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Atlantis Tide Breaker

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Atlantis Tide Breaker
Lost Daughters of Atlantis Novella 3.5

When a girl isn’t who she appears to be…

Playing the part of bubbly bimbo keeps Tori Kelly safe and secure. Not having her best friend at school makes the façade hard to manage. The only thing she can do is keep an eye out for her best friend-turned-princess and muddle through senior year.

Then, one night she stops an intruder in her best friend’s house. Who happens to be her crush from last summer.

Gill’s mission as an Atlantean Royal Guard is to protect the princesses and find the key to a message from Poseidon. A message that will destroy the traitors and win the underwater war. But he can’t crack the code. Not until the girl he’d fallen for last summer steps in with her formidable brain. He must drag Tori underwater, even though she can’t breathe in it, and expose her to unbelievable danger. Because not only did she crack the key’s code, she is now the key herself.

Free on Wattpad or if you can’t wait to find out what happens you can buy the full novella at Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Google Play | Kobo

Reviews

“This was a great Novella where you get to see everyone come together and get an idea of how things are going to go down the line.”

starstarstarstarstarFast, Fun Read
“I've been enjoying the Allie Burton's Atlantis Series. Tide Breaker is a fun fast read from a slightly different point of view - a friend of the Princesses of Atlantis. I enjoyed reading it and found it an exciting tale. The villain was interesting and the witty quips from characters add to the enjoyment.” – KB, the storiologist

starstarstarstarstar
“A really good read I have enjoyed the fantasy world created by the author and hope that there will be more books in the series.” - Jill

Excerpt

Chapter One
Boyfriend Bounce Back

A light flickered in the window of the house next door. My best friend’s house. A house that was supposed to be empty.

Tiny tingles of nerves crawled up my spine like an army of small spiders. I hated spiders. Something was off.

Moving toward my bedroom window, I squinted. Rain rat-a-tat-tatted on the glass pane. Lightning flashed. Thunder struck. I jumped.

The unusual thunderstorm had ruined the last day of summer before my junior year of high school. Storms had actually ruined the last several weeks. Dark, roiling, angry clouds had encamped on the southern California coast. Not a normal sight.

Another flash in the window. Lightning reflecting off the glass?

No one could be in that house. Maris’s parents had left for a medical mission in Africa this morning. And Maris had been gone most of the summer. Busy with her new boyfriend and her new royal role of Atlantean Princess.

Pain struck my chest like the lightning outside. Hot. Sharp. Jagged. She’d moved on and left me behind when normally we did everything together. Resentment built on top of my anger. This was supposed to have been our first summer of real freedom because we both could drive. Instead, she’d been busy discovering her true heritage and a new boyfriend.

And I’d been used by one of his friends.

Shaking off the pain of rejection, I focused on why Maris was gone. A more general burning sensation developed—like a constant heartburn of worry. Maris was trying to prevent an underwater war.

And Maris and her sisters weren’t being successful as the constant threat of severe thunderstorms indicated. I recognized the signs of battle, even if no other air-breathers were aware of the danger. Maris had told me about the sudden storms, the rogue waves, the whirlpools.

The light in the window flashed again. Lasted longer. Like a beam from a flashlight. Not lightning.

My over-analyzing, worry-wart tendencies busted. Nerves exploded into thrills. My tingles shimmied to a happy beat. Maris was back. The light in her bedroom window was proof of her return.

I knew she wouldn’t force me to start junior year by myself. She understood how important the first day of school was to me. We’d been best friends forever and the first day of school was a sacred ritual.

An excited I-knew-it smile burst from my lips. “Epic.”

I dashed out of my bedroom grabbing the extra set of house keys on my way out the back door.
Using the well-worn path between the bushes dividing our lawns, I jogged to Maris’s back door and inserted my key.

Planning to surprise her, I cracked open the door and slipped inside. I couldn’t wait for her to scream my name. Couldn’t wait to feel her arms around me. Couldn’t wait to hear about her latest underwater adventure.

Running up the stairs, my bare feet didn’t make a sound. A shout of welcome built in my lungs. I couldn’t wait to see her, to hug her, to talk to her.

I tiptoed to her open door and peeked in her bedroom. It was dark. Empty.

Completely confuzzled, I gazed around. This was where the light had come from. I knew her house as well as I knew my own. We used to wave to each other from our bedroom windows, send signals in the middle of the night.

A bang sounded above my head. From the attic.

Why was Maris in the attic?

I turned toward the narrow stairs, then stopped. Uh oh.

My breath caught in my throat. Was it Maris? Or was it someone else? Someone who wasn’t supposed to be here?

Maris wouldn’t use a flashlight. She’d turn on the lights. And she would’ve let me know she was coming home.

For being such an Einstein, I could be totally clueless.

