Authors: Jamie Magee
An Insight Novel
Copyright © 2013 Jamie Magee
All Rights Reserved
Cover Art by Emma Michaels
This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places, and incidents are products of the writer's imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locales or organizations is entirely coincidental. All rights reserved. With the exception of quotes used in reviews, this book may not be reproduced or used in whole or in part by any means existing without written permission from the author.
Also, thank you for not sharing your copy of this book. This purchase allows you one legal copy for your own personal reading enjoyment on your personal computer or device. You do not have the right to resell, distribute, print or transfer this book, in whole or in part, to anyone, in any format, via methods either currently known or yet to be invented, or upload this book to a file sharing program. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person you share it with. Thank you for respecting the author’s work.
“Web of Hearts and Souls”
Insight (Book 1)
Embody (Book 2)
Image (Book 3)
Vital (Book 4)
Vindicate (Book 5)
Enflame (Book 6)
See (Book 1)
Witness (Book 2)
Synergy (Book 3)
Redefined (Book 4)
Rivulet (Book 1)
Imperial (Book 1)
Contemporary Debut Novel:
Table of Contents
For every lover who has lost their way…
“The ego is the false self-born out of fear and defensiveness.”
~ Landen ~
The addictive aroma of lavender laced with warm honey filled the room, marking her saturating presence. The young rays of sun were lying across her arms, kissing her chest with their warmth. Shadows covered her closed emerald eyes.
A shade that has forecast a malice-filled future for us…a shade that doomed us long before I found her crying breathlessly by a lake months ago. A shade that was a clear sign that I was not doing my job as her lover, as her soul mate.
I was given an eternity to unite our souls…unfortunately, that amount of time was insignificant, not enough. I’ve failed.
I took a sharp breath and reached for the center of my chest
, feeling a scorching burn emerging, a burn that had nothing to do with my past as a Phoenix and everything to do with who I was in my first life: Guardian.
I wish I knew the man I was then. I wish I saw as clearly as he was acclaimed to have seen, that the path of life and circumstance had not tainted my attitude. I feel younger and more rebellious at this stage than lore says I was then.
Legend states that, in this day and time, Guardian and Aliyanna will return without bonds of regret, pain, or anger. Lore says at this juncture a spiritual awakening will be given to all of Chara as the original lovers ascend and bring forth protection, change, and everlasting hope against the evil that lurks in both darkness and light.
Legends…I’ve yet to discover one that was fortified with even the smallest iota of truth.
The legend also warns against false prophets. It states that others could or may surface, but only the true flames will protect our world.
It is a belief that is mirrored in other worlds. That is not the idiosyncrasy.
The oddity is that I know that Willow and I are not false. I know that I was that man and she was that woman. But…I also know that right now we could not be further from the state we said we would be in.
That is a problem. A massive—hopefully not insurmountable—one.
In this twisted web of spells and curses, Donalt knew without a doubt that when the trial of Saturn approached, we would be called home; he knew exactly what
would expect of us, too. And he put us through enough hell, pulled enough dark secrets out of our past, to ensure that in no shape or form would we be able to live up to our legend.
Power comes from belief, a collective belief. If he managed to prove to my world that I was not Guardian come again, we would lose the power, lose the ability to destroy that evil son of a bitch.
As of right now, the risks have never been more heavily weighted. The certainty of war and destruction has never been so clearly promised.
Right now, Willow and I both harbor deep-seated regret, pain, and anger. Willow’s emotions stream from lifetimes of fighting blindly against an evil Master Escort, Donalt. Mine rest there as well, yet my past is not blind to me, not any longer. I remember every dark deed that I have committed. I remember every time I hurt the woman I love.
I want nothing more than to reclaim the time I spent at war, the time I spent lurking in the Veil, weaving spells, trolling as a powerful Phoenix.
