Authors: John Corwin
Tags: #Children's Books, #Science Fiction & Fantasy, #Fantasy & Magic, #Literature & Fiction, #Fantasy, #Paranormal & Urban, #Children's eBooks, #Science Fiction; Fantasy & Scary Stories
Sweet Blood of Mine
Book One of the Overworld Chronicles
Copyright © 2012 by John Corwin.
Digital Ebook Edition.
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The characters and events in this book are fictitious. Any similarity to real persons, living or dead, is coincidental and not intended by the author.
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From Mega Nerd to Super Stud
Justin Case and women do not mix. Man boobs, a love of Kings and Castles, and being tight with the "nerd" crowd certainly don't win him any points either. After rescuing Katie, his crush, it turns out she might not be the girl he thought she was, while Elyssa, the school's Goth Girl, turns out to be more. Can high school get any more confusing?
Determined to improve himself, he joins a gym and meets a sexy girl that just oozes a "come hither, Justin" vibe. Until she attacks him in the parking lot, and Justin realizes she's no ordinary girl but a being with supernatural speed and strength. After a narrow escape and an excruciating migraine headache, he wakes up with supernatural abilities all his own: speed, strength, and the ability to seduce every woman he sees.
While that might sound like the perfect combo for any hormonal teen, Justin is a hopeless romantic who wants his first time to be special. Is that too much to ask for? But he doesn't know what he is or how to stop his carnal urges. One thing is clear: If he doesn't find answers there are other more sinister supernaturals who would like nothing better than to make him their eternal plaything and do far worse than kill him.
To my wonderful support group:
Alana Rock, Barbara Kuhl, Becky Hammer, Chelle Magliozzi, Dana Prestridge, Hazel Godwin, Karla Ileana, Keren Hall, Karen Stansbury, Nicole Passante, Nita Banks, Pat Owens, Sheri Feikert, Terri Thomas and Jennifer Smith.
My amazing editors:
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You guys rock!
I glanced at the time on my phone as I strode for the exit of the high school. My Kings and Castles after-school club meeting had run a bit long thanks to some over-excited nerds who didn't like a few rule changes the national committee had passed down. As if the committee cared what Justin Case and his fellow nerds thought. Now I was running late for "sword" practice with my two best friends, Mark and Harry, and dying to test the new foam sword I'd constructed for the upcoming tournament.
The squeaky wheel of a mop bucket echoed faintly down the empty grid of halls, the soft step of my sneakers on linoleum making the only other sound as I strode for the exit. Something clattered ahead. Shoes scuffled and a girl squeaked in alarm.
"Nathan, I'm not kidding! Let me go," said the girl. Not just any girl. I'd recognize that voice anywhere. It was Katie Johnson. I'd had a crush on her ever since first laying eyes on that angelic face my freshman year. Her voice emanated from Mrs. Dalton's classroom so I hurried to the doorway and gaped at the scene inside.
Nathan Spelman had wrapped one of those meat-hooks he called hands around Katie Johnson's narrow waist. He grinned. "You know you want to kiss me, babe."
I stood in the doorway for a stunned moment, unsure if my skills as a Kings and Castles woodland elf had prepared me to take on a challenge like this. Nathan could pass for an ogre. His neck had more girth than one of my legs, which was probably why he was an all-star football player. It would be suicide to attack that monster.
Then Katie started to cry.
Something in me snapped. Probably my sanity. But I couldn't care less. Nathan held her helpless in his iron grip. I might be short, chubby, and require a B-cup manzier, but I was still a man. I had to do something. In Kings and Castles, I was a level twelve woodland elf. Unfortunately, reality had graced me with all of five feet, six inches of height and the slender dimensions of the Pillsbury Doughboy after a few too many cartons of buttermilk biscuits. I needed a weapon to stand a chance, preferably a bazooka.
I sprinted to the janitor's closet.
might be too strong a word since I was huffing and staggering and begging for mercy by the time I got halfway there. The closet door hung open. I peered inside the small space and grimaced at the chemical fumes stinging my nose. A metal shelf held several containers of various cleansers. I supposed if Nathan needed a chemical bath, any of them would be perfect but they wouldn't do much good in a fight. I spotted the only serviceable weapon: a broom. It was a far cry from what the Lady of the Lake offered King Arthur, but I didn't have much of a choice. I grabbed it.
At that moment, my skull decided to turn inside out. A blinding flood of pain superheated my eyeballs and pounded on my brain like a midget playing whack-a-mole in my head as a migraine hammered my forehead. I dropped the broom and pressed both hands to my temples in a vain attempt to soothe the pulsating agony. My sight blurred and I fell against the nearby shelf. Spray cans rattled on the floor, and a bottle of something green shattered and spread across the tiles, overpowering the other scents with the cloying odor of pine.
The vice on my head loosened after a few seconds, the pain abating as though nothing happened. It felt like brain freeze only a gazillion times worse. These nuclear-fueled migraines had been plaguing me for weeks. I was pretty sure they weren't growing pains unless my head planned to expand to grotesque proportions. A rush of endorphins tingled through my body in an electric rush as the agony completely dissipated and left me lightheaded and weak.
