Authors: Azure Boone
To God. And My Family.
I’d like to thank my best friend Gloria Esau for her super mega dedication to my work and career. You’re my Ethel and I will always love you! I’d also like to thank
Kenra Daniels, my writing partner who forever aids me in my endeavors. And a special shout out to all fans. Thank you for driving me nuts till I finished!
This book contains explicit scenes of sexual activity between a
couple committed to exclusive, monogamous relationships.
Copyright Azure Boone 2013
Micah hung in his chains, fighting the tempting darkness that unconsciousness offered him. He needed to stay awake. He needed to be ready.
He forced his head up and gazed longingly at Sarah hanging on the wall across from him. It was nothing short of miraculous that they were still together in the same room. But Rev
yn had insisted breaking their unity would diffuse the power of their sacrifice. Against Scythe’s roaring disapproval, Trevor commanded they be chained in the same cell.
But God… t
hey’d flogged both of them for his betrayal against the coven. Bile rose in Micah’s throat along with burning hot tears at the brutal memory. She’d tried so hard not to scream. But they wanted her screams and Micah sobbed and screamed for her as they whipped her relentlessly until blood flowed over her naked body. His heart had burned like lava in his chest until he couldn’t breathe. And then she fucking broke when they…
fresh sob burst from Micah as the memory ripped apart his soul of her screeching wails and
stop, stop, stop, stop,
when they burned his tattooed name from over her heart. With a fucking branding rod.
of the memory compounded with a snaking terror through Micah, worse than anything he’d ever felt. Her soul. What about her soul? She had renounced God and he was sure judgment had fallen on her because of it. He prayed fervently to her God, begging for mercy, calling on His compassion and love, calling on the forgiveness he could never be worthy of, but for her, surely there was mercy, understanding, love. For her, there would be justice and long suffering.
yn. He’d seen what happened, he witnessed the power of her God. They’d claimed it had been the demon’s doing, but surely Revyn knew better. He prayed he knew. He prayed for everything and anything, not wanting to leave any hope unhoped, any prayer un-prayed.
Micah hated to wake her but he had questions he needed to ask her about her God. “Sarah. I love you.”
She gave a soft moan, followed by a whimper
that stabbed into Micah’s shredded heart.
“I need to talk to you sweetheart. I’m so sorry. Please forgive me.” The
gasped words came unbidden, the constant screaming of his soul.
I’m so sorry, please forgive me, I’m so sorry.
He was sorry for everything. For waking her, for hurting her, for choosing her, for daring to even know her.
The sound in her frail voice opened that new place inside him where endless hot tears were stored. Scared. Hurting. Needing him. “I’m with you love.” Micah focused his mind. He needed to be stronger for both of them, the window of hope was closing fast. “I need you to tell me things. About God.”
She fought to lift her head, her laborious efforts
filled with agony, telling how badly they hurt her. Her blue gaze made it to his face, and he knew he’d be haunted forever with the fear and confusion in their sweet depths. Then they cleared a little at seeing him. Realizing he was real. They glistened with tears. “Micah.”
This time hope and hunger came with the gush of his name, spearing his body with the need to protect and save her. “I’m here love. I love you. I’m so sorry.”
Her lower jaw trembled and she smiled. “Don’t be sorry.” Her words came out slowly, like the beating had somehow damaged her ability to speak. Terror and pain overwhelmed him and he sobbed despite his efforts to stay strong.
“God, I love you Sarah,” he cried, broken. “I never wanted this.” He shook his head, hating that his pain hurt her, hating that he was causing her more agony, hating that he couldn’t fucking stop it. “Listen to me baby. Please tell me you can be forgiven for renouncing God. Please.”
She stared at him for several seconds before dropping her head in exhaustion. “I…no.”
Terror seized him. “No?”
“Don’t know,” she gasped.
Fuck. “Did you mean it Sarah, did you mean it when you renounced?”
