No Time to Cry (Nine While Nine Legacy Book 1)

BOOK: No Time to Cry (Nine While Nine Legacy Book 1)
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Isabelle
has life right where she wants it after recovering from heartbreak and deceit.
She has the perfect apartment, amazing friends, a flourishing career, and
financial security.

But one
fateful night, the night of her birthday bash, events take place which alter
that life beyond her wildest imaginings…and she is no longer Isabella.

She’s
thrust quickly into the most secretive inner-workings of Death itself, as well
as an otherworldly dominion of ancient Celtic magic, and beings that we were
taught as children were only fictional creations of wildly whimsical minds.

She
yearns for the now unmistakable simplicity of her old life; this one is full of
dangers, unanswered questions and cryptic dreams. And whispers, haunting
whispers in her mind that send shivers through her…but in the most agreeable
way.

After
one particularly anomalous dream in which she learns of the Nine While Nine
Legacy, things get truly precarious.

Now
someone sees her as a risk …and wants to eliminate her.

But
she falls under the protection of her guardian—unless she leaves his
territory—which is the one thing wants the most…and wants the least.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No
Time to Cry is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents
either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.
Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is
entirely coincidental

 

No
part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or
transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying,
recording, or otherwise, without written permission of the publisher.

 

All
rights reserved

Copyright
© 2014 by
Stasia
Morineaux

ISBN-13:
978-0692295014

First
Printing October 2014

Published
in the United States by Apocrypha Athenaeum

First
Edition

 

       

 

    

No Time to Cry

 

             

                               

  by
Stasia
Morineaux

 

 

 

    
    

 Apocrypha Athenaeum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This book is for
Magic &
Sorscha
Muse, the loves of my life.

 

Thank
you for your endless love, patience, support, understanding, and all those many
phone calls for pizza. Thank you for coming along on this journey with me.

 

My
love is yours forever and for always…

                                                                            
XOXOX

    
   

    
    

 

 

 

 

 

Special love and my deepest thanks to…

 

     
Mom, for passing on to me her fondness of books, and    

     
Dad, for gifting me with vision and perseverance.

 

     
Thank you for your love and support throughout the years.

     
I love you both so very much.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Warmest thanks to Anne Rice for the
inspiration that lead me to writing and dreaming.

 

 

 

 

 

Deep,
heartfelt thanks to all of those that helped in the creation of this novel by
contributing to its
Indigogo
fund. It will not be
forgotten and means so very much to me to have your support and belief. Thank
you again!

 

Vernon
Adams, Sue Quiroz, Magic &
Sorscha
Moreno,

Tara
Price, Richard King, Deidre Austin, Darla
McNiel
,

Joe 
Selway
, Christi Wood, Shane
Brophy
,
Nina
Gsell
,

Shane
Beall
, Krista
Bobo
, Jamie
Radley
, Dan
Bodon
,

William
Thomas, Sarah
Jappe
, Ginny Young, Carol Fuller

Tabatha
Westerbeck
, Quentin Hidalgo, Mitzi Thomas,

Dorothee
Buettgen
, Dana
Kinderman
, Donna
Smith,

Torin
Monahan,
Christopher White, Lauren
Chroman
,

Tania
D’ablaing
,
Brittain
Alexander,
Abigaile
, Lisa
Armano
,

Art
Mendelsohn
, Brady Goldsmith, Deidra Turner,

Brandy
Gaunt, Emily & Steve
Bellefleur
, Michelle Wilbur,

Justine
Maxwell, Elizabeth
Towery
, Steve Davis, John
Mulhall
, Jennifer
Morland
, Sue
Burns, Dawn Conover, Susan Grecian, Kristin Burns, Carla Way, Sandra
Grecki
, Cathy
Jeang
Agliardi
, Richard
Acuna
, Julian
& Quentin
Agliardi
, Tracy
Doering
,

Liam
Harrison,
Caren
Carpenter, George &
Corina
Dinulescu
, Angie Wood,
Denise Richard

 

 

 

 

 

    

 

 

 
No Time to Cry

 

 

                                     

      
 

The Nine While Nine Legacy

 

Book One

 

Nine will Rise

Nine will Fall

the Old shall replace the New

the New shall become the Old

 

 

 

 

~
Chapter One ~

 

 

 

