GABBY HOLLINGSWORTH discovers that she is half-human, half-angel and is the key to humanity’s survival. As the new world unveils itself, so does the danger she never knew existed. Trained to defend and to use her powers to protect, she faces her enemy with a vengeance.
Darien, Gabby’s watcher, a commander of legions, must intervene in order to save the girl he loves and train her for what’s to come. Crossing forbidden boundaries, torn between two worlds, will he risk everything for love?
Together, they fight many battles, facing one downfall after another. Will Gabby be able to defeat the forces and stop the world’s destruction? Or will the dark side win and reign forever? And is their love strong enough to keep them together?
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.83(d)|
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By Vicki Lats
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2017 Vicki Lats
All rights reserved.
The day was over, finally. Gabby worked on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and this happened to be a Friday, busy to say the least. She enjoyed the independence of having extra money and her own car. It paid the bills. Some days dragged on and on when it was slow, so it made her bored out of her mind and busy days like today flew by fast but they wore her out terribly. Tired is an understatement, so, yes, she was glad this day was over.
Gabby shuffled through her keys to find the one for the restaurant and shoved it into the lock impatiently. Getting into her car, she started the engine and turned the volume up to erase the day away. Her uniform smelled like food, not her favorite smell in world. She couldn't wait to get out of it and take a nice long shower. Oh crap, she remembered that she had forgotten to turn the security alarm on, Nice, and I was halfway home.
She made a U-turn and headed back. A slow song played on the radio, which reminded her of the break up again. She hated to think about Grayson and the way he cheated on her. Why can't I just get over him? He was a loser, now that she thought about it. The memory of her smashing her purse into his head when she caught him with another girl made her smile. At least I showed him, she smirked, thinking that next time she would know better than to trust a guy.
Frustrated with her thoughts, Gabby pushed a button to switch to something more her style, loud fast beat, something that would make her forget and just enjoy the music. Instead, a happy love song seared through her brain, which she started to hate. The lyrics brought up all the happy memories they had together. Irritated, she quickly pushed the button gain.
The road turned up ahead as Gabby turned with it she noticed the upcoming car flashing its headlights. As a warning. She didn't know what to make of it or what to do about it? She couldn't swerve, that would make her car go out of control. Now it appeared as a flying object, heading towards her as if she was the target. She gasped as the lights flashed before her eyes.
Her hands glued to the steering wheel spinning it sharply to the right. No use, the object aimed at her. In slow motion, she could see a semi truck driving straight at her, now only few feet away. She had no time to react, to save herself or do anything but scream. Her hands unglued themselves from the steering wheel and covered her face.
A loud screeching sound followed by the deafening crash of metal against the asphalt rang in her ears as the semi hit her car and flipped over to its side, sliding to the ditch as it scratched the roadway. Her car flipped over two times then landed somewhere in the distance with a forceful thump.
Somehow, Gabby couldn't feel anything, only hear the collision as a bystander from a distance. She thought that she escaped her body and experienced the collision from afar. That must've been it. She was out of her injured body, that's why she couldn't feel anything, she tried to rationalize. She felt her heart jerk out of her chest with uncontrollable quavering. Her body shook terribly now as the aftermath of the collision. What happened? With panic rising in her throat, she opened her eyes to see what's left of her.
It was dark. Really really dark. No moon light, no streetlights, nothing but pitch darkness surrounded her. What happened to the tunnel she was supposed to see? Gabby panicked. If she did die, that is. Did semi avoid hitting her car after all? She wondered. She knew her body would be in her car still, probably peeing in her pants by now. No, that couldn't be it. She heard the collision, felt the jolt. She tried to collect herself, fighting for air she so desperately needed.
In an instant a blinding white light surrounded her, which made her think that she really did die and that this was the tunnel. Oh, no, no, no. I was just kidding about the tunnel. I don't want to see it. No, this can't be happening. I can't die, not right now. I really want to live, please, please let me live. I don't want to die, she begged something, someone, anyone.
Bringing her hands close to her face Gabby had to make sure she was in one piece, checking her palms then the back of her hands, all clear, she sigh with relief. She realized that someone was holding her. She looked up at the source of the light now and held her breath.
Please don't let this be true, she pleaded again. A young man of twenty-two or so looked down at her with a concerned frown. The light radiated from him, inviting Gabby into it with its brilliance. Strange things started to happen to her, as if his presence reached down into her soul and awakened it, sending tingly sensations through her entire body, penetrating it with electrical current.
Gabby wanted to shake the feeling off, it made her feel uncomfortable. She wiggled her toes in the air. Her heart skipped a beat or two then accelerated as she tried to catch her breath. This was starting to freak her out a little bit, ok, a lot. She cleared her throat, but her whole body shut down, just by looking at this incredibly handsome man.
