Authors: Kasi Blake
Tags: #Teen & Young Adult, #Romance, #Paranormal, #Science Fiction & Fantasy, #Fantasy, #Paranormal & Fantasy, #Paranormal & Urban
Can't get enough of Crushed by Kasi Blake? Use the hashtag: #GetCrushedbyKasiBlake to connect with the author and other fans of the Witch-Game novels!
Did you enjoy Crushed? Don't forget to check out Witch Hunt by Kasi Blake. Witch Hunt is the second Witch-Game Novels with new characters, more witch mischief and an all new high-stakes game. Witch Hunt releases on October 6, 2015. Check out our exclusive excerpt here.
Ryder slapped his hands together and rubbed them vigorously. “Let’s get this party started.”
Dylan had the same brown pouch she’d seen him with at lunchtime yesterday. He opened it before holding it out to the others. Bex dipped her hand in first. Then Ryder followed suit. Dylan took what was left. Holding their hands out, they bumped fists before turning them over and showing the marbles to each other. It was a strange ritual.
Binoculars up, Starr stared at the colorful glass balls. They were crystal blue at first, but they changed to burnished gold. Unlike any marbles she’d seen, they glowed with an eerie light. Words slowly appeared with tiny burning letters.
Dylan had the one labeled Fox.
Bex laughed and pointed a finger at him. “It’s you! Ha-ha.”
Ryder wound an arm around Dylan’s neck and said, “Bloody good news for me. I got this thing in the bag.”
“Why are you so sure you can win?” Bex asked, raised eyebrows. “What do you know that I don’t?”
“Simple. Dylan and I are like brothers. I’m closer to him than you are, and I don’t care how strong the spell is, I won’t forget him. I’m going to win this game on the first day.”
Dylan grinned. “No way are you going to catch me. I have the greatest cover story in history right up here.” He tapped a finger against his forehead. “I’m going to smoke you both.”
Outside, Starr and Lily exchanged confused looks. Spell? What did that mean? Was it another label they were using in the game like Fox and Hound? And what story was he talking about?
They returned the marbles to the pouch. Dylan wore a grim expression. He tossed the pouch to the floor while Ryder dug in his pocket for something else. The boy with the Australian accent scrunched up his face as if his jeans were too tight to allow room for his fingers. He rolled his eyes and grunted. A slow smile spread across his face as he pulled his hand back out.
“We’ll officially start the game tomorrow at midnight,” Ryder said.
Starr stared through the binoculars, desperate to see what Ryder had now. He opened his hand, palm flat. Three silver rings rested against his skin. Bex and Dylan each took one. They all three simultaneously slid the rings onto their middle fingers. Ryder gestured for Dylan to go first.
Dylan lifted his hand in a careless gesture. When he spoke it was like he was reading a script in monotone. “I am the Fox, and I willingly give up my powers starting tomorrow night.”
Powers? Starr shook her head, no clue what any of them were talking about. Maybe it was an Australian game. Bex had said something earlier about it coming from Ryder’s dad. People in other countries had strange customs and weird words for things. Starr knew she was going to feel stupid when the truth came out. Her reporter’s instinct had been wrong on this one.
She opened her mouth to tell Lily they could leave, but the words stuck in her throat as Dylan weaved unsteadily on his feet. She gasped.
“Hey.” Ryder grabbed onto him and held him while he struggled to stand. “Are you okay?” Then he shouted at Bex. “Get him some water! Quick!”
“Do I look like your mother?”
“No. My mother is a nice lady and would be halfway to the bottle by now.”
Dylan opened his eyes and wiped Ryder’s hands off him. “I’m fine.”
“You don’t look fine.”
“He says he’s okay. Leave him alone.” Bex lifted her hand in a graceful movement that was part dance and part Vanna White. She said, “I am a Hound and agree to be bound by the rules of the hunt starting tomorrow night.”
Ryder went last after giving Bex a dark look. “I am a Hound, and I agree to be bound by the rules of the hunt starting tomorrow night.”
The lights flickered. A gust of wind blew through the bar, rustling hair and clothing. Strange. Every window and door was closed. Starr frowned. Where had the wind come from? She was beginning to get a bad feeling about this whole thing. Maybe Lily was right. Maybe they should go to town, have some fun, and leave the Squad alone.