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Authors: Sara M. Harvey

The Tower of the Forgotten

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THE TOWER OF THE FORGOTTEN

 

BY SARA M. HARVEY

 

This novella is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed
in this book are either fictitious or are used fictitiously.

 

The Tower of the Forgotten

 

Copyright © 2011 by Sara M. Harvey

 

Cover art "The Tower of the Forgotten" © 2011 by Melissa Gay
Interior Art © 2011 by Melissa Gay
Cover typography by Mekenzie Larsen
Interior design by Jason Sizemore

 

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce the book, or portions thereof, in any form.

 

Published by Apex Publications, LLC
PO Box 24323
Lexington, KY 40524

 

www.apexbookcompany.com
www.saramharvey.com
www.melissagay.com

 

Don’t miss the first two books of Sara M. Harvey’s exciting Penume trilogy from Apex Publications:
The Convent of the Pure
and
The Labyrinth of the Dead
!

 

THE CONVENT OF THE PURE
ISBN: 9780981639093 (Trade Paperback)
ISBN: 9781452333373 (eBook)
Secrets and illusions abound in a decaying convent wrapped in dark magic and scented with blood. Portia came to the convent with the ghost of Imogen, the lover she failed to protect in life. Now, the spell casting caste wants to make sure that neither she nor her spirit ever leave.

 

THE LABYRINTH OF THE DEAD
ISBN: 9780984553501 (Trade Paperback)
ISBN: 9781452373577 (eBook)
Imogen is all that matters. After rescuing her lover from the forces that trapped her in
The Convent of the Pure
, Portia Gyony has lost Imogen once again to the darkness that surrounds them. The only way to reunite is to walk through the shadow-worlds of the dead and bring Imogen back to the body that awaits her—a journey no nephilim was meant to take.

 

Table of Contents

 

Dedication
Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four
Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight
Chapter Nine
Chapter Ten
Chapter Eleven
Chapter Twelve
Acknowledgments
Biographies

 

This
book is for Jason Sizemore for taking a chance on my work
and bringing my story to the world.

 

And for Melissa Gay who gave my words life and color and let everyone see what I had imagined.

 

Turning
and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

—"The Second Coming" by William Butler Yeats

 

—1—

 

SEE! THE WORLD’S ONLY
LIVING ANGEL
! The sign hung on
a sagging banner above a cage with cheaply gilded bars and imitation pearls.
Inside, heaps of white wool fleece covered the floor and made lofty piles in
the corners in front of a backdrop painted with a serene blue sky and an
artfully placed white dove.

Portia Gyony sat bored most days in a
smothering gown of heavy antique satin. She pretended that her hair was not, in
fact, the shimmering silver-white of freshly fallen snow under a full moon, nor
her eyes as gold as gypsy bangles. She kept her wings pressed tightly to her
back so they looked as much like paste and swan feathers as possible and no one
could see that they shone like a star’s halo. She imagined herself to be a
well-conceived hoax and did not have to feign apathy as she slumped in the
corner of her cell, looking at no one.

Her captors on the airship had been coarse,
but kind. They kept their distance, one venturing near only to bring her a
grimy scrap of paper bearing a long line of dots and dashes. Code under code,
it was a note from the Primacy:
Stay quiet, stay put. We know where you are
and we will come fetch you.

When the men from the circus came, she
went, hoping they would deliver her to her own people, but instead they brought
her to a shabby little beach town. Tourists flocked to Capitola-by-the-Sea to
pay a penny to see her and two bits to take a zeppelin tour of the strange opal
tower that had appeared on the coast.

It
had been weeks since she had escaped that very tower. Nigel Aldias, her
adversary since childhood, held court there now. Portia could hear him when she
dozed, his whispered seductions to any spirit he could find. And they came.
Spectral streams lit the sky like ribbons of twinkling light, all ever moving
toward the tower. Portia watched and waited. She dared not act until she was
given orders. She could not imagine that it would take the Primacy long at all,
but the days stretched on into weeks.

They
came in waves: the gawkers, the men with starry eyes and marriage proposals,
and always the wan and shadow-eyed mothers clutching their sick children to
their depleted breasts. Portia was no healer, and she had nothing but a few
murmured words of solace and a blessing of strength upon the little ones. They
understood, those who existed on the knife’s edge between life and
death. But the mothers skulked away, betrayed. Portia’s heart broke for them, but there was nothing she could do.
Soon enough, the mothers stopped coming, only to be replaced by more would-be
suitors as her fame spread.

