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Disgraced: Twins of the Zodiac

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Blurb

***Book 2 in the Children of the Sun & Moon series.****

In the wake of the tragedy that befell Crescent Falls, another story unfolds the life of twins, Jeriko and Aurora Valentine, whose path will inevitably lead to where it all began.

An odd feeling of anxiety swept over her while she sat there under the large, old Ash tree; her odd colored eyes skimming through the words written across the pages of her novel robotically, while her mind was undoubtedly elsewhere.

The unsettled feelings that she had weren’t particularly placed. They never really were; always considered more so a side-effect of whenever she decided to make the reckless decision to neglect her more primal needs.

A sudden overbearing shadow, aside that of her favorite beautiful tree, hovered in the remaining light that the tree captured of the sun, averting her attention but not her gaze. Afterall, she already knew who the statuesque guy was that was standing before her.

"Hello, brother." She greeted.

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Be Careful What You Wish For
     Standing outside as the bell rang for lunchtime, he surveyed his surroundings, waiting for the moment that he’d land his sights on her.     He could sense that she’d been on edge of late, though by looking at her, it couldn’t be told. However, he had the advantage of knowing her telltale signs; she had become even more volatile and impatient toward the whole of humanity lately, and she spoke even less than the barely three words she'd usually spare a person.      All of this was beside the point that he could sense that her mind was beginning to wander inch by inch, to darker thoughts and desires more suitable to her being. Things that were unsavory.     He started a brisk yet subtle pace across the schoolyard, figuring that if he moved around, it’d be easier to spot her. She was around, he just had to be careful not to miss her. He found that while he knew her character enough to decipher when something was wrong, she knew his well enough to know when he thought he needed to keep an on her. In situations like that, she'd usually make it a point to avoid him out of spite alone.     “Jeriko! Think fast!”     When he heard the wind whipping behind him, he knew that a foreign object was headed his way. He quickly turned around without missing a step, catching the football in his hand. He then feigned a smooth smile as he saw his friend headed toward him in a light jog.       At times like this was when he regretted being a high school student-a popular one at that. It was hard enough keeping tabs on her without his friends distracting him at every turn.      Regardless of his feelings of annoyance, Jeriko forced a boyishly charming smile and welcomed his friend’s approach, though his eyes were still searching through the area surrounding them, looking for her. When he came up nil once again, he smoothly turned his attention back on his friend, frustrated, but polite nonetheless.     “Thought I had you that time,” Darvin grinned as he approached.     Jeriko tossed the pigskin back to his friend as a smirk appeared across his lips. “Maybe you would have, had you not warned me first.” He teased.     Darvin scoffed. “Like you wouldn’t have caught it right in the nick of time anyway.” He commented in reference to his friend's inexplicable ability to never be caught off guard in any situation.     Jeriko responded with a small bemused grin, feeling as though this conversation was about to come to an end. Great, he thought, realizing that the short conversation would be able to leave him to his devices sooner than he thought-     “Hey, quarterback!”      Jeriko’s hopeful thoughts were cut short when he heard a girl calling for him. He turned around, barely covering the annoyance on his face before his gaze fell on her.      “Hey there!” He said, wrapping his arm around the girl with a big smile on his face. It should be clarified that he was not annoyed by her approach more so the fact that he was feeling so inconvenienced in the first place by feeling a need to search for another instead of enjoying his friends.     Jennifer Luxe was, as typical as it sounds, head of the spirit squad and treasured, her family having been descendants of the man that first established Luxeville, a small town outside of Maryland. Every girl wanted to be her and every guy wanted her. Ironic that she was both the cherished daughter of Luxeville and very beautiful.      Jeriko had only arrived five months earlier and according to rumor, Jennifer had just returned from being overseas with family. It was soon after the rumors of her return, that she heard about the new kid; an attractive all-star, Jeriko Valentine. Jennifer took no time in claiming him. They had been inseparable ever since.     “So how’s it going?” Jennifer asked, her pale blue eyes reaching him with a smile.     “Cool-as always.” He said.     Apparently, this was enough to spark conversation between Darvin and Jennifer before two more friends popped up-a friend of Jennifer’s and another member of the football team that was a mutual friend of Darvin and Jeriko.     Jeriko tried to keep his attention on the lengthy conversation at hand, and he had. Until he finally spotted who he had been looking for this whole time. An overwhelming sense of dread enveloped him for a moment before took a deep breath and kept his eyes on her.      His serene sea-green and blue speckled gaze stayed on her, watching as she seemed to shiftily take in her surroundings until her amethyst-colored eyes met his for barely a moment. A grimace appeared across her face before she kept walking down the brick path until she came to a stop at a wooden bench and table that was shaded by a large Ash tree. There, she sat down and opened a book.     What is she thinking? He wanted to know but was aware that he couldn’t reach her mind at that point in time. She never made it easy to delve into her thoughts, making it a point to always keep her guard up. She was even more guarded at that moment. This made it all the more difficult for Jeriko to mentally attend her while trying to keep his mind on the conversation that his surrounding peers were having. Maybe I can, at least, see what she is feeling, he continuously thought to himself as he watched her.     