Authors: Isabelle Hardesty
What would you do if you had only one pill left? One pill that could stop you from becoming a supernatural. Jade Delacourt has that pill and wants to avoid the chaos and fear that her recent supernatural powers have brought upon her and her family.
On the night of her eighteenth birthday, Jade is about to become something she is afraid of. The full moon beckons her half shapeshifter and half fairy blood while she is at a cosplay convention. A meeting with two supernatural guides catapults her into a dangerous world where she faces an evil that wants her dead.
Jade endures her first painful shapeshifting and transforms into a mythical creature, then takes flight in the Atlanta skyline alit by a full Harvest moon.
Within 48 hours she finds herself grieving for the death of someone close to her and searching for another who has been kidnapped. Torn between two, does Jade fall for the right guy? Will he stand by her side or betray her? Will Jade be caught by the evil that chases her?
Delacourt Saga (Vol 1)
Copyright © 2016 by Isabelle Hardesty
All rights reserved (Vol. 1)
No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews
This book is a work of fiction. The names, characters, places and incidents are products of the writer’s imagination or have been used fictitiously and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, actual events, locales or organizations is entirely coincidental.
Jade’s Awakening first appeared as a short story in an anthology published by Gilded Dragonfly Books titled Legends of the Dragon. Jade’s Awakening has been altered and lengthened into a novella and is part of the Delacourt Saga Series.
To my husband, who always inspires me.
“See you soon, Mom,” Jade said. She looked into her mother’s eyes and softened. She flung her bags over one shoulder and brushed her curly black her from her face.
They both looked around the hotel lobby seeing fur, metal, spandex and fake blood. This year’s convention costumes were a combination of novice level and professional movie studio quality. People rushed by the hotel lobby weaving through each other’s footsteps with costumes and conversation.
This was the first day of the convention, so the energy of arriving guests and anxious hotel employees filled the air. Some employees wore masks and partial costumes to share the fun of the convention.
, don’t hurt anyone, this time,” Rosa reminded Jade. She slipped a bit of soil from her native land into her daughter’s denim pocket. “Just in case.”
In a fairy’s hands, certain soils contained powerful magic. This particular soil, called “Hispaniola Magic”, was from an area between the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
Jade stepped back and looked at her mother. She patted the pocket full of soil and gave a quick nod. She was embarrassed that her mother brought up a moment that she was ashamed of.
“I won’t hurt anyone. I’m taking my pills and I feel like I’ve learned how to control myself,” Jade said.
“I don’t like the meds for you, sweetie, but if you think it’s the only way, then I support you,” her mother said. She rested a hand on her pregnant belly. If she was not so far along, she would have stayed with her daughter. Jade insisted she would be fine alone.
“I only have one more dose before my awakening,” Jade said.
Jade’s black curly hair and brown skin seemed to glow under the lobby’s golden lighting. Her ripped blue jeans showed red leggings. She turned back to her mother and hugged her. Jade was almost eighteen and had so much to prove, yet last summer she almost killed two people.
“This is a cosplay convention, what can happen here?” Jade asked. Jade hid her fear of her impending awakening from her mother. She walked from the lobby towards the elevators, turned towards her mother and waved with a smile.
* * *
Rosa watched her daughter stride through the crowd. She remembered the day she adopted Jade. The orphanage on the Florida borderline specialized in supernatural children. They made sure their children were raised in homes where their gifts would be allowed to flourish or be curtailed, if necessary. Jade found a home with the Delacourts, a couple whose Field Fairy background worked with Jade’s.
Her daughter was half fairy, but over that last few months, it became obvious that Jade’s father was not a human, or regular. Jade’s physical strength was a clue and her near killing had erased all doubts. She loved Jade, but couldn’t help being afraid of her. Rosa had done all she could to prepare Jade, this was a fitting place for her coming of age, she bit her lip and left the hotel. The Order had the Delacourt’s home under surveillance after the attack. This hotel was much safer than being at home during her awakening.
“Jade has already checked in. Are you here yet?” Rosa spoke into her cell phone as she waddled to her parked car. She was eight months pregnant. She looked around, hoping to catch a glimpse of her husband.
