SF BensonOne 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.
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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 aperson’s home.But I’m not a thief, not in the traditional sense. It’s not material items I covet. Instead, it’s theessence from humans I seek, the core of their existence. Lilins do it with grace and a specialsophistication. 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’msupposed to be learning how to handle them. When I screw up, like today, my brother comes andcleans 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 swirlaround the possibility of being discovered. It’s never happened, but I can’t help thinking it. The longerI’m with the deceased, the harder it is to think rationally. I glimpse from beneath the bleachers in thegym.Where the hell is Cash?Normally, this doesn’t happen at school. I usually wait and let Cash set up a random hookup witha stranger. But the closer I get to my birthday, the stronger my cravings. It’s the Awakening, the pointof maturity for a succubus, trying to happen. The more I attempt to ignore it, the more slip-ups Imake. Like this one.“Kels?”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. “Youcouldn’t wait until you got home?”A ready-made excuse hovers over my tongue. The heavy, meaty smell of flesh wrinkles my noseand interrupts the thought. So, that’s why he was late. He stopped to take care of his own need beforehelping me.Selfish incubus.My eyes drift back over the body. Landry Moore was a junior liked by everyone. He kissed me ona dare. Something I discovered when I overheard a conversation between his friends. I should haveknown better and not indulged. But the problem with my kind is desire draws us out like magnets. Icouldn’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 Icaused 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. Mybest friend, Lena Riley, wants to meet up for coffee and maybe a run.“Cash...”“Go on. I’ll see you at home.”“It might be a while. Lena wants to meet for coffee and a run.”“Seriously?”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 meonce. It was an eerie birds-and-bees conversation, supernatural style. As I recall, it was anuncomfortable 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 placecreatures like me belong.It’s after school, and the local coffeehouse is busy. Students spreading rumors, the constant ding of thecash register, and the baristas calling out orders fill the air. The heady aroma of recently ground beansmingling with fresh baked pastries and chocolate make the chaos worth it. Lena and I make our waythrough the crowd and find a table near the window.I place a straw in my frozen mocha and glance back at the line. My eyes land on the handsomeblond swim team captain, Matt Kilpatrick. He’s one of those guys that practically every girl in schoolhas either dated or wants to date. Not that it matters, but I’ve had my eye on him since freshman year.“You’re staring,” whispers Lena, my friend since sixth grade. She reaches across the table and tapsmy hand. “Go talk to him, Kelsie. If you don’t talk to him, someone else is going to beat you to him.”I drag my eyes away from Matt and stare at Lena. She didn’t need to point out the obvious.Unfortunately, I can’t tell her why I’ll never say more than hello to him.“Kelsie?”Her voice pulls me out of my head. “What?”“Something wrong?”“No. I’m not that interested,” I lie.“Mm hmm.” She takes a sip from her latte. “If you say so. Let’s talk about Friday night.”“What’s Friday?” My eyes are back on Matt. Yes, he’s insanely handsome, but it’s not his looksI’m focused on. I’m hoping he distracts me from what keeps playing in my head.Brown eyes lock onto mine and lips that taste like cherry lip balm... My hands shake with the memory.I clasp them in my lap. It’s like Landry is haunting me.“Have you forgotten about the concert?”Crap! I have. There’s some fundraising concert with local bands playing music from the eighties.I’m not a fan of retro music or blind dates. I inhale deeply through my nose. Lena won’t like what I’mabout to say. I exhale.“I’m not going.”“And why not?” she asks with a pout on her face.How do you explain to someone that you’re tired of killing? I imagine it would be like a serialkiller finally confessing and saying he stopped because he got tired of disposing the bodies. Or, avampire quit biting because he suddenly had an aversion to blood. No. There’s no way Lena wouldunderstand why I’m taking myself off the market. After two years of causing the deaths of countlessyoung men, I just want to graduate with a semi-clear conscious. Landry has to be the last one.“I can’t,” I lie. “I’ve got this family thing.”“Since when?” Lena folds her arms across her chest and leans back. “When I told you about this aweek ago, you said you were available. Besides, your mother is always at work. And Cash... Thatbrother of yours is always hanging out with those trouble-making friends of his.”I take a long sip of my drink. Think of a lie. Anything.“Lena, I just don’t want to go. If it were just us, that would be fine,” I admit.“So, you’re turning down your date, and you haven’t even met him yet? Get real. You’re going.”Lena looks out the window. “Not every guy is a jerk, you know.”She believes I date a lot of losers. You know, guys who are only after one thing. I let her believewhatever she chooses. It makes life easier, and it’s what supernaturals do. We let humans think themyths about us our true. It makes them comfortable. If the residents of Falls Creek knew the truth,well, let’s just say Lena Riley would not be my best friend.Lena pulls her platinum blonde hair up into a ponytail. “You don’t have a choice, Kelsie. Ipurchased the tickets. You have to go.”“I said I’m—”“Going. I’ll pick you up at seven.” Lena stands and slings her backpack over her shoulder.“I thought we were running,” I say. After what I’ve been through today, exercise might take awaysome of the tension twisting my body.“Nah. I have to get home. Too much homework tonight.” She cuts her eyes toward Matt andwinks. “Maybe he’d like to run with you.”I watch her bounce out the door. A breeze sweeps by followed by a shadow crossing my view.Matt.His teeth flash white against his bronzed skin. He adjusts the strap of the gym bag slung across hisbody. “Hey, Kels. Mind if I sit?”Slowly, my muscles unwind and warmth spreads over my body. I feel the incessant pressure of myheart beating, drawing me to him.No. I can’t do this.I won’t be responsible for his death. I fumble with my purse and backpack. “It’s yours, Matt. I’mleaving.”His shoulders slump. He tosses his bag to the floor and takes a seat. “So soon? I was hoping wecould talk. You know the Homecoming dance is coming up and—”“Maybe another time,” I lie. The longer I stay near him, the stronger my craving gets. Fight it! Icurl my fingers against my palm.“I’ll look forward to it,” he replies.Never going to happen.Guys like Matt aren’t for me. To be honest, none of Falls Creek’s guys are for me. I can’t datethem. Ever. Once I learn control, they’ll simply become part of a supernatural food chain.I glance over my shoulder before I push the door open. A redhead approaches Matt. She smilesand sits down.Damn.
SF Benson, a Michigan native, 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.
SF has always wanted to be a writer, but she’s had a variety of positions ‘feeding’ her creative brain—blogger/reviewer, customer service representative, veterinary assistant, marketing assistant, editorial assistant, receptionist, and even cashier for women’s clothing and shoes.
She’s an avid bookworm who appreciates a well-written book regardless of genre. SF prefers to write stories which allow her to answer the question “what if”. She leans towards writing strong, diverse protagonists set in dystopian, science fiction, or paranormal worlds.