The Primacy never arrived. No word followed
the first clipped message weeks before. The Primacy consisted of a small
handful of Nephilim of the Regalii lineage. Portia had never met a member of
the Primacy, nor even a Regalii. She did not trust them, but not because they
had clout and status and did not like to get their hands dirty. She did not
trust them because she did not know who they were, or even
where
they
were, and that bothered her. Especially now, while she sweltered in a heavy gown
in a cage in a town that felt a hundred miles from home. Waiting, as she had
been asked, obediently.

It galled her.

Yet she stayed quiet, and stayed put. Her training ran deep. And she hated it.

"Portia, lass."

She jolted out of a drowsing half-dream, shaking the languor from her limbs as they
tingled from Imogen’s imaginary touch. The man leaning against the bars of her cage pushed his grey top hat back from his
face.

"Captain," she whispered, disbelieving. "Oh,
please let this be real."

He
smiled, and the curling ends of his waxed moustache rose. "I’m here, dear girl. I am
really here. But I can’t tarry. Here." He slid an envelope into the cell.

Portia
crawled toward it and slipped it into her bulky sleeve. She looked up at
Captain Cadmus Gyony, her commander and mentor, and tears rose in her eyes. She
stretched her fingers through the bars and gripped his hand.

"It
is good to see you hale and whole, although not exactly as I remember you."

Portia
could not meet his gaze. "What is to become of me, Captain? Haven’t they decided to come for me?"

"I
can’t say, really. There aren’t many details there." He nodded at her
sleeve. "But I know the Primacy is indeed sending
someone here. And soon. They are interested in this matter. Quite interested."

She
nodded. "Tell me, then, before you go…" She could barely bring herself to speak the words, but she
could not bear another night of empty dreams that promised so much yet
confirmed nothing. "Imogen?"

Cadmus
chuckled and glanced back over his shoulder. "Anna," he barked. "Come on over here and
see this! It’s the damndest thing, I’m telling you!"

Lady
Anna Gyony, tall and regal in her blue walking dress, stepped from the shadows
at the far side of the great tent that still smelled suspiciously of elephant.

"What have we here?" She smiled, lighting up
her bright blue eyes. "A lonely angel?"

Anna’s companion stepped into the lamplight and Portia gasped.

"This
is no place for such a creature." Imogen Gyony stood
before the gaudy cage as real as anything.

Cadmus
and Anna stepped behind her and opened up a large folding map, arguing over the
most direct route to their lodgings.

"Imogen!" Portia reached her arms through the narrow gaps between the
bars and gathered Imogen into them, pressing her close, with the cheap gold
paint flaking off between them.

"Oh,
Portia, love. Thank heavens you’re safe. I didn’t know what to do when I woke without you. No one knew what
had become of you." She pulled a handkerchief from the sleeve of her pretty green dress and wiped her eyes. They
looked strange in the low light, as if they did not quite match one another.

"You
disappeared. Just vanished right in front of me, and I thought for certain you
were lost!" Portia fought back tears.

Between
the gilded iron bars, they found just enough space to reach one another’s lips. Portia breathed the scent of Imogen’s soft skin—vanilla, strawberries,
and gentle spices.

"I love you," Portia gasped into her
lover’s mouth. "I could just close my eyes right now and die happy knowing you
are safe and alive, oh God, you’re
alive
!"

"Thanks to you," Imogen murmured. "You came
into the very pit of hell to find me."

"And I’d do it again."

"I know."

Portia
traced the curves of Imogen’s face and tugged on the
bright red curls of her hair. "I have missed you, the
real you. The touch and taste and smell of you."

Imogen
caught her fingers and kissed them, cradling them against her cheek. "Me, too. It was so difficult to see your body, but never
really touch it." She snaked her slender
wrist through the bars and ran a fingertip down Portia’s throat.

Portia
caught her breath and shuddered. She gazed into Imogen’s eyes and her mouth fell open. A blush crept up from Imogen’s high lace collar and she turned away.

"Look
at me," Portia urged. "I want to see."

Slowly,
Imogen turned her face back toward the cage and opened her eyes. They surprised
Portia, at once both all too familiar and yet strange. Green, yes—Imogen’s dark, olivine green
eyes—but with an inner layer of amber that circled
her pupils. It was as if Portia’s and Imogen’s eyes had been merged into one, which, in essence, they
had. Gently, Portia stroked her fingertips across Imogen’s eyelids, just as she had in the antechamber of the tower
when she had given Imogen her own eyes that she might see after hers had been
stolen.

Tears
trickled down Imogen’s cheeks. "See? You are always with me. I can never look at myself, or
look at anything, really, without knowing what you gave to me."

"I
don’t know what to say, except that they look
beautiful in your face."

"They were both shadow-dark when I
first awoke. But like a newborn babe’s might, they soon settled into this." She
shrugged. "I cannot honestly complain. But
you

gold
?
Portia, I don’t know what’s going to become of you."

BOOK: The Tower of the Forgotten
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