A shriek from Katie reminded me an altercation with Nathan might supply a permanent fix for my migraine problems. I grabbed the broom off the floor and unscrewed the handle. I chugged down the hallway with my walrus-like gait and made it back to the classroom in time to see Nathan forcing his lips on Katie's tear-stained face. His massive arms held her immobile while she writhed in disgust. I was too angry at the sight to wait for my panting to slow.
"Release her!" I smacked the metal end of the broomstick on the ground and pretended it was my elven attack staff with a plus twenty chance of a critical hit, like say, in the enemy's crotch.
Nathan snapped his attention to me, anger boiling behind his ferocious gaze at the interruption. Katie froze and her eyes widened with the same look I'd seen everyone give scrawny Jeff Boyd when he'd challenged monstrous Kyle Denton to a fight over a girl. Kyle had outweighed him by about a hundred pounds, been held back two grades, and was the first kid in middle school to grow a mustache and a goatee. Things hadn't ended so well for Jeff. I probably should have learned from his lesson, but I was a trained woodland elf who was too angry to be pooping his pants.
"Justin?" Katie said.
Nathan shoved her into a chair behind him and snarled. "If you know what's good for you, you'll get out of here and keep your mouth shut."
It just so happened I did
know what was good for me, so take that Nathan! I pushed my bottle-bottom glasses up my nose—to stall for time—and tried to speak, but my lips wouldn't move. Granted, I hadn't planned this out past—well, this point. The only time I'd saved anyone had been when two goblins took Queen Alexandria prisoner. I'd beaten the goblins with my level twenty sword by sneaking up on them and stabbing them in the backs. Of course, Queen Alexandria was really Gabby Hughes, a pimpled fatty who could pass for a goblin in real life, and the goblins were a couple of newbies to the Kings and Castles scene who didn't even know how to make their own foam weapons.
Nathan, on the other hand, had practice beating up nerds. A lot of practice. He glared at me from across the room and probably decided I wasn't going to flee like most rational people would have at this point. He plowed through three rows of desks, sending them screeching and skidding to the sides, his hands outstretched. I froze and nearly wet my pants. He lunged. I threw up the broomstick in a defensive gesture. He snatched it from me and snapped it over his knee like a twig.
Reason fled from me like a gibbering madman. I yelped before dodging to the side as Nathan threw the broken handle at me. One half nailed me in the head. I tripped on a desk. It flipped and I rolled over the top of it, somehow landing on my side while the desk clattered against the floor. Nathan laughed. I rolled onto my back in time to see him grab another student desk by its metal legs and lift it over his head like a club.
Katie screamed. "Stop it!" She ran for the door.
Sheer panic, the kind that convinces your body to forget potty training, punched me in the guts. Agony paid a visit to my cranium once again in the form of a skull-shattering headache. In a few seconds, that desk was going to make the headache seem minor.
Time seemed to slow. The light in the room brightened. The odor of sour fear mingled with Old Spice and the chemical bite of industrial floor cleanser, attacked my nose. The volume of Katie's scream spiked to an eardrum-rupturing wail. My eyes swept across the room, picking out minor details I'd never noticed before. A crack marred the surface of the chalkboard. Someone had carved curse words on Mrs. Dalton's desk. Five number two pencils jutted from the ceiling tiles. Mustard stained Nathan's faded red T-shirt. A ghostly presence demanded my attention and drew my eyes to Katie's slow-motion fleeing form. It drifted from her body in a halo of steam, vanishing into the ether just inches from her skin. What was it? Gas? Vapor? A part of me could feel it. It felt hot and sensual and—
Holy crap a desk is about to crush my face!
Time sped up again. My hands shot up, palms out in a vain attempt to intercept the desk as Nathan swung it down on me. Life was at an end. Horrific images flashed past: How the impact would shatter both hands and crush my face to a bloody unrecognizable pulp. Only dental records would identify me after this mauling.
Plastic surgery, here I come.
Although plastic surgery might be a good thing. I could use a few tweaks and some serious liposuction. Lasik eye surgery wouldn't be bad either. It occurred to me that putting a positive spin on my imminent face smashing was a very odd way to be spending the last split second of my life.
The desk smacked against my hands with a loud
. I gritted my teeth in anticipation of bone-crushing agony. Pain apparently had gone on holiday because it never arrived. I cracked open an eye. One hand gripped the front edge of the desk. The other gripped the vinyl seat attached by metal tubing to the rest of the desk. Nathan's scarlet face glared at me from above. He was trying to force it down on my face. And failing.
This came as quite a shock to me. It didn't even feel like I was straining. I let my arms relax ever so slightly so I could bend my elbows. Nathan grunted in triumph. I shoved back with everything I had and let go of the desk.
Nathan's nose gave a sickening crunch. He bellowed and pinwheeled like a ballerina on drugs and rollerblades, smashing backwards through several desks until he bounced off the wall and landed on his butt. Then it was all over but the screaming—Nathan's screaming. I felt my undamaged face to make sure I wasn't dreaming. My glasses rested halfway up my forehead. I pulled them down over my eyes just as my body went limp as overcooked spaghetti. It was all I could do to wiggle my toes.