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4.8 41
by Francine Pascal

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Product Details

Simon Pulse
Publication date:
Fearless , #13
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File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
16 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One:Overly Made Up Nympho

The man at the morgue was straight out of central casting. Pale, bloated face, long, skinny fingers, creepy black eyes. He actually grinned at Gaia as he pulled Ella's body out of the morgue's special refrigeration system. Gaia wasn't afraid of the guy -- she was never afraid -- but it didn't take too much imagination to picture the kind of things he might do after hours to the corpses in his care.

"Can you identify this woman, Ms. Moore?" the man asked, flicking his gaze over Gaia's body before raising his eyebrows at her.

"Her name is Ella. I mean...it was Ella. Ella Niven."

It sounded to Gaia as if her voice were coming from a speaker in some other room: fake, distant. Everything about the moment seemed fake -- the harsh, fluorescent lights, the antiseptic stink of chemicals, the cold metal surfaces -- everything, in fact, except the film of sweat forming over the pathologist's upper lip. Ella certainly didn't look real. Her skin was a sort of light blue-gray color, and her lips were completely white because of all the blood she had lost. Her dyed red hair had been pushed away from her face, and it resembled the kind of cheap clown wigs they sold on Bleecker Street.

Gaia thought Ella would at least appear as if she were finally at peace. People always said that about the dead. But Ella just looked...lifeless. Cold and lifeless.

Creepy Guy smiled again, holding out a form for Gaia to sign.

And then it was over.

The next thing Gaia knew, she was running down Seventh Avenue, determined to put as much space as she could between herself and the basement of St. Vincent's Hospital. Sometimes New York City just wasn't big enough. Her thoughts swirled like dead leaves breaking into fragments in an autumn wind. One more person was out of her life. Like her mother. Like Mary. Ella Niven was officially no more. Gaia was minus one foster mother.

A month ago, even a week ago, Gaia would have been happy to see Ella buried six feet under. The woman had done everything possible to make Gaia's life a living hell. Including sleeping with Sam Moon. But then --

Gaia took a right onto Christopher Street, skidding for a moment on the cold pavement. She dashed across the street, barely registering a splash into one of those slush puddles that guaranteed wet socks and frozen toes. At least it was a little warmer than it had been. It was already almost February, after all. Spring would be here soon. Gaia couldn't wait for the spring....

Maybe she should just stop thinking about Ella. Right. The coming spring meant making a fresh start. She should stop thinking about the past -- and in particular, about what she'd learned of Ella in the past few days. Her stepmother hadn't been a plastic, overly made-up nymphomaniac with an IQ of twenty. No. The real Ella had been a master of the martial arts, intelligent, and incredibly complicated.

Just like me. Well, maybe except for the intelligent part. But otherwise...

After another skidding turn, the Nivens' Perry Street brownstone swam out of the wintry darkness, like it had so many times in the past. The windows were dark. Lifeless. The place was deserted, a tomb. Gaia swallowed as she bounded up the steps, her wet sneakers slapping on the smooth stone. If she'd never thought of this place as home before, she didn't know what to think of it now.

She slid her key into the dead-bolt lock and opened the door. The house was cold; not that this was any big surprise. Gaia felt as if she hadn't been here in a year. It was strange; she had been here twice today already -- once to receive the call from the man at the morgue. The house had been cold then, too.

Even a week ago she would have been thrilled to come into the brownstone and discover that she had the place to herself. But now as she stood in the narrow hallway by the ticking grandfather clock, she realized that it felt less like a tomb and more like a movie set. In a way it was a set, a stage. A fake family had lived here, leading fake lives.

She started up the creaky staircase, averting her gaze from the cheesy photos that Ella had taken to enhance her image as a dumb bimbo. It was harder than ever to believe that Ella's husband, George -- ironically, an old CIA buddy of her dad's -- had insisted that this would be a real home. A place for Gaia to finally grow some roots after all those years of bouncing from one foster home to another...after her mom's death and her dad's disappearance.

A bitter bile rose in her throat. Gaia wouldn't think of her dad. Never again. He had engineered the destruction that had nearly consumed her.

Mary Moss would have found something funny about this situation, Gaia thought as her footsteps pounded up the stairs. She would have provided some old-fashioned gallows humor to make me laugh....

But Mary had met the same fate as Ella. She had been assassinated. Every time Gaia thought of the sleazy drug dealer's henchman who had taken Mary's life, she felt like punching her fist through a wall -- or better yet, through an assassin's face. She shook her head as she reached the fourth-floor landing. She still wasn't sure why Ella had sacrificed herself to the assassin's bullet, why Ella had claimed that she was Gaia. Or maybe she just didn't want to dwell on it. The tears that Gaia had shed when she saw Ella's dead body had been real. She'd hated her foster mother for so long -- and in the end, she'd seen the truth. They were kindred spirits. They were both utterly lost....

