Posting from Unveiled again this #SnippetSunday. It’s the first book in my Raven Daughter series and is available in ebook, paperback, and audio.
Last Sunday found Jo and Caius as the tail end of an attack by snake-like critters, this Sunday we skip forward to the next day where we find them fed, rested, and leaving where they spent the night to continue their journey. At this point, neither one of them know quite what to make of the other. All Jo knows is despite what Caius is, she’s starting to feel safe with him.
The temperature dropped as we climbed in elevation and more clouds moved in, smothering the sky and the mountain tops. Though hiking kept me fairly warm, it still wasn’t long before I closed the front of my cloak.
A cold wind picked up. It moaned through the tops of the trees and I pulled my cloak closer. After another hour or so of steady walking, a few flakes of snow began to drift around us. I glared at the sky. Yay, snow. That always makes for a perfect hike through the mountains. Icy tendrils of wind worked their way through my cloak. Though the t-shirt was amazingly, and strangely, warm as if it held its own heat somehow, I shivered. I’d never done well with the cold.
Without saying a word, Caius pulled off his crimson cloak and draped it over my shoulders. The spicy, earthy scent was stronger this time and it filled my nose as I put my arms through the sleeves. His cloak was so much warmer than mine as if, like my new shirt, it held its own heat.
Eventually, we left the foot trails behind and began to make our way over untamed terrain. The day crawled by in endless walking while tiny white flakes fluttered around us, obscuring the landscape. Though the food initially energized me, it became clear that I could have used stopping for another large meal and sleeping for several more hours.
A couple vials of replenisher would have helped immensely. I silently cursed myself for not thinking to ask for some before I left Alaric’s office. And I cursed Alaric for not thinking to already have some to take with me.
We stopped for a rest well after the sun had set and darkness claimed the world. When I tried to offer Caius his cloak back he refused to take it. So I curled up at the base of a tree in the double layer and allowed myself to doze.
I wanted, no needed, a deeper sleep, but was afraid to attempt it. My mind kept trying to bring up the images of the snake thing biting into my leg and yanking me off my feet and I wasn’t about to let it go there. The night before, I was so depleted it was more of a collapse than sleep. This time, my mind was much more active.
I don’t know how much time passed before Caius urged me to my feet and I resumed plodding along after him. The light snow finally came to a stop. Little by little, the clouds cleared and the night sky revealed itself in all its star-filled wonder.
Ahead of me, Caius stopped and scanned the area around us. My heart jerked as I searched for what he sensed. I didn’t normally scare easy, but I didn’t normally fight hell beetles, or snake things that were big enough to swallow me whole either. All day I had carefully avoided thinking about the double row of teeth that had latched onto my leg. Now it was all I could think about.
“What is it?” I hated the tremor in my voice but couldn’t help it. I had been raised in a normal world where this kind of stuff was nothing more than imagination. And my year in Midtween hadn’t prepared me for any of this.
“More seran demons.” He held out his hand. “Give me my cloak.”
I yanked off the crimson cloak and handed it to him. It was noticeably colder without it. “Seran demons?”
“The snake-like demons that attacked us last time.” His tattoos flared faintly as he pulled the cloak on. Golden eyes glowing, he turned to me. “Shift. We need to get there faster so I don’t have to spend the rest of this night trying to keep Eisheth’s minions at bay. You are in no shape to fight them.”
“I’m not sure I’m in good enough shape to hold the shift. That takes a lot of energy.”
“Flying will take less than fighting all night. Hold it for as long as you can, Reaper. Otherwise, serans await.”
I closed my eyes, seeking the raven. My cloak became my feathers and when I opened my eyes, I saw the world through different, far sharper eyes. My form trembled a moment but held. It was going to take every shred of energy left to stay in the raven.
Swiveling my head, I turned to see a bird of prey next to me. Massive in size, his black feathers were tinged with crimson. With a squawk, I flapped my wings, jumping back a little. Caius turned his sleek head in my direction, golden eyes regarding me.
Leave it to a demonborn to shift into a bird that didn’t exist naturally. I rolled my beady eyes. Figures. If nothing else, he would give any bird watchers lurking in the north end of nowhere a shock.
I hope you enjoyed this snippet. Make sure you check out the #SnippetSunday Facebook group so you can reap snippets by all the other authors on there. Maybe you will find your next great read.
I’m Jo and the death of my mother revealed a whole lot of secrets she was keeping. Like the fact that my sperm-donor father was a freaking angel who couldn’t keep it in his pants and slept with a woman he should never have been with. Or the fact I’m not mortal and would one day be a reaper of souls.
Reaping souls, now there is something I never dreamed I would do, but here I am doing just that. Or at least I was, until souls started becoming Lost. And that’s when things went south.
When I stupidly agreed to help discover what was causing the Lost without reading the fine print first. Now a lot of immortals would like to see me dead because of what I might become. To top it off, I ended up blood bound to a powerful half-demon who is supposed to be a reaper’s sworn enemy. Funny thing is he may be the only one I can trust.
Grab it on AMAZON