My BFF talked me into trying my hand at writing. This will be the public site for my posting, my WIP comments, Short Stories, Poems, and just general thoughts on my writing journey. I welcome everyone to read and post comments. Constructive criticism is welcome, trolls…not so much. ;}
I am making progress on my SFR story. I’m trying to do some work on it everyday. Right now I’m mostly feeling good with what I have so far. Although I think I may have to “punch up” the world building aspect of it.
So with all that said, here’s an excerpt from chapter 7. Note: This is first draft stuff, no editing has been done on it!
Da’von Rai’lyn stared at the figure of his older sister on the viewscreen, back straight, chin tilted up, fully in command of herself and her ship. He’d heard the heated possessiveness in the War Admiral’s growled word, wondering what it meant. Ay’esha’s demand for identification plus her not so subtle threat to blow the alien ship out of space pushed that thought to the back of his mind. His gaze swiveled from the view screen to Tarkir, trying to gage what the War Admiral would do. One brow shot up at what he saw. The male’s body was ramrod straight, tense, his face drawn tight, eyes a swirling mix of red and violet. Movement near his waist drew Da’von’s attention. Frowning, he watched those hands clinch, long fingers curled open and closed with each breath he took.
Da’von stepped closer, ignoring Zotul kul Nozek’s warning snarl from behind them, standing ready to defend his War Admiral. Clearing his throat, eyes locked on the imposing male, Da’von spoke softly. “War Admiral,” he paused, drawing the male’s attention to him. “War Admiral—“
“Da’von!” Ay’esha hissed, taking a step forward on the view screen when her brother stepped into view behind the alien commander’s right shoulder. Da’von glanced at her, a brief shake of his head and her mouth snapped shut on whatever she had been about say.
“War Admiral,” he repeated, this time Tarkir turned his head to look at him. “My people mean you no harm,” he glanced back at his sister. “She means you no harm.” Da’von emphasized with a nod at Ay’esha. Tarkir’s eyes flashed back the female.
“Who is this female,
Rai’lyn?” Tarkir growled, having regained some control.
Da’von moved, standing a few paces ahead, to the side of Tarkir.
“If you would allow me—“ The same low growl filled the space. Da’von grimaced. Something was going on with the big War Admiral, something Da’von didn’t quite understand. He frowned, drawing in a deep breath, straightening, arms down to his side, chin up.
“War Admiral Tarkir kul Cadeyrn,” Da’von bowed slightly from his waist, voice study, respectful. “Allow me to introduce you to Commander Ay’esha Rai’lyn of the Lel’eiona Space Fleet.” He turned to look at his sister, who was frowning at him. Both Ay’esha and Tarkir spoke at once.
“This female is the sister you told me of?”
“Da’von, what in the all of space is going on?”
One corner of the younger man’s lips lifted in a smile. One that he did not dare let cover his entire face as both parties glared at each other. Oh yeah, this was one time his sister could not take control, the thought was fleeting, scattering almost before he could grasp it. He cleared his throat, looking to Tarkir, asking permission to explain. The big male, body still tense, folded his arms across the hard planes of his broad chest, nodding at Da’von to proceed. With a brief nod, Da’von turned, fully facing the view screen. He stared at the image of his sister a minute, noting how tightly strung she was, before he spoke.
“It’s good to see you, Esha—“
“Commander Rai’lyn.” She corrected him tersely. Her lips tightened, her tone holding both anger and fear. He was going to have step lightly. He started over.
“Commander Rai’lyn, it’s good to see you.” Her eyes narrowed. “The Ph’oenix was attacked, destroyed. Those of us that survived were rescued when War Admiral kul Cadeyrn intervened, destroying our attacker and collecting our Life Pods.”
Ay’esha stared at her brother, eyes carefully avoiding the big male standing just behind him. “The Ph’oenix and her crew were assumed lost after comms between your ship and Fleet were lost.” She paused. “The Sc’ythe was sent to find out what had happened and to bring back any…” She stopped, not finishing her sentence. Da’von grimaced, knowing what she had left unsaid.
“Commanders Rai’lyn,” Tarkir’s deep voice brought both the Rai’lyn siblings gaze to where he stood. “This conversation can be better held in person.” He locked eyes with Ay’esha, “Commander, you will transfer to the Slayer, your brother can speak of what happened and what to do next.”