So maybe there was some humor in the situation. After all, when Gaia had first moved in, George had hoped that Ella would be a surrogate mother to her. Ha! It really would have been funny if it wasn't so pitiful and sad. For all she knew, George still believed that Ella had married him for love, that she'd had no hidden agenda, that she hadn't been mixed up with something twisted and evil and cruel. It was amazing, actually. How could somebody be so blind? Ella had done everything from "forget" to give Gaia phone messages, to sleep with Sam, to order a hit on Gaia's life.

On the other hand, Gaia knew all about willful blindness. She'd been wearing shades three feet thick for the first twelve years of her life. She hadn't caught a glimpse of her own father's true nature --

You're not going to think about him.

No. She had a new family now. She had Sam. She had her uncle. Oliver. Well, maybe she had Oliver. He'd promised to take her away -- then vanished as abruptly as he'd appeared. But she was certain he would contact her again. He had to. There was just no predicting when or how. Not with him.

And there was one more family member, too -- one more member of the odd and disparate little unit of people Gaia had allowed herself to become close with. There was Ed Fargo. But then, Ed might be another "maybe" as well. He'd been there from the very start, wheeling around the background of her life when she didn't know a soul aside from the freakish chess players in the park...but now he was spending way too much time with Heather Gannis. In fact, now that Gaia really thought about it, Ed had become the first male FOH. The first Friend of Heather's who didn't wear lipstick. (Although who knew what Heather made him do when they were alone together?)

A smirk curled on Gaia's lips. What Ed needed was a good dose of reality. Some wheelchair jokes and Krispy Kreme doughnuts. The kind of thing Heather would never provide.

Gaia sighed, reaching the fourth-floor landing. The door of her room groaned as she pushed it open. In the shadows the bedroom looked the same as it had the last time she'd been in it. It felt the same, too. Like a hotel room. Like a place to crash, but not a place where she belonged. It was temporary. It always had been. Gaia flicked on the light and began to throw items of clothing onto her bed.

Somewhere between the front door and the door of her bedroom, she had made a decision. She wouldn't stay in this house another day. Not another second. There was no reason. Even if her uncle Oliver didn't take her away, as he'd promised...well, she could always stay with Sam. Of course she could. She had to tell him about Oliver, anyway, about the possibility that she might be leaving New York for a while. Item by item the sum total of her possessions -- her life -- went into her ratty duffel bag: her cargo pants, her T-shirts and sweatshirts, the clothes that hung off her frame like potato sacks but still somehow couldn't conceal the muscles....

But who cared about her bulging biceps and thunder thighs? Sam liked the way she looked. That was all that mattered.

It took Gaia all of seven minutes to gather everything. She left the pair of Gap capri pants she had bought during a moment of temporary insanity hanging in the closet. Then she swung her duffel bag over her shoulder and opened the bedroom window. She wanted to leave this house the way she had most often when Ella was alive. She would climb out of the window. She would escape.

A final tribute to Ella, she thought, throwing her leg over the sill. A very fitting tribute.

Copyright © 2001 by Francine Pascal

Meet the Author

Francine Pascal is one of the most popular fiction writers for teenagers today and the creator of several best-selling series, including Fearless and Sweet Valley High, which was also made into a television series. She has written several novels, including My First Love and Other Disasters, My Mother Was Never a Kid, and Love & Betrayal & Hold the Mayo. In writing her stories, Ms. Pascal is inspired by her own memories of growing up and by the experiences of her three daughters.

Francine Pascal lives in New York and the south of France.

