Voyage of the defiance, p.1
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       Voyage of the Defiance, p.1

           S. E. Smith
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Voyage of the Defiance


  Voyage of the Defiance

  Breaking Free series

  By S. E. Smith

  Acknowledgments

  I would like to thank my husband Steve for believing in me and being proud enough of me to give me the courage to follow my dream. I would also like to give a special thank you to my sister and best friend, Linda, who not only encouraged me to write, but who also read the manuscript. Also to my other friends who believe in me: Julie, Jackie, Lisa, Sally, Elizabeth (Beth) and Narelle. The girls that keep me going!

  —S. E. Smith

  A special thanks to Kaitlyn Geiger for sharing her love of her Akita, Breaker. He was the very best friend a girl could have and continues to live on in this story. Also, thank you to Bonnie Howard for her guidance and patience in helping me understand the technical language of sailing and Debbie for her letting me know I like the word ‘low’ just a little too much, as well as, her patience. LOL.

  Montana Publishing

  Young AdultYA ActionAdventureFiction

  Voyage of the Defiance: Breaking Free series

  Copyright © 2015 by S. E. Smith

  First E-Bookprint Published October 2015

  Cover Design by Melody Simmons

  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED: This literary work may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including electronic or photographic reproduction, in whole or in part, without express written permission from the author.

  All characters and events in this book are fictitious or have been used fictitiously, and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual persons living or dead, actual events, or organizations are strictly coincidental and not intended by the author.

  Summary: Sixteen year old Makayla’s life changes when she goes to live with the grandfather she barely remembers and discovers that not all things in life are what she expects when she meets a boy who will capture her heart, and another who will become an unlikely friend on a voyage that will test the person she is meant to be.

  ISBN 978-1-942562-67-2 (paperback)

  ISBN 978-1-942562-68-9 (eBook)

  Published in the United States by Montana Publishing.

  {1. High School – Fiction. 2. Schools – Fiction. 3. Action/Adventure – Fiction. 4. Florida (State) – Fiction.}

  www.montanapublishinghouse.com

  Synopsis

  An act of defiance that will either kill her or change her life forever…

  Sixteen year old Makayla Summerlin enjoyed one thing in her crazy, messed-up existence: hanging with her friends at school. Her life is uprooted when she suddenly finds herself forced to live with the grandfather she barely remembers.

  One act of defiance will change her life forever when she sets sail in her grandfather’s old sailboat after she has trouble adjusting to her new home. On a journey that will challenge everything she has ever believed about herself, Makayla must overcome her fears if she, and a surprising stowaway, are to survive.

  Chapter 1

  “What’d you do this time?” Tisha whispered, leaning forward in her seat so that she was closer to Makayla.

  Makayla rolled her eyes and turned to scowl in the direction where the English teacher was talking quietly with the principal, Mr. Wallace, at the entrance to the classroom. She knew the other students were glancing at her as well.

  Everyone had heard the principal’s quiet question when he asked if Makayla Summerlin was in the class. She ignored Tisha as she tried to hear what Mrs. Ruiz and Mr. Wallace were saying. Her stomach dropped when the door opened again behind him to reveal the Sheriff’s department School Resource Officer.

  “Oh, man, you are in deep sh…,” Tisha started to say before she leaned back when Mrs. Ruiz, Mr. Wallace, and the deputy all looked in their direction.

  “Miss Summerlin, please come with me,” Mr. Wallace requested, staring at Makayla.

  Makayla slowly slid out of her seat and turned, ignoring the bursts of whispers from the other students. Some were chuckling while a few called out jokingly for her to say hi to some of the other students at the Detention Center. She drew in a deep breath as she bent to pick up her backpack off the floor next to her desk.

  “I’ll call you later,” Makayla muttered under her breath to Tisha.

  “Good luck,” Tisha replied with a sympathetic look.

