The Atlantis Bloodline
by C.A. Gray
Genre: YA Fantasy
When sweet Ada Edwards meets the mysterious Kaison Hughes, lead singer of the biggest band in the world, she can't understand what he sees in her. Despite everyone's warnings about him, she's rapidly falling in love. But it's obvious he has a secret, and he's not all he appears to be.
Kai's life isn't his own, and his fame isn't the half of it. As a member of a secret organization known as the Elioud, descended from the Atlantean daughters of the Pleiades, he's been commissioned with a task: to reintegrate the lost line of Maia into their ranks. It just so happens that Ada is the one they've been looking for. He doesn't know what they intend to do to her, and he doesn't care. All he wants is the prize for a successful mission: one unqualified wish, which he intends to spend on his beloved sister's freedom.
There's just one problem: Kai's falling in love with Ada, too.
I slid into the chair across from Kaison, accidentally splashing a bit of latte on the metal table. Aaron hadn’t bothered to put a lid on it, and my hands shook. “Hi,” I said, self-consciously tucking a lock of hair behind my ear that had escaped my ponytail. "Hi.” Kaison stood and offered me that muscular hand to shake, turning the smolder on me. I hated myself for it, but my heart skipped a beat as I slipped my hand in his. The contrast between my pale skin and his deep olive tone drew my attention—perhaps because everything about this moment felt heightened. Surreal. “I heard them call you Ada.” He held my hand too long. He wasn’t even shaking it. I nodded, feeling my cheeks heat up. “Yes. Ada Edwards.” He absorbed this for a moment. “Very pleased to meet you, Ada Edwards.” He actually brought my hand to his lips and kissed it. I heard myself giggle involuntarily, and hated myself even more. “I’m Kaison Hughes.” “Yeah, I figured that out.” “But please, call me Kai.” He finally released my hand, and gestured at the chair as he sat down himself. “Oh-kay…” I sat, and he sipped his mocha, completely at ease. I waited for an explanation, but he didn’t seem to be in a hurry to give me one. “So… I’m sorry. Do we know each other?” I knew the answer of course, but it was the only way I could think of to address his bizarre behavior. “If we did, then introductions would hardly be necessary, would they?” His eyes twinkled at me. He was enjoying this. “It’s just—why did you single me out like that?” He tilted his head to the side. “Really?” “Really, what?” “You can’t think of any reasons why a guy might see you across a crowded room and think, ‘I’ve gotta meet that girl’?” I frowned, a little annoyed now. I knew what he was implying, and even if he’d been an ordinary guy, I’d have had trouble buying it. I had no illusions about my looks. I was cute— pretty, even. But not gorgeous, and certainly not in the league of Lara Benanati and Amelia Rogers. “That’s not why.” “How do you know?” I narrowed my eyes at him. “I saw you at the park last night.” It came out more of an accusation than I’d intended. He laughed. “I should hope so, I wasn’t exactly hiding!” I blinked, confused. “But… what were you doing there?” “Same thing I’m doing here. Looking for you.” I blinked, waiting for him to add ‘just kidding.’ He didn’t; he just watched me with that amused smirk of his. “And you don’t think that requires an explanation?” “Oh, I’m quite certain it does, and I’ll tell it to you eventually. But it’s fun watching you try to figure it out in the meantime.” He shrugged, and took another sip of his mocha. “So how about it. Any theories?” “None,” I answered honestly. He looked disappointed. “Oh come on. Humor me. Make something up.” I opened my mouth and closed it again like a guppy. “You’re… here for a show, and… fancied a stroll at night? In… the… worst part of town?” “I already told you that I was looking for you, specifically. Your theory must include that crucial fact.” “You… think I’m your long lost sister?” “Oh, Lord, I hope not,” Kai leaned forward, his eyes twinkling. I felt my face grow hot, and couldn’t hold his gaze. “Uhh… you’re looking to cast a particular look for your next music video, and I fit the bill? Even though I can’t imagine why a hundred other girls wouldn’t also…” “Boring!” he announced, grinning at me. “Think bigger. More… supernatural.” “Okay, is there a hidden camera somewhere?” I made a show of looking around. “Please tell me I’m not gonna be humiliated on some viral YouTube video…” Kai suddenly became serious. “Sorry. I’m just messing with you. Tell me something. Tell me about your family.” I blinked. “My… family?” “Yes, your family. What do your parents do? Any siblings?” “Uh, it’s just my papa and me. No siblings. My