Chapter 1: No One Would Have Ever Guessed
Carver Sinclair ruled his hometown, had girls flocking to him, and had gorgeous physical attributes. So he shouldn't have been stuck waiting for his soon-to-be step-family to arrive at the airport. He was both amused and impressed that his hyper, too-up-beat mother had managed to land herself a fiancé.
He was a tall, handsome figure while he stood there, looking bored. He thought about how he was going to make his step-family's life miserable until he caught sight of his next girlfriend (read: "victim").
The long legged redhead that caught his sights wasn't his type, but he was bored and she was beautiful. Carver had her sized up—an innocent girl. Generally, he went for the more experienced type. He was already had thoughts of her between the sheets.
She sighed as a flight was announced it was delayed. "Waiting for someone?" he asked. She nodded and offered no more. "Are you mute?" She shook her head. "Can you talk?" he said slowly, annunciating each syllable.
"Yes, I can talk," she answered. "So tell me honestly are you a player? Because your actions such as checking me out say you are." She leaned closer to me, her chin resting on her hands, while looking amused.
"I am. So you wanna have some fun, baby?" he asked as he wrapped his arm around her waist. She moved away while she glared at him.
"No." Carver froze. That word was foreign to Carver. This girl was going to pay for insulting his ego. "Since you have asked me all these personal questions may I ask you one?" she asked politely. Her French accent sounded musical to his ears.
"Not at all." The dark haired, green eyed demon leaned back in the chair. He studied her slender pale form covered by a classy white blouse; a zebra stripped knee-length skirt, and little black heels. She was small and harmless to his six foot two inches height, broad shoulders, muscular physique, and his superior high school warring experience.
"When did you start suffering delusions?" Her razor sharp words shocked 'Prince' Carver out of his safety zone. He sat up. He watched her in annoyance. The words escape his lips.
"Yes, like the delusion that you could get any girl to sleep with you," she drawled. He grabbed her up and dragged her into a back room. Most girl would be afraid, instead she strategically planned to take him down. She had dealt with bigger egos than his.
"Trust me, baby. You'll be screwing me within a week. Anytime I want you if you stay in this town," he announced.
She looked him up and down. "Oh, my. Oh, my. That is threat. I wouldn't want to get an STD," she remarked. Her voice was bladed with sarcasm and defiantly showed that she wasn't impressed with his statement.
"Baby, that wasn't a threat. That was a promise," he corrected. "A promise you will be happy with me keeping."
"There you go again with your threats. So raping innocent girls is the only way you can get any?" she asked in attempt to get him to go away.
"I don't rape. I haven't raped," he stuttered for the first time in his life. Carver Sinclair did not stutter, did not lose his cool, and definitely was not being taken down by a little, tiny girl. Well, until now.
"That's only in your mind. Not in the minds of those poor girls—"
"STOP!" he exclaimed.
"Do you need me to call your shrink or something besides being a causality of your zealous flirting?" she asked.
"Well, it would have been rude to say 'lame'. Now wouldn't it? So this weird insulting so called flirting is it used to express your feelings? Maybe you do it because you really want to be screwing guys. Are you homophobic? The ones who protest them tend to be the ones that have those tendencies." If he was more flexible his jaw would have been touching the ground.
"Hey, it's okay. You'll find a nice guy—Calm down, buddy. I'm just messing with you. You wouldn't go away. Don't be insulted. I'm just a stranger that heard a certain Carver Sinclair of Oak Falls liked playing with people. You must have ticked off somebody because someone who knew about my great pissing people off skills slipped me a hundred to screw with your mind," she said. Mercifully she gave the guy a break. He looked as if he was going to cry or scream. "Not that fond of reality, huh?"
"I know what reality is and what isn't," he snapped. She chuckled.
"Of course, you do. I wouldn't have done it if you would have not offered me some 'fun'. Compulsive-flirter, yes?" she analyzed.
"You screwed with me," he stated in disbelief.
"Why should this be a big deal? After all you do it all the time. Can you honestly say you do not screw with people's minds purposely for your own amusement?" she asked.
"I do it 24/7," he answered honestly. "I enjoy it. If they are foolish enough to fall for it they deserve it," he stated his opinion with conviction.