A loud bang. A drawer closing or an object dropping. A deep swear word.

Unless Maris had a cold, that was so not her voice. Even with a cold she’d never sounded so deep. That wasn’t Maris in the attic.

I froze like a B-list celebrity posing for the paparazzi. My eyes plastered open. Fear jarred my bones causing pain to shoot and shatter throughout my body. Maris wasn’t here, but I wasn’t alone.

I wiggled my toes. No shoes. I fisted my hands around my cell phone. No weapon.

Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.

Whoever was in the attic wasn’t supposed to be there.

Panic pulsed through my bloodstream. My mind shouted, “Run!” I swiveled around.

The floorboard creaked. I stopped. Listened.

No noise from above. From my chest was a different matter. My heart pounded like it was about to explode. Air swooshed through my lungs. My muscles bunched ready to run.

But I needed to be stealthy. I tiptoed forward. Past her parents’ messy bedroom. My gaze darted in and out of the room assessing the danger.

Shadows shifted in the hall. The pounding in my heart double-timed like step dancers to a fast beat. I shuffled past the guest bedroom.

A strong arm wrapped around my neck.

All the air evacuated my respiratory system. Every tendon tensed. My blood pulsed so strong I’d send a blood pressure gauge into the red zone. I was going to be strangled in my best friend’s house.

“Ahhhhhh!” I screamed so high I hoped to break his eardrums.

I punched the spot on my phone about where the number nine should be. I’d become an expert at texting with my phone in my pocket, why not dialing?

A hand covered my mouth.

My nerve endings screamed because my mouth couldn’t. I twisted and turned hoping to break free. Quickly, I pressed the spot where the number one should be. Twice.

A body pressed against mine. The intruder’s damp shorts chilled my backside. His strength overpowered. His salty scent reminded me of the ocean.

The electronic buzz of my phone sounded like a loud burglar alarm. I wish.

The intruder knocked the phone out of my hand. It clattered to the ground. Any hope I’d had of alerting the police broke with my cell.

Without thinking, I grabbed the vase from the hallway table and swung a backswing at my attacker. The plastic vase bounced off his shoulder. He didn’t lessen his grip.
I stomped on his bare foot. Why would a thief not wear shoes?

His body tightened, but he didn’t scream or let go. “Tori. Stop.”

I froze. My heart thudded landing somewhere in my cramped stomach. The attacker knew my name.

“Tori. It’s Gill.” The familiar voice. The name. His name.

The thudding picked up its pace. Not from fear. From attraction. Unreturned attraction.

Adrenaline leaked like a punctured tire making my body go slack.

“You’re not going to scream are you?” He lifted his hand from my mouth.

I swiveled around. Gill stood in the hallway in damp swim trunks and nothing else. His muscular calves and thighs led to a trim waist. Every highly defined muscle on his abs showed his excellent shape. Not to mention the wide shoulders and well-developed arms.

Heat tingled in my tummy. Shivers skated across my skin.

Steadying my shaking limbs, I raised my gaze to his sharp green eyes. A line of freckles ran across the top of his cheeks and nose. His thick, red hair stuck up as if he’d shaken it when he got out of the ocean and the strands dried in place. Normally, gingers weren’t my taste, but Gill reminded me of a younger version of Prince Harry.

Obviously Gill hadn’t wanted to see me or he would’ve come to my house. He knew where I lived. Had spent plenty of time there pretending to like me while protecting Maris.

Past anger mixed with the new scare twisting in my gut and forcing a reaction. I smacked his arm. “Gill, what’re you doing here?”

“Shh!” He bent down, picked up my phone, and clicked the call off. “Who did you call?”

“I tried to call the police. I thought…I thought someone was breaking in.”

His lips curled in that slightly-mischievous-crush-worthy smile. “In a way I am.”

His smile melted my anger like acetone nail polish remover dissolved plastic. My backbone softened and mushed until our past womped my supposedly-brilliant brain. He’d hurt me before and he’d scared me now, and all he could do was tease.

I couldn’t let him charm me out of my anger. Adrenaline still had my heart racing. He’d scared me, covered my mouth. I could’ve died of a heart attack. “What’re you doing here?”

I stared into his crystal clear emerald pools remembering how they used to glimmer with attraction for me. Or so I thought. Once Maris had received her own Royal Guard for protection, Gill had disappeared into the ocean.

He’d never explained why. He’d never said goodbye.

For days we’d held hands and kissed under the stars. One night we’d been discussing marine ecospheres, when suddenly we’d needed to rescue Maris and five other people from a rock in the ocean. Then, Gill was gone. Leaving me to try to understand what had happened and if I’d done something wrong.

“Maris sent me to get something.” He glanced toward the attic and back.

The unusual nervous gesture surprised me. He wanted the object and he wanted to be gone. He did not want to be questioned. He probably didn’t even want to talk to me.

