Authors: Lynnie Purcell
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The Seekers: Book 2 of the Watchers
Copyright 2011 Lynnie Purcell
Smashwords Edition, License Notes
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or
given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please
purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not
purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to
Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of
One month – to most, a month meant little beyond the time separating them from one end of the month to the other. To me, it was the difference between the life I had known and the life I was starting to live. It was all that divided me from being aware of the dangerous world I was part of, and actually feeling first-hand the dangerous world I lived in. A month had passed since I had killed to protect Daniel and my family; a month had passed since I had learned my blood was special and could turn people into a demon called a Nightstalker. It was all that separated me from the knowledge that I was hunted; that I was different in ways that made me even more
hunted than your typical human/angel hybrid known as a Watcher.
My blood pounded now. It coursed through my veins, filling my ears with the sound of its
pulsing beat. Sweat poured down my face and back in conjunction with the all-encompassing
beat, as my feet created a steady rhythm on the hard ground. I increased my pace, loving the way the beating of my heart erased all thought and the fleeting freedom of my run. The summer sun stretched high in the sky as I raced towards it, the morning dawning fast with the brightness of the season. I lowered my head and increased my pace even more, trying to catch up to the sun, knowing it was impossible. When I ran, I felt in control of my life, pro-active; not like I was waiting around for the unknown to catch up to me. There was a profound freedom in the act. My feet were tools of change, of forward motion, that could not be stopped. It was the only form of running I allowed myself anymore.
I was so intent on the feeling of my feet on the pavement, and the heat on my skin, that I didn’t notice I was being followed. I should have noticed. It should have been the first thing that registered to my senses. I had become paranoid over my month of waiting; it was hard not to.
When two ridiculously evil Seekers try to kill you, and a Sheriff of the sleepy community you live in, tries to get your blood to start a ‘new dawn’ for humankind, it puts you on edge. Still, it wasn’t until I crested the hill of my high school that I recognized the threat. Even though the normally quiet streets were full of tourists flocking to the tiny hamlet of King’s Cross to partake in the outdoor recreation scene and the nostalgia of a simpler way of living, there was no excuse for not noticing.
A hand touched my shoulder at the top of the hill, startling me. “You’re dead.”
I spun around at the touch, my heart pounding harder from the fear. Daniel, his green eyes sparkling in the sun, his black hair messy, stopped running as well. He was wearing jogging clothes and, from the sweat on his face, appeared to have been following me for a while.
“I feel awfully alive to be dead,” I said, trying to hide my fear.
“If I were a Seeker, you’d be dead,” he corrected.
“But you’re not, so I’m not.”
“I thought you were going to tell me when you go on runs,” he said.
“And I didn’t think I needed a babysitter.”
“I’m not trying to babysit you. I’m trying to keep you alive,” he said.
I put my hands on my hips. “I know you are,” I said in contrast to my combative stance.
“Then why do you keep going on runs without telling me?”
“Because I’m sixteen,” I said.
“That’s no excuse. Especially for you,” he said.
The truth was I never planned my runs. When the dark thoughts of guilt and fear started to get too overwhelming, I ran. Sometimes I ran twice a day; sometimes I didn’t run at all.
“I sound ridiculous, don’t I?” Daniel asked over the excuse I was forming. He could probably sense my reason. His eyes told me he did. He had been there – he had killed. He had taken lives he regretted and knew that the ways we dealt with those consequences didn’t always make the most sense.
“You’re worried,” I said. “I am, too.”
He shrugged one of his shoulders in a question. I wasn’t sure what he was really questioning.
“Are you finished?”
“Nope…I’ll race you to Robbie’s Grocery,” I said.
“That’s three miles.”
“You tired or something?” I asked him.
Daniel’s competitive smirk erased the tension between us. He took off down the street without warning, and I raced on his heels, trying to catch up. As we ran, the thoughts I’d been hearing – a gift I’d had for a while now, because of the curse of my existence – faded into silence. I knew Daniel was protecting me from the masses. Normally, I would have complained, wanting to
block out the thoughts myself, but I was eager for the silence today. It was very much needed after the lonely night I had spent in worry. Daniel’s long legs ate up the hilly streets with unrelenting grace as I chased after him.
The last quarter mile I put on an extra spurt of speed to try and pass him, but he kept moving in front of me, blocking my attempts. I kept trying to shove him, to make him trip, but he just danced out of the way of my attempts, maintaining his lead. He won, but only by a little.
“Not bad,” he said as we stopped.
“I lost,” I panted.
“Yes, you did” he said happily.
I made a face and tried to catch my breath. He was breathing heavier than normal but nowhere near my level of panting. It was another gift Watchers had…the gift of extended lung capacity –
a gift I had yet to inherit. We started walking to my house, the hot sun pounding into my skin.
Daniel’s presence took away some of the dark thoughts away, more than the run, though I was suspicious of his appearance.
