Read Natural Selection Online

Authors: Elizabeth Sharp

Tags: #Young Adult, #Fantasy, #Romance

Natural Selection

BOOK: Natural Selection
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By

* * * *

SMASHWORDS EDITION

* * * *

Natural Selection

Copyright © 2011 by Elizabeth
Sharp

Formatting by
JT
Formatting

Cover Design by
Sharp Cover
Designs

Cover Photo by
K. Keeton
Designs

Cover model: Bailey Jennings

All rights reserved. Without limiting
the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this
publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a
retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means
(electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise)
without the prior written permission of the copyright owner of this
book.

This is a work of fiction. Names,
characters, places, brands, media, and incidents either are the
product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. The
author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of
various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have
been used without permission. The publication/use of these
trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the
trademark owners.

 

Smashwords Edition License Notes

This ebook is
licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be
re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share
this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy
for each person you share it with. If you're reading this book and
did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only,
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copy. Thank you for respecting the author's work.

 

 

Table of Contents

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter
Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Nineteen

Chapter Twenty

Chapter
Twenty-One

Chapter
Twenty-Two

Chapter
Twenty-Three

Chapter
Twenty-Four

Chapter
Twenty-Five

Chapter
Twenty-Six

Chapter
Twenty-Seven

Chapter
Twenty-Eight

Chapter
Twenty-Nine

Chapter Thirty

Epilogue

Sample of Second
Nature

About the Author

Acknowledgments

 

 

 

To Tori, the real “Amelia”, for being a
constant source of humor and inspiration.

 

 

AS THE SUN sank lazily towards the
horizon, I knew I was in trouble. My mother always had a strict
policy about being home before the street lights came on, and I
didn’t stand a chance of making it. I hitched my bag of soccer gear
higher on my shoulder and poured my heart into sprinting down the
street. If only we hadn’t lingered after the game, waiting until
the guys’ varsity team finished practice while Evelyn made goo-goo
eyes at them. I shouldn’t have agreed to stay for one more round of
milkshakes during our traditional post-win dinner at Margie’s, the
local greasy spoon. Maybe, I should have accepted the ride Evelyn’s
mom offered. I propelled myself still trying to beat my curfew—I
didn’t want to start high school grounded.

I was what you might call a goody
two-shoes. I always did what my parents told me, got straight A’s,
and never met a rule I didn’t follow to the letter. I always looked
both ways before crossing the street, I didn’t run with scissors,
and I didn’t take candy from strangers. Or talk to them, either.
Ever. I was also painfully shy, with insecurities bred into my
bones. As the youngest in my family, I had some pretty big shoes to
fill. My older brother, Alexander, excelled at making trouble, and
my older sister, Sariah, climbed the social ladder with grace and
beauty. I was the plain Jane, bookworm who wanted to fade into the
wall. I was only in soccer because Evelyn begged me to join so she
could put the moves on the coach’s son. This summer it was soccer,
last summer swimming lessons at the Y—she always had some new
adventure in store for me. Evelyn had been my best friend for
twelve years, which is practically forever when you’re two weeks
shy of fifteen.

The streetlights flashed on with an
ominous click. I stopped with a disgusted groan, my hands on my
knees and my breath coming in painful gasps. If I wasn’t going to
make it, I saw no reason to kill myself trying. I dropped my bag on
the ground and tried to suck in air that my body had been deprived
of in my desperate cross-town dash. My copper-colored hair escaped
its tiny ponytail and was clinging to my sweaty scalp. Illinois in
August wasn’t exactly the best weather for running.

I heaved my bag over my shoulder and
strolled the rest of the way to my house, dreading my mom’s
reaction. Was she worried? How much trouble was I going to be in?
How late did your teenage daughter have to be before you could call
the cops? As our two-story white house came into view, the ominous
glow of the porch light warned me my tardiness had been
noticed.

As soon as I opened the door I found
my mother. Yup, I was in trouble. She stood in the hall in a red
V-neck t-shirt and khaki shorts with her arms crossed beneath the
generous bosom I had yet to develop. I was a late bloomer, still
not having had my first period. In fact, I trailed behind my
classmates in physical development in a lot of ways. Mom assured me
all the women in the family matured at an unusual rate, whatever
that meant. Yet all I had to do was look at my sister, and I had my
doubts. I hoped to live up to her hotness, but I wasn’t holding my
breath.


You’re late,” she snapped,
her eyes quickly scanning me head to toe in the instant assessment
only Moms can do. I was always struck with how much I look like my
Mom. Her copper hair was a little curlier than mine, and her
features a little less padded. But no one ever doubted her as my
mother.


Sorry, Mom. The game ran
late and Evelyn flirted for like ever. The waitress at the diner
took ages and…” I trailed off, never one to make excuses and pass
blame on to another. Growing up at the bottom of the pecking order,
I’d learned to own up to my mistakes so no one doubted a denial.
“You’re right. I’m late. What do you think, one week
grounded?”

My mother sighed in irritation, but
the left corner of her mouth twitched up into an almost repressed
smile. “Sometimes I need to be the mother here, Amelia. It’d be
nice if my fourteen-year-old would act like one once in a
while.”


If you’d prefer, I could
go out maybe find somewhere to get stoned. Oooo, maybe some jock,
who hasn’t destroyed his gene pool with steroids, would be willing
to impregnate me,” I offered sarcastically, backing towards the
kitchen. I turned around with a cocky grin knowing I wasn’t going
to be in any trouble. My mom aimed a half-hearted smack at the back
of my head as I walked into the kitchen.

My sister stood at the counter
smearing jelly on a slice of bread and licking the excess off her
fingers. She rolled her eyes realizing I, once again, skated on the
same offense that had cost her a good third of her summer freedom.
She always seemed to take it personally that I was so compliant.
But everything evened out, since I harbored resentments of my own.
Sariah’s thick, white-blond hair fell to her butt in soft
Victoria’s Secret curls, and she had almost-black, green eyes. A
body like hers most certainly impassioned the ancient sculptors’
attempts to create perfection. She was a fashion diva and a makeup
guru who woke up first thing in the morning looking perfect. She’d
been the most popular girl at our high school since the seventh
grade. I knew for a fact she lost her virginity at thirteen. I,
based on the amount of action I’d seen— insert cheesy
cricket-filled silence here—was going to die a virgin. A boy
outside my family had never even asked me to dance!

BOOK: Natural Selection
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