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Authors: Ava Delany

Tags: #romantic suspense, #suspense, #change, #paranormal romance, #rubenesque, #futuristic, #powers, #psychic, #mayan, #end times, #mayan calendar, #paranormal romantic suspense, #psychic abilities, #mayan calender, #psychic ability, #plus size, #plus size heroine, #mayan 2012, #mayan calendar 2012, #mayan apocalypse, #rubenesque romance, #chubby heroine, #chubby romance

Dark Daze

BOOK: Dark Daze
8.94Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

Dark Daze


Ava Delany

On Dec 21, 2012, at 2:12 pm, the sky went dark all
over the world, and people's lives changed in ways they feared to
admit. Thousands died in accidents while others claimed to
have seen demons and found themselves locked up in their local
psychiatric ward. Scientists explained away the phenomenon, and
things seemed to return to normal.

After a decade of trying to conceal a power she never
expected or wanted, Brie Duval was used to being alone. When
life—or more appropriately, a meddling friend, sends her on a blind
date with Ian Connors, she discovers she wasn't the only person to
gain powers that day.
They find themselves falling in love while on the run from a
creature with eyes that suck in light and a force that controls
their wills, but Brie can't help but fear their love is a side
effect of the menace. In order to survive, they must put aside
their fears and embrace the gifts they've fought so hard to

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places,
and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used
fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance
to actual events, or persons, living or dead, is entirely

Copyright © 2012 by Ava Delany

Cover design by Ava Delany

Edited by Silke Juppenlatz

All rights reserved.


No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or
by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage
and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the
author. The only exception is by a reviewer, who may quote short
excerpts in a review.

Ava Delany


To my editor, who made this story the best it could

To my wonderful critters, for all your help in this

As always, to my family. I love you.

The End
Dec 21, 2012


The beautiful redhead on the screen led a
bound, masked blonde by a leash.

Rolling her eyes at the wooden walls of the
cabin, Brie Duval crossed her legs, shaking her foot convulsively.
A half-naked man grabbed the redhead and kissed her to the harsh
and jarring music.

Brie huffed and leaned across the couch to
snatch the remote from her brother’s hand. “My turn.”

“No!” Roge jerked it away.

“Come on. You’ve been watching those stupid
music videos for hours. It’s my turn. Mom, tell him it’s my

“It hasn’t been hours.” Roge held the
controller above his head and leaned back along the length of the
couch. “Besides, if you weren’t such a baby, you might appreciate
music videos.”

“I’m fourteen. Last time I checked, I was
only two years younger than you. And it
been hours. You
turned it on at noon while we ate lunch, and now it’s ten after
two. That’s
than two hours.” She stretched, grabbing
for the remote.

Her finger grazed the buttons. The television
clicked. “—next, News at Two interviews a historian who—”

“Give it, you tard,” Brie said.

Click. “—you sexy freak. You want it this

“Not likely.” Roge hid the remote behind his

“Would you two stop fighting?” Her mother
huffed. “You two argue all the time lately. It’s not good for your
inner selves.”

“That’s because
inner self turned
into a doofus.” Brie reached around Roge, grappling for the

. “—historic day, the end of the
Mayan calendar. Mayans claimed today marks a great change th—”

Click. “—screaming for it all—”

“I’ve had enough of this.” Her father stormed
to where they wrestled for control, the lines around his eyes and
forehead deepening, and snatched the remote from Roge’s hand. “No
more of this brainless box. We came out here for peace and quiet.
To enjoy the beauty of life and get in touch with our own inner
natures. Not to watch inane shows and exchange verbal blows, which,
I might add, leave bruises that don’t heal.”

He hit a button and the television went

Her father’s laugh lines had faded lately,
replaced by those awful worry lines. Brie sat back and gazed up at
him. “Sorry, Dad. We’re ruining the vacation. He can watch the
videos. I won’t complain.”

Roge held out his hand, smirking.

“No.” Her father set the remote on the top of
the ancient wood-paneled television set. “We’re going to spend some
time together. Karen, get the Monopoly.”

Her mother turned and grabbed the old family

“No way! That’s lame.” Roge’s wide eyes
shifted toward their mother, then back to their father. “She said
she doesn’t care, so why can’t I watch what I want?”

“I work hard all week, pay for this rental,
and keep this family’s chi in flow. And, while I don’t want to
inhibit you, I
want to play a game.” Her father crossed
his arms over his chest. “And I know you never hear this from me,
but to borrow a phrase from my own father, you’ll do it because I
damn well said so, young man.”

“This is
not fair.” Roge shoved to
his feet. “You can’t make me. I’m going for a walk!”

The door slammed behind him, and Brie

Her mother moved to her father’s side and
rubbed his arm. “Let him go, John. He has to visualize his
or he will never grow.”

Brie tried not to roll her eyes. Her parent’s
parenting style might be unusual, but they tried their best.

