Author Erin Richards 

Adventure into the darkness . . . and let the sparks fly!

 
  • Romance
  • Young Adult
forbidden thirteen

Forbidden Thirteen

Forbidden Legacy -- Book One

 

Friday the 13th is no time to be a telekinetic--at least, not this one.

 

The number thirteen follows Aria Elle Walker like a bulldog. Lucky or unlucky, it triggers her telekinesis in freaky ways. In an era of banned magic, it could get her jailed…or worse.

One Friday the 13th, Aria’s telekinesis goes wild and she accidentally kills a bounty hunter in her home. Before her freakout begins, in walks Ronan Riley, another “thirteen” telekinetic, and his doppelgänger—a dying Forbidden fairy. Hells bells, everyone knows fairies and the Forbidden are extinct!

After claiming she’s the gateway “key” to releasing ancient magic into the world, the doppelgängers whisk Aria away from the goons Ronan’s father hired to snag her. Dodging bounty hunters and screwy magic, the trio race to fix the damaged Rift before tainted magic kills the doppelgängers…or opens the floodgates to abolished magic. But Aria never expected their desperate alliance to generate a force of a different kind...an uncanny bond and undeniable desire for both doppelgängers.

Destroying Ronan’s father, the mastermind behind the mayhem, is just icing on Aria’s chaos cake. If her luck cooperates and doesn’t kill her first, that is. And will unluck add Ronan to the body count after he betrays Aria?

 

Excerpt

 

Chapter 1:

It figures my natural bad luck and a blind date on Friday the 13th dumped me in the emergency room. I should’ve shied away from the creepy combination of cursed luck and locked myself in a closet. Lucky for me, I was okay. Unlucky for my date, Michael, he’d suffered an allergic reaction after eating Mexican cornbread. Talk about bonehead move. I mean, hello, he has a corn allergy. What part of Mexican cornbread had he missed in that little tip? To top that off, the inept artist had left his epinephrine shot at home. Zoe, my soon-to-be ex-best-friend, swore her cousin was available and smart. No wonder he was single. No sense in pleading the fifth on smart. Just another craptastic date on a merry-go-round of losers.

A guilty sigh pushed out of me as I stepped onto the elevator. I punched the fourteen button and the doors whooshed shut. The fact that Michael had ordered dinner number thirteen and the thirteen sombreros hanging from the ceiling had everything to do with him landing in the hospital. My stomach became a tight fist of unease.

Too many thirteens together equaled crapstorm in my life. Cursed at birth, I’d entered the world on Friday, January thirteen, at one thirteen in the afternoon. Or in military terms, thirteen thirteen. The bad luck number affected everything around me. I controlled some of it if I caught it in time, and fate took a spin on the rest.

Had Michael become an unwitting victim in my jinxed life or what? I certainly hadn’t known he had a corn allergy until after his face nearly exploded. Honestly, I barely paid attention to what he was ordering while he ogled my chest and babbled on about how he’d love to paint me in the nude for an art class project. As if. Knowing it was Friday the 13th, I should’ve paid more attention once I’d counted the sombreros due to my insane need to count everything to avoid the number thirteen. Or my not-so-insane need to use my telekinesis to thwart the inevitable bad luck. Or I could’ve persuaded him to order dish number seven, but he was so freaking obnoxious, he’d left my brain practicing its freedom to terminate the date.

I sucked in my bottom lip. It was just too risky for others to be near me. I mistrusted my ability to control the bad luck side of my telekinesis, and I didn’t know where my so-called freaky gift stemmed from. I wasn’t sure if I had been born with telekinesis or if it’d developed over time. My abilities hadn’t shown up until I’d turned seven years old.

Thank my lucky stars I’d never gotten caught. I mean, seriously, if the government honed in on my abilities, they’d lock me up like Hannibal Lecter, pink mask and all. For the most part, practicing any kind of extra-sensory perception and magic, whether innate or externally created, was illegal. People were scared of ESP abilities and magic, a deeply rooted fear from over three hundred years ago, when Earth was overrun with sorcerers and fairies who’d done the nasty and created a race of powerful fairy-sorcerers. Eventually, the governments eradicated them all and enacted permanent worldwide laws and heavy sanctions on magical use after the Abolishment. Yet, they never defined “extrasensory perception” as magic. That spooked me, so I lived way under the radar.