“Yeah, I just parked the car,” Henri said. Jade’s father was running late due to Atlanta’s epic traffic. He left their family-owned mall juice bar to keep an eye on their daughter. He secretly bought his convention ticket as soon as he found out Jade was going.
“I’m wearing one of my old buddy’s costumes from last year. It smells like putrid mothballs. I look like a fashion challenged magician,” Henri said. He wore a black cape over a long blue dress edged in gold. He carried a wooden walking stick painted black with permanent markers. His multi-colored running shoes darted out from beneath his cape with each step.
“This is no time for jokes, Henri. You have to make sure she’s okay. We can’t have The Order sanction her.”
“Jeez, lighten up, Rosa,” he said, almost out of breath. “She goofed up once. Those guys had it coming to them. They didn’t die and she learned her lesson. End of story.”
Rosa rolled her eyes and took a deep breath. How could a man she loved since they first met in grade school, irritate her so much? “Okay. You’ve got this. I’m going home. Call me in an hour,” Rosa said. She paused outside of her minivan to look at the hotel where her daughter just checked in. She fought back her tears, “I love you, Henri. Thank you for doing this, honey.”
“Don’t you worry. I’ll keep our little girl safe.” He marched down the sidewalk and was on his way to Jade’s hotel. His black cape billowed behind him as he rushed to spy on his daughter and make sure she would be fine in case she awakened.
* * *
The elevator’s lights flickered as Jade walked up to press the button. She waved her hand over the elevator controls and looked left then right, making sure no one was looking. She rarely used her powers in public, but at this convention, there were so many people and distractions that no one saw a regular looking person as interesting. Their eyes were trained to stare at the shiny, the bizarre and the costumed.
“If they only knew,” Jade said. She smiled to herself and stepped into the elevator.
A couple dressed all in black walked into the elevator with Jade. They were dressed as vampires and had dark eyeliner about an inch think ringing each eye socket. Fake blood dribbled down their chins. One sported a red cane with a skull as a handle. They stood with their capes wrapped around their bodies.
The elevator door was about to close, but an umbrella made the doors spring back open. An old woman stood with her luggage, hoping to squeeze in.
“Come on! Are you serious?” one of the vampires shouted. He dropped his arms revealing a black tee shirt and black jeans. “Our luck.” He glared at the older woman.
“I can get another elevator,” the old woman said. The doors hiccupped, trying to close. The wheel of her luggage was stuck in the grating.
“No need to find another elevator, we have space,” Jade frowned at the two. She reached down and pulled the luggage in while the old woman smiled at her.
“Thank you so much. It’s nice to know that there are kind people still around,” she said.
The woman dressed as a vampire sneered. She coughed, “piece of crap!” between the sounds. She looked at Jade and cocked her head once, “You got something to say?”
Jade stared at the elevator numbers. The muscles in her jaws flexed as she watched them both with her peripheral vision.
“What you got in there?” They grabbed at the old woman’s bags.
She was trembling and her bottom lip quivered, “Please leave me alone,” the old woman said. She grabbed her handbag tighter.
“They won’t bother you anymore.” Jade stood between the old woman and the faux vampires until she heard the “ding” of the eighth floor.
The old woman hurried out. The elevator doors closed and Jade was finally alone with them. She dropped her bags in the corner of the elevator. Her breathing and heart raced. Purple and white splotches appeared on her face and her eyes began to helix. She had to control herself and not let whatever else she was engulf her senses.
“She’s some kind of vigilante chick,” the guy said. He spat on the floor.
“So she thinks,” the woman added. They both chuckled and hissed at her like vampires.
The woman hit Jade’s arm with her cane then aimed at Jade’s head. She tried to control the pain in her arm. She caught the cane and yanked it, causing the woman to smash into the wall.
Jade elbowed the guy in the back of the head and he slumped down. Jade kicked his feet together. She felt what was happening to her face. It happened to her sometimes when she became angry. Jade’s cheekbones stretched out and her nostrils flared. Her teeth ached as her jawbone shifted. She smashed the lights above with the cane.
Glass showered over them. The elevator was dark, but Jade’s eyes helixed and glowed bright green.
“What are you?” the woman screamed as Jade shoved her up against the wall by her neck.
“What I am is
. I am what you pretend to be.” Jade grabbed the woman’s wallet and took out her license with her left hand. “I’ll be watching you.”
