Tainted Teaser

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You are about to read the first chapter and a half of Tainted, please remember A Burdened Novel contains mature content such as; strong language, sexual content, violence, and other things some may not find suitable for most readers. 17+. 
(Because this will automatically publicly post on sites like Amazon and Goodreads, explicitness has been removed.)
Original post on Peiri Ann's Life's Loves 


1: Interference

Trig sucks, every       problem equals the letters in Nathan’s name―N=11, A=1, T=20, or the number of letters in Nathan’s name―the whole name―Nathan Keith Newcomb, no matter the equations. This is ultimately bad. I now call this―Nathan obsession.
In first period―astronomy and physiology―I was so zoned that when I came to―thanks to Steve throwing a pen at my head―I noticed I had written ‘Nathan’ on four pages of my notebook, front and back. I slammed it closed and rubbed my hands down my face in frustration. Now, I lean back in my chair looking at the notes I’ve taken, still seeing his name spelled out in the equations in what is supposed to be the definitions for these mathematical arguments Mr. Stephens put on the board. This is a bad sign.
Before we started back to school, Nathan reassured me Roehl wouldn’t try anything, as Taylor said he would, based on whatever conversation they had. Although, I can’t drive myself to or from school. I also have to be escorted to the door of the school. That never goes well and always draws attention to us. Why…?
I can never just let him leave.
No. He hugs me and I lose it―every,      , day. When he leans down to kiss me, I take in as much of him as I can, hoping it will hold me over until after classes are dismissed. It never does and I need him even more when he picks me up. Practically attacking him when I get in the car. This necessity of him my mind and body has developed is exasperating. I love him yeah, but this is a total obsession, I’m unable to freaking control. “It’s just the ‘bond’,” he says. Yes it is!
The speaker for the intercom beeps loudly before the principal’s voice announces, “Excuse the interruption. I need Tracey Warren to come to the office, Mr. Stephens.”
My heart skips a beat, instantly getting nervous. I look back to Scott. He looks from Glen to me.
Scott had all his classes changed to Glen’s, and I never see one without the other. We have been back to school for a couple of months now and they seem to be doing well.
“Okay, she will be there shortly,” Mr. Stephens answers. “Tracey,” he calls, throwing his hand toward the door, not caring one way or the other.
I turn back to Scott asking, What do you think?
I’m not sure, he responds, but I’ll go with you.
I nod. He turns to Glen, whispering to her that we’re leaving.
My hearing has increased substantially. I can hear just about anything and it is extremely annoying at times. With the exception of when I’m trying to be nosey.
Glen hasn’t incorporated herself into the family yet, so Scott shares with her if she misses something…which is everything.
“Tracey, get going.” Mr. Stephens hurries me. He’s an older man with a round belly and looks like he has always wanted to be a teacher since his first day of kindergarten, with his round frame spectacles and blue pen always in the chest pockets of his button down shirts. His grey hair matches his mustache and beard that covers his neck. He looks at me with old eyes and shaggy eyebrows that are black instead of grey like the other hair on his face. They rise waiting for me to move.
I get up, followed by Scott and―of course…Glen.
“Excuse me, but I believe the office only called for Tracey. Where are you two going?” Mr. Stephens asks.
Eric coughs saying, “Probably to get their freak on.” With all the disgust he could muster in his irritating boyish voice.
I thump him in the back of his head with my middle finger, flicking it off my thumb. It makes a pop sound against his skull.
“Ow! Tracey, that’s not cool!” he blurts loudly.
“No, that was not cool,” I say calmly giving him a look of disapproval.
Scott and Eric used to be friends, but when the whole school found out Glen and Scott were together their friendship went sour. Eric was pissed and became angry with the three of us. He really liked Glen and supposedly Scott knew that. He has just been petty since, with his inappropriate comments and looks or sounds of repugnance.
I am fed up with it and he deserved a smack in the back of his head. “It is what it is, Eric. Deal.” Guys are such catty girls.
His feet stomp twice as he slumps down in his seat. “Whatever,” he utters like a teenage girl.
I roll my eyes, walking toward the door. Scott is on my heels with Glen at my side. “Mr. Fallon, where are you going?” Mr. Stephen asks, blocking our path to the door.
Scott does the frustrated hand push through his hair thing. “Mr. Stephens,” he starts. “There is no way Tracey is leaving this room without me. So, she can either sit back down or we are going to leave this classroom.”
Scott looks at Mr. Stephens. I watch as he does a blank stare into his eyes. The green of them slowly swirls clockwise and counterclockwise. “I understand, Scott Fallon,” Mr. Stephens replies sternly moving out of our way.