“I didn’t think I was going to see you today,” I said. “I thought you were helping Beatrice with a mystery errand.”
“I wanted to see you,” he said.
“Uh-huh…” I said.
“I did!” he protested.
“I’m sure it was just coincidence that you showed up right when I was going on my run…and
that you were prepared for that run.” I gestured at his exercise clothes.
“I’m sticking to my story,” he said.
“Of course you are. Has Beatrice and Han figured out anything?”
They had been testing my blood to figure out how I could do the things I could do. So far, all they had determined was I had the same blood type as Ellen.
“No.” He stepped in front of me. I stopped walking and met his eyes. “Do you want to go on a date with me tonight?” he asked.
“That’s when two people partake in an activity together, which is generally considered ‘fun’,” he said.
“So, when you and Jackson do something together that you have ‘fun’ doing, you’re actually on a date?” I asked.
“Maybe my definition needs work,” he admitted ruefully.
“Definitely,” I said.
“A date sounds great,” I said.
“What do you want to do?”
“We could go see a movie…something with gratuitous violence, ridiculous scripting, and bad acting, so I can laugh.”
“Philistine,” he accused me.
“No, I’m American.”
He laughed. “A movie it is, then.” He stepped out of my way, and we started walking again.
The sidewalk took us back through the small downtown of King’s Cross and away from the
farmland Robbie’s Grocery was surrounded by. We passed the high school again and the many
quaint shops aimed at tourists. As I passed an antique store, I saw a small flyer hanging in the window and stopped walking. The sick feeling in my stomach was instantaneous.
“What’s the matter?” Daniel asked, also stopping.
I pointed at the flyer. On the front was Sheriff Cobb’s face. He was holding his granddaughter and looking at the camera with a smile. His brown eyes, eyes that had looked at me in my
darkest moment, were full of purpose. There was a phone number and the words: Missing. Please call with any information.
I knew exactly what had happened to him: he had tried to kill Daniel, and I had killed him in response. We had burned his body along with the Seekers he had under his control. But I
couldn’t call that number and let Cobb’s family know the truth. It would just get me locked up in a padded room. His family didn’t deserve the questions, though. It was unfair that they had to spend the rest of their days wondering about someone they loved. It was also a reminder of my month spent thinking about the people I had killed. All I wanted to do was find the nearest phone and call the number on the flyer. I wanted to tell them the truth, to get the feeling of guilt off my chest. Contrarily, the thought made me feel sick to the stomach. Daniel touched me on my
shoulder, his touch telling me there was nothing I could do. I sighed and turned away from the flyer. He was right. There was nothing either of us could do to change the past. The past was done.
“What did you help Beatrice with?” I asked to clear the thoughts of Cobb from my mind.
“An experiment,” he said.
Vague. Simple. Beautifully obscure. A lie.
“What kind of experiment?” I asked.
Daniel looked out at the street and his eyebrows narrowed in thought. He didn’t answer.
“It didn’t have anything to do with proving I’m right about water being bulletproof?” I joked lightly to get him talking.
He fixed his expression by smiling slightly. “Nope.”
I was well aware he was keeping something from me. The lie bothered me, but I wasn’t in the mood for arguing. I would press him when I wasn’t drenched in sweat, tired from a night on my window seat fighting sleep, so I wouldn’t have the usual nightmares, and, of course, when I wasn’t fighting the guilt from that damned flyer. We kept walking, our unspoken words slowly filling the space between us.
The narrow streets near my house were filled with sounds. Lawnmowers threw grass in the air as people wandered around their yards pruning hedges and watering rose bushes, searching for
something to do on a muggy Saturday. Kids ran around in their yards and raced past us on their bicycles. My house remained unchanged, and unchangeable, as it sat at the end of its dead-end road. It was lofty and large against the more common looking houses surrounding it. Daniel’s black Audi was parked behind Ellen’s station wagon. Two motorcycles, which belonged to
Jackson and Margaret, were in our driveway. The day was peaceful and perfect; the community was in full sleepy mode. It was something I would have never thought I could enjoy before
moving to King’s Cross.
Enjoying the sights of the bright flowers and cozy atmosphere, I walked across my short lawn, Daniel trailing after me in thoughtful silence. In the foyer, I was greeted by something more alarming than my guilty thoughts. I stopped walking and stared in confusion…and slight fear that one of the people I loved most in the world had lost her mind.
Ellen was in the middle of the living room standing on her head. She had her eyes closed as her feet reached for the ceiling. Every couple of seconds she would let out a loud breath, followed by, “Ohmmmmm!” In the background, strange music, full of birds and flutes, accompanied her chant.
“What on earth are you doing?” I asked her as Daniel shut the door behind us.
Her eyes popped open and her body wobbled. With a squeak, she toppled to her right and hit the floor. The whole house rattled with her fall.