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Authors: Sonya Loveday

Casted (Casted series)

BOOK: Casted (Casted series)
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Contents

 

Title Page

Acknowledgements

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Chapter Thirteen

Chapter Fourteen

Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen

Chapter Seventeen

Chapter Eighteen

About The Author

Information

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

by Sonya Loveday

Acknowledgements

 

Dreams are born on wings of hope. In my case those wings are made up of my family and friends. Without each of them my dream would never have come complete. The support in which I was shown from the beginning of this novel till the end will be something I will treasure forever.

For all the feathers that carried me:

My husband, without his support and go for it attitude, I would still be sitting in front of my computer wishing for this chance.

My daughter and son, for finding things to occupy them while mom was working on her book again, I love you both. Thank you for understanding.

My parents, thanks for not giving me a hard time about following my dreams and for the guidance and support all throughout my entire life. You guys rock!

A special thanks to Andrew Toynbee and Jennifer Pates for being my extra set of eyes!

A huge thank you to Ravven and Phil! Ravven for the kick ass cover and Phil at Qwerty & Quill for allowing me to be their guinea pig.

My friends and family (you all know who you are). Thank you for really being interested in what I was doing, always questioning how it’s going and genuinely excited about the project I’ve been working on. You’re the inspiration that kept me going.

And last, but certainly not least, Candace, my best friend. Without you, I would never have stepped out of my comfort zone and went for it. You’re insistence for me to continue on, no matter what, is what brought this book to life. I will be forever grateful that you are such a ‘good friend, damn it!’

Love, love, love all of you. Thanks for pushing me!

To you, the reader, I really hope you enjoy my debut novel Casted. Now sit back, relax and let me take you into my world.

 

 

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t afraid. Fear harbors within me while death watches from the shadows.

…Jade Kinsley

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

 

Outside, rain pelted against the glass in great sweeping droves. The chill in the air made me shiver. It reminded me of what could be and never will be again. Looking back now, I realize how lucky I was for that fateful day when Rainy Willowby and Jessa Greene stepped into my life.

At 19 years old, I found myself picking my way along the Scottish countryside when I met them. In a few short minutes of talking with them, I learned that Jessa was my age, while Rainy was five years older and they, like me, had no family. It was, as if by Fate’s hand, I’d bumped into them while trying to figure out where to go next. Rainy had said I had the look of a lost soul. She wrapped her arm around me and in that moment, I knew I wouldn’t have to be alone anymore. I had felt safe, for the first time in years.

Jessa and Rainy talked of a cottage by the sea that had been in Jessa’s family for generations. We left Scotland together and never looked back.

The cottage was rustic and charming, all in the same breath. There were endless days of work to get the cottage back to livable conditions. After a few days of hauling debris and cleaning, Rainy and Jessa decided to reveal what they were to me. Magic spilled from their bodies as they finished putting the cottage to rights. I remember staring in awe at what I’d witnessed. Too dumbstruck to run, I watched the little cottage, now our home, come together in a matter of seconds.

I realized in that moment, I knew they were something special, something not to be afraid of. Secretly in my heart, I was a little jealous that they could do something so extraordinary. I won’t lie though. It did take a little getting used to.

I stood in front of the window that looked out over the water. The cold crept a little further into my skin as I remembered how I came to this little slice of Ireland.

“Shove off, you ass,” Jessa shouted from the kitchen.

I knew it was only a matter of time before they would start in on each other. Rainy and Jessa could not tolerate being in the kitchen together, for very long, before all hell broke loose.

Jessa came around the corner fuming. “How was I supposed to know that spell would make the chicken taste like card-board?”

Jessa’s petite figure and impish looks were very deceiving. Jessa, while loyal to those she cared about, was quick to cuss you out or knock you out, depending on the situation.

“Surely you’re not going to be moping around all night, Jade?” Jessa plopped down on the patchwork couch. With a sigh of disgust, she rolled her eyes back towards the kitchen.

“Of course she’s not, why would she?” Rainy asked as she tossed a dish towel into Jessa’s lap and flopped down beside her. The old couch creaked in protest. Any day now, the couch would stop creaking and just break.

“What’s that for?” Jessa curled her lip

Rainy beamed a smile at her. “I cooked. You clean, remember?”

I watched with mild curiosity. After watching these two verbally spar for the last few years, I learned one thing–get out of the way when the spells start flying.

Tonight was different from most nights though. Tonight there was something in the air, something haunting and familiar. I couldn’t put my finger on it and it made me a little jumpy. Right now was not a good time for these two to get into a cat fight over inedible chicken and clean-up detail.

“Do you think you two can hold off on the after dinner show tonight?” I just couldn’t deal with it. Maybe I was being a little pessimistic, but damn it, did they have to do this tonight?

“What crawled up your ass and died?” Jessa asked, as she sprung up from the couch. The dish cloth slid to the floor.

I didn’t answer her. At times like these, it was best to leave questions like that alone. I was already edgy. Fighting with Jessa wasn’t going to make me feel any better.

