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Authors: Kasi Blake

Tags: #Teen & Young Adult, #Romance, #Paranormal, #Science Fiction & Fantasy, #Fantasy, #Paranormal & Fantasy, #Paranormal & Urban

Crushed

BOOK: Crushed
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Kasi Blake

 

THIS book is a work of fiction.  Names, characters, places and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.  Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

 

NO part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission.  Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.  Purchase only authorized editions.

 

Crushed

Copyright ©2014 Kasi Blake

All rights reserved.

Cover Design by: Marya Heiman

Typography by: Courtney Nuckels

Editing by: Cynthia Shepp

 

ISBN: 978-1-63422-082-8

 

For more information about our content disclosure,

please utilize the QR code above with your smart phone or visit us at

www.CleanTeenPublishing.com
.

 

To the one person who has always been there for me no matter what and probably doesn’t think I even notice anymore, my mom. Love you.

 

 

From Kristen Noah’s notebook
:

HOW TO PLAY CRUSHED

 

TO BEGIN THE GAME
: Each witch needs to choose a (boy) mark. Choose wisely. A weak-minded boy without a rebellious or stubborn streak will be a lot easier to control than a boy with a strong personality. Each witch needs to prepare her own potion with care using the usual components.

At the agreed-upon time, each witch will blow the dust-like substance into the face of her mark. Everyone must use a different color. Colors will be assigned at the beginning of the game.

 

RULES:

1. No cheating or sabotaging other players.

2. No other spells may be used to manipulate the boys.

3. You may not crush a boy you have dated, are dating, or want to date in the future.

4. You cannot make the boy do anything that will endanger him.

5. You must not mention the game to anyone not playing.

6. The game begins and ends at a time agreed upon by all players.

8. You cannot use the Crushed game to get revenge.

9. Winner gets the agreed-upon prize.

 

HOW TO WIN
: The power of the crushed spell increases with every successful use. Boys must be given tasks to complete in order to grow the spell, but choose tasks wisely—the boy may refuse to comply. If he does, the spell will be broken, and that witch forfeits the game. Once the power of the spell has increased, the witch can order the boy to do harder things, things he would not normally do.

Once the end date has arrived, each witch will call her spell back to the original bottle. The dust should return as smoke. At home, in the privacy of an agreed-upon bedroom, the witches will release their smoke into the air, and the colors will mingle. Two of the colors will die out. The remaining color reveals the winner.

 

“Witch!” The word echoed down Titan High’s main hallway.

Kristen stumbled in her red stilettos, almost tripping the sibling to her left. She recovered her footing quickly and tried to maintain an air of dignity, but it was too late. Giggles assaulted her ears. Anger burned below the surface, and her blood heated. The laughing students didn’t need to worry about retaliation because she had bigger problems at the moment—someone was calling her out on
her
turf.

Unbelievable!

Her secret had finally been discovered. The anonymous person with the loud voice was going to reveal her identity to her unsuspecting peers. If she turned around, if she dared to look, she would find a finger pointed straight at her. Then it would be over. She’d lose her powers forever.

Could this day get any worse?

She slowly revolved, a spell waiting on her eager tongue. The anonymous shouter would be sorry they’d messed with her today. There wasn’t a thing she could do to stop them from publicly accusing her of being a witch, but she could certainly make them pay a hefty price for the big reveal.

Brittany grabbed her arm just above the elbow and dragged her around the corner. Shoving her against a row of lockers, Brittany whispered, even though it was apparent she wanted to scream. “OMG! Could you be any more obvious? Why don’t you just carry a big sign?”

They were the Noah sisters, Titan High royalty. There were three of them, triplets. Brittany and Cyndi shared the same facial features, while Kristen had an original face. She was a respectable five foot six, but her skyscraper-tall sisters made her look like a hobbit in comparison. Maybe that was why she’d developed such a high level of confidence, for survival. 