  Makayla nodded and finished stuffing her notepad and book in her backpack before picking it up and slinging it over her shoulder. With a defiant glance at the principal, she stepped over the backpack belonging to the guy sitting next to her and walked to the front of the room.

  “You’re not in trouble,” Mr. Wallace assured her, loud enough to be heard by the class.

  Makayla just shrugged. She knew she hadn’t done anything and really didn’t care what the other kids thought. She had learned back in middle school how to handle those that tried to mess with her. She, Tisha, and three other girls, Laura, Debbie, and Audrey, had perfected the art of smacking down anyone who messed with them.

  Her friends were the only ones who made life fun anymore. They had known each other since primary school and had made a pact when they moved into middle school that they would watch each other’s back. So far, they had done a pretty good job of it.

  She brushed her long, dark brown hair back from her face as she walked by the teacher. Mrs. Ruiz shot her a sad, sympathetic look before she turned back to the students in an effort to quiet them down.

  Good luck with that, Makayla thought as she glanced at Mr. Wallace through her eyelashes.

  She pushed past him and out the door when the deputy opened it further. Schooling her face into a blank mask, she walked quietly between the two men. Her mind swirled as she tried to think of anything she had done to get not only the principal’s attention, but the cops.

  Her stomach twisted as a dark feeling of dread surged through her. She glanced at the deputy walking beside her. He didn’t look back, but there was something in his stance that told her he was there on serious business. She wiped her suddenly damp palm against her faded blue jeans.

  “What’s going on?” She asked bluntly as they neared the double doors leading into the office, unable to contain her curiosity any longer. “I haven’t done anything.”

  Mr. Wallace paused as he opened the door and glanced at the deputy beside her before he looked away. He gave her a stiff smile and motioned for her to go ahead of them. Makayla’s eyes narrowed when his gaze didn’t quite meet her eyes.

  “As I told you before, you are not in trouble,” Mr. Wallace said. “We’ll meet in the conference room.”

  The suspicion that something was seriously wrong deepened the closer they got to the small conference room. The room was tucked in the corner of the hallway next to the guidance counselors’ offices. The door was open and she could see Mrs. Evers sitting at the scarred table.

  Her eyes swept the room as she entered, noting that only the guidance counselor assigned to her, the principal, and the deputy were there. She shrugged her backpack off and dropped it on the table before sliding onto one of the worn, padded chairs. Mr. Wallace cleared his throat as the deputy closed the door behind him.

  Her eyes shifted around as a sense of panic began to build deep inside her. She glanced from one person to the other before turning her head when Mrs. Evers reached over and gently touched her hand.

  “Makayla, I’m sorry to have to be the one to tell you this, but…,” Alma Evers paused for a moment before she spoke in a low voice. “It’s your mom…,” she said quietly.

  Makayla felt a cold sweat break out over her. She clutched her trembling hands together and glanced back to where the school resource officer was standing. She could feel the blood drain from her face and for a moment she was afraid she might actuall
y pass out.

  She opened her mouth, but it was as if someone had suddenly wrapped their hands around her throat. She swallowed again and began shaking her head in denial. A sob rose up, but she pushed it down.

  “Is she…,” Makayla finally forced out in a trembling voice. “Is she…?”

  Makayla lowered her head as tears burned her eyes. She couldn’t say the word that was choking her. She couldn’t voice the fear that her mom was… dead.

  “No… She’s not dead, but she is in the hospital. She was found unconscious early this morning by a co-worker,” Mrs. Evers said, glancing at the deputy again.

  Makayla turned her head when the man standing next to the door straightened and cleared his throat. She drew in a deep breath and waited. A part of her had always wondered if this day would come, while another part denied that it would ever get this bad. Her mom had a bad habit. She was addicted to painkillers, anything to numb her life. Makayla knew it and did what she could to protect her mom, but it was no use.

  Her mom had begun seeing a new guy a couple of months ago. Makayla didn’t like him. He was just as bad as her mom and she suspected he was helping supply her mom’s habit.

