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Tempting Raine Chapter 1

First Posted: Dec. 18, 2015, 6:58 p.m. CST
Last Updated: Dec. 28, 2017, 1:01 a.m. CST
Harmony learns the paranormal world is real and she plays a major part in it.

This excerpt is from Lynn La Vanway's novel "Tempting Raine" and excerpts will be published on Thought Cow. You may find the book in its entirety through Barnes and Noble here: Tempting Raine

1 He had been dead eight years and yet he still haunted me. The image of him calling out to me; a little girl helpless to do anything and wanting to save him. The rain falling, making it impossible to see and his blood soaking my hands. The series of events seemed to last forever, but it was just a few seconds in reality. It was just a dream. Unfortunately, I was only dreaming of two things lately; the accident and my mystery man. He appeared every so often but I didn’t know who he was or why I dreamed of him but both left me shaking when I opened my eyes. My sleep had been dreamless for a while, until this mystery man. That’s when I started dreaming about the car again. It wasn’t pleasant and sleeping pills didn’t work anymore. It used to be, that when I took them, I’d be too far under to dream, or at least to remember any of my dreams. I missed those days. Now, they just made it harder for me to wake up; leaving me groggy for the majority of my morning. I blamed my freaky dreams on my parents. You don’t name your only daughter Harmony Raine and expect her to be normal. There’s just no way that’s possible. I didn’t mind the Harmony part, but combined with Raine, it was just a little too much. I used to ask why I didn’t have a normal name like Jennifer or Caroline, my parents always just said that they didn’t want to give a normal name to someone they knew was so special. I know, a crap response; especially since my brother’s name is Joseph. What can you do when you’re little though? You want your parents to tell you that you’re special and that you’re one of a kind. Little did I know that they were right and maybe the name did fit me, a unique name for a unique person. Time to start another day, I moaned at the thought. The good thing was that I didn’t work today, so I got to spend it as I pleased which happened to be with Athena Carson, best friend and sister I never had. She was a bit bubbly, but it was tolerable since she was kind of the opposite of me; she was more down to earth and practical than me and I tend to be more whimsy than her, so it was inevitable that we become friends-we balanced each other out. Since my dreams had started I found it difficult to be completely honest about myself to people, but when it comes to Athena, it’s hard to keep secrets. Even over the phone or through email she knows when something’s bothering me or if I’m lying, it’s hard to find friends that will accept you for who you are and will stand by you even when you make stupid choices. Other than my mom and brother, Athena was the most important person to me. Since my break up with my last boyfriend, I hadn’t been my cheery self and Athena had been trying to turn that around. Today she was trying shopping and lunch. Lunch was her treat; I had to buy the stuff that I wanted. I threw on jeans and a tank top and looked in the mirror. My long black hair did nothing for me so I pulled it back in a pony tail and added just a touch of eye shadow to help my brown eyes stand out a little bit more. My lips are a rosy pink and so I hardly wore lip gloss. I was decent enough for my best friend. I opened the door to Athena standing there getting ready to knock. “Hi! Ready to go?” I was taken back a little at her greeting but it put a smile on my face. She was her cheerful self even when I couldn’t be. Without a word I locked my door and we headed to the car. She wore her light brown hair short, cut just below her ears and even though I prefer long hair, the style looked good surrounding her thin face. Her eyes were a milk chocolate color and even though she thought they were boring, they always sparkled and made you feel like she was happy to see you. She was shorter than me by about three inches, so whenever we hugged I always had to bend down to reach her. “I’m thinking lunch first,” she said as we pulled into the parking lot at the mall. “I’m starving.” “You’re always on the brink of starving,” I said laughing. She was small, but she could definitely put the food away like it was nothing. I wish I had her metabolism. “Shut up.” She turned smiling at me. “Have you decided on what you’re going to do about Chris?” I asked. Chris is our friend and also someone she likes. “What do you mean?” She got nervous around this subject and I watched as color filled her face turning it from the pale white to almost a bright red. “Well, you are going to see him this weekend. Are you going to make a move or not?” “No, I’m not. You should know me better than that.” “I know, but one can hope.” We sat in silence for a moment before she broke it. “So, how are you doing anyways? I know it’s been about two months, but you know Luke’s got a new girlfriend.” “What am I supposed to do? It happens and I’ll move on to dating someone else too. It would just be nice if I were the first one to find someone and not him.” I wasn’t lying. I really was ok with him finding someone else. I felt more for her than for him but if she wanted someone like him, so be it. His true stripes would show their colors eventually. “I won’t lie, we dated for almost three years; it