The elevator stopped on my floor, and I slipped between the doors before they opened all the way. I slid my card key into the security slot and pressed my thumb to the bio-reader. Automatic entry lights flickered on, lighting my way inside the dark condo on top of the Stargazer Casino, San Jose’s newest residential-entertainment complex. The top floor of the residential tower was really the thirteenth floor, but marked fourteen. Like people can’t count.

I kicked my pink pumps off and dumped my jacket on the antique chair in the foyer. My purse clunked on the marble console, the strap leaving tracks in a film of dust. I jiggled the potpourri bowl until a wimpy bouquet of cloves and cinnamon drifted to my nose. Housework hadn’t risen to the top of my To-Do list yet.

“Here, kitty, kitty, kitty.” I yanked my phone from my front pants pocket and hopped the two steps down to the living room. The floor-to-ceiling windows overlooked the glittery amber dots of downtown’s lights. Winds had swept away the clouds, and a soothing star-blazing night greeted me, a far cry from the doom and gloom of my date.

“Cody, Cleo.” My two Himalayans always skittered away from the havoc they wreaked the second they heard my voice. “Where are you?”

Creepy crawlies teased the nape of my neck. I slanted a glance down the two empty hallways. My right pinkie twitched. Oh, hell. If the crawlies advanced to a pinkie twitch, it was bad. Alarm dipped in and squeezed my heart.

Slipping my hand inside the small drawer of the end table, I gripped my stun gun. I tapped in casino security on my cell phone without punching the send button. The wall clock tick-tocking from the dining room eclipsed the sound of my uneven breathing in the quiet-as-a-church space. Not even a mouse stirred.

“Where are you ding-a-ling cats?” My voice trilled unnaturally. “You better not be leaving stinky presents in my new ficus.”

Three halls broke off from the living room. The wide hall led to the foyer, and two narrower halls led left to the kitchen and right to the bedrooms. I tiptoed down the right hallway. The recessed lights automatically winked on. At the first door—the hall bathroom—a whiff of cheap Old Spice cologne assaulted me, reminding me of the casino blackjack dealer who marinated in it. My heart thudded in my ears, and I about hightailed it toward the front door. Gossamer threads of something foreign fluttered in my head. As a telekinetic, I sensed ESP, and I oddly absorbed the intangible energy of other beings through my aura, but never to the point where it invaded my mind. I’d never even sensed a telepath tickle my telekinetic sensors, and I sure as shit didn’t think an intruder was reading my mind.

I gripped my focusizer, a pendant encompassing the number thirteen. It helped me delve into deep telekinesis and concentrate my energy. Something just clicked in my brain whenever the dang number was present in any way, shape or form. Focusing also allowed me to deflect bad luck…when I knew in advance I needed to deflect. The enameled leaves on the vine and rose lucky charm dug into the flesh of my fingers, comforting and scary at once.

When I crossed the threshold of the wide open bathroom door, the automatic light flashed on. Stun gun held outward, I shoved aside the purple shower curtain. Empty. My heart pounded against my ribs. No rest for the terrified, I still had a bedroom and an office to check. Hating to expose my back to the hallway, I spun to face the door. Where were my useless fraidy cats? I should’ve gotten the drooling Rottweiler who ate kitties for snacks.

A crash echoed in the office next door, followed by two twelve-pound thuds on the hardwood floor. I nearly stunned myself as the furballs slid down the slick hardwood in their headlong rush toward the living room.

Feathers wavered in and out of my telekinetic receptors. Puzzled, I concentrated on the foreign invasion, but my thoughts muddled. More gossamer wings flapped in the corners of my mind, working toward the middle to totally unhinge me. What the freaking hell?

My phone rang. Startled, I hurled it into the air and it clattered onto the hallway floor. Lunging out of the bathroom, I stooped to snag it. The second I cleared the doorway, strong hands gripped my upper arms from behind.

A banshee scream erupted up my throat. Kicking backward, my bare feet connected with steel beam thighs. I thrashed side-to-side, hoping to break his death grip as his hands slid down my arms. My heart drummed so hard I thought it would pop out of my ribcage. I lost my grip on the stun gun and it spun across the hardwood to kiss my phone.  

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