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Ether

eXtasy Books

Heat Rating: SWEET
Word Count: 68,458
Available Formats
PDF
Mobi
ePub

Teenager Sam Timmins, school outcast and total nerd, is saved one day from getting run over by the wind. Only it isn’t the wind that saves him, but a mysterious wind-sprite named Esther. The result of a botched lab experiment, Esther and her mother, Nita, the lead scientist on a matter-transportation project, now exist as wind beings.

Sam begins a relationship with Esther, even though he cannot see or even hold Esther, but they grow as close as two people can under the circumstances.

The forces of evil, though, will not be denied. Morton Ramsay, the head of the project, needs Esther and Nita back for his own purposes. He sends his two chief henchmen, Harsky and Stutch, to intimidate Sam. When that doesn’t work, they resort to murdering his mother.

Now, Sam is out for revenge. Aided by Esther and her mother, he finds out just who he is and what he is capable of. More than that, he finds out what science is capable of creating—and destroying.

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Excerpt

Tacoma, Washington, three more school days until summer vacation, Friday, June fifth, to be exact. Three-twenty in the afternoon.

Ten minutes to freedom, that was how long I’d have to wait. The teacher droned on about homework, summer reading lists and so on, but my focus wasn’t on her. It was on the clock. At three-thirty the bell would ring and then say goodbye to T.C. Looma High for the next forty-eight hours. After that, only three more days to go and then I could get my vacay on for a period of two months plus.

Being totally honest, I’d always hated the word vacay as it sounded pretentious. The latest fad, the latest pithy saying, nah, pass. Wasn’t interested. The only thing that interested me this summer was which novels I’d have to read and finding a part-time job.

As the teacher’s drone continued, I couldn’t tear my attention away from the second hand of the clock. Now at three twenty-two and thirty-four seconds. C’mon, c’mon…

“Hey, Timmins, you got a job this summer?”

My seatmate, Ronny Gordon, a short and stocky kid with red hair and a tough pug’s face, tapped me on the shoulder and repeated the question.

I whispered, “Not yet.”

“I hear they have jobs downtown, cleaning buildings and all that.”

Oh, yeah? “You got one?”

He cast a furtive look at our homeroom teacher, Mrs. Corson. A sixtyish spinster sort, she never seemed to run out of breath. How she managed it was anyone’s guess. She also had a wicked temper and did not like anyone disrupting her class under any circumstances.

“Yeah, I’m going to work for my old man’s company,” Ronnie replied, sotto voce. “It’s not much, but it’s money, right?”

“Yeah, it is.”

Yes, it was. Money was something other people had. My mother and I didn’t. She worked hard at her job. While we had a rented roof over our heads, we made do with the simplest of meals, and I couldn’t remember the last time I’d eaten in a restaurant.

In a sudden burst of noise, the bell rang accompanied by the blessed words of, “Class dismissed.”

Time to scoot, and everyone else took the ending of today as the day to get their party bash on. Friday was fun day. It was also date night, something that hadn’t yet happened for me.

At my locker, bits and snatches of conversations drifted over as everyone got ready to leave. Parties, future jobs, girlfriends and boyfriends and more and then there was me, left out of everything, as usual.

Life, it seemed, had two sets of people in it. On the plus side, there were the people who had a special status, as they belonged to the popular, cool crowd. On the minus side, there were the people who were on the outside looking in. I fell into the latter category.

Had it ever been any different? Rhetorical—it hadn’t, not at my old schools, and after only two months into this new hallowed hall of learning, it seemed as though the status quo would continue, summer vacation notwithstanding. Sigh…

Ronny nodded at me as he passed by, accompanied by a girl from another class. Good for him, he had an SO. It seemed everyone did. As for me, what did I have except a summer with lots of books to read and no one to spend it with?

As I turned back to my locker, I caught sight of my reflection in a girl’s compact. Sharon Linder was checking her makeup. She was a hottie, but like all the other girls, off-limits.

In that brief glance I saw my own face, the thin lips, the big beak, and the mop of dark hair that fell over my forehead. It partially hid my features, but not the one outstanding flaw in them. That flaw hit me every second of every minute, hour, and day of my life.

My right eyelid drooped, closing my eye halfway, ruining the symmetry of my face. The medical term for it was called ptosis. To me, it sounded like someone was spitting. Reasons for it included nerve damage, heredity, or accident.

In my case, I’d been born with it. Aesthetically speaking, it made me look like a perv perpetually winking at everyone. The doctors had tried fixing it—operation number three had been performed six months ago—but it still drooped, and it sucked all the way…

“Have you heard about the party?”

Someone talking to me? The question came again, and this time it had my name attached to it, a rarity around here. “Sam, I asked if you’d heard about the party.”

