“Fans of A Wrinkle in Time can’t missDimension Drift!” – Christina Trevaskis, The Book Matchmaker
Truth time. I go to a Learning Squirrel High School. Don’t judge.
On second thought, judge away. Learning Squirrel is one step above attending class in a junkyard. But what do you expect? Everything’s made out of garbage these days. At least, I have my freelance work to keep Mom and me housed, clothed, and fed. How? I’m your regular high school science geek for hire, except my work manipulates space-time. The good news is that these gigs pay really well; the bad news is that the government likes to kill people like me. Whatever. I’m not worried; hiding from their detection systems is easy for me.
Then I screw up one of my illegal projects. Badly.
In fact, things go so sideways that my house slips into two-dimensional space-time. The shift only lasts for a few seconds, but that’s long enough to set off a dozen government alarms. If those goons track me down, Mom and I are as good as dead. Long story short, I need to pay someone off, hide the evidence, and keep us safe.
Unfortunately, that means asking the Scythe for help. He runs the local underground crime scene and has absolutely no conscience…Or at least, I’m pretty sure he doesn’t. It’s hard to think straight when a guy’s that hot in an ‘evil Mafioso kingpin’ kind of way. Most importantly, the Scythe is a crime lord who can conceal my slip-up with a few clicks on his minion’s computer keyboards. But the man has his price. In this case, the Scythe wants me to finish a certain dimensional prototype for him in twenty-four hours. I can do it, but it might mean Learning Squirrel High gets blown up in the process. Oh yes, and there’s also my new hot classmate who may or may not be an alien…and he says he’ll do anything to help me.
This job won’t be easy, but I’ve gotten out of worse scrapes. Maybe.
Our shared connection returns. Thorne’s emotions flow through my soul. I soak in the feelings.
The searing pain of worry.
“Yes, Thorne.” My voice comes out rough and low. “I trust you.”
Thorne closes his eyes, and even in the dim moonlight, I can see his skin change color. Every inch of him is now colored in azure.
“You really, really are an alien.”
A small smile quirks his mouth again. “And you’re not frightened of me.”
“I should be.” In fact, I should scream and run right now, and for multiple reasons. Maybe it’s my dreams. Or the intensity of Throne’s emotions. Or something else I’m too afraid to name.
Whatever it is, I can’t help but stare at his mouth.
“Never be frightened of me, Rosa Meimifloria Archer, my glorious girl named after the drift rose.” Thorne leans in closer. His breath fans across my lips. “I’ll do whatever it takes to keep you safe. And for me, my people, a kiss can connect our consciousness in special ways.” He gently moves his mouth across mine.
Black, silver, and blue light now flare across Throne’s azure skin. The same colors shine from me as well. Deep in my soul, new links form. Energies entwine. Psychological cogs connect and spin. Warmth and affection spread.
I break the kiss, breathless. The light from our skin dies down. The azure hue disappears from Thorne.
“What was that?” I ask.
“The only way I can keep you safe.” Thorne’s mouth thins to a determined line. “Although it will mean a battle with my father.”
Fresh panic streams through my veins. “Don’t do that. I’m not worth it.”
“That’s where you’re wrong, Meimi. You’re remarkable.”
“Why? Because I build prototypes?”
“No, because you’ve a true heart, stellar mind, and fighting spirit. I’d tear apart any number of universes for you. You may find this hard to believe, but I already have.”