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Reason to Believe

Being the new kid in a small town is always daunting—Addie can tell you better than most. All she wants to do is be left alone to listen to music and get lost in the fictional world of her latest book, but sadly she still has to go to high school. This would be terrible if it wasn’t for the incredibly cute music teacher who happens to love the same obscure band as she does. Sure he’s only twenty-four, but he’s still a teacher, so they couldn’t…could they?

Age Rating: 18+

 

Reason to Believe by RS Burton is now available to read on the Galatea app! Read the first two chapters below, or download Galatea for the full experience.

 


 

The app has received recognition from BBC, Forbes and The Guardian for being the hottest app for explosive new Romance, Teen & Young Adult novels.
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Read the full uncensored books on the Galatea iOS app!

1

Summary

Being the new kid in a small town is always daunting—Addie can tell you better than most. All she wants to do is be left alone to listen to music and get lost in the fictional world of her latest book, but sadly she still has to go to high school. This would be terrible if it wasn’t for the incredibly cute music teacher who happens to love the same obscure band as she does. Sure he’s only twenty-four, but he’s still a teacher, so they couldn’t…could they?

Age Rating: 18+

Original Author: R S Burton

“First day at your new school Madeline.” Dad said as I sat at the table. He’d made me a bowl of oatmeal, although given that my stomach was churned up with nerves; I wasn’t sure I’d be able to eat much.

“Don’t remind me.” I groaned. Starting at a new school four months into senior year hadn’t been all the appealing. Dad had been offered a better job managing the Veterinary clinic here and we had to go where the money was.

“That’s not my Madeline, you love school.” He replied looking over his newspaper at me. He was frowning. I lifted a spoonful of the warm oatmeal to my mouth and force fed myself.

He’d put honey in it, just like I preferred but even that wasn’t enough to coerce me into eating it. It wasn’t his fault he was under the impression that I loved school.

I’d let him think that for as long as I could remember. He had always strived for my success, my career plan had been set in stone from the very first day I’d walked into preschool.

“I’m just a little nervous I guess.” I mumbled. “I only had a few friends back home, and now I need to make new ones.” I smiled as I thought of Jack and Kristen.

We’d been friends since fifth grade, when I’d told them I was leaving we all cried and then promised to keep in touch, I hoped more than anything we’d stick to it. It was just me and dad, it had been for most of my life and it was lonely.

I was four when my Mom died in a car accident. She had been travelling out of town for work and she never returned.

I was young, but I still remember the day the police officers arrived to tell us. They had stood on our doorstep, their blue caps in their hands. They had looked down at me, sadness in their eyes.

They had talked to dad, voices not much louder than a whisper. I hadn’t been able to make their words out, but once dad double backed into the staircase behind him, and let out a weak strangled gasp; I knew it was bad.

I placed my spoon down, my thoughts were overwhelming me today already and my appetite was suffering.

“Don’t be nervous.” Dad reassured me. “You’ll always find a friend inside the pages of a book.”

I smiled and nodded, but I knew deep down I was just humoring him. I loved to read, the way fiction could pull you from reality and transport you into a make believe alternate reality appealed to me on a level that felt so real.

He wasn’t talking about fiction though, he was talking about textbooks and the never ending crusade to make me reach my potential in the wonderful world of medicine. Except I couldn’t even give blood without feeling woozy.

I didn’t want to read text books, and I didn’t want to pursue medicine. All I had ever wanted was music, to make it and let it carry me away to the same alternate reality fiction books could.

“I’d better go. I wanted to check out the science lab before class.” I lied, and for a second I felt guilty for doing so, until I reminded myself of the alternative.

The path our current discussion was headed down barely ever ended well. It would start with books, then extra credit, internships and finally the slam dunk, College.

“Oh alright. Would you like a ride?”

“No, it’s fine.” I smiled standing. “The bus will be by soon.”

“Alright, well have a good day.”

I walked out of our new house. It was smaller than the one in New York had been. I walked down the steps, looking down at the pitiful gardens.

The landlord had told Dad the house had been empty for a while, and the garden had suffered, but it didn’t seem like the only thing that had suffered.

Judging by the flaking white paint on the weatherboards, the whole place was in need of some serious TLC.

