I used to play my father's obedient daughter, keeping my assassin training secret, my best friend safe, and fantasizing in secret about Lunar Davith Adurian, the scarred, smirky guy who was always nearby, pausing in a space of heat behind me, his breath near my hair while dusky blushes graced my skin.
Then the mutation leaves us writhing on the classroom floor, no breath, no scream. I stagger up along with the other students, dazed and disoriented. Feathers of vivid hues unfold from our shoulders and whisper over our skin. But our professor's wings swarm with spiders and my crazy takes over and-
I leave him dead on the sun-drenched floor.
Now on the run with Lunar, I wage an underground war against the Coalition, but inside, I'm coming apart. Lunar challenges my every step and gets too close to the heart I cannot lose. He antagonizes the rebellion I'm supposed to control while my father won't let me protect the best friend who saved me a million times. I make mistake after mistake, struggling to keep my heart and hold my course, to control my crazy and trust my beliefs, to hold myself, my life-
To hold anything at all when my hands are slippery with blood.
I'm only alive because of two things:
My fantasies about Lunar Davith Adurian.
And my best friend gave me a place where I never got hurt.
Now I've let the other side nearly destroy her.
I eavesdrop on her sorrow, listening to her partner's murmurs to her in the dark, and I have to tell her why I let them do this to her.
My name is Cascade Amity Andronica, and I'm a monster in the making with trauma in my heart. This is my story.