mom died when I was young.” Kai gave a tiny nod. “I’m sorry.” I shrugged. “It was a long time ago.” “Doesn’t mean it can’t still hurt.” I dropped my eyes, feeling even more off-balance. What was going on here? “May I ask… how she died?” “She was murdered,” I answered, looking up at him boldly, as if daring him to have a come-back to that. “By some people she was trying to help.” “I’m so sorry,” Kai said again. But he didn’t seem surprised. “I know this might seem strange, but do you have an unusual birthmark, perhaps?” I froze, taken aback. “What kind of a question is that?” Kai’s expression cleared, and he looked almost smug. “Because if you do,” he emphasized the word, “I don’t think it’s really a birthmark.” “What are you talking about?” “Show me.” “No!” I cried at once. No way was I going to voluntarily reveal my most shameful feature to Kaison Hughes, of all people. “Ada.” His expression softened, and he reached across the table to take my hand. I reflexively began to pull it away, but he grabbed it before I could. Then, methodically, he flipped it over, straightened out my curled fingers, and began to massage my palm with his thumb. I’d had two boyfriends, but even including every encounter I’d ever had with them, this was, hands down, the most sensual experience of my life. I couldn’t speak. Honestly, I had a hard time breathing. Kai took his time, raising his eyes to mine only once he knew I was putty in his hands. “Please?” I swallowed. I couldn’t believe I was about to do this—it was like I was under a spell or something. But I turned my head, lowered the collar of my white shirt, and lifted my ponytail to reveal the angry red geometric-looking birthmark at the nape of my neck. Ever so gently, Kai brushed his fingertips against it, and— I gasped and jerked away from him, severing the connection. “What was that?” He knew what I meant—the moment his fingertips made contact with the birthmark, there was a kind of explosion in my brain. I suddenly realized I was panting. His mouth twisted into that smug smirk again. “Like I said,” he murmured, in that sexy bedroom voice of his. “Not a birthmark.” “Then what is it?” Kai bit his lip, and cast a glance inside. “Your break is probably about over, right? What are you doing tonight?” I blinked, trying to down-shift. “Uhh…” He stood up, and I did too. From inside his jacket, he produced a couple of tickets. “Ever heard Bloodline play before? We’re playing Sprint Center tonight. These are backstage passes, in case you want to invite a friend along.” My mouth still hung open, and Kai’s grin grew wider. He reached for my hand, and placed the tickets in them. Then he leaned in next to my ear and whispered, “Traditionally the appropriate response is, ‘Thank you. I’ll see you there.’” He pulled back just enough to look into my eyes, though he was close enough to kiss me. “So will I?” “Sure,” was all I could manage. “Good.” He took another step back, raising the hand holding the tickets to his lips again. He kissed my fingertips this time, slow and lingering. “Until tonight, Ada Edwards. I’ll be counting the minutes.”
C.A. Gray is the author of three YA Amazon bestselling trilogies: PIERCING THE VEIL (magic and quantum physics meet Arthurian legends), THE LIBERTY BOX (dystopian metaphysics and mind control technology), and UNCANNY VALLEY (dystopian coming-of-age with neuroscience and super intelligent A.I). She starts with some scientific concept that she's interested in learning more about herself, and then creates lots of epic chaos and high-stakes action to go along with it. Her stories are free of gratuitous violence, language, and sexual content, and she abhors depressing endings... but they're not all kittens and rainbows either! She also listens to and reviews audiobooks on her website (www.authorcagray.com), Goodreads, Instagram, and on her podcast, Clean Audiobook Reviews, where she also occasionally interviews other authors.
By day, C.A. Gray practices naturopathic medicine, podcasts, and writes medical non-fiction under her maiden name (Lauren Deville). She lives in Tucson, AZ with her husband Frank, and together they maintain an occasionally contentious film review blog (under her real name: Lauren Baden. Three names. Yes.) She's kind of the queen of multitasking--so in her spare time, she creates whatever meals or crafts she found most recently on Pinterest, drinks lots of coffee (Aeropress btw) and occasional wine (reds--and she saves the corks for craft projects), works out (while listening to audiobooks), and studies the Bible (about half of the podcasts on Christian Natural Health are scripture meditations). ...She does sleep, too.
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