"Then, Mr. Sinclair, what gives you the slightest right to claim this wasn't coming to you?" she asked.
"I'm Carver Sinclair," he said as if that made everything perfect.
"So, I'm Nikole Gracin, does my name act as a band-aid making everything good?" she countered. A smile flickered across her face.
"Of course not."
"Why should yours?"
"Because I'm Carver Sinclair."
"That does nothing for me. Maybe if you said Keith Urban. But Carver Sinclair who is he and why does he think he owns the world?" she asked again.
She's right. He almost choked on his thoughts. She was right. She was right on the money. He did think he owed it to him to grant him his every wish. NO! he ordered himself. You will not allow this little mouse to make you question yourself after nineteen years.
Carver calmed himself. He relaxed as he smiled. "Miss Gracin, if you already are not staying in the wonderful city of Oak Falls. I invited you to stay. If you stay I will show you just why I own this city and I'll make you a bet."
"I don't do bets," she stated while appearing to be bored out her mind.
"Oh, so I'm two now?"
"Baby. Baby. Baby. You like money, don't you?" he asked, catching her wrists.
"If it's not blood money or money I had to lose my dignity for yes," she answered as she looked skeptical.
"I have one month to get you into bed. If not you get a thousand dollars," he announced.
"Maybe if the price was higher . . ." she trailed off, just to bait him.
She shook her head.
"Still not going on."
"I'm an expensive date."
"And I have bills."
"I could use some new clothes."
"Then there's that college tuition."
"I'm not into selling myself."
"You're not selling yourself. I pay you if you don't sleep with me!" he exclaimed.
"That has to be a first."
"I've never had to pay for sex!" he exclaimed.
"That you know of. Okay. You sure do protest. If I do this bet thing I want it in writing. Not all of us recognize your outstanding name."
"You're not settling for sixty-five thousand?"
"Heck, no. We're talking about the actual risk of me sleeping with you."
"You say that as if I were some beast."
"Oh, I'm sorry. I meant for it to sound as if you were some egoistical jerk who only thinks with his lower organ of anatomy, but there are so many of those out there. I guess I like beast better."
"You're an idiot for doing this. For all you know I have some boyfriend."
"Even better—a challenge to lure you away from the competition. Do you have a boyfriend?"
"Yes. And you sure are stupid."
"So agree to the bet and take my money," he stated.
"Agree to it when you could go higher, money bags? Now that would be a laugh," she remarked. "You forgot to mention what you want out of this."
"If I win I get to screw you anytime, any place for a month," he stated.
"Be your whore? Not happening." She turned and started to walk away.
"Hey, I change my mind if this goes my way I'll be screwing you a month away so no more until we get there and you beg me. Then, of course, your wish would be my command."
"Oh, Mr. Sinclair, you deserve to be taken down a notch. We should continue with the bidding," she said as she came back with a smile.
"One million," he whispered in a seductive drawl. He had known she could not pass that up. He had no doubt of his skills.
"The bet is on," she said while she grinned. "Exactly, how are you going to erase your first impression on me? I don't sleep with guys that are as egoistical and as flirty as you. Mmm. Brainwashing, maybe? Though I'm so stubborn that wouldn't work."
"You are going to first impressions or not and I won't need to rape you," he made sure to add. She laughed.
"You felt the need to add that?" she asked. His green eyes turned brown as rage gathered inside him.
"I'm going to make your life a living hell," he threatened.
"Ooh, I've already been to Hell. Would you like season passes?" she countered. "You know you're eyes aren't brown right now because you're angry. They are brown because you are full of shit."
His eyes turned back to a cool, calm, collected green as both their names were announced over the intercom to report to the front desk.
Full glares were directed their way as they went to join their party. "Why did they call you to meet my soon-to-be step-dad and his family?" he asked.
"Your step-dad is my legal guardian." She paled. "We will be living together," she stated as it dawned on her.
"Home court advantage," he smirked.
"Thought you wouldn't need that," she drawled. "Hello, everyone." Carver's family that stood before them consisted of his mom and two little brothers. Thomas Gracin, who Nikole called Uncle Thomas, and his two daughters made up Nikole's family.
