It’s #SampleSunday, so I thought I’d share a bit of Rebellion with you all and show you what the cover looks like. Enjoy!
The Outer Territory
Cara fastened the hook on the roll she stored vials of all her potions in. She felt a mild sadness over having to leave her potion kegs behind, but her desire to get the hell out of the oppressive home she’d lived in for the past twenty-two years punched that sadness down in her gut. She slipped the roll into her black leather backpack and turned the light off in the pantry.
Tiptoeing through the kitchen toward the front door, she glanced at her husband’s sleeping form drooped over the edges of his recliner in the den. The hour before she’d slipped him a memory potion, although she’d considered giving him something a little more lethal. When he awoke, Edgar Grant would realize that his wife was gone, but wouldn’t be able to recollect much of the arranged marriage both of their parents had forced them into at eighteen or the years of misery that followed. More importantly to Cara, he would only have vague memories of their son Aiden. Cara was taking the real, the important memories, with her.
Aiden had been the single happiness of her life and in the two days since his Day of Sacrifice she’d never felt more alone. She’d stood in Aiden’s room for hours, just staring at silly things: his electric guitar that he’d never learned to play, the hood of his gray sweatshirt with the hole in the left elbow peeking out from underneath his bed, the digital alarm clock on his bedside table, its numbers taunting her. Aiden didn’t have any more time and she had nothing but a long expanse of time to suffer through before she would see her boy again in the afterlife.
When Clark Benning had knocked on her front door this morning, Cara was considering if she was brave enough to end her own life. The loneliness was becoming unbearable. But then Clark spoke of a prophecy and told her she was on “the list.” She’d agreed to go before he’d even finished talking. A chance to be useful. A chance to end the Day of Sacrifice ritual that had taken her son. With Clark’s words, a sliver of hope had winnowed its way into her heart.
Cara slung her backpack over her shoulder, opened the front door and stepped out onto the landing, never looking back.
“Julian wants you to stay close to me,” Abel said, leaning down to whisper into the ear of the petite redhead on his right.
She shied away from his voice and then looked up, cautiously. He knew he struck an imposing figure, especially to someone as short as Cara Grant. He compensated, hunching his shoulders a bit, smiling when he felt Cara pull herself up to her full height. They both turned their gazes to the ritual stone as Flora Hamilton’s Day of Sacrifice procession entered the city square. Cara inched closer to him and then spoke out the corner of her mouth, “Your charge doesn’t need you?”
The Guardian grinned, his eyes still facing forward. “Alexander can take care of himself. You stick with me and I’ll make sure we get to our destination safely.” He turned then, ever so slightly and extended his hand. “I’m Abel.”
She shook his hand. “Cara Grant. No, sorry. Cara Davenport.” She blushed at her blunder, her freckled face turning a pleasant pink.
He simply nodded. Cara could call herself whatever she wanted, all he knew was that Julian had put him in charge of her safety because she was a healer and essential to their purpose.
“I do believe you’ll keep me safe.” She smiled up at him, her blue eyes rimmed red as though she’d been crying for days, grew bright with anticipation.
“I’ll do my best.” He pulled his shoulders back and faced forward. Reaching down, he felt for her hand, unsure if the gesture was appropriate.
She intertwined her fingers with his and took a deep breath. “Show’s about to start.”