Defy (Sinners of Saint Book 2)

By: L.J. Shen

Originally, the anchor symbol was not used by those on the water, but by people on land. During the early years of Christianity, Christians were under heavy persecution by the Romans. To show their religion to other practicing Christians under the watchful eye of the ruling people, they would wear anchor jewelry or even tattoo anchors on themselves. The anchor was seen as a symbol of strength as anchors hold down ships even in the stormiest of weather. It was also a popular symbol because of its close resemblance to the cross. Anchors were also used to mark safe houses for those seeking refuge from persecution.

My name is Melody Greene, and I have a confession to make.

I slept with my student, a senior in high school.

Multiple times.

I had multiple orgasms.

In multiple positions.

I slept with my student and I enjoyed it.

I slept with my student, and I’d do it all over again if I could turn back time.

My name is Melody Greene, and I got kicked out of my position as a teacher and did my walk of shame à la Cersei Lannister from the principal’s office, minutes after said principal threatened to call the cops on me.

My name is Melody Greene, and I did something bad because it made me feel good.

Here is why it was totally worth it.

I SNAILED MY WAY OUT of the principal’s office toward the SoCal mid-winter clouds. Anger, humiliation, and self-loathing coated every inch of my soul, creating a film of desperation I was desperate to scratch away.

Rock. Meet. Bottom.

I’d just found out All Saints High was not going to renew my contract as a teacher next year unless I pulled my shit together and performed some magic that’d transform my students into attentive human beings. Principal Followhill said that I showed zero authority and that the literature classes I was teaching were falling behind. To add fuel to the fire, last week I’d received notice that I was getting kicked out of my apartment at the end of next month. The owner had decided to remodel and move back in.

Also, the sexting partner I’d bagged through a questionable dating site had just fired me a message saying he wouldn’t be able to make it to our first in-person date because his mom wouldn’t give him her car tonight.

He was twenty-six.

So was I.

Being picky was a luxury a woman who hadn’t seen a real-life cock in four years really didn’t have.

And, as a matter of fact, other than a few short flings, I’d never had a relationship. At all. With anyone. Ballet had always come first. Before men and before me. For a while, I’d actually thought it was enough. Until it wasn’t.

When did it all go wrong?

I could tell you when—right after I started college. Eight years ago, I got accepted to Julliard and was about to fulfill my dream to become a professional ballerina. This was what I’d worked for my whole life. My parents had taken out loans to pay my way through dancing competitions. Boyfriends were deemed an unwelcome distraction, and my only focus was joining a prestigious New York or European ballet company and becoming a prima ballerina.

Dancing was my oxygen.

When I said my goodbyes to my family and waved at them from the security point at the airport, they told me to break a leg. Three weeks into my first semester at Julliard, I literally did. Broke it in a freakish escalator accident on my way down to the subway.

It not only killed my career dreams and lifelong plan, but also sent me packing and back to SoCal. After a year of sulking, feeling sorry for myself and developing a steady relationship with my first (and last) boyfriend—a dude named Jack Daniels—my parents convinced me to pursue a career in teaching. My mom was a teacher. My dad was a teacher. My older brother was a teacher. They loved teaching.

I hated teaching.

This was my third year of teaching, and my first—and judging by my performance, only—year at All Saints High in Todos Santos, California. Principal Followhill was one of the most influential women in town. Her polished bitchery was formidable. And she absolutely despised me from the get-go. My days under her reign were numbered.

As I approached my twelve-year-old Ford Focus parked across the aisle from her Lexus and her son’s monstrous Range Rover (Yeah, she’d bought her son, a senior, a fucking luxury SUV. Why would an eighteen-year-old need a car so big? Maybe so it could accommodate his giant-ass ego?), I decided my situation couldn’t possibly get any worse.