The sound of angry footsteps pounding their way back to the kitchen made me relax. Round one was over for the night.

Rainy sat down on the couch and slipped off her shoes. She tossed the black leather flats to the floor and wiggled her toes. “Shoes are sooo overrated.”

Rainy’s relaxed personality and loving nature was the complete opposite of Jessa, whose spitfire personality and devil-may-care nature tended to get her into trouble even when she wasn’t looking for it. The differences didn’t stop there either. Rainy was slim, almost willowy, with flowing blonde hair and crystalline blue eyes. Jessa on the other hand, had an athletic build like a runner. Her mahogany hair, shimmered with an undercurrent of the fiery attitude she possessed. It could sometimes be like living with a hippie and a hellion.

They were my only family; family by choice, not blood. It’s funny how much some people carry on about the blood that ties you. Personally, I believe that the blood that ties, is the blood that kills. Morbid, I know.

“What’s wrong with you tonight? Usually you give Jessa a run for her money?” Rainy hadn’t bothered looking at me as she lay sprawled on the couch, both of us oblivious of the clattering and cursing going on in the kitchen. Jessa absolutely hated cleaning up anything.

“Do you ever wonder if it all was just, well…too easy?” I couldn’t help but think I was jinxing us by saying it, but the thought popped out before I could stop it.

“Why would you say that?” Rainy’s crystal blue eyes began looking around as if I called trouble to our door step.

After these past few years, I’d finally voiced the very thought that lingered with me, day in and day out. Was it such a difficult question? For me yes, but I needed to know if she felt the same way.

“Don’t you think that it should have been harder? Getting away, I mean.” I pulled my feet under me and settled deeper in the chair.

“You’re asking about things better left alone, I’d say.” She twisted a lock of her silky blonde hair. I’d made her uneasy and felt a twinge of guilt for it, but still, one of us needed to ask that question.

“Don’t you think it’s a little odd, that for all those years all three of us were on our own, running a step or two ahead of them and then suddenly we don’t have to run anymore?” I knew deep down in my heart that they’d asked themselves the same question. I mean who wouldn’t? Surely if you spent years on end, running from death you’d question why you were no longer being hunted.

“I thought we agreed not to speak of it?” Jessa said, pegging me with her light green eyes as she leaned against the worn door frame. “We agreed, did we not? We said that we’d never talk of this again and here you are, dredging up the very thing we ran from?” The ends of Jessa’s mahogany hair curled up. Little shimmering sparks dotted the tips.

“But, how do we know? Do you ever stop looking over your shoulder? I know I don’t,” I scoffed. I learned a little of their history as we got to know each other better, over the years. Both Rainy and Jessa came from small covens. As a measure of safety, their Covens had split after being attacked. They had known each other prior to the Coven attacks and had agreed to meet in Scotland if anything should ever happen.

Rainy huffed as she sat up and rolled her eyes at me before walking out of the room and out on my question.

“You know that’s a touchy subject, why can’t you just leave it alone?” Jessa turned away and went back to her kitchen chores. I must have touched a major nerve for her to go back to cleaning up. Any other time, she would have used that as an excuse to walk away from her chores.

Well, I’d officially cleared out the living room. It didn’t look like either of them was going to be coming back any time soon. I turned my face to the fire and let the heat warm me as I struggled with unanswered questions. What was it that I had been running from?

I just know that I’d come home to an empty, blood-stained house. A man in a hooded sweatshirt grabbed me as I passed by the kitchen. As soon as he touched me, he screamed in agony and fell to the ground and I ran. I ran until I’d made my way to the nearest police officer and sobbed my heart out over my dead family.

The first and last foster home I was placed in mysteriously burned to the ground. I managed to escape from the flaming wreckage and slipped away from the firefighters and onlookers. I was twelve at the time of my new found independence and had nowhere to go. I had no one to look after me as a child should. Those years were not easy and I’m not proud of the way I had to survive. Thievery and breaking and entering were not things I boasted about and still don’t. No one really knows how terrible it was for me to watch the foul way adults treated themselves, let alone children. So I kept to the shadows, the very ones I feared. Those shadows were the ones that kept me safe when I had no one else to turn to.

I’d been running forever it seemed. Never sleeping soundly and always watching over my shoulder. I’ve had more than enough of my share of close calls. Too many for my liking. Except for once.

Sometimes I wake up at night reliving that hellish memory. Yes, I, a mere child, managed to slip onto a freighter leaving on a late night sail. I hid behind the crates and lived meagerly off of scraps I’d picked from the trash. The next thing I knew, I was in cheery ‘ole England.

The first few days, I kept constant vigil, never once leaving my guard down for anything, until my hunger outweighed my judgment. I’d slipped in the back door of a busy coffee shop in London and had just reached my hand around a still warm muffin fresh from the oven, when I was grabbed, gagged, and tossed into the trunk of my kidnapper’s car.

BOOK: Casted (Casted series)
8.36Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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