(Dark Road #1)
Publication date: October 17th 2014
Genres: Psychological Thriller, Young Adult
Bella has lived a rather boring life, but that all quickly changes. A new position in school forces her to take charge. A new boyfriend (her first), Jeremiah, hands her a confidence she has never known before. A new role in her church’s Fall Production makes her a leader. But that all gets destroyed when an attack by her father’s enemy turns her into the center of attention. Bella believes things couldn’t get worse, but they do. Can she survive the road of destruction and emerge stronger? Or has all that she gained been destroyed forever?
Bella ran down the hallway, hooked the corner as quickly as her feet would go and threw open the doors to the administrative office. Hopefully there was still time. She had gotten so caught up in hiding, she had lost track of time. Mrs. Brown wasn’t at her desk, but the principal’s office door was partially open. That might not be a good sign. She knocked on the door and cracked it a little further. “Sorry I’m late.”
“That’s okay. Come on in.” The principal waved her forward.
Her lungs constricted as she struggled to catch her breath. With a few more heavy breaths, Bella opened the door, stepped inside and stopped.
Principal Owen stood and walked around his desk. “Jeremiah, this is your student buddy Maylin Kynaston.”
Wow! He was the most gorgeous guy with the prettiest emerald green eyes. They seemed to light up the second she came into view. Bella narrowed her eyes, blinked and turned her attention the principal. Had he been talking? “I’m sorry, what?”
“Why don’t you show him the library on your way to the meeting.”
“Meeting?” Bella raised an eyebrow skeptically as if she had no clue what he referenced.
“The tutor meeting.”
“Oh. Right. That meeting. Yeah, sure I can do that.” Bella chewed the inside of her cheek and smiled. The principal might’ve nodded and said something else as they left, but her attention had returned to this gorgeous guy she now walked beside. They left the office and headed down the hall. Forcing herself to focus, she scrutinized the empty hallway. She dared not look at him again. Yet she couldn’t help herself and snuck a look from the corner of her eyes. She clutched her notebooks to her chest and bit on the corner of her bottom lip. He was taller than her and had light skin, a color somewhere between her father’s tan and Alex’s white. And that dark brown hair. It was made to have fingers running across it, even with the short, buzz cut he sported.
Jeremiah intertwined his fingers behind his back. “Maylin, that’s an interesting name.”
“Huh?” Bella blinked. What had he said? “Oh, my name. Uhm, Bella. I go by Bella.”
“How do you get Bella out of Maylin?”
She bit her bottom lip hard and squashed a giggle. “Um, you don’t. Maylin Nadalia Christabel Kynaston. My full name.”
“I see. Bella from Christabel. Why not Bell? I like that better. More fitting.”
“I just liked the name.”
“So it isn’t some nickname your parents stuck you with?” His question hinted a bit of sarcasm, almost as if he had been subjected to something horrid as a child.
“No. When I was little my parents went back and forth between Lin and Dalia. I was four or five and I told my parents they had to agree on one name. So they told me to pick. I picked Bella. My friends sometimes call me ‘B’ though.”
“I like the whole one letter thing, but I would much rather call you Bell.”
Bella canted her head and studied him. There was something going on that she couldn’t explain. Her whole body softened like goo and her mind had quieted. That never happened to her before. Maybe he was the cause. A slow smile spread to her lips and her cheeks warmed at him choosing a nickname for her. “Okay, but on one condition.”
“You let me come up with a nickname to call you.”
Jeremiah bopped his head as he contemplated her request. “Not anything weird, right?”
“No.” Bella giggled.
“Nothing like Frankenfirth or Tronebot, right?”
“Deal.” Jeremiah stopped and offered his hand.
Bella paused. Her grip tightened on the notebooks as she removed one hand from them and placed it within his. Her gaze shifted from their hands to his eyes. A shock of electricity flowed between them. She gasped, yanked her hand back, swallowed and started forward again. Say something dumb, dumb. “Any nicknames you currently use?”
“Just one. Jeremy.”
Bella kept her mouth shut. It had taken him seconds to catch up to her. Not that it should’ve taken longer. After all, her pace had slowed to that of a snail. She had barely taken two steps before he moved. This was a very strange day. She leered at him out of her periphery again and smiled. It was also one of the best. “Miah. I like Miah.”
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