She needed to get away, make some space between herself and him so she could regain her senses, but the way he looked at her, through her, right into her soul. Gabby felt exposed all of a sudden. Pushing away with her hands on his chest, she stopped. He had a pull on her. Her fingers felt the hard muscles underneath his shirt. She stared at them.
Somehow, she got the feeling that she knew him maybe from another life or something. There was a familiar way he held her, as if it was natural for him to do so. Her body reacted to him as if it knew him, waited for him all its life without realizing. Without her consent, it became alive by his touch, wanting more than anything to be in his arms.
Gabby looked up into his eyes and saw admiration. His green eyes sparkled with golden specks at her. Her gaze stopped at his lips as he parted them to say something and then changed his mind, instead exhaling slowly.
Gabby could tell he was nervous, the vein on his neck was pulsating too fast. As she looked at his neck, she noticed how olive his complexion was. His hair fell to his shoulders with light curls, shining with violet highlights from the light that came from him. How does it do that? The light. His skin extracts it so naturally, as if it was no big deal to him. I bet he doesn't even know he glows.
Suddenly it occurred to her, he was there to help her cross over. She pushed away and started to run. Her legs felt heavy, she commended them to run, but it was no use, they just slowed her down from her desperate attempt to escape. Gabby stopped to face the darkness, terrified of what's ahead. She slowly walked backwards to where she came from. The ground she stood on wasn't exactly hard, more like plush clouds beneath her feet. Losing her balance, she waved her arms to catch onto something only to grasp the air instead.
He caught her, holding her by her shoulders gently. Of course she was thankful, glad not be alone in this place. Whatever it was. She steadied herself and regained her posture. The nervous feeling she felt earlier came back with an amplifying shock. She craved his nearness, needed it more than anything she had ever needed before. If she would be dying in the desert from dehydration and had a choice between taking a cold glass of water and being near him, she would probably choose him, for some unknown reason. This strange feeling of addiction she never felt before, drawing her close to him.
She should get a grip and pull away, she told herself. It was silly for her to want this stranger with such strong craving, not in a sexual way. She couldn't put her finger on it exactly. She could feel her lungs constrict, squeezing the air out of them. She closed her eyes to get a hold of herself and hoped that it was just the crash that made her feel so jittery.
His long fingers dug into her flesh. His hot breath caressed the skin behind her ear, sending goose bumps all over every time he exhaled. Gabby dragged herself away from his nearness and turned to face him.
He looked away and glided his hand through his thick black hair thoughtfully. Gabby waited, scanning his face. His jaw twitched, as he turned to look at her again.
"You were going to get hurt so I pulled you out," he said with a masculine voice.
"Why?" she demanded impatiently, shifting her weight.
"I can't tell you that right now ..." he paused, tormenting her with the time he took to answer. "I'm glad you're ok." Clearing his throat, he wrapped his right hand around a handle of his sword, which hung from his belt.
A sword? Wait, what? Why would he need that? Gabby wondered, having a feeling he wouldn't tell her if she asked.
"So I'm not dead?" she asked as she watched him closely.
"No ... you're not dead," he answered softly.
Gabby sighed, laid a hand on her chest then turned to look around. "So what is this place?"
"The West Relicta Terra, the abandoned ground ... you don't belong here ... it's time to go back," he replied calmly.
Wait, no. I guess that's a good thing, right? But I don't want to go back, not yet. "Tell me about this abandoned ground, West Relicta whatever." Gabby walked around him to see the whole picture. "Where is this place?" she asked, looking at the darkness now.
"It's complicated," he began to explain with a frown.
She turned to face him with determination. They stood inches away from each other once again. He burned her flesh with his nearness, raising tiny hairs on her body from the heat she now felt. Slowly, he raised his arms and placed them on her shoulders then ran them down her arms.
An icy mist spread through her body merging with the heat that overwhelmed her earlier, sending chills to her core. This was such an unknown feeling to her that it startled her. Gabby wanted this stranger, needed him with all her existence and craved his touch unlike any other. Somehow, he overtook her common sense with his magical power and drew her to him. She couldn't fight it. His hold was so strong yet inviting and pleasant that it was irresistible.
"It doesn't have to be. Just tell me what's going on," she whispered, struggling for air.
"This is the resting ground for the souls who are questionable," he said, his expression softening. "Of course you're not one of them, that's why we have to go now." He looked into her eyes sending a warning message.
Gabby could tell he was struggling to breathe, his chest moved rapidly up and down. Did she have some power over him as well perhaps? Couldn't be. She shifted her weight nervously, her legs refused to move. She needed to catch her balance, so she reached out for his broad chest and held on.
"You weren't supposed to see me. I was trying to avoid a disaster ... not this," he said gazing at her lips then moved closer to her face only to linger over it with his, teasing her skin with his hot breath.