Scott nods. “Thank you.”
I shake my head at Scott as we leave the classroom. He just did that in front of everyone. I push the door closed being the last of us to walk into the hallway. “What’s up? What do you think it is?”
“Not sure.” He listens to the halls. I do the same. “Something feels off. Call Nathan, I’m sure he’s nearby. Tell him to come up here.” The halls are silent. I feel nothing disturbing.
Nathan and I have grown closer being bound. But it seems to make things worse for me when I’m away from him. The whole ‘feel him anywhere, talk to him anywhere’ thing has improved.
Not only has that, but the small abilities I have also improved. I’ve found my pet snake of fire―as little Nathan calls it―has grown the closer we’ve gotten. It’s protective over both, Nathan and I. It now looks like one of those anacondas off that movie. Huge.
My blasts are more powerful, I’m able to knock people off their feet. It’s kind of cool watching them fly back with basketball sized holes in their chests. I gained more abilities like this stupid hearing, telekinesis―Nathan helped me master that, and the best―or worse, depending on how you look at it―I can blow people up with my mind, like Nathan. They might not blow up, it more so seems like they burst…
The first time it happened it was an accident. I got so angry at this full blooded Sephlem who tried to attack Nathan. When he charged toward him I jumped in front of Nathan with intentions to blast him. The film that covers my eyes―that helps me see in the dark, I felt it cover them and the guy erupted into dust.
Nathan was just as flabbergasted as I was―I thought he had done it. He told me I should always keep that as my last resort. ‘If people know what all you are capable of, it will make you easier to defeat.’ He says.
Nathan, I’ve been called to the office. Scott says something feels wrong. Where are you?
I’m already here, I felt you get nervous.
And you just came not knowing what was going on? Since Roehl, he has left nothing to chance. If my heart double beats…he’s there.
Doesn’t matter. Better I come than to wait, and I wait then something happens.
Well, where are you? His demanding presence takes over the hallway, it’s powerful. Never mind.
I turn around seeing him and Olar approaching us. Olar has come to stay for a while. Something to do with the three guys Nathan and Scott had killed a while back. Somehow he was connected to whatever debt they had to pay and now something or maybe someone is looking for him.
“Hey,” I say with a bright smile as he walks to me. I never realize just how much I miss him until he’s around me.
He meets me, pushing his hands around my waist. I wrap my arms around his neck. “Hey baby.” He greets, before he kisses me like he missed me as much as I missed him.
“Umm, excuse me. We don’t have time for this.” Scott, the interrupter, interrupts.
Nathan pulls back eyeing him “Don’t you see your girl all day?”
“Yeah, of course!” Scott states factually, looking at Nathan as if he’s asked a stupid question.
Nathan turns his head back at me. “Well I don’t,” he mutters, before kissing me lightly.
Scott grumbles loudly. Nathan turns his back to him. “You okay?” he asks me quietly although everyone but Glen can hear him.
“I am now,” I answer in the same tone.
“Good,” he steps back grabbing my hand. “Let’s go see what’s going on.”
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Business, business, business.
Nathan and I have not had a moment alone since the night we were in his room after      went raw with Taylor. The lack of intimacy in our relationship drives me crazy. There is no touching, rubbing, loving. Nothing! Everyone but Nathan’s mom and aunt has gotten cursed out, and I hoped my assholeness would make them leave us alone. But they don’t, and I get nothing but a ‘Tracey calm down’.
I am addicted to Nathan, and it is in the worse way possible. Not having him and our mini make out sessions always getting interrupted is starting to make me lose it.
A week before last, I caught the kitchen on fire―which was also new. Nathan had me up on the island in the kitchen at his house. I had him as close to me as he could get―maybe closer. His lips felt like they missed mine, waiting for me to bite them, lick them, take them. His hands were on me―everywhere―clutching me as if he let me go I wasn’t going to return. Little Nathan and Roseland walked in the kitchen and began commenting as little Nathan pulled Nathan back too quickly. I reached out for him and erupted in flames. It was bad. And will never happen again, that      was scary as hell. Fire was spurting everywhere from me.
With Nathan’s restraint and the constant lock of jaw or half-ass kisses, Nathan has to be suffering from lack of Tracey. I’m not alone in destroying things. He and Olar got into it heavy. It was for no reason honestly. Nathan was getting out of his car and slammed the door, the entire door went through the car. Through it! Funniest      I’ve ever seen. He became angrier and slammed his fist on the roof and crushed it.
He was pissed, Olar and I were laughing, and it’s still at the shop. That was four days ago.

