Fated Dreams (Book One In The Affinity series)

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Fated Dreams

 

By Christina
Smith

 

 

 

Published by
Christina Smith

Copyright
©
2012 Christina Smith

Cover Model -
Courtney Collins

Cover art © by
Stephanie Mooney. All rights reserved

Edited by 
Christine Leporte

 

 

 

For my mom, who
believed in me after reading the first paragraph, and for my grandmother, who
never lived to see this day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This book is a
work of fiction and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, or places,
events or locales is purely coincidental. The characters are productions of the
author’s imagination and used fictitiously

 

 

 

Reviews
for Fated Dreams
:

 

By Ashley Stoyanoff, Author of The Souls Mark: Found

 

"…Not too often do I find a book that pulls on my every emotion
and this one did. I had the odd tears; I giggled like a school girl; I wanted
to shout and scream at the characters. This story had me flipping pages and on
the edge of my seat from start to end… this was one of the best books I have
read this year, and I am sure I will be reading it again. I cannot wait for the
next one.

 

By Beth, a
goodreads member

 

"…FATED
DREAMS
is a great young adult read. The plot
twists, turns and misleads you right till the end. Sarah is a strong young
woman, that makes decisions for herself and stands up for what she wants
without excepting less. I really enjoyed this book and I am looking forward to
the next book
DELUSIONS
coming soon from the Affinity Series."
By Francesca, a goodreads member

 

"Fated
Dreams kept me on edge. Either because of Lucas or the attempts on Sarah's
life. Christina Smith had written what it felt like to be in love, exhilarated
and wanting for more. The main character, Sarah, was made more humane than ever
by feeling the fear induced by the one who threatens her life.
You have to read this book to know how it ends. And it ends with a twist! I
could not wait for the next book

 

By Sara Gordon, a goodreads
member,

 

"This was a very sweet book with lots of mystery. Christina
Smith keeps you guessing until the end who the culprit is. I liked Sarah and
Lucas's romance. And Logan ended up not too bad, and I kind of wish there was
more about him. The characters were strong, and I love how a little mystery was
brought in with a few of them to throw you off track. Can't wait to read the
next book of the series. Highly recommend."

 

Discover
other exciting titles by Christina Smith

 

Delusions (Book Two in The Affinity Series)

Prologue
Brownridge,
Vermont

 

 

Three years ago

 

“How did I get here?” I asked myself for
the fourth time, although I already knew the answer. My voice was muffled
inside the closed, confined space.

It was Saturday
night, and instead of hanging out at a party with Derrick and Emma like I was
supposed to be, where was I? In a closet, and not the proverbial kind either. I
was literally in a closet, fluffy towels and all. Why? That’s a good question,
and the only answer I could think of was my own stupidity.

Stephanie
Brown, honey-blonde hair, vivid blue eyes, and a body every boy drooled over,
had it out for me. And again the question was, why? Well, the obvious answer
could only be Ryan Crenshaw, her ex-boyfriend. Not that he wasn’t worthy of her
attention—his wheat-colored hair and soul-deep blue eyes would make male underwear
models envious—but he just wasn’t interested in her anymore.

He told me once
that the only reason he liked her in the first place was because he was new to
the school and didn’t know any better. But once he did, he dumped her right on
her cashmere-covered ass. And when Ryan started eating lunch with me, she
decided that I was her enemy. She even convinced the entire school to hate me,
and the social-climbing drones of the student body listened to her. Ever since
I started at Hadley Academy six months ago, the only friend I’d had was Ryan,
and he was only a friend. As much as Stephanie, the self-proclaimed queen of
the school, thought differently.

Not that I was
desperately in need of extra friends. I had two of the best ones anyone could
ask for, but since they attended a public school on the other side of town, my
days were filled with cold stares and the occasional prank.

I thought my
luck had changed a few days ago when the queen witch herself asked me over for
a slumber party with her two best friends. At first I was skeptical,
considering her obvious dislike for me. But since she had made the effort, I
hoped it was the start of a normal life for me at school, so I agreed against
my better judgment.

The evening
started out okay. She showed me around her enormous mansion, making sure I
noticed all the expensive-looking furniture, rich silks, and classic artwork
that were displayed throughout the rooms.

After a gourmet
dinner, I followed Stephanie up to her room. It was painted red and white, with
photos placed perfectly along the walls. Above her bed was a portrait of the
queen herself, which I thought was tacky.

The distinct
scent of an expensive perfume filled the air; it was such a strong odor I
figured she bathed in it or spilled the bottle. Either way, the smell was
overpowering. I used to like that particular scent, but now I feared I could
never use it without thinking of her.

She sat on her
bed with her puppets, as I now called Trudy and Tara, while I took the plush,
wine-colored armchair near the closet.

“So Sarah, do
you think you’re pretty?” Stephanie asked.

“Uh…I don’t
know, why?”

She scowled. “I
asked Ryan why he was talking to you all the time. And do you know what he
said?”

I didn’t like
where this was going. “No,” I answered quietly, afraid to look into her eyes.

“He said that
you were sweet and pretty. And that he liked your dark eyes and your long brown
hair.”

I glanced at
Trudy and Tara, hoping for help, but their smirks told me I couldn’t count on
them. This wasn’t good.

She didn’t wait
for a response before continuing, and really, what was I going to say, she was
obviously up to something. A knot of trepidation formed in the pit of my
stomach. “I can’t do anything about your eyes, but I can do something about
that hair.” She bent down and picked up something hidden under her bed.

I had a feeling
I knew what was about to happen, and I hoped I was wrong.

She turned back
around, holding a pair of industrial-size, shiny, silver scissors. Oh shit. Her
smile was all steel as she glanced at me, and then at the shears.

Now I knew why
they invited me here, and it wasn’t to become my friend.