There was a long moment of silence before a rough voice hissed from behind him, “War Admiral… I must point out, we do not know what threat this ship is to us. To bring these beings aboard—“
“Enough First Sentinel!” Tarkir snapped, freezing everyone on the bridge. He turned to Zotul kul Nozek, locking eyes with his First Sentinel. “You will escort Da’von Rai’lyn to the hanger bay and shuttle him to the Lel’eiona ship. Return with,” He turned to look at the female standing ramrod straight on the screen. “Both Commanders.” His gaze went to Da’von. “You will accompany my First Sentinel, returning with Commander Rai’lyn.” He wasn’t asking. Da’von frowned, eyes narrowing.
“War Admiral kul Cadeyrn,” Da’von came to attention. “I thank you for your timely intervention, the rescue of my crew, and the hospitably of your ship. I do not take orders from you.” Tarkir raised one eyebrow and Zotul growled loudly, taking a step toward Da’von, ready to protect his captain. Tarkir held up one hand.
“Stand down,” he ordered Zotul, who froze, massive body vibrating with suppressed tension. “I understand your words, Rai’lyn. In your place I would feel the same, there are issues we need to talk about. The three of us.”
“What issues?” Da’von asked. “Why do these issues involve my sister?” Tarkir looked back at the viewscreen. He ignored the other male’s questions.
“You will go to her ship, return with her,” Da’von swung his gaze to his sister. Her gaze was locked on the big Teric male.
“Nether of you will decide my actions.” Her words were pitched low, each one dropping like ice. “I am the commander of the Sc’ythe and as such will determine my next course of action.” She glared at both males, her gaze softening on her brother’s face. “I’m so happy to see you alive, brother. Most thought you all lost.” A slight tremble edged her words. “I knew you lived…” Breaking off, she visibly reined in her emotions, eyes shifting back to Tarkir, she gave him a shallow nod. “I will contact you, War Admiral.” The viewscreen on the bridge of the Slayer went dark. War Admiral Tarkir kul Cadeyrn eyes narrowed. He’d been dismissed…by a female!
I’m to the point in Tarkir kul Cadeyrn and Ay’esha Rai’lyn story that I need to create a star map to find my way about space. So far I only have three galaxies and a dead zone, but I left room to add more as I need them. So with that, I give you the world of the Dark Warriors…
So I’m working on my SFR right now. It’s slowly moving along. I’m going to post a snippet from Chapter 4.
“How close are we to the last reported position of the Ph’oenix?” Ay’esha asked as she continued to stare out into space.
“We should be on station at that location within the hour.” Ai’leene swung her gaze to her Captain. “The ships sensors should have picked up the Ph’oenix already.” She looked back down at the console with a frown. “All they’re picking up is a vast debris cloud.”
Ay’esha came to her feet and her head whipped around to stare at her Comms officer. “Debris cloud?” she questioned. “There’s no sign of the Ph’oenix?”
Ai’leene’s eyes met Ay’esha’s as she answered with a soft “No.” She drew in a deep breath before containing. “There is no sign of the ship or…” she paused, “the Life Pod cluster.”
“What?” Ay’esha asked, stunned. “Scan again!” She demanded turning back to the view screen. “Wit’hrop, get us as close as possible to that debris.” Ad’ara Wit’hrop was the In’vader’s master navigator and was one of five volunteers for the rescue mission from that ship. She was also one of the best the fleet had to offer.
“Lav’rans,” Ay’esha spoke to the man standing at the science stations. Ja’xon Lav’rans stood silent, waiting for his orders. “I want an analysis of the debris field.” He gave a short nod and turned back to his station. “I want to know what is in that field.” She stood ridged, her hands curled into fists at her side as she fought a swell of panic. Were those parts and pieces floating around in space part of her brother’s ship and the life pod cluster? And if they weren’t, where was Da’von, his crew, and the Ph’oenix?
The tension raised the closer to the floating detritus they got. Each person on the bridge stared at the viewport, searching for any signs that this was not the Ph’oenix. Another soft ping sounded from the engineer’s station and every head turned to watch Ai’leene read the information on her screen. She looked at Ay’esha, her face grim.
“Still no sign of the Ph’oenix or her pod cluster, Captain.” She looked back down at the screen again. “Scanners show nothing over a few centimeters in size within the cloud.” Ay’esha’s face was pale as she processed that information.
“Then maybe the ship and her pods weren’t in this location,” Ay’esha spoke in a low voice. “Wit’hrop, recheck the coordinates fleet received for the Ph’oenix.”