She shook her head barely. “I don’t think…I did. I just wanted them to stop… hurting you.”
“Okay baby.” Micah made his tone soothing at hearing her sorrow and regret. “
You panicked love, it’s understandable.” He wanted to tell her they weren’t hurting him and his scream had been one of triumph, not pain. But what would that do to her psyche at this point? To learn that she’d fumbled the ball at the most crucial turning point? He didn’t want her to regret more than she already did. And he refused to tell her for the purpose of maybe not getting another chance, refused to give in to that notion.
“I need you to try to heal.” Micah focused on rousing her to coherency. “
I need you to try really hard to be strong. I’m not giving up hope. Do you understand?”
She raised her head again, a look of desperation in her eyes. One that begged him to hope. Hope for both of them. She nodded barely.
Micah firmed his resolve. “You’re a doctor. You’ve had a lot of training, a lot of field time. I want you to remember your strengths and use them, all of them, survival tactics, manipulations, whatever you have to do to get you ready.”
“I don’t know. I’ll know when I know, but we’re not going to go easy, do you understand? If we go at all, it’s going to be fighting with everything we have. I need you with me on this. Are you with me Sarah?”
Her nod came more firm. “I’m with you. I’m with you.”
“They’re preparing us for The Sacrifice. That means our wounds will be tended and our bodies cleansed and dressed in ceremonial gowns. I’m only telling you so that you know their plan. Our plan is to escape.”
Her head jerked up. “Escape?
“I’m not sure yet.
They’ll come any time now.”
Micah’s heart jolted at the sound of the door opening. Fuck, he didn’t expect them that soon.
Revyn walked in wearing his standard black ceremonial robe and his duffle bag for the wound cleansing. It was beginning. Where was his aid? And the guards?
The old man didn’t say a word as he came to Micah first. Micah realized his movements were a little hurried as he set his
black leather bag on the floor. He stood a foot before Micah assessing his wounds with gentle fingers. “Listen carefully.” He continued the customary wound count, his deep voice barely audible. “I’m an old man. I’ve seen many things in my days at this coven. But what I saw with that girl has me terrified.” He removed the shackle on Micah’s right foot and began massaging feeling into it. “I know I can’t be forgiven for my sins. But I can make atonement.” He stood and unlocked the shackle on his right hand. “The keys to one of the Hummers is in my bag. Along with instructions of where to go and what to do to make a clean break without a trace. This includes protecting her family. You need to leave out of the sewers and take the marsh to Sacrifice Road. They won’t expect you to go that way. The vehicle is parked 1.2 miles down. Sink the Hummer in the bay on the eastern dock. Take the boat in the repair house, I sank the rest. I’ll dismantle as many vehicles as I can meanwhile. Don’t stop. Don’t look back. Don’t regret.”
and fear hammered Micah’s guts. “What about you? They’ll kill you.”
helped Micah stand and dug two robes from his bag and shoved them at him. “Son. I’ve
dead for years. Now get dressed quickly. You have about twenty minutes before the shit hits the fan.”
He helped Micah get Sarah unshackled and robed, unable to be mindful of her battered body. “Thank you,” she gasped, grabbing
Revyn in a hug after.
“Daughter.” He set her before him. “You’re faith has changed
an old dog’s heart. Your God has my dying respect. Now leave and don’t let anything shake your faith.” He looked hard at Micah. “Either of you.”
They nodded and Micah grabbed the bag.
The old man held his shoulder. “Access the sewer tunnels near the wine cellar. I’ll initiate several distractions.”
Micah hugged the old man tight. The strong bond they’d formed glowed hot inside him more than ever. “Try to find us,”
Micah whispered. “Don’t leave me.”
“Son. I’m leaving this coven today. One way or another. I would pray her God have mercy on me but…”
Micah nodded at seeing the tremble in the old man’s jaw. He pressed his forehead to his old friend, feeling the weight of their sins pressing in. “I understand. More than you know.”
