Eternal Starling: Emblem of Eternity, Book 1

Eternal Starling: Emblem of Eternity, Book 1

by Angela Corbett
Eternal Starling: Emblem of Eternity, Book 1

Eternal Starling: Emblem of Eternity, Book 1

by Angela Corbett


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A love so strong, even eternity can't separate them.

Evie Starling has lived a relatively uneventful life hanging out with friends, gossiping about boys, and driving her 1966 Mustang. All of that changes when she moves to Gunnison, Colorado, to start college and meets two mysterious men.

For centuries, Alex Night and Emil Stone have yearned for Evie—but they each have their own reasons for wanting to be with her. When both men claim to be her soul mate and tell her about an unbelievable past, Evie learns that she's not the person she thought she was. Soon, Evie finds herself in the middle of an age-old battle between the Amaranthine Society—the soul protectors, and the Daevos Resistance—the soul destroyers. With a past she doesn't understand, and a future rife with danger, Evie has to decide who she can trust. But Alex and Emil aren't the only ones who want Evie, and her soul is about to become the rope in an eternal tug-of-war

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780982729793
Publisher: Pendrell Publishing
Publication date: 12/06/2011
Series: Emblem of Eternity Trilogy Series , #1
Pages: 310
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

Angela Corbett graduated from Westminster College with a double major in communication and sociology. She started working as a reporter for her local newspaper when she was sixteen and won awards for feature, news, and editorial writing. She has also done freelance writing. In addition to being an author, she works as a director of communications and marketing. She loves classic cars, traveling, and listening to U2. She lives in Utah with her extremely supportive husband and their five-pound Pomeranian, Pippin, whose following of fangirls could rival Justin Bieber's.

Read an Excerpt

London, England
I let my fear carry me and I ran. I didn't dare look behind me, too scared of who might be following. Lights flickered as I passed them, one thought pounding in my head: he had let me leave. Sadness and anger warred in my chest. Maybe it was love, maybe it was guilt, but he told me I had to go. I couldn't stay knowing what he was part of, but despite everything, I wouldn't deny I still loved him. The pain will diminish and though I won't remember it, our bond will always exist.

I sprinted through the uneven stone streets as my dress wound its way between my legs, threatening to trip me with every step. The narrow alleyways were hot and crowded. I pushed men and women out of my way and hoped they didn't meet the people I was running from.

I ran from the illusion I was living and blinked away the tears clouding my vision. I ran to the one place I knew I would be safe. I opened the door and entered the stone house; the room was illuminated by candlelight. The heavy door shut behind me with a thud and a lock fell into place. I collapsed on the floor. It was over. I wouldn't have to run anymore. Someone knelt down next to me and took my hand. My body reacted to the touch and I looked up. This time, I made the right choice.
Chapter 1
When there's a real possibility you might not live another day, you go through a range of emotions. I had already hit fear, then panic. I was currently dwelling on anger, which was leading me straight to blame and Luke Woods was the target of my wrath. It's not like I even cared about him that much when we were dating, and I liked him even less when I walked into the history room during Senior Prom and found him getting to know cheerleader Crystal Benson in a way he'd never gotten to know me.

He blamed my "irrational morals" for his cheating. I called him an arrogant pig with a brain the size of a pea. He said I looked like a marshmallow and it escalated to a full-on war from there. At one point, a rumor circulated that my classic Mustang was seen leaving the high school parking lot after the oil was drained from the engine in Luke's Dodge Ram. Rumors are crazy like that.

I dealt with the gossip from the other kids at school until high school graduation and then moved to Gunnison, Colorado, three months before the beginning of my freshman year of college.

"Stupid, rotten, snake-of-a-boy," I mumbled to myself as I stomped through wild grass, bushes, and if the itching on my leg was any indication, probably some poison ivy. "That dumb jerk! I'm lost in the middle of the freaking Rocky Mountains and it's all his fault!" I'd been talking to myself for a while now and tried to remember if shouting at no one was a sign of a panic attack—I already knew it was a sign of insanity.

In my current, frazzled state of mind, I rationalized that if Loser Luke hadn't cheated on me, I wouldn't have left the safety of my parents' Montana home, wouldn't have decided to go hiking in the unfamiliar mountains of Black Canyon, and wouldn't be lost. In an impressive feat of deflected responsibility, I convinced myself Luke was at least somewhat accountable for my impending death. Blaming him made the thought of dying much easier to handle. If I'd had a pen on me, I would have written a note implicating him so that when the rescue crews found my frozen body, they'd know who to arrest.

