Title: Cursed Hearts
Author: SF Benson
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Cover Design: Funky Book Designs
Editor: Tia Silverthorne Bach
One kiss can change lives.
Sixteen-year-old Kelsie Martin wants every girl’s dream—to date and fall in love with the perfect guy. There’s a few things standing in her way. Surging powers that cause her to kill every boy she kisses, and the fact that succubi aren’t supposed to fall in love. She reluctantly accepts her calamitous fate when a new guy, Victor Duquette, enters her life. He’s hot and they have similar interests. Could Victor be the one Kelsie’s been waiting for? One forbidden kiss resurrects a century old curse—drastically changing her life and twisting her idea of happily ever after.
The boy’s essence still lingers on my lips, his body gone cold. I exhale, crouching beside him on the wooden floor, and run my fingers through his silky blond hair. My muscles quiver and my breathing is strained.
Once again, the curse I was born with is responsible for this travesty. I drop my head in my hands. There’s something inherently wrong with taking what’s not rightfully mine, like a thief ransacking a person’s home.
But I’m not a thief, not in the traditional sense. It’s not material items I covet. Instead, it’s the essence from humans I seek, the core of their existence. Lilins do it with grace and a special sophistication. We don’t kill, not like this. It goes against our code.
I know that doesn’t explain why I’m kneeling beside a corpse, but this is my handiwork.
I’m a novice succubus. I lack the ability to control my urges. My powers are surging, and I’m supposed to be learning how to handle them. When I screw up, like today, my brother comes and cleans up my messes. It keeps the humans living in Falls Creek unaware of the evil in our town.
Time passes, fifteen minutes to be exact, and still there’s no sign of my brother. My thoughts swirl around the possibility of being discovered. It’s never happened, but I can’t help thinking it. The longer I’m with the deceased, the harder it is to think rationally. I glimpse from beneath the bleachers in the gym.
Where the hell is Cash?
Normally, this doesn’t happen at school. I usually wait and let Cash set up a random hookup with a stranger. But the closer I get to my birthday, the stronger my cravings. It’s the Awakening, the point of maturity for a succubus, trying to happen. The more I attempt to ignore it, the more slip-ups I make. Like this one.
I whirl around and look up into a pair of smoke-blue eyes. It’s Cash.
“Sorry I’m late, Kels. I had to wait for the hall to empty,” he says and kneels by the body. “You couldn’t wait until you got home?”
A ready-made excuse hovers over my tongue. The heavy, meaty smell of flesh wrinkles my nose and interrupts the thought. So, that’s why he was late. He stopped to take care of his own need before helping me.
My eyes drift back over the body. Landry Moore was a junior liked by everyone. He kissed me on a dare. Something I discovered when I overheard a conversation between his friends. I should have known better and not indulged. But the problem with my kind is desire draws us out like magnets. I couldn’t help myself. It’s why Cash has insisted I only practice learning control with him around.
This mess I created is bad. I don’t know how my brother will fix it. Thinking about the turmoil I caused makes my heart and head hurt.
Cash rises and puts his arms around me. “Stop beating yourself up. It happens.”
I open my mouth to speak right when my phone buzzes. I step away and check the message. My best friend, Lena Riley, wants to meet up for coffee and maybe a run.
“Go on. I’ll see you at home.”
“It might be a while. Lena wants to meet for coffee and a run.”
He doesn’t understand my fascination with running. It’s not something our kind gravitates toward. Normally, sex is the way we seek release. I prefer not to think about it. My mom explained it to me once. It was an eerie birds-and-bees conversation, supernatural style. As I recall, it was an uncomfortable discussion for the both of us. The memory still makes me shudder.
“Suit yourself,” Cash drawls. He scoops up Landry’s body and walks into the darkness. A place creatures like me belong.
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About the Author
SF Benson, a native of Michigan, resides in Georgia with her husband, a human daughter, and a couple of miniature fur kids (two female short-haired guinea pigs). At one time, she wrangled a household which included three Samoyeds, saltwater fish, a hamster, and three guinea pigs. When she’s not busy playing Doctor Doolittle, she enjoys answering the question “what if” by writing mostly Dystopian/science fiction and paranormal stories for young adults and new adults. And if a spare moment happens, she morphs into a bookworm and devours a few books simultaneously.
Find her online at:
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/SFBenson/e/B01DI9Z58Q/ref=dp_byline_cont_book_1