I stand here knowing that I have lifetimes of wrongs to atone for and only days to reflect. I stand here knowing that we are broken people that are not ready for this path that appears to be inevitable. Knowing that even though this trial will solely rest on how we feel for each other, that there has never been a more likely chance that this will be all over—in a bad way, in a matter of days.
We may have survived every trial before this one, but they each took something from us. Jupiter, in my opinion, was the worst. It opened my eyes to the reality of the darkness I lurked in. It made me feel as if I’d committed those wrongs just yesterday…the memories are still flooding in, even at this late hour.
Jupiter painfully expanded all of Willow’s insights
, only for them to be stripped away to nothing in the end, to the point where she has no real link to the world, or even her true self for that matter.
We couldn’t be further away from a spiritual ascension if it were the devil himself. Which means we should be able to bow out of what is expected of us
, but we can’t; the burn on my chest, the mark appearing, clearly states that fact.
Willow’s mark—the flower on her chest—appeared when we were facing Mars. I told myself it didn’t matter. It w
as simply a coincidence. It didn’t have anything to do with any lore. But the burn on my chest will no longer allow me to deceive myself. This is real. It’s happening whether we are ready to face it or not.
My body, Willow’s body, this world, the past I can remember, all state that right now I have no choice but to rise, to leave this human form behind. Yet my soul, hers, the condition of it, state the impossibility of that.
People have to believe in something to survive. To stand together.
Which means even if I man
age to survive this, if Willow and I find some other power from a spell to end Donalt, in some way, Chara will have already been lost. For if we do not rise up and take action, beliefs that have been held steadfast for millions of years will crumble, wither away, and cease to exist. Power. The dimension has power because each believes in the original soul mates; they have, in some way, worshiped them. Doubt will weaken our energy, and if not Donalt, then some other evil will strike at our weakest point.
That sickens me. The knowledge of it will destroy Willow as surely as the sun radiates its light.
Saturn brings you home. Saturn warps you into what it needs you to be. Right now, the last thing I want to do is trust a planet to influence who I need to become.
I never wanted to be king. Of anything.
Though I despise him with every fiber in my soul, at times I find myself marveling at how effective Donalt’s battle plans are. Even when we swear that we have claimed victory, we soon come to realize that we did not find triumph but instead moved further into his trap. Our actions against him have placed us in the emotional peril we’re enduring. Those actions have not hindered Donalt, but given him a path to bring the demise that exists in Esterious to each dimension, beginning with Chara.
From all that I know of this lore, this war, where Willow and I stand with each other, and deep inside of ourselves, there is but one path for us to rise despite the hell we feel right now. I have to forgive myself. Find peace with my actions; at the very least acceptance. Willow has to come out of her shell, that deep place in her soul where her true self resides
. It sounds simplistic - it’s anything but. My soul feeds from her energy, from the peace she gives me; without her, finding peace with my past is
. In this lifetime, I have yet to see her completely. She has yet to emerge from whatever hiding place she’s in, now, with all her insights stripped to mere nothing. I don’t know how to help her find her way free.
Sitting here right now, watching her sleep, I’ve thought over every moment we’ve had together over the last few months, retraced my every step, looking for some hidden clue she could have given me, some moment I should have engaged differently.
Fear. Fear she had endured over and over in her nightmares before I met her in the flesh had given her no choice but to hide deep within, to fight the only way she knew how. Just thinking about that brings out a fury for my father that rarely lies dormant for long. He kept me from her. They all did. They thought they were keeping us safe, when in reality all they were doing was dooming us, pushing their queen into a cage.
That first instant when I saw Willow in the flesh, when I understood who was hurting her, for a split second I thought of turning back. Going straight to Drake and telling him to back off, for us to handle this man-to-man, that our words were doing exactly what we always knew they would—morphing us into pawns to fit their legends
. But he’d already crossed the line. He’d terrified her, something I would never have imagined he had the heart to do. I was furious at that instant, incensed at the universe itself for pitting me against a person that had pulled me through more hard times than any other soul on this planet. The only person that truly understood why I was always so livid, Drake Blakeshire.