Okay, so it was partially my fault. I had a perfectly good hiking bag at home equipped with a blanket and GPS, but I hadn't grabbed it when I left because I wasn't planning on a long hike. I had been searching for a way down the mountain for three hours and spent the whole time mentally, and sometimes physically, smacking myself in the head for leaving the house unprepared.

Wind ruffled through the trees while I continued walking, paying close attention to my surroundings in case I needed to backtrack. As I came to a clearing, the quiet of the mountain made it easy to hear the sharp sounds of twigs snapping. Great. A wild animal. I shook my head. As if being lost wasn't enough of a problem, now I'd probably be eaten by a bear.

Running seemed like a good way to make myself look like dinner, so instead, I took a deep breath and tried not to panic as the noises grew louder. Whatever it was, it was big—and it was getting closer. I began backing slowly away from the direction of the rustling noise, wondering what animal was about to appear and use my arms as an appetizer.

So you can imagine my surprise when a guy stepped out of the trees. He looked a little older than me and was at least six feet tall. His dark brown hair accented bronze skin, and his white T-shirt did nothing to hide the hard lines of his chest, or his massive biceps. His eyes were a bright shade of green that seemed to change from one part of his irises to another. I licked my lips without realizing I'd done it and had the fleeting thought that if he wanted to have me for dinner, I'd help him light the charcoal.

He smiled at me and I couldn't look away. Somewhere in the recesses of my mind, something flickered; those eyes and that smile, something about him was so . . . familiar. I'm not certain how long I stared, but it must have been a few minutes because I kept seeing his flawless lips move before his deep voice finally registered. "Are you okay?"

I nodded, more times than necessary, and still staring, I wiped my hand across my chin to check for drool.

"I think I scared you when I came out of the trees," he said.

I watched him with wary eyes while he put his bag on the ground and unzipped it. He took a water bottle out and as he handed it to me, I saw a black ring on his index finger. I probably wouldn't have noticed it, except the face of the ring was as big as a quarter and it seemed to be some sort of polished stone. I took the bottle and assessed him as I unscrewed the lid. He didn't look scary, and unless he was lost too, he probably had a compass and could get me back to my car.

I took a drink and answered, "Scared?" I made a psssh noise. "No, I was just . . . startled. You could have been . . . a bear . . . or something." I mumbled the last part, realizing I probably sounded insane.

He raised his eyebrows like he was questioning how lucid I actually was. "You should have your reflexes checked, most people run when they think they're about to come face-to-face with a bear."

"I'm not most people," I said, "and running is not what the "How to Survive the Colorado Mountains" brochure tells you to do." I had grabbed the brochure while I was in line at the grocery store a few days ago. Unfortunately, the brochure didn't cover exceptionally hot guys who seemed to appear out of nowhere.

"And what does your brochure say to do when you come across a girl who thought she was about to have an encounter with a wild animal?" His eyes were sparkling in a way that was almost as playful as his voice.

I didn't know whether to flirt or glare. "Who's to say I'm not having one right now?"

He smiled, his eyes lighting up again. "I'm Alex." He stepped forward like he was about to shake my hand, but hesitated and pulled back.

I watched him for a few beats and then said, "I'm Evangeline. Thanks for the water by the way." I tossed the bottle back to him.

He caught it and as he put it in his pack he said, "So have you hiked before, Evie, or is this your first time?" He shortened my name , which most people did, but usually not until they got to know me better.

I folded my arms across my chest in a defiant gesture. "I started hiking when I was a kid. I bet I know more about the mountains than most of the people who hike up here."

"That's interesting." He pushed his eyebrows together and ran his tongue over the inside of his cheek as he assessed me, then continued, "So, if you were, say, ten feet from a cliff face with a two-hundred foot drop-off . . . that would be on purpose?" His eyes grew wide as he waited for my response.

I didn't give him the chance to see the worry register on my face and answered, "Is it ten feet away? I thought it was five." Crap, where was I?

The corners of his mouth twitched like he was trying to suppress a smile and failing. The attraction I'd had when I first saw him was quickly being undermined by his sarcasm. He was the definition of eye-candy—I just needed to get him to stop opening his mouth.

"And if I told you that you'd been walking in circles for the last three hours, would that also be on purpose?" he asked.

I scowled, but at the same time wondered how he knew that. "If someone knew I'd been walking in circles for three hours, I would say they're a stalker, and probably more dangerous than the bear I was waiting for."