God, I was so
stupid. Why would I think that after months of her ignoring me, the frost queen
would suddenly be nice to me? I should have known that a girl like her, rich,
snobby, and just plain mean, was incapable of change.

Glaring at the
scissors, I gulped, making the only decision I could think of. I took off out
the door of her bedroom.

As I ran down
the hall, I heard her yell, “Get her, girls.”

This was so
cliché. I was living a horror flick, and I couldn’t believe I fell for it.

 

So now the question was, how did I get
myself out of this odd situation I suddenly found myself in?

It was so dark
in the closet I couldn’t see the hand I held out in front of my face. If there
was a light bulb in here, I wasn’t going to turn it on for fear I’d give away
my position. A floral scent wafted around the tiny cubby. I stretched out my
hand and felt the soft towels that were folded neatly on a shelf beside me.

With my head
pressed against the door, I sat down on the floor, trying to think of what to
do next. My eyes were closed as I listened carefully, hearing only my own
breathing and the faint sound of footsteps as they searched another part of the
house. I was safe, for now. Although I knew I couldn’t hide forever.

Since I had
nothing else to do, I tapped my knee with my finger to the tune of the national
anthem. It must have helped my thought process, because I remembered something.
I had seen a phone sitting on a stand in the hall on my way to this closet.
Maybe I could crawl over to it while the crazy girls were occupied, and call my
mom. Then I could sneak outside and wait behind some bushes. I really didn’t
want a haircut. I couldn’t believe she was going to chop off my hair just
because her ex-boyfriend talked to me and became my friend.

What was I
thinking; of course she would.

I waited a few
seconds, making sure they were still out of hearing distance before making my
move.

Opening the door
very slowly, I crawled out, looking around to make sure I was alone. Since my
eyes had adapted to the darkness of the small closet, they now felt strained
from the wash of light coming from the fixture above me. The hallway was clear,
so I continued to crawl slowly on my hands and knees along the soft
oatmeal-colored carpet, careful not to make any sound. The phone was just a
couple feet away on a small oak table against the wall.

I was almost
there when I heard a squeaky voice I recognized as Tara’s. “There she is,” she
yelled, pointing at me from the other end of the hallway.

Crap. I stood
up and ran as fast as I could for the portable handset. I picked it up and
dialed my number quickly. My mom answered, “Hello.”

The words “come
get me” rushed out of my mouth before a well-manicured hand reached for the
receiver. I turned to see Stephanie slam her finger down, ending my call and
the only chance of escape.

She smiled
wickedly; her fierce blue eyes shot out imaginary icicles that filled me with
fear. “This is going to be so much fun.”

Tara and Trudy
held on to me while I pleaded with them to stop. I hoped that they would feel
guilty and let me go. That hope was short-lived when I saw laughter in their
eyes. They were just as evil as Stephanie was.

As I struggled,
I felt the first cut, and some of my hair that had taken years to grow fall to
the floor. I panicked, stomped on someone’s foot, and took off running. Fingers
slipped from my skin. I was free.

“Get her, now!”
the evil witch screamed. In my haste I tripped on the edge of the carpet,
giving Tara a chance to grab my arm before I could get away, her pointed nails
digging into my skin.

They held on
tighter this time, and as hard as I tried, I couldn’t get away. I sobbed
quietly as they chopped off my hair. My heart sank with every snip of the
scissors. The strands brushed my arm and feet as they fell to the floor,
feeling like soft feathers caressing my skin. I closed my eyes, hoping that was
all it was, a pillow torn open above my head.

When the awful
snipping sounds stopped, I opened my eyes to see most of my hair lying in
clumps at me feet. I could no longer pretend they were anything else. I knew
that the pile of brown clippings curled up along the carpet was mine. I stared
down at it with a feeling of numbness. My long mane that I had taken such care
of was now taunting me from the floor. When I was little, I asked to have long
hair just like my mother. After that, she would brush it lovingly every night,
buying products to keep it soft and shiny. She said it was one of the reasons
she wanted a daughter, to dress her up and play with her hair. And now the
remaining pieces lay on the floor, being stomped on by Stephanie’s open-toed
red sandals.

They let me go
and started to laugh. “I don’t think Ryan will be interested in you now. My
goodness, Sarah, what happened to your hair?” she mocked. “You know, you really
should stop going to your dad’s barber.” Stephanie’s sick attempt at humor made
the lump in my throat threaten to grow.

Trudy and Tara
laughed at her joke with twin high-pitched screeches. They were eerily similar,
with matching grey eyes, black hair, and milky complexions. If Trudy wasn’t
four inches taller than Tara, I’d think they were twins, although they weren’t
even related.

I ran to Stephanie’s
room, picked up my bag, and took off in the direction of the front door. As I
rushed out, I heard her shrill voice calling after me. “Oh Sarah, are you
leaving so soon?” And of course more laughter followed.

I stumbled out
of her house into the night. In the darkness, I followed the walkway to the
road, feeling embarrassed and angry, and an ache formed in my chest before the
tears started to fall.

I wasn’t paying
attention to where I was going and started walking aimlessly. My tears were
flowing hard, obscuring my view. My foot caught in a crack in the road, and I
fell to the ground. My hands dug into the asphalt, scraping my palms.

I pushed myself
up and continued walking.

Would this
horror movie ever end? I hoped to wake up in my room, having dreamed the whole
thing. Closing my eyes, I willed it to be true, but fate was not on my side;
this was really happening. I was still here wandering the roads, praying I was
heading in the right direction.

After what
seemed like hours, I saw headlights behind me. A car pulled along the sidewalk,
and the passenger side window slowly rolled down. “OH, MY GOD, SARAH! WHAT
HAPPENED?” my mother yelled from the driver’s seat.

 

 

 

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