  “Where is she?” Makayla asked in a low, husky voice, glancing at the deputy’s name tag before looking him in the eye.

  “Tampa General,” Deputy Master’s replied. “Do you have any other family here?”

  Makayla shook her head. The only family she had was a grandfather that she hadn’t seen in years. He lived over on the east coast of Florida. All she remembered was there had been a huge fight as her mom packed her in the car. She had been six at the time.

  “My grandfather… My mom’s dad lives over in Fort Pierce, I think,” she said. “We… He and my mom had a big fight years ago. I haven’t seen him since.”

  “Can you please write down his name?” He asked.

  Makayla watched as he pulled a piece of paper and pen out of his pocket. He stepped up to the table and handed it to her. She pulled it toward her with trembling fingers. Writing down her grandfather’s name, she paused and bit her lip, looking up at the deputy with troubled eyes.

  “I don’t remember his address,” she whispered.

  Deputy Master’s reached down and took the paper from her hand, glancing at it before he gave her a small smile of understanding. He tucked the paper and pen back into his left breast pocket and nodded to the principal. Makayla swallowed and stood when Mr. Wallace and Mrs. Evers pushed back their chairs and rose.

  “Don’t worry about it,” Deputy Master’s replied. “We’ll notify him of the situation.”

  “Makayla, do you have any friends you can stay with?” Mrs. Evers asked.

  Makayla paused as she picked up her backpack. Her mind went to the five girls that she hung out with. Each of them had their own problem. Tisha’s mom and dad were in the middle of getting a divorce and Tisha was being bounced back and forth between their two homes. Laura’s mom was out of work and Laura was the only one working at the moment. Debbie’s parents were super strict, and in Makayla’s opinion more than a little strange. Audrey was the oldest of six kids and shared a room with three of her younger sisters in a small, three bedroom house.

  “No,” she admitted with a shake of her head. “I can stay….”

  Her voice faded when she thought of her mom’s new boyfriend, Rob. There was no way she could stay at the apartment they shared with him. She would be better off sleeping in her mom’s old car.

  “I want to see my mom,” she said suddenly, looking at the deputy.

  “Give me a minute,” Deputy Master’s said, opening the door and stepping out as he spoke softly into the radio attached to his left shoulder.

  “Makayla, if you need to talk about anything,” Mrs. Evers began to say awkwardly.

  Makayla breathed a sigh of relief when the door opened and the deputy nodded to her. She grabbed her backpack and slung it over her shoulder. Suddenly the room seemed smaller, more suffocating than she remembered.

  “Thanks,” she muttered, walking around the table.

  “I’ve gotten permission to take you to the hospital,” Deputy Master’s informed her as she stepped out into the hallway. “They are also notifying your grandfather of the situation.”

  Makayla nodded, not looking at the other students sitting in the outer office chairs. She pushed open the door to the front office and stepped outside into the early afternoon heat. It was the end of May and already getting hot.

  A surrealistic sense of being disconnected from what was happening washed over Makayla as she walked along the wide sidewalk. She glanced around the huge grounds of the historic campus. She only had another couple of weeks to finish her junior year at Hillsborough High School. She paused for a moment as she walked by the statue of the school’s mascot, her hand automatically reaching out to touch the hard, bronze surface. Some of the athletes said they touched it for good luck before a game. She wondered if there might be just a touch of good luck in it for her.

  “Makayla,” Deputy Master’s called in a quiet voice.

  Makayla looked at him and swallowed. She knew her eyes were bright with unshed tears. She could feel them burning.

  I won’t cry, she whispered silently to herself. I won’t. I’m tough. I have to be if I’m going to survive. Don’t let anyone know you are hurting. Don’t let anyone see you are weak. They will only use that against you if you do.

  She nodded and straightened her shoulders. Gripping the strap to her backpack tightly between her palms, she followed Deputy Master’s out to the patrol car parked out front. Sliding into the back seat, she stared out the window with sightless eyes.