Gabby closed her eyes and wanted to explode. Her body swelled with excitement and the rush of butterflies in the pit of her stomach. She bit her lip trying to control the jitters. Snap out of it, she yelled at herself, but it didn't seem to help. Come on, she yelled again. She felt his touch again as he cupped her face with his hands and ran his fingers through her thick hair. His lips pressed against hers lightly. The consequence of it jolted her every fiber to awakening, never to be satisfied again.
Gabby opened her eyes. They burned with razor-sharp pain. She closed them again to ease the discomfort. She could hear sirens in the distance as she lay on the hard surface of the ambulance bed. The lights and the noises send penetrating headache through her brain. She didn't know what happened that caused everything to change. She opened her eyes slowly to look around and figure out what it was all about.
She went from a wonderful dream to a nightmare within seconds. One of the paramedics who sat next to her injected something into her arm. Gabby hated needles, despised them completely, but she made an exception just this time because everything started to hurt all of a sudden. She was thankful that the medication started to work after few minutes, making her very sleepy. She closed her heavy eyelids to fall into deep sleep, hoping that when she wakes up this would all go away.
Darien stood still, watching the perimeters, waiting for the enemy to appear. He moved his stiff muscles and relaxed a little, thinking about what just happened. He was her watcher. What was he thinking? In flesh, she seemed so fragile and much more beautiful than from afar. Much more innocent. For years, he kept his distance, mesmerized by her elegance and grace. She grew more beautiful every day, as he watched her, protecting her.
He knew that someday she would transform into a beautiful young woman that she was today, not realizing the fibers of attraction had been settling deep in his heart, slowly kneading their web around it. Until today. Today he put himself on the line by revealing himself. Even though he knew she wouldn't remember anything, he would. Somehow, he felt a special connection with her, not anything ordinary or occasional. No, there was something else. Why did he show himself? He asked himself over and over. The answers didn't come easily. For now the mystery would remain.
On the lines of the horizon, clouds formed in a suffocating blanket of black monstrosity, which enwrapped all the obstacles standing in its way. Darien knew what that meant, pushing the thought aside, he adjusted his sword.
"He's not coming, you've interrupted his plan," a deep voice lingered from behind. Michael, Darien's partner and a long time friend, came closer and stood beside him. Darien's muscles twitched from the apprehension.
"I know, but it was a close one, he came out of nowhere. That sneaky bastard. We have to gather forces, next time he will use other tactics to harm her and we might not be prepared." Darien turned to look at Michael and placed his hand on his shoulder.
"Darien ... you have to be careful." Michael shot a warning to his friend and returned the gesture. They both turned to scan the area.
They were as different as night and day, one with raven hair and emerald green eyes and the other with blond wavy locks and light gray kind eyes. They were the same height and masculinity as well as position. Both led many legions. Their friendship grew way before they stepped into leadership positions, before the war broke out, before this whole thing began. Together, they witnessed many of hardships, fought many of battles and saved many of humans.
"It's nothing, don't worry about it," Darien replied. "I did what I had to do."
Michael wasn't ignorant, he saw from afar that Darien was about to do something he would later regret. Intervening was the only way to stop his friend from making the biggest mistake of his career. He had to do something, so clearly sending Gabby back was his only choice.
Michael understood what Darien was going through. He had the responsibility of watching over Gabby's mother, Melissa. She was just as beautiful as her daughter was. He laid his feelings aside instead, being the next up for promotion to work directly with the boss. It was extremely hard watching the woman he loved go through life's ups and downs without being able to be there as a strong shoulder for her to lean on. The respect he had for his Lord was beyond anything he felt, but maybe Darien was onto something none on them understood or experienced before. Otherwise, why would he open himself up for failure and disgrace?
Michael turned to Darien and added, "Just be careful, alright?"
Laughing hoarsely, Darien shifted his weight. "Come on friend, you're making too much out of nothing," he replied drily, trying to avoid the subject, knowing that he was lying to both of them.
He didn't know what possessed him to want to kiss Gabby. He was infected with her chemistry the minute he touched her. As if it was a deadly virus, spreading through him with its intensity, engulfing any rational thought that was in its way. There was no antidote or cure for him now. It was something he couldn't resist or understand. It was too late, he knew.
He always thought of humans as weak fools who knew nothing about controlling their emotions. He was infuriated when they gave up their freedom to follow their feelings, but now he had a glimpse of how strong those feelings were. He was the fool. Laughing at himself, he made a mental note to self to evaluate the past events closely.
Maybe he would figure out how to put this crazy idea out of his head. Somehow, he knew that this was just the beginning of something he wouldn't be able to avoid. It nagged at him with demanding alarm. He had to stay away, save himself now, before it was too late. Darien was about to return to Gabby's side when a dark, bone-chilling feeling came over him. He knew that feeling too well. Danger was amidst. In a swift powerful stroke, he turned and disappeared.
Excerpted from Morning Sun by Vicki Lats. Copyright © 2017 Vicki Lats. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
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