Most of my family, and especially Willow, believes that I never spoke to Drake before we went fist
-to-fist over Willow back in August, but that was an unspoken lie, one of a few that haunt me every single day.
My grandfather always told me that every great king felt unworthy to rule, that they rebelled. He was right about that.
I met Drake when I was fourteen. The first thing I did was punch him square in the jaw. Just thinking about it now causes a smirk to surface. He fought back, and before long we were both covered in dirt, blood, and bruises.
I have a few sanctuaries
...well, maybe not sanctuaries. Places to blow off steam would be a more fitting description. They all revolve around water or high jumps. I had camps set up near these jump sites, equipment to help me climb back up—everything to disappear for at least a day’s time.
My favorite one is a dimension
that, as far as I know, has no population—just vast wilderness. I had a suspicion that someone had been jacking with my camp for almost a month. I assumed it was Brady or Marc—their way of telling me to get my ass back to Chara—but one day I figured out it was Drake.
After a fight with my dad
, I ran away to that place and right as I was getting ready to jump into the water that was near fifty feet below, I saw someone in the makeshift shelter I’d set up. It was, to my astonishment, Drake—sound asleep.
I stomped right up to him and kicked him awake. He went to punch me—I blocked him and slugged him. It was on at that point. No matter how hard we both fought
, neither of us could gain the upper hand. At one point, it almost felt like some invisible force was standing between us, not letting me hurt him or him hurt me, at least not beyond the basic bruises and gashed eyes.
When we finally lost our breath
, we somewhat introduced ourselves. Each of us thought the other lived there. You can only imagine our surprise when we discovered that we were both travelers, or at least I was. He was basically hunting in the string—sent to do that, anyway. Instead he found hideouts like I had, only giving the illusion he was doing what his king, Donalt, had asked him to do.
We had a lot in common. Both of us had major daddy issues
; couldn’t seem to get along with them for the life of us. And we were both promised a future that would give us nothing less than supremacy. Little did we know then that we were from the same blood—destined to fight the same curse.
At the time
, Drake looked next to nothing like my cousin Marc. His hair was not nearly as dark, and that dominant jaw line was still masked by the boy he was. Even years later when someone mentioned the resemblance, it took me a second to agree simply because I knew who they both were on the inside. That was what I saw when I thought of either of them. I should have known. I should have figured this out long before all hell broke loose. I know that now, in hindsight.
Drake always knew that he was going to be a king. Me? I missed the cues
. I mean, I knew my family put me on another level, but I assumed that was because of my insights, because they knew I would always roam and wanted me to have all the tools to do so when I left their nest and explored every corner of this universe.
I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to get my hands dirty, be down in the trenches with the people
, showing them how to overcome the fear that holds them back every day. I never wanted to stand up and tell people how to act. I wanted to
Back then when I first met Drake, for the first year or so we didn’t bother to talk about all the nonsense that our future revolved around. It would have defeated the purpose of running away from it
. Instead, we found every hair-raising, adrenaline rush-inducing adventure we could find in that unclaimed land. We joked that we would make that world our own—screw trying to fix other worlds that were jacked up long before we were born. We would make a world the right way. With the right views, the right outlook. To us, that meant no outlook. No rules.
He spoke about a green-eyed girl in his dreams, and I spoke about a blue-eyed girl. He was told to search for his girl, I was told not to. That was the only thing I envied about him. He may have lived in a place that my people basically saw as hell, but at least he was given the right to search for the girl that was haunting him. He disagreed with me on that point.
He didn’t want to bring his girl to his dimension. Not then. Not ever. I plotted on how and where I would run away with my blue eyes the second my beacon showed itself. He plotted on how to get his parents and his baby brother out of that hell. I remember telling him that I could help him build a house in that world we escaped to. He thought about it, I could see it in his eyes. But in the end, he just shook his head no and told me that his father must have a home, a place that he could run off to—that place was where his mother would want to go to. He was sure of it.