She looked at Brittany and cringed. How could anyone willingly leave the house dressed in purple pajama bottoms, a Black Metal T-shirt, and a hundred silver bangles on their arms? Brittany’s waist-length, blonde hair didn’t look like it had seen a comb in weeks, and if that weren’t bad enough, she’d applied thick eyeliner and black shadow with a heavy hand to both eyes. The girl looked like a raccoon.

Poor Cyndi did, too, because Brittany forced her twin to dress like her.

Kristen wouldn’t have been caught dead in that outfit. For her first day of senior year, she’d chosen a stylish pair of skinny jeans with a man’s button-down shirt, a borrowed tie from her dad, a black vest, and a hat that she wore tilted to the side. Each of her fingernails was painted a different color. Rainbow nails were her invention, a new trend that she vowed to make popular by the end of the first semester.

If she died today, at least she’d die looking good.

Kristen had tried numerous times to get Cyndi to stand up to Brittany and tell her replica she wasn’t going to be dressed like a store-front mannequin, but Cyndi refused to go against Brittany in even the smallest way. When she disagreed with her twin, she did it in a feeble voice. Like now.

“Leave her alone, Britt.” Cyndi sighed. “It’s not her fault she thought we’d been found out. I almost wet my pants until I realized it was only Tina Jenkins, and she wasn’t even looking at us.”

Brittany’s hands continued to pin Kristen to the lockers. Kristen allowed it because punching another student—even her own sister—could get her suspended. She swallowed the anger before it could consume her and said, “I’m okay now. Back off.”

“All summer long, you have been yammering nonstop about how awesome this year is going to be. Then you try to ruin it five seconds through the door.
Get
a
grip
! What is wrong with you, anyway?”

Kristen shuddered. “I had that dream again last night.” 

Cyndi patted her arm, immediately sympathetic.

Brittany released her but continued to scowl.

“It’s the second dream,” Kristen said. Her dreams came true once she had them three times. It was her (curse) gift. “I couldn’t see anyone’s face, but there were dozens of fingers pointed at me, and one person yelled the word loud and clear. You know I don’t usually freak, but this has got me really scared.” She made sure no one was close enough to hear before she continued in a voice tinged with desperation. “They publicly accused me. You know what that means.”

“Paranoid much? We’re super careful. No one knows about us.”

“Britt’s right,” Cyndi said. She gestured to the passing students who stared at them with open fascination. “Calm down and enjoy the adoration.”

“Sticking up for your twin? Big surprise.”  Glares from both sides hit Kristen. The girls hated it when she referred to them as “the twins,” but she was going to keep doing it until they stopped dressing alike. Even though the three of them had been born the same day, she was her own person, while they were reflections of each other.

Cyndi changed the subject. “Do either of you know who you’re going to crush this year? I already have mine picked out.” Smug grin in place, she added, “Rufus McDillion. He’s a freshman this year, and I’ve been waiting for him to hit high school. I’m giving you notice. He’s mine.”

Brittany snorted.

Kristen’s mind shifted gears. She pushed her worry over being accused to the side and concentrated on living in the moment. She didn’t find Cyndi’s choice amusing. Rufus was as dorky as his name implied, and he would be ultra-easy for Cyndi to control. If Kristen didn’t make an equally wise choice, she’d lose the game. She’d won three years in a row, but this year was the most important one. She needed the money to buy her prom dress, a designer original from New York. Her mom could get her a sweet deal with a top designer, but it was still going to be expensive.

Brittany stared at something over Kristen’s shoulder, a hungry look on her face. “I know who I’d love to crush. Don’t look now, but there’s tall, dark, and scary.”

Kristen didn’t have to look to know whom Brittany meant. Disturbing rumors followed Zach Bevian like a bad odor, and his terrible attitude didn’t exactly contradict them. Her mouth went dry at the mere thought of him. She tried to resist the temptation to glance his way, but the magnetic pull was too strong. Although she hated Zach to the core of her being, she couldn’t keep her eyes off him.