Nathan walks into the office with me, the others standby in the hallway. “I’m here.” I tell the clerk.
“What took you so long?” Mrs. Carline asks with an attitude, she is a mean old lady. “We called you almost an hour ago.” They did not. “And who is this? You cannot be in here young man.” Yes he can. “You will need to wait outside until she comes out.” That’s not happening.
Nathan looks at her with his award winning smirk. “Mrs. Carline, I’m not going to wait outside for Tracey. I’m going to go where she goes,” he says smoothly. “If you need her to go in there.” He points to the closed door that leads to the principal’s office. “I’m going with her, okay.” His voice is enchanting even me to agree with him.
“Yes…” she replies with a smile as she takes the seat behind the desk and begins to hack away at the keyboard of her computer, eyes still on Nathan.
Nathan and I walk to the principal’s door. I breathe before he opens it.
And behind door number one… good ole Dad, sitting across from the school principal. They both stand as we walk in.
“Hi Ladybug, hello Nathan. Haven’t seen you in a while.” He is chipper but looks at Nathan with unexpectant eyes.
“Hello Mr. Warren.” Nathan is short but polite.
I do not intend to be. “What are you doing here, Dad? I thought you wouldn’t be back until next week.” I look from him to my principal and back.
“Some things have come up and we may need to move sooner than we originally planned. I was here talking to your principal about your options since you graduate in a little over two weeks.”
My dad has become a non-Nathan fan, and adamant about me not being good with him or us together. He is insistent on moving being good for me. He says it would be good for me to have a different experience and not get hung up on the first ‘real thing’ that caught my eye―or my heart. He recently left again last week and I’ve been ignoring him since the first time he left, after school started back.
I stare at him momentarily before grabbing Nathan’s arm, pulling him with me from the room. I look back seeing my dad start to walk toward us and I slam the door without touching it.
Nathan chuckles from his throat as I pull him from the office. “You should not do that outside, Ladybug.”
He opens the door for us, leading back to the hallway. “Not funny,” I say harshly.
Everyone looks at us quizzically as we walk out. “It’s okay, just her dad. You two can go back to class.” Nathan tells Glen and Scott. He turns to Olar. “I’ll meet you in the truck, after we see what he wants.”
“We are not seeing what he wants.” I don’t care what he wants.
“Baby, you will see what he wants.”
“He’s right, Tracey.” I turn to my dad, who now looks pissed.
Nathan moves from in front of him to my side. I cross my arms in front of my chest to display my irritation. “Dad, I have already told you, I am not moving.”
“Tracey, I did not come here to discuss that with you. I called you down here because I was here and wouldn’t leave without at least saying hello.”
“Hello,” and “goodbye,” I mumble low, under my breath as I turn to walk away. Nathan grabs me, when I look at him he nods toward my dad. I roll my eyes, turning back to face him.
“What is this type of relationship you all have here?” My dad noticed Nathan’s silent demand.
“What type of question are you asking?” I return. What is with him and these half-ass questions?
“He’s better at convincing you to talk to me than I am at asking you to talk to me.”
“So what?” I say with a shrug to my shoulders and jumbled expression of confusion.
My dad turns to Nathan with anger, squinting his eyes. “What are you doing to her?” he asks slow and accusing.
Nathan looks at my dad insulted, with his nose turned up and the corners of his mouth hitched accompanying the disgust in his pulled together eyebrows. “I’m sorry?” he requests in offense.
What have you done and what are you doing to my daughter?” my dad asks in the same repulsed tone.
“Excuse me, but I have not done anything to your daughter,” Nathan answers too calmly. “We’re together, and to answer your question, the type of relationship we have is one that’s lasting. Speaking of,” Nathan rubs his chin biting his bottom lip hard, containing his anger. I watch it lighten from the pressure and the blood flow back into it, filling it back with color when he lets it go. My dad folds his arms with a look of warning. It doesn’t take much to get Nathan off these days. “Tracey doesn’t use me for anything and is beyond adequate for me. You should know that of your daughter,” he states factually.
“This,” my dad points his index finger from me to Nathan, “is only temporary.”
“No sir, I can assure you…this is permanent.”
“And how could you be so sure?”
Nathan’s eyes narrow to that incredibly attractive look that threatens just by his glare. “Doesn’t matter,” he says with a shrug to his left shoulder. “It is.” He doesn’t believe in explanations for questions that do not make a difference to his life. How he feels is just how he feels. He believes he doesn’t need to explain them to people―other than me of course.
My dad’s eyes bulge. Nathan slowly raises an eyebrow. Yep, he’s had enough too. He’s usually more courteous, but my dad is being a real     about this.
My dad looks at me. “When you get home your things will be packed.” His tone is hard. “And we will be moving tomorrow morning. So…” He looks at Nathan “…make sure you tell your friends goodbye.” His eyes shoot to mine before he turns from us and walks back into the principal’s office.
“Ahh!” I yell out, looking up at the ceiling. This      is crazy, I can’t figure out what is wrong with him. Why is he doing this to me?
Nathan grabs me. “Calm down.” He rubs the top of my arms up and down.
I calm, his touch giving me no other choice. “We need to talk to my mom.” I grab his shirt, pulling him with me down the hall.
“Umm, Tracey.” He pries his shirt from my hand. “You still have class.”
“That is going to have to wait for right now. I need to talk to my mom. She can fix this. He is being such an ass.”

