Savage Magic Sample

Chapter 1

Loud music blared from the overhead speakers, making my ears explode. The club was packed, the dance floor filled with people laughing and having a good time. Many had drinks in their hands. The smell of booze was strong in the air, mixed with the lingering scent of fried food.

I was here because my good friend Twist asked me to come. Twist’s boyfriend Niche owned this club. Yeah, we had clubs down in Cave Town, but it was rare I visited one.

I’d forgotten how noisy it could be in a place like this. Especially since clubbing wasn’t really my thing. My boyfriend Kemp sat beside me, swaying to the music. Niche had us in the VIP section as a personal favor to Twist.

Niche and Twist had been messing around for a while now, but finally made it official about a year ago. Around the same time, they’d acquired Tajan City.

Tajan City was a large gambling town up top. Twist, Niche, and a few of their friends had taken control of the north and south part of the city last year.

Niche strolled over to our table, a handcom in his hand. He looked busy, like he was being pulled in multiple directions, putting out small fires everywhere he went. He still made an effort to come check on us, though. Which I appreciated. “Having a good time?” he asked the table at large.

 I looked at Niche and Twist, noting their differences. They both had dark olive skin, but that was where the similarities ended.

Twist stood five-seven, but Niche was slightly taller than him. Piercings covered Twist’s ears, chin, brows, lips, and tongue. Niche simply had a goatee. Twist’s hair reached his ears and was dark green with red tips. Niche’s hair went down his back and was silver just like his eyes. Twist’s eyes were more brown than black.

Twist was skinny as heck, while Niche had enough muscles to lend a few out. Niche had a confidence that showed in every step he took, every word he spoke.

Twist often stayed lost in his own world, not caring what others around him did. Twist’s family was originally from China. Niche’s family came from Thailand.

Kemp held up his glass. “Having a great time,” he said, answering Niche’s question.

I looked at Kemp. He and I were as different as Niche and Twist. Kemp’s skin was pale, while mine was a light brown. Kemp had blond hair, stopping at his shoulders. My hair was black and in waves down my back. Kemp stood six feet, while I was only five-six.

We had one similarity, though. Both our bodies were covered in tattoos from every kill we’d ever made and the kills of our ancestors. In the sunlight, those marks turned golden, burning us alive.

I had a knife mark on my neck. One of my ancestors had slit someone’s throat. In the sunlight, that mark not only burned into my neck, I also felt the pain from that kill, only a thousand times worse. We had hundreds of such marks on our bodies. In the sunlight, you felt the pain of each death, while you were being burnt alive.

It was horrific, and I shuddered, thinking about it. Kemp and I could never live up top like Twist and Niche. Neither could our families. I was fine with this. Kemp and I stayed deep underground in a network of cities and towns called Cajun.

We’d been down there for thousands of years, starting with my ancestors. I liked to think we were as efficient as those up top. Yes, we’d been cursed to live with the sins of every kill our ancestors had ever made, but the curse provided good things too.

Even though we were deep underground, we had grass. Many big factories existed in Cajun, but we had no pollution in the air. We had a few other perks as well, things I knew couldn’t exist if not for the curse. The curse took so much from us, I guessed it felt the need to give a few things back.

The name for up top was called Blazing. That was because to us, the sun was a deadly, blazing beast.

Niche nodded. “Glad you’re having a good time.”

I picked up a chicken wing and bit into it. The taste was hot and spicy, just how I liked it. Niche and Twist shared an intense look, then Niche leaned over and gave Twist a quick kiss on the lips. “Dance for me later?” he asked, making Twist push him away.

I picked up another wing. Gosh, these things were good, but the hand holding the wing didn’t look like my own. It was covered in makeup to hide who I really was.

 Kemp and I lived underground in a city called Cave town. Beside it was Log City, twenty miles beyond that was River City where most of our factories were. They were other towns and cities too, hundreds of them. 

The one thing each city had in common was all our families had been struck with the curse thousands of years ago. For the most part, those up top in Blazing didn’t know about us and we preferred to keep it that way.

People feared what they didn’t understand and the last thing we wanted was to be hunted. I made an effort to only come to Blazing when it was nighttime. But even then, I covered myself with makeup to hide my marks. Some from Cajun went to trade school or college up top. In order to do so, they took a pill called sunshine. It gave us three hours in the sun without it burning us alive.

Some people worked the night shift in Blazing. To get up here took hours. Since I had the power to teleport, I had a small business taking people from Cajun to Blazing and bringing them back when they’d finished with school or work. Some people went up top to shop, and I helped them with that too.

I never used to charge for this, but it’d started taking up too much of my time, so I’d had to start. Teleporting people wasn’t my only business. I also made clothes, lotions, creams, oils, and jewelry.

My phone lit up. The music was too loud for me to hear it ringing. Good thing I’d looked down. Heck, I hadn’t even heard it vibrating. I checked the number. My brows furrowed when I saw it was Shei.

Shei ran the hottest clothing and accessories store down under. I had my own shop set up with my clothing, my lotions, and jewelry, but I didn’t have the reach of Shia. Shai’s spot was in River City.

Many down in Cajun went to River City to shop or eat at some of the exotic restaurants and food shops. Underground, River City was like Paris or New York. It was where all the action took place.

A lot of my merchandise could be found in Shai’s store. She sold it for three times the price I did in my own shop and was always upping her order. Which was probably the reason for the call.

I’d just delivered a truckload of stuff yesterday, but as soon as product got too low, she always called for more. The orders often went past her projections, not that I was complaining. Though selling out of product in one day was a record even for Shai.

I swiped to answer and pressed the phone to my ear. “Shia, what’s up?”

Shia was a tall woman with brown skin, purple hair, and a jazzy attitude. She had her hands in a lot of different pots down under and was usually the person to ask when you wanted the truth about any situation.

“Celeste, I’m sorry,” her voice was scared, shaky.

I gripped the phone tighter, sitting up in my chair. “What happened?”

Kemp put down his drink, eyes watching me.

I could hear Shai swallow hard before she answered. “Someone broke into my shop. They stole all your stuff. No one else’s. You better get over here.”

My hands shook, her words like pop rockets in my ears. With Shia, I didn’t get paid until the product moved. That was the contract I’d signed. It took a lot of money to make my stuff.

The money I got from my merchandise at Shai’s shop helped keep the lights on. I’d just done some remodeling to my own store in Cave Town. Remodeling was just a regular part of business. That was how it normally worked, but something unforeseen had happened.

The numbers had looked great. Unfortunately, two months after the remodeling of my shop, all the pipes in my house had burst due to the cold weather. My whole house had flooded, and the damage was so deep, I was still paying for repairs three months later. I still had a mortgage due too. Couldn’t forget that.

If my items had been stolen from Shia’s shop, I wouldn’t be able to pay my mortgage or for my repairs. Not to mention anything else. My stuff was high priced, and Shia upped the dollar amount even more. That meant I made a nice profit when it sold. Hence why I’d agreed to a contract like that.  

With my merchandise gone from her shop, I was now in the hole for twenty thousand dollars. “Damn it!” I said, shoving the phone back into my pocket.

All Conversation around the table stopped. Kemp, Twist, and Niche all turned my way. My shoulders slumped, the whirlwind of bills crushing me into the dirt. “Someone broke into Shia’s shop and stole my stuff. No one else’s stuff got stolen, just mine.”

“Sounds like a hit,” Niche said. “You’ve been targeted.”

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