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The town Alex calls home has always felt safe to her, until three girls her age are found dead. When Alex’s father forces her mother to skip town with him, possibly for good, they leave Alex behind to fend for herself and unfold years of lies they have built her life upon. Jaze, who has been invisible by her side for months, appears just in time to eliminate any normality that remained in her life. He’s tall, dark and terrifying, though that wasn’t his intent. Just as Jaze is earning Alex’s trust, the Council, a feared and powerful group of leaders from his world, orders him to protect her with his life. Jaze quickly becomes torn between his duty and his love for Alex. When her real memories of her childhood return, Alex tumbles head first into Jaze’s strange world and into his arms. While Jaze soon finds that Alex may not be the ordinary girl he had originally assumed her to be. Together the two of them discover that sometimes love and simplicity aren’t always options in life.
I stood from my perch on my ancient bed, wincing as it creaked behind me. My footsteps were silent as I crossed the room. I stood at my doorway and listened. I could only barely hear my mother sniffle, and my father’s whispers. If curiosity killed the cat, I must have had some feline DNA. With only a second of hesitation, I inched open my door, pausing for a moment each time it squeaked. With only just enough room to fit my tiny body through, I stepped into our dark hallway and tiptoed toward the living room. My heart was thundering viciously against my eardrums, recreating the theme music from an action movie. The screams from my father earlier that night had brought back all the fear I had had for him as a child. I was only a foot from the living room doorway when I could finally understand their hushed tones, but only barely over the sound of my racing heart.
“Robert, I…I.” My mother sobbed.
“Helen.” My father warned.
“I can’t do this to her. It’s her birthday. I’ve never ignored her birthday.”
“You will, and that is precisely why we must do it now. We are out of time. Any day now the spells will begin to wear. This is the only way. What other reason would we have to leave her?”
“I don’t want to leave her.” My mother cried. “That’s the problem.”
“You will do as I say!” My father shouted causing me to jump. He quickly quieted himself. “She cannot know the truth. Do you understand me? Not yet. You will tell her what I tell you to tomorrow.”
“What if she doesn’t believe us? You know I’m—“
“Make it convincing.”
“And if I don’t?”
My father growled. Something fell to the floor. I heard a hollow echo and the sound of something rolling against the hardwood. I could distinctly hear someone choking. It took only a second for me to realize it was my mother; my mother was choking. My father was the one choking her. I felt my eyes begin to swell.
“You. Will. Convince. Her.” My father said firmly. “Or you will suffer the consequences.”
I heard my mother gasp for breath a moment later. “What am I to tell her?”
“We will tell her that you have cancer. She won’t question that we must leave for your treatment.”
I felt a frown develop on my face. I wished then that I could have done something, anything, to help my mother and ruin whatever dastardly plans my father had, but I didn’t, being the coward that I was. I was too afraid to move; too afraid to stand up to him. I was too lost in my own cowardice to move in any direction but backward, right onto the floorboard that creaked. The room began to haze until I was surrounded by darkness.
About the Author:
Okay, I’m actually kidding, but while you’re here, there are a few things about me for those who don’t know. I am currently a 911 dispatcher for a local county in Southwest Missouri. I spend my days with my girlfriend, my cat (shown left), and my leopard gecko. Writing has been a dream of mine since I first developed a love of reading; I’m guessing around the age of ten. With both of my parents being English majors, it was hard to ignore the call of the word world. So, here we are, nearly a decade later, and I’m finally reaching for the dream half of my life in the making.
To all of my friends and my family who have been by my side through this journey, thank you for your support. And to you reading this now, thank you for taking the time from your day. If you have big dreams, remember you can do anything with determination and a whole lot of guts. I hope I can inspire others the way that other authors have inspired me with not just my writing, but with life itself.