Read Cursed Online

Authors: Tara Brown

Tags: #Romance, #romance and ghosts, #romance and paranormal, #romance adventure fantasy young adult science fiction teen trilogy, #romance adventure drama series magic wizard witch

Cursed

Cursed

A novel

Book I of the Devils Roses

By

Tara Brown

Copyright 2012 Tara Brown

http://TaraBrown22.blogspot.com/

Smashwords Edition

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Other books by Tara Brown

Bane - (Book #2 of The Devils Roses)

Hyde - (Book #3 of The Devils Roses)

Prologue

The heels of her boots clicked with every strike
against the cold soaked cement as she rounded the corner never
taking her eyes from him. His outdated pleather jacket gave him
away from the three blocks distance between them, she never would
have noticed before but diversions were a necessity and fashion
seemed like a reasonable one.

In overconfidence he never looked behind him, he
never imagined he was being followed, his instincts lied to him
allowing for a false sense of security as was common with the
fiercest animals in the forest.

She fingered the platinum ring on her right
middle finger with her thumb. The small band had a thin red line
running through the middle of it. On the under side of the ring sat
a rose. The ring was her mark, it was her badge that permitted her
to follow the man.

Foolishly his seedy way of life led him down a
dark alley perhaps to wait for his next victim, she winked her
right eye flashing directly in front of him. He didn’t have time to
respond and change into a worthy adversary, she had his arm within
seconds.

Sweet time stilled for her, making every moment
crystal clear as her senses heightened for the feast, she heard the
tires of the cars driving past the alley rotate several hundred
times as she lifted him into the air letting her bare hands make
contact with the warm fleshy meat of his arm. His eyes shot to the
ring on her finger spreading recognition and fear across his face,
"You're a Rose."

His last words.

She shivered eagerly feeling her fingers lick at
the essence flowing through his body. The satisfaction filled her
like a rich chocolate bar melting into her taste buds sending
chills through her arms where the fire soothed her hunger.

“Stop!” a mans’ voice echoed through the
alley.

The fire went out.

She dropped the dead man to the cold ground
feeling the tingle end, she didn’t like ending her meal that way.
She licked her lips wondering if her eyes were still glowing like
molten steel from her feast. She looked down the alley to a
policeman standing with his gun drawn. She observed the way his
hands shook with the sizable gun in them, she smirked knowing it
was from lack of confidence, he was clearly new to the force.

“Stay where you are.” His voice never wavered
but she could sense the fear coming off him. It was a scent that
rode on the winds as if searching out her nose.

He squinted no doubt from the confusion of her
still glowing eyes.

She smiled raising her hands, “Run his prints
and you’ll thank me.” He wasn’t an innocent and the Roses did have
rules about that sort of thing.

He walked toward her slowly assessing the alley
and the danger, “Get down on the ground.”

She shook her head, “Really, really would you
lie on this street? This alley is filthy”

A gust of wind blew past him bringing with it a
scent like laundry soap and deodorant with a subtle mix of
windblown sea air, she would know that smell anywhere.

His smell was the soundtrack to her youth and
innocence. His was the only true love she had ever known.

His face started to light up under the lone
streetlight in the alley that clearly the cities budget had
forgotten.

She gulped pushing down her feelings. She felt
frozen in panic but also desperate to see him, just one glance of
him would fill her for the next hundred years.

He looked at her frowning in disbelief, “You,
you’re the one?”

She could see the raw emotion on his face. His
lower lip trembled no doubt followed by his entire body.

She took a step back putting her hands out,
“Just pretend you never saw me, the medics will say heart
attack.”

He shook his head, “No, not you.” His face
twisted in pain, “Anyone but you. Why?”

She blinked slowly remembering every second of
their time together, she crammed it into a memory slot.

Every touch.

Every smile.

They had become her playlist when the burn in
her chest grew so unbearable only those little moments could sooth
her.

She inhaled sharply turning her heart off and
spoke flatly, “I have to eat, they make sense.”

He looked sickened, “You’re eating them? How?
They have no marks. None of the others had marks.”

She looked down ashamed momentarily, she wanted
to explain, she wanted to be that girl, his girl sitting on the
back steps listening to his dreams but instead she turned jumping
onto the handrail of the stairs next to her and climbed the fire
escape.

She ran the stairs before he could register she
was leaving. She could still smell his fear but it had switched to
a different kind, the kind that broke her already tattered and
abused heart. His fear of losing her again filled the air along
with his scream. She felt the tears rolling as she listened to him
scream her name but she ran to the top of the building desperate to
get away.

Before…

Chapter One - LOVE AND
DRUGS CHANGE EVERYTHING

“Aimee?”

I looked up from my pages of scribbles, I needed
a moment to recognize not only where I was but who was speaking to
me, again I had let my daydream take me.

“Aimee?”

I looked at the front of the class recognizing
the glare Miss Simms my English teacher was giving me. It was the
look she gave all the bad kids, I realize the PC term is
‘challenged youth’ but my sister is one of them, I'm not fooled.
The only challenges in their idiotic world were of their own
making. I looked at the board behind her remembering what we had
been doing, Twelfth Night.

“Aimee what is the theme Shakespeare is trying
to hide beneath the themes we easily see?” She asked as if trying
to trick me.

