Authors: Scarlett Dawn
The second saga in the bestselling, groundbreaking Forever Evermore series begins with
where the life of a skilled lawbreaker becomes much more than she ever wanted...
Caroline Jules knows death is imminent. She’s only 22, but as an inmate of Death Row in the most secure Mystical jail, what else could her future hold?
Caro has no idea. Her solitary, transient
life is about to get flipped on its head when it is revealed that she is the new Prodigy Elemental, and she has responsibilities and ties that she can’t ever escape. Caro is attempting to run from a brutal past, but the Rulers have other plans for this thief’s future.
But the transition from a self-contained existence to life with the other Prodigies, the Kings and Queens, and even the Elders
was never going to be easy, and Caro has secrets she’s loath to share. Suddenly she has friends, mentors, lovers — and they all want to know more about her than she is willing to reveal.
Will Caro ever escape the darkness of all she is, or will she fall deeper into the life that has been chosen for her?
Scarlett Dawn is the author of the Forever Evermore new adult fantasy series, which includes
She lives in the Midwest of the United States, where she loves to ‘people watch’ and daydream. She adores her music loud and her fries covered in cheese.
Thank you to my family who are always there to listen to my crazy ideas for a new written world. You are my best cheerleaders, and I couldn’t ask for a more supportive family. Much love all around.
Thank you to my managing editor, Kate Cuthbert. You rock hard, and your understanding of an author’s reality is crucial. I’m very blessed to have you.
Thank you to my ball-crushing
agent, Laura Bradford. You’re hard as rocks on the outside, and just as formidable on the inside. I need that. We fit.
Thank you to my constant and steady line editor, Nicolene Hale. I love working with you, and I hope the feeling is mutual. You’re awesome!
Thank you to all of my readers. From longstanding bloggers to new fans, every single one of
your precious words mean the world to me. Bringing these characters to you is why I do this. I could have just as easily never published a book, but I truly wanted to share them. With you.
Your natural humor brightens even the darkest soul.
I would like to think I passed this on to you, but it’s all you.
You make the world that much more beautiful.
Forever with a smile,
May 25, 2032
Exquisiteness walked into the room, adorably locking the door as she always did when alone in a room with me. It was one of the many traits I found sweetly innocent about her, as if she thought a simple lock could hold back someone who really wanted in. The second was her smile, which she was now gifting me as she turned. She was dressed in slightly finer apparel than
she normally wore: a long black dress formed to fit her small stature. On my own tiny frame I was wearing black leather pants with layered tank tops and a slim-fitting, black leather jacket — all made to hide the weapons I always wore — whereas she wore white pearls as her accessories.
“We don’t have much time before my family gets back from their,” her hands fluttered about sweetly, “mission,
or whatever they’re on, but I need to tell you a few things.” Her features suddenly turned apprehensive. “About me. I haven’t…” She paused, taking a deep breath, and began wringing her hands.
Which I didn’t have time for.
Nor was I really of the mindset to deal with any added surprises to my evening.
“Isa…” I shook my head slowly, standing from the chair the butler —
who the fuck still had
— had led me to. “About tonight.” Inhale, slow exhale. “I’m not the woman to out yourself with.”
Control, focus on control.
“First, there’s no way in hell your family is going to be okay with us being together. By all accounts of what you’ve said about your mother, she’s pretty hardcore, and I’m sure she would rather string me up from a tree than let her daughter be with someone of a
different faction — an illegal action, need I remind you — let alone with someone of the same sex. You’ve always told me how she goes on and on about you finding love with the perfect man, which I am obviously not.”
Isa was already shaking her head quickly, her black and red hair flying about her cheeks.
But I continued, knowing this wasn’t going to be easy. “Besides all that, one day you’ll
meet the perfect woman, possibly your mate, and then you’ll tell your mother you prefer women. When you’re older, not seventeen years old. When you aren’t so afraid to be yourself.” I held her beautiful green-eyed gaze steadily. “But I’m not that woman for you.” I would never be.
Isa’s jaw set, her mocha skin beginning to flush. “Caro, what the hell are you talking about?” She waved her hands
at the fine, upscale living room we were standing in. “Why are you having cold feet right now? We talked about this!” Her nostrils flared, clearly agitated. “And why are you bringing up my age, especially when that’s never mattered between us.” She waved a finger up and down my frame. “You’re only twenty, so don’t act high and mighty.”
