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Authors: Viola Grace

Tags: #Romance, Science Fiction, Paranormal, Shapeshifter

HeartbeatofSilence

BOOK: HeartbeatofSilence
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Table of Contents

Title Page

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

Chapter Five

Chapter Six

Chapter Seven

Chapter Eight

Chapter Nine

Chapter Ten

Chapter Eleven

Chapter Twelve

Author’s Note

About the Author

An open mind is a terrible thing to waste, so armour it up and send it to the Citadel with a fanged shape-shifter watching her every move.

 

 

Veera’s mind broke wide open during a tragedy. A telepathic call for help sent her into a coma where every mind around her was open to hers.

A stint on an island where no one spoke or thought a harsh word was just what she needed, but when she was offered a chance to live a life out in the open, she agreed to everything that the shape-shifter asked. Life was something that she needed to find.

Stanik trained to be Veera’s link for eighteen months. When he finally met her, her physical presence sent his senses reeling. The reality was much better than the images her family had sent him to entice him into agreeing to share his mind with hers.

He gives her stability, and she gives him attitude, a challenge and someone to protect. It is a fairly even swap.

 

 

The unauthorized reproduction or distribution of this copyrighted work is illegal. Criminal copyright infringement, including infringement without monetary gain, is investigated by the FBI and is punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.

 

Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage the electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

 

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

 

Heartbeat of Silence

Copyright © 2013 Viola Grace

ISBN: 978-1-77111-473-8

Cover art by Martine Jardin

 

All rights reserved. Except for use in any review, the reproduction or utilization of this work in whole or in part in any form by any electronic, mechanical or other means, now known or hereafter invented, is forbidden without the written permission of the publisher.

 

Published by eXtasy Books

Look for us online at:

www.eXtasybooks.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heartbeat of Silence

Tales of the Citadel book 18

 

 

 

By

 

 

Viola Grace

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter One

 

 

Veera Halig kept to herself and worked at her job in the silence of the tombs. Her family had had to petition nine levels of government to get her assigned to the island of the honoured dead, and it probably saved her life.

Veera passed one of the sisters, the guardians of the island. The woman inclined her head and walked on, her mind a blessed blank. It was one of her favourite things about the island. The Sisters of Silence prided themselves on keeping calm minds while they worked to honour and maintain the graves of fallen warriors.

It made it easy for someone like Veera to cease attaching to the minds of others when everyone around her kept their thoughts calm and minds blank.

Veera swept out the Crypt of Ashes with attention to detail. It was the least she could do for the room and board she had been enjoying for the last eighteen months. She had taken on each duty that the sisters had given her with a grateful heart.

Her mind was finally calm. Sure, she could feel the minds of the continent three hundred miles away, but they were a murmur in the background compared to the roar that they had been.

As she finished the floor of the crypt, she looked out and watched the birds flirt with the fish down on the beach. It really was a beautiful place if you could forget the grief and tragedy that had caused it to be occupied by the bodies of the fallen. If you were a soldier of Farellen and you died in battle, you came to the island, whether your family could visit you or not.

The sisters were here to act as family and caretakers for the dead. They prayed, chanted and spoke to the dead, all in complete silence. The actions of caretaking were their voices.

It had been a bit eerie for the first few weeks being the only person on the island authorized to make a noise but after a while the sisters accepted her listening to her sister’s music and her dancing in the Courtyard of Repose. She was so overjoyed at the stress lifted from her mind that she had to express it somehow.

Veera tidied up and moved on to her next task, that of greeting the newest arrivals and consoling them in their loss of life. Speaking to stone monuments was not something she would normally do, but it came naturally after she saw one young woman buried, her family weeping as they were taken back to the continent.

Since she could not console the family, she spoke to the woman as she was lowered into the ground for her first five years on the island. After nature had taken its course, she would be moved from her place in the ground and her bones would be stored in the crypt with only a small plaque to mark her place. It was not the kind of life Veera wanted for herself.

Halfway to the garden of new arrivals, she heard a gong. Veera paused. There was no service scheduled for today.

The gong rang again marked with a sharp chime and a third gong.

“Someone is calling.” Veera turned and headed for the dock on the far side of the island.

Three of the sisters passed her and nodded, their hands hidden by their robes as they bustled past her, going to hide in the chapel. It was standard for the sisters not on duty to hide when they were not needed for a ceremony. Veera had tried to ask them about it, but she only got the vague answer in hand signals that it was a tradition.

She moved quickly but decorously across the paths until she could see the dock and her visitor.

The sister on duty walked past her, heading for the chapel. Veera reached out and touched the minds of the people just beyond her line of sight. Her feet picked up speed as she ran to greet her sister and brother. The other mind that was with them was harder to spot, but if he was with her siblings, she didn’t see a problem with him.

She could always flay his mind with hers at a later time.

“Teesha, Reynal!” She ran forward, and her siblings embraced her.