I walked to the school bus stop a few houses down and waited with three other kids. They looked at me, and it occurred to me then that Harrison Falls was a small town.

They probably could spot a new kid a mile off. When the big yellow bus pulled up the other kids climbed on first, the portly bus driver with long burgundy hair tied back in a ponytail, looked at me and tilted her head.

While I guessed she was in her forties at least, she had a baby face, with elven features and intense green eyes.

“You’re new here aren’t you?” She smiled as I stepped on to the bus.

“That obvious is it?” I mumbled tugging on the strap of my bag.

“Harrison Falls is a small place, and I’ve been doing the bus run for ten years.” She closed the door behind me. “Welcome, I’m Geraldine, although almost everyone calls me Gigi.”

“I’m madeline, but I prefer Addie.” I exclaimed as I walked up the aisle.

“Well Addie, you go on and take a seat and we’ll hit the road.”

I walked down, all the seats were taken already, and I didn’t want to ask anyone if I could sit beside them. I was about to accustom myself to standing when a voice beside me called out.

“You can sit here if you like.” I looked down to my left. A girl in all black, with purple streaked hair grinned up at me. I nodded and took the seat. “I’m Greta.”

“Addie.” I held my hand out and Greta laughed then shook it. She pointed to my bag, already over flowing with textbooks and sighed.

“So, big on study huh?”

I pulled the zip tight and for a moment I wished I could open the bus window and throw my bag away. I didn’t care about any of the advanced classes dad had insisted I do.

I didn’t want to be a doctor. Instead I settled for dropping my heavy bag down onto the old rickety bus floor. Maybe if I was lucky a hole would corrode underneath the weight.

“No.” I mumbled. “Not willingly anyway.”

“Oh, I got you, your Mom and Dad on your case?”

I hated having to explain my Mom’s death to people, usually I’d get one of two reactions; pity or sadness. Neither were things I wanted to deal with. It was easier if I just didn’t tell them.

“Yeah.”

“So what’s your class schedule like?”

I pulled it from the pocket of my dark blue jeans and unfolded it. Greta snatched it from my hands before I could see what class I had when.

Dad had been told a student chaperone would meet me in the office to show me around. ‘A fellow scholar.’ Apparently.

“One of these things just ain’t like the other one.” Greta mused in a sing song voice. She held the piece of paper out to me.

“Huh?” I replied.

“Advanced Chemistry, Advanced biology, Advanced English, Advanced science and Music.”

“And?” I sighed. It was only a matter of time before Dad realized I had switched the MA to a MU on my subject selection sheet before we’d sent it off.

It had been wrong, and I had known that as I held the pen in my hand, but I hadn’t been able to stop myself. I’d had a weak moment.

“Well are you sure there hasn’t been a mistake?” She replied. “I’m sure if you went to the office they’ll fix it up.”

“It’s not a mistake.” I replied.

“Really? Well I guess we’ll be sharing a class together then! You’ll love Mr Scott. He’s super young, but don’t let that worry you. He’s an amazing teacher.”

I nodded, I wasn’t worried. I hadn’t been able to take music since junior year. Dad had called it the year I needed to focus on study and grades alone. I’d been barred from anything musical, a brain drainer he’d so eloquently put it.

I needed the release though. It had been too long and despite sleepovers at Kristen’s yielding some late night music marathons, I was so tightly wound that I was just waiting for a cog to spring, and for everything to unravel.

“As long as I’m surrounded by music.” I replied.

“So like, why don’t you tell your parents you’re not into the academic thing. Plenty of people make a go of music these days.”

“My Dad doesn’t think it’s an appropriate life choice. He thinks it’s dangerous.”

Greta let out a slow breath. “Wow and I thought I had it bad when my Mom banned me from going to a Jensen concert for three tardies at school.”

“My dad would probably ground me until I left home if I skipped school.” I muttered.

“What about your Mom?” Greta asked innocently. I looked down and tried to avoid the question, but I could feel her eyes on me.

“She’s not around. She died when I was young.”

Greta didn’t reply with the usual “Oh, I’m so sorry.” And don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t horrible to hear that anyway.