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Bad (Fearless #13) 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 41 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
THIs is a great book!! I love it. I 've read # 1-13 and am waiting for the others but this one is the best so far. I can't believe she would leave George like because her uncle so does not have cancer. Other wise it is great. You need to read these books
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow! I can't belive these books are sooooo good! I wasn't much of a reader before I heard of these books. I saw my friends reading them, and I asked if they were good, and they said you'd better read them, 'cause once you read the first chapter, you can't put them down!!! And I found out that was true!! I haven't read the 13th one, because I can't seem to find it in ANY stores! So I have to go and order it!!! Ü If any of you haven't read any of these books.. well get your little butt down to your bookstore and pick one of them up!! I'm serious! I've only read the 11th and 12th one, but now since I LOVE these books, I've asked my mom to buy 1-10 and 14-however many books they're left for Christmas!!! hehehe.. can you believe that, asking my mom for books at Christmas?! oh well.. I hope I get them!!!!! BYE!!! ~VicDogg~
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This series is sooo good its brilliant i recommend it to anyone. francine pascal is a very good author, I sooo wish heather and ed break up and that he would get to gever with gaia that would be great.Does anyone know when the next fealess book is out or if it is out cause i gotta get.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book rocks i cant wait for the next one to come out i mean sam and gaia finally together yes! and her father thats so cool if anyone wants to talk email me.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am totally obsessed with the Fearless series. I hope the series goes on forever because, right now, they're my life. I wish there was an Ed in my life!! My friend and I cannot stop reading them, they're so great!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This series is soooooo good! Pascal is one of the best authors i have ever read. She really pulls you into the characters place. Gaia and Sam are together, that's good. But i wanna know if she gets onto the plane with her dad or Loki? i have to get #14 and find out!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I dont know where to begin to start!! I love these books sooooooo much! This book is really awesome! I am soooooo happy that Gaia and Sam are together! Ive been waiting for this throughout the whole series! Also, Im really happy that Ed is going to get surgery so that he can walk again. Im very happy for him. But why does he have to go out with Heather. She is such a female dog!!!(lol) And why is Gaia and Ed always fighting! I wish they would just make up. And how could she possibly think that her father is Loki! Damn, I really hope she realizes soon that her dear sweet Uncle 'Oliver' is really evil, evil Loki. Anyways, the 14th book just came out yesterday and I read it so I know what happens, but Im not going to tell you. And if you're as big a fan as I am of these books, that email me so we can chat about them.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Fearless books are the coolest books ever! The author is incredible and she makes you feel like your right there, watching everything happen! I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO happy that Gaia and Sam are finally together, but why is she going with Loki?!!!!!!!! He's such an a**hole! Sam better get her out of Germany! Anywayz, I'm sooooooooooo excited to read #14, and I'm practically going crazy waiting for it to come out! FEARLESS ROXZ!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fearless has to be the best series i have ever, ever read. I look forward to a new book every month. It all started when i bought book #1 and I have been completely hooked ever since. The series is full of action, but it is also full of events that every teen can relate too. I just finished reading #13 yesterday, and i cant wait to see what happens to Ed also to Gaia. You cant miss out on this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
These series are outstanding,its so real and its not cheesy like most teen novels. Francine Pascal has now become my favorite author. I am so glad that Sam and Gaia are together.
Guest More than 1 year ago
fearless is the best series! they SOOOO should make it a fox series! i love fearless! me and all my friends read them. it all started when my best friend bought #1 and i read it. now i'm TOTALLY HOOKED! I LOVE FEARLESS!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best book series in the world!!!! Wow! This author is great and i was soo mad when Gaia thought it was her dad who killed her mom!! I love these books and can't wait until the others come out. I hope there are like 200 of these books there great!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fearless is the best series ever. After i read the books all my friends got addicted to it too! Some of them hated to read and now we're at the bookstore all time asking if the new book is in! I recommend everyone read the entire series!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fearless is the best book I have ever read. I never really sat down and read a book in one afternoon. What ever Francine Pascal is doing more writers should do it because I am not a reader but I am soo hooked on this book that it needs to go on forever.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was totally awesome. It leaves you in suspense for the next one. What will happen to Gaia??? I really wonder. I could tell you what i think will happen next but i do not want to ruin it for everyone!! Just get this book!! This whole series ROCKS!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
the fearless books are great! best series ever, nona trash you see in 'teen novels' these days. if youre gonna read em, i strongly recomment you read em IN ORDER from 1 to whatever. i havent read #13 yet, but i cant wait!! ive waited all thsi time for gaia and sam to be together. nothing better happen to em being together or ill personally write to ms pascal and let her know what i think. :) these books are great. i love em.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love the fearless series soooooooooooo much. I've read all of them out. When's Gaia's real dad going to come find her? Can't wait to see. I hope the series never stops. I'll be so sad when it does.
Guest More than 1 year ago
These books are just amazing!if you don't read any other books you have to read these, but remember start at the beginning or else you will be lost and they will be meaningless.Can't wait for the new books!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is GREAT!!!!! Sam and gaia are FINALLY together, and gaia finally has loving family..... or so she thinks. Loki really is a seriously twisted guy, and he has some plans for him and gaia. Ed and Heather are still together, although ed still seems to have daily fantasys about gaia.... whats with this girl? she has guys dreaming about her right and left. i, for one, would like to know her secret. it's a great book, with an ending which really makes you want to read more. cant wait till missing, comin out in march. e-mail me if u wanna talk more
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
i luv this series i recommend them all this is so kewl it mixes action with love with almost anything its a great series