They laughed and hugged together as Veera ran through all of their current thoughts and events in their lives. She smiled and caressed Teesha’s cheek. “I am glad to see you.”

Reynal tapped her nose with a finger. “You have learned to be politic, dearest Veera.”

She inclined her head. “The sisters have been good for me. I needed this silence. Come with me to the Garden of Tears and tell me why you are here.”

Teesha nodded and turned to look behind her. A shadow detached itself from the wall and took a few steps forward.

Veera swallowed heavily. Something about him spoke volumes without saying anything. His mind was completely silent as he approached her.

“Veera Halig, I am pleased to meet you.” He extended his hand, and she took it, jolting as a wave of heat rolled up her arm and rippled across her body.

“I…” She frowned and looked to her siblings.

Teesha was amazed, but Reynal took point. “Veera, this is Stanik Arlinik. He is going to be your link.”

She shook her head, dazed by the hormonal surge the light touch on her hand caused. He released her fingers, and she stepped back. She gestured for them to follow her. “I believe we need to discuss things.”

Teesha and Reynal Halig followed her, but Stanik stayed at her side.

She led the way to the Garden of Tears and gestured for them to take seats on the benches arranged in conversational settings.

She primly smoothed her pink gown around her legs and perched next to Teesha. “Not that I don’t appreciate you taking time out of your performing schedule, but why are you here?”

Teesha smiled. “When you were first afflicted, we didn’t know what to do. Mom and Dad looked into every remedy or treatment that they could find.”

Veera wrinkled her nose. “I remember.”

“Well, when I was off world performing, I ran into a Wyoran who told me about members of their populations born with open minds, like yours. They get what is called a link. It is a person who can offer them mental stability until they can match their self-control with their talent. Similar to the braces Reynal had to wear on his teeth until they straightened.”

Veera laughed. “So this is a Wyoran thing?”

Teesha rubbed her nose. “Well, yes and no. Farellens don’t match well with Wyorans. Our minds are too dissimilar. As the family travelled, we went looking for a species that had someone with a mental signature that matched yours and was willing to devote possible years out of their life to helping you master your talent.”

All of them turned to stare at Stanik, and he sat casually as if sitting and sunning himself was all he had planned for the day.

Veera cleared her throat. “Please tell me that the volunteer is Mr. Arlinik’s little sister.”

Stanik sat straight up and grinned, showing a great deal of fang for a normal-sized jaw. “I don’t have a little sister.”

She shivered and looked to Teesha.

“Veera, two years ago, he volunteered, and he has been on Wyora taking link training ever since. He just graduated, and now, he is a fully qualified link.” Teesha cleared her throat. “Your link.”

He grinned at her obvious discomfort. “That is right, Veera. I am all yours.”

She sent her mind to his, and it slid away. Her eyes widened as she struck at him again.

“Keep it up, Veera. I can do this all day. However, I believe that your siblings have places they need to be. If you want to continue to mentally assault me, we should do it on the way. I have another world for you to enjoy as you get a grip on your mind, an entire planet with only a few dozen people.”

That was tempting.

“Let me get my things.” She got to her feet, and Stanik stood next to her. When she took a few steps, he followed her. “I promise to come back. I am not going to run.”

He smiled. “I have begun the process to sync my mind to yours. Proximity helps. I will be where you are for the next few weeks.”

She closed her eyes for a moment as she walked to her quarters. The images that swam behind her lids made her shake when she thought about how close she wanted him to get.

Proximity was going to be sheer torture.

 

 

 

 

Chapter Two

 

 

The sisters ran when they saw the stranger walking the halls.

“Are they always this timid?”

Veera gave him a look. “No. They cannot fraternize with any visitors outside of a funeral or they risk being kicked off the island of the honoured dead.”

“Why would they mind being forced to leave?”

“They want to be close to their loved ones, and the life of silence is the price for it. Most of the sisters here are widows and sisters of the honoured dead. They want to be close to the ones that they loved and are willing to pay the price.”

He paused and his lips tightened. “I apologize.”

“It doesn’t matter to me, but you need to know why they are here. It is the reason they swear to silence of mouth and mind. It has been very pleasant here for me. They rarely open their minds to me and it is something I deeply appreciate.”

She opened her quarters and retrieved her hairbrush and toothbrush. Everything else she owned was packed in her trunk. “The trunk is everything.”

He lifted the box with a grunt. “What is in here?”

Veera smiled. “My life.”

“Then, I will care for it as if it were my own.” He inclined his head, and she led the way through the halls to the administration office.

She flicked her fingers at the head sister.
I am being called away. Thank you for sheltering me during my time of need.

The head of the order reached out with her smoke grey robes flaring and wrapping around Veera. When she finished her hug, she stepped back.
It was lovely to have you with us. We enjoyed the sounds of your singing and laughter. We wish you joy wherever you go.

BOOK: HeartbeatofSilence
3.04Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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