“Come on, Dad.” Brie smiled and took the
Monopoly game from her mother’s hand. “Let me show you what it
feels like to spend a night in my upscale Park Place hotel. We’ve
recently upgraded several suites.”

Her father stared at the door for another
instant, then blinked. His features smoothed as his gaze met hers,
and he pressed a hand to his chest. “My own daughter is letting
corporate America take her over.”

“You’re just afraid you’ll lose.” She

He smiled. “Oh, you think you can win, do

“You know it.” She opened the box and stepped
up to the table.

“Well, I get to be the money bag.” Her father
grabbed a chair, and the legs scraped along the wooden floor.

“Like in real life?” Brie asked, and her
mother laughed.

She lifted the board from the box. Out of the
blue, the room warmed uncomfortably then went pitch black. Brie
dropped the game and jumped back. Her leg bumped into the couch and
she stumbled to right herself.

“Brie? John?” Her mother cried somewhere
nearby. “I think I’ve gone blind.”

“It’s okay Karen. It’s probably just a
tripped fuse or something.” Her father’s voice came from the dark.
“I’ll find the fuse box.”

“A tripped fuse? But it’s two twelve in the
afternoon. And it’s dark outside.” Brie reached down and ran her
hand along the puffy back of the couch, then swung her open palms
through the air until one slammed into solid wood. She slid her
fingers down the grainy surface to the smooth metal of the doorknob
and turned it.

No noise, no light, just darkness. Not the
normal gloom of a moonless evening, or even the dark of a solar
eclipse, but an unnatural, light-sucking black, as impenetrable as

“What’s going on, John? What’s happening?”
Her mother’s voice rose when the door hit the doorstop with a loud
, but the room didn’t light up.

“I don’t know. Maybe today
They’ve been talking nonsense about the world ending and planetary
alignment and all sorts of things all week, but no one mentioned

“The world’s not ending, is it? It can’t be.
The government makes up those stories to control the masses, don’t
they?” Her mother’s voice held an edge of hysteria.

The cool afternoon breeze didn’t chill Brie’s
heated skin, even when she leaned out the door to look around at
the nothing. “No, the planetary alignment thing is just this one
guy’s theory or something, and all the talk about the world ending
can’t be true.” Brie’s stomach turned over as she spoke the words,
but she had to help her mother. “They talked about it in school.
It’s nothing but the end of some calendar from an old society who
probably never thought they’d live long enough to see it.”

“Exactly.” Her father said. “This must be a
solar eclipse.”

“Yes. Dad’s right.” Brie didn’t mention how
she couldn’t even see the outline of the sun, or how a solar
eclipse wouldn’t affect interior lights, because the idea seemed to
be calming her mother.

“I’m sure he is,” her mother’s voice
trembled, “but none of this matters right now. Roge is out there by
the lake in this blackness. He can’t see where he’s going. If he
trips or falls—”

“Calm down, my love, I’ll go get him.” A loud
thump and groan signaled her father’s movement. A metallic click
rang out in the quiet. “The flashlight isn’t working. Did you
replace the batteries?”

“Monday morning when we got here. Who cares
about that? Just find my baby.” Her mother’s voice grew shriller
with each passing second.

The crash of breaking glass and another bang,
and her father brushed past her.

“I’m hot. Can I go outside?”

“Brie Duval, don’t you dare move an inch. I
want you in here so I know exactly where you are.”

A soft scratching, followed by a pop, and her
mother’s hand lit. She cupped the match she held, and walked to a
nearby candle.

“Take this,” her mother said, but when they
turned to the door, her father was gone.

“The air conditioner must be broken,” Brie
said as her mother closed the door.

“It’s not even on.” Her mother let out a
shaky breath and paced to the window. “Oh, my boy.” Instead of
shrill, now her voice became dull and monotone. “It’s too cold for
the air conditioner.”

The room blurred, and Brie closed her eyes
then opened them again, trying to clear her vision.

“Come on. Find him.” Her mother clasped her
hands together in front of her, eyeing the sinister darkness
beyond. “Find him, please.”

Brie fanned herself. “Mom, can I please go
outside? I’m really hot.”

“It’s cold. Besides, your father will be back
any moment.” Her mother’s gaze never left the window. “You’ll see.
Any second he will walk up with your brother in tow.” She wrung her
hands, her voice increasing in pitch again. “Yes, I think I see
them now.”

Despite the chill her mother claimed to feel,
Brie was stifling. Her face flamed and her stomach heaved. The room

“Oh, that boy—”

“I’m gonna hack if I don’t get outta here,
Mom.” She covered her mouth as another heave doubled her over.

“Brie, would you just—” Her mother met her
gaze and her face paled. At Brie’s side in an instant, her mother
placed a hand on her forehead. “Oh my—”

BOOK: Dark Daze
8.94Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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