Jade left them in the dark and rushed out of the elevator with her head down. She touched her face and shuddered. She shook her hair and broken glass cascaded onto the royal blue carpet. She ran toward her hotel room on the fifteenth floor.
“Cool makeup,” a teenager said when he passed her in the hallway.
She nodded, pulled her hoodie over her face and lowered her head as she scurried to her hotel room.
Jade’s hands shook as she tried swiping her room key. It took several attempts until she finally heard the click of the lock. She shoved the door open, rushed into her room and threw her bags down. She looked in the mirror and saw the shadow of what her face looked like only seconds ago. The white and purple splotches faded back to her brown skin.
She stripped down and showered. Jade breathed in the lavender scent of her shampoo. Pink streaked in the water. Her palms stung. She lowered her hands and saw bits of glass embedded in them. Her skin puckered. The pieces of glass were pushed out of her skin as her skin closed.
“What is happening to me?” Jade rubbed her hands where the cuts were only seconds earlier. “This isn’t normal.”
She dressed in a tank top with a shirt and jeans and shoved her feet into her favorite boots. She was determined to find answers while she was at the convention. Her time was limited, with only a few hours left before her awakening at midnight.
* * *
Only two floors below, Alejandro looked around his room. His brothers covered every surface with their tech gear, clothes and soda cans. They played video games and planned their next day's event at the convention.
Alejandro stood in the hallway to make his phone call to Jade, but his neighbor wasn't answering. He slipped his phone into his back pocket and walked back into the messy hotel room.
"Guys, do you think we could clean up in here? It's turning into a bio-hazard."
"Shut up, Alejandro. You're a bio-hazard," Jason said.
Scott, the youngest of the three, looked down and organized his exploded suitcase.
"Sorry, bro. I'll clean up," Scott said.
"Shut up Scott! You always do what he wants— it's pathetic," Jason said, keeping his eyes on his video game. He finally paused his game and dropped the game controller on the carpet. He swung his head to shake his long hair out of his eyes.
He hopped to his feet and brushed past Scott almost knocking him down.
"Leave Scott alone," Alejandro said.
Jason looked at Alejandro, "Just because you're old enough to be a Sup Hunter doesn't mean crap. You’re not the only one who wants to find Mom’s killer," Jason said, glaring at his older brother.
"It's Supernatural Hunter, not Sup Hunter. You make me sound like I'm buying soup in Trinkers Grocery store, or something, you idiot. I'm here to get my first supernatural catch. These places are full of them. I think one walked by me a minute ago," Alejandro said.
"You're just here for Jade because you think she's a supernatural."
"Don't talk about Jade."
"Dude, you told me. You're so phony. You're lying to me right now. Last week you told me you believe Jade was a supernatural and listed all the reasons. You need to get your head checked if you're going to lie to your own brother."
"I don't remember that conversation, Jason. All those video games are scrambling your brain, son."
"I'm not your son, asshat."
"Jade's my friend. I think I'd know if she was a supernatural or not," Alejandro said. The last thing he wanted was for his suspicions to become public.
Jason rubbed his hand together and smiled. "Oh, I see. You never got over that crush you had for her a couple of years ago. That's sad, Alejandro. Real sad." He shook his head and laughed at this brother.
"Shut up, Jason," Alejandro said. He folded his arms. He had to prove himself to the Faction. They were pleased he knew Jade, who was their number one target, and the Faction wanted him to use his connection to get closer to her. He grabbed the convention program and flipped through it. He stopped when he saw the dance on the twentieth floor.
He looked at his two brothers and shrugged his shoulders. His dad said to take care of them, but it seemed the video games, endless soda and potato chip monster bags kept them busy enough. Since his mother’s death, killed, he helped his dad as much as he could with his younger brothers. "Guys, stay out of trouble tonight. I've got a party to go to. Be nice to Scott or I'll erase all of your game scores."
"I did and I'll do it again."
"Whatever," Jason said, grabbing a soda and flopping back in front of his video game.
* * *
After her shower, Jade rummaged through her laptop bag and pulled out her computer. She flipped it open and read a website about the meaning of dreams. For the last several months, Jade had been having bizarre dreams showing aerial views of places she had never been before and a snake shedding its skin.