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Authors: Sonnet O'Dell

Tags: #England, #Magic, #Paranormal, #Supernatural, #Vampire, #Urban Fantasy, #dark, #Eternal Press, #Sonnet ODell, #shapeshifter, #Cassandra Farbanks, #Worcester

Silent Doll

BOOK: Silent Doll
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Silent Doll

A Cassandra Farbanks Novel

By
Sonnet O’Dell

 

Eternal Press
A division of Damnation Books, LLC.
P.O. Box 3931
Santa Rosa, CA 95402-9998

www.eternalpress.biz

Silent Doll
by Sonnet O’Dell

 

Digital ISBN: 978-1-61572-738-4

Print ISBN: 978-1-61572-739-1

Cover art by: Dawné Dominique
Edited by: Leona Wisoker

 

Copyright 2012 Sonnet O’Dell

Printed in the United States of America
Worldwide Electronic & Digital Rights
1st North American, Australian and UK Print Rights

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned or distributed in any form, including digital and electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the prior written consent of the Publisher, except for brief quotes for use in reviews.
This book is a work of fiction. Characters, names, places and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Alycia. I finally got the little sister I always wanted. I love you sweet pea. This one’s for you.

I would like to thank Dani, Sharon, Tina and all the other sheep who have been such a help and support, inspiration and insane distraction while I was piecing this and my new blog together. Thank you guys.

Chapter One

LeBron’s car did not like me. It wheezed and juddered as I drove it through the open gates of the community and toward Simian Urquhart’s house. In the passenger seat, LeBron himself was edgy and twitching, especially when the moonlight hit his skin. I wasn’t sure LeBron liked me these days: he wasn’t big on sharing his feelings, but it was my fault he was bitten in the first place. Driving him to his first lunar outing with the pack was the least I could do. He tried going it on his own for the first couple of months, chaining himself up in the basement of his house until he’d broken free and trashed the place. Now he admitted that he needed help. The king, a man by the name of Leroy Craven—who distinctly reminded me of Russell Crowe from
Gladiator
—had promised him all the help he needed with dealing with his condition. He was injured in the line of doing a service for him, after all.

I pulled up outside of Simian’s house to find him sitting waiting on the steps. His face was turned up to the sky; I knew he registered me as I got out of the car by my scent alone.

“Hello, Cassandra.”

His lips curved into a smile. LeBron remained sitting in the passenger seat while I walked around the front of the car and onto the pavement. Simian bounced down the steps and wrapped his arms around me in a tight hug.

Simian isn’t an extraordinarily handsome man. He’s in his late thirties and is handsome in a way that is both classic and rarely seen these days. What stands out about his face is the intense blue of his eyes: staring into those eyes makes you think
wolf
.

He inhaled deeply and pulled back from me, wrinkling his nose.

“Your scent has changed,” he said. “You’re…at peace with yourself. Finally.”

I shrugged. There were still some issues I had to deal with but I was working through it one day at a time. I had spent my entire life believing myself to be as human as the next person only to find that was a mistake. I’d lived my life so far as a human only because my mother, in an effort to protect me from some hideous fate, had bound up my true nature in layers of dense magics. Those magics had started to crumble away when I had nearly lost my life six months ago. Let’s just say there was a demon, a vampire and a near fatal hickey. Said vampire, Aram, was my boyfriend until a few months ago, when my new knowledge of my life made me need to step back from our tempestuous relationship so that I could deal with the new me.

I missed him terribly some nights.

“How’s he doing? I swear if I’d have known the test came back positive I would have dragged him here. When we didn’t hear…”

I looked over my shoulder to see that LeBron still hadn’t gotten out of the car. He was sitting with his head between his knees taking deep breaths.

“Blank,” I said. “He’s not said much since I picked him up, but I guess he’s scared. I mean, it’s the unknown. No matter how much I know he’s read, he still doesn’t understand what’s happening to him.”

Simian placed his hand on my shoulder giving it a light squeeze. “He’ll be okay, Cassandra. We’ll take care of him.”

I gave him a weak smile. It wasn’t that I doubted his promise in any shape or form. The Worcester community of werewolves and shifters were a good bunch of people. It was simply this: I couldn’t tell how LeBron would take his change. I had read—more than I had wanted to—stories about newly turned werewolves who, unable to bear the change, had chosen to end their lives. I wanted to believe that LeBron would never be like that, but I knew from personal experience that big changes like this could bring out the weakness in anybody. My own post loss of identity drinking bender had not been pretty.

I hesitated, not sure if I should force him out of the car, not sure that he would accept the help–or want me to be the one helping him. This made the second time he’d gotten hurt by following me around.

Simian ushered me away, pointing me in the direction of the house. “Go on inside. I’ll take care of him.”

I nodded, conceding that Simian had more experience dealing with newly turned werewolves. I stopped to look back when I reached the door; Simian had pulled open the car door and was crouching beside it, talking to LeBron. I pushed against the door and went inside.