  Chapter 2

  The muffled sounds of voices outside the room jerked Makayla awake. She groaned as she sat up on the hard cushion of the chair. Pushing the blanket down, she frowned as she shoved her hair out of her face. She blinked several times trying to clear the fog from her brain.

  Her fingers touched the blanket as she tried to remember where she was, and why she was sleeping in a chair. Her eyes jerked up to the sleeping figure. Pushing the blanket aside, she stiffly rose and stretched before slowly walking over to the bed.

  She reached over the railing and gently cupped the hand of the woman lying so peacefully on the pristine white sheets. Tears burned her eyes again when she saw the strap around the fragile wrist. The fingers in her hand barely moved, but it was enough for Makayla to know her mom was still alive.

  “Ma… kay… la,” Teresa Summerlin whispered in a voice that sounded raw and strained as she slowly opened her eyes.

  “Hey, mom,” Makayla whispered, giving her mom a tired smile. “You don’t look so good.”

  Tears glittered in Teresa’s eyes as she stared up at her daughter. “I… don’t feel… so good,” she forced out.

  Makayla bit her lip and lowered her head so her mom couldn’t see the pain in her eyes. She stared at their joined hands. Her mother’s addiction to prescription drugs had started when Makayla was nine. At first, it had been antidepressants. That changed to pain medication after a car accident three years ago. Since then, her mom’s addiction had grown as she tried to escape from life.

  It was strange that Makayla saw it, but her mom didn’t. Six months ago, Rob had come into the picture. Makayla tried to warn her mom that she was making a mistake. There had been something about the guy that gave her the creeps. The feeling had been justified when the physical violence started soon after the mental abuse stopped working, mostly because of the drugs. Her mom had just stopped caring what Rob said.

  “I need… my medicine,” her mom whispered, licking her dry lips.

  Makayla shook her head. “They took everything,” she said with a frown, glancing at the door when the sound of the voices on the other side rose. Her lips tightened when she recognized Rob’s familiar voice. “I don’t want him near you. You’ve got to tell him to go away.”

  Teresa shifted anxiously in the bed. Her fingers tightened on Makayla’s a
s a sense of desperation began to burn in her eyes. Makayla recognized the look. Her mom needed her ‘fix’.

  “I can’t, Makayla,” Teresa mumbled in a hoarse voice. “I need him.”

  “No, you don’t,” Makayla replied in a tone edged with anger. “We can make it without him. He’s bad news. I told you that from the very beginning. You’ve got to tell him to take a hike.”

  Tears glittered in her mom’s eyes. Makayla fought against the feeling of helplessness. It was the same thing over and over. All her mom cared about anymore was escaping from the world. The anger boiled over when the door to the room swung open and Rob stepped inside.

  Makayla pulled her fingers out of her mom’s hand and stepped around the bed. This time, she wasn’t going to stand back. Positioning herself between the bed and Rob, she glared at him.

  “Get out!” Makayla snapped. “Get out! Now! We don’t want you here. We don’t need you.”

  Rob’s mouth twisted into the ugly, smug smile that Makayla had grown to hate. It was as if he knew that if it came down to Teresa choosing between him and the next fix or Makayla, that she would choose the drugs. Bitter acid turned in Makayla’s stomach. Her biggest fear was that he was right.

  “Makayla,” her mom weakly called out behind her. “Don’t….”

  “Yeah, don’t, little girl,” Rob replied sarcastically. “What’d you do this time, Teresa?”

  Makayla’s temper exploded. Stepping forward, she lifted her hands and pushed Rob backwards when he took a step toward her mom. Fury burned through her when she saw a small, plastic packet fall to the floor of the room.

  “You son-of-a…,” Makayla started to growl, glaring up into the slightly glazed brown eyes. “She’s in the freaking hospital and you’re bringing her drugs! She almost died and you’re bringing her more?”

 
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