2: Bamboozled

After arguing with Nathan about me leaving school and dropping off Olar, he finally broke and drove me to my mom’s job. I bust into her office like I own the spot.
She screeches frightened. “Tracey!” she exclaims breathlessly, holding her chest. “What is going on? You scared me.”
“Mom, you have to talk to Dad. We cannot move. You know you don’t want to move. Mom, please?”
She looks from me to Nathan. She smiles. “Hello Nathan,” she greets humbly.
“Hi Karen,” he responds coolly.
She looks back to me, as if I’m up to no good. “Tracey…why aren’t you in school?”
“Tracey!” she mocks.
“Agh,” I sigh frustrated, folding my arms. “Dad is at my school talking to my principal. Discussing my options because we are moving tomorrow morning.”
“Tracey, your father is not here. I would have been the first to know if he was.”
“Mom, yes he is! We just left him talking to the principal. He told me we are moving tomorrow morning,” I say again louder and traumatized.
“Honey, I just got off the phone with your father, he has been in meetings all day. What are you talking about?”
“Yeah, I know! Meeting with the principal at my school.”
“Listen to me, honey. Your father is not in town. And we are not moving tomorrow, we promised we wouldn’t move until you graduate. Did you fall asleep during class?” she asks concerned.
No, I did not fall asleep in class. I open my mouth to tell her again he is here and Nathan grabs my arm stopping me. “Excuse me, but you said you just spoke with him right?” he asks her.
Nathan and my mother have gotten to know each other better since he started spending time around my house as well. She likes him and the three of us will catch up on shows together or have dinner. It’s nice. I just wish my dad would concede to this reality.
“Yes,” she answers. “Not ten minutes ago. He was complaining about how you are still not talking to him, because of the things he said about―” She catches herself realizing she is bringing Nathan into it.
“Don’t be embarrassed Mom, he already knows.”
Her eyes grow wide as she looks at me then they turn sorry when she glances at Nathan. “I’m sorry, Nathan. It’s not that we don’t think you’re a good kid. We just want what’s best for Tracey.”
“Me too.” He keeps it short. “But we are sorry to barge in on you like this.”
“What?” I blurt looking at him. “No we are not, Mom you―”
“Tracey,” he cuts me off. “Your mom just said it. Your dad is not here.”
“He’s not honey, you want me to call him for you?”
“Yes, please.” I want the confirmation. Nathan blows a frustrated breath. I look at him suspiciously. He is trying to get to something and I am apparently holding him up. I ignore it, watching my mom dial my dad on speaker.
“Hey sweetheart, what’s wrong?” My dad’s voice speaks from the speaker after the line rung twice.
“Hey Ladybug.”
“Where are you?”
“Closing on this deal in Tennessee. We just had the best meeting. I think we have it in the bag!” I hear the enthusiasm and excitement in his voice.
I’m confused, and I can’t understand how my dad can be there and here and sound happy about it. “Uh, okay Dad, I’ll talk to you later. Love you.”
“Love you too, Ladybug.” He pauses. “Why aren’t you in school?”
“Bye Dad.” I reach across my mom’s desk to press the speaker button on her phone to hang up.
“We need to go, Tracey.” Nathan grabs the crux of my arm. “Bye Karen, we’ll see you later.”
“Bye Mom.”
“See you two later,” she replies.

