Read an Excerpt
Light as a whisper, the blood red fabric of the gown moulded to the curves of her breasts and hips, swirling out into a full, ankle-length skirt that brushed against her legs like a lover’s caress with every move she made. Hair the colour of obsidian, piled on top of her head and secured by a single feathered barrette, was a stark contrast to skin so pale as to be almost luminous. She lifted her eyes to meet their reflection in the mirror, grey as the sky before a storm, and dread slowly unfurled in her stomach, like a lazy snake unsure whether or not it could be bothered to strike.
She turned at the sound of her name, a hitch in her breath as the snake’s forked tongue hissed a warning. “Michael.” Resentment at his presence tightened her chest; guilt turned the screw. She lowered her eyes, not quite able to meet his.
“I know you’ve been expecting me, , and I know you don’t want me here.” Michael stepped out of the shadows. There was no rebuke in his voice, and his eyes—so like ’s own—held real regret.
“Michael…” It was a plea, an entreaty for understanding and compassion.
“It’s time to come home, . I can’t go on covering for you.” His expression held the understanding she sought, but there was also resolve. Her time was running out fast.
“Has my absence been discovered?” Panic clutched at her and she laid a hand over her heart, as if to prevent it from breaking free of her chest.
Shaking his head, Michael stepped forward and laid a comforting hand on her arm. “Not yet, but you know that can’t last forever. Come with me now?”
Pain surged sharp and sudden through . She turned away from her brother, arms wrapping tightly, protectively around herself. It was too soon, she wasn’t ready…