Author: Darlene Jones
Publisher: self -published
Published: 2012-09-10
ISBN(s) 1479228036
Language(s): English
Category: Fiction
Audience: Adult, Youth (13 to 17)
Genre(s): Science Fiction, Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense Read Excerpt >

Abby paged Curtis to her office. It was late and almost everyone had gone home, but she knew he’d be in the computer lab.

“Everyone gone?” she asked when he arrived.

“Yep. I was the only one left. A few kids are still in the band room with Mr. Steele. That’s about it.”

Abby glanced at the clock. “Have you got a few minutes?”

“Yeah, my parents never expect me before 6 or so.”

“Curtis …” Oh Lord, where to start? “Curtis, there’s no friend drawing the codes. There never was. I lied. I’m sorry. Those first drawings were mine and then the code just appeared. The pages were there on the floor when I woke up in the morning.”

Abby waited for the laughter, the good old-fashioned teenaged eye-rolling at the foibles of adults.

Curtis chewed his lip. He was always doing that. No wonder they were so badly chapped. “I suspected as much.”

“You what!?”

He smirked. “That whole my friend thing. Anyone could see through that.”

Abby sagged with relief. How good it felt to tell the truth, to have it out in the open. Emailing Trav was one thing, but she knew she needed a live body right here and right now to talk everything over with. Someone she trusted. And Curtis fit the bill perfectly. His parents would kill her, or would want to, if they knew what she and Curtis were doing. “Your parents …?”

“Nada.” He laughed. “You think I talk to them about anything, let alone this stuff?” His eyebrows rose. “Come on, Miss D. You know better than that. Parents aren’t for talking to. They don’t understand. They just don’t.”

What could she say? Most kids felt that way about their parents at one stage or another and, from what she’d seen, most got through it. Still, so much time wasted in fights and misunderstandings.

“Maybe we should tell them.”

Curtis shook his head furiously. “Are you nuts?” He blushed. “Sorry,” he mumbled. “Didn’t mean to be rude.”

“They’re your parents. They have a right to know. We should at least—”

“NO! Please! They’d freak. Make me go to another school. I’d never see you again. Miss D, please don’t tell them.” Curtis was shaking and tears formed at the corners of his eyes.

Abby took a deep breath, held it and then exhaled slowly. “Okay, I won’t say anything.” She felt like a worm, but she needed Curtis. She couldn’t bear the thought of not seeing him, talking with him …


“I promise.”

Abby stifled the pangs of guilt that nagged at her. She really, really shouldn’t have involved Curtis in this, or, at the very least, she should have a long talk with his parents explaining the whole thing. But she wouldn’t. She suffered even greater pangs of guilt at the relief she felt when Curtis begged her not to tell his parents. And, she couldn’t tell them. They’d think she was nuts, report her to the Board. She’d lose her job and everything she worked so hard for, not to mention the comfort of Curtis’s complicity and, more importantly, his trust.

Besides, where was it written that reassurance couldn’t come from a kid? Abby sighed. She was wrong and she knew it, but she gave in to her rationalizations, weak arguments that they were.

Tell him about the letters? No, not yet. Why hold back? Oh, God! What the hell was she thinking? But the light in Curtis’ eye, the lively interest … it was the first time in the almost three years she’d known him that he looked so animated, so alive. She didn’t have the heart to destroy that.

“Okay, here’s the thing. It’s not just the code now.” She explained about the vellum and her grandfather’s pen.

Curtis nodded his head vehemently. “Yes, yes, yes. Don’t you see? The code is the key. Someone or something is telling us what to do. They’re making you write the right stuff. I’m sure of it. And the prints on that old fountain pen are the proof.” Curtis was out of his chair and bouncing around her office in his excitement. “Don’t worry. Miss D. We’ll figure it out.”

Curtis would never know what comfort his words brought.

“Miss D?”


“Anything else you can tell me—”

“You’ll be the first to know.”

EMBRACED   by   Darlene Jones   |   See Bio >
Book 3 of 4 in the Em and Yves Series.
Abby believes the clickings she hears in the fillings of her teeth are messages from aliens. She's right. Book 3 of the series, but it can be read as stand alone.

Abby is convinced the clickings she hears in the fillings of her teeth are messages from aliens. She tells herself that’s crazy, but asks one of her students, computer nerd Curtis, to help her decipher the code. A secret code from aliens is too sci-fi even for him, but once he starts studying Abby’s scribbles, he can see messages.

Coder Guy, as Abby calls whoever is sending the messages, wants her to fix things. What things? Abby and Curtis find the answer when letters with Abby’s signature appear in newspaper offices. The things asked for come true. But, who’s writing the letters? Coder Guy? Or Abby?

Meanwhile, Yves, who fell in love with Em, has loved her through her life as Jasmine, still loves her in this life as Abby. He fumes as the rookie god assigned to control Abby messes up. Will Yves break all the rules of his world to help Abby? Will she survive if he does?

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