Until then, enjoy!
The Cursed: Teaser #2
I trotted over to Caleb’s room and knocked on his door. When it opened, I nearly dropped Oliver’s computer.
It was the middle of the day and yet Andre stood in front of me.
“What the h-hell?” I stuttered.
Andre glanced down at himself. “I’m pretty convincing, aren’t I?” he said.
More like terrifying beyond belief. It was Andre’s body, Andre’s voice, but it wasn’t Andre’s soul that resided beneath his skin.
I socked Caleb in the arm. “Knock it off. I cannot even express just how creepy that is.”
Caleb laughed, as though this were all one big joke.
“I’m serious,” I said softly. I was picking up Andre’s quiet menace.
Caleb-as-Andre grinned. It was such a Caleb mannerism, his mouth lifting more on one side than the other, that it made Andre look like a crude parody of himself. “Sorry,” he said, his tone suggesting he felt otherwise.
Andre’s skin rippled and in his place stood Oliver. “This better?”
Behind me I heard Oliver yelp. “Oh my God, ew, stop that!” he said, throwing a hand over his eyes. His fingers split apart wide enough for him to peer between them. “Do I really look like that?” he asked me.
“No—this is the hot version of you,” I said sarcastically.
He swatted my arm and dropped his hand from his face, inching closer to Caleb. Caleb watched him, wearing a satisfied smirk. I peered at Caleb-as-Oliver. I’d seen Caleb shapeshift before—often in fact—but he’d rarely impersonated people.
“People are harder to mimic,” Caleb said with Oliver’s voice, as if reading my mind.
Oliver crept closer and, using his index finger, poked Caleb-as-Oliver.
“Hey,” Caleb-as-Oliver said, rubbing the flesh Oliver poked. Oliver began to circle him. Once he’d made a full circle, he nodded to himself. “Damn, I look good.”
Caleb-as-Oliver focused his gaze on me, his eyes mischievous. “Want to see what you look like?”
My response was immediate. “No—”
Even as I spoke Oliver’s skin rippled into something paler, more delicate. The clothes Caleb had been wearing hung loose on him now, and all of Oliver’s masculine edges dissolved into soft, feminine curves.
I stared into my own face. My lips were too red, my cheekbones too high, hair too dark, and my skin too pale.
Even more disturbing was that Caleb lay beneath that skin. My skin.
I glanced away. Looking at my double was not the same as looking in the mirror. No, it was way worse.
“Don’t I look pretty?” Caleb asked jokingly, toying with a lock of my hair. Except it wasn’t Caleb’s voice that spoke. It was my own.
I cringed at the voice. Like everything else, it was too much. Too feminine, too melodic. “Stop it,” I said, refusing to look at him—her—me.
“Geez, Gabrielle,” Caleb said in my voice, “we all know you’re hideous, but you don’t have to look away like that.”
“You’re not funny, Caleb,” I said, keeping my gaze averted. “Please, stop.”
“Really?” he said in my voice. “Do you seriously not want to look at yourself?”
I shook my head.
I could feel his gaze boring into me but eventually he reverted back to himself. “Well that was—”
I threw my fist forward and socked him in the face, making sure to hold back most of my strength. Even still, the force of my blow knocked him on his ass.
“Bitch went down,” Oliver threw in, helpful as always.
I stood over a moaning Caleb while he held his nose.
“Don’t ever fucking pull that again without our permission,” I said.
Caleb’s words came out muffled. “You didn’t have to punch me.”
“That wasn’t a punch,” Oliver said, “that was her knocking the idiot out of you.” Oliver turned to me. “I don’t think it worked, either.”
I tilted my head. “I could always try again.”
Oliver pursed his lips in thought, as Caleb got to his feet. “Hasn’t anyone told you to use your words?” Caleb said.
I raised my eyebrows, amused. “This is coming the guy who threatened to get his hands involved the next time Oliver and I got into an argument.”
“For the record,” Oliver said, “I’m still interested in this hand business.”
Caleb muttered something not so nice under his breath as he brushed himself off. “There will be no hand business,” he said.
Oliver’s lips drew down in a pout.
“So,” Caleb said, looking back and forth at us expectantly. “What is it that you two wanted to discuss oh-so-badly?”
“Unholy creatures,” I said.
Caleb’s face scrunched up. “What?”
Oliver leaned into me. “Nope,” Oliver whispered, “you definitely did not knock the idiot out of him.”
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