“Exactly, Isa. We’re still young and just learning who we
are.” We weren’t officially adults until the age of twenty-two. That seemed like a damn laughing-stock to me, since I couldn’t remember the last time I felt young, but it worked for what I needed to do. So I used it. “I’m not the woman you need for this.”
“You don’t understand. That’s what I wanted to talk to you about.” She took two steps toward me. I countered, keeping distance between us,
which she didn’t miss, her spring green eyes focusing on my feet for a moment. “Caro…” Her voice was swiftly cautious. “Why are you backing away from me?”
I focused on nothing. Isa Jones, the girl I had let myself fall in love with, was a Vampire, having gone through her Awakening a few days ago, so she could scent my emotions. For this to go as planned — for her to move on with her life — she
couldn’t know the truth. So I lied out of my ass, centering on white space, a limitless void I often found solace in. “Isa, you need to listen to me. I came here tonight to,”
hold her gaze calmly
, “end things between us.”
Isa’s petite, sexy, perfect body went completely still.
I focused on keeping my heart rate steady, knowing she was using every gift given to her to ferret out my intentions.
“I’m sorry, Isa. I never meant to lead you on, but,” slow words, “I don’t love you.”
She blinked ever so slowly. “What are you talking about?” She shook her head quickly, but blinked again, and with just as hesitant words she stated, “I don’t understand.”
Inhaling gradually through my nose, I murmured, “Isa, I don’t want to be with you anymore. I never wanted anything serious and I thought
we were on the same page.”
. “But you got serious, so this,” I waved a hand between us, “has to stop. Tonight.”
I felt my jaw start to clench and I quickly relaxed it, thinking of white hollowness. “I am sorry if I hurt you. That was never my intention.”
Isa’s chest pumped in time to her gradually panting breaths.
The only thing that kept me rooted to the floor, instead of exclaiming
and holding her close in the pain she was so obviously trying to hide, was the cell phone in my pocket. The phone that wasn’t mine. Unfortunately, the call I had received on it, during my drive over here, was. Placing my hands in my pockets, I specified a
. “I told you in the beginning I wasn’t right for you. This shouldn’t come as a surprise—”
She held up a stopping hand. “Shut
up.” Her voice was a furious whisper, her eyes beginning to glow. “Just shut up, Caro.” Her Vampire growled quietly as she dropped her hand, her attention swinging to the side, staring at nothing. In the strained quiet, her chest heaved twice.
Then her eyes snapped to mine.
I saw the look I had hoped not to see tonight.
It was one of the reasons I had tried at
a relationship with her after our initial attraction. Isa, the girl who held almost all of my heart, at the age of seventeen had sporadically shown me this side of herself. The portion that would rival old souls, someone who knew more about life experiences than middle-aged Mysticals. Since we lived many hundreds of years past Commoners, such knowledge was something to behold in someone as charmingly
innocent as the beauty in front of me.
“I call bullshit,” Isa blurted. She used her Vampire speed, giving me no time to keep the distance between us. She brought a slight breeze with her, and the smell of her sweet perfume. She stood nose to nose with me, her furious green eyes staring me down. “You do love me. I fucking know it.” I held my ground as her Vampire peeked out, her eyes glowing dimly
and becoming all the more intimidating as she began a slow stalk around me. Her shoulder lightly rubbed against mine, sensually soft but also potent, forcing me to stare straight ahead and zone in on my calming thoughts. “Every time we made love, I felt it. For this entire year, I’ve seen it in your eyes.”
She paused behind me, pressing her soft curves against my back, running her hands over
my hips. “I didn’t even need to have my power to know.” She pressed her forehead against the back of my head and breathed softly, the warmth sending tendrils down my spine.
I ground my jaw together, fighting the need to let our mouths meet.
I heard her inhale and chuckle quietly before resuming her slow stalk around me. She whispered, “But now that I do have my powers, I’ve known for the last
two nights we spent together that you love me. Even if you haven’t said it yet.” She stopped in front of me, and it took all of my willpower to not back down, because she was a seductress as she let her Vampire out to play.
Through gritted teeth I claimed, “You can stop this game. Just because I find you attractive, it doesn’t mean I love you.”