Sacrificed is available NOW! Check out some of the teaser-ific moments below!!
“You’re an eating machine with all that food, Riley. You know, they say after college, your metabolism slows down quite a bit. You should be more careful,” I teased him as I pulled out my chair from under the dining room table.
He wrinkled his nose before tugging his shirt up to show off his well-defined six-pack. “Have you seen me lately? Come on now, Ariya! I’ve got plenty of time before this bod has to worry about struggling to stay in shape.”
I threw a biscuit at him for his boastful display, which made Caroline giggle. It was the first normal thing the three of us had done together in what felt like forever.
I continued grinning while listening to Caroline tease Riley as he shoveled huge mounds of food into his mouth.
“Ours?” We stopped laughing upon hearing Nick’s urgent tone.
My gaze shot over to him, wondering what he could have been referring to. James was looking steadily back at him and nodded. Less than ten seconds later, the doors to our hotel room flew open.
I gasped, jumping right out of my seat and shoving my chair back harder than I meant to as James casually walked around to block me. He didn’t look frightened, or even alarmed at all by the intrusion. I instinctually reached for his back and rested my hands there.
A tall man dressed in all black walked through the doors rather arrogantly with his hands clasped behind his back, halting in front of James.
“James Rymer, you’ve been officially relieved of your duties as Protector of the current Bloodline Member, Ariya Adams. You have to come with me immediately.”
Stillness. Calm. Peace. Amidst images of war and fighting, I looked all around me and yet, all I could feel was a quiet calm. There should have been noise. There should have been terrible, dreadful sounds. I could see the death, hear the shouting, and observe the pain and struggle. But, there was nothing to it. I could not even hear the sound of my own breathing. That is, I think I was breathing.
The images around me were blurry, but I knew I was in a dangerous place. Figures came in and out of my vision, clearing briefly and allowing me to see a face in one moment, then completely vanishing in the next. Slowly, my eyes focused until I could see my friends running towards me, fear reflected in their eyes, as if they were witnessing the worst possible scenario in front of them. It made no sense. They were looking at me with panic-stricken faces, but I was somehow away from the danger surrounding me. Nothing could touch me.
I admired the elegance with which the three of them moved as they fought. Nick and James warded off the hostile wolves like it was all a horrific yet beautifully choreographed dance number. They moved in sync with each other, but always kept their eyes on me. Not once did a wolf manage to break their collective stride.
James ended the eerie dance, moving rapidly towards my peaceful bubble. I smiled as I looked at him, wanting him to be as safe as I was.
I started to take a step closer to him, but was stopped. I could not move. A slow trickle of sensation traveled down my arms until my body froze like ice. I frowned, failing to comprehend the unfamiliar feeling as I looked down to see where the touch was coming from. A hand held me in place. I shivered. There was only one person who could manage to chill my body like that with her touch, freezing it like ice.
She smiled as I turned to look at her, and I caught the unmistakable gleam of victory in her eyes. She twirled a knife in front of my face as I tried to move away again, this time with more alarm, only to be gripped tighter.
Loud noises finally flooded into my ears. All the tortured screams and battle cries I once thought I managed to avoid came rushing in.
Audrey grabbed my chin, tilting my eyes to meet hers.
“You were never meant to survive,” she hissed, thrusting her knife into my side as I screamed.