"Nikole, this is my fiancée Judge Maggie Sinclair," Thomas introduced politely. Maggie was blonde, blue eyed, slender, and majority of her weight was in her chest region. She had one of those gigantic smiles. William appeared to be thirteen and Daniel looked eight. William was brown eyed, brown haired, tall, and gangly. Daniel was a short kid that reminded Nikole of a bulldozer. He had blue eyes and brown hair. "And you remember my daughters Nola and Ricki."
Nola was sixteen and Ricki was fourteen both were very similar in personality. Nola was blonde, blue eyed, and the perfect vision of the American cheerleader. Ricki was brown haired, hazel eyed, and shorter than Nola. If they hadn't been so busy sending flirty looks Carver's way they would have been glaring at her. Nola and Ricki had lived at their mother's and Nikole had lived with Thomas until they complained that they wanted to live with their dad. Then there was a custody battle which left them here with Daddy in Oak Falls and his new family.
"And that's Carver, of course," he added.
"Nice to meet you all," she said politely.
"I hope we can be the best of friends," Maggie cut in.
"I hope so, too," Nikole said as she managed to keep a straight face.
"Did you catch all that, Carver?" Nikole asked him. She was sincere. He nodded.
"Let's head out," Maggie said cheerfully. "Carver, you can drive Nikole and the boys to the house. I'll take the others." Only once Maggie, Thomas, and the girls were out of sight did Carver and Nikole exchange a look.
"To the car," Carver said while he led them.
"Are you in love with my brother?" Daniel asked accusingly.
"Nope. I don't think he has the award winning personality I look for in my men."
"I like you!" Daniel exclaimed. He hugged her.
"I'm glad," she said. He grinned. So there was some sibling rivalry amongst the Sinclair brothers. "So is it Danny or Daniel?"
"What about you, William or Will?"
"I know a Will. He is brilliant. He turned out to be one of the greatest scientists I know," she remarked.
"Will Strauss?" Will asked her hopefully. He always went on and on about his favorite scientist and hero Will Strauss.
"Oh, no. We are not going on about him," Carver said as he opened the door to his red Ferrari.
"Thanks," Nikole said. She cast him a smile. Suddenly he felt weird. He didn't recognize the feeling and he sure didn't like it. She smoothed out her skirt as she turned to his brothers. "So you like science?" Will nodded.
"Geek," both Danny and Carver exclaimed. Will slumped in his seat.
"Don't worry. I'm a geek, too," Nikole stated. Carver risked a glance over at her. She no longer smiled. His calling his kid brother a geek had earned a strike against him in Nikole's book.
Nikole felt so loved. Out of the fifty rooms in the Sinclair mansion Nikole got the smallest room—with the exception of the closets, of course. Amusingly, her bathroom was larger than her room times three. She was in love with her huge bathroom. The bathroom had a big bath tub, a hot tub, a spa, a shower, a toilet, a sink, mirrors, a walk-in closet, and a large carpeted area of free space.
Her room itself had a full size bed, a nightstand, a balcony window, a dresser, a desk, and four bookshelves. She had no complaints expect the flowery bed sheets and the pink walls and the feeling that she was being watched.
By the time Nikole was done unpacking the things Thomas had brought her over the years the bookshelves were full, the closet was one-eighth full, and the bathroom was decorated in Nikole's extensive candle collection.
"Perfection," she uttered as she ignored the flowery bed sheets and collapsed on the bed. Her door swung open and she jumped up.
"Do you like your room?" Maggie asked as she walked in and examined what Nikole had done to the place.
"Yes, ma'am," Nikole answered. She was treading on dangerous waters. Her placement of the smallest room could mean the lady didn't like her or Maggie considered her hired help.
"I had hoped so. Thomas said you liked book and bubble baths. He almost fainted when I showed him those sheets. You aren't a pink lover?"
"You are easier to please than Ricki and Nola. They can only find things wrong with their rooms. I got Ricki tickets to an Ashlee Simpson concert and Nola got new clothes. They can only find things wrong with those, too," Maggie said.
"Ricki loves Ashlee Simpson music she just complaining to make you miserable. Nola is going to complain because you're the woman who 'stole' (she did the air quotations) her father away from her." Nikole explained knowingly. "They prefer money as gifts or gift cards."
