Authors: Cameo Renae
This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, duplicated, hired out, or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s prior written consent in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.
This is a work of fiction. All characters and events portrayed in this novel are fictitious and are products of the author’s imagination and any resemblance to actual events, or locales or persons, living or dead are entirely coincidental.
Cover by Regina Wamba for Mae I Design and Photography
Edited by Victoria Rae Schmitz for Crimson Tide Editorial
Inkstain Interior Book Designing
Text Copyright © 2014 Cameo Renae
All rights reserved.
Crushing Hearts and Black Butterfly Publishing, LLC.
HATE IS A VERY STRONG word. In fact, there are a myriad of reasons why one should avoid the vicious feeling. But at this very moment, I’d never felt more hatred toward another being. I couldn’t stop the bubbling revulsion if I tried. Its dark tendrils spread through me like a cancer, grasping at every cell, seeping from every pore. It filled me with an unexplainable sadness and pain.
In just a single moment, I’d lost everything. My dreams and my future were shattered. He stole my free will and made me a slave. That’s all I was now… a pawn who would eventually be used for destruction.
Lucifer had become the enemy of my soul. He took me to a place I never wanted to go; shrouded in darkness and internal suffering. Outwardly, I bore the marks of his fingers, which he’d wrapped tightly around my neck, nearly squeezing the life from me. The look of pure evil and murderous intent, burning bright in his wicked eyes, was imprinted in memory. It felt like a dream. I could only have wished it was, but the pain was too real.
Just outside my door I was surrounded by everyone I loved, and yet, I’d never felt more alone. They were so close, but I had become disconnected, muted, unwillingly sworn to silence. It was killing me inside, and I couldn’t do anything about it. I had to submit. I had no choice. I wouldn’t risk any of their lives. As much as I wanted to let them know why I was acting indifferent, I wouldn’t speak a word.
Ethon tried to apologize before I left him, but even with the strong magic of the bond, I had a hard time forgiving. It wasn’t something I could brush off and move on from. What happened in that tower was life altering, in the worst sense. I’d almost lost my life to his father. His
In essence I had lost it, but no one besides the few who were in that room, would ever know. Ethon knew what his father was plotting, regarding the bond, and yet he easily went along with it. I get he was probably afraid of his father, but still, he didn’t even flinch. He wanted it, just as much as Lucifer did.
question still remained…would I be able to live forever with him and be happy? Whether I liked it or not, Ethon was and would always be, connected to Lucifer.
If it was only Ethon, the answer would be different. The bond had joined us for a reason, and I knew Ethon really wanted to love and protect me. When I was with him, I truly felt it. If given a real chance, I think we could live happily ever after.
Unfortunately, everything changed tonight. I had a glimpse of our future and what it would become. The display between Ethon and his father showed who was in control; and while Lucifer stripped everything from me, my bonded had remained quiet. He did nothing but say we would make it all work. How? How could it possibly work when I would not only be bound to him, but also to his evil father?
Lucian and Lucifer were almost identical. Each had dark, wicked hearts, and wouldn’t hesitate to take control and power, no matter what the cost.
Regrettably, I happened to be the stupid ‘prophesized child’ who would supposedly bring change. Although it seemed absolutely ridiculous, I could already feel the change happening deep within. Every day my power grew in strength. Outwardly, I was the same girl, but just beneath the surface, I felt like a caterpillar slowly transforming, awaiting her chance to break free and spread my wings. I wondered if I would have wings. Ethon had them, and he was a Nephilim, so there was a chance.
And then, there was still a matter of the bond I shared with two different men. I couldn’t help but think what my life would be like if Ethon or Kade weren’t bonded to me. Would they have the same feelings? It was unlikely, considering without the bond, I probably wouldn’t have ever met them.
… the angel who was stripped of his immortality, for me—our bond broken. Nevertheless, a powerful connection remained between us. My heart ached as my thoughts focused on him. How the hell was I supposed to function normally around him? How could I look into his beautiful hazel eyes without sadness or pain? I knew he would want to hold or kiss me, but I couldn’t allow myself to get too close. I had to keep him safe. I wasn’t about to risk his life, when I knew he would easily give it for me.
I wouldn’t allow it. Not over me.
The thought made my insides knot. A stabbing pain shot through my heart, and an even deeper hatred for the one who restrained me. I hated the fact I would never be able to tell Kade why we couldn’t be together. I just had to be strong. I had to hold on, even though my heart was breaking, and the fibers of my life were steadily unraveling.
I pulled the blanket over my head, pushing my face deeper into my pillow, and screamed. There was one thing that might be able to put an end to all of the madness. It was a huge risk, but if it was even possible, it could change everything… or make it worse.
Uncertainty began to coil itself around me, daring to squeeze out whatever hope I had left. I just needed to find a way to make it out of this place without being seen.
I had to find a way to the portal for Midway. I needed to talk to the person in charge; the one responsible for making Kade mortal.
Everything good in my life had been stripped and I was drowning in darkness, but I was going to fight to get it back. There was a war waging inside of me. I could feel it pulsating through my veins. For better or worse, things were going to change. But this was my life, and nothing was going to stop me… even if it meant my death.