In Nathan’s truck, we sit in the parking lot of my mom’s building after leaving her office. “What is going on?” I ask, not understanding.
“That was not your father at your school.” Nathan pulls out his phone, he presses and slides around on it before bringing it to his ear. “Go back to the office and see if Tracey’s father is still there.” He listens to Scott say something I can’t make out. “Now!” he blurts out. He waits. I assume Scott is checking. “Walk in!” Nathan states with aggression before waiting again. “Call Olar, don’t let him leave. I’ll be there shortly, if I’m not back before you all can no longer hold him off―handle it.” He puts the phone in the cup holder and peels out of the parking lot, speeding.
He grips the steering wheel too tightly, crushing it under his grasp. Realizing it, he quickly lets it go. “If I mess up another vehicle of mine,      is going to get real,” he mutters through his teeth angrily.
“Okay, but I’m still missing something.”
“It’s not your father, babe.”
“Okay, so who is it?” I quickly follow.
“Not sure yet,” he answers just as quick.
“Well how do we find out?” I ask irritated.
“We get there and ask,” he responds forcefully.
I am more confused. “Well what if he’s gone by the time we get there?” I ask panicky.
“Tracey!” he shouts.
“What?” I say forcefully.
What is with all the questions?” he asks aggressively, hand slapping the steering wheel.
“Hey,” I shout back. “Don’t shout at me. I’m just trying to catch up.”
He shakes his head angrily, blowing a breath of irritation from his nose.
I slouch in the seat. Petty arguing has become our way of life lately. There is too much going on, too much built up aggression, too much irritation, and too much frustration. And I am definitely frustrated and now confused.
It takes us thirty minutes to get back to my school and Nathan’s phone rings every minute. At some point Glen got involved―as a last resort―to stall my imposter father. Nathan pulls directly in front of the door. I get out without waiting for him. He hates that.
Olar, Scott, Glen, and my not dad are standing in the hallway when we walk through the doors from the back lot. Many of my peers are walking past questioning what’s going on and why my dad is here.
At our approach, Glen is talking about graduation. My dad is nodding as he listens.
So what’s the plan? I ask Nathan.
Talk to him, act like you know nothing. Get that ‘eye thing’ going on where you can see who people really are. See behind the mask, I’ll see it with you and if anything happens just stay calm. I’ll be at your side.
I walk next to Glen. “Hey Cey, you okay?” she asks quickly.
“Hi. Yes.” Scott pulls her back to him but no one leaves.
I uncomfortably fold my arms in front of my chest, getting an uneasy feeling when I look at him head on. “Sorry about earlier Dad, that was unnecessary.”
He smiles at me. I get this icky feeling that makes my arms fall to my sides with rising goosebumps. “That is quite all right, Ladybug.” It sounds forced. “Once we get moved you’ll be better, everything will work out.”
“No Dad, everything is already working out.” You’re the only inconvenience.
He takes a step closer but doesn’t touch me. I blink a few times requesting the thin film to cover my eyes. It’s supposed to help me see if someone is blocking or disguising themselves. But sometimes I can’t control it and a defense covers them, cloaking my entire eyes in black. Then, I can only see who they really are, what their intentions are, what they really want to do to me, and it tints my sight. Like what happened with that Jackal chick Cindy.
“Now Ladybug, we will work on that.” He smiles genuinely. “We can talk more on the flight out in the morning. I have a few more things I have to bring together tonight.” He starts to walk away.
I grab his shoulder. “Dad, wait!” Slowly, he turns back around to me, making direct eye contact. I blink and an image flashes replacing him. I blink a couple more times before it stays without disappearing.
His hair is black and straight. His eyes are dark like the color Justin’s turns. His nails are long and black that scuffs his chin as he scratches where his beard should be. The hair that lies upon his chin―as my dad―is gone, his face, now smooth like stone.
He smiles, showing sharpened off-white teeth that bite into his bottom lip. He raises his left eyebrows as his black eyes travel over me. His nose ends in a point and his nostrils flair as if he’s smelling the air around me and enjoying it.
“What’s going on, Tracey, I have somewhere I need to be shortly? Just a minute ago, you wanted nothing to do with me and was slamming doors in my face. I will be having a talk with your mother about that as well.”
I can’t speak watching the monster speak to me with my dad’s voice. Nathan grabs my hand bringing me back. I clear my throat not really knowing what to say. “Umm, just sorry,” I mutter. I force myself to blink and he is my dad again.
Still smiling, “That’s okay Ladybug. See you at home.” He turns walking toward the doors Nathan and I came through.
I look at Nathan, he’s nodding to Olar. Olar walks off, following my fake dad.
“Hybrid,” Nathan whispers, next to my ear. “Wait here. We’ll be right back.”

Tainted currently has ARC copies available for review.  Click here or fill out form below!

Read Live 12/17/2014


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