Today’s letter is G and there are TWO giveaways happening on the blog, a giveaway for the New Adult romance A Late Thaw as well as the one below…
This is a short novella (approximately 25,000 words) and is intended to be read after The Tragedy of Knowledge. It takes place after the events of The Resistance Trilogy.
For Gavin and Camille, the Amaranthian war is over. But they’ve evolved since then, and so has the realm they’ve come to know as home. Now comfortable and happy in their new life, they soon discover that something groundbreaking is brewing, threatening to disrupt the peace they’ve worked so hard to secure. And whether they’re prepared or not, it’s about to be unearthed.
“Tomb?” I gulped, glancing around. “Gav…”
“This isn’t just a secret passage,” he said, looking up to study the ceiling. “It’s a grave.”
“What kind of grave?” I slowly rose to my feet, crossing my arms over my chest. A cold, slithering chill crept down my spine, and I could have sworn I felt the temperature drop. “I’m ready to get out of here, now.”
“Wait, baby, we need to do what the Book of the Ancients says. Isn’t that how this stuff works?”
“That was before. We’re not frozen souls anymore, Gav. Gérard’s positively gone. There are no witches trying to help us destroy the curse. Whatever this is, it’s not the same. I can feel it…something’s off.”
“We can’t defend ourselves like we used to,” Gavin said quietly, his gaze roaming the floor. “If this is some kind of threat, we’re at its mercy. We have to know what to tell these people when we leave this passage.”
“Tomb,” I corrected him, feeling another chill skate over my spine. “We’ll figure out what to say when we get home. I don’t care. I’m getting out of here. I don’t want to know…whatever’s in that box, I just don’t want to know, okay?”
“Cam,” Gavin stepped in front of me, taking my face in his hands, “we can’t just walk away from this, you know that, love.”
“No.” The word came out hard and cold. A stern plea. “The second we do what that book tells us, there’s no turning back. I’m not ready.” I squeezed my eyes shut and shook my head. “Everything’s been so good…so, so good here. Let’s walk away from this, please.”
“You know that’s not an option. Open your eyes, Cam. Look at me.”
My head rolled forward in defeat and I bit down on my lip. I slowly let my eyes flutter open, knowing exactly what I was going to find on Gavin’s face when I did.
That soft, imploring expression of his, mixed with a trace of unwavering determination.
“I know the place you come from, remember?” he whispered, tucking my hair behind my ear. “Before me. Before Amaranth. Before him, even.”
My lips parted at his words. We hadn’t spoken about Andrew in years. I hadn’t brought him up. Not once. I had no need to.
“Always waiting for the ball to drop, waiting for the rug to be pulled out right from underneath your feet. That comes with trauma, Cam. With heartbreak. Just when things begin to feel peaceful…you think everything’s going to be stolen from you. I know you, remember?” He placed his hand over my heart, breathing deeply. “You’re the same girl you were when I picked you up for our first date—remember that?” He smiled fondly.
“You were so beautiful, wearing your grey Chucks and that sexy black top. At first, you hated dancing. But you let me drag you all over Café Des Amis, let me dip you and spin you around and then you were laughing…so vibrant and strong. You’re that same girl now. The one who quoted O’Connor and Maupassant. The one who loved my chicken parmesan and who fought to the death when our friends needed us. You’re that same girl right now, only you’re even stronger. You’re the mother of our child. No matter what happens when we do what that book says, no matter what’s going on here, you still have the strength you need to follow through, because that strength never disappeared. And you know me, too. You know I keep my word and that wherever this leads us, we’re in this together. So, it’s okay to be afraid of losing what we’ve worked so hard for, here. But know that you can handle this, and that you’re never alone, okay? Never.”
“Shit,” I murmured, my gaze falling to the Book of the Ancients. “Why do you have to be right?”
Gavin laughed softly and let his hand fall from my face. I marched forward, back toward the stone case, bracing my fingers on its cool, heavy edge. “Okay, then. Let’s get this over with.”
He nodded swiftly and moved to join me, giving the coffin lid a strong push.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when we opened this thing, but given the circumstances, it couldn’t be pleasant.
“What…the…hell?” I groaned through gritted teeth, throwing every ounce of my human strength into pushing the damn lid. “This thing isn’t going anywhere!”
“Keep trying. Harder.” Gavin bent his knees and shoved mightily, working to slide the stubborn slab of stone to the left.
“Ahh! I give up.” I dropped my hands at my sides, completely out of breath.
“It’s times like this I wish we had our frozen soul strength again.”
“Was I always this physically weak as a human?”
“Pretty much.” He shrugged, falling back against the wall with a labored sigh.
“Please, don’t try to spare my feelings or anything.”
A little chuckle slipped out between pants for breath, and Gavin shoved his hands deep into his pockets. “Well, the book gave us plenty of light and pointed us to this coffin. This doesn’t make any sense.”
I was about to agree, but a low, heavy rumble and the sound of stone grinding against stone stole my breath, calling my attention to the coffin’s lid. “Gav, it’s moving.”
Gavin pushed himself off the wall and hesitantly moved forward, taking my hand and aligning me to the left, just behind him. “Dagger,” he whispered.
My hand slid under my dress to the leather strap that held one of our old silver daggers, the same ones we fought with during our battles as frozen souls. We didn’t have the luxury of super human strength anymore, but we still knew how to fight in combat, and these simple weapons would have to suffice.
Gavin grabbed his knife, too, and we readied ourselves for whatever was about to greet us.
About the Author
Rachael Wade writes edgy New Adult and Adult romance and science fiction. She is the author of the Amazon bestselling PRESERVATION SERIES, THE REPLACEMENT, and LOVE AND RELATIVITY, as well as the paranormal romance series THE RESISTANCE TRILOGY. When she’s not writing, she’s busy going to concerts, watching too many movies, and learning how to protect animals and the environment. She’s an avid Brandi Carlile fan and loves all things Tim Burton. Visit her at RachaelWade.com and LightsOnLove.com, and come chat with her on Twitter @RachaelWade.