The minute my feet were both past the doorway, the door shut firmly behind me. I was rushed by a blonde, kitten-pajama-wearing terror that clung to me, wailing excitedly. I bent down, picked her up, and let her give me her customary greeting of full-on hugging my head. I balanced the little monkey on my hip and smiled at her.

“Hey Zo zo.”

“Mommy said I can stay up! We’re having a sleep over.”

I admired her beaming face and traced my hand tenderly over the locket around my neck; half checking it was still there. She stared at the silver locket around my neck, as she always did; reached out to grab it, as she always did. I pushed her hand gently aside, as I always did: the locket was too important to risk in clumsy four year old hands.

I lived my life jumping between two realities. The locket around my neck was a spell that would keep me grounded here. It’s beautiful, silver with two doves carved into it. It’d been given to me by my mentor, Virginia Toogood, who I was currently struggling to rebuild my relationship with. Virginia was one of the few people who knew that I switched realities and she had known more about my mother, myself and my step-father than I had. She’d kept the fact from me that the man I thought was my father—wasn’t.

He was my mother’s husband, sure enough, but she had arrived with me in tow before then. He’d also been her son. Technically that made Virginia my step-grandmother, but I was not prepared to call her that. She had lied to me for years, and we weren’t blood, so it would take longer to forgive her. I felt betrayed by her in the worst way.

“Did she? That was nice of her. I’ve not been to a sleep over in years. You’ll have to remind me what to do.”

I’d truly not been to a sleep over since I was in my teens. Once I had started switching realities—when my mother had died—I’d pretty much had to keep my few friends at arm’s length to keep them from knowing my secret. I’d feared what they would do if they knew the truth. However, as the old saying goes, the truth will out. My friends had jumped me at my apartment during my little breakdown determined, I think, to save me from myself. I had really good friends. Unfortunately, they’d found out the truth, and time was going to tell how they dealt with it.

I carried Zoe through to the living room, where I found her mother, Sophie, laying out a tray of soda, popcorn and various semi-healthy treats on the table in front of their wide screen. There was a selection of girly and kids’ movies piled on the floor by the DVD player, and all the cushions from the couch were thrown into a space between the couch and the TV.

“Hey, Sophie,” I said, “where’s Jack?” She made a vague gesture with one hand.

“Off on a camping trip,” she replied. “The young boys go somewhere else during the full moon.”

I let Zoe slide down my leg until her little feet were on the floor and watched with amusement as she belly-flopped onto the largest cushion. Tiny dust motes spiraled into the air like microscopic ballerinas.

Sophie finished laying out the treats and turned to smile at me. Sophie is a very slight woman; she has a mane of chestnut colored hair and favors long skirts, light sweaters and crocs.

“What color do you want your nails?” she asked, sticking out one bare foot and wriggling her toes at me. “I’m thinking purple, myself, and I bet pink would look great on you!”

Along the hearth she had lined up a selection of nail polish. Girls at sleep overs apparently painted their nails, both hand and feet. I’d never understood why people who wore shoes all day painted their toenails. Sophie had explained it to me: a woman paints her fingernails, wears lipstick and nice dresses for others. A woman paints her toenails for her own pleasure. Whatever floated your boat, right? Personally I ate a tub of ice cream for my own pleasure.

Sophie handed me a can of diet cola. I settled on the floor and pulled the tab; it gave a satisfying hiss.

“So? What are we going to watch?”

I was ready for a full night movie marathon. I had agreed to sleep over so that there would be someone to take LeBron home in the morning. He’d declined the offer to move into the community and I was told he would be in no state to drive himself.

“Little Mermaid!” Zoe screeched, snatching up a DVD case and thrusting it into my face. I was nose to nose with a redheaded half fish. I placed my hand on top of the case, pushing it down so I could look over it at her. I raised my eyebrows at Sophie, who was chuckling behind her hand.

“How much sugar has the rug rat had?”

“None. She’s brushed her teeth. This is just because you’re here,” she said, plucking the DVD from between us and kneeling down next to the player. “You know she adores you.”

Zoe found a smaller cushion, positioned it on my folded legs and snuggled down into my lap. I wrapped an arm companionably around her waist to steady her and sipped my cola.

Sophie sat with her back partially to the screen so she could paint her daughter’s toenails a sweet candy pink. Zoe thought it incredibly funny to wriggle her toes every few minutes, which caused her mother to make a
ffft
sound of annoyance. Now Sophie was concentrating on painting her own toenails a glossy deep purple. They were about half done and the movie was a quarter of the way through
Under the Sea
when Zoe started to nod off.

I jabbed Sophie with my foot. She looked back at me, then, tilting her head, she stared at her daughter in the bluish glow of the television screen. Zoe’s little eyes kept fluttering and closing for longer and longer periods of time. Sophie hit the pause button and pointed the remote at the ceiling. I nodded, scooped the little girl into my arms, and headed upstairs.

BOOK: Silent Doll
7.67Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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