My eyes prickled with a telling hotness. I blinked a couple of times and then angled my head. “Why couldn’t she come and get it herself?”

At least Maris had said goodbye. She hadn’t explained much saying it would be safer for everyone that way. But I trusted her because we were best friends. Gill hadn’t said squat, so I trusted him as far as I could throw him. Into the ocean.

“It’s too dangerous for her.” His stark words drove home the truth.

Drove a cold spike of intense pain into my chest making it difficult to breathe. My best friend was at risk and wouldn’t be coming home for a while.

“She’s not coming back for school tomorrow, is she?” I sounded so sad and wistful. The slight hope I’d held disintegrated.

“Sorry.” He placed a hand on my shoulder in a comforting gesture.

But his touch didn’t comfort. His touch ignited.

I shook off his hand. I couldn’t let him know how much his touch affected me. How much his leaving this summer had hurt. We’d only had a couple of dates, but I’d thought Gill and I had immediately connected. He’d been different from any other guy I knew. And now I knew why.

He was an Atlantean.

I placed a snarky, plastic smile on my face. “Curb your concern. I’ll be fine.” Just like Gill was fine after leaving me.

A car door banged.

Gill’s body tensed beside mine. “What’s that?”

I flicked the curtains. “Police. Let’s go talk to them.” I scooped my cell phone off the ground.
“But I have to—”

I grabbed his arm and tugged. He didn’t understand the local police. “We’ll appear less suspicious if we go out and explain.” I pulled him down the stairs.

“We can’t tell them the truth.” A note of panic in his voice matched his wide-eyed expression.

Normally, Gill always seemed so totally together.

“What that you’re from Atlantis and you’re retrieving an item for the Atlantean princess who lives here?” The untwisted truth sound insane. “Ridic.”

“Tori.”

I loved how he said my name, how it rolled off his tongue with a hint of frustration and respect, how he infused it with a warmth I’d never heard from anyone else before. The weak spot I had for him concave-d and widened. A spot so big my heart could fall in and never be found again.
Most likely all the Atlantean girls swooned when he said their names. I had to remember he used me this summer.

Opening the front door, I held up my hands making them visible to the policeman standing by the front door of his car. “Officer. I’m Victoria Kelly and I live next door.”

“Who’s that?” The short, paunchy cop held a radio in his hand.

“This is Gill.” I held my cell phone higher and moved to the center of the small courtyard near the fountain. “We called nine-one-one by accident.”

“What were you doing in your neighbor’s house?” The cop’s rough tone sent a quiver of nerves down my spine. He wasn’t buying it.

Time to turn on the bubbly blonde charm. “We,” I pointed at Gill, “were at my house next door.” I sent a wide, phony smile toward the cop and giggled for effect. “I thought we saw a light in a window and we came to check it out.”

“Not a smart thing to do.” The cop’s tone relaxed.

“That’s what Gill said.” I made the giggly-nervous-I’m-so-stupid sound again. I hated this dumb blonde role, but it always worked. With cops, in school, with guys. “But I insisted.”

“What’s your name, son?” The cop set down the radio and took out a notebook and pen.

Gill moved closer to me. “Um, Gill Smith.” The lie seemed obvious to me, but the cop jotted down the information.

“Where do you live?”

Gill’s gaze darted around. He didn’t know how to answer.

“He’s visiting me. From Arkansas.” I walked closer to the police car. “My neighbors are out of town and I’m watching the house for them.” I held up the keys and jiggled.

“Did you find anything out of place inside?” The cop’s voice softened with concern.

“No, sir.” I forced another nervous-giggle and placed my fingers on my throat. “With all these storms I’ve been a little jumpy.”

Gill rolled his eyes. He wasn’t buying my act. Our last night together I’d slipped up and showed him my intelligence.

“That’s understandable.” The cop nodded toward the front door. “Why don’t you lock the door and I’ll patrol the area making sure nothing is out of the ordinary.”

Guess my acting was getting better and better. The cop didn’t realize he was dealing with a teenage brainiac.

“Thank you, Officer.” Hiding my smug smile, I locked the front door and grabbed Gill’s hand ignoring the sparks shooting between our clasped fingers.

We walked back to my house and I settled on the double swing on the front porch. I wanted to see how long the cop hung around.

Gill stomped on the first step and stopped. “I have to get back into Maris’s house. My mission is urgent.”

Acid crawled through the lining of my belly. Maris was my best friend. Wasn’t she? I knew her house better than anyone. Why hadn’t she asked me to help? Is she protecting me or icing me out?

I hadn’t heard from her in weeks. She’d never been away from Mermaid Beach for this long. And with her parents’ abrupt departure for a medical mission trip, I wondered if she ever would return.