I nodded, “Beyond the obvious themes of the
folly in ambition and the uncertainty of gender he, as he always
did, liked to use the theme of love as a means to suffering as if
it were a weapon. Twelfth Night is only one of many of his plays if
not in all of them where this theme is present.”

And there it was.

The difference between myself and the
‘challenged youth’.

She wasn’t used to catching me lost in
space.

I might have scribbled, I might have gazed out
the window and I might have gotten lost in a few moments of lonely
daydreams but no matter what I was a nerd and even if I didn’t have
the answer I could easily make one up.

She smirked, “Nice answer, pay attention.”

I nodded but continued my scribbled flower
garden.

I felt someone’s gaze upon me.

My eyes darted up taking my breath away. He
always took it away. His sweet smile, sandy blond purposely-messy
hair and sexy grin always made my heart do a little flip even then
when it was covered by at least a mile of frost and snow.

He nodded at me, “Nice answer.”

I felt my face blushing as Miss Simms rattled on
passionately about the themes I’d just given her.

His grin made me surface, not many things made
me surface.

I felt the classroom around me suddenly grow
brighter as I watched him watching me. His gaze had remained far
too long.

Once I had wanted him, once when I believed in
love, once before the world crashed into my heart and destroyed all
my happiness and hope, I had dreamt about him asking me out. I had
fumbled my words around him, I had gotten lost in sentences when he
walked by, I had even forgotten my name watching him.

“I might need a tutor.” He whispered at me from
his kitty corner seat.

I smirked feeling my breath grow hot suddenly,
“It’s too late for you Shane, years almost up.”

He laughed softly making the smile that I loved,
it had once been my food.

My sister turned around sharply and blew him a
kiss. He raised his eyebrows at her and nodded.

I was saved by the bell as Miss Simms shouted
homework and other things at us.

I grabbed my books fleeing from the class and
the spectacle of my sisters’ inappropriate make out sessions with
the boy I loved.

I hurried along to my locker. My hands fumbled
with my lock.

When I got it open I stood inside the safety of
my open locker door. With my face shielded I took a few deep
breaths.

Arguments filled my head convincing me of things
I didn’t want to believe, things like he had flirted with me.

“Aimee.” I closed the small metal door smiling
up at him nervously, why had he followed me to my locker?

“Hey.”

He put a hand on my closed locker taking a step
closer as if blocking my path, “I was wondering if you were going
to come to my party this weekend?”

I frowned confused, “What?”

He looked down at me in a way I’d never seen
before, “Aimee you haven’t been to a party all year, its senior
year.” His eyes grew serious, “You’re going away to university and
who knows how long before we see each other again.”

I stuttered, “uh, uh, uh, n-no. Probably not
coming but thanks for the invite.” I was lost in the conversation.
I wanted to jump up and down and say yes but I knew a night spent
watching my sister chew on his face would kill what tiny spark of
life was left in me.

I turned and walked away before I just grabbed
his face and kissed his soft looking lips and broke my sisters
heart. Why did he want me to come to his party?

My brain shut off before I spent my day thinking
about Shane. It couldn’t be helped, he was so sexy and kind. He
didn’t belong with my sister, she didn’t like him for the right
reasons. She liked that he was popular and his life was filled with
drama. She thrived on drama.

Gahh, I was thinking about him.

I avoided my moms’ spot and took the bus home. I
didn’t want her to see me crushing on my sisters’ boyfriend even
though my mom would have understood. She knew I had loved him since
I was old enough to understand boys and girls were not the same
thing.

When I got home my dad was in his office closed
up tight. He was starting to become a hermit. I wasn’t certain how
vacation and bereavement leave worked in the real world but I
assumed eight months of not really trying to show to work was bad.
I grabbed a yogurt and went to my room to study.

I fell asleep instead of studying.

The dream was the same every time, the city
stunk of decay and ruin was all around me while people cried in
agony searching for their loved ones. A disaster had hit and
destroyed everything in a moment. I looked every way but through
all the pain and suffering all I saw was his face. He stood so near
to me again for the first time in what felt like a lifetime,
breathing me in. I wanted to touch him, I loved him so profoundly.
My father’s hands reached out to me like he was my knight in
shining armor trying to save me.

He called to me, he anted me away from the man
in front of me who I had never considered a threat.

I stuck my hand out to take my fathers hand but
I felt confused why he would want me away from someone so perfect.
I looked back at my love and realized my father was sticking his
hand out to save him and not me at all.

My father looked at me cautiously, urging him to
get away from me. I turned my back on my father and stepped closer
to the man I loved smiling at him.

My mom screamed in anguish and the world
shattered into a million pieces but I felt the warmth and realness
of his face so close to mine for just a second. I knew somehow the
disaster was my fault.

I heard someone calling and looked up to the sky
full of debris, “Wake up Aimee,” the soft voice I knew so well, it
was my mom who whispered to me.

I woke startled feeling my own embrace and the
glisten of the beads of sweat that soaked me.

I had fallen asleep in my clothes again. I sat
upright for a moment pulling my sweater off feeling the night’s
cool air brush against me softly.

I looked around dazed expecting to see someone,
I had been certain voices had woken me. Perhaps it really had been
my mom trying to talk to me. I rolled on my back as I slipped off
my jeans and pulled the blankets around me. The enveloping darkness
was a warm comfort inside my bed.

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