Happy Sunday! To help brighten up the end of your weekend, and as part of the SFR Brigade Showcase, I thought I’d share an excerpt with you from WITCHES, The Anathergians Trilogy, Book 2.
For those of you who have read book 1, VARIANTS, you know it ended on a huge cliffhanger. I know… I’m so mean! However, the second book is now available on Kindle here, so you can find out what happens next.
Until then, here’s a little excerpt to help whet your appetite. Auden, and the other Anathergian warriors, are tracing Ceadan’s last steps trying to discover what the boy was up to and where he is. And, he hopes, if they track down Ceadan, maybe they’ll find his Lifemate, Leah, too.
The sun had made its way behind Mt. Charleston by the time they arrived to the skate park. Clouds streaked with bright pink, deep gold, and violet dotted the western sky. Auden stood next to the car and studied them for a few moments, wondering, if Leah was alive, if she was experiencing the same sunset. He shook his head to rid himself of his musings.
Bright lights glared on the skate park, casting shadows into the cement dips and valleys skateboarders rode along. He and each of the men had a photo of Ceadan with his before and after look. Auden studied the boy’s new style and wondered why Ceadan had made such a drastic change.
The reason hit him in the next heartbeat. For Leah. Initially he’d thought Ceadan was trying to run away from his new home with the Anathergians. But why would he leave the car and make it easy for them to find it? Because Ceadan wanted them to find it. The boy—basically his brother-in-law—left a trail. On purpose. And what trail would he and Ceadan both want follow? The one that led to Leah. And how would Ceadan get to Leah?
Auden closed his eyes and leaned his head back. Why? Why the hell would you do that, Ceadan? You know the risks. The kid was either really smart or really dumb.
“You all right, man?” Marcus’ voice yanked him from his meanderings.
Auden lifted his lids and saw the men watching him, worry etched on their faces.
“I think I know what Ceadan was up to.”
They continued to stare at him.
“He was trying to save Leah.”
The men still stood there, not connecting the dots.
“I think he found himself some Variants and volunteered so he could get on the inside,” Auden explained.
“Shit,” Marcus said under his breath.
Nico spun around and gripped his hands in his hair. “God damn it!” A few of the skaters turned to stare at him.
It was no secret Nico had become close to the kid while training him in basic combat skills.
“Do you think he survived?” Marcus asked.
Auden shook his head. “I have no idea. Let’s see what we can find out.”
They each went separate ways, combing the area, showing the image to people to see if anyone recognized Ceadan.
Auden struck out with everyone he approached. Frustration simmered beneath his skin. Determined not to give up, he showed the photo to a tall, lanky Asian kid. The boy’s eyes bugged when he saw the image. “That’s Ceadan. Is something wrong with him? Why does he have a Mohawk?”
Auden was careful with his answer. “I think his sister dared him.”
The boy gaped. “His sister? Is she back? I know he’s been looking for her forever.”
“You’ve known him for a while, then?”
The boy nodded.
“My name is Auden.” He reached a hand out to the kid.
“I’m Troy,” he said, and shook Auden’s hand. “Yeah, Ceadan and I’ve been friends since the beginning of middle school. I haven’t seen him for, like, over a month now.”
“Have you heard from him at all? Any phone calls, emails, Facebook?”
Troy shook his head. “Nah. Ceadan don’t have any internet, unless he goes to the library. No cell phone, either. His parents suck.”
Auden considered that. “Troy, do you know if there have been any men around here offering you something. Not like drugs, but maybe something that would help you out? You know, making some promises, like maybe a better life, how to become strong, or something like that?”
Troy scratched his elbow. “Not really, man. Not that I can—oh, wait! There were these two guys hanging out here sometimes. I haven’t seen them for a while. But they would, like, talk to some of us telling us we can get some—I dunno—like, power, or something? They talked to me and Ceadan one time. I told them to kiss off.”
“Do you remember what they looked like?”
The boy shrugged. “Well, one of them had a leather jacket. He wore it all the time, even when it was hot. Never saw them skate, though. They just hung out. The other guy had a big nose. Kind of a poser.”
Over the boy’s shoulder, Auden saw Marcus waving at him from the other side of the park. Auden pulled a business card and a pen from his jacket pocket. He wrote his cell number on the back. “Thank you, Troy. You’ve been very helpful. If you hear from Ceadan, please call me immediately. We’re very worried about him and would like to know he’s okay.”