At first I
thought someone had stole a dose of acid into my Aviation cocktail.
There was this weird, trippy, muddy-headed dizziness, a warping in my
mind that made me close my eyes tightly against it, and when I opened them, I
was seated on the huge area rug
that Giselle had helped me
drag up from my apartment to the roof, just for the party.
It was only my second drink, so there was no way I was anywhere near
drunk, and we hadn't opened the Absinthe yet, so I couldn't exactly blame it on
that either. So what else could it have been?
"Asshole!" I stood up and yelled across the roof of my three
story building. Not my usual language, but really, who drugs you at your own
birthday party? "Who slipped me the acid?"
The party was in full force. Moira had done a bang-up job with the
decorations. Streamers and twinkly lights swayed in the ocean breeze, music and
mirth tangled in with them.
To our left we had a great view of the lights of Ocean Blvd, Queensway
Bay, and the ‘island’ that was just a quarter mile or so off shore, which was
also brightly illuminated, as if for my celebration tonight, complete with
colorful waterfalls flowing.
The Villa Riviera sat across the street and to the right. A gorgeous,
sixteen stories high, historic French Tudor Gothic structure built in 1929. I
had to agree with an article I’d read recently calling it the city's ‘most
elegant landmark’. It was a wonderful sight to be greeted by every morning when
I opened my French doors to let in the early morning, salted breeze. The
building is topped with a steeply pitched copper roof with a green patina, that
not only has a lit bell tower in the center, but the entire roof was now aglow
in lights. The fierce-looking gargoyles that perched along the ridges of the
higher floors…well, thanks to whomever had gifted my drink with the heavy dose
of drugs…were moving about up there in front of the bay windows; as if
patrolling their home.
Great bash! My heart soared, even through the haze.
Everyone had shown up, and quite a few extras that I didn't know. I
looked down at a sleeping figure on the sofa—one of the many pieces of
furniture that belonged to Giselle, Sweet Gigi, my best friend. It had been
dragged up there just for the occasion by Daniel and Lucas.
The party was Gigi’s and Moira’s doing, all their planning and plotting
for a big ‘Welcome to 30’. At least forty-five people milled about on the
transformed rooftop; loud music, dancing, drunkenness, noshing, laughing,
someone had even strung up a huge bat piñata and it was currently being—very
drunkenly—bashed in. There was absolute revelry taking place!
Life was good. I grinned.
I had an ongoing book deal. I was finally really over my ex. I had
money in the bank. Not the usual
just enough
to cover the rent and
bills, but
money
in the bank. I was no millionaire by any means, but I certainly
wasn't hurting, and wouldn't be for quite some time. I even had a nice tidy
cash-stash tucked away downstairs in my apartment. I looked good. I felt good.
I had a handful of close friends. I was very happy. I beamed. Life was
very
good.
A frown creased my brow and my contented grin wilted. I was very
confused with what I was seeing. The rooftop became a vacuum, all the air was
slowly being sucked away from around me.  I felt even more disoriented
than before. How could I be looking down at myself—my own body—lying there
curled up oh-so-pretty and cozy in the softness of the deep, plush purple
couch? This was just so wrong. Like seven ways till Sunday wrong. Could I reach
out and wake myself up? I kneeled down, stood right back up. Just too weird. So
far beyond bizarre.

At my own party?" I yelled out again. Because someone must have
deposited something pretty damn crazy in my drink to be seeing this. I mean,
I've dropped acid a couple of times, but I've never experienced anything even
remotely close to this. The fanciful brocade wallpaper of the Villa waving and
creeping? Uh huh! The Persian carpet undulating underfoot in the historic
building’s hallway? Yep, you betcha! The crouching gargoyle's moving on
Katie's tenth floor balcony…okay, that had happened before tonight? So,
absolutely!

But
this? This was completely fresh. I looked around for the guy that had delivered
the tainted violet drink to me. He must have been one of the many
friend-of-a-friends that had shown up, I hadn't known him. He looked familiar,
had seemed familiar, like maybe I knew him slightly from a previous party or in
passing from one of the clubs. I didn't see him anywhere now.

"Wake
up!" I yelled at myself. "You're missing your own party!"

The
me
on the sofa didn't stir or respond in any way. I sat down on the
pretty Persian rug, another ‘Gigi item’, which was laid out in front of the
couch.

My
hands cradled my face, my elbows rested on my knees, as I stared dismally at
myself
.

"Unbelievable,"
I murmured, shaking my head faintly. "This isn't really happening." I
reasoned with myself, trying to talk myself down. "I want this to be over.
I need this to be over now. It's my party. I don't want to be doing this. I
want to be over there, with Gigi and Hannah. Dancing. I want to be dancing."

Then
a thought, a very simple thought dawned on me, just popped into my head;
suddenly, and sickeningly, it wafted through my mind like a whisper on the cool
ocean breeze.

"Oh.
Oh. No. no
no
no
no
way." My stomach twisted, dived, I choked on my breath.
"That couldn't happen." I shook my head distractedly, whispered out,
"I'm not dead."

