held fast to the rail, but the bottoms of my shoes were only feet away from the black water.

It was an exhilarating feeling. I was so close to the edge of death. My heart was slamming against my chest.  

If I let go I would surely die out at sea alone. Is this what I wanted?

But, before I could make a decision, something grabbed my leg.

All the best,
Brighton

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Vampires, Mermaids, Sirens, Selkies



Hey Guys,

Great news for you Google fans. The Watermagic Series and Roseville Vampire Series is now on Google Play and Google Books! 

Bluehour and Heavenly Killers are up for free. Keep a look out for Blueheat (Watermagic Series, #4). Coming soon!

Best wishes,
Brighton