I closed my eyes knowing sleep wouldn’t find me for some time, but eventually they became heavy, and darkness overtook me.
Sitting at the edge of a small lake, I dipped my feet in and out of the crystal clear water; appreciating the magical weather. The sun was shining, and the sky was the most unbelievable blue. It almost looked like a painting. The large tree behind me was providing the perfect amount of shade. The grass beneath me was bright green and feathery soft to the touch.
A few yards away, near the water’s edge, two beautiful, children were playing. Their dark hair glimmering in the sun. The little boy was being chased around by an older girl. Their laughter filling the air, making me buzz with delight.
A large, strong hand found mine and squeezed. Leaning back, I breathed in the heady scent of my bonded. My soul mate. He was lying beside me, with one arm behind his head.
“Are the little devils behaving themselves?” he asked.
I turn to face him and use my free hand to draw circles up and down his chest. “Yes. They seem to enjoy this place, almost as much as we do.”
“It’s a shame we haven’t flown here as a family more often.” Turning his head, his mesmerizing eyes lock onto mine in earnest. “We’ll have to remedy that in the future.”
My eyes popped open. I sat up in the darkness, not knowing if what I had just experienced was a dream, or a premonition. Whatever it was, it seemed genuine. I rested my hand to my heart, and took a slow, steadying breath.
It couldn’t be real… could it? A tear escaped my eye and trailed down my cheek.
Dream or not, my plans were set.
Alone in the darkness, I whispered a prayer. “Can anyone hear me? I need some help, and a little guidance. What do I do next?”
A bright light illuminated from the bottom crack of my closet door. Gasping, I wondered if it was Lucifer. Holding my breath for what seemed like forever, I waited. The longer I sat there, the more compelled I felt to see what was behind the door.
Finally pushing the blanket off, I slowly stood from the bed. My heart hammered against my chest as I took my first few steps. Something, or someone, was there. As I placed my fingers to the knob, it was warm, unlike the room which was ice cold. The light still shone bright from under the door, actually warming my toes.
I slowly turned the knob, and my breath hitched as I pulled it open.
There was no one there, except for an indescribable sweet scent which wrapped itself around me, a dagger lying in the middle of the floor, glowing brightly. I bent down to pick it up and noticed it was resting on a piece of paper folded in half. I picked it up and unfolded it, reading the beautiful handwritten words.
I read the note a few times, and even pinched myself to be sure it was all real.
Things were about to change. There
someone looking out for me, and hopefully it was for my better interest. But what if it was Lucifer trying to set me up? Although, I didn’t have a feeling it was him. Maybe it was my mysterious grandfather, or God himself? He was omnipotent, right?
These thoughts sent a rush of warmth through my veins, and the scent left in the room was of pure angel. There were no hints of smokiness. It was definitely someone from above.
“Thank you,” I whispered, picking up and hugging the dagger and the note to my heart. The dagger was warm, sending a calmness cascading through me. I wasn’t sure if I was doing the right thing. My greatest fear would be putting those I loved at an even greater risk.
But more than anything, I needed answers. I needed to know if I had a chance against Lucifer and Lucian.
All I had was hope. This mission needed to happen, not only for me, but for everyone I loved. I wouldn’t risk everything on a whim, or something I wasn’t sure would make a difference. I had one burning question, and the answer could possibly change everything.
Those around me probably had the answer I was looking for, but I would never ask them because they would have their own opinions. And I didn’t want them to try and persuade me. This question needed to be kept secret. It was to be mine, and mine alone.
The super suit was clean and hung in the corner of my closet. I walked over and touched the fabric. Tingles vibrated through my fingers.
It was the only way to explain it. I wondered if any normal human being would feel the same effects. I peeled off my pajamas and stepped into it, zipping it up. Immediately, its magic pulled me back together, mending my inner cracks and broken heart like a warm hug that never let go. I felt stronger, and suddenly positive I could actually pull this off.
What more did I need? I had this awesome suit of protection, the magical dagger, and the bloodstone amulet to alert me of danger. They were a triple threat, and I
felt invincible. I was blessed to be in possession of such an amazing gift.
The only thing I was second-guessing at this point was going alone. No one would know where I was, or where I was heading. If anything should ever happen to me, it would be a while before they found out. And what if something happened and I needed help? No one would be there to come to my aid. My stomach began to twist with worry.
I still felt a small reassurance there was someone out there, watching over me. Even if they couldn’t interfere, maybe they could let the others know if I needed help. I didn’t want my mind to dwell on the negative. It would only pull me down from what I knew needed to be done.
I wished the dang portal was closer. Like in-my-room kind of close. That would be amazingly convenient. I could step in and be back before anyone knew I was gone. But of course, that wasn’t the case. It seemed nothing was easy for me.
Taking a car was off limits because anyone of them, Fallen or Guardian, would catch me. This particular quest had to be done on foot. It was miles and miles away and would probably take days to get there. But first, I would have to head down to the kitchen and pack a few necessities for the journey.