There’d also been strong indicators that the Atlantean war was brewing. The constant thunderstorms, the rogue waves, the earthquakes. These strange occurrences added up to something being wrong under the ocean.

Like an internal thunderstorm, confusion, worry and resentment tossed around inside me.

“What does Maris need?” What was so important that she’d send Gill to get?

“Top secret.”

Maris trusted Gill more than me. Hollowness carved out of my stomach. An empty void of loneliness. Maris and I never used to have secrets. I always thought we were closer than real sisters. But now that she had two half-sisters of her own, I realized we weren’t.

The void swelled with harshness scratching and clawing at my gut. Had her half-sisters replaced me?

My mouth stiffened and I forced them into a smirk. “Chill.”

“I’ve got to find it.” His desperate tone scraped along my spinal column.

I shivered. The trembles settled deep in my bones chilling my jealousy and hurt. Maris was in trouble. Whatever he needed to find was important to her.

“We’ll have to wait until the cop leaves the neighborhood.” Maris might not want me involved in her dangerous war, she might not think of me like a sister anymore, but I wanted to help her in this battle. We’d been friends too long. “If we go back now, we’ll look suspicious.”

“We?” His eyebrows rose like a double suspension bridge.

I jingled the keys in my pocket. “I have easy access.”

Gill pounded up another step on the porch. His stern expression told me he didn’t even like being here with me and he certainly didn’t like waiting. He wrapped his arm around the post. “You shouldn’t be involved.”

“I am involved. Maris is my best friend.” The present tense stuck in my throat. Did I still believe that? “How is Maris? She’s okay, isn’t she?”

I sat up straight. What if she was sick or injured? I had no way to communicate with her when she was under the ocean in Atlantis. No way of knowing what was going on.

He leaned against the porch rail avoiding my gaze. “Maris is fine.” His chin tightened.

A lie.

I wished I could’ve read his facial expressions this summer. I would’ve recognized he wasn’t interested in me. But I’d been too infatuated.

Don’t go there.

“And her half-sisters?” I tried to keep the snarl of jealousy and insecurity out of my tone. Since finding her half-sisters, Maris had been less available and less open about her life.

“Fine, too. They three of them have grown close.”

The jealousy-on-ice melted, warmed by resentment of Maris’s new sisters. In the past Maris had told me everything. I was one of the first she’d told about her breathing underwater ability.

“When is Maris coming home?” Obviously, not in time for school to start tomorrow.

“Atlantis is her home.”

The betrayal hit me like a dodge ball thrown by a football player. Maris had never said she’d be gone for good. Her parents were here. I was here. She had to be coming back. Once the danger was past, once the war was under control, she’d be home.

Hating being kept in the dark, I spewed. “I’ve seen the storms over the ocean. The rogue waves. What’s going on in that underwater world of yours?”

“Nothing.”

“I know about the war.” Did Gill not understand that I knew what he was?

On her last visit Maris had told me about the increasing sabotage and battles. About Atlanteans switching sides. About betrayals and death.

“She shouldn’t have told you anything. The less you know the better.”

The anger boiled and churned. Sharp pains creased and cramped my gut. “Why? Because I’m not an Atlantean? Because I might spill your precious secrets?”

The lines on Gill’s face firmed. He took a step forward. He reached out his hand as if to touch me, but then let it drop. His face struggled to hold a blank expression. “Tori…I can’t tell you.”

“Can’t or won’t?”

Shaking his head, he took a step back and turned away. His retreat felt like an army of soldiers treading on my soul.

“You might not care about me, but I know Maris does. I need to know that’s she’s going to be okay.” I hated the pleading tone in my voice.

The strong muscles on his back tensed. “Cuda will take care of her.”

“I know he will.” I let my head flop against the back of the chair. Demands and threats weren’t working. “Please tell me what’s happening with the war?”

“Things are going…well.” Turning, Gill faced me again. His green eyes appeared sharp, confident, but there was a glimmer of…something.

I had to get information while he was here. Use him like he used me. “Have the three princesses of Atlantis made any progress at a cease-fire?”

“Yes.” His chin tightened again.

“You’re lying.”

He yanked on my arm pulling me to a standing position. Our bodies matched in all the right places. Thigh to thigh. Chest to chest. Mouth to mouth.

Heat and his ocean-fresh scent emanated off his skin. I inhaled deeply remembering times before when we’d been this close. When we’d been closer.

Tingles exploded across my body like electrical circuits misfiring. Neuron after neuron heated. My heart stopped and then re-started in a frenzied beat. My mind swirled forgetting our past and our non-future. Forgetting even our current conversation. Only thinking about the now.

His hand gripped my chin. His lips moved closer. Closer.

I inhaled a much-needed breath. I felt like I was drowning. My lungs burned. My body floated.

His lips barely touched mine. “Yes. I am lying. About everything.”