"Um,
sorry. It really has happened." A voice off to my right interrupted my
lament. I shifted my gaze from where my eyes were fixated, to the opposite end
of the sofa. "I was wondering how long it would take you to come to that
conclusion." He looked down at his watch, then back to my face. "Not
bad."

"Excuse
me?" I couldn't have really heard him right. It was just the drug in my
head.

"That's
you." He nodded in my direction. Well, at the other
me
at the other
end of the couch. He shook his head indifferently. "Not acid. An overdose
unfortunately, but nothing hallucinogenic."

I
looked at him sideways, not quite ready to take my eyes off
myself
, not
quite buying into what he was saying, in fact, far from it. What was
he
on and why was he messing with me? But I'd play along.

"I
don't do drugs," I insisted, offended. I looked him over. I didn't know
him. Another party crasher?

If
I wasn't right smack in the middle of a crisis, I might think he was cute. In
fact…wait…I
had
seen him a little while ago, before this had all begun.
I vaguely remembered seeing him arrive. As he had exited the roof door, he’d
paused in the doorway, looking all over, as if he had misplaced his date, or
friend, or was meeting up with them. You know? That searching look. I recalled
then thinking he was really good looking and had hoped he was alone. He could
make a nice birthday gift. Rachel had come along and pulled me away before I
could walk over to him and introduce myself or offer him a drink.

He
had that easy-going manner about him, evident in the way he lounged so casually
slouched there, arms spread out from either side of him across the back of the
couch. He had a warm, wide smile, but under the circumstances.

"Didn't
say you did, darlin’," he said indifferently as he popped a Malvarosa
topped cracker into his mouth, chewing it with an almost smug smile.

I
frowned. I didn't want to look at myself sleeping there anymore, so I focused
my complete attention on him. That cheese was a gift from Katie, how’d he get
some when I hadn’t had a chance at it yet? She had special-ordered that just
for me from Dean & Deluca. And what was that accent anyway? Scottish?
Irish?
Do I know anyone within my social circle that’s from Scotland or
Ireland?
I shook my head to clear out the fuzzy, sticky cobwebs that kept
reforming there against my will.

 "Come on, be serious please.
Can you bring me some coffee or something? Or just go get Gigi? Maybe she'll
know how to get me down from this. She's always clever like that. She can solve
any problem. I'm not having any fun. It's my party and I'm not having any
fun."

He just kept looking at me with this
annoying, almost superior look plastered on his face.
Don't care how cute he
is, he's pissing me off.
He didn't make any motion to move and either help
me or get help for me. He just gestured with a nod of his head back over to the
sleeping form at the end of the couch.

"Why don't you go to your friend?
Why haven't you gone over to her yet Lissa?" He asked me, simply.

 Good question.

“My name’s not Lissa.”

I started to rise to do just that. I
couldn't make myself budge. A pounding fear was beating inside of me. That
thought, teasing just at the edge of my consciousness, what was it? I tried to
wrap my brain around it, but it kept slinking away. I felt abruptly more panic
stricken.

 
I looked back to him. As he studied me I saw
something in his demeanor shift, he must have seen on my face exactly what I
was feeling or thinking, or maybe he even knew what that thought was that I
couldn't seize hold of, because something in his face softened, became much
more gentle and less self satisfied. That might even be a trace of concern that
creased his brow. Oh, relief. Maybe this game was over and he realized he'd
gone too far and he was going to fix it.

But he didn’t move. He just sat there.
We stared at each other.  I looked back over at
me
, shook my head.
This had to be a joke, a very, very bad and gone awry birthday hoax.

“Come on…” I pleaded softly, nearly
whispered. I begged him with my eyes, with every ounce of earnestness I could
muster. “What’s really going on? This is some sort of really bad prank, right?”

He shook his head gently, tried to reach
for my hand. I jerked away from him. Why would I want him to touch me? This
cruelty had to end. Game time was up. I’d had far too much.

“Well?” I waited for him to respond,
with a more acceptable response, one I wanted to hear. The proverbial light bulb
winked on in my head. Stewart, my ex, could have planned this! He may have
heard about the party. He’d broken things off, not me…but he still hated that I
was over him. He was just spiteful enough to do this.

“Did Stewart put you up to this? Come on
tell me. Was it Stewart? Do you know Stewart?” He shook his head. “You can’t be
serious?” He just nodded. My breathing was becoming unsteady.

I heard light, heartening laughter
coming towards us. It belonged to Gigi. I stood up, smiling. She was coming up to
us, carrying a slice of cake on a plate.

