Chasing Shadows (A Shadow Chronicles Novel) (45 page)

BOOK: Chasing Shadows (A Shadow Chronicles Novel)
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Other works by Christina Moore
:

 

 

The Beauty in the Black Room

(Available in the
Darkest Desires
anthology by Hot Ink Press)

 

 

*****

 

 

Now, turn the page for an excerpt from the second novel in the Shadow Chronicles,
From the Shadows
, available soon from Black Room Press.

 

 

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Prologue

 

 

“Are you absolutely certain this is what you want to do?”

Though I continued to look straight ahead, I nonetheless offered the man next to me a weak smile. “I see no reason not to,” I said after a moment’s contemplation.

My companion scoffed. “Well I can think of several,” he replied tartly, his Irish accent thickening with each word. “
Do
your Mum and Dad, or the names Mark and Saphrona, ring a bloody bell?”

It was the same argument he’d given me three days ago when I’d first come to him with my plan. “What, not adding your name to the list this time?” I
countered,
pointing out that he’d left his own off the list when he typically added it after Saphrona’s.

“Far be it for me to state the obvious,” he snapped.

I sighed, turning my head to take in his angry, hurt-filled gaze at last. “Lochlan, we’ve been over this. I need to go. I need to get away from it all for a while. I need time and space to clear my head.”

“Running away is not the answer, Juliette.”

“I’m not running away. I’m…taking a sabbatical.”

Lochlan made a sound that sounded very much like a growl low in his throat. “Why the hell did you ask me for help, hmm?” he queried. “I thought you didn’t like me.”

I shook my head and reached for the door handle. “That’s what you get for thinking,” I replied softly, pulling the handle and pushing the door open to climb out. Before I’d even stood straight, my vampire driver was out from behind the wheel and blocking my way. With a sigh, I looked up slowly to face him.

“Look, we’ve been over this, too,” I began. “I asked you to drive me because I knew there was no way in hell anyone else would, and because I knew that while you’d do your best to talk me out of it, you wouldn’t actually stop me from going.”

Lochlan leaned closer, and I could feel his breath on my face, could see it misting in the cool air of the early-October morning. “What makes you so sure?” he pressed.

“Because you’ve done it before,” I said. “You didn’t stop Saphrona from leaving when she needed to get away.”

For a moment Lochlan simply stared at me. Abruptly he turned and paced away, only to once again turn sharply and come marching back. He lifted a hand and pointed his finger in my face.

“You know something, my fair
Juliette,
I really hate it when you are right.”

Before I could formulate a response—I was too tired to be snarky—Lochlan had moved away and opened the rear passenger door of his Cadillac Escalade to retrieve my duffel bags. After he had shut the door I moved to shut mine, and we walked together in silence into the bus station. I wasn’t exactly looking forward to spending hours on a cramped bus, so I was hoping that coming here in the wee hours of the morning would net me a couple of seats next to each other, allowing me to stretch my legs out.

“You figured out where you’re going yet?” he asked as we neared the ticket
counter.

I nodded. “I have an idea. And before you ask, no I’m not going to tell you. I’ll let everyone know where I am when I get there.”

“Your family will be worried sick about you—you do realize that, don’t you?” Lochlan told me as I stopped by an empty chair in the waiting area.

I sighed and pointedly reached for the bags he had carried in for me. Lochlan hesitated for a moment then set them down on the floor, grasping my outstretched hands in his own before I had a chance to draw them away. I stiffened even though I instinctively knew he would never hurt me. But the trauma I had recently suffered had me wary of pretty much everyone, especially vampires.

Lochlan tightened his grip so I couldn’t pull away. “Juliette…” he began, and then stopped himself. With a sigh of his own, he gave my hands a gentler squeeze and let them go. “Please take care of yourself, wherever you go. I want my favorite verbal jousting partner back, and soon.”

His remark caused fleeting memories, pleasant ones, to flit across my mind, and so I offered him another weak smile. “You’ll get her back as soon as I figure out how to put her back together again,” I said.

A look of pain came to his handsome features. Lochlan was quick to dismiss it, but not quick enough—I’d already seen it. Truly sorry to be hurting him, I rose up on my toes and lightly kissed his cheek.

“Thank you for bringing here,” I said as I settled on my feet again. “You should go on home now.”

Lochlan frowned. “You don’t want me to stay with you until your bus leaves?” he asked.

“Thank you, but no. It’ll be easier to think without you brooding next to me,” I said lightly, hoping to get at least a hint of a smile from him. I hadn’t actually told him this, but despite the animosity under which we’d first met—what with his being a vampire and my being a shapeshifter—I honestly considered Lochlan to be one of my closest friends.

I freely admitted that was due in no small part to the fact that he’d ripped my rapists’ heads off with his bare hands.

Only one corner of his mouth turned up at my words, but I considered that a victory, as Lochlan had not smiled once since I’d come to him with my plan to get away from home for a while. At first he’d tried his hardest to talk me out of leaving, assuring me that my family and friends would help me deal with the trauma of being beaten, tortured, and raped. But I’d persisted, because after just one week all the love and concern was beginning to stifle me, and I didn’t like the feeling that I couldn’t breathe. So Lochlan had, for the most part, given up trying to convince me to stay; he’d helped me by keeping my secret and providing transportation this far, though whenever the subject came up, he always threw in a “You can always change your mind.”

I hadn’t changed it yet. I wasn’t going to.

“Alright, I’ll go,” he said at last. “But I expect a phone call the moment you get there—before the bus stops at the terminal, even.”

I nodded. “I’ll do that.”

Lochlan took one more last, longing look at me, bent and kissed my cheek, then turned and walked away. I watched him go, my eyes following him until he passed through the doors and back out into the nighttime air, before I bent and grabbed the handles of my bags, then headed over to the ticket counter.

You’re such a liar, Juliette
, my subconscious taunted me.
You’re not going to call him. You’re not going to call any of them
.

Stubbornly I pushed the thoughts aside as I stepped in line behind an elderly man with a ratty suitcase. I didn’t really want to think about how much my subconscious was right.

 

 

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About the Author

 

 

Christina Moore has been an Ohio resident all her life. Though she enjoys the rural community of her home in London, she admittedly longs to one day reside in a more temperate climate, as she is not a fan of cold weather! But still being a home-state lover, she very much enjoys books, TV shows, and movies that take place in Ohio, as will some of her own books. Her favorite genres to read are all the romances, mysteries, thrillers, coming of age, and even some westerns and horror stories. She is the author of a number of fan fiction stories for
Star Trek, Harry Potter, Smallville
and
Twilight
. Professionally, she has started out in paranormal romance, but has plans for contemporary romance and mysteries. Her favorite past times are reading and writing, but she also very much enjoys having a good time, spending time with family and friends, and being a "hu-m
om" to her dogs Mojo, Daisy,
Kipnuk
, and Skaya
.

 

 

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Connect with Christina
!

 

Please visit me on my blog at:
http://diaryofanindieauthor.blogspot.com/

 

Or my Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/ChristinaMoore.Author

 

Or on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/Writergirl79

 

 

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BOOK: Chasing Shadows (A Shadow Chronicles Novel)
6.21Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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