"I got you a welcoming present, too. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed, Angel, and Sailor Moon all of the complete seasons." She dropped the bag on Nikole's bed. "Your room doesn't have a TV, but Thomas said you watched DVDs on your laptop."
"Thank you." Nikole said sincerely. The woman was making her best effort. Nikole was a fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed, Sailor Moon, and Angel.
"You're free to have guests over. We're really lax on rules considering Carver always breaks them. So you're going to be attending Oak Falls High and the University at the same time? Thomas said you got your GED diploma at fourteen, but he wants you to go to Oak Falls High." Nikole nodded. She was seventeen now. She had been taking college classes and AP classes. Maggie opened her closet. "It's so bare. I have to take you clothes shopping."
"No, thank you, ma'am."
"Please Ricki and Nola refused. Please. Please. Please," Maggie begged.
"No pastels and no pinks. I do dark colors," Nikole stated her terms.
"I can do that. Good night, Nikole," Maggie said pleasantly. Then she was gone. Nikole went to her bathroom, lit all her candles, and sat down. Then she began to mediate.
CRASH! Nikole was drawn out of her mediation. She jumped up and went to open the bathroom door. Can you hear the spooking music? She swung open the door. She was fully prepared to take on the person who was breaking and entering her new house. When she opened the door she was grabbed from behind. Her elbow connected with the person's stomach.
"Jeeze, Nikole. It's Raguel," her best friend said.
"You'd think a special agent would be stealthier," Nikole drawled. Raguel Michaels was a special agent of a top secret government agency. Raguel had sandy brown hair, pretty blue eyes, and he was five foot nine inches.
"That crash wasn't me. Someone is sneaking out downstairs. He was really tall, easy on the eyes, and has some muscles," Raguel described.
"It would be Carver the eldest, the player," Nikole explained.
"My apartment burned down. I was wondering if your new aunt and Uncle Thomas would put me up. Uncle Thomas has let me stay with him in the past. Besides with that threat against the Sinclairs it would be advantageous to have more than one agent in the house," he answered. Someone had threatened the Sinclairs. There were whispers that the threat was within the new family. Since Maggie was an important judge their agency had gotten involved.
"We'll try it. Everyone's still up and Carver is sneaking back in with some alcohol," Nikole remarked. Raguel climbed out the window. "You call me, okay?" He nodded.
She headed downstairs. Carver already sat in the living room with the rest of the household. He smirked at her. She smiled at him. "Is something up?" Uncle Thomas asked her.
"You know how Raguel relocated here?" she asked. Thomas nodded. "He was away on a job and his apartment complex burned down. I was wondering if he could stay here at least for the night."
"Raguel's Nikole's friend. He's a former Marine that became a detective after an injury," Thomas explained for Maggie's sake. Most of that story was true. "Detective" was his cover.
"Of course, he can stay here as long as he needs," Maggie said kindly.
"Thanks," Nikole said. Then she went to the kitchen to call Raguel.
"Where did she meet a Marine?" Carver asked.
"They took some of the same college classes. Nikole is quite good at making friend with older people." Thomas explained. Nikole had no normal teenage friends. With Raguel in the house things would sure be a whole lot more interesting.
No one would have ever guessed Nikole Dominique Katia Gracin was a special agent and that she was having doubts about her agency's integrity.
The government created Abnormal and Special Talents Agency, commonly referred to as AST, especially for children with abnormal and/or special talents. It all looked good on paper, but, in reality, they were stealing kids of promise and turning them into mutants. They did this experiment to make superhuman agents sculpted under their influences. Children were used to perform missions to "keep America safe". Nobody knew about AST expect a select few and nobody had ever escaped alive until Nikole. Upon her leave she swore the AST's leader that she would stop at nothing to get justice for all the kids they used and abused.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Thank you, Hannahdoll, for the reviews.
I will explain Nikole's three names (Nikole, Katia, and Dominique) later. Dominique is the name the modeling agency gifted her with.
The piece about the AST is important to the story later on. Please do not become annoyed with me if it is repeated later in the story. If you need a brush up on the AST read it, if you don't just skip it. You'll learn more about AST later on.
The fantasy part of the story is about Nikole's abilities from the AST, which you will find out about later.
I hope you enjoyed reading this.