“Aye, Captain.” The man bent over his station, fingers flying.
Ay’esha turned to the Command chair and thumbed one of the small buttons embedded in one arm. “Engineering,” she waited for a reply from Engineering Master Ya’nic Bro’nwyn, another volunteer from the In’vader.
“Aye, Captain,” the voice that answered was clear and study. It took a lot to rattle this man. The quiet strength in that voice washed over the bridge, lessening the tension some.
“We need to send a small nano probe into the debris cloud ahead of us.” She glanced over at her Science Officer who was still working his station. “Lav’rans will send you the coordinates for the center of the cloud.” Lav’rans looked at Ay’esha as she spoke, giving her a slight nod of his head before returning his attention to the science stations screen.
“Got them, Captain.” Bro’nwyn acknowledged. “Programing the coordinates into nano probe now.” There was a moment of silence and all eyes turned to the viewport. “Probe away.” the voice came from the speakers embedded in the hull of the bridge. A bright streak of blueish light shot from below the view screen, headed straight for the debris cloud in front of them.
“How soon before we get any type of readout back from that probe?” Ay’esha asked Lav’rans without looking at him.
“Once it reaches the center, it should only be a matter of seconds before we get any data.” He answered still watching the view screen. “It might take a bit longer to interpret that data to know what we’re looking at.”
“Alright.” Ay’esha replied as she started to pace the deck in front of the captain’s chair. She was normally a patient person, a good trait to have if you were in command of a battlecruiser, but this… this was family. She had to find Da’von and his crew and failure was not an option.
Taylor – Paranormal Operations, Inc. Book 1 (PNR)
My edits are done. Now I have to send the manuscript out to be professional edited. That’s not going to happen soon. Funds are tight for me and about to get tighter. I’ll have to look at my budget at a later date. But it’s DONE. Word count ended up at 87,932.
Polar Shift – Mistletoe, North Pole Book 2 (PNR)
I’m now working on this one. I’m about 13 chapters into it and while the characters are talking to me again, they aren’t wanting to go in the direction I want them to go. So I’m deciding if I need to do a small rewrite or just forge ahead and see where everyone in the story ends up. Word count so far is 17,162
Tarkir – Dark World Warriors Book 1 (SFR)
I have done no work on this story. I hope to get to it after edits are done completely on my Paranormal Operations, Inc. book. Word count hasn’t change, it’s still at 8,889 words.
Incubus MC – Demon (PNR/MC)
See Tarkir, above. No progress at all. But I have been thinking about the story line. I think I need to “punch” up the story. Make it grittier, rougher, at least the bikers in it. Word count is at 4,870.
Kai and Kekipi (Hawaiian Tales PNR)
I’m not sure I’ll publish this one or just make it a freebie for on my author’s page. I’ve kind of lost interest in this story. I’m writing from a weird, third person point of view. We’re were in Hawaii in May for a two weeks, but didn’t even work on this short story. I’m still at 3,178 words on this one.
Hubby retired in Jan of 2019, so writing has been a bit hit and miss. I do love him being home through. He holds much better conversations than the cats! LOL! I’m still on schedule to get my SS and Medicare in Dec. Although signing up for both may be a pain. I have been called for the dreaded Jury Service starting end of this week (08/01/2019) and if picked, be tied up for about 4 months.
My writing plans for the year are still to publish my Paranormal Operations, Inc. book at the end of the year (or Jan 2020). Try to complete Polar Shift (Mistletoe, North Pole #2) and maybe find some time to work on my SFR book. Plus I lots of story ideas! One even set right here in Las Vegas!
So much to do!
I’ve finished the first book in what I hope will someday be my Paranormal Operations, Incorporated series. I need to send it off to be edited and get a good cover for it. But funds are really tight (you know that old saying about squeezing water from a rock?) so it will sit on my hard drive for now. But since it’s as far as I can go on it right now, I’ve moved on to the second book of the Mistletoe, North Pole series.
And I find myself struggling with it. It’s NOT going in the direction I imagined it to go. I wanted it to run in the same vein as Santa Baby (book one in the series), but it keeps taking a darker tone. I wanted a lot of interaction between the two main characters, Holly and Sig. This is kind of a second chance at love paranormal story. But so far it’s been mostly about why someone/something would target the heroine (Holly) of the story.
So…I’ll be posting some stuff from it here. Maybe I’m on the right track, but my gut says I need to backtrack the story a bit.