“I will pray
for you,” Sarah whispered, wiping tears.
A hot hope surged through Micah at her vehement words. To have her strength again was a victory by itself and the shaky breath of relief from
Revyn said he agreed. Her prayers and faith felt like the hand of God Himself on them.
Revyn said harshly. “That bastard Scythe will be furious.”
God, and Agony.
“Be careful of him.”
sneered. “Boy. I taught that punk all he knows. But not everything.”
Sarah ignored the pain in her body the best she could, staying close to Micah through the sewers. Unused sewers, thankfully. The only thing heard was the harmony of their harsh breaths echoing off the old cement walls. She tried not to think about what else lurked in the unused tunnels, keeping a vicious hold on Micah’s robe as he led them in the dense dark by the light of a flash light. Thank God for that.
God, I’m sorry, please forgive me.
Surely He was sick of hearing that, she’d said it a million times since the horrific words left her lips.
Dear God. His pain had struck a switch and the words blasted forth like a nightmare reflex. Then the darkness fell and a god awful fear consumed her. What had she done? She wasn’t sure, really. But then when they whipped her, the agony had been her answer. But even then, she knew it wasn’t punishment. It was the absence of God. And in that brief absence, the devil swarmed down on her, filling her with such a brutal and wicked shame, she couldn’t even pray.
But those whippings did it. The pain drove her straight to Him, she’d th
rown herself at His mercy and clung to His feet like a desperate child. He hadn’t rejected her. But He also couldn’t remove her from it.
Hot tears stung her eyes and a sob clenched her throat as she recalled the way he
held her through it. She didn’t know why, she only knew it was all He was allowed in that moment. And that consolation was enough. Sarah took the pain from there on. Took it the way He once took it for her.
“Almost there,” Micah whispered. “
How are we doing, love?”
Fine,” she rasped.
“The marsh is several hundred feet wide. It won’t be easy.
God. Her body screamed
in the way a car’s
check engine soon
light did. “Right behind you.” The words huffed out of her burning lungs. If her limbs failed her, it’d be beyond her control.
She was just so grateful to be free. And running with Micah. If she died escaping with him, she didn’t care. They’d both won as far as she was concerned.
Sarah plowed into Micah when he suddenly stopped at the end of the tunnel. He suddenly turned and took her face in his hands and kissed her with a breathless hunger. The feel of his lips and tongue was just the fuel she needed, water to her soul, salve to her heart.
He turned back and held her hand now. “Don’t stop. Don’t look back, no matter what you hear or see.”
It was still dark. “What time is it?”
“Near dawn by the moon’s position.”
They splashed for fifteen minutes through the thigh deep cool water. Sarah tried not to think about what sort of homes they were disturbing just as her foot got sucked into the mud. Micah’s robe ripped from her grasp and she went under.
“Got you,” he whispered,
as she came up sputtering. He held her in a tight one armed embrace. “I got you. Can you stand?”
She could only nod
, wiping the muddy water from her eyes. She fought to make her legs move but it was like they were disconnected from her brain. Dead. “Micah! I can’t move.” The words sobbed out as fear took hold of her. Her body couldn’t stop now.
Micah turned and handed her the
bag and flashlight then lifted her in his arms. Sarah held on to his neck with one hand, doing her best to aim the flashlight before him while clutching the duffle to her body. Micah plowed through the water, his harsh breaths telling just how tired he was and how determined. And no doubt terrified.
Sarah looked behind them, watching the darkness for any signs of being followed.
Micah finally set her down and fell onto the bank at the edge of the marsh, gasping and groaning before rolling onto his back. “Fuck.”
She looked around, afraid to shine the light, feeling like it was a beacon giving away their location. She turned it off and let her eyes adjust to the dark.
“Yes, leave it off. I know my way from here.” Micah struggled to his feet and Sarah wished she could help more somehow. “Let’s go. Give me the bag.”