“Ha! See!” I cried out at him, directing
his attention to Gigi. “That was a really messed up joke—” I broke off, my
sentence incomplete…as she passed through me.

She. Passed. Through. Me.

I trembled, felt ill, strangling on my
own breath. I fell to the carpet, to my knees. My throat was garroted; my eyes
were beginning to sting with the filling up of tears. I raised my face to him,
feeling the tears begin their descent down my face. “So, that’s it?” I managed after
a moment of just looking at him. “You
are
telling me the truth, aren’t
you? You’re telling me that I am dead?”

He nodded, solemnly.

“This is no joke, no bad, bad, stupid,
idiotic joke?”

“Sorry darlin’, wish I could say it was.
You seem like a sweet, a real duck, but…” he motioned around at the party, then
towards the other end of the couch, “this party’s over for you.”

 
I
managed to glare at him, a weak glare through the tears, but still. What was
that remark supposed to be? Witty?

“Well, that’s just fucked up. Majorly
fucked up. Why now? I just got my life back. Everything was finally right.” I
squeezed my eyes closed tight, willing this all to go away, be a dream, a
nightmare. I felt more tears welling up. Vicious wet droplets of anger, rage,
fear, and despair, burning behind my eyelids. “No. I’m not doing this?” I
turned my tear streaked face to him. If I was dead why was it so damn hard to
breathe? How could I feel so sick? “And who are you anyway? Why are you here? I
didn’t invite you. And why do you know what’s happening? Why can you see me and
Gigi couldn’t? She walked right through me…” I fired off the questions and
statements in rapid succession, not giving him a chance to answer.

“Lissa, we should go now,” he said it so
simply, after checking the time on his watch again. He leaned forward, as if to
take hold of my hand.

I didn’t care how good the words sounded
coming from him, with his nifty-sexy accent. “Oh hell no. No way.” I scrambled
back from him and stood back up, unsteadily, but I held my ground. “I don’t
know you and you’re not answering any of my questions.” I stabbed an accusatory
finger at him. My eyes widened in conviction and then in speculation. “Did you
do this to me?” I breathed out in loathing, enragement.

“No,” he protested, a look of aversion
on his face. “I’m a Coimhdeacht, not a Lanmhuchadh.”

“What?” I asked with exasperation and
increasing anger.

“The fellow who gave you the drink…” He
strode closer to me and I edged backwards further still, towards the roof door,
my mind spiraling a million miles a second. “He was a Lanmhuchadh,
your
Lanmhuchadh
tonight.”

I stared at him like he was insane. I
didn’t understand those words. And the look on his face said he was unwavering.
And with everything I’d seen, experienced this night, who was I to dispute his
statement? Who was I to say anything at all right now? I felt breathless and
unnerved. My emotions were all over the place and switching over back and forth
like crazy, so quickly it was hard to keep up with them or correctly identify
them. But one stood out above all the others at this precise moment, hot anger,
absolute fury.

“Well…that’s just fucked up! He poisoned
me?” I fumed.

“Not exactly. That fellow over there,”
he said pointing to the opposite side of the roof, where a youngish guy in Goth
attire stood near the make shift bar, “he
creeped
a
little something extra in to your glass. Your Lanmhuchadh, your extinguisher,
merely gave it a little extra kick.”

I just stared at him some more. He was
purely so matter-of-fact. I shook my head desperately, angrily, not wanting to
listen to this or to accept any of this.

“And who are you?” I glowered at him.

“I’m Liam.” He extended his hand in
greeting.

 I ignored it; I’m sure with a look
of contempt on my face. Was he crazy? Why? Why would I, for any conceivable
reason, be impelled to touch him?

“I’m your Coimhdeacht…your Escort, your
Usher.”

Like this bit of info would reassure me,
make it all better, smooth the disdain from my features.

“I’ll explain it all to you on our way.”

He just kept going on. The fun never
ended.

“On our way to where? And wait. No. I’m
not going anywhere with you,” I growled at him, edging away from him and again
closer to the door.

Liam sighed. “We have to go. We can’t
hang around here. Pretty soon someone is going to try to wake the birthday girl
for her festivities and then things are going to get really interesting. You
really don’t want to be here for that. I’ve seen it happen. It will be even
less fun for you than this right now.”

“Can you be any more callous?” I spat
out the words, my breathing ragged, absorbing another bout of dread. I moved
markedly away from him, making my way through my friends—waiting, looking all
around me as I turned among them, willing them to see me, speak to me, touch
me, hug me…oh hell, even bump into me. The closest thing I got was another
person walking through me on their way to the makeshift bar.

BOOK: No Time to Cry (Nine While Nine Legacy Book 1)
11.52Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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