Hubby had to take a class in Hawaii, so w’er here in Honolulu until next Wed. We flew in on the 16th and have been enjoying the weather, the beach, and the Aloha that Hawaii has to offer. We have a great ocean front room on Waikiki beach, with dual views of the ocean. We’re staying at the Hale Koa, which is a Army property. As such we got a great room rate for the room.
We’ll be bcak to the mainland this coming week, which means I have to hit the writing hard. I’ve done pretty good here. About a 1k words each time I work at it. Wish I had these views at home. LOL!
So for now…Aloha from Hawaii!
Here’s some pictures from our trip so far.
Now for some random food and drink pictures.
I’m making some progress on the text to speech edit of Taylor – Paranormal Operations, Inc. This is the edited version of chapter 24. After all the chapters are done, then it will be off to a pro editor.
Shay looked up from the report he’d been reading as a rumble shook the building. A second one rolled through before the first one had ended. Immediately alarms rang, their high pitch squeal loud enough he cringed.
“What the fuck?” He murmured jumping up from his seat and headed to the closed office door, ripping it open and striding out into the operations center. “What the hell is going on? Where did those explosions come from?” He shouted the questions over the screaming alarms as he moved to the center of the room.
“The surveillance cameras are down in both the garage and the adjacent staircase.” A voice answered from the left. Shay swung his head in that direction. A man named Tomas sat in front of a bank of video screens that showed the feeds from the cameras that monitored the Paranormal Operations Irish headquarters. Tomas glanced at Shay as he continued. “The blasts were in those areas. The other cameras nearby show the staircase blocked and the elevator to the garage is out.”
“Casualties?” Shay barked. “And turn off that fucking alarm!” A woman answered from a desk next to the bank of screens.
“Yes sir.” Her eyes never left her computer screen as her fingers raced over the keyboard in front of her. The screaming alarm cut off suddenly. “No casualties reported so far, sir.” She added. Tomas broke in before she could say something further.
“There were people in the garage, sir.” He peered back down, pressing a few keys on his keyboard. “You need to see this, sir.” Shay tensed and moved to stand next to Tomas.
“Who?” Shay demanded. Tomas gestured at a side monitor. The screen switched from black to a still image of the garage, with one stab of his finger, Tomas started the video playback. Shay hissed out a breath.
On the screen was Devon and Taylor along with Mikhail Romanov. There wasn’t sound with the video but it was obvious that the couple was saying goodbye. The following minutes of the video recorded the two men checking the SUV for supplies before they got into the vehicle and drove out of the garage. After it disappeared from view, Shay watched as Taylor turned around and glared right into the camera before passing out of view.
“So they made it out before the blasts?” Shay questioned, note of relief in his tone. Tomas shook his head.
“The camera in the area near the elevator caught this.” He pressed several more keys and different scene filled the screen. Taylor walked into view, her head down as she worked her phone. She stiffened and turned as a red headed figure moved into the frame from the bottom of the screen. Even from the back, Shay knew who he was.
“O’Grady.” He hissed, watching the leprechaun raise a weapon and fire. Taylor threw herself to the side trying to avoid O’Grady’s shots. Shay’s hands curled into fists at his side as Taylor jerked from multiple impacts before she slid down the wall and slumped over.
“Fucking bastard!” He snarled, as O’Grady turned, flipping both of his middle fingers at the camera. He grabbed one of Taylor’s legs and dragged her body from view. A few minutes later the video shook as the first explosion went off, then within seconds the elevator doors blasted outward and the video died.
Shay glanced at his watch, gauging how much time since the explosions. Five minutes, he thought with grimace. Five minutes for everything to go to hell.
“Track where that bastard took agent Conner,” he instructed Tomas, his voice hard. Tomas frowned as he started to speak.
“I’ll try, sir, but…” He swallowed at the dark look Shay aimed at him before he continued. “With the camera destroyed in the garage, I’ll have to piece together what I can from the surrounding traffic cameras.” Tomas peered at the keyboard in front of him as he muttered to himself. “If I sync the time of the garage blast with the traffic cameras on both corners nearest to the building and check for any vehicles going through those intersections…”
“Just fucking do it.” Shay said before he turned to speak to the female agent seated nearby.