Hot didn’t come close to describing him. Every time she saw him, it was like seeing him for the first time. It should have been a sin to be so incredibly gorgeous and such a jerk. Everything about him seemed dangerous
,
from his dark hair, spiked on top, razor sharp—it didn’t exactly invite feminine fingers to delve into it—to the tattoo peeking from beneath the short sleeve of his black T-shirt. Although she hadn’t seen it with her own eyes, a few students claimed he carried a switchblade.

His clear blue eyes looked deceptively sleepy, disinterested in his surroundings. Kristen knew that was a lie. He was always watching, always waiting for something that never seemed to happen. And every time those eyes rested on her or one of her sisters, they took on a heavily disapproving darkness that was close to suffocating.

Zach stopped at his locker. He swung the metal door open but didn’t peer inside. Instead, he slowly turned in her direction. She tried to look away, but it was too late. The jerk had caught her staring. His eyes narrowed on her face, and his lips twisted into a sneer.

She lifted her chin a fraction and met his gaze head-on, silently daring him to do something about it. Zach Bevian had better watch his attitude. Titan High was her playground, and she could annihilate him if she got the urge.

Brittany intruded on her thoughts by saying, “I think I might hook up with Bevian this year.”

“Forget it,” Kristen said. “He has a worse reputation than you do.”

Brittany stuck her tongue out, showing off her tongue piercing. She stared at the object of her desire with a secretive smile. “Why do you think I like him? He’s so extreme.”

“Dad would hit the roof, and you know it. He would ground you for an entire year. You’d miss senior prom and everything.”

In a singsong voice, Brittany said, “I bet it would be worth it.”

Kristen preferred to fly solo, while Brittany made out with every guy she got near, and Cyndi had a steady boyfriend named Jake Petrie going on two years now. They were talking marriage. It would be a cold day in hell before Kristen fell into
that
trap. Someday, the twins would learn the lesson she had learned long ago. Love didn’t exist. People often mistook physical attraction for love and wound up in deep trouble, but that wasn’t going to happen to her. She certainly wasn’t going to let some guy ruin her future plans.

###

The first class of the day went well for Kristen. She had one of her favorite teachers for World History and was looking forward to the challenging assignments. Familiar faces surrounded her as she reached her locker. Since she’d arrived fashionably late to school, she hadn’t had the chance to catch up with friends. There were hugs, laughter, and plenty of comments about what she was wearing. Everyone talked at once, rushing because they only had ten minutes between classes. She’d been in New York with her mom all summer and hadn’t seen the gang in months. Questions flew at her, and she did her best to answer them.

Cyndi shooed away the crowd after a short time. Once everyone was out of earshot, she searched Kristen’s face as if looking for something important. Hugging her books to her chest, she said, “Britt’s not here, so you can talk to me. What’s up with you?”

“Nothing.”

“Right,” Cyndi scoffed. She leaned close and lowered her voice. “I can see your aura, you know. It’s usually a soft blue or green pastel, but right now it’s a yucky, greenish brown.”

“Dad called me
reliable
this morning.” Kristen slammed her locker, annoyed with the memory.

“I’m sorry.” Cyndi frowned in confusion. “What?”

Kristen fumed. “You call a middle-aged woman reliable, or an old, faithful car, not a girl in her teens. I’m not even going to be an official adult for another eight months.”

“Yeah, it’s kind of my birthday, too.” Cyndi apologized after being hit by a heavy glare from Kristen. “Sorry. Jokes aside, you have been acting pissed off since we left Mom’s. Did she say something to you?”

“She did say something, yes, and I think she was right.”

“That’s crazy talk. Mom’s never right… about anything.”

Kristen scowled, remembering her mother’s words. “She pointed out that Dad has been
grooming
me to follow in his footsteps since I was in diapers. He
told
me that I wanted to be a businesswoman. He
insisted
that I was born to run the Hong Kong offices. He brainwashed me!”

BOOK: Crushed
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