At the sound of the voice I turned around and found the class president, Stephanie Madison, gazing at me from her angular, pretty face. Dressed in a cream white blouse and matching skirt, she could have passed for a fashion model. With a seemingly careless yet practiced move, she tossed her long black hair back, all in a bid to emphasize her sculpted features.

Her boyfriend, Paul Nelson, a hulking six-two, two-hundred pounder who was the star of the football team, stood behind her, hands on her shoulders as if comforting her—or owning her. I couldn’t tell which. With perfectly coiffed and gelled blond hair, like his girlfriend, he had the looks of a model and the body of a god. Me, I had the looks of a pelican and the body of a stick. Thanks a lot, genetics.

Paul stared at me through cold blue eyes, sniffed the air as though something had died and then whispered to her, “See you later, babe.”

Being totally honest, I’d always hated the word vacay as it sounded pretentious. The latest fad, the latest pithy saying, nah, pass. Wasn’t interested. The only thing that interested me this summer was which novels I’d have to read and finding a part-time job.

As the teacher’s drone continued, I couldn’t tear my attention away from the second hand of the clock. Now at three twenty-two and thirty-four seconds. C’mon, c’mon…

“Hey, Timmins, you got a job this summer?”

My seatmate, Ronny Gordon, a short and stocky kid with red hair and a tough pug’s face, tapped me on the shoulder and repeated the question.

I whispered, “Not yet.”

“I hear they have jobs downtown, cleaning buildings and all that.”

Oh, yeah? “You got one?”

He cast a furtive look at our homeroom teacher, Mrs. Corson. A sixtyish spinster sort, she never seemed to run out of breath. How she managed it was anyone’s guess. She also had a wicked temper and did not like anyone disrupting her class under any circumstances.

“Yeah, I’m going to work for my old man’s company,” Ronnie replied, sotto voce. “It’s not much, but it’s money, right?”

“Yeah, it is.”

Yes, it was. Money was something other people had. My mother and I didn’t. She worked hard at her job. While we had a rented roof over our heads, we made do with the simplest of meals, and I couldn’t remember the last time I’d eaten in a restaurant.

In a sudden burst of noise, the bell rang accompanied by the blessed words of, “Class dismissed.”

Time to scoot, and everyone else took the ending of today as the day to get their party bash on. Friday was fun day. It was also date night, something that hadn’t yet happened for me.

At my locker, bits and snatches of conversations drifted over as everyone got ready to leave. Parties, future jobs, girlfriends and boyfriends and more and then there was me, left out of everything, as usual.

Life, it seemed, had two sets of people in it. On the plus side, there were the people who had a special status, as they belonged to the popular, cool crowd. On the minus side, there were the people who were on the outside looking in. I fell into the latter category.

Had it ever been any different? Rhetorical—it hadn’t, not at my old schools, and after only two months into this new hallowed hall of learning, it seemed as though the status quo would continue, summer vacation notwithstanding. Sigh…

Ronny nodded at me as he passed by, accompanied by a girl from another class. Good for him, he had an SO. It seemed everyone did. As for me, what did I have except a summer with lots of books to read and no one to spend it with?

As I turned back to my locker, I caught sight of my reflection in a girl’s compact. Sharon Linder was checking her makeup. She was a hottie, but like all the other girls, off-limits.

In that brief glance I saw my own face, the thin lips, the big beak, and the mop of dark hair that fell over my forehead. It partially hid my features, but not the one outstanding flaw in them. That flaw hit me every second of every minute, hour, and day of my life.

My right eyelid drooped, closing my eye halfway, ruining the symmetry of my face. The medical term for it was called ptosis. To me, it sounded like someone was spitting. Reasons for it included nerve damage, heredity, or accident.

In my case, I’d been born with it. Aesthetically speaking, it made me look like a perv perpetually winking at everyone. The doctors had tried fixing it—operation number three had been performed six months ago—but it still drooped, and it sucked all the way…

“Have you heard about the party?”

Someone talking to me? The question came again, and this time it had my name attached to it, a rarity around here. “Sam, I asked if you’d heard about the party.”

At the sound of the voice I turned around and found the class president, Stephanie Madison, gazing at me from her angular, pretty face. Dressed in a cream white blouse and matching skirt, she could have passed for a fashion model. With a seemingly careless yet practiced move, she tossed her long black hair back, all in a bid to emphasize her sculpted features.

Her boyfriend, Paul Nelson, a hulking six-two, two-hundred pounder who was the star of the football team, stood behind her, hands on her shoulders as if comforting her—or owning her. I couldn’t tell which. With perfectly coiffed and gelled blond hair, like his girlfriend, he had the looks of a model and the body of a god. Me, I had the looks of a pelican and the body of a stick. Thanks a lot, genetics.

Paul stared at me through cold blue eyes, sniffed the air as though something had died and then whispered to her, “See you later, babe.”