He laughed and shook his head. "The ground around this area has been trampled; it looks like a circus came through here."

Hmm. He was perceptive, I'd give him that.

"For someone who knows more about this mountain than ninety-five percent of the people who hike it, you seem pretty lost," he said.

"There's a difference between being lost and exploring," I mumbled, not caring if I froze to death as long as it meant I didn't have to ask this guy for help. "I'll find my way back to the trail eventually."

"Huh," he said. "And when you do that, do you plan to roll down the cliff, or slide?"

"I'd rather slide, but rolling would get me to my car faster." I was not about to give in.

"Or to the hospital," he said. The concern lacing his tone seemed odd. Alex had just met me; why would he care if I went careening off a cliff?

"It wouldn't be the first time," I said.

Emotion flashed across his face, but before I could analyze it, he caught me staring and turned away as he said, "Well, I'm hiking down the mountain. Since we're already together, and one of us is lost, maybe the lost party should follow the person who actually knows where they're going, back to the parking lot."

Apparently, like every other hot guy on the planet, Alex had caught a particularly potent strain of arrogance. I gave him my best impression of a beauty queen smile. "Sure, Alex, if you want to follow me, I wouldn't mind. I understand how confusing these mountains can be."

"I'm the one with the compass, Evie, so I should probably lead."

I pushed my eyebrows together. "How do you know I don't have a compass?"

He paused and then answered, "Would you have wandered in circles for hours if you did?"

I stared, not wanting to admit he had a good argument. After a few seconds I said, "I usually hike alone you know." For some reason, I thought pointing that out would redeem me for getting lost.

"Then it's a good thing I found you. Maybe in the future you should reconsider your policy for doing things alone. Are you ready to go?"

I put my head up, shoulders back, and walked forward instead of answering. I purposely avoided looking at Alex's face, but out of the corner of my eye I noticed his mouth curve into a smug smile as I passed him. As much as I hated to admit it, I was glad I'd run into him. I really didn't know if I could have gotten off the mountain without his help.


I decided that since Alex was keeping me company while we hiked, I should try to be nice. "So when you aren't pretending to be a bear, Alex, what do you do?"

He paused and seemed to be choosing his words carefully. "I help an organization, kind of volunteer work," he replied. "What about you?"

"I just graduated from high school. I start school at Western State College in three months."

"Do you know what your major is going to be?"

I nodded. "Psychology." I looked back at him as we kept walking and asked, "Do you go to college?"

"I did. I already graduated."

Already graduated? I thought he was older than me, but not bachelor's degree old. "Oh, you look younger than that," I said, trying to sound offhand.

"I'm twenty-one."

I was confused. "So you graduated early?"

"I was in an accelerated program." He said it in a nonchalant way, like he was trying to impress me with his intelligence by not making a big deal out of it. The attitude annoyed me.

"That's nice," I said, trying to be polite. "So, you just volunteer places? You don't have a job?"

He drew his lips into a thin line and then said, "I don't really need one."

I narrowed my eyes. "What do you mean you don't need one? Don't tell me you're one of those trust-fund babies," I teased.

"Well," he paused, "obviously the baby part isn't accurate."

"Oh." It was as much of a response as I could come up with.. As aggravating as he was, Alex was still the most stunning guy I'd ever seen. We definitely had chemistry and for a millisecond, I'd hoped something might happen between the two of us. His financial revelation made that thought obsolete; I knew there was no way I would have a chance with him. Guys like Alex dated ridiculous six-foot tall super models with a waist the circumference of a DVD.

We walked along in silence for a while before Alex changed the subject.

"Why do you always hike alone? Where's your boyfriend?"

That was subtle, I scoffed to myself. "I'm not dating anyone. What about you? Couldn't your girlfriend come with you this week, or is she one of those girls who won't get dirt on their six-inch stilettos?" I asked, still picturing the Angelina Jolie look-alike he was surely dating. I had stood next to Angelina at Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum and I was pretty sure I was twice her size.

He smiled and I thought I heard him mumble something about being feisty before saying, "I'm not seeing anyone at the moment either."

"Well, it won't take you long to find someone, trust me." I stopped short, realizing what I'd said. I hadn't intended the sentence to make it out of my head and escape my mouth.

Alex stopped, turned, and locked eyes with me. Then he slowly moved forward until he was standing less than a foot away. "Do you know someone who might be interested?" His eyes grew dark and he was suddenly intimidating in a way that had nothing to do with fear.