would’ve been nice if he showed a little bit of emotion about the break up, but I shouldn’t really expect him too. It’s just the girl in me wishing it.” I said it a little bitter but she knew that I didn’t like talking about it and so that part of our conversation was kept short. It wasn’t that I was angry with him even though he wasn’t very nice about the whole thing, I was mainly embarrassed and upset with myself; ergo we didn’t really talk about it too much. Nobody likes to be reminded of painful mistakes they made. “I know you’ll be fine,” her voice sounded small. She really was concerned and I can’t blame her. When someone you care about gets hurt you do whatever you can to try and mend it, but there are some wounds that no one but the wounded can heal and this was one of them. After lunch we walked around the mall. It was two stories and most of the department stores like JcPenny’s and Macy’s were on the bottom. One of our first stops was Macys. Athena ended up buying a really cute outfit; just a pair of jeans and a shirt, but they flattered her small figure very nicely. I’m sure that she’d wait to wear it though until we made plans with Chris. Then she could show it off for the first time. After Macy’s we headed upstairs to Hot Topic; one of my favorites. I fell short there and walked out empty handed so we wandered some more, window shopping mostly. It was getting late when we left so we decided to head over to a burger place for dinner. It wasn’t planned, but spending my time with her really made me remember why we were such close friends; we complemented each other nicely. I was able to help her raise her self esteem and to come out of her shell a little bit. When we first met, she was extremely shy and couldn’t see why people loved being around her, and now, she’s been able to realize that she’s a wonderful person and that people want to be around her because of who she is and not out of pity. In return, she took my weird obsessions in stride and let me be myself. She gave me confidence boosts when I needed it, and right now it seemed like a lot. I don’t know what I would ever do if something happened to her. “Do you think the outfit is alright?” By the tone of her voice I knew she was concerned. It could only mean one thing. “Yes, Athena, I think Chris will like it, besides they were both on sale so you shouldn’t have passed it up anyways.” I said as I shoved some fries into my mouth. “Shut up!” her cheeks became flush at the comment. “What? It doesn’t take a genius to know why you are so worried. That and I’ve known you how long?” “I hate when you’re right.” “Then you are filled with hate,” I said laughing. “So, I’ve been curious, any more dreams?” She was very cautious about asking me about the dreams. They were sometimes a sore subject with me. “Nothing that really matters, just the accident and my mystery man.” “That’s it huh? Well, is that a good thing?” “I’m not sure. I don’t really know which dream is worse. The accident always brings up painful memories and the mystery man leaves me frustrated even if he is good on the eyes.” She got silent. She usually did about the dreams. It was something she was ok with but not something she really understood so even though she tried to embrace all of my quirks she didn’t always know how to handle them and it made me appreciate her even more. “Do you remember when I moved?” “Yes, that was awful. I honestly didn’t think it would be as bad as it was. Our poor parents and the bills they had to pay then.” “I know, did I ever tell you that my parents threatened to make me pay for them in order to get me to stop calling you as much? They couldn’t understand why we had to talk every single day.” “They did not! Why didn’t I know that? That’s hilarious though and clearly a threat that did not work.” We sat laughing as I thought back to that time. I didn’t have my best friend anymore and as a result our phone bills went sky high. My mom wasn’t thrilled about the bills but she was willing to pay them. I didn’t have too many friends and my mom didn’t want me to end up isolating myself from everyone, again. I spent a lot of my school time writing letters to her, but it wasn’t the same as hearing her voice and getting an immediate response. You would’ve thought that we were twin sisters with the way we acted being split up and it was only for a couple of months before she ended up moving back. I cried almost every day she was gone and so I was really excited when she told me that they were coming home. Not only that, but she’d be able to finish high school here so we wouldn’t have to worry about that happening again. We were pretty inseparable after that. Life would be hard without her in it. “Do you remember your welcome home party?” “You mean the dinner you took me too?” “Ok, so there weren’t a lot of us there, but Chris came. That was the night you two really hit it off. I was just happy to have you home.” “I know. You really would’ve thought it had been years instead of months.” “True, but I couldn’t help it. You were the only one I could openly talk to.” We ended up staying there until closing talking about school, the past, the future, boys, and even our fantasies. We didn’t hide things from each so it always left a pretty broad opening for any sort of topic. After dinner we separated and went home. Once there, I was ready to relax, so I took a bubble bath and then crawled into bed to sleep.

This article was written by Lynn La Vanway.

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