People didn’t always know what to say, and saying that was fine if you had to say anything at all. Instead greta placed her arm around me and said cheerfully.

“Well I bet you’re like her.”

“Maybe.”

“It’s probably why your dad is so hard on you. Maybe you remind him of her.”

I nodded, she was probably right. I’d seen enough photos to know I looked just like her after all. The same light blue eyes, pale skin and dark almost black hair.

Maybe my personality matched her too. Maybe that played in to my father’s reasoning, but deep down I knew that he had sacrificed so much to raise me.

He and Mom had been so young when I was born. Dad dropped out of med school and went to veterinary college instead so that he could provide for his family. I owed it to him to be the best I could be.

“So, um excuse me for asking, but If your dad is so hung up on academics why is he letting you do music.”

I frowned and looked down at my hands. I hadn’t planned on telling anyone about my betrayal. I already felt enough guilt about the entire situation.

There was just something about Greta that put my mind at ease, perhaps against my better judgement I decided to tell her.

“I vandalized my own subject form before I sent it in.” I admitted.

“Rebel…” she whispered leaning in. “Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me.”

When the bus pulled up at school Greta insisted on showing me around. Apparently the school chaperones were usually just jumped up social climbers who wanted to ‘nitpick the new meat.’

Not that it mattered, I didn’t really want to hang out with anyone else anyway. Of course, because of my stupid schedule my classes were different and I had to go through that awkward first moment in the classroom four times.

Thank god lunch broke it up a little. Greta told me Mr Scott would more than likely insist I do a welcoming performance.

So far everyone else in the class had, and the two other new students had as well. I think she could tell by my obvious look of worry that I was afraid.

“You’re a musician right?”

“Yeah. I’m rusty though, Dad banned all music last year I haven’t played for about 18 months.”

I still remember the day it took my guitar away and said it was for my own good. It was the summer before I started junior year, I was playing almost non-stop until my father came in.

He told me that this airy fairy music thing was sucking up all of my time and that for now until my schooling was finished I should focus on something of value.

Then he had walked out, like nothing had happened, because of course to him it hadn’t. To me, well to me I had lost my lifeline.

“Whoa, rough.”

I nodded and stared down at my lunch. I was neither hungry, nor happy. Music was supposed to be my savior, but now it was going to be just as dreadful as everything else.

By the time music rolled around my brain hurt, I wanted to climb into bed and let a good night’s sleep wash away the torment, but it wasn’t an option.

Greta had told me where to go, and she said she would meet me outside, but when the second bell rang I stepped inside the classroom without her.

The class was unlike any of the others. It was almost like a mini auditorium. The seating was tiered, and centered around a stage full of state of the art instruments.

The teacher didn’t even have a desk. His paperwork lay on the stage in the far right corner and there was a stool sitting on the ground beside it. I sighed with relief, the headache I had been plagued with disappeared. I was home.

“Can I help?” A male voice interrupted my daydream, I redrew my focus to him. His green eyes were like stones of clean emerald, he regarded me with a friendly lopsided grin.

His hair sat just below his ears, offsetting his slightly squared jaw, of which was sprinkled lightly with stubble, he was beautiful.

I looked down and smiled, he was wearing a t-shirt for my favourite band, the shirts were limited edition from when hardly anyone knew who they were.

They had only ever made 100 of them. I had one, buried deep in the bottom of a suitcase in my closet. This was what fate felt like. My heart was thumping.

 

Read the full uncensored books on the Galatea iOS app!

2

“I’m new here.” I managed to mumble

“She’s with me Mr. S.” Greta’s voice rang out behind me. She hung her hand over my shoulder.

He was Mr Scott? Our eyes met again, only this time his smile was gone. I felt my jaw clench and I nodded while awkwardly pointing to Greta. “What she said.”

“Madeline Jane?”

“Addie.” I replied. “Please.”

His smile returned, but it was more muted. He pointed to two spare seats. “Take a seat. We’ve got a lot to cover.”

Greta and I walked across the floor and sat down. She was right about Mr Scott. He was a great teacher. For the first thirty minutes I completely forgot about everything else, for a short time my life was more than a career I didn’t want. Music was limitless, and so was I.

