The Broken and Sinned (Everlasting Curse #1) - G. Bailey

Chapter One

Last night, I dreamt I was the darkness of a cold winter’s night, and he, a man I’ve never seen before, was the death of everything good in the world. Together, we turned my dream into a nightmare.

And I remember none of it. The suncatcher above me spins in the light breeze, catching beams of light and reflecting them in a million different strands of colour all across my dorm room and waking me up far too early than should be allowed. That goddamn pretty thing was a gift from my brother, and he rarely gets me anything nice, so I have to keep it.

“It’s your goddamn twenty-second birthday, and you’re still in bed!” my roommate, aka Miss Noisy and Perky First Thing in the Morning, shouts across our room as I squeeze my eyes shut. I groan and pull my covers over my head, hoping that she will bugger off, but there is no such luck as I hear her footsteps coming closer. Snatching my quilt from me, she flicks on my bedside lamp to make it that much brighter in here. I peel my eyes open and glare at her as she leans over me, hands on her hips.

“Can your birthday present to me be a lie-in? Please, Sophie?” I grumble with the best impression of puppy dog eyes I can give. Sophie Devert is one year older than I am, about four levels crazier, and overall my best friend in the world since middle school. Pushing her bright autumn red hair behind her ear, she steps back and stretches, showing off her slim and toned body. That’s what you get for being a pro swimmer. My short ass body reflects my art major all too well. I slide out of bed and make my way to the bathroom, shutting the door behind me. After a quick shower, I towel dry my waist-length, mousy blonde hair and then wrap myself in the towel before heading back out. On my made-up bed is a present box with a big pink bow. It must be my birthday if Sophie is cleaning anything at all.

I chuckle as I sit down and open up the box, pulling out a short, light pink dress and matching light pink heels in my size. I might not be the girliest girl out there, but I love pink as much as I love dressing up for one night. Sophie is practically jumping on the spot in excitement, waiting for my response. She knows she did well; the girl knows me better than I know myself.

“I love them! Thank you so much, Soph!”

“I knew you would!” She gives me a brief hug. “Now we just have to wait for that brother of yours to call and tell you the next gift,” she replies as she picks up her bag with a cheeky grin. “See you at lunch?”

“Same place as usual?” I question as I place the dress back in the box and the heels too.

“As always,” she confirms with a wink before leaving the room. After she is gone, I get myself dressed in skinny jeans and a white top with criss-cross patterns cut into the shoulders. As I pull my boots on, my phone rings with the damn cat screeching noise my brother put on it as a joke and I haven’t been able to change. I jump, like I do every single damn time, and answer it without looking, popping it onto loudspeaker.

“Happy birthday!” my mum and dad shout down the phone at the same time. Just hearing them makes me smile, the cat ringtone forgotten. “Can we FaceTime?”

“Sure!” I answer, finishing with my boots and switching the call to FaceTime. When the camera comes on, I can only see my reflection for a second, my big doe-like blue eyes and round face that Sophie always says makes me look like a Barbie doll. I’ve always taken offence to that...but she is right. Eventually, the camera catches up, and I get a close up of the side of my mum’s nose. “Mum, you need to hold it away. I can’t see you, remember?”

“Oh right,” she grumps, not liking to be called out for her terrible tech skills. She pulls the camera back, and even though they are very close, it’s good enough. My mother’s grey hair is perfectly styled in curls around her wrinkled face, and she has a cream cardigan on with her pearl necklace she never takes off. My dad is in one

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