“Get the EOD to the garage and after they’ve swept it for evidence, get a team to remove the rubble.” The explosive ordnance disposal team was made up of a few well trained agents at each headquarter site. The woman’s fingers flew over her keyboard as Shay shot orders to her. “Have another team access the damage to the garage and the surrounding space for structural damage.” He glanced at the woman. “You’ve got that?” he asked. She nodded and replied without looking up from her screen.
“Yes, sir.” Shay turned and strode toward his office. He reached for the phone that rested on his hip and punched the speed dial number for Devon.
“Devon’s going to lose his fucking shit about this.” He said as he waited for the other man to answer.
So… I’m using NaturalReader to do a second round of editing. By using text to voice, I can pick up the “little” stuff I missed in the first round of editing/rewrites. You know, the missing small words that your mind “sees” even if they aren’t really there. I was rolling right along, doing a chapter at a time, making changes, saving them to my main word doc. So I get to chapter 7 and find I have to reboot my PC (Windows Update can be such a nag!). So I checked each chapter in my doc. I got to chapter 4 and… what the heck! It’s GONE! Totally GONE!
Time to panic! I had the wip rough draft but that didn’t have any of my changes. The good news is, with Naturalreader I had saved each chapter as an .mp3 file to listen to later. But how to get that audio file back to a text file? After some Googling, I found an online transcriber.
Only draw back is that, when transcribed, it looks like this:
Rage rolled off Devin in waves.
Shay drew himself up to his full six foot six height.
His mouth tightened and displeasure.
Knock it off.
I had no reason to think this assignment was anything other than what I told you it was.
It seems I wasn’t given all the facts either.
I can assure you.
I will find out who’s decision it was to keep us in the dark.
I can tell you though part Shay.
A new voice came from the kitchen doorway behind Devin.
So now I have to put the whole chapter back together. Ok, started that, worked all evening on it, and went to bed. Next morning I found that my PC had rebooted itself with a second update (come on Microsoft, you’re killing me here!). And dumb me hadn’t saved my work from the night before. So to make this sad story a bit shorter. I’ve redone most of chapter 4 THREE time! The last time I screwed up and closed it down myself. I’m hoping the 4th time will the last!
So I’m going with this chapter is freaking HAUNTED!
“Taylor…” Devon groaned as he opened his eyes, his body stiff from being on the floor so long. He shifted his legs and grimaced as sharp tingles raced up and down his legs. Taylor’s body moved with his, still a dead weight in his arms.
“Taylor!” Devon stared down at her still pale face as his eyes searched for signs of life. “Come on, Mo ghra, come back to me. Open those amazing eyes!” Her body stayed still. Devon glanced up at Aveta standing over them.
“Do something, dammit, you’re a fucking Goddess!” He demanded. “I did what you told me to do and went after her. She was coming back with me!” One hand touched Taylor’s pale blue lips. “Why isn’t she…”
“The athame is preventing her from returning.” Aveta explained. “Only you, her true mate, can remove it before she can travel back to this world.” She looked at Taylor. “There’s no more time, Devon, you have to do it now or she’ll be lost to this world.”
“Remove it?” He glanced up at the Goddess. “How the fuck do I do that? Just yank it out?” Aveta shook her head and sighed.
“You grasp the handle of the blade and smoothly draw it out.” She answered. “Yank it out and you could damage Taylor’s heart and she may truly die.” Devon cursed under his breath and wrapped the fingers of one hand gently around the athame handle. It warmed at his touch and he felt power singing within the blade. His fingers tightened and he slowly started to slide the blade from his mate’s heart.
“Carefully, Devon.” Aveta cautioned. Devon froze, looking up at the goddess with a glare before returning his attention to the athame. Inch by inch he withdrew it from Taylor’s heart until at last the tip of it pulled free. A swell of blood filled the hole it left before starting to spread out, being wicked by her shirt.
“Shit!” Devon bit out as he dropped the bloody athame and pressed his hand over the wound. Instinctively he forced his magic into the wound but as depleted as his magic was, it didn’t slow the flow of blood.
“Fuck!” Devon growled, desperation in his voice. “I can’t stop the bleeding.” A cool touch
brushed the side of his cheek and a wave of pure, light magic rushed through him and into Taylor’s open wound. He watched closely as it started to close from the inside, breathing a sigh of relief as the bleeding slowed, than stopped. Next the wound closed until only a faint scratch remained on Taylor’s breast. Devon’s body tensed as for the space of a few heartbeats nothing happened. Suddenly Taylor’s body jerked and she gasped, drawing in a deep lungful of air. Her eyes, when they opened, swirled a violet color. The paleness of her cheeks gradually turned to a pale pink and the tip of her tongue peeked out from between dry lips, trying to moisten them.
