Friday, October 25, 2013

Shifting Fate Teaser


Huge SPOILER ALERT here. Below is a brief teaser for Shifting Fate, the soon to be released second book of the Descendants Series. This scene takes place immediately after Bound by Prophecy, so it pretty much ruins the ending if you haven't read book one. For those of you who have, read on ...


It was my birthday. I was eighteen years old, lying in a hospital bed at the Division, waiting to find out who had died. This was the life of a prophet.
This was my life.
“Brianna,” Brendan said the moment he came through the door, and I was so relieved to hear something other than the steady beep, beep, beep of the monitors, I actually smiled.
It was the wrong thing to do.
Brendan took my hand as he sat on the stool beside my bed. It was too awkward to pull away, too uncomfortable to let it pass. I tried to sit up, but he protested, instead rising to adjust the head of the bed a few inches higher. When he settled back onto the stool, my hands were resting in my lap. He took one anyway.
“Brianna,” he repeated, and he was so utterly relieved that I felt a pang of guilt at wanting to deny him. I liked Brendan. I did.
I swallowed hard, forcing the thought away. “Who is hurt? Is there anyone I can help?”
Brendan shook his head. “No. No more of that. You need to recover, Brianna.”
“I’m fine.” I stared him down. “They said I was fine.”
He smiled. “They aren't lying to you.” His eyes fell to my side, where the white cotton blankets covered the hours-old wound. “The cut was clean, and somehow, Aern managed to miss anything important.”
His eyes came back to mine. The blades had been my request. I had chosen them specially, and Brendan had gone out of his way to bring them in time. For my sister. The Chosen.
I did pull away then, because I could not share the prophecy. It was all too fresh.
Brendan leaned back, his hands falling to the legs of his black slacks. I got a good look at him then, his button shirt rolled at the sleeves, wrinkled and smudged. He was not himself yet. He’d had no sleep.
“How many were lost?” I whispered.
He took a deep breath. “Too many. Far too many.”
“I’m sorry,” I said. “I wish I could have done better.”
His jaw clenched. “Don’t. Don’t take this on yourself, Brianna. Everyone knows it was my order. I made the call.”
I closed my eyes. “I’m sorry.”
The sound of a throat clearing came from the doorway, and I opened my eyes to see my sister, fingers laced tightly into Aern’s.
“Emily,” I said, grateful to see her well. Safe.
Brendan stood, drumming the tips of his fingers against his leg, and gestured toward the others. “I’ll let you…”
As he passed them on his way out, Emily wagged her brows at me. But I had to look away, because I hadn’t told her about the man in my visions. The man who wasn't Brendan.
And then guilt struck again, because it was one more secret I was keeping from her.
“How are you?” she asked as they reached my bedside.
“Fine,” I answered, smiling until my gaze trailed to Aern. He stood beside her, face so distorted with remorse and shame and absolute regret that I couldn't help but feel sorry for him. When he opened his mouth to speak, I raised a hand to stop him. “No, Aern. Don’t even say it.”
He uttered the first syllable and I said, “Stop.”
Emily’s lip twitched and her eyes fell to their hands, both white-knuckled with his grip on her.
“Brianna,” he growled, “Please let me—”
I cut him off. “No. I won’t let you apologize for something that wasn't your fault.”
We all knew how the sway worked, and there was no question he’d done everything he could to subvert Morgan’s order, to save me by not going for the kill. By missing every vital organ.
But that didn't stop the torture of guilt. I stared straight into his beautiful, grief-stricken eyes. It hadn't just been me. Aern had lost so many of his men. His friends. His family.
An apology of my own almost came out, but I held it back. Pushed it into the pit of my stomach where all of the other guilt lay so heavily, and said, “It was the only way.”

***

I hope you enjoyed it! Watch for the cover art reveal and release info in the coming weeks :)



6 comments:

  1. BOOKWORMBRIDGETTE LOVES YOU AND ADORES AERN!!! :-P

    ReplyDelete
  2. BOOKWORMBRIDGETTE LOVES YOU AND ADORES AERN!!!

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  3. BOOKWORMBRIDGETTE LOVES YOU AND ADORES AERN

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  4. BOOKWORMBRIDGETTE LOVES YOU AND ADORES AERN!!!”

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  5. BOOWORMBRIDGETTE SAYS YOU RAWK!! :)

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  6. BOOWORMBRIDGETTE SAYS YOU RAWK!!

    ReplyDelete