As his eyes stay on her, the left of his sea green-blue eye began to mirror the color of hers. The sight was blurry at first until it cleared up. Not only could he see what she saw now, but he could feel at least a fraction of what she was feeling. And if this was just a fraction of what she was feeling; he imagined that the full truth of her emotions did not bode too well for any that came within her vicinity.     This frustrated Jeriko to no end as he thought, not again.     Jennifer must have caught that Jeriko’s attention on the conversation wavered. She nudged him a little before she asked. “Hey, Jer? You okay?” Her words nearly trailed off as she finally seemed to realize what he must have been looking at.      He nodded. “Yeah...yeah. Fine.” He said in a low voice.     “She seems fine, Jer,” Jennifer commented as their friends kept to their surrounding conversation.     “She always seems fine to those around her. But I’m her brother, Jen and I know better.” He kept his eyes on her. “Just wish there was a way to keep an eye on her at all times.”     “Well, that’s why we discussed the plan that we had-you know-about asking her to join the-”     “I know Jen, but I don’t think now is the time for that. She’s not in the best mood.” He looked at Jennifer. “Not today.”     He could tell that Jennifer was not happy with what he had said. It was obvious that contrary to what Jeriko wanted, that was exactly her plan. He just hoped that she’d get the picture.     However, neither of them could say anything before Jennifer’s friend, Carla, caught wind of his gaze. “Your eye.” She said. “It’s changing again.”     Jeriko had been at Luxe long enough for his surrounding peers not to be more creeped out of his odd and yet attractive features; however, it didn’t stop them from being amazed whenever they witnessed it. From his frost-tipped hair, a birthmark that was in his raven black hair to the way his one eye would change color from time to time.     “Isn’t that the same color as your sister?” Darvin asked.     “Yeah,” Jeriko said. “Speaking of which, I need to go check on her. So-”     “Wouldn’t it be crazy if every time your eye color switched that she was in distress or something?” Marlo, Jeriko, and Darvin’s other teammate said. “Or is that it?”     “That’s kind of-well-unrealistic, don’t you think?” Jeriko asked in amusement.     “Maybe but both of you kind of look...weird,” Marlo said. “I mean-of course your sister's weird in an extremely hot way.” He said dreamily as he watched from afar.     Everyone had a crush on Jeriko’s sister; but they all were too afraid to approach her and those that did, regretted it greatly.     Jeriko simply shook his head and chuckled lightly. “I need to go check on her. She’s had a rough day.” He said.     “How do you know?” Darvin asked. “Have you even talked to her today?”      Jeriko simply shrugged. “It’s a twin thing.” He then turned to leave.     “Hey, Jeriko!” Marlo called after him to which he turned partially. “Tell her, if she needs some release, I’m here for her. Anytime.” He winked.     “Be careful what you wish for, Lo,” Jeriko countered as he walked off.     “I can take anything she dishes out.” Marlo grinned.     Jeriko scoffed. “Marlo, my sister would eat you alive.” He then turned away. “Literally.”     As Jeriko made his way to the table bench under the Ash tree, he heard the light shuffle of feet behind him and immediately knew who it was. He turned around and looked at her incredulously.     “What are you doing?”     Jennifer shrugged. “I’m coming with you.” Her response was spoken in a way that she felt Jeriko should have already known the answer.     “No. You’re not.” Jeriko countered.     “Why not?” Jennifer asked.      “Because I said so.”     “Oh, really?” Jennifer stopped in her tracks, hands on her hips in defiance as she looked at him.     He already knew that he had pushed a button by putting his foot down, but he wasn’t going to take it back. “Yes.” He answered. “I need you to fall back, while I check on my sister.”     “I-well, I just don’t understand the big deal! Why can’t I-”     “Jen! Would you jus-” He cut his sentence short as he realized that he was beginning to lose patience; and when he lost his patience, it was not a good thing. “Just, please. Let me talk to my sister first. I know you want to ask her about it, but I just need to check on her first. Will you at least let me do that?”     Jennifer sighed. “Fine.” She finally gave in. “She is your sister after all.”     “Thank you.” He smiled and kissed her cheek until he heard footsteps shuffling after him in the grass again. He quickly turned around. “Jen, what are you doing?”     “I’m still coming with you.” She said. “I never said that I wasn’t coming with you.” She countered.     Jeriko, becoming exasperated, shook his head. “No, Jen, I need to do this alone.”     Jennifer stood there smirking. “Okay, okay.” She shook her head in amused resignation. “I’m sure it won’t be that bad, Jer.”     “For what you want to impose on her, don’t be so sure,” he said.     Admittedly, Jeriko never really knew what his sister had up her sleeve. She was very careless when it came to certain traits about both she and her brother that should be kept secret. That was one of the main reasons why Jeriko didn’t like just anyone randomly approaching her.     “Not just me-you came up with the idea. You convinced me to ask her.” Jennifer reminded him. “And I really want to meet her.”     “You will,” he said. “You just, let me go first.”      “Fine,” she replied. “Is she really that bad?”     He took in a deep sigh before turning his attention back to the lone girl sitting at the table, again. “That answer is far more complicated than you think.”     Jennifer eyed him a moment longer before she smirked. “Or maybe you’re making her seem worse than what she really is.” She suggested. “But, I will let you do your thing and wait for the okay to proceed.” She smiled.     “Thank you.” He said with relief.     “Now, hurry up, so I can meet the famous Valentine that everyone is afraid of but desperately wishes to meet.”     He gave her a small smile before turning to head to his sister, the feigned smile on his face fading away, all the while muttering, once again. “Be careful what you wish for.”

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