Then he looked at me.

“We have a tradition.” He smiled. “Every student performs a welcome.”

“You’re like 22. Tradition, have you even been teaching long enough to develop traditions.” I found myself saying. I sighed internally the moment the words left my mouth.

I wanted to take it back but it was too late. Greta giggled beside me, which didn’t help. I felt my cheeks burned as I stared at the little engraving of a robot on my desk.

“I’m 24. I’ve been here two years.” Mr Scott exclaimed. “And the seat you’re sitting on was my seat, when I attended school here for four years. The tradition is long standing Miss Jane.”

“I’m sorry.” I choked out. “I just haven’t played in a long time, I’m rusty.”

I looked up and at the young teacher who stared at me. He wasn’t going to let up, and I had no choice. It was perform or perform.

I looked at my fingers and moved them, surely I could remember how. It wasn’t something I could ever forget. I stood up and walked across the floor to the stage.

My heart thumped hard against the bones of my ribcage. I felt like falling apart was a possibility. I smiled and picked up the black electric guitar and ran my fingers over it.

“Does anyone know Elastic heart by Sia? I need a drummer and a bassist.”

A couple of people stood up and walk down to the stage. “Don’t be afraid to really ramp it up, this won’t be a regular cover.”

“Same timing?”

“Yeah.”

The drummer timed us in, and like I’d never been away from a guitar my fingers rest where they needed to be. I smiled as the music filled the room and surround me. I looked down at Greta whose smiled up at me and nodded.

I stepped forward and closed my eyes before I began to sing. The lyrics spilled from me like absolute truth.

I felt a release of such enormity that I felt the corners of my eyes fill with tears. I looked around the room, but while I sung, I couldn’t see the faces of those watching me.

As the music died down my voice became lighter, until finally I sung the last line of the song acapella. The classroom broke into applause. The drummer and bassist both pat me on the back as they left the stage.

I placed the guitar in the stand and dried the corners of my eyes before jumping down off the stage. I looked at Mr. Scott who was silent, he smiled at me then turned around and continued to take the rest of the lesson.

When the bell went Greta grabbed my arm. “That was amazing. Oh my god. Does your father know what a rock star he has for a daughter.”

“I doubt he cares.” I mused picking up my music theory book off the desk. I couldn’t take this home and I hadn’t been assigned a locker yet. I sighed, Greta would have to take it for me.

“Maybe he’d change if he heard you.”

“He has. He doesn’t care.”

Greta frowned and pointed to the door. “You catching the bus home?”

I shook my head. “Dad’s picking me up. I’ll see you tomorrow though.”

Greta placed her hand on my shoulder and walked from the class. I realized too late that I hadn’t asked her to take the book. I stood there staring at it for a while, I hadn’t realized the class was empty until Mr Scott cleared his throat.

“Oh sorry. Bye.”

I walked with the book and planned to leave it somewhere.

“Wait.” Mr Scott called. “Addie, that was amazing. What you did.”

“You didn’t seem that impressed.”

“I can’t play favorites.” He replied, biting back a smile. “Look, I know this might seem pretty weird. But would you consider auditioning for my band.”

The suggestion caught me off guard. He was right, it was weird.

I shook my head and shoved the music theory book in my bag. The risk of getting caught with it was preferable to this conversation. I zipped the bag up and walked to the classroom door.

“Why are you in my class?” He murmured before I could slip out the door. I stopped and turned to look at him. His eyes shone knowingly. “I want to know why the girl taking all the advanced academic classes chose to buffer with music.”

“Diversity.” I lied. “Colleges eat that shit up.”

Mr Scott sighed as he walked across the polished wooden floor until he stood in front of me. “If you think I buy that then you’re sorely mistaken.”

“I like music.” I admitted. “But that doesn’t mean I want to pursue it outside of the classroom. Okay.”

“I almost believe you Addie.” He smiled and walked over to the stage. “See you tomorrow.”

I ran from the classroom to the pick up zone. I knew I was probably the only senior there, but it didn’t matter. We didn’t have enough money to buy a second car and Dad had insisted on taking me shopping after school.