I could feel my face turning various shades of crimson. I tried to cover for myself by turning away from him and then said, "I know a lot of girls who would be interested." Like every girl who has ever set eyes on you.

He walked around me until he could once again see my scarlet cheeks. His dark gaze roamed over me as he searched my expression. He then asked point-blank, "Are you one of them?"

That was direct. And what in the world would he want to know that for? He could literally have any girl he wanted, and probably had. This conversation was getting way too serious, way too fast for my comfort level. I felt my blushing face had already betrayed me, but I wasn't going to embarrass myself further by saying it out loud. Before I had to come up with a response, I noticed the Black Canyon parking lot and breathed a sigh of relief. "We're here! Thanks for keeping me company, Alex."

He frowned, annoyed that I hadn't answered his question, but he didn't say anything.

"Where did you park?" I asked.

He pointed to a bright blue Audi TTS convertible on the other side of the parking lot. Of course it was an Audi. It surprised me that it wasn't a Lamborghini.

"What about you?" he asked.

I looked over to where a group of guys were standing and pointed to the dark purple 1966 GT Mustang, two white stripes running along the bottom of the doors, and a matching white vinyl top with white leather seats. Some people like the scent of cookies and cakes baking; I love the smell of a V8 muscle car.

"Is the fan club yours?" he asked in a tone that seemed almost irritated.

I lifted a shoulder and tilted my head. "It comes with the car."

I pulled my keys from my pocket and Alex followed me to my Mustang.

"Hey," I said to the group of guys. There were six of them and I noticed they were all wearing long-sleeved dark grey fleece jackets like they were on some sort of team. They looked at me, the car, and back at me again, in shock.

"Nice car," a tall guy with auburn hair said.


"Is the engine a 289?"

I fought the urge to roll my eyes. I just loved when guys tried to test me, like I was driving a car I knew nothing about. "Most 1966 Mustang engines are."

"Standard?" he asked.

I was sure he'd already looked in the window and could tell what kind of transmission it had. "It's an automatic."

The auburn-haired guy watched while I unlocked the car door. "Did your dad or boyfriend let you borrow it?" he asked. The other boys snickered and waited for my answer.

I glared. I hated when people assumed the only way I could have a classic muscle car was if a man in my life had let me use it. I was done being nice. "I built it, but you probably don't understand something that complicated. I'm sure you have a difficult time figuring out the toothpaste cap." The rest of the boys started laughing.

The auburn-haired guy smiled, but the look of defeat I was hoping for didn't register on his face. "I'd like to see you sometime," he said. The invitation was so abrupt that I almost laughed.

I could see Alex standing a car length back. His jaw was held tight and he looked upset. There was no way he could actually be jealous—was there? I just met him! The guy noticed where my gaze was directed and saw Alex, then seemed to appraise him. Alex returned the look with a hard, confident glare.

I turned back to the guy. "Sorry, I don't date idiots.."

Instead of answering, the guy took a paper out of his pocket. Another boy with long, mousy blonde hair handed him a pen and I watched as he wrote. When he finished, he folded the note. "My number, and some information," he said, handing the paper to me.

I took the note and scowled at him in return, but he had shifted his focal point and fixed his eyes sharply on Alex. Alex ignored him.

He turned back to me. "Let me know if you change your mind," he said before he and his friends walked away.

I shook my head as they left, then ripped the paper up without looking at it and put the remaining scraps in my pocket.

I glanced up and saw Alex approaching. When he reached me, he leaned his back against the Mustang and folded his arms across his chest. "They certainly seemed interested in you," he said.

I rolled my eyes. "Whatever. You're a guy, Alex. You know they were only talking to me because they were hoping for the chance to drive my car. Believe me; I've had plenty of experience in this area. If guys could ask my car out instead of me, they would."

Alex gave me a long stare. "The fact that I'm a guy is exactly how I know that your car has little to do with their interest."

I blinked, slightly stunned. What in the world did he mean by that?

He interrupted my thought by asking, "You restored this?" He seemed impressed as his eyes traveled from the front to the back of my car.

"Not all of it. Some of the work was done by a body shop, but I did as much as I could. My dad helped." The restoration project was one of the only things my dad and I had ever bonded over.

Alex ran his hand over the white vinyl top. "You're definitely not the average girl."

I gave him a bold smile. "I pride myself on it."

He was thoughtful for a second. "Is there anything else I should know about you?"

I paused a moment, realizing this might be my opportunity to get to know him better. I decided to take a chance. "Come with me next weekend and find out."

He didn't hesitate as he answered, "Okay."

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