“Dev… Devon?” she sounded confused, lost. He sat up, pulling her with him, his arms wrapped tightly around her.
“Shhh, Mo ghra,” he whispered into her hair. “I have you and we’re both safe.” Taylor’s body trembled as her eyes drifted closed once more and Devon’s arms tightened around her. “Stay with me, love.” He ordered softly, his mouth now next to her ear. “Open those amazing eyes of yours and stay with me.”
“Come into the light, Kaden Regan.” Her words more of a command
then a request. A low growl preceded the scowling young man that walked from
the shadows, eyes never leaving the goddess’s face. Aveta gave him a small
smile when he stopped a foot from father’s body. They stared at
each other, one slightly amused and the other wary but defiant.
“You certainly look like Taylor.” Aveta mused as she studied
him. While the man stood taller and more muscular then his sister,
they looked the same. “Except your hair,” she muttered. Where Taylor’s was
midnight black with swaths of silver framing her face, Kaden’s was silver with
swaths of black. She could see the range of emotions as they swirled in his
dark eyes. Anger. Fear. Confusion. This boy… no, this man had seen and
done things that would haunt him forever.
“Who the fuck are you?” Jaden rasped, body
shaking, hands fisted at his sides.
“I am the Goddess Aveta,” Aveta drew herself up,
straightening her spine and seeming to grow a few inches. “I helped bring you
and Taylor into this world. I protected your sister from…” she glanced down
to the body at Kaden’s feet. Kaden’s eyes followed hers and one corner of his
mouth curled up into grimace at the sight of William’s body. It smaller than when the man had lived.
“And me?” He bit out before looking up, angry
gaze locking with hers. “Who was supposed to protect me?” Jaden took a half step
closer to Aveta, almost touching the body at their feet. “Who decide I wasn’t
worthy of being protected like my sister?”
“William wanted a son, he wanted you.” she answered. ” I knew
you would live…”
“Live?” Jaden ground out. “Do you even understand what my
life’s been like? What growing up with that… that… piece a shit of a
father was like?”
“But you did live!” Aveta pressed home her point. Jaden
stepped over the corpse, closing the last foot between them. Aveta, tall in
her goddess form, still had to tilt her head back to meet Jaden’s gaze.
“No, not living,” Jaden sneered angrily, “I was just surviving.”
Drawing in a deep breath, Jaden closed his eyes, working to regain some control over his emotions. Eyes still closed he continued. “Do you understand what my life was like with him?” He opened his eyes , anger still there but now they also held a haunted expression. He didn’t wait for the Goddess’s response before continuing.
“I don’t remember very much of him before my thirteenth birthday,
just lots of different women working to care for me. They never lasted longer
than a year or so. Now I realize he’d kidnapped young women with any
kind of magic in their blood. They were permitted to care for me while he drained
their magic…” Aveta touched Jaden’s arm, stopping him .
“You don’t need to tell me, Kaden, I know full well what your father
did to you.”
A snort escaped him. “You knew he was grooming me to do the same
thing? That he compelled me to fuck countless women from the time I turned
thirteen? You understood those…” his voice cracked. “Girls… women…
died each time I fucked them to steal their magic?” He paused and glared into her
eyes. “You knew all of this but decided to only protect my…” With a
snarl he stepped to the side, breaking Aveta’s grip on his forearm. Jaden’s eyes
moved to the couple on the floor. “Was I so worthless you couldn’t…?”
“No!” Now it was Aveta’s turn to be angry. “I… we never thought of you as worthless, Jaden.” She reached out to him. “As much as I disliked leaving
you with him as a babe, I had to. You have your own destiny to fulfill. What
you have endured made you stronger…”
Jaden threw back his head and laughed contemptuously. “Made
me stronger?” The laughter ended abruptly. “What it made me is just like my
father! It made me a murderer.” Turning away, he scanned the floor.
“Kaden, no,” Aveta insisted. “You didn’t kill those girls, your father
did! William wanted you to believe you had, but each one of those countless
deaths came at his hands!” Jaden ignored her comments, spotting the object he’d
been looking for. Bending, he picked up William’s withered heart and clenched
his fist around it. He watched, mesmerized, as thick black blood oozed from
between his fingers and dripped slowly to the floor.