A reward for adapting so well to the new change. I was late, and dad was already waiting when I arrived. He didn’t ask where I had been, which was just as well. I was still too caught off guard to have a lie prepared.

“I know I said we’d go shopping together.” He said as he put the key in the ignition. “But I’ve been called into work. I’ll take you to the mall and you can catch the bus home after.”

“I don’t mind going home Dad.” I replied.

“No, I promised you a treat.” He ordered handing me a $50 note. “After all your hard work Madeline. You deserve it.”

I nodded and folded the money in half. It was money laced with guilt, I was sure he wouldn’t be so pleased if he knew about my little switchover. Grounded for life probably wouldn’t cover it. Dad dropped me off at a mall and left.

I checked the bus schedule, intending to go straight home, but the next bus home wasn’t for another hour anyway.

With reluctance I walked around the stores and then like fate, like a shrine to the truth in my heart; I turned the corner and a music store presented itself to me.

Like forbidden fruit I stared at the haven in front of me and fought with my conscience, going in would only further my disrespect to dad. Staying out would only further the disrespect I had for myself.

Against my better judgment I walked through the doors. Like a salve to my worries, the moment I breathed in the air, inhaled the smell of guitar strings everything else faded to nothing.

This was my sanctuary. The walls were adorned with guitars of all kinds, acoustic, electric, bass. I wanted to bask in its glory, I wanted to touch, I wanted to own.

Then I saw the one. It was a fender Stratocaster, black paisley, it screamed out at me. My fingers drummed over the base of it, I closed my eyes and let them slide up the neck.

“This doesn’t look like a classroom.” A somewhat familiar voice interrupted my daydream. I reeled back and looked at the voice. Mr Scott?

“Are you stalking me?” I choked, my hand fell from the guitar and I brushed my clothes off. I ignored his oh so true statement and turned it back on him.

He laughed and shook his head. “No, I just need music paper and guitar strings.” He said holding up a box of strings. “For band practice.”

“Oh.”

“Out of all the places in this town we both could’ve gone to. Isn’t it amusing we ended up here.” He said with a sly grin. “It’s almost like fate.”

I looked down at his shirt and tried to ignore what my own brain had thought earlier. I shook my head and pointed to my watchless wrist.

“I just needed to waste time.” I protested

“in a music shop.” His grin intensified, and I could already tell what point he was about to make. Although I chose to ignore it.

“So.” I replied turning completely away from the wall of guitars. I already missed the sight of them. I wanted to turn back and bask in the glory a little longer, but with a somewhat over the top music teacher watching me, I couldn’t.

“You said you didn’t wish to pursue it outside of a classroom.”

“Walking around a music store is hardly pursuing it.” I said. “I have to go.”

I pushed passed him, the zip of my backpack caught on his shirt, and in my haste I heard the rip as I walked. I stopped immediately and gasped in shock.

I’d ripped his shirt. His limited edition Messoda band tee. I turned around and almost dropped to my knees.

“I’m so sorry.” I mumbled. My fingers reached for the hole, and brushed over it without much thought.

“I’ll live.” He replied, his own hand hovered over the hole, awkwardly I pulled my hand back and dropped it at my side.

“Well, at least you’re in a band.” I mumbled. “Ripped and torn is cool and shit.”

He smiled and nodded. “Yeah.”

I frowned and readjusted my back. “I’m sorry.” I whispered, but now I wasn’t sure what I was apologizing for. I lifted my hand and waved before turning and leaving the shop.

I’d replace the shirt. I’d give him mine. Then I wouldn’t feel like I owed him, then I wouldn’t feel like I should say yes to his offer.

The entire way home I ran over the interaction in my head. He had mentioned fate as well, although I had an inkling he meant it in a joking way. I had defaced his shirt, his limited edition Messoda shirt. I was a complete amatuer when it came to life.

Once the bus stopped down the road from my house I walked up the driveway. Dad would be gone, probably in to the early hours of the night. Most people wouldn’t assume that being a Vet Doctor would come with quite so long hours, but they’d be wrong.

Mr Scott was still on my mind when I sat down to do my nights worth of homework. It wasn’t just him on my mind either, it was music. The way I had felt in the classroom had been like nothing I had ever felt before.

I wanted to do it again, I wanted to let go and just float. I opened the screen of my laptop and typed youtube into the address bar. I put on one of my favorite songs by Foo Fighters, and leaned back in to the chair.

I only turned music on when I knew Dad was going to be out for awhile. I was about to sing along when I heard a car door. Quickly I closed the page down and opened my text book.

So Dad was home early, which meant dinner and “light” conversation. The thing about our conversations was that they were never light. We never just talked about normal stuff

It was always about the study and the career I had never wanted.

I heard my father walked through the house and up the stairs. He knocked on my door and peeped through. “I bought some hamburgers home for dinner.” He murmured. “How about you come eat before hitting the books for the night.”

I frowned, The only thing I wanted to hit was my bed. I nodded and closed the book. “I’ll be down in a minute Dad.” I replied.

Dad left and I stood up. I walked over to my closet and pulled out my messoda shirt. It was buried behind a box of memories from New York.

I held it close and sniffed it, I’d worn it so little that it still smelt new. It didn’t matter it wasn’t mine anymore. It was Mr Scott’s.

I shoved it into an empty bag from the bookshop and left it on my desk. I walked downstairs and sat down across from my father at the table. He slid a hamburger across to me and smiled. “Did you spend your money?”

I shook my head, I couldn’t even begin to explain why I hadn’t, it would all just seem so childish, and weird.

“Oh well, I think it’s good to save little windfalls anyway.” He replied. “One of my clients at the clinic mentioned how her son went to college just this year on a full scholarship, but he saved all of his money from jobs and he’s doing well.”

I nodded, maybe if I didn’t say anything he’d drop this line of discussion, of course I knew I wouldn’t be so lucky, I never had been before.

“There is a assistant job down at the clinic, now I know its animals, but I think the extra money plus experience will be vital. I can put your name down.”

I bit the inside of my cheek. I didn’t know how to say no without hurting his ego, but I also knew that if I took the job, sooner or later I’d faint at the sight of blood. My ruse would be uncovered and I would let my father down. I looked up and smiled.

“I just want to get settled in at school first dad. The money would be great, but if I take on too much now my studies will suffer” I knew mentioning school would nip the idea in the bud, Dad nodded and placed his hamburger down.

“Fair point.” he conceded.

I took a bite of the hamburger, it was tasty, but the knowledge of my continued deceit made me sick to my stomach. I placed the burger back inside the brown paper bag.

“Thanks for the food. I guess I had a big lunch.”

I went back upstairs and tried to start on my homework. Except I couldn’t. My eyes kept closing and I kept replaying my day in my head. Especially the parts where he was around.

I’d been so awkward in the store, I was sure this weird almost crush thing was radiating off me like some kind of obvious scent. I’d never been so caught off guard by someone before, and it had to stop.

I opened up the computer and typed in the schools website address. Like a love sick puppy I opened up the faculty page and looked at the picture of Mr Scott.

In the blurb beside his name it mentioned that he was an old boy from the school. He hadn’t been lying about that, though I supposed he had no reason too. I was the liar, it didn’t mean everyone else was as well.

I closed the screen down again and finally started on my english assignment.

I fell asleep at my desk sometime in the early hours of the morning. It wasn’t the first time it had happened, and I was sure it wouldn’t be the last.

Advanced classes were hard enough as it was, and given my schedule was 99% advanced, I was in over my head on a daily basis.

When I woke I was drooling on my hand, the sun was shining in through the bedroom window, rudely reminding me it was the morning. I forced myself up so that I could have a shower to at least wake myself up enough to function.

Before I left I grabbed the bag with the messoda shirt and shoved it into my backpack.

The entire day at school it served as a reminder of how awkward I had been in his presence the day before. By the time the class actually rolled around I felt myself getting nervous.

 

Read the full uncensored books on the Galatea iOS app!

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Broken Angels MC

Aliana thought she was out of the biker scene for good, until a threat against her life leads her right back to the Broken Angels motorcycle club—and VP Axyl’s protective arms. For Axyl, Aliana has always been the one that got away, and he’s not about to let that happen again. But with Aliana’